After feedback from the MTG community, it seems that Wizards of the Coast has given players a rest from the ‘endless spoiler season’ that overwhelmed players with new content in past years. March of the Machine’s spoiler season ended a few weeks back, and players have been left to enjoy and explore the new set at their leisure. That said, we all know that, at some point, the spoiler show must go on, and lately, the ones continuing the show haven’t been Wizards but players themselves. A massive March of the Machine: The Aftermath leak has surfaced in the form of a Collector Booster Box opening on YouTube. While there are many new crazy cards to see, it looks like March of the Machine: The Aftermath may be offering one incredible reprint for Commander players!
This was done much earlier than intended, which means that this leak, is, in no way, an official one. As a result, there is a chance that this content is fake, but the leak does look very legitimate. Either way, consider this a reminder that this insane reprint isn’t a 100% guaranteed thing and a spoiler warning in case you want to wait for the March of the Machine: The Aftermath set to be released through official channels. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Training Grounds!
Training Grounds Returns! (Most Likely)
One of Commander’s most astonishing combo pieces has finally been reprinted in an easy-to-access way! Training Grounds, originally printed in Rise of the Eldrazi, is a one-mana enchantment that allows you to reduce the cost of activated abilities from creatures you control by two generic mana. The most obvious application of a card like this is to use it for combos, which, generally, is exactly what players use Training Grounds for. Don’t let the condition of being unable to create free activated abilities scare you! There are a ton of ways to apply this to any Commander decks that care about activated abilities with mana values!
Before we go into the common applications of Training Grounds, let’s first take a look at the new treatments that have been leaked in oldschoolmtg’s recent YouTube video outlining the card. Thanks to oldschoolmtg opening an unsettling amount of Training Grounds, we got to see various printings for the card. Treatments for March of the Machine: The Aftermath looks similar to the base set. We saw a full-art, Etched Foil, and Traditional Foil Training Grounds all opened in the same box. Multiverse Legends borders from various sets, as well as Halo Foil cards, also seem to make an appearance.
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How to Use Training Grounds
Training Grounds can host an… unsettling amount of infinite combos. In fact, there are more than 52 different potential combos you can pull of with this enchantment. Here, we will quickly go over the ones that require the least amount of moving parts to pull off:
Spawnsire of Ulamog can be rather tricky to get on the battlefield, but, should you somehow manage to resolve it, the card can go infinite alongside Training Grounds. You will need some sort of win condition to close out the game, however.
Spawnsire of Ulamog, when combined with Training Grounds, can create two Eldrazi Scion tokens for two mana. These can both sacrifice themselves for one mana each, which the Spawnsire can then use to create two more tokens. This, alone, does not achieve much, but something as simple as a Blood Artist turns this into infinite damage.
Ashnod’s Altar creates infinite colorless mana when combined with the previous combo but is also an enabler to a series of other combos with Training Grounds. While the Altar itself is not affected by Training Grounds in any way, it does make many activated abilities from other creatures, like Spawnsire of Ulamog, an infinite mana engine. Slimefoot, the Stowaway, and Sliver Queen are just a few of the cards that this combo works incredibly well with.
Our view expands a bit when Training Grounds is used alongside Phyrexian Altar. In a similar fashion, this also allows for infinite mana loops when combined with various creatures, but enables different creatures that need colored mana to activate their abilities. Training Grounds cannot do this on its own, and, therefore, requires the Phyrexian Altar to create colored mana. Twilight Drover and Sliver Queen work well with this combo.
Training Grounds has been an expensive MTG card for quite some time. The card currently has three printings, but they are all quite scarce. The most accessible of these is a List printing, but it is not on the current List. Otherwise, the card has been reprinted as a Judge Promotional card. These are much rarer than many MTG printings and, with exclusive artwork, tends to demand a premium over other printings. The card’s original printing stems for Rise of the Eldrazi, a set released in 2010.
At its zenith, Training Grounds briefly surpassed the $60 mark in July 2020. The card has tumbled down from that lofty height, however, maintaining around a $30 price point over the past year. Training Grounds does see experimentation in Modern, but it’s mostly known as a Commander card.
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This Card Might Plummet in Price
If the contents of this March of the Machine: The Aftermath Collector Booster box is real, Training Grounds may lose a ton of value. While it’s normal for a reprint to lose some value, there are a few reasons why this particular reprint could lose more than 50% of its current price. Firstly, all of Training Grounds’ current printings are pretty scarce. While this card’s price point is the result of some level of demand, the price is likely exaggerated by some level of scarcity.
Secondly, there were three copies of Training Grounds in this box! March of the Machine: The Aftermath is the first set of its kind. There are only 50 cards in the set, so players opening a full box of product may run into a lot of copies of cards – that’s at least what this leak suggests. This means that if the set is opened at an acceptable rate, a ton of Training Grounds could come to the marketplace.
There is, however, a chance that the uniqueness of this set scares players away from it, resulting in very little product being opened. This would impact Training Grounds’ price a lot less, but we’ll have to wait and see just how well this mini-expansion does before making that call. At this point, however, it looks like there’s a strong chance that Training Grounds will see a massive decline in price.
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