The Reprints of March of the Machine

Nick Wolf • April 13, 2023

Monastery Mentor | Illustrated by Brian Valeza

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts/Lands | Gold I | Gold II | Reprints | cEDH | Battles | Pauper

One Path, Many Feet

Between the main March of the Machine release and its corresponding Commander decks, there are 330 reprints. That's good. Of those 330 cards, five of them are reprints of cards that were more than $10 a week ago. That's less good.

When it comes to reprints, there are two main reasons to be excited: one, more copies available of a card makes it cheaper and thus more accessible to all players, and two, there's a new border, artwork, treatment, or story implication that makes the reprint worthwhile. This time around, there aren't a ton of reasons to be excited, but that's not to say there aren't cards worth talking about.

As is tradition, I, Nick Wolf, will be your reprint guide. But I have things to do, so let's get going. And as usual, all prices referenced herein are in USD.

The Reprints of March of the Machine

Monastery Mentor

Originally printed in Fate Reforged, Monastery Mentor has popped up once before in a draftable set since then, in Double Masters, and was also a Judge Gift Card from 2019. Each time it's been printed, it featured new art and pithy but nonsensical flavor text. This time around, the art's provided by Brian Valeza, who debuted in Theros: Beyond Death and has since provided the art of more than 70 cards, including some very popular cards in recent releases, like Skrelv, Defector Mite, Venerated Rotpriest, and Flumph.

Did we need it?

Once upon a time not that long ago, if you wanted to speak little but do much, you needed to spend upwards of $30 for the honor. That's for the Fate Reforged version, which surpassed the $30 mark as recently as mid-2019, but it's been cheaper and cheaper since. You can even get the foil of that version for less than half of that price now, and the judge promo version, which normally commands a premium, can be had for a hair under $20. It's true that calling a $20 card "affordable" is a matter of personal context, but considering how pricy the card used to be, I'll take it, and with the reprint in March of the Machine clocking in at around five bucks, now most people can get their hands on a copy.

Did we want it?

Monastery Mentor is currently played in roughly 2% of decks that can run it, as per EDHREC, or around 20,000 lists. The one upside, though, is that when you're looking for lists built around the Monk creature type, the Mentor is the top card of that particular synergy, so it has that going for it at least. Most commonly, it's seen in the 99 of spellslinger decks looking to trigger Monk-making as much as possible, like Feather, the Redeemed (3,265 decks) or Extus, Oriq Overlord (1,567 decks).

Phyrexian Gargantua

Two cards into the reprints for MOM and we're already talking about uncommons. It's actually pretty surprising that a set that features references to nearly every plane in Magic's history and a villain that has been featured on cards and in lore for 30 years doesn't have better reprints. That number in the intro was a bit misleading, I'll admit : of the 330 reprints, only 24 are from MOM proper, and of those 24, only 15 aren't either basic lands or common fixers like Bloodfell Caves.

But anyway, Phyrexian Gargantua. It's two Phyrexian Ragers stapled together, literally. In MOM, we get updated art provided by newcomer Kevin Sidharta, who's debuting with five cards in the new set (and will likely see more fans thanks to Halo Forager). No shade on Kevin, but it's tough to displace some classic Carl Critchlow Phyrexian art, as seen on the card's original printing from Apocalypse.

Phyrexian Gargantua, by Carl Critchlow

Did we need it?

Currently, with the release of MOM, there are nine distinct printings of Phyrexian Gargantua. Only one, a foil promo from Ninth Edition, costs more than a quarter. But at least we're getting some mildly amusing flavor text courtesy of Braids.

Did we want it?

Across all the two million-plus decks logged on EDHREC, Phyrexian Gargantua is played in 1,032. That doesn't register as a high enough portion to render a percentage. It's seen most in Umbris, Fear Manifest decks due to its type as a Horror, which is a reason.

The Reprints of March of the Machine Commander

Hero of Bladehold

That's right, we're moving on after talking about two whole cards from the regular MOM set. The rest of the reprints will be found below in bullet-point form, so if you need to scroll down really quick, I'll wait here. Just be sure to click all the various advertising links along the way.

All right, are you back? Good, because unlike the regular set, March of the Machine's Commander decks (MOC) have a lot more for us to chew on, starting with Hero of Bladehold.

It's been a long time since we've seen our hero; a little over 12 years, to be precise. At least, in this form. It's canon that "Hero of Bladehold" has a name, and that's Ria Ivor. Unfortunately, we know what happened to Ria in the intervening years since Mirrodin Besieged. 

Did we need it?

Hero of Bladehold was a monster in Mirrodin Besieged and saw a ton of play in a variety of formats. As a result, it's always been somewhat expensive, with the original version peaking at around $22 just last year. The foil promo from the Mirrodin Besieged prerelease mirrored that price, topping out around $19, and even with the new reprint, is still holding steady at $16-ish. With the reprint we get new art, and it fixes a bit of a question mark from the first go-around. The outfit choice of the original version (and especially the promo) have always been questionable: why would you have so much skin exposed if you're fighting an enemy known for sharp objects and corrupting oil?

