March of Burgeoning Life – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 2.33
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The true rarity in modern Magic design isn’t Secret Lair, or showcase mythics, or things that only appeared in one preconstructed deck. It’s a card whose design doesn’t work in Commander. Get a good look at March of Burgeoning Life while you can, because we don’t get too many cards like that any more (why would we, of course – Commander is probably the most popular format overall).
The main question it asks is, what creatures can you have in your deck where the benefit scales with how many are in play? There are a few obvious candidates, and others where you might benefit from duplicating their efficiency or their comes-into-play abilities. But requiring the exact same name as a creature you already control is awkward, and if you’re in a playset-of-four format, you can presumably run four of them and have a naturally good chance of drawing them without using cards that search them out and don’t do anything else. And even if you’re in a playset-of-four format, you might not be running four of everything: the concept of having a range of abilities and a diversity of threats applies in most every context, and expensive creatures are routinely seen at a rate of one or two per deck.
It does let you fight back if somebody cheats out, say, a Neon Dynasty dragon that you also happen to play. Plus its interaction with the card with no name from Unhinged.
Casual: 3/5 (Magic Deck Vortex is gone, and Wizards no longer has an article in the style of From the Lab or House of Cards. But you can build around any combo piece if you try hard enough)
Commander [EDH]: 1/5
Out of the entire March cycle, the one of the five with the least hype is March of Burgeoning Life, and it’s not hard to see why people are so low on it. In an effort to keep from a Chord of Calling/Collected Company situation, March of Burgeoning Life has some massive limitations on it: you have to already have the creature you want on board, you can only get another copy of that creature, and you need to have X be greater than that creature’s mana value. There is some value in being able to play this against a mirror match to cheat your creature out, but doing so will generally require a lot of resources.
I’m not going to say this is stone-cold unplayable, but my judgment is that it’s easily the worst of the five Marches and one of the hardest cards to make work. I’m sure that, between being able to exile cards to fuel X and being able to copy small creatures, this might have some attempts to make it work, but the limitations to make this not absolutely break a format in half make this land pretty badly overall.
Constructed: 1.75 (I feel like the strength of this spell is correlated to homogeneity of decks in the format; this gets better if there’s a single deck everyone is playing heavily, as this is pretty bad for getting your own creatures)
Casual: 3 (janky combos sometimes have more room to work here)
Limited: 1.25 (good luck)
Commander [EDH]: 1 (unless you’re doing something with Persistent Petitioners, Relentless Rats, or its ilk, you need to tag someone else’s creature to make this pop off, and relying on your opponent to have specific creatures on board seems like a bad gameplan)
An interesting and modern take on Birthing Pod that sadly isn’t likely to break any formats but it is still a fun card that can get you your win card in a pinch. XG alone is a nice enough casting cost that’ll allow you to search for a creature that is N<X (not sure why it isn’t < or = X but that is here nor there) to put it right onto the battlefield. Cherry on top is you can exile cards from your hand to add 2 to X making this a nice ramp and can really set you up for an advantage early game. Green is notorious for ramp abilities and this creature ramp is a great addition to any deck, but I would personally put this in in mono-green just to get maximum value from it and avoid any potential delays. Turn one this can be so deadly! As I write this I keep reading it and more score goes up and up, this card is insanely good!!
Commander [EDH]: 5/5
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