March of the Machine is finally out across MTG platforms, and players have dove head-on into the new Limited format! We’ve had a series of hyper-aggressive formats that have prevented players from fully exploring the synergies that Limited had to offer. Fortunately, this may be the slightly slower format that players have been waiting for. Early shouts at the best-performing commons for the March of the Machine Draft format indicate that this may be a format that prioritizes value over aggressiveness! Do keep in mind, however, that it is incredibly early into the March of the Machine Limited format, and this is just a first look. These statistics could, easily, be suspect to heavy change in the coming weeks. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the current best March of the Machine Limited Common cards! All of the early stats used for this article were found at 17lands.com
Early data has white commons performing behind Green, Blue, and Black rather significantly in early March of the Machine Limited. If you do find yourself in this color thanks to a bomb rare you opened, the common with the current highest win rate is Enduring Bondwarden. This aggressive Backup creature synergizes well with other cards that care about the mechanic since it can transfer counters between creatures when it, or a creature that it backs up, dies. As such, you probably want to be playing this in Selesnya strategies, but Enduring Bondwarden should perform whenever it’s played in an aggressive strategy. This card currently has a 57.3% winrate alongside another white common card.
Better used in Azorius Knight synergies, Swordsworn Cavalier is another aggressive common with the same winrate as Enduring Bondwarden. This card gets First Strike whenever you play another Knight. That, combined with the aggressive stats present on the creature, makes it a fantastic attacker with Knight synergies. The card synergizes especially well with the Multiverse Legends card Kwende, Pride of Femeref, since it can, essentially, allow the Cavalier to attack for six points of damage!
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Preening Champion seems to be an early winner in March of the Machine Limited. According to 17 Lands, Preening Champion is tied for the highest winrates amongst maindecked common cards in the March of the Machine Premier Draft on MTG Arena, and has an even higher winrate when in your opening hand. Notably, the card also saw the highest pick rate amongst blue cards in the early access events – which could lead to some bias in these stats.
Preening Champion, for three mana, offers a 2/2 flier and an additional 1/1 Elemental creature token. This works fantastically with the Convoke cards that are all over the Limited environment. The card also creates two bodies for the price of one, which is quite powerful considering how much removal spells are overperforming in early Limited.
Regarding removal, the other blue common that seems to be overperforming currently is Ephara’s Dispersal. While this piece of ‘removal’ is more of a tempo effect than a permanent solution, it can return an attacking creature to its owner’s hand and Surveil twice for just one blue mana! In the case that you need to remove something that isn’t attacking, Dispersal can also do that for a higher cost. In some more bizarre cases, Ephara’s Dispersal can be used to recur an ETB effect or save your own creature from unexpected removal. This card comes in slightly under the format leaders in winrates according to 17 Lands, sporting a 58.3% winrate when maindecked. This is just 1.1% behind the format leaders.
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All of Black’s best-performing commons in early March of the Machine are removal. Efficient removal and two-for-one value engines are the game’s name so far, and Final Flourish helms the color’s common slot to represent efficient yet flexible removal. In the early game, this trades for an early creature, which is excellent for tempo. In the lategame this can sacrifice a creature you control to take out a larger threat. This, notably, combines incredibly well with cards that make tokens like Preening Champion, or cards that can take control of your opponent’s creatures, like Furnace Reigns.
Nezumi Informant is currently second in terms of maindecked winrate on 17 Lands, but many MTG players identify Deadly Derision as another potential winner in this color. Nezumi Informant represents a Limited common that appears in sets frequently: a 1/1 for two that makes your opponent discard a card. These cards tend to be great in slower formats but generally need another function to excel. This held true for Virus Beetle in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, which also was a fantastic Ninjitsu enabler by forcing your opponent into 50/50 scenarios between a potential Ninja if left unblocked and having your opponent’s creature fall prey to You Are Already Dead if they do block.
Nezumi Informant doesn’t present quite as potent of a 50/50, but You Are Already Dead has returned as another card named Mirrodin Avenged. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any Ninjas for the informant to trigger, but it can be a great Convoke enabler.
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Red seems to have the worst-performing common cards of all the colors in early March of the Machine Limited. On the bright side, early data suggests that one of red’s overperformers is a card that many may have easily ignored in their early analysis: Marauding Dreadship.
Generally, Vehicles don’t tend to perform well in limited unless they have some significant upside. This is because Vehicles don’t function independently – they need other creatures to crew them. This one, however, creates a creature token that can Crew the vehicle on its own, which, essentially, is a two-for-one. As we’ve seen from other top commons, removal is incredibly efficient for March of the Machine – so threats that cannot be removed easily are quite strong.
Aside from that, this ship has Haste, making it a fantastic tool to pressure opponents early. This likely pairs well with white, given that the top commons from that color are so aggressive.
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Green is currently tied for best commons in the March of the Machine set with blue. Converter Beast, another two-for-one creature threat, leads the pack, tied with Preening Champion for the highest maindecked winrate according to 17 Lands. The main body of Converter Beast is not too helpful, but can be used as sacrifice fodder to a plethora of other common and uncommon cards. Otherwise, getting a 5/5 body available to use turn five on turn four (that can grow easily), is quite powerful.
Overgrown Pest is also overperforming in early March of the Machine Draft. Once again, it is a two-for-one creature that can easily replace itself with an enter-the-battlefield ability that lets you find a land or double-sided card within the top five cards.
Having many of the best commons in a new Draft format be based around value is incredibly promising, especially considering the onslaught of aggressive formats we’ve had since Streets of New Capenna. Players have waited for an opportunity to explore the wackier side of crazy interactions that a Limited format can offer. Phyrexia: All Will Be One, in particular, was a format so ridiculously aggressive that you either played the fast game or you didn’t play at all. This, hopefully, will be a nice change of pace.
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