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Richlau, Headmaster

Alchemy: The Brothers’ War Limited Set Review

Our complete review of all the Alchemy: The Brothers' War cards for draft. Each card has its own description and rating for its placement in The Brothers' War Limited Tier List.

Hey everyone! We’re about to take another trip down Alchemy lane to see what goodies they’ve added to The Brothers’ War for limited purposes. Per usual, I have to give the disclaimer that these cards were designed for Constructed so most of the cards will either be crazier than the Cheshire Cat or a total dumpster fire when it comes to draft.

It’s going to be interesting tossing an extra busted card into packs that already have the Retro Artifact slot to pump up the power level. The possibility of three Mythics in a single pack has been unheard of on MTG Arena, until now… Dun Dun Duuuuun!!! It could leave some decks looking like a low powered cube deck running into some other adventurers who were not quite as fortunate.

We’ll be using the normal grading scale described below. The biggest difference from previous sets is that I am going to be lumping artifacts with a color identity in with their color. This is a combination of Wizards numbering system and not wanting to have only two cards in the non artifact sections. All grades on them are assuming that you can easily pay the colored cost.

Here’s the usual grading scale:

White

By Elspeth’s Command

Rating: 4.0/5

Elspeth knows her way around a battlefield so you should listen when she commands. This is perfectly fine in any deck as it can basically drop a 2/2 flyer on the battlefield every other turn. Being able to trigger it the turn you play it is a huge boon since you can drop a dork on the battlefield right away.

If you’re already in the soldier deck, just stand up, take a victory lap around the room, and high five your imaginary friends. Enjoy delivering some seasons beatings.

Norn’s Disassembly

Rating: 2.5/5

Only costing one mana lets you drop this early and makes removal on artifacts (specifically creatures) really awkward for your opponent for the remainder of the game.

While there are corner cases where you can seek up a sweet legend like Urza, Prince of Kroog, most of the time you are trading an onboard artifact for a random artifact in your deck. You can generate some value if you have cards like Ichor Wellspring or Elsewhere Flask, but you are already down a card from playing this so it’s not game breaking.

The best application is using it on cards you unearthed like Scrapwork Cohort to get more value off of something that you were going to lose anyway. It also, coincidently enough, lets you use the tokens generated off of Cohort to turn them into blockers that can sac to seek a new artifact from your deck.

If your deck isn’t doing any of these things, then leave this in the board.

Patchplate Resolute

Rating: 4.0/5

When is Centaur Courser good? How about when it’s colorless, a relevant creature type, playable with powerstones, and pumps up some of your other critters. Even if you aren’t playing white, this is still a great part of your curve as it can be 5/5 worth of stats for three mana.

If you are playing white, then this gets really stupid, really quick. A good point of comparison is Simian Simulacrum.

Tawnos Endures

Rating: 2.5/5

While having to wait until your next upkeep to bring it back and it having summoning sickness is a pretty big drawback from normal blink effects, this lets you take advantage of prototype cards by bringing them back with their big boy pants on with a +1/+1 counter to boot.

Blue

Hurkyl’s Prodigy

Rating: 3.5/5

Hurkyl has been teaching their prodigy well as adding a decent defensive body with a powerstone for only three mana is a great way to bridge to the late game. Speaking of the late game, this starts smacking in for three unblockable damage making life very difficult for your opponent.

Piece it Together

Rating: 2.0/5

Unfortunately you only get the extra turn when this is exactly at four, not four and above. That means no infinite turns shenanigans with Keeper of the Cadence.

In the vast majority of cases this is just going to be one mana to draw a card. That certainly has a place in the draw two decks or with Third Path Iconoclastwhile being sub replacement level if you don’t have anything to trigger with it.

Warzone Duplicator

Rating: 4.5/5

This was designed by someone who is REALLY into Man o’ War effects. How about you get a copy of the card too…ummm…ok…not broken at all…nothing but fair and balanced cards here. The only drawback is that what you bounce does have to have a lower power so you can’t just bounce a huge token with this. Just slam this if you see it.

Black

Forgefire Automaton

Rating: 4.5/5

Reads card…. reads card again… blink, blink. I keep trying to find the part where the creatures go away, cost mana, or anything other than a straight up value machine pumping out a train of pain that is going to obliterate your opponent.

Even if you drop this as the prototype, you get to start bringing back two power or lower things with a new and improved three power. You know what that happens to hit? The mill three creatures which keep the fire burning in your graveyard while providing some extra card advantage.

There’s also the seven-mana version where everything comes back with eight power. I’m pretty sure you can figure out how to win from there.