Did we want it?

Hero of Bladehold is a mix of a trio of relevant creature types, being a Human Knight itself that makes Soldiers, and as a result it's always been popular. According to EDHREC, it sees play in 18,460 decks, or 2% of all that could play it, with by far the single most appearances being in Isshin, Two Heavens as One lists.

Kalonian Hydra

They decided not to mess with perfection and kept the Chris Rahn art, but I would have loved to see an update on the flavor text at least. Who cares what baloths fear, there's an invasion happening.

This is the Hydra's second appearance in a Commander deck, with the first happening in 2016, but every version of the card is popular, solid, and basically the exact same, down to the price. Except, of course, the 30th Anniversary Play Promo old-border Spanish foil that I need to have in my collection yesterday.

Did we need it?

The new reprint is currently listed at around $11. The rest of the printings, from its debut in Magic 2014 to its inclusion in Commander Anthology Volume II and the previously mentioned Commander 2016 version, are all around $15. So will they fall, or will the new one rise? Time will tell, but having more copies floating around will only help get it into the hands of the players who want it.

Did we want it?

There are 24,476 decks that include the Hydra, according to EDHREC. That's pretty good for a 4/4 trample for five mana that doesn't do anything for an entire turn cycle except look scary. As one might expect, it's seen most frequently as a member of Hydra decks led by Gargos, Vicious Watcher (2,312 decks) or Zaxara, the Exemplary (2,650 decks), but also pops up quite often in Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider (1,242 decks).

Vanquisher's Banner

Originating from Ixilan, this is the first time we've seen Vanquisher's Banner in a preconstructed deck. The only other version of the card appeared in Time Spiral Remastered in old, brown border, which for my money is still the one to buy, but as far as decks built around a specific creature type go, you can do a lot worse than this one, regardless of the frame.

Did we need it?

My recommendation to just buy the brown-bordered version comes with the context that it's the same price as all the other versions, so there's no reason not to go brown. All of them hover around $13, including our newest entry from MOC. So if you're just grabbing singles and not buying Commander decks whole, there's no reason at the moment to get the reprint specifically. Still, it's nice to see it among the decklists for MOC, though there are many, many other options that were in more dire need of a reprint than Vanquisher's Banner.

Did we want it?

That said, it's still a pretty popular card among Commander players. According to EDHREC, it's in 86,792 decks, good for 4% of decks that can play it, which is all of them since it's a colorless artifact. Because of its versatility, it's found in a wide variety of decks, from Marrow-Gnawer's Rats (2,876 decks) and Admiral Beckett Brass's Pirates (2,049 decks) to Edgar Markov's Vampires (5,696 decks). Obviously people have figured out an anthem + type-specific draw is better with cheap, small creatures rather than big ones. It also shows up in 101 Soraya the Falconer decks, which is fun.

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

Adeline's an interesting case, since the card was only printed a little over a year-and-a-half ago. Despite its relative newness, Adeline's still over $10, and because it debuted in the modern everything-gets-multiple-fancy-treatments era, saying it's only appeared once is a bit of a mislead since that "one appearance" equates to a pack regular, pack foil, sketch showcase, sketch showcase foil, planeswalker promo, planeswalker promo foil, prerelease foil promo, Innistrad: Double Feature showcase, and Innistrad: Double Feature showcase foil. Showing up in a Commander deck is probably the least complicated thing Adeline could do.

Did we need it?

Even with all those different versions, prices have hovered around the $10-15 mark, depending on fanciness level, with the Double Feature showcase foil commanding the biggest premium at $33. Scooping up Adeline as a single from its MOC deck won't really save you that much, so you might as well spring for one of the nine other versions if you're not buying preconstructed decks outright.

Did we want it?

Currently, Adeline's ranked as the 303rd most popular commander on EDHREC, with 2,273 decks to its name. The plurality of those decks are Human-based, but stax and tokens are also popular builds. Where Adeline is most popular, though, is as a member of another deck's 99, and the card's in 54,511 lists. As you might have guessed, it's a bit of Selesnya Human soup when it comes to these decks, as some use Kyler, Sigardian Emissary (3,231 decks), some Katilda, Dawnhart Prime (1,513), others Torens, Fist of the Angels (1,080 decks). But the most common place to see Adeline is in Jetmir, Nexus of Revels (3,365 decks), which doesn't care what creature type you are, as long as you like to party.

