A few weeks ago, we got our first look at March of the Machine, and with it came a ton of sweet new cards. Meant more for stores to know what they're buying into, Wizards gleefully showed us a myriad of noteworthy cards. Being in the hall as the presentation was going on, the atmosphere of excitement was downright infectious. Omnath, Locus of All was a genuine shocker to many, and the team ups like new fan favorite Yargle and Multani elicited tremendous cheers. There was one thing in particular that got a ton of people's attentions: these two cards.
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Atraxa, Praetors' Voice were confirmed in a new bonus sheet subset of legendary creatures appearing in this set. This follows the trend of Strixhaven's Mystical Archive subset and The Brothers' War's Retro Frame Artifact subset, adding to the release in a relevant, flavorful manner. With a set like this encompassing virtually every plane in Magic, it only makes sense that there simply wouldn't be enough space in the main set to put in all the legends Wizards would like to. With the additional bonus sheet, it allows them to get more characters in without compromising the new cards at the same time.
It's hard to predict exactly who we'll see in the main set at this point (I certainly didn't have Heliod and Ayara getting compleated on my bingo card). With the bonus sheet, though, it's quite a bit easier to make some informed guesses. So, for today's article, I'd like to take a look at a few characters and cards that I think are perfect for reprints in the Multiverse Legends subset. Before we jump in, I'd like to set a few guidelines for how I'm making my choices:
- All characters we know of will be ignored. We already know several characters are getting cards in the set, so while it's definitely possible they may show up in this bonus sheet, I'd rather focus speculation on characters we haven't seen yet.
- Each card must be a legendary creature. While the first look article is a bit more vague, the actual panel from MagicCon Philly notes these are creatures. While a slip-up could be possible with Planeswalkers making an appearance, for simplicity's sake I'm opting to stick with creatures only.
- Each character must be alive (or at least undead, I suppose) in the main story. Sure, some old characters make odd comebacks here and there, but don't expect, say, Urza, Sisay, or Kamahl to show up. They're long since dead and there's no chance they'll come back for a major present-day story.
- No uncompleted versions of characters who were compleated prior to this story. This is mainly for characters such as Ezuri, for example. It's not particularly likely we'll see Ezuri, Renegade Leader when he'd be depicted as a Phyrexian, though that may mean something like Ezuri, Claw of Progress is a possibility.
All right, now that all that's out of the way, let's dive in. Ready? Go!
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
Skithiryx is the definition of both a fan-favorite and a truly reviled legend. A dedicated Skittles Commander deck can easily pick off opponents fast, which makes him a legend players love to play and one that others despise playing against. While he likely feels weird being the only infect creature in the mix, he's strong enough that they can probably let him slide in just fine. There're also very few Phyrexian legends that were printed prior to Phyrexia: All Will Be One so this seems like an easy inclusion. The only real strike is the complexity of regeneration in a modern release, but I think we're going to see a lot more one-off mechanics this time around so you never know.
At Least One Theros God
We already know that Heliod is getting compleated and that the Phyrexians are hitting Theros hard. However, in spite of that, I get the feeling that there's going to be at least one god left who rises up and resists against them. Who that may be is honestly anyone's guess, but I'd bet we're going to see at least one before preview season is over.
Hazoret the Fervent
Hazoret remains the only god from Amonkhet left alive following the events of Hour of Devastation and wasn't left corrupted like The Locust God and The Scarab God. She's also a well-loved card, having been one of the most popular Standard cards when she was legal. In Limited settings, she's powerful but not unbeatable, and it would be a great way to include her character as well.
Halvar, God of Battle
I get the feeling the Sword of the Realms is going to play some role in the story here, as is the World Tree. As such it makes sense to show up here, alongside Halvar, who will no doubt be tearing through the endless legions of Phyrexians. Based on some art we've already seen, Kaldheim looks poised to be a major focal point of this story, and I'm confident Halvar will be the one leading the charge as he did at the end of that set's story.
Danitha Capashen, Paragon
Danitha represents a great uncommon. Strong, yet easy to deal with, and she may or may not really work with any equipment or auras depending on how many are actually in the set. This makes her work excellently in Limited and has made her a fan favorite in a variety of casual formats as well. Plus, she's got a bone to pick with the Phyrexians after what they did to her father Aron, Benalia's Bane.
Mowu, Loyal Companion
Mowu is the definition of a fan favorite and is thankfully innocuous when it comes to Limited play. That makes him a pretty easy inclusion that adds to the environment without being too overbearing in the process. That feels like a healthy mix of both a popular character working well within the needs demanded by gameplay, so this one almost feels like an easy lock to me.
