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By Elspeth's Command Art by Carlos Palma Cruchaga

Alchemy: The Brothers’ War Card Reviews and Decklists

Lots of new cards and lots of opinions! See what DoggertQBones thinks of the new Alchemy: The Brother's War cards to see what cards may make the cut, what cards won't see the light of day, and sample decks to try them out in!

Hello everyone! 30 new Alchemy: The Brothers’ War cards are being introduced to the Alchemy format – so it’s time to dive in to see what’s good, what’s bad, and where the cards can go! As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications.

  • 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
  • 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
  • 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
  • 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
  • 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
  • 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.

By Elspeth’s Command

This is an interesting engine card because it could function by itself in theory, but more realistically, is a payoff for the Soldiers deck. That said, not being able to repeat modes turn after turn will hurt the strength of the card, but being able to keep growing your Soldiers (albeit slowly) while weaving in producing a 1/1 seems decent.

Overall, I think this is too weak to compete with the other three drops in Azorius Soldiers, but could be solid as a sideboard option or main deck option in Mono White Soldiers as they only have 8 three drops they’re excited about.

Mono White Soldiers
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $84.11
Alchemy
best of 1
2 mythic
27 rare
12 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Sorceries (4)
4
Lay Down Arms
$1.16
Enchantments (3)
Lands (23)
19
Plains
$4.75
60 Cards
$110.25

Rating: 2.5/5


Norn’s Disassembly

This card looks to be the epitome of 99% do nothing, 1% it’s broken. Admittedly, I’m not the best at analyzing cards that would go into combo decks, but this still feels weak as the point of tutors is that you want them to be consistent. Since what you sacrifice is the same as what you seek, it would be hard to set up scenarios that you’re hitting the card you want. Furthermore, even if it was easy, you’re still spending three mana and two cards to make that work. I’m in the camp that this card is unplayable, but throwing in the asterisk in case I’m missing something.

Rating: 0*/5


Tawnos Endures

Cloudshift is an alright card, but this reminds me more of Essence Flux as you get the extra counter. Maybe I’m a little high on it, but this, Touch the Spirit Realm, and Phyrexian Fleshgorger seems like a fun interaction in a deck with ETB creatures. Even without that, I feel this card could be strong enough to see play regardless.

Orzhov Blink
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $328.03
Alchemy
best of 1
12 mythic
13 rare
18 uncommon
17 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (10)
3
Cut Down
$2.37
4
Tawnos Endures
$0.00
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$423.05

Rating: 3/5


Hurkyl’s Prodigy

Sailor of Means comes back with a face lift. While you aren’t looking to play it for the second ability, you would use this as a Blue ramp card more or less. Furthermore, while you’re not using it for the second ability, using it twice will deal quite a lot of damage so it could turn into an alternate win condition as well. I wasn’t high on this card on the first read through, but it may be better than it looks. That said, I have no real clue on what deck would want this, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Rating: 2.5/5


Piece It Together

If this said 4 or more to get the Time Walk, this would be an extremely powerful combo or control win condition. As is, it’s really hard to say if this is at all playable because you can only get the Time Walk once. I’ve been wrong about cards that enable you to take additional turns, even if they’re inconvenient, like Oracle of the Alpha or Key to the Archive, but having no way to consistently loop it will probably be the killer.

Rating: 1.5/5


Lonely End

This is a super interesting design as this is a very versatile removal spell. You give up the strength of Infernal Grasp or Go for the Throat so you can potentially kill planeswalkers and gain life! Is this good enough? Realistically, probably not. I don’t see a real reason to play this over other options, although I like this design a lot.

Rating: 1.5/5


Penregon Besieged

This is a really tough card to evaluate. This feels like it would be obscene as you can potentially clear out a bunch of creatures over the course of many turns, but it’s hard to say if this does the job better than one of the Infest variants without being able to play this. None the less, this wouldn’t be anything more than a sideboard card presumably, but I think it could be a good one.

