March of the Machines Prerelease: A Simple Guide!

March of the Machine is one of the most bizarre sets we’ve ever created at Wizards—a massive war spanning almost every plane of Magic, confronting the people of each—and our heroes—against the Phyrexians, who will stop at nothing to capture the Multiverse. It’s a massive conflict, unlike anything we’ve seen previously in Magic.

And, while it may not be the best moment to be in the Magic Multiverse, it is an excellent time to be a Magic player! This package is incredible, and the pre-release is right around the corner!

What Is March of the Machines Prerelease?

As part of the March of the Machines Prerelease event, players can get the newest Magic: The Gathering set before it comes out to the public. It is a great chance to play with other people in a casual tournament setting and try out the new cards and tactics.

Prereleases are among my favorite Magic events, suitable for both newbies and seasoned veterans. They’re celebrating the debut of a new set, March of the Machine. First and foremost, if you want to learn how to play Magic,

Battle Preparations

Nothing beats handling new cards from a new set, and that’s exactly what you get to do during a Prerelease. Nobody has these cards before the Prerelease, and it’s your first chance to explore the set and learn how it all works together.

The enthusiasm in a Prerelease room is tangible. People are relaxed and having fun as they open their cards, shout about the great things they’ve discovered, and find cool combos for the first time. One of the best aspects of the Prerelease is that it provides a supportive environment for you to navigate your first event.

Even if you’re fresh new, there will be individuals in the store to help you have a great time and partake in the incredible story of March of the Machine. (Which, if you haven’t already done so, you may discover here!)

So, do you need to bring your own deck? Nope! For a Prerelease, you will use the Sealed Deck format. It’s simple: open the six March of the Machine Draft Boosters from your Prerelease Pack and put them together into a deck. It’s all about the new set and what’s inside it.

To create the finest deck possible, you’ll want to go over everything, from commons to rares. (You can view all of the cards in advance at our March of the Machine Card Image Gallery.) How does this function in practice? Allow me to walk you through it.

A Sealed Machine

You’ll be given a March of the Machine Prerelease Pack when you sit down on Prerelease Day. While there are many items in here, such as a spindown life counter for tracking your life total and a fun little insert with some information and recommendations, the six Draft Boosters are the most important:

Check out your new deck of cards by opening them all. You’ll also find a foil-stamped rare or mythic rare card inside to play, so make sure to get that one. In addition, March of the Machine comes with an extra legendary promo in your Prerelease Pack. It’s one of three possibilities:

These are a fantastic new addition to every Prerelease Pack. But keep in mind that you cannot use these in your Prerelease deck. They’re a fantastic way to inspire your next Commander deck and show off how enormous this battle is, but they won’t fit in your sealed deck. So you may put that away.

Okay, are the boosters ready? So, you’re ready to start building a deck!

But where do you begin?

First and foremost, you should understand what you’re attempting to accomplish. Sealed Deck only requires 40 cards, not 60 or 100. You can purchase as many extra basic lands as you desire from the store.

An excellent starting point is to play 17 lands. So, after all is said and done, you should only be able to play roughly 23 non-land cards from the deck. Your task is to identify the 23 cards to play. Okay, it seems a little more manageable. How do you decide which cards to play?

Sort your cards first by color. Create eight piles: one for each color, one for multicolored cards, one for colorless cards, and one for lands. As you progress, you’ll have the opportunity to peruse the cards and see what piques your interest.

You’ll want to limit your options to two colors. You can occasionally “splash” a third color by playing two colors as your base and a couple of powerful cards or additional costs of another color, but I’d stick to the two colors you want here. You can choose them as you want—maybe you enjoy certain colors—but here are three things to look out for:

  • Any strong rares in those colors that you’re excited to play
  • A lot of removal cards (cards that destroy or otherwise deal with your opponent’s creatures)
  • Evasion (flying creatures or hard-to-block cards)

Good synergy and multicolor cards are also important factors to consider. Every two-color pairing in March of the Machine has a theme, and understanding those themes will help you decide which colors to play. If you’re curious about what those themes are, they’re addressed in my video above, as well as a video where I discussed all ten Draft archetypes!

March of the Machines Prerelease

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After you’ve decided on your colors, you should consider your mana curve. This helps to ensure that you have creatures to cast at every step of the game. If everything costs six mana, you’ll be significantly behind when it comes to playing creatures, and if everything costs two mana, you’ll be outclassed in the late game.

This is how you can check your mana curve. To begin, arrange your creatures in mana-value order from left to right. So all creatures costing one mana, then all creatures cost two, and so forth. Only put non creatures here if you intend to play them as soon as you have that much mana—for example, you might play an Equipment on turn two, which qualifies as a two-drop, but you’re unlikely to play a removal spell on turn two.

In general, for Limited—and this is just a guideline—I’d look to play something like this:

1 mana: 0–2
2 mana: 4–6
3 mana: 3–5
4 mana: 2–4
5 mana 1–3
6+ mana: 0–2

Once you’ve sorted those out, you may start adding in your noncreature spells. To deal with your opponent’s creatures, you should presumably use all of your removal spells. Aside from that, it’s good to have means to boost your creatures and draw cards instantly. However, you can season to taste based on what you think will work well in your deck.

That’s all there is to it! When you’re completed, you should have a deck of 40 cards. You can play more than 40 cards, but I strongly advise against it; each card you play after 40 reduces your chances of drawing your best cards.

That’s how you make a sealed deck. But what can you expect in terms of mechanics? Let me go over them with you.

Mechanics of March of the Machine

March of the Machine is chock-full of fascinating new concepts, including a brand-new card type: fight! Even if you’ve been playing for a while, you’ll want to learn how battles work. Check out the March of the Machine Mechanics to discover more about all the mechanics and how they work.

Fight for the Multiverse!

The March of the Machine Prerelease is coming up on April 14-20. Contact your local game store, peruse the March of the Machine Card Image Gallery, and prepare to fight for the Multiverse—whichever side you’re on!

Oh, and don’t forget that you may also preorder booster displays for pickup at the Prerelease. So, if you want everything you’ll need for your interplanar combat, you may transport March of the Machine home—make sure to check with your local retailer first.

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