Tag: march-of-the-machine-aftermath

Mike Carrozza - May 9, 2023

Top Five Cards from March of the Machine: The Aftermath!

Hey everybody! With March of the Machine: The Aftermath releasing at the end of the week, I thought it’d be fun to talk about my favourite cards for Commander from the 50-card set. I’ll go through my top five and I’ll save room for commentary on cards I know folks will like a little blurb about.

The disclaimer is that I am just a guy who plays Commander. I have my ear to the ground, I like certain play styles, I am just a person. I have my opinions, I like what I like, and this top five might not match your own. But I will highlight cards I think are worth picking up and trying out.

I will say that despite Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin and Niv-Mizzet, Supreme being among my favourite cards in the set, I will not include them in the top five here because I have already written articles for each of them.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

  1. Filter Out

This is the Cyclonic Rift that isn’t a Cyclonic Rift. There is a lot of buzz about this because some key Enchantments and Artifacts in cEDH are worth getting rid of for only three mana en masse. Not bouncing creatures is not necessarily a downside when so many creatures have incredible ETB effects that outweigh them just being in play.

I think Filter Out will be annoying to some, but also a boon to others. I believe putting it in an eggs deck (Artifacts with 0 mana value) or an Enchantress deck to prock more and more triggers is the best use of this. Being proactive against stax at the end of the turn before yours is also a great use for Filter Out.

  1. Arni Metalbrow

Arni Metalbrow is very cool. Arni is a new red legend that isn’t just copying what you’ve got but slamming down your hand as long as you’ve got high enough mana value swinging. The fun part about this is that it is obviously capped, but it means having to use some high mana value creatures that nobody wants to play otherwise to get the chain going. And it’s a chain because as long as you have the mana, you can keep getting your board swinging. What’s the nut draw? Anything that keeps going. It is Balefire Dragon into Inferno Titan into Terror of the Peaks into Goldspan Dragon into Professional Face-Breaker. There’s a lot to like about a deck that can just zoom!

  1. Nissa, Resurgent Animist

This is the card that is going to be most expensive from this set. No caveat, just absolute certainty. It is a three mana Lotus Cobra with a better body that when you Landfall a second time gets you an Elf or Elemental to hand if you have any in the deck. That second part could also just not be there and Nissa would still be a welcome addition to land decks. Yes, Lotus Cobra is already a staple, but it is fragile. However, it has an ability that has fans and therefore redundancy is an ally here! Having a curve of Lotus Cobra into Nissa means that your Evolving Wilds just paid for your four drop and you still have your other lands ready to use.

  1. Nahiri’s Resolve

A Boros flicker card that lets you get more value out of your creatures and artifacts entering the battlefield. It’s selective, it allows you to protect them from players on your turn. You can have symmetrical become asymmetrical by exiling them at your end step, so only you benefit from them. Cadric, Soul Kindler focusing on legendary creatures can stack the Dockside Extortionist ETB trigger to the top and then pay for all the legendary clones you’ll make. Cathars’ Crusade is already a nightmare, have some more nightmares why don’t you – toss it in the deck! Impact Tremors, Purphoros, God of the Forge, Reckless Fireweaver – pick your enemies’ poison and go to town. This will leave you up for attacks, but you don’t have to exile everything to bring them back. This card is insane!

  1. Narset, Enlightened Exile

I can’t spend too much time on Narset because she’s just so freaking open-ended. Incredibly powerful commander meant to lead a deck. Creatures you control have prowess is massive if you want to just play cards like Dragon Fodder and Ral’s Reinforcements the whole game, but I will point out that Narset doesn’t need to target your own graveyard and doesn’t specify that you absolutely have to pick an instant or sorcery or enchantment or artifact or planeswalker or battle. You can pick any of these. You don’t even need to specialize or stick to a theme! What a wacky card.


That does it for me! Make sure to get your packs of March of the Machine: The Aftermath on May 13th!