Rona, Disciple of Gix
Rona's been a critical part to the Phyrexians' plans for a while now, having been essential to getting Sheoldred established on Dominaria during Dominaria United. While not a true Phyrexian herself, she remains loyal to their cause. That alone would make her a great inclusion, but there's also the fact that this set is going to be loaded with far more legendary creatures than your average set. As a result, the text on her original Dominaria card caring about historic cards fits perfectly here. I can't imagine this not making it into the set as a result.
Ertai, the Corrupted
I wasn't sure if this was worth including because the card also just got a step-and-compleat foil treatment in a Secret Lair. However, with so few Phyrexians to choose from and this being one of the few options to use from older sets, it seems like a great one to toss in. It's great for Limited and not particularly overpowering due to its own limitations (you can only have so many creatures to lose before you just die). At the same time, it's an excellent commander, so this is one that would be representative on a number of fronts.
The addition of this card is entirely contingent on Bolas somehow getting out of his prison in the Meditation Realm. However, being without a spark once more, he's just a regular old dragon. His original card isn't particularly powerful by today's standards, but is an extremely flashy throwback that would absolutely turn some heads and get a lot of love if included. This one feels like a bit more of a long shot, but I'd love to see it happen.
Kogla, the Titan Ape
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Squee, Goblin Nabob
We've already seen a return to Mercadia showing up and there's heavy speculation that Squee is going to play a major role in this set's story somehow. Bringing back his original card from Mercadian Masques as a nod to that old school plane would be an awesome throwback while not being particularly powerful either. Heck, nowadays for Limited, there's probably an argument to be made that you could put this in at uncommon given how weak it tends to be.
Baru, Fist of Krosa
Baru finally showed up in Dominaria United, confirming he's in the game's current timeline. Bringing back his original card in a Standard legal environment is both a cool way to include a Future Sight reprinting and utilize a flavorful mechanic in the form of grandeur. He's powerful, flashy, and a sweet option for inclusion.
Fblthp, the Lost
Fblthp really checks all the boxes. Highly popular, flavorful (which plane will he get lost on this time?!), and works mechanically with all the legends floating about. I can't imagine a set of legendary reprints without the cute little homunculus.
Sengir, the Dark Baron
Sengir feels like a bit of an odd one specifically because of one little word at the bottom of the card: Partner. Wizards isn't particularly keen on including cards that reference the command zone in draftable Standard booster packs. However, this is the only way to give us a new Sengir barring a brand-new card showing up, and he's currently on an unknown plane as a result of the events of Time Spiral. It just feels like they'd be wasting a massive opportunity to get such a beloved character into the set here.
Jhoira of the Ghitu
I waffled between this one and Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain. Frankly, though, Jhoira isn't exactly captaining the Weatherlight now that it's been compleated. I think bringing it back to this classic card is a great way to include her here, though suspend may be a massive strike against her as well due to the complexity factor. I say to hell with that, though, and that she should absolutely bring it in as a one-shot mechanic.
Kenrith, the Returned King
Thanks to the lone Aftermath spoiler we've seen so far, we know Kenrith's reign is soon to come to an end. It would be thus more fitting to have him show up in this set, especially since he can be easily splashed into a variety of decks. He's absolutely prime mythic material and well deserving of it, but would be a particularly flashy card that would rock the Limited field.
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Given what happened to Avacyn, Gisela, and Bruna, I simply don't see them going out of their way to corrupt Sigarda. Even as they kill several beloved characters off no problem as we've been seeing, removing so many of Innistrad's key angels feels like a weird move. Instead, I think we'll see a reprint of her classic card from Avacyn Restored show up once more. She's powerful, hard to kill, and can make it hard to take out your creatures as well depending on the amount of sacrifice effects in the format.
Zilortha, Strength Incarnate
Last but not least is this little creature who you might not recognize. Who is Zilortha, you ask? Well, you might recognize them as the buy-a-box promo from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. This was a cool way to showcase the Godzilla cards. However, no official non-Godzilla card has been released yet. Despite this, we do have official Zilortha art courtesy of MTG Arena and it could be high time for it to finally see the light of day by way of this set.
This is only a taste of the possibilities for legends in this set, and a look at how varied the choices might be. There're definitely a few spaces I overlooked (I can't help but feel like my eyes just glazed over completely when it came to Streets of New Capenna, for example), but on the whole this should be a relatively decent representation of things to expect. I could go on and on about the possibilities, but I'm leaving it here so as to not get too carried away. With several thousand legends at this point, there's no shortage of who may show up. Who will survive and who will perish? We'll find out soon as March of the Machine rumbles out tomorrow with its story.