Rating: 3/5


Fallaji Antiquarian

This is an interesting card as I missed that it conjures a duplicate of the card on my first read through. This means that in some sort of graveyard based deck, you could play this and Repair and Recharge with powerful artifacts like Cityscape Leveler and Portal to Phyrexia for some huge turns. Is this better than your other options? Probably not, but I am definitely interested in what this card could accomplish.

Boros Artifact Combo
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $234.6
Alchemy
best of 1
8 mythic
27 rare
4 uncommon
21 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (16)
4
Scrapwork Mutt
$1.00
Sorceries (8)
4
Molten Impact
$0.00
Artifacts (4)
4
Portal to Phyrexia
$103.96
Enchantments (8)
60 Cards
$336.69

Rating: 3/5


Kayla’s Kindling

Kayla’s Kindling’s Spellbook

  1. Abrade
  2. Cleansing Wildfire
  3. Terror of the Peaks
  4. Explosive Singularity
  5. Guttersnipe
  6. Seasoned Pyromancer
  7. Unexpected Windfall
  8. Banefire
  9. Lightning Bolt
  10. Dualcaster Mage
  11. Electrodominance
  12. Crackle with Power
  13. Volcanic Fallout
  14. Young Pyromancer
  15. Siege-Gang Commander

Engine cards are generally better when they don’t cost five mana and only do two damage on entry. Drawing a card a turn would be solid, but considering it disappears at the end of turn and doesn’t even trigger the first turn, I hardly see the point of playing this. We’ve had much better for cheaper.

Rating: 1/5


Melt Through

Not terrible for a removal spell, but the whole point of it is to two for one yourself which isn’t ideal. This could be better than something like Flame-Blessed Bolt as it’ll help you kill problem creatures like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse over time, but I really don’t like that. For what it’s worth, strictly better Shock isn’t bad if you need more of that effect.

Rating: 2.5/5


Tomakul Phoenix

This is quite the cool design as it’s pretty easy to bring back, only gated by the amount of mana you have. Maybe this is a solid threat, but this does feel a bit weak for my liking. However, it is a pain to kill and can keep coming back with more power, so maybe this can be good enough as a sideboard threat in grindier matchups.

Rating: 2.5/5


Argothian Uprooting

Is there a benefit to animating your lands into a bunch of 2/2s? Maybe. The fact that this replaces the lands on death is pretty good, but I’m not sure what this would do over something like a Sylvan Awakening which was really only used as a combo card. I’m assuming this isn’t going to do anything, but someone more creative than me may break this.

Rating: 2/5


Foundry Groundbreaker

This is an interesting ramp creature as you not only net a mana, but get two utility lands on top of it. Is that good enough? No, not really. The bar for four drops is really high in general, and I really doubt this will clear the bar when something like Soul of Windgrace struggles to see play.

Rating: 1.5/5


Legion of Clay

This is a much worse Arming Gala that stipulates against the only way to make this better (putting in tokens). Pass.

Rating: 0.5/5


Sylvan Smite

This is a cute take on Clear Shot, but we try to avoid playing two mana damage spells in Green if we can help it. However, Master's Rebuke really didn’t see play and this is worse half of the time.

Rating: 1/5


Argivian Welcome

You ever look at Destroy Evil and wish it was much worse? Me neither, but this is a super cool design. Wish it was on a better card as giving wraths the instant speed buff is always a fun one for Control decks. Why couldn’t this be a Quicken that’s perpetual and maybe gains you a few life? That would’ve been cool.

Rating: 1/5


Assemble the Team

While weird, as long as you’re looking for a four of, this feels very close to Demonic Tutor. Only seeing 15ish cards isn’t that greatest odds in the world, but you’ll probably find something you’re interested in. I may be vastly overrating this, but I could see this being pretty nuts.