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Mike Carrozza - May 5, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Niv-Mizzet, Supreme!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, March of the Machine: The Aftermath keeps on giving. Niv-Mizzet, Supreme is going to show you how it’s done with colour pairs.

WUBRG Supreme is a 5/5 Legendary Dragon Avatar with a textbox that’s going to make brewers’ brain-gears turn.

Time for a textbox:

“Flying, hexproof from monocolored  

Each instant and sorcery card in your graveyard that’s exactly two colors has jump-start. (You may cast that card from your graveyard by discarding a card in addition to paying its other costs. Then exile it.”  

A new WUBRG Niv-Mizzet!

A few things to note:

  1. Jump-start requires you to discard a card to play the cards from your graveyard. There is no requirement for colour or anything, but discarding cards is necessary so keep your hand stacked.
  2. Hexproof from monocolored means that Niv-Mizzet, Supreme can’t be hit with Path to Exile, so you have a little bit less to worry about.

I will say that these are only my opinions. I know that people will have strong opinions about this, but remember: I chose my personal favourites.

Let’s get into the 99. Let’s pick the best instants or sorceries in each colour pair.

  1. Azorius

Nominees: Absorb, Dovin’s Veto, Emergency Powers, Faithful Mending, Fractured Identity, Render Silent, Sphinx’s Revelation, Supreme Verdict, Time Wipe

Winner: Spinx’s Revelation

I realize there are a ton of great board wipes here and you’ll need to pick more than a single card per colour pair, but there’s something about Sphinx’s Revelation’s simplicity. Instant speed draw for X with X life gain. I favour instants a lot more in this deck with jump-start allowing you to chain a few in a row. Sphinx’s Rev is a classic hand filler. I love it and you should too.

  1. Boros

Nominees: Boros Charm, Campus Renovation, Deflecting Palm, Heartwarming Redemption, Lorehold Command, Reconstruct History, Razia’s Purification

Winner: Boros Charm

Extremely popular card in Commander, Boros Charm is a versatile all-star. Being able to hit a play for four is great, but nothing compared to saving your permanents from a board wipe. Hell, even discarding Boros Charm to play your own board wipe like Time Wipe and then discarding a land or something to play Boros Charm! Everybody hates you now! Finally, you can give your  5/5 commander double strike. That can mean a surprise win!

  1. Dimir

Nominees: Ancient Excavation, Connive // Concoct, Deny Reality, Drown in the Loch, Extract from Darkness, Glimpse the Unthinkable, Lim-Dul’s Vault, Memory Plunder, Mind Funeral, Mind Grind, Mnemonic Betrayal, Recoil, Shadow of Doubt, Siphon Insight, Whispering Madness

Winner: Memory Plunder

The colour of mill and theft, I was tempted to pick Siphon Insight or Mnemonic Betrayal, but it has to be Memory Plunder. Being able to cast it once is strong enough in some cases, but with enough mana, being able to cast it twice is pretty wild.

Shout out to Ancient Excavation which allows you to double your hand and then sculpt it back down to exactly what you need in hand, and in your graveyard.

  1. Golgari

Nominees: Abrupt Decay, Assassin’s Trophy, Casualties of War, Culling Ritual, Deadly Brew, Deathsprout, Golgari Charm, Harness Infinity, Revival Experiment, Rushed Rebirth, Windgrace’s Judgment

Winner: Assassin’s Trophy

One of the best spot removal spells printed in the colours. It’s hard to pick anything but this. Takes out any permanent an opponent control for the low price of letting them have a basic land. Honorable mention for Harness Infinity, which might have a spot in this deck somehow, but I’m not sure how exactly.

  1. Gruul

Nominees: Artifact Mutation, Atarka’s Command, Decimate, Escape to the Wilds, Frenzied Tilling, Hull Breach, Klauth’s Will, Manamorphose, Treacherous Terrain, Vengeful Rebirth

Winner: Manamorphose

Woof, Gruul is thin. Manamorphose can fix you and replaces itself. You can get your commander out a little easier. Try it out.

