Brother's War: My Limited First Look

Published: 11/06/2022

I'm really excited for this set. It looks like a lot of fun to play. And there's a lot of great nostalgia with choice reprints and fun throwbacks. The set is an artifact set designed around powerstones with a lot of graveyard themes as well.

Let me know if you disagree with any of my opinions. I'm planning on playing two RCQs and writing this is my first step in preparing.

Powerstones

They did a great job of making every color care a lot about powerstones while also keeping the colors feeling distinct. Green cares about it for big mana reasons, with all three of its common artifacts being protoypes where the other colors just have one common. White cares about them as fodder for ETB triggers for Phalanx Vanguard image. They're food for red and black with cards like Penregon Strongbull image and Thraxodemon image. Blue has 3 colorless activated abilities on its creatures, most notably Third Path Savant image compared to the 1 the other four colors enjoy.

Powerstone density is high with Blue and Red having two commons that make them and the other colors one, in addition to Stone Retrieval Unit image. There are also 10 uncommons.

Graveyard

The graveyard theme is also sprinkled through all 5 colors with a cycle of self millers that return something, Airlift Chaplain image, Fallaji Archaeologist image, Ravenous Gigamole image, Tomakul Scrapsmith image, and Blanchwood Prowler image. And just like powerstones each color has its own twist with the same basic ingredient. White and Red can mill Survivor of Korlis image and four unearthers. Black and green care about the number of creatures in the graveyard. Some cards like Gixian Skullflayer image are trying to get to some threshold and others like Gnarlroot Pallbearer image give you a more open ended reward.

Blue is sort of unique in this set in having no particular reason to put cards in it's graveyard at common or uncommon. This may explain why Fallaji Archaeologist image is the worst of the cycle. It's a little strange because it has some good enablers like Stern Lesson image.

Sacrifice

Powerstones add a fun twist to the black red sacrifice archetype. Kill-Zone Acrobat image and Goblin Blast-Runner image form a very scary pair. Penregon Strongbull image in particular to me seems extremely pushed. The as fan of powerstone food isn't that high with only 1 black common and 2 red commons, only one of which I'd describe as premium. But it still has the potential to end games out of no where.

Soldiers

UW has a soldiers theme with 6 common white soldiers and 3 common blue soldiers in addition to one common artifact. Blue soldiers are a little novel. The payoffs are Veteran's Powerblade image, Aeronaut Cavalry image and Air Marshal image in addition to Zephyr Sentinel image and Yotian Tactician image at uncommon.

GW Fog

A sort of hidden archetype I'm going to try to draft is GW fog built around Union of the Third Path image, which seems like one of the most pushed life gain spells of all time, and Fog of War image. I'm not sure exactly what my plan to win is but Keeper of the Cadence image looping fog seems as good a plan as any. The viability of the plan depends a lot on how highly other people rate Union and Fog. Usually people don't rate life gain or fog very highly but maybe these very pushed versions won't go so late.

I imagine the deck generally being Bant and also prioritizing Yotian Medic image, Stern Lesson image, and Urza's Rebuff image higher than most decks. I'd thought this set had more life gain than normal but it actually has the exact some number of commons and uncommons that gain life as the last couple sets. I guess the life gainers such as Obstinate Baloth image at uncommon stood out to me.

Colors and Fixing

This set is a real mono-colored breathe of fresh air after Streets and Dominaria. There are just the 10 obligatory uncommon gold cards. But also at uncommon is a cycle of cards that reward you for being mono-colored including the nostalgic Corrupt image and Steel Exemplar image who is maybe more of a powerstone payoff like every card in the set.

There is only on common green fixer, Citanul Stalwart image, one artifact fixer, Energy Refractor image, which would be close to unplayable in a normal set but obviously has a lot of synergies here, and Evolving Wilds image.

Every color has three common artifacts in its color identity, except for black which gets four for some reason. For the first time these artifacts have set number coming right after their colors set numbers instead of at the end with all the other artifacts. There are 24 total artifacts which means the artifact commons have a higher as fan than a color's normal common as fan.

My sense of the common Unearthers is that you can play them in any deck with just a light splash of their color because they're almost at a good power level without unearth and the unearth will still be relevant even if you draw your colored source very late in the game. On the other hand the prototypes are basically their color. You can't feel that good about having common power level 7-10 drops in your deck. The expensive modes are more powerstone payoff than plan A for most of them.

Commons Ranking

Since WOTC changes their set numbers to group the color identitied artifacts with their colors I do the same here.

White [+]

Blue [+]

Black [+]

Red [+]

Green [+]

Colorless [+]

Instants

common

uncommon

rare