Next month, MTG stores will run Commander party events for the latest Magic: The Gathering set, featuring unique ‘faction’ cards that change the way the game is played. There’s also a special promo card available for attendees: a Phyrexian language version of Beast Within.
The March of the Machine Commander party events will be held by Wizards Play Network Premium stores between May 26-28. The concept appears to be that players will be loosely playing out the events of the Phyrexian multiverse invasion. Much like the new Battle card type, the unique cards are all double sided. One side shows a plane under attack, while the other shows the denizens of that plane victorious over the Phyrexian threat.
However, outside of flavour, these cards are very different to battles. Instead they act like enchantments that you need to work to bring online, and after you flip them provide a major game effect. Each plane has a Besieged side, which explains how you remove corruption counters in order to flip the card, and a Victorious side, providing some benefit to the player.
Each card has flavourful effects, based on a mechanic from a set centred on the relevant plane. For instance, Eldraine wants you to play monocoloured creatures, while Kaldheim wants you to attack. Once you’re ‘victorious’, Eldraine gives your creatures a powerful Adamant ability, while Kaldheim provides a mighty Boast for each of them.
Another interesting feature is it appears you can help an opponent flip their faction cards. If you meet the requirement of another player’s card, you can remove corruption counters from both their card and your own, providing an interesting political aspect to games.
The cards use artwork from the new battle cards for the Besieged side and artwork from the new planechase cards introduced in March of the Machine for the Victorious side. They’re not legal outside of events, but the Phyrexian Beast Within granted to all participants will be!