  1. Izzet

Nominees: Collected Conjuring, Counterflux, Double Negative, Epic Experiment, Expansion // Explosion, Expressive Iteration, Galvanic Iteration, Izzet Charm, Magma Opus, Practical Research, Prismari Command, Reinterpret, Steam Augury, Teach by Example, Teleportal

Winner: Galvanic Iteration

This card is just excellent value. Getting to copy your next spell is great, being able to double cast it for five right away with flashback is great. Jump-starting it saves you a mana, but in the end, you’ll get some extra value out of your spells thanks to this little gem.

  1. Orzhov

Nominees: Anguished Unmaking, Batwing Brume, Castigate, Cauldron Haze, Culling Sun, Debt to the Deathless, Despark, Dire Tactics, Exterminatus, Fracture, Immortal Servitude, Inkshield, Kaya’s Guile, Merciless Eviction, Obzedat’s Aid, Rite of Oblivion, Utter End, Vanishing Verse, Vindicate

Winner: Inkshield

As much as I think Anguished Unmaking, Merciless Eviction, and Batwing Brume deserve a whole bunch of shine, there’s something about Inkshield that’s just freaking wild. Stay open for an attack, make a whole bunch of evasive 2/1s that crack back and then some. It’s hard to argue with that.

  1. Rakdos

Nominees: Backlash, Bedevil, Blood for the Blood God!, Cauldron Dance, Delirium, Dreadbore, Fevered Suspicion, Grave Upheaval, Hurl Through Hell, Kill! Maim! Burn!, Kolaghan’s Command, Macabre Mockery, Rakdos Charm, Skull Rend, Spontaneous Combustion, Terminate, Torrent of Souls, Unlicensed Disintegration, Wrecking Ball

Winner: Rakdos Charm

Rakdos Charm has so much utility! Got a graveyard deck in the game besides yours, well, say goodbye to them being the problem. Immortal Sun? Not anymore. Token deck? Knocked out, easy.

I do like Fevered Suspicion a lot, and there’s Blood for the Blood God!. That’s just a beating and a new hand!

  1. Selesnya

Nominees: Aura Mutation, Cosmic Rebirth, Eladamri’s Call, Fracturing Gust, Hymn of Rebirth, Join Shields, Join the Dance, March of the Multitudes, Mercy Killing, Reborn Hope, Safewright Quest, Sylvan Reclamation

Winner: Safewright Quest

Selesnya is very into creatures, so it’s a little thin here given that everything is pretty creature based. Safewright Quest in the early game allows you to fetch a Triome or something to fix your mana, and then does the same from the graveyard if you have Niv out in play. Reborn Hope is also a bit of a sleeper int his deck. Also, Hymn of Rebirth was a surprising discovery!

  1. Simic

Nominees: Aether Helix, Biomantic Mastery, Body of Research, Bring to Light, Decisive Denial, Double Major, Eureka Moment, Growth Spiral, Incubation // Incongruity, Neoform, Repudiate // Replicate, Simic Charm, Spitting Image, Unexpected Results, Urban Evolution, Voidslime

Winner: Bring to Light

I’m a hater on tutors, but in a five colour deck, you have to run this powerful card to search up your best creature, instant, or sorcery at 5 or less mana. It’s just very solid and can set itself up perfectly. Do I think Growth Spiral is probably better? Yeah! I’m just a huge fan of making sure your deck can play.

That’ll do it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! Let me know which commander you’d like covered next time @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza - May 4, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, March of the Machine: The Aftermath has given us a lot to chew on, but of course, for anybody who knows me, I have to talk about Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin.

A Rakdos Demon in a pinstripe suit, our newest Ob is a 4/3 Flying and Trampling legendary Rakdos Demon for 2BR with a textbox that’ll have some Prosper, Tome-Bound players including it in the 99, or straight up pivoting.

