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Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor Art by Anna Podedworna

Nine New Aggro Decks With The Brothers’ War

Looking to get your aggression on? Skura has gone over the spoilers and came up with a staggering NINE new aggro decks to try in Standard, Explorer, and Historic! Find out which cards may bring aggro to the next level!

The Brothers’ War is just around the corner and with its release we’re getting a ton of new cards. While the main theme that jumps out of the page is artifacts, there are multiple pieces to the aggro puzzle – for Standard, Explorer, and even Historic!

Today I want to explore the world of aggressive strategies through the lens of The Brothers' War Buckle up!

The article is split into decks and within those decks I will discuss individual new cards. There are way more ways to take those cards and there are probably multiple shells that are a function of the ones shown below.


Mono-Black Aggro

Mono-Black Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $460.25
Explorer
best of 3
10 mythic
33 rare
2 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Instants (3)
3
Fatal Push
$7.47
Sorceries (6)
4
Thoughtseize
$67.96
Lands (23)
15
Swamp
$3.75
60 Cards
$463.4
Sideboard
3
Noxious Grasp
$1.05
2
Necromentia
$4.98
3
Go Blank
$2.37
2
Crippling Fear
$0.70
15 Cards
$107.05

This card is a massive addition to all the black-based aggressive strategies. Not only is it a 3/3 body for three, but it also has a very relevant trigger. In a deck with so many one-drops and interactive spells to remove blockers, you are sure to connect multiple times. Gix provides you with a steady stream of cards, which are going to be either more threats or disruption to keep the pressure going. I wouldn’t be concerned about it being Legendary as it is an absolute must-kill, and if they do not remove it, you are so much ahead anyways that the extra drawn copy won’t change much. It has an activated ability, but I highly doubt it will ever be relevant. However, in those super drawn-out games, it may come up so don’t forget about it!

This Phyrexian Wurm will be prototyped in those kinds of decks most of the time. It has evasion in the form of Menace which can really mess with the blocks. After the opponent has declared blockers, we can remove one of them with Fatal Push or Murderous Rider so that Fleshgorger cleanly gets rid of the other creature, gaining us life in the process. Speaking of, lifelink is also not irrelevant as it allows us to race other decks effectively. It’s an especially big headache for red decks where the opposing life total is key. Its Ward ability is a nice way to round the card out and show its aggressive nature. If the opponent wants to remove it, they have to take even more damage.

Mono-Black Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $308.32
Historic
best of 3
10 mythic
34 rare
0 uncommon
16 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Instants (8)
4
Fatal Push
$9.96
4
Sap Vitality
$0.00
Sorceries (2)
Lands (22)
16
Swamp
$4.00
60 Cards
$182.76
Sideboard
2
Noxious Grasp
$0.70
4
Thoughtseize
$67.96
1
Shadowspear
$22.99
15 Cards
$94.23

I can also see this type of shell in Historic. The power level there is much higher, but I still believe that Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor is going to slot right in. It’s even easier to connect later in the game in this deck thanks to Spawn of Mayhem.

