City on Fire – March of the Machine
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 3.63
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
And as the sky’s falling down, it crashed into this lonely town,
And with that shadow upon the ground, I hear my people screaming out . . .
This kind of effect has a long history in Magic, and nearly every one has seen play in casual decks. The earliest ones, like Furnace of Rath, were too symmetrical for tournaments, but City on Fire and other newer ones have less of a “downside”. The main problem is the cost: even with convoke, you’re likely taking one whole turn to cast it and not actually deal damage, which can be death for an aggressive red deck. Having said that, when you’re already in position to attack, playing an effect like this can literally destroy your opponent, and powering it out is one way to make damage-based decks viable in multiplayer formats. Just be aware that it might make you the biggest threat at the table, and people may act accordingly!
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
The text on this card looks pretty similar to another enchantment: Fiery Emancipation from Core Set 2021. The big difference is that this costs two more mana, but it has convoke, which means it will probably come down a turn or two sooner than its forebear did even with the price increase. It’s a good way to telegraph that your opponents may have but one more turn to live, but it itself doesn’t do damage, and you might be tapping all of your creatures to get this on board. That said, this is the kind of card that tell your opponents that their time to live is rapidly dwindling. If you can untap with this, you should have the game in the bag…but the question will be if you can untap with this still out. It might be better as an eight- or seven-mana kill spell to allow a board to swing for lethal then and there, which is always an option. I think this is a fringe card at best, but playable; convoke does do a lot to make this less of a “do nothing enchantment”, and you can just kill them with enough firepower already present.
Also be wary of things that do damage to you: this triples all damage your things do, and it does include self-damage, so those pain lands might be a bit of a dicier prospect with this out.
Constructed: 3 (I think this is probably too pricey, but I can’t deny that it’s vicious if it resolves)
Multiplayer: 3.5 (it affects all opponents, but only if you’re doing the damage)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
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