The dawn of a new set had arrived just around a week ago, and there are already some standouts from Magic: The Gathering’s The Brothers’ War [BRO]. Here’s my fearless top 10 forecast of the new movers in Standard, based on their impact on the previous Dominaria United [DMU] meta, and how much they’ve enabled new strats or improved existing ones.
These Brothers’ War cards are guiltlessly craftable via wildcards in MTG Arena because of their capability to exceed their potential right off the bat – and opening these in a physical paper booster pack is sure to put a smile on players’ faces.
Let’s check out the Top 10 New Cards in Standard Constructed for Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War!
Top 10 New Cards in Standard Constructed – Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War
Hut, hut, here comes the Soldier army, and boy have they come in force! The new Azorius (UB) Soldier Tribal deck is fully realized, thanks in part to the new Standard-legal Luminarch, the Siege Veteran. It costs one more mana than its predecessor, but it makes up for it by popping out free 1/1 soldiers every time one of your other soldiers dies.
It’s a must-kill, must-have Brothers’ War card, along with its partner…
These grizzled lords make the Soldier decks deal so much damage, so fast. The +1/+1 it gives to every Soldier while it’s on the battlefield often means dealing 3 damage by T2 then another 5 or more by T3, if left unanswered.
If it’s dealt with though, well, it can come back a couple of turns later by giving your whole team permanent +1/+1 counters, threatening very sticky offensive pressure.
This unassuming baby wurm may have your enemies underestimating its G 1/1 frame. Don’t look, it’s already a 4/4 creature with Deathtouch! From gaining life to growing itself whenever you have an artifact coming into play once per turn, this Brothers’ War early drop is giving rise to at least 2 deck archetypes focusing on Green and easy-to-produce artifacts (like Treasures).
Both Gx Aggro and several varieties of Jund (BRG) Sacrifice rely on this snowbally 1-drop.
The new Prototype ability had been one of the vaunted darlings of Brothers’ War during spoiler season, and in Constructed formats, it shines. The Fleshgorger is an evasive, hard-to-remove well-statted creature with Lifelink, allowing it to either stem the tide of life loss from an opponent beating you down, or press the attack on someone who can’t deal with it safely.
The versatility that it can come down as a 3/3 as early as T3, or a 7/5 later in the game, is what places it firmly on this list, and on any deck playing Black in Brothers’ War.
Another somewhat new thing in Brothers’ War is a series of artifacts that have a base cost + X, and every 2 mana of a color you use to cast it generates an effect. Bladecoil Serpent was eagerly welcomed by Grixis Midrange (reigning world champion deck!) lists due to its Black and Blue components causing opponents to discard or you to draw, respectively.
Pumping it with Red mana can give it Haste and Trample, but it’s a cherry on top of an already spicy value package.
I can already hear the “This is Mono-Red, this is Mono-Red!” chants all the way from Best-of-1 Arena. Even on paper MTG, this might be a shoo-in as an easy-to-build archetype. Red Deck Wins took a break for a couple of sets, but with Mechanized Warfare increasing damage from BOTH Red and Artifact sources (see Mishra’s Foundry below) by 1, means face is indeed the place. RDW used to run out of reach if it’s curtailed early on, Warfare makes sure every drop of damage counts.
Another surprising treat is, as popular MTGA streamer Stephen Croke had said, “this is Trail of Crumbs”. Throne of Eldraine’s [ELD] powerful enchantment that enabled constant card selection based on Food tokens is now back and instead is an Artifact dependent on dying creatures. Jund and Rakdos (BR) Sacrifice absolutely loves this cheap-to-cast, cheap-to-equip draw engine.
Hey ma, I want Mishra’s Factory. We have Mishra’s Factory at home!
Its activation costs are 1 mana more, but that didn’t slow it down too much for this era of Magic. Nearly all Aggro decks now carry this steady slugger of a man-land, and it begs no further explanation other than we all missed man-lands since the last rotation. I don’t miss losing to it though.
Gix Yawgmoth Praetor
Ignore the 4BBB activated ability; the real jackpot in one of the lore-centric character Legends in Brothers’ War is his passive ability to let you draw a card per creature that deals damage to the opposing player. I’ve tried it in Esper Midrange (another one of the stalwarts of last set’s meta), and Gix is like a 5th/6th copy of Raffine – fueling your tempo with more cards each time you can get an attack in.
Mono-Black also loves another way to draw if it relies on T1/T2 drops too.
2-mana 3/2 wall? In Standard? How about a wall that becomes an unblockable attacker, then a 5/4, then draws you 2 cards? Mono-Blue Tempo might probably be able to complement or even replace Delver of Secrets with this lethal attacking machine, and from what I’ve been experiencing in Best-of-1 in Ranked Arena, a lot of duelists have been out-tempoing and out-countering their opponents – much to a lot of wizardly annoyance.
These are cards that are sure to have value still, but fall just short of a top 10. They’re still great pieces but not as meta-warping (yet) as the ones I’ve already mentioned.
Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim
There are only 3 walkers in Brothers’ War, and Teferi looks like the most serviceable one. Protects himself with a fast-growing creature, draws you cards, and potentially can grow his loyalty by more than a point per turn. He’s no 3feri, but I’ll take him.
Saheeli, Filigree Master
Not far behind Tef, I’ve seen a lot of Grixis lists using Saheeli with a lot of other Artifacts. Self-protection + draw is where it’s at with walkers.
Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard
He’s a 3/3 for RG, but his activated sacrificial ability is giving all the Legends/Jodah decks something they’ve wanted for a while: a way to protect their huge board.
Hey, a classic reprint and Red/UR staple; can’t go wrong with that. It may not be as powerful as when it first appeared due to a lot of its old supporting cast not being in this current rotation, but I think it has legs for an Uncommon 1-drop.
Portal to Phyrexia
it’s a 9-mana untargeted one-sided removal, that revives a creature from the graveyard once each turn. It’s broken-baiting at its finest, and if it doesn’t get a tier-1 combo deck this set, it may in the next ones – just its huge cost setting it back.
What do you think of our list of top 10 Brothers’ War cards? Anything we missed out on?