Welcome to my set review where I will pick my five favourite cards of each colour from The Brothers’ War booster set!
I’ve covered the main set already. What I haven’t covered yet are the set booster Commander exclusives. Those will be included with these cards if they’re any good! If not, you might see them in the honourable mentions section. Given that I’ll cover all the cards, I’ll be more brief with my thoughts in this article.
I have wanted an Ashnod card since I understood the power of Ashnod’s Altar. With Ashnod the Uncaring, you get a Grixis powerhouse that makes me, the aristocrats player, very excited. Your activated abilities on artifacts and creatures are doubled if they sacrifice a permanent as long as they aren’t mana abilities. Is it silly that Ashnod doesn’t work with her Altar? Yes. But does that matter when you’re cracking a Clue token for two cards? Turning all your Blood tokens in to one mana Thrill of Possibility?
Blow up two lands with Army Ants. Bounce two creatures with Barrin, Master Wizard. Professional Face-Breaker turns one Treasure into two impulse draws. Razaketh, the Foulblooded gets you two Demonic Tutors.
There is so much to love about a deck that can come together like this and the engine that it creates. I look forward to the days of missing triggers out of sheer overvalue and taking a win after stitching together the mess of cards you weave in and out of the graveyard.
Wizards of the Coast clearly decided this was the year to break Devoted Druid. Machine God’s Effigy is a clone that turns any creature into an artifact. Cinderhaze Wretch is also in the Devoted Druid cycle, but now you can keep your opponents’ hands empty. There are bunch of creatures worth copying. See a Dockside Extortionist? Now you have one that taps for mana. Ever wanted a Pitiless Plunderer that won’t get swept away by creature board wipes? Enjoy! Why not have an artifact version of Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant, copying it too. Of course, you need a Sakashima of a Thousand Faces or Mirror Box out, but the possibilities that open up with this card making a creature an artifact are great. Echo Storm your Machine God Effigy-fied Dockside Extortionist and you’ll get a ton of treasures and Docksides that tap for blue.
Black’s answer to Dockside Extortionist is a bit of a whimper in comparison to it, but if you blow out a token player and follow up with Wreck Hunter, you’ve got yourself a whole lot of Powerstones. Ghirapur Aether Grid allows you to tap them when you’re not able to use activated abilities or cast artifacts. Reckless Fireweaver and Ingenious Artillerist love when these come in. What about Altar of the Brood which sees all the Powerstones and mills each of your opponents. Let’s not forget that the newest Karn that we mocked, Karn, Living Legacy, creates an emblem allowing you to tap artifacts to ping anything at all. When you have something like Wreck Hunter creating such a glut of artifacts, that emblem speeds up the clock considerably.
What a cool and strange card. It makes Forest Dryad tokens so you get a sort of Sword of the Animist trigger on attack that doesn’t colour fix, but you also get a huge buff. This is cool, this is good. This also does not have green in its colour identity and means that mono white decks can use this as ramp. I really like this card. As a matter of fact, this wasn’t originally in my top five, and as I was writing up this blurb I realized the non-green applications of this is pretty warped and wild. Thalisse, Reverent Medium gets more to play with. Boros aggro Voltron, go off, baby!
This Goblin wants to attack. It’s a 1/1 first striking trampler, so it must get buff somehow. How about +X/+0 where X is ALL of your opponents artifacts. You attack somebody, this is miserable to block unless you sacrifice a ton of those Treasure tokens you’ve been saving up to make the Avenger weaker. But whenever an artifact an opponent controls goes to the graveyard (tokens go to the graveyard before they stop existing, FYI) that player takes one damage. Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph decks, Mechanized Warfare, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, they all make your opponents think twice about their artifacts going to the bin.
This is the Treasure hate piece I’ve wanted for a while and I believe that popping a Brotherhood’s End after dropping this in the later game means you’ll be expecting some crack back, but it’ll be worth it and manageable.
- Urza, Chief Artificer – I already covered this one more in depth here: https://www.thebagofloot.com/a-seat-at-the-table-urza-chief-artificer/
- Mishra, Eminent One – Solid commander but people are talking about him elsewhere already with a lot of cool stuff like infinite combat combos and wins. Mishra, Eminent One is very cool, but I’ll probably be writing him up another time. And if I don’t, there’s plenty out there.
- Tawnos, Solemn Survivor – You’re going to need a lot of artifact tokens to get anything good here. Cards like Echo Storm and Liquimetal Torque are going to matter. The textbox seems complicated and confusing, so be sure to really understand it. This feels like it’ll be rewarding if you can build it well.
- Sanwell, Avenger Ace – If you attack with a Thopter, this can attack basically from free and you dig for an artifact creature. It’s pretty narrow, but if it’s your thing, enjoy. Vehicles commanders might want this in the 99. He triggers when he crews, too.
- Scholar of New Horizons – Probably a card that should be in the top five. It doesn’t specify basic Plains and either you’re ramping or you’re drawing a card. This in +1/+1 counter decks or in Brokers decks like Falco Spara, Pactweaver will be really cool.
- Glint Raker – If you control a Metalwork Colossus, you’re hitting for 12 in the air and digging that much if you connect with a player. The crazy part is that this puts an artifact in hand and the rest in the graveyard. That’s crazy self-mill. I’ll be considering this for my Araumi of the Dead Tide list.
