The long-awaited spoiler season for The Brothers’ War has finally begun, and these new spoilers are just what we needed to shake up some formats! Standard and Pioneer in particular need a change, and some crazy new cards should be able to do the trick! Here’s a first look at new Brothers’ War spoilers previewing today!
“If you wanted to fill your deck with powerful war machines, we wanted to make sure you had the option to play them sooner” – Gavin Verhey
Ok, there’s a LOT going on with this card. Phyrexian Fleshgorger introduces a new mechanic available in Brothers’ War called Prototype. Basically, it works as an alternate casting cost that changes the card’s mana value, color, and power/toughness. In the case of Phyrexian Fleshgorger, you can choose to pay the 1BB prototype cost to get a 3/3 black version of this card.
The cost of the prototype allows Fleshgorger to flexibly affect the game when needed. Not only that, but Fleshgorger abilities shouldn’t be put to sleep. Threat and Lifelink ensure that the Phyrexian Fleshgorger can connect and stabilize against faster strategies. The best part about this card, however, is its Ward cost. If your opponent wants to get rid of this thing, he’ll probably have to pay up to seven life, depending on his size.
The prototype gives this card the potential to completely split the formats in half. Unfortunately, as of this writing, it’s still unclear how Prototype interacts with certain other rules. If, for example, a copy effect like Glasspool Mimicry copies the prototype version of this card, does it enter as the original version or as the prototype version? In case an effect like Prince Charming flickers this card, does it come back as its greatest variant if it was prototyped? If powerfully resolved, these issues could lead to Phyrexian Fleshgorger completely dominating the formats.
Mishra, tamer of Mak Fawa
Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa, is a 4/4 with a rather exciting effect. While my first thought was to couple this with Greasefang so Parhelion II has two revive targets, it could also synergize exceptionally well with Phyrexian Fleshgorger. It’s a shame that Unearth exiles the card after it leaves the battlefield, otherwise we might get another, albeit weaker, one. Underworld Breach. That said, this card has a lot of potential.
Teferi, Time Pilgrim
“Teferi, with the help of Saheeli and Kaya, forms this time anchor and sends Teferi back in time so he can see this Brotherhood War first hand and see how Urza himself handles this Phyrexian threat. -Matt Danner
Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim is an interesting addition to what are a ton of amazing Planeswalker cards that come together under one character. While the ability to gain loyalty by drawing cards is a blue player’s dream, Teferi’s loyalty abilities aren’t the strongest. Unless you’re aiming to create a ton of tokens and dominate the game with them, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a much stronger alternative to this card. This card could easily break a few formats if the ultimate was more appealing. That said, this Planeswalker could see some competitive play in the right deck. Either way, my first impression would be to relegate this to EDH bomb status (meaning someone is going to lose horribly).
Titania, Gaia Incarnate
It looks like Ramp can finally have a decisive victory condition in Standard and Pioneer! Titania, Gaia Incarnate is a walking death sentence for any adversary who should face it!…and not remove it immediately upon entering. At worst, Titania should be able to spawn a 4/4 earth creature if she goes up in smoke too quickly. On the plus side, this Meld Creature is unusually easy to put together compared to the other options in this set. All you need are those two upkeep cards and four lands in the graveyard. Both of these maps also mesh well with automachining terrains to help throughout the process.
Urza, Prince of Kroog
This new iteration of Urza might be the artifact support Standard has been waiting for. Although it pales in comparison to Urza, Lord High Artificer, this card could prove very influential in the right environment. Like Teferi, my first impression would be to expect this in Commander, even as an upgrade to the Urza Commander deck that comes out in this set. It will be interesting to see how players use Urza’s activated ability to its maximum potential.
The return of the Powerstones!
Karn, Living Legacy from Dominaria United, gave us a snapshot at the Powerstone, an artifact token we knew would be a big deal in Brothers’ War. To recap, these artifact tokens can be tapped to do anything except cast a non-artifact spell. This means these can be used to activate abilities, like Unearth, which also returns in The Brothers’ War, pay taxes on cards like mystical dispute, and, of course, cast an Artifact spell. Note that these, unlike Treasure tokens, are not single-use. As Good Morning Magic host Gavin Verhey mentioned, these are only in-game artifacts, “so cards that have a lot of artifacts will be better off as you add more Powerstones. Keep that in mind. mind when evaluating cards from the new set.
