Last week we took a look at some of the most powerful commanders from March of the Machine, with cards like Elenda and Azor, Shalai and Hallar, and Urabrask showing tremendous potential to be extremely powerful commanders. Now let’s take a look at the cards releasing alongside them, exciting creatures, mysterious artifacts, and the tools which give March of the Machine some character.

Herald of Hoofbeats

There is no way around it, a card which grants all your other cards horsemanship is going to be extremely powerful. While Herald of Hoofbeats is limited to giving Knights horsemanship, there are plenty of ways to make it work. There are 31 creatures with horsemanship in Magic, but with Herald of Hoofbeats, your entire deck can be an unstoppable force. 

If you’re not playing Knights, there are plenty of ways to trick Herald of Hoofbeats into thinking all your creatures are Knights. Cards like Arcane Adaptation, Conspiracy, Xenograft, and Unnatural Selection can turn all your creatures into Knights, and in turn, give them all horsemanship. 

Moira and Teshar

Reanimation is something of a specialty for white and black cards, and with Moria and Teshar, you can bring your cards back over and over again. Though, it might take some work to keep them around. Moria and Teshar let you reanimate a nonland permanent when you cast a historic spell. That permanent gets haste, but is exiled at the beginning of the next end step.

That’s where the shenanigans begin. You can use cards like Sundial of the Infinite to end the turn before the exile trigger would occur, or you can exile it with spells like Eerie Interlude. Since Moria and Teshar only cares if the card would go anywhere else other than exile, Eerie Interlude and others that would exile cards before returning them to the battlefield bring the reanimated card permanently to play.

Elspeth’s Talent

The entire Talent cycle brings with it some incredible new abilities and approaches to planeswalkers in Commander. As the first planeswalker-specific auras, these cards grant new abilities to any planeswalker they enchant. Elspeth’s Talent helps you flood the board with three 1/1 Soldier tokens, giving any planeswalker which can’t normally protect itself a chance to stick on the table for a little longer. 

Even better, every time you activate a planeswalker ability, you get to pump your team with +2/+2 and vigilance for a turn. Keep ramping out tokens or using any other of your enchanted planeswalker’s abilities, and you’ll quickly have an overwhelming force. 

Bitterthorn, Nissa’s Animus

Living Weapon makes a return with Bitterthorn, Nissa’s Animus, the phyrexianized form of Nissa’s Sword of the Animist. Bitterthron is functionally very similar to Nissa’s Sword, letting you search your library for a basic land when the equipped creature attacks. 

The main difference between the two is Bitterthorn comes into play attached to a 0/0 Phyrexian Germ token, letting you attack during your next turn without having to bother equipping it to get its effect. Of course, the trade-off is Bitterthorn costs a little extra mana to cast and reequip, but even with the higher cost it’s still a great card.

Chivalric Alliance

There’s not a lot going on with Chivalric Alliance, but it does it exceptionally well. When you attack with two or more creatures, you draw a card. Very straightforward, and also very good. Your creatures don’t have to deal damage, or even attack the same players, either way, Chivalric Alliance providing consistent card draw for your aggro deck.

Chivalric Alliance also lets you create a 2/2 Knight token with vigilance by paying two mana and discarding a card, which isn’t terrible. It can turn your late game land drops into a creature, and once you have two Knights out, you can then start drawing cards again.

Wand of the Worldsoul

A lot of players don’t like three mana mana rocks and that’s fine, especially a mana rock which can only add one color like Wand of the Worldsoul. However, Wand of the Worldsoul has the extra ability which can make it an absolute powerhouse.

You can tap Wand of the Worldsoul to give your next spell convoke, letting you tap creatures in place of lands to cast spells. Imagine giving your Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger convoke, tapping a bunch of tokens on turn five for an early game Eldrazi.

Firemane Commando

Simiarly to Chivalric Alliance, Firemane Commando rewards your creature-based decks for attacking with two or more creatures by drawing you a card. You don’t even need to attack with Firemane Commando to gain this bonus, you can attack with two other creatures the turn you cast Firemane Commando and still draw a card.

Even better, Firemane Commando incenticives your opponents to attack any other player than you, letting them draw a card so long as they don’t attack you. This level of politicicing might not be enough to discourage players from attacking you if your far enough ahead of the table, but can take the heat off of you if you’re behind.

Dance with Calamity

Eight mana is a lot to commit but the sheer chaos of Dance with Calamity is too much fun to ignore. When Dance with Calamity resolved, you first shuffle your library and then exile the top card of your library as many times as you choose. Once you decide to stop exiling, you check them all to determine if the total mana value of those cards equals 13 or above. It it does, those cards are exiled forever. If not, you can cast them for free. 

There are a few ways to manipulate the top card of your library so you always know what you’re going to be exiling. Cards like Courser of Kruphix or Oracle of Mul Daya let you play with the top card revealed, letting you take a look at what your next card is before you choose to exile it. Then its a matter of making sure you don’t go above 13. 

Pain Distributor

There have been a few cards that work to punish players who rely on Treasure tokens, and Pain Distributor is the latest attempt to shut down the powerful strategy. Pain Distributor gives each player a Treasure token when they cast their first spell each turn, your opponents included. Then, when an artifact an opponent controls is put into a graveyard fom the battlefield, Pain Distributor deals one damage to them.

Pain Distributor works particularly well with commanders and creatures that can force artifacts on your opponents, like Kibo, Uktabi Prince. It also works particularly well in a Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph deck, since it deals exactly one point of damage, which is upgraded to three points of damage with Ghyrson in play.

Excise the Imperfect

For three mana you can exile any nonland permanent, which is a wickedly powerful card for removing pretty much anything in play. In exchange for this powerful effect, the controller of the exiled card gets to incubate for X, with X being the card’s mana value.

Giving your opponent an Incubator token is a paltry exchange though, and one you’ll almost always come on top of. If your opponent drops a turn three Rhystic Study, you’re not going to care if they get a 3/3 token creature. It’s far more important to get the card off the board. Even if you exile a massive card like a Blightsteel Colossus, giving your opponent a 12/12 token isn’t ideal, but a blockable token is infinitely better than losing to infect on their next turn.

Ryan Hay (he/him) has been writing about Magic: The Gathering and video games for years, and loves absolutely terrible games. Send him your bad game takes over on Twitter where he won’t stop talking about Lord of the Rings.

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