Time for a textbox:

“Flying, trample  

Whenever one or more opponents each lose exactly 1 life, put a +1/+1 counter on Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin. Exile the top card of your library. Until your next end step, you may play that card.”  

EXCUSE ME! What a tank! The Ping King!

A few things to note:

  1. There’s a very good chance your opponents will want to target your commander with all the advantage you’ll be generating. Be sure to protect the reluctant crime lord.
  2. Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin’s triggered ability only triggers when opponents lose exactly one life. That means if you have a trigger that makes them lose one life all at once, that’s still one trigger. So you’ll need effects that stack this up.
  3. You’ll be exiling a ton of cards and beefing up Ob Nixilis in the process. Your curve needs to be able to support this. Ways to play your exiled cards and get payoffs is going to be useful and important.
  4. Ob Nixilis is going to be huge, so make sure you slap the opponent giving you the hardest time with commander damage so you can keep pummelling everybody.

Let’s get into the 99. There’s a lot to talk about!

  1. Triggering ONCK’s ability

There are so, so many ways to trigger Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin. The moment there’s a Laboratory Maniac or Thassa’s Oracle for red or black, this deck won’t have anything to fear. How about using lands to deal damage?

Hecatomb turns all your swamps into pingers. Manabarbs turns all lands into pain lands while Burning Earth only does it for nonbasic, so be sure to pack your basic lands and watch your opponents’ greedy mana bases run them into the ground. Leechridden Swamp has an activation ability where the condition is easy to meet and reads “ping a player and impulse draw a card” that’s not bad for the investment. Noxious Field and Barbed Field can turn a land of yours into a pinger as well.

Do you want your creatures to hurt your opponents? Impact Tremors gives all your creatures, even tokens, an ETB ping for each opponent. Kessig Flamebreather and Firebrand Archer hit each opponent for one when you cast noncreature spells. Electrostatic Field does the same if you play instants and sorceries. Just like the new Urabrask // The Great Work, but only pinging one opponent. Soot Imp punishes your opponents for playing nonblack cards and gives you card advantage. Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat reward you for creatures dying and ping opponents. Gibbering Fiend hits on ETB and per upkeep, potentially drawing you an extra four cards a turn cycle. Kyren Negotiations turns all your creatures into pingers. Goblin Bombardment lets you dispose of creatures and trade them for damage and cards.

Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor turn your opponents’ combat step into an extra draw for you and them, not unlike Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant. With Fate Unraveler and Kederekt Parasite, Nekusar all-stars found a new commander to team up with, punishing your opponents for drawing.

Pestilence, Pyrohemia, and Last Laugh all work together to ping down your opponents, get you cards, and pump up your commander. Fuel the laugh with little guys, like Goblin or Devil tokens.

Extort also works! Crypt Ghast and Pontiff of Blight particularly shine in this deck to get the party started.

Vicious Rumors is a lot of bang for your buck at one mana. Aether Sting tacks a tax onto each creature spell your opponents play.

Barbed Wire, Copper Tablet, and Roiling Vortex are all passive, like Gibbering Fiend, and net you cards all the way around the table if Ob Nixilis sticks around.

Wanna gamble? Rakdos Charm! Say hello to potentially your entire library!

The combo card we just saw last set is back with another infinite combo. That’s right All Will Be One goes infinite with Ob Nixilis. Just ping something, put a +1/+1 counter on Ob, rinse and repeat. Boring! But effective.

I prefer to lean into Mindcrank. Mill everybody else out! Why not! It’s your party.

  1. Mana!

I’m going to be honest, I blew my word count with that first section, so I’m going to be pretty economical with the rest of this article.