Splitting the Powerstone is an interesting rare thing, to say the least. While players who only want a quick mana hit in Standard will definitely rely on big score before paying the high costs behind this card, an Artifact Ramp deck interested in throwing a bunch of full-strength Phyrexian Fleshgorgers might naturally be interested in this card.
Urza, Powerstone Prodigy has a lot of potential for an uncommon card. Not only does Urza activate his own ability, but he can create one Powerstone per turn whenever you discard an Artifact card! The only thing holding this card back in Standard – even Pioneer, is its mana cost. This card would be obscene at two mana. I wouldn’t be surprised if this card saw, at worst, some experimentation in Standard.
Mishra, digging prodigy
We discussed how the main set had three different iterations of the Urza and the Mishra in a previous article. That was spoiled by the Brothers’ War world-building video that debuted last week. The two “prodigy” cards offer a snapshot of Urza and Mishra as they find the Mightstone and the Weakstone and argue after Urza removes the big brother’s card and declares that his most important part of the stone scary magic is better, so Mishra has a weak stone.
As a result, compared to Urza, Powerstone Prodigy, there are many symmetric features that add a lot of flavor to these cards. Not only are Urza and Mishra’s stats reversed, but both of their abilities, along with their provided keywords, detail an aggressive and defensive strategy for Mishra and Urza, respectively. While Mishra has haste, Urza has vigilance. While Urza’s ability offers solid growth over time with some downsides, Mishra offers a burst of resources.
Hurkyl, master wizard
One of MTG’s most renowned characters in history finally receives a card in his name! Hurkyl is an absolute value engine that rewards players for casting noncreature spells. That’s an exciting idea when considering mana-free artifact cards like Mishra’s Bauble and Mox Amber. While that’s probably not strong enough for Modern, it might see some Pioneer playing in the wrong version.
Gix, Praetor Yaugzebul
Looking at this card gives me this nostalgic feeling of opening up an incredibly powerful namesake character and being giddy about it. Card abilities have absolutely no bearing on my childhood excitement. Just opening the card that represents a character from a story I read is very exciting.
Regarding Gix as an MTG card, it’s really interesting. This seems suited to a mid-range deck with aggressive sides that can take a lot of early game damage and build up to the late game activated ability offered by Gix. Admittedly, this comes to mind as a sideboard option for Rakdos Sacrifice decks. It will be interesting to see how Gix impacts the formats when The Brothers’ War is released.
This Uncommon Draft introduces Unearth, a new mechanic that returns with the release of The Brothers’ War. This effect is somewhat unique, and its ability to come back once means it could be played in an aggressive deck. That said, it risks being relegated to the draft.
No more painful lands!
“As this war escalates, events will influence not just Dominaria, but the multiverse itself,” says Matt Danner, Senior Creative Manager at Wizards of the Coast. “The Brothers’ War has left an indelible mark on Dominaria itself,” it says, looking at the destruction marked by the four Lands of Pain present in this set. Brushland, Battlefield Forge, and Underground River all detail a war-torn Dominaria that one might expect to see at the start of a dystopian story.
Llanowar Wastes, in particular, captures the Sylex Blast, the event that “Teferi is interested in seeing, the Sylex being that very powerful artifact that ends up ending The Brothers’ War and is identified by the heroes by something that can be used against the forces of Phyrexia. Ironically, this also represents the end of Argoth, the nature-loving island that wanted nothing to do with the Brothers’ War but was plundered and ruled by it anyway.
Here we have a great showcase of fully illustrated lands coming to The Brothers’ War. Titled the “Basic Mech Lands,” these lands exemplify the difference in style between the two brothers’ weapons. “Urza’s mechs are represented by the top row here, and Mishra’s mechs in the bottom row.”
“Urza lives in the most urban areas and has access to a ton of resources. You can see that reflected in his mechs. His mechs are these massive, hulking juggernauts while Mishra’s mechs are very lively and sleek, using found materials and meant to be a bit faster and nimble.
There is more to see!
While this features the new The Brothers’ War spoiled maps in the core set, there’s more to see. Schematic maps are another unique inclusion in The Brothers’ War that function similarly to Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive maps. We’re also doing a deeper dive into all the mechanics coming to The Brothers’ War, so if you have any questions about the inner workings of Prototype, we should have those answers for you right there when the questions are answered. So far, The Brothers’ War has sold at a loss. I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes after these spoilers, so be sure to check it out and see if you can get any deals before they’re gone!