Magic The Gathering – March of the Machine Exclusive Card Preview

Here's an exclusive look at one of the cards from the newest Magic: The Gathering set, March of the Machine.
march of the machine key art

March of the Machine is the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set and the conclusion to the four-part Phyrexian story arc that began with Dominaria United in 2022. But before the dramatic, Multiverse-wide battle drops 21 April 2023, we have a global exclusive preview of a powerful new card from the set.

March of the Machine follows on from the events of Phyrexia: All Will Be One. The set sees the Multiverse rallying together in one last climactic battle against Elesh Norn and her Phyrexian armies as they expand beyond New Phyrexia with the goal of total domination. 

Here’s the first look at one of the cards coming to March of the Machine: the double-sided Invasion of Karsus, and its transformed version, Refraction Elemental.

In its original form, Invasion of Karsus is a new card type – Battle – played on the field horizontally. Battles can be cast during your main phase, much the same as creatures, equipment, and other non-Instants. Each battle card has defence counters on it, indicating how much damage it can take to be defeated. 

This particular card is a Siege battle, so on entering the battlefield an opponent must be chosen to protect the card, while you and any other non-protecting players can attack it. When Invasion of Karsus enters the battlefield, it deals 3 damage to each creature and each Planeswalker, making it able to wipe the board of any low-toughness creatures on the board – great for taking opponents with swarms of smaller creatures down a notch.

Image: Wizards of the Coast

Once Invasion of Karsus is exiled, it’s cast transformed at no additional mana cost – that is, flipped to the other side to reveal its new iteration, Refraction Elemental.

Refraction Elemental is a 4/4 Elemental creature with ward, meaning should it become the target of a spell or ability one of your opponents controls, these are countered unless your opponent opts to pay an additional cost, in this case, 2 life. Making this elemental even more powerful, whenever you cast a spell, it deals 2 damage to each opponent as well.

Invasion of Karsus/Refraction Elemental seems like a strong new addition to the card lineup for March of the Machine due both to being a new card type for the set, but also thanks to the range of damage-dealing abilities both sides of the card have at their disposal, with no opportunity to block damage with creatures. This card would be a particularly useful addition in games against larger groups such as in the Commander format.

Image: Wizards of the Coast

The art on the card also depicts the rarely-seen plane of Karsus, which has only previously appeared on the Mirrored Depths card as a crystalline world. It appears from the art that the Phyrexian army has expanded their sights to the plane of Karsus in March of the Machine, but not without the inhabitants putting up a fight.

March of the Machine releases on 21 April 2022. If you’re keen to check out the full set before this, you can head to one of the Magic: The Gathering prerelease events at your local Wizards Play Network store.

Emily Spindler-Carruthers is a journalist interested in writing about diversity and accessibility in gaming, and the ways in which video games can impact communities. You can find her @Sagef0xx on Twitter.