Gixian Recycler

Rating: 3.0/5

It’s great to know that Gix cares about the environment enough to recycle. It’s also really cool that this still adds the extra one to your yard even if you hit this off one of the self-mill creatures.

A colorless 3/1 for two is a replacement level card 23, but unearth gives it a bump up and double unearth makes it something you actively want to be playing. Obviously if you don’t have access to black mana bump this back down to depressing curve filler.

Lonely End

Rating: 3.5/5

Black wasn’t exactly lacking in the removal department, but you can never go wrong with picking some up when it’s this cheap and efficient. The ability to hit Planeswalkers might be a rare corner case, but you’ll be really happy that it’s there the time you do need it.

Penregon Besieged

Rating: 3.5/5

While you might have the option to use this as a two-mana removal spell early, you are normally going to want to wait to have it stick around as a continuous source of shrinking your opponent’s side more than a dip in a cold pool.

Unless your opponent ends up with an empty board, this is going to be annoying them for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, since it won’t be real life, you will miss out on the opportunity to sing “This is the siege that never ends, it goes on and on my friends…”

Red

Fallaji Antiquarian

Rating: 3.0/5

A hasty Hill Giant isn’t something to get all hot and bothered over. The ability also requires you to have something else on the battlefield to accrue value so it really depends on what you’re working with. Getting an extra Mishra's research Desk or Scrapwork Mutt are reasonable things that make this well worth it.

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

Rating: 4.5/5

Tossing in a Shock when this comes into play helps to alleviate the pain of tapping out while not getting a card until the next turn. That’s just the kindling though because then the fire really starts burning if they don’t deal with this.

Getting to choose from amongst three of this insane list every turn is going to quickly leave your opponent in ashes. It’s going to be very rare for you to get a bad hit off of this making it sooo much better than a personal Howling Mine. Terror of the Peaksand Siege-Gang Commander are bomby while the downside of “Oh no, I only got a Lightning Bolt or Abrade” is still really good in most cases.

What about Guttersnipe? We don’t talk about Guttersnipe. Seriously, they must have been someone’s cousin to get on that list.

Melt Through

Rating: 3.0/5

A Shock that doesn’t go away is going to play very similar to Disfigure. You’re trading the option to use it as a combat trick for being able to go face and making it still kill something after a trick.

Tomakul Phoenix

Rating: 4.0/5

I’m down to play a 2/2 flyer with haste for three, I’m also down to flash it back as a 4/4 for five. Being able to use powerstone mana to bring it back makes it even easier. It can keep coming back bigger and bigger unless your opponent uses enchantment or exile removal on it.

The other cool thing is to pitch this to Scrapwork Mutt on turn two, then bring it back attacking on turn three for the same cost as if you just played it. Free card.

Keep in mind that, even though it’s an aggressive creature, you can hold this back to block so that you can make it an even bigger threat.

Green

Argothian Uprooting

Rating: 3.5/5

It’s a late game “I win” card. Even in the midgame, this is going to give you a very wide board presence that will be difficult to overcome. You should probably avoid using this in the early game because using your lands as creatures can throttle your ability to develop your board while this will just get better the later you are in the game.

Foundry Groundbreaker

Rating: 3.0/5

Slightly below rate body that ramps you by turning your worst land into two-man lands. Since you choose the land to sacrifice, it’s less painful than just straight up having a colorless mana in your mana base. Mishra's Foundry even gets better in multiples since it gives you the option to pump when you attack.

Legion of Clay

Rating: 3.0/5

If this triggered off of tokens, then this would be absolutely insane because of powerstones or Scrapwork Cohort. As it is, it is very much a build around that can abuse cantrifacts and a pile of artifact creatures.

While it does do basically nothing when played on curve, it does present a potentially overwhelming assault if left unchecked.

Keep in mind that it triggers when artifacts enter the battlefield, not on cast. That means you can use unearth to pump up the jams again.  

Sylvan Smite

Rating: 3.0/5

I do like the design on these cards that give you a little more value if you were on the draw. It’s typically small things that help to alleviate losing the die roll a bit without being over powering. A two-mana instant speed bite spell is almost always going to be good and this one even lets you use it as a combat trick if you weren’t on the play.

Multicolor

Argivian Welcome

Rating: 1.5/5

This would be a great sideboard card, but unfortunately BRO alchemy drafts are going to only be Bo1 so you might be playing a dead card with this. Being able to kill a giant creature at instant speed and then flash another one in to wreck your opponent on blocks is the dream with this.

I’d want to be playing some form of looting such as Stern Lesson unless I was truly desperate for playables.

Assemble the Team

Rating: 2.5/5

This is going to be Impulse on steroids for most of the game as long as you are already in these two colors. I heard some people get all excited about this like it was Demonic Tutor, but the two-color requirement and only seeing a third of your deck are some pretty big hits against it. That means it’s solid card selection, but nothing to get all excited about.

