Even before the introduction of Planeswalkers, MTG is no stranger to having countless iconic characters. Be they heroes or villains, these characters help to make each premier set’s story memorable, not to mention impactful. Recently, these characters have been used somewhat sparingly, with only a couple of characters appearing in each set. For the Phyrexian Arc, however, that has all changed, as the fate of Magic’s Multiverse hangs in the balance. Subsequently, it’s no surprise that many of MTG’s iconic characters are reappearing in defense of their homeworlds. Unfortunately, however, things haven’t been going well during the Phyrexian Arc, with many characters paying the ultimate price. This worrying trend has continued into March of the Machine, as Wizards isn’t holding back on killing off iconic MTG characters.
As you might expect, considering the title, within this article, we’ll be explicitly stating who has died so far during the March of the Machine story. Subsequently, consider this paragraph your official spoiler warning. If you want to avoid spoilers and read the story on your own terms, we recommend doing that now. Without any further ado, however, let’s get into the story!
First appearing in 2011’s New Phyrexia, Sheoldred is undoubtedly one of the most iconic Phyrexian Praetors around. This title may seem like an easy achievement considering there are only 8 Praetors to choose from, however, competition is fierce. At the time, the might of Sheoldred, Whispering One was only matched by the equally expensive Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. Twelve years on, the rivalry between these two powerhouses has only continued, with tensions reaching breaking point during the Phyrexian Arc. Unlike Magic’s heroes, who often band together to banish a Bolas or other monumental throat, the Phyrexian Praetors have been at each other’s throats. Subsequently, it was only a matter of time before one of them bit the dust.
Leading into March of the Machine’s story, the rebellious red-aligned Urabrask seemed to not long for this world. After all, since they practically supported the Mirran resistance, surely Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, was going to kill them. Surprisingly, however, Urabrask has, so far, escaped the chopping block, with Sheoldred taking their place as the first Praetor death. Further rebutting expectations, this death didn’t come at the hands of one of Magic’s many heroes. Instead, it was Elesh Norn culling the competition.
Stating that Sheoldred only charred for power over the glorious unity of New Phyreixa, Elesh Norn commanded Ajani to “execute her.” Being the goodest boy that he is, Ajani swiftly did as he was told, leaving Sheoldred’s head bouncing across the floor. Despite this early death, happening in literally the first story chapter, it’s believed Sheoldred will still appear in the set. Following the trend set by Jin-Gitaxias, this card will likely just be called Sheoldred.
The Story Ends
While Standard players may be rejoicing now that Sheoldred won’t be sticking around beyond their current stint in the format, not all of March of the Machine’s deaths are good news. Within episode 3, for instance, MTG players suffered through the saddening death of Tamiyo. Having only appeared four times to date, Tamiyo is hardly the most well-used character, however, they’re no less iconic. Even after being Compleated in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Tamiyo was still a fan-favorite character. So much so that many players hoped they would be one of the Compleated Planeswalkers who get healed. Unfortunately for hopeful players, however, that won’t be happening.
Unlike past Planeswalker deaths such as Jaya Ballard’s, Tamiyo’s demise was especially brutal. This was thanks to her adopted son, Nashi, being in attendance at the oil-coated branches of the Boseiju tree. Beyond making this scene an utterly heartwrenching read, Nashi’s attempt to appeal to Tamiyo’s senses proves un-Compleating a Planeswalker won’t be easy. Killing them, however, appears to be short work for MTG’s favorite deus ex machina The Wandering Emperor.
Despite arguably being the lesser of the two deaths, Tamiyo’s passing has had a bigger impact across social media. Reddit user u/5edu5o, for instance, commented, “jesus f*cking Christ my heart,” after reading the story. Similarly, u/d-fakkr shared the same sentiment, stating “we got out first sad, gutwrenching death. Most of us theorize about it. Still, that wasn’t going to dull the pain for those that are fans… So far, the stakes are getting higher.” While many players mourned Tamiyo’s death, other players like u/Moist_Crabs hoped this isn’t the last we’d see of them. “Please for the love of god let me get a Legendary Enchantment Creature card of Tamiyo, Story Unending.”
The Ineptitude Continues
Continuing the trend of one character dying in each batch of episodes, now Lukka has paid the ultimate price too. While this death isn’t as devastating as Tamiyo’s, Lukka was nevertheless a beloved character. Not because they were frequently used, nor were they particularly heroic, but instead because Lukka was especially dumb. As the himbo to end all himbos, Lukka thought he could successfully bond with giant Phyrexian beasts without any consequences. Just look at Lukka, Bound to Ruin to see how well that turned out.
Due to all their bad decisions, in the lead-up to this story, the expectation was that Lukka would betray the Phyrexians entirely by accident. This theory seemed to be confirmed by their appearance in Phyrexia: All Will Be One as Lukka, Bound to Ruin. I mean, just look at their name alone, I refuse to believe that’s not a purposeful double meaning. Sadly for MTG’s comedy fans, this theory won’t be coming to pass. As, during the Ikoria: Survival of the Fittest episode, Lukka was absolutely demolished by Vadrok, Apex of Thunder.
But Wait, There’s More! Probably…
So far, these are the three major deaths that have taken place during March of the Machine’s story. With twelve story chapters left to go, however, it’s likely a lot more MTG characters are going to die. At the moment, due to Wizards keeping their cards close to their chests, it’s difficult to say who’ll die next. That being said, however, to make a needless prediction, I’m going to guess Wrenn will die sacrificing herself later on. Whether or not that actually happens, however, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Beyond the presumed death of more MTG characters, Wizards is still hiding whether or not Planeswalkers can be un-Compleated. With Tamiyo practically allowing herself to be killed during her fight, it’s safe to say some of each Planeswalker’s soul is still intact. Whether this is enough to bring them back or cure them of their Compleation, however, remains to be seen. That being said, due to who has been Compleated, it does seem painfully obvious that’s the direction the story is headed. However, we won’t know for sure until the rest of the story is out.
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