Set Prospective

March of the Machine: The Aftermath

May 31st, 2023 — Parker LaMascus

This article is part of our community-sourced Set Prospective series. We survey Cube designers before the set’s official release to document their first impressions of new cards.

March of the Machine: The Aftermath ties up some loose ends from the mega-event set with 50 brand-new, Standard-legal cards. The small set, with its lack of Draft integration, didn’t get much attention from Magic creators, but Cube goes boldly where Limited podcasts fear to tread.


Cube curators submitted 68 responses for Aftermath. The median respondent is testing 2 cards, while the median rating given is an above-average 6.3. The most cards tested by a single respondent is 23 (nearly half the set!).

Filter by rarity:
Card TestersRank 
Ayara's Oathsworn33.8%5.8
Urborg Scavengers29.4%6.2
Narset, Enlightened Exile17.6%5.9
Cosmic Rebirth17.6%6.0
Nissa, Resurgent Animist14.7%6.9
Tranquil Frillback13.2%6.4
Blot Out11.8%6.8
Karn, Legacy Reforged11.8%7.2
Jolrael, Voice of Zhalfir10.3%5.9
Feast of the Victorious Dead8.8%4.9
Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin7.4%4.6
Samut, Vizier of Naktamun7.4%6.7
Animist's Might7.4%7.0
Calix, Guided by Fate7.4%7.8
Vesuvan Drifter5.9%6.9
Markov Baron5.9%7.4
Gold-Forged Thopteryx5.9%6.0
Filter Out5.9%6.3
Harnessed Snubhorn5.9%5.0
Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival5.9%3.4
Cards being tested by fewer than 4 respondents not shown.

Single Card Discussion

Nissa, Resurgent Animist
Ayara's Oathsworn
Urborg Scavengers
Cosmic Rebirth

Ayara's Oathsworn is the most-tested card from MAT, capturing the attention of a third of our respondents. It, like runner-up Urborg Scavengers, is a riff on well-known cube effects, and at a mana value where it can compete in Eternal-style cubes.

Cosmic Rebirth is the most-tested non-rare from this set. (Notably, MAT contains no commons — a total whiff for our Peasant curators.) This instant-speed reanimation has all kinds of synergies, and a backup mode of Regrowth just in case.

Nissa, Resurgent Animist was not tested as highly as her early Constructed playrate would suggest. Played on Turn 4 alongside a fetchland, she’ll get 2 Landfall triggers, so she can easily find and cast a powerful 3-drop, but there’s a lot of range besides that best-case scenario, and optimizing Nissa’s outcomes is a novel deckbuilding puzzle. This is my pick for most underrated MAT card among Cube owners.

Calix, Guided by Fate
Karn, Legacy Reforged

Aftermath, not beholden to Limited and its requirements of thematic and mechanical unity, contains a wealth of niche archteype support cards. Calix and Karn are two such examples, tested by a small number of people but very highly rated, but every card in MAT has similar potential for filling a mechanical niche.

This is one of those sets that may not get much hype from the competitive Magic community, but may be full of hidden gems for your cube!

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