Crucias, Titan of the Waves

Rating: 4.0/5

Stacking treasure tokens while filtering your unwanted lands into real cards is a one-way ticket to plundering and pillaging your way to victory. Your opponent is going to say “Argh” as you… Too many pirate references… Fine… But why is the rum always gone? Oh… That’s why.

Really solid card that can go off like a cannon if it’s not dealt with. Now go sail the seas and live your best pirate life.

Great Desert Hellion

Rating: 3.5/5

This is a rough one because there are going to be times it’s insane and times it’s absolute dog water. The discard being a may as well as the leaves the battlefield effect takes away some of the risk involved of getting caught with your pants down. It even acts as a self-sacrifice to give you that trigger if you need it.

While it sounds like dropping a 5/5 menace on turn three would be absurd, it does leave you open to getting two for one’d.  You pitch a card, they hit it with an Overwhelming Remorse, and you either have to pitch your hand or get no value off of this. Of course, if you’re playing a very low to the ground Rakdos deck with Goblin Blast-Runners then that doesn’t matter since this is flying off the top rope like Randy Savage to finish the game. If they’re dealing with this, then they aren’t dealing with everything else.

It’s also not a great late top deck because you can’t just be hellbent like Rotting Regisaur so you might want to save some extra lands to pitch to it if this is in your deck.

Jarsyl, Dark Age Scion

Rating: 3.5/5

Luckily, it’s a lot easier to find limited playable one drops than it was back in the day. Otherwise, this was going to be a hard to cast Centaur Courser and we all know that hasn’t made the cut since the dark ages. Seriously was there a hidden theme of 3/3s for three here or something.

Unless you’re curving out, you might want to hold onto this until you can at least get a free card out of it. Even if you can’t, it’s not like this is so great that using it as a removal magnet is really a bad thing. Somebody’s got to take one for the team.

Perilous Iteration

Rating: 3.0/5

We tend to get some version of “exile two cards, play them by the next end step” effects every set or so. On average you should hit a land and a three or higher drop. Not quite an Expressive Iteration, but it does minimize some of the feel bads such as hitting two lands in the late game or two expensive cards you can’t possibly cast early on.

While in most cases I would recommend against doing it, I am positive that every time my opponents play this on turn two, they are 100% hitting a land and a three drop.

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

Rating: 4.0/5

Unfortunately for Raddic, this was the soldier set and none of them were feeling very knightly so you’re going to have to get that first trigger off of attacking with him. After that you can send in one of the knights you selected from this round table of broken cards to continue the value train.

While the hexproof from Black and White plus the four toughness tends to keep him alive, I would still recommend packing a Loran's Escape to keep the good times rolling.

Richlau, Headmaster

Rating: 3.0/5

Is the theme of this card that it takes so long to do something because no one ever listens to their teachers? Still, it’s a decent body that doesn’t add card advantage per se, but does let you bring your artifact creatures back bigger and cheaper.

Rusko, Clockmaker

Conjured Cards

Rating: 4.0/5

I loved Midnight Clock in Throne of Eldraine draft and this set isn’t nearly as bonkers as that one was. So let me get this straight. For only one extra mana, I get a 3/3 thrown in that drains my opponent every time I play a noncreature spell. That’s an easy buy for me.

Yotian Courier

Rating: 3.5/5

Per usual, I am obligated to mention that I would happily play an Air Bear since a 2/2 flyer for two is always solid. It really is a “you got removal or no” on turn two because otherwise it starts accumulating powerstones and cards. Good luck dealing with that.

Artifact

Urza’s Construction Drone

Urza’s Lands

Rating: 2.0/5

FINALLY… Tron has come to Arena. That’s normally been a constructed thing and this is a pretty big step down from the normal appearance. If the power nine weren’t overpowering on a creature with a similar effect, should the same thing with Tron lands even be worth a discussion?

Earlier we were discussing what a Centaur Courser needs to be playable these days. This actively makes your deck worse when you play it, but replaces itself when it dies. Certainly not an auto include, but if I’m playing a ramp deck this is a good speed bump to get you to later in the game.

Wrap Up

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great time cooking up some insane brews in Alchemy BRO drafts. Honestly it’s difficult to grade alchemy cards since most of the time you should just take them when you see them, but I try to add a bit of nuance to it.

Keep an eye out for my next article to drop some more of that sweet, sweet knowledge on you. Stay classy (or in Alchemy’s case, cray cray)!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

You can also find me at:

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j2sjosh
j2sjosh

Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

Articles: 146

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