When spoilers began for Phyrexia: All Will Be One players noticed that one of the card’s reminder text referenced a card type that currently didn’t exist. The card was Atraxa, Grand Unifier.
When Atraxa, Grand Unifier enters the battlefield, reveal the top ten cards of your library. For each card type, you may put a card of that type from among the revealed cards into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
The reminder text then lists card types, with one that players hadn’t seen before: battle.
Mark Rosewater, who is the head designer for Magic: the Gathering took to his blog to address this.
Today in Wizards of the Coast’s debut video for March of the Machine they finally revealed the new card type.
Each battle is a transforming double faced card. You play the front of the battle card first. When it comes into play you choose an opponent, and a number of defense counters equal to the number in the bottom right are placed on it. Every player except the opponent you chose can attack the battle card. The opponent you chose can use their creatures to block attacking creatures on behalf of the battle. You can also cast spells like Lightning Bolt to directly damage battle cards.
When there are no more defense counters remaining on the battle card it exiles it self and you cast the back side without paying its mana cost.
Can We Break It?
Battles are double faced cards, and we have already seen this get abused in the past. For example, you can cast Bring to Light and search your deck for Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor – Borderless and then cast it as the back side Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor. We will have to wait and see when March of the Machine finally comes out if players will come up with anything similar to skip straight to the back side of a battle card.
March of the Machine prerelease is scheduled for April 14th & 15th. Boar’s Hat Gaming will also have all the March of the Machine products available that weekend. Preorder March of the Machine here.