Yawgmoth's Vile Offering

It feels weird evoking the name of the smogfather himself in a set all about Elesh Norn trying to supplant him in Phyrexian hierarchy, which is probably why they commissioned Chase Stone to create one of the most intense works of Magic art this side of Storm the Seedcore. I feel like I'm looking at a leaked screenshot of an unreleased sequel to The Cell. Seriously, you need a closer look:

Yawgmoth's Vile Offering, by Chase Stone

Did we need it?

This is actually the first reprint of Yawgmoth's Vile Offering since it debuted in Dominaria, and as a result, we've got two versions and two artworks from which to choose. However, that DOM version is about 60 cents, with MOC's version (seriously, no one asked you to go this hard, Chase Stone), clocking in at 80 cents. We didn't need a reprint, but I'm glad we got one, considering the results.

Did we want it?

This one's not exactly the most popular card that starts with the word Yawgmoth. That'd be Yawgmoth, Thran Physician himself, appearing in or leading a combined 50,000 decks. His Vile Offering, on the other hand, sees play in 12,458 decks, according to EDHREC. Hey, at least it's better than the 211 decks that play Yawgmoth's Agenda (and if you're curious, Yawgmoth's Will is in 21,557 decks). As you might expect, Yawgmoth's Vile Offering is most seen in "legends matters" decks led by Carth the Lion (1,418 decks), Kethis, the Hidden Hand (985 decks), and Dihada, Binder of Wills (955 decks).

Distant Melody

I've always been a big fan of this card despite my overall aversion to playing blue in most scenarios. When I do sleeve up Islands, it's usually for some theme that requires it, like Grimgrin, Corpse-Born Zombies or The Locust God (also being reprinted) bugs. I've cast my share of Distant Melody, which is why I have multiple in foil and signed by Omar Rayyan. I love them that much. But now Sam Guay had to show up and provide a new version that's just as good, and it doesn't come in foil.

Distant Melody, by Omar Rayyan
Distant Melody, by Sam Guay

Did we need it?

This is the fourth time we've seen Distant Melody show up in a Commander product, and none of them are more than a buck, whereas the one appearance in Premium Deck Series: Slivers will run you $2.50. However, the original printing from Morningtide actually holds a bit of value for a common at $1.73. Getting reprinted again won't do anything to that number, even with the new art.

Did we want it?

I'm not the only one who loves Distant Melody, as the card appears in 48,301 decks on EDHREC. Obviously all of those decks are centered around a particular creature type or another, with Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver leading the way with 7,781 decks, followed by Millicent, Restless Revenant and Anowon, the Ruin Thief at 3,824 decks and 3,819 decks, respectively.

Reprint Lightning Round

Sol Ring, Command Tower, Arcane Signet, Exotic Orchard, Swords to Plowshares, Evolving Wilds, Cultivate, Myriad Landscape, Mind Stone, Fellwar Stone, Commander's Sphere, and Terramorphic Expanse were all reprinted. Collectively, those cards comprise the free space on Reprint Bingo and are barely worth the effort I just took to type them all out.

  • Stoke the Flames (third printing, originally from Core Set 2015 and once since as an FNM promo )
  • Fairgrounds Trumpeter (first printing since seen in Kaladesh)
  • Inspired Charge (tenth printing and first with art of a cool griffin)
  • Kitesail (we've been gliding since Zendikar, and four other reprints since, but this is the first new art)
  • Negate (yup, our old friend Negate returns for the 29th time -- welcome back, buddy)
  • Skittering Surveyor (third printing, but this one spies a Phyrexian watermark instead of a rock)
  • Vanquish the Weak (third printing, and first since Zendikar Rising, which is less than three years old if you can believe it)
  • Skullclamp (19th printing, but this time we're going back to the original neck tentacle art)
  • Reality Shift (seventh printing, and it's a coin flip if Ugin's going to show up in the art or not)
  • Herald's Horn (kinda sorta the ninth printing, depending on how you count)
  • Syr Konrad, the Grim (fourth printing and first since Jumpstart 2022)
  • Karn's Bastion (seventh printing, but third Commander deck printing)
  • Impact Tremors (outside of a Mystery Booster inclusion and Secret Lair drop, this'll be the first reprint since Dragons of Tarkir)
  • Soul of New Phyrexia (remember when this was a $15 card?)
  • Academy Manufactor (first reprint since it debuted in Modern Horizons 2)
  • Massacre Wurm (remember when this was a $25 card?)
  • Elspeth, Sun's Champion (it's popped up here and there in supplementary products, but this is the first "major" version since Theros)
  • Suture Priest (it's Suture Priest, it's Suture Priest, it's Suture Priesty for the first time since New Phyrexia)

A Curse of Reprint Opulence

This time around, I think we've got a case of too much quantity and not enough quality when it comes to reprints. That's fine, I could use a new copy of, uh, Battle Screech, I guess. So was there anything that excited you in terms of reprints from MOM/MOC? Anything you expected to see but didn't?

Until next time, friends.