Rating: 4/5


Crucias, Titan of the Waves

So a three mana 3/3 that makes a Treasure each turn and filters a card, seems ok, but again, nothing particularly special. This is fine, but this isn’t necessarily impressive enough to warrant playing.

Rating: 2/5


Great Desert Hellion

Generally when you have a large, undercosted creature, it has a substantial drawback. Discarding a card each turn is obviously a pretty big drawback, but when it dies, you get to restock which is pretty powerful. So, as long as this kills them or at least dies rather than getting exiled, you’ll definitely be coming out ahead. There aren’t too many ways to exile creatures right now, so this could be pretty powerful in the right deck.

Rating: 2.5/5


Jarsyl, Dark Age Scion

Now this is an interesting design. I’m not sure what deck would want this exactly, but this is a very powerful effect in theory. Unfortunately, you only can cast cards that are equal to the intensity counters which really gates the power level of the card as it’ll be hard to consistently set up. On the flip side, it only goes up in intensity when you use the ability, so you do have time to make it work. Overall, this is probably too gimmicky, but there’s potential.

Rating: 2/5


Perilous Iteration

For the most part, this does seem like a marginally better Reckless Impulse in the late game, but not by a significant margin. In the early game though, this also seems much worse as the odds of you being able to use both things you hit drop drastically as one of those is going to be minimum three mana. Why this is a Gruul card, I’m really not sure, but being worse than Reckless Impulse is an impressively low bar.

Rating: 1/5


Raddic, Tal Zealot

Raddic, Tal Zealots Spellbook

  1. Midnight Reaper
  2. Guardian of Faith
  3. Knight of the Ebon Legion
  4. Cavalier of Dawn
  5. Cavalier of Night
  6. Benalish Marshal
  7. Murderous Rider
  8. Order of Midnight
  9. Acclaimed Contender
  10. Dauntless Bodyguard
  11. Valiant Knight
  12. Smitten Swordmaster
  13. Blacklance Paragon
  14. History of Benalia
  15. The Circle of Loyalty

Blood Baron of Vizkopa!? Is that you? This seems like a really powerful sideboard card at a minimum as it’s hard to kill and accrues some nice card advantage, but could easily see main deck play as well. Furthermore, if you happen to have another Knight laying around, then attacking with it will yield a trigger as well! This works quite well with the Spellbook as it’s self-fueling if you don’t want to attack with Raddic which is already great, and even better, most of the hits are very powerful. Like many of these, I’m not sure what deck this would go in, but this is definitely powerful and should see some play somewhere.

Orzhov Knights
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $116.79
Alchemy
best of 1
0 mythic
30 rare
20 uncommon
10 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+

Rating: 4/5


Richlau, Headmaster

At first I couldn’t fathom what you would do with this, but thinking about it more, maybe this is a cool way to rebuy your best artifacts like Nettlecyst or Thought Monitor in Historic Affinity which may make this worthwhile. For what it’s worth, getting back a 4/4 Thought Monitor is pretty cool, but it’s also hard to imagine this seeing main deck play. Furthermore, I can’t see any real use for this in Alchemy, so its utility is limited.

Rating: 2/5


Rusko, Clockmaker

Conjured Cards

It was really slept on during its time in Standard because there were so many powerful cards running around, but Midnight Clock is a really good card. Having a 3/3 that creates a powerful mana rock and drains with each noncreature cast is a hell of a lot of abilities, and accelerating the clock can be really good in lower curve decks.

Maybe this can spawn some weird Dimir Tempo/Control deck as to make full use of the clock or just becomes a solid piece in midrange, but I think this is quite solid. However, be sure to kill opposing Sheoldred, the Apocalypse before the clock strikes midnight!

