The Brothers’ War is a new event set in Magic: The Gathering, which has a huge impact on both the lore of the game and gameplay mechanics, where artifacts play a huge role once again.
There are three new Meld cards introduced The Brothers’ War, when two cards meld together and form a third much more powerful entity. But the main big mechanic of the set is Prototype, which allows players to cast cards paying a lower alternative cost.
Our selection of the best 15 MtG cards from The Brothers’ War will give you an idea of what to expect in the upcoming standard meta.
Mono Red Aggro has experienced a true resurgence after the standard rotation this fall, and here we have another powerful reprint that will improve the archetype even more so.
Boros and Izzet lists, although not top-tier at the moment, will get the chance to rise up there all due to the sheer strength of Monastery Swiftspear, which has been showing excellent results in the modern format so far.
It synergizes well with Bloodthirsty Adversary, which can quickly pump Monastery Swiftspear with used or discarded spells from the graveyard.
Lay Down Arms
Although such a restrictive removal spell that relies solely on the amount of plains you have in play would not be viable for any other deck except Mono White, there is actually room for it in Azorius Control, Azorius Heroic, and Selesnya Enchantments as well.
Of course, it being a sorcery also puts another restriction on its use, but if played in the right deck and in the right situation, this card could easily become one of the best new removal spells in standard.
Urza, Lord Protector
On its own Urza, Lord Protector is a very strong card discounting all your spells and artifacts by one mana, which is always a welcome ability in all white-blue decks.
But if you play The Mightstone and Weakstone, which will cost 4 instead of 5 mana with Urza on the table, then you can transform both into a new Urza, Planeswalker.
Of course, one would have to be in a very strong position to be able to meld those two cards.
Mishra, Claimed by Gix
This is another powerful card from The Brothers’ War that utilizes the meld mechanic, and in this case it is Phyrexian Dragon Engine. When they both attack, they can transform into Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia, a 9/9 creature with some solid triggers.
If you manage to meld both cards, then the game is probably over. The main question is whether Mishra, Claimed by Gix is worth playing on its own, and here things may not look as good as in the case with Urza.
Saheeli, Filigree Master
The tradition of Izzet Artifacts looks to be alive and well in standard, especially with such a fine planeswalker in the pipeline.
It has an easy way to draw cards, protect itself or attack if necessary, and quickly get to the ultimate ability, which makes all your artifacts cheaper and buffs them as well.
It’s not overpowered or anything, but it is a perfectly balanced planeswalker with a narrow specialization. If it were 3 mana instead of 4, then it would probably be considered OP.
Go for the Throat
Here is another important reprint, and this time from Mirrodin Besieged set.
Typically players would use Infernal Grasp instead, which deals 2 damage to the caster, but if you value those 2 points of life, then Go for the Throat would be a better choice.
Of course, you can’t destroy artifacts with it, but both of these removal spells can be played in the same deck in case you play against an opponent with plenty of artifacts.
This card is very similar in design to Fact or Fiction, one of the modern staples.
What makes it good is that ultimately you make the choice which cards to put in your hand, but you can give your opponent an impression that it is them who makes the choice. As you see, the mind games are strong with this one.
This card can be well played in Rakdos, Jund, and Mardu lists that are currently all in the top tier of standard format.
Although Fauna Shaman is another creature reprint in The Brothers’ War, it isn’t nearly as exciting as Monastery Swiftspear, yet it still has its merits.
It will most likely end up being a very valuable card in decks like Mono Green Stompy, but Jund players may also find it interesting. It can search for Sheoldred, the Apocalypse or perhaps Soul of Windgrace.
The effect is repeatable and not too expensive, so there is enough merit in it to give it a chance this season.
The new Prototype mechanic, which allows players to cast the same spell cheaper but with lower stats, can be easily exploited using flicker spells.
For example, if you play Phyrexian Fleshgorger for its Prototype cost of 3 mana, and then flicker it using Touch the Spirit Realm, then it returns to the battlefield as a 7/5 creature for free.
This simple trick can really turn this mechanic into a brand-new archetype in standard, but we’ll see how far it’ll go.
Here is another solid addition to all aggressive white decks that can really help players utilize all that free mana in the mid to late game, and draw some cards instead of sitting with an empty hand.
It is also a straight-up must-have in soldier tribal decks with Valiant Veteran, who can quickly buff Recruitment Officer right on the following turn.
Plus it’s a human, which is another potential tribal archetype that could use Recruitment Officer well enough.
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse has been a real discovery of the Dominaria United set for all the black decks, but here is another candidate from The Brothers’ War that’s trying to fight for your attention.
You can play them both in the same Rakdos list, or use Gixian Puppeteer instead of Sheoldred for a more budget-friendly build, at least for the time being before its price hasn’t blown up.
There is even a potential for some combo shenanigans with its return from graveyard ability.
Here’s an unusual twist for an artifact deck!
This little creature can be of some value to Mono Green Artifacts, as that’s where it can quickly grow and become a sizeable threat.
It is also possible that Wizards of the Coast try to push something exciting for this card in the future sets. For example, there have been some rumors about the reprint of Hardened Scales in standard, and if that’s the case, then Teething Wurmlet might the next big thing.
Although Misery’s Shadow costs only 2 mana, it would not be correct to play it on turn two. The best way to utilize this card would be in the late game, when you have enough mana to pump its power and toughness.
In that case your opponent will think twice before attempting to block Misery’s Shadow with their own creatures, and if they do there is a big chance that they simply might lose all of their blockers.
Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim
It didn’t take Wizards of the Coast too long to reintroduce the 5-mana Teferi planeswalker. Thank goodness, it’s not as overpowered as the last one, and to be honest, it might be a tad underpowered at this point.
Still, there will be a healthy number of Blue White Control decks running Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim, and loving every minute of it.
It also looks like with all the available draw mechanics, it wouldn’t take too long to activate its ultimate, even a few times per game.
Third Path Iconoclast
Here is another Izzet Artifacts staple that has a strong synergy with the new Saheeli planeswalker from The Brothers’ War.
Third Path Iconoclast generates tokens that are artifacts, and that is a very important distinction.
Another cool feature that should be noted is that it generates artifacts by casting any non-creature spells and not just instants or sorceries, so there is room for some maneuver there as well.
Those are the best 15 cards in MtG‘s The Brothers’ War set. In addition to this list of the best The Brothers’ War cards for standard, be sure to check out our other MtG guides and card lists here.
Published Nov. 14th 2022