You need hella mana and lots of cheap stuff to cast from exile to get most of your value. Rituals like Dark Ritual, Seething Song, Cabal Ritual, Pyretic Ritual, Desperate Ritual, Battle Hymn, Brightstone Ritual if for some reason you’ve got a ton of Goblins (hint hint), Burnt Offering, Culling the Weak, Infernal Plunge, Sacrifice, and of course, the best rituals, Jeska’s Will and Mana Geyser. I also really quite like Rousing Refrain, but if you’re playing competitively, leave it out of your list. Don’t forget to pack a Dualcaster Mage!

What about mana rocks? Mana Crypt, Mox Amber, Chrome Mox, Jeweled Lotus, Lotus Petal, Mana Vault, Sol Ring (duh), Arcane Signet, Grim Monolith, Fellwar Stone, and if you’re packing, Mox Diamond and Lion’s Eye Diamond.

What about creatures? Dockside Extortionist, Storm-Kiln Artist, Birgi, God of Storytelling, and another mention for Urabrask! Hmmm, feels like we’re missing a big one: Neheb, the Eternal! Making your post combat a real slam, Treasonous Ogre allows you to trade life for mana which can make a huge difference here. Hoarding Broodlord can tutor a card for you and then put your creatures to work to cast more stuff from exile!

Caged Sun is a big boost. Ghirapur Orrery will allow you to drop multiple lands, making sure you don’t miss any from exile. Empowered Autogenerator gets stronger every time it taps. Glittering Stockpile does a similar thing for one shot cash in, but does it nonetheless.

Maybe a Vedalken Orrery belongs in this deck with an Unwinding Clock and Inspiring Statuary. Pack a Ruby and Jet Medallion too! How about a Cloud Key?

Birgi got a nod but there’s a creature missing that deserves his own section…

  1. Prosper, Tome-Bound and His Tech

Prosper is a slam dunk in this deck. Birgi being a mainstay in his 99, she can team up with the Tiefling and take a step to ONCK’s 99, bringing a whole bunch of goodies.

Pingers such as Mayhem Devil, Reckless Fireweaver, Disciple of the Vault, Nadier’s Nightblade, Ingenious Artillerist, and Hedron Detonator all think you should lean into treasures and tokens, and they’re right. Ghirapur Aether Grid lets you use your Treasures and turns them into cards without needing Professional Face-Breaker if you’ve got ONCK in play.

Passionate Archaeologist, Keeper of Secrets, Nalfeshnee, Wild-Magic Sorcerer, Delayed Blast Fireball, and Kami of Celebration pay you off for playing from exile. Pain Distributor turns your opponents’ Treasures into cards for you and gives you a little boost when you’re playing your first spell each turn.

  1. Protect your boy and End the game!

No matter what, you’ll need your commander. Darksteel Plate, Swiftfoot Boots, Lightning Greaves, and Whispersilk Cloak are all ways to protect ONCK with Equipment. You might be losing a lot of life. Keep yourself out of reach with Shadowspear. That lifelink is more relevant than ever. Malakir Rebirth and Deflecting Swat keep your opponents from having it their way when they target the bossman.

You can play a lot of cards in a turn. Cards like Grapeshot, Tendrils of Agony, and to an extent Empty the Warrens will end a game if you boost your storm count high enough. Aetherflux Reservoir can keep you in the game and tear it down on the same card.

My favourite way to end a game with this big beefy mafia don is to toss him at your opponents faces. Chandra’s Ignition, Fling, and Rite of Consumption will turn ONCK’s power into a game over. But my favourite of the cards to end the game with in this way is Fiendlash, an overlooked piece of Equipment from Forgotten Realms Commander. Slap this on Ob Nixilis and start paying for Pestilence. I’d say give it five activations, and you’ll deal five damage to each opponent for a total of 15 damage. There with triggers for five, six, seven, eight, and nine damage to toss around for a total of 35, taking you to 50 damage total.

What an insane commander. I can’t believe this in the 50-card lil’ baby set! Be sure to pick up packs of March of the Machine: The Aftermath.

That’ll do it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! Let me know which commander you’d like covered next time @mikecarrozza!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
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