Ayara, Widow of the Realm – March of the Machine 

Date Reviewed:  April 17, 2023

Constructed: 3.25
Casual: 4.00
Limited: 4.00
Multiplayer: 4.00
Commander [EDH]: 3.88

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


Designing cubes has given me a new appreciation for things that push games towards a conclusion. I actually cut a bunch of flicker-related cards from my Jumpstart project because I kept casting them, drawing a card or something, and then going “. . . okay, now what?” Ayara is not going to have that sort of problem, because her front side turns creatures into damage as efficiently as you ever see nowadays, and even scales up to late-game or Commander-ready mana values. And her transformed version is a single-card combo with most decks, not least the one implied by her front side (and, surprisingly, it is another card that actually is able to recur Mindslaver). You’ll have to be careful when and where you transform her, because there’s no way to get the front side back without flickering or bouncing her; and the transformed version is likely to be a heat magnet, both with regard to itself and to you in multiplayer settings. When it works, though, it’ll be spectacular.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4

I really thought that they were going to tie Ayara’s compleation to her past flavor as a serial bride. But I guess Wizards of the Coast still thinks kissing is icky.

 James H. 


One part sacrifice outlet and one part reanimation engine, Ayara’s new outing is an interesting enough creature. She can throw your bodies at an opponent, which can make for a bit of inevitability in a long game, and she can give them a second chance at life later. Note that her reanimated friends can be sacrificed or bounced to duck around the self-exile. And she even works with artifacts, which is nice.

That said, this is an investment enough to flip (and likely will not be flipping before turn 5); playing and transforming her immediately is a massive investment, and she also wants set-up to really shine with the reanimation. I think she’ll be an interesting enough avenue for black decks to close out a game or eke out advantage, and while she’s a pretty mediocre body, sometimes value is found best in what happens if they never go to combat at all.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 3.75

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