Grixis Midrange
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $315.85
Alchemy
best of 1
2 mythic
41 rare
13 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (12)
Instants (5)
2
Abrade
$0.50
Sorceries (12)
2
Molten Impact
$0.00
4
Invoke Despair
$3.16
Artifacts (1)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (26)
4
Swamp
$1.00
4
Shivan Reef
$3.96
4
Haunted Ridge
$59.96
4
Shipwreck Marsh
$15.96
60 Cards
$446.89

Rating: 3.5/5


Yotian Courier

I’m generally not a fan of creatures with attack triggers as those are generally the hardest to activate, but on a two mana 2/2 Flier? That’s much easier. Creating Powerstone tokens or seeking cards can both potentially be very strong, but yet again, really hard to say what type of deck would want this.

Maybe Grixis Anvil could use this to get a Mishra's research Desk into an Oni-Cult Anvil, but that’s over the course of literally five turns, so that’s a bit ambitious. More likely this would be used as another ramp card alongside Hurkyl's Prodigy.

Rating: 2/5


Forgefire Automaton

This is a super sweet design that will probably not find a home in it’s Standard tenure. The three mana mode is quite weak as it’ll die to a strong gust of wind and you likely won’t have too many targets for it to reanimate as it needs to have less power than Forgefire. Then of course, the 7 mana mode is much better, but it’s hard to see what deck would be looking for this type of effect. Finally, if you’re looking for a big artifact to cheat in, I still think Phyrexian Fleshgorger does it better, but maybe if you need more of that effect, this would make the cut.

Rating: 2/5


Gixian Recycler

A two mana 3/1 isn’t a terrible rate, and Unearth gives it a bit more utility, however, getting an additional one in your graveyard to bring back is interesting. Again, we have an interesting card that’s almost certainly too weak to see play (at least in an aggro deck), but maybe some self mill deck could use it?

Rating: 2/5


Patchplate Resolute

I’m not huge on three mana 3/3s, but on it’s initial entry and then unearth, you’re giving away FOUR +1/+1 counters! That’s a lot of additional value as this isn’t a three mana 3/3, but really a three mana 5/5 in a sense. It’s tough because the three drop slot is so contested, but I really feel like this has to clear the bar.

Mono White Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $83.88
Alchemy
best of 1
3 mythic
26 rare
12 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+

Rating: 3/5


Warzone Duplicator

This card is super interesting as it reads like it is insane, but in reality, will probably mostly be a Dinrova Horror. Having the Prototype mode is good, but considering that’s four mana rather than three, I feel there are few situations where you’ll be happy to give up so much value instead of just waiting a few turns. Unfortunately, like many of these, I don’t see this being a better option than what we already have, so unlikely to see play.

Rating: 2/5


Urza’s Construction Drone

Urza’s Lands

Getting Tron by turn three is always great, but when it’s in your deck instead of your field, that’s just a smidge weaker. While I like the call back to the Tron lands, this is a lot of work for what won’t even be that much of a payoff by the time you can assemble it all. In theory, the absolute fastest you can get this going would be turn six, and that’s if you manage to get all three triggers from Drone or happen to naturally draw it into it.

Rating: 1.5/5


End Step

Overall there are some really interesting designs in this set, but most of them are pretty weak. This is a tough balance to strike as they want these cards to be strong enough to be impactful, but if they’re strong enough to be really impactful, they are probably really really good. Again, most of the cards are quite weak, but there are a few cool and strong designs I’m very interested in seeing play out.

Thanks for reading!

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DoggertQBones
DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

Articles: 604

2 Comments

  1. I’m a lot higher on melt through. one thing you seem to have missed in the review is that it’s any target. having another 1 mana burn spell that you can hit face with is awesome. having one that makes creatures easier to kill is even better. I was already running 4 shocks in mono red because I needed direct damage to the face for 1 mana.

    • Ah I did miss that it can hit any target, not just creatures! Even still, I’m not the biggest fan as the double burn spell line isn’t one you normally want to do and preemptively doing it gives the opponent a lot of information on how to play which also hurts the odds of you killing the thing you want to kill. However, strictly better Shock is still a fine card.

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