- March of Progress – Biotransference, Mycosynth Lattice, Liquimetal Torque, and Liquimetal Coating make this way more playable, but needing your targets to be artifact creatures specifically makes me like this less.
- Terisiare’s Devastation – In a Treasure filled world, you can probably cast this and sacrifice the Treasures so that it misses some of your own creatures. If you need the Powerstones, you can pay more into it. Flexible and strange board wipe. Definitely worth a look in artifact control decks.
- Wire Surgeons – Encore is a fun mechanic and I love seeing it. Six mana for an effect that still requires you to pay for such a narrow subset of creatures is rough. You need to be building around this already for it to pop off. Necron deck upgrades galore this set!
- Blast-Furnace Hellkite – The surprise factor here is fun and cool. Tap Gilded Lotus and sacrifice it and this only costs one mana at flash speed and gives attackers double strike if they’re headed away from you. Think of the politics you can turn on their heads. If an opponent is offering to take a swing for a trigger from another opponent, you can double it out of nowhere making the deal a lot worse.
- Farid, Enterprising Salvager – This one doesn’t inspire me. It’s funny that Scrap tokens do absolutely nothing but exist.
- Hexavus – Remember Pentavus? Remember the last time you saw that in play? Me neither. Next.
- Kayla’s Music Box – This being in white is upsetting to me, a Prosper, Tome-Bound player. It also being gated behind two tap symbols is tough. I think this is a cool way to have white card advantage in a control deck. Having a Clock of Omens or Unwinding Clock here is clutch.
- Scavenged Brawler – Cute reference to the Scavenge mechanic. Upgrade a creature with a bunch of counters and keywords. Not crazy impressive, but cool!
- Smelting Vat – Read this one carefully, I’ve already seen it misplayed twice on streams. You only get TWO noncreature – NONCREATURE – artifacts with TOTAL mana value less than or equal to the sacrificed artifact’s mana value. Meaning don’t sacrifice tokens unless you know you’ve got eggs in the top eight of your deck. This is good! I like the design, but the requirements are hoops that mean you need to build around it.
- Thopter Shop – Artifact creature deck? Have some card draw and artifact creature production. I’d consider this in decks like Thalisse, Reverent Medium even. Create a Thopter surprise blocker, it dies, draw a card, end step, make a Spirit. That’s pretty great. I’m much higher on this than I thought.
- Wondrous Crucible – The protection of your permanents with Ward 2 is pretty great. End step trigger forces not only mill but randomized exile for a free cast. I embrace chaos and will be testing this in a number of decks but I understand if seven mana is off-putting.
- Disciple of Caelus Nin – Screw you, Teferi’s Protection player. Very cool card. Interesting removal, a hell of a “board wipe”. Awesome card, undeniably powerful. You will get groans. Especially if you have phasing removal with conditional returns get removed while this is out. If you Oubliette something, play Disciple, and Oubliette gets destroyed before Disciple, the permanent phased out by Oubliette does not return. Pretty crazy, right?
- The Brothers’ War – I love when they make cards named after the set. Beautiful storytelling in this card. It’s breathtaking design. The forced goad between two opponents is fantastic and likely will make sure opponents either hold back their creatures in hand they don’t want to die or play their beefier stuff because they’re locked in a fight with another player by your next draw step. Very interesting tension here.
- Rootpath Purifier – You’re going to see a lot of people talk about this like it should be banned. The truth is that this will largely be overrated except in land decks and even then those decks running basic land tutor cards have to have enough basics to bother with them in the deck. Once you have it out, of course Kodama’s Reach going to get Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers is a huge swing, as would be Gaea’s Cradle or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx or Field of the Dead. Ultimately, it is a creature that can be removed and will either impact games immensely or just kind of be whatever. Traverse the Outlands with this is pretty sweet though.
- Titania, Nature’s Force – A Crucible of Worlds specifically for Forests isn’t bad! Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth means all of your lands with this out makes a 5/3 Elemental creature token. Milling three cards when Elementals die can make this a turbo Splendid Reclamation deck or just a solid addition to Landfall decks that love Elementals and grabbing lands out of the yard.
- The Archimandrite – What a weirdo! Ivory Tower on legs with a life gain payoff anthem for Advisors, Artificers, and Monks like Monastery Mentor and their tokens. The baked in card draw when you go wide is fantastic and you can activate it in the end step before your upkeep, so your life gain gets higher. This is also a Persistent Petitioners shell nobody saw coming!
- Urza’s Workshop – Cool callback to Tron lands. Urza’s Factory, Urza’s Mine, Urza’s Power Plant, Urza’s Saga, and Urza’s Tower are the only other legal Urza’s lands besides Urza’s Workshop, meaning you can tap for six mana with Workshop if you control them all. If you’re at a fun table that says yes to Acorn/silver border cards you also get Urza’s Fun House and Nearby Planet. It’s a cool callback. I can’t tell if it’s powerful. If you have two Urza’s lands and three artifacts, Workshop is essentially a Sol Ring for a land drop which is pretty good. I don’t anticipate this coming up in our format too much.
That does it for me! Thanks for sticking around for the whole deal.
Catch me next time talking about any commander you want! @mikecarrozza on social media, message me a commander you’d like covered!