Wizards of the Coast is publishing short stories for March of the Machine, hinting at the characters and events we might see on MTG cards in the upcoming set. ‘Episode 1: Triumph of the Fleshless’ and ‘Episode 2: Holding your Breath’ appeared on the Magic website on Thursday.
We sent our word-gorger engine (staff writer) to consume these new stories, digest them, and regurgitate the 8 most tantalising titbits that hint at new or returning cards in MTG March of the Machine.
Kaya, Kaito, and Tyvar aren’t compleated – yet
Triumph of the Fleshless picks up just after the climax of MTG Phyrexia: All Will Be One. The MTG Planeswalkers Kaya, Kaito, and Tyvar survived the failed assault on New Phyrexia and have been captured by the Praetor Elesh Norn. In classic Bond-villain style, Norn decides not to kill or compleat her captives (convert them into Phyrexian biomechs), and they all escape from her clutches while she’s busy monologuing.
Ding, dong, Sheoldred is dead!
Norn’s first order of business is to execute the Phyrexian Praetor Sheoldred. That will be cathartic if you’ve been tormented by Sheoldred’s relentless life-draining when facing black MTG Arena decks.
Dominaria United will remain playable even after the next MTG standard rotation, so Sheoldred can torture you posthumously for a year and a bit yet.
The compleated Planeswalkers all have missions
Norn has plans for all the newly compleated Planeswalkers. Nissa is now piloting Realmbreaker, the Phyrexian’s corrupted version of the World Tree that allows them to invade planes thoughout the multiverse.
Nahiri is off to Zendikar to mess with the ancient weapons inside the Skyclaves; Lukka is going back to Ikoria to do what Lukka does and get pally with monsters; Tamiyo is heading back to Kamigawa; and Ajani is despatched to Theros to spread the Phyrexian gospel and compleat the plane’s Gods.
We’ve already seen previews of compleated Theros Gods and Omnath from Zendikar: compleated monsters from Zendikar will be gribbly.
Tamiyo might not be totally lost to Phyrexia
When Tamiyo looks at the invasion on Kamigawa, she seems to lose her connection to Elesh Norn, if only for a moment. Perhaps this is a hint that there’s some resistance in her still, or maybe even a clue that the Phyrexianisation is not as irreversible as we first supposed – and the cure might be on Kamigawa.
Something’s up on Theros
We already knew about Ajani’s mission to convert the Gods of Theros from card reveals, but there’s an extra detail: there’s a threat to Phyrexia on Theros, though Norn isn’t saying what it is.
Elspeth, the best-known Therosian Planeswalker was apparently destroyed by the filigree Sylex at the end of the last set – but she has unresolved history with the Phyrexians, so perhaps all is not as it seems. We wouldn’t be surprised by a new Elspeth card.
New Capenna will shake to its foundations
Atraxa – better known for the sudden price spike for her MTG card than her backstory as a Mirran angel compleated by four of the five Phyrexian Praetors – is going to New Capenna. Norn’s concerned that another threat to New Phyrexia is hidden on the plane.
According to Norn, the golden ‘Halo’ that was a big part of the plot for the New Capenna MTG set is the residue from five entombed angels. It’s the main force holding the Phyrexians at bay: so Atraxa is off to bust open some Angel tombs. More Phyrexian Angels, anyone?
Elesh Norn is afraid
There’s another juicy titbit at the end of the story: Norn’s nightmares are apparently stalked by a woman cloaked in white. That sounds a lot like The Wanderer, who we assume is alive given how hard it is to keep her in one place – but she’s not the only figure who fits the bill.
We might see a Wrenn and the World Tree planeswalker
The second story Holding your Breath is set at roughly the same time, with most of the other Planeswalkers fretting at Liliana Vess’ safehouse on Dominaria. Kaito, Kaya, and Tyvar burst back in and break the bad news.
Most of the Planeswalkers decide to head off to their home (or adopted home) planes to warn them of the impending invasion – but the pyromancer Chandra isn’t ready to lie down. She’s going to attack New Phyrexia single-handed if she has to. To her surprise, the dryad Wrenn – of famously powerful MTG Moden card Wrenn and Six – volunteers to help.
They’re off to hunt down Teferi first, from whichever time-travelling snarl he’s caught up in. And Wrenn has plans for the World Tree. Wrenn is an unusual dryad, able to move from host tree to tree, and she draws her magic from a spark of the flame that destroyed her home glade which burns constantly within her.
Wrenn already burnt her way through her host tree Six and her current card is Wrenn and Seven – so perhaps the MTG card Wrenn and The World Tree is on its way…