Cardsphere Picks: March of the Machine

Matt Bodensteiner • April 14, 2023

As the Phyrexian machine marches toward total assimilation of the Magic multiverse, it is up to the Cardsphere staff and community members to hold fast, fight the good fight, and make some picks for their favorite cards in the upcoming April set release.

This time around, Discord moderator tunnel snake Bodey is joined by a trio of probably-not-Phyrexian-sleeper-agents from the Discord community, followmylogic, Dunkleskog, and wetlettuce. As always these picks can be based on any criteria, such as power level, artwork, flavor, etc. No criteria is off limits. Without further adieu, let's see what kind of compleated cardboard we're excited to become infected with.


Surge of Salvation

This is what Veil of Summer probably should have been. I'm not sure if it makes the cut in white Commander decks that also have access to blue or green but I wouldn't fault anyone for playing it and will probably try to squeeze it in somewhere myself. Being able to blank a damage-based sweeper like Blasphemous Act, red and black combat damage to your creatures, a spot removal spell, or anything that targets you as a player is definitely a wide swath of applications. Not to mention Dominik Mayer has been crushing it lately and this card is no exception.

Kogla and Yidaro

As someone who brings Gishath, Sun's Avatar to the Commander table, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of new, playable Dinosaurs in March of the Machine. Among these, Kogla and Yidaro are the three-creature-types-where-one-happens-to-be-Dinosaur team up that I am most excited for. A 7/7 for six mana with upside is already on rate for 2023, but the extra nice synergy for Gishath? Being able to discard it when you draw it to 2-for-1 a pesky artifact or enchantment and shuffle it back into the deck to hit with Gishath's trigger and then fight a creature when it enters. That's so much value, it's gonna be on like Donkey Kong (and Bowser).

Tribute to the World Tree

It's no secret that cards like Elemental Bond and Garruk's Uprising are staples for green stompy decks. The downside with these cards (if you can call it a downside) is that they don't trigger for your small mana dorks and utility creatures. Tribute looks to do something about that. I'm looking forward to trying this out in my Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald deck to make my 2/2 Wolf tokens into beefy 4/4s while the rest of my creatures (commander included) draw me cards. However, part of me wishes this card was in some way five color to pay homage to The World Tree.


Invasion of Ravnica

This #1 card in the set is our first battle. Only time will tell if flipping these will be worth it, but a five mana Meteor Golem is certainly going to be popular in EDH. I know it's restrictive, but it takes out Eldrazi Titans and Chulanes just the same. If you do get to flip it, now you have Niv-Mizzet Reborn's favorite little buddy.

Chrome Host Seedshark

New shark just dropped. Galazeth Prismari living his best life with this and Third Path Iconoclast. I wish I wasn't scared of seeing "activate only as a sorcery" on everything and am very glad to not see it on the Incubate mechanic. Being able to hold up interaction and then having an outlet for that mana is beautiful, especially when you get something back from using the interaction.

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster

Between this and Drana and Linvala, the Junk Abzan player inside me is quaking. First strike AND deathtouch; it ramps, it draws cards; stax but not brutal. It may not be the most powerful four drop in existence, but I can't wait to unclog this frog.


Invasion of Ikoria

What does tacking one more green pip onto Green Sun’s Zenith get you? The ability to search your graveyard in addition to the library, and a much wider pool of tutorable creatures. Sure, you could find a boring old Craterhoof Behemoth, but how about Terror of the Peaks, or Dockside Extortionist? It can even grab my favorite card of all time, Gray Merchant of Asphodel! And if that wasn’t enough to get you on this card’s side, how about turning into an 8/8 that makes your creatures unblockable? This card is going straight into my green decks.

Rona, Herald of Invasion

This is a very interesting card to play as a commander. Repeatable looting is always good, and you can do it even faster with some cheap legendary spells. But the backside is what’s really interesting to me here – you can ping your own Rona, Tolarian Obliterator. That gives me a great excuse to play Prodigal Sorcerer, Walking Ballista, and Triskelion. What spells would you cast for free? I’m looking forward to not paying for spells like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and Rise of the Dark Realms.

Preening Champion

Taking a step away from Commander for a moment, let’s look at this peacock. In the context of March of the Machine Limited, this nets you two bodies on board, one of which is a 2/2 flier, and it has the creature type Knight. This slots very nicely into both the UR Convoke archetype and the UW Knights archetype at a solid rate. I’ll definitely be picking it highly when I start drafting March of the Machine.


Khenra Spellspear // Gitaxian Spellstalker

This card looks fantastic. One of the few Phyrexian transform creatures that I would happily transform on curve. Transforming on Turn 3 feels much safer as opponents are less likely to have removal in lieu of building their board. And the back side? Just full of awesome keywords. Double prowess (hah!) means it can grow large very quickly, trample to push through the extra power it gains, and ward 2 for some soft protection while you're piling on more power. And awesome creepy metal art to boot. Is this good enough for Constructed, I have no clue. But I just love everything about this card, and hope to play as many copies as I can in Limited.

Seal from Existence

Wait, is that a protection ability on a removal spell? Amazing. Anything to help mitigate the drawback of an otherwise powerful removal spell. Ward 3 seems like the perfect balanced amount as Disenchant effects generally cost 2-3 mana. Also, stellar art on this card. Fitting for a pivotal moment in the Magic storyline. Hope we get to see more of Wrenn in the future.

Etali, Primal Conqueror // Etali, Primal Sickness

I often find myself overwhelmed with choices when trying to build an EDH deck. Eventually, I decided "Hey, why not just play my opponents' things instead?", and that made all the difference. The first iteration of Etali, Primal Storm sparked joy, and this one is no exception. Having a mana value under 8, this fits perfectly into my Maelstrom Wanderer deck built around the aforementioned theme. I hope they make more Etali cards, but that thought is looking grim given how the current story is going... shame.