Note: Please take a few minutes to participate in our fan survey on March of the Machine! We’ll be creating infographics from the responses, and selecting two participants to win $25 gift cards to Card Kingdom! Thank you ~
The full spoiler was revealed this week for the 96th of Magic the Gathering’s premier expansions: March of the Machine. While the set already boasts dozens of records and notable firsts for the 30-year-old card game, one of its more exciting elements to many fans is its multiverse-spanning storyline, which sees Elesh Norn attempt to conquer the known Magic universe all at once. The story consequences of that are best experienced through the official story, but here at Cardboard by the Numbers, we’re digging into the stats that make up the expansion for a survey on planar demographics in MOM.
I endeavored to assign a plane to each card from March of the Machine, the new cards in its paired Commander decks, and the Multiverse Legends cards which come once per booster. Characters and most other permanents are associated with their plane of origin, while instants, sorceries, and enchantments have been categorized by where the artwork takes place. This is not an exact science, but by examining the various elements of each of the 435 cards that make up “March of the Machine” (excluding variants and commander reprints), we’ve produced the following infographic:
Each unique card printed in March of the Machine (MOM), March of the Machine Commander (MOC), and Multiverse Legends (MUL) was assigned a plane based on, in order of priority: flavor text, story context, card name, and then art, as well as a confidence level associated with that decision. You can review the entire database here: Google Doc.
As mentioned before, characters and most permanents are associated with their home planes. All other cards are based on the location in the depiction of the card, whether by flavor text, artwork, or knowing context from the story.
Flavor text was the priority, as it frequently mentioned a plane or a place specific to the plane to add confirmation to any determination. Proper nouns in card names, typically place names, were the next most reliable source. Artwork was judged based on obvious motifs and elements from previous sets, comparing symbols and aesthetics with other cards and guides to planes.
Only 25 cards (~5%) were unable to be assigned at all, with over 80% of all cards receiving high confidence in their determinations. Cards with an “Unknown” plane were marked as such in the spreadsheet and not included on the graphic. Considering over 400 cards were analyzed in the process, I’m very pleased with the final result, and I hope you enjoy it! If you do find errors in either our methodology or result, please let us know.
As a reminder, please make sure to take our survey on March of the Machine and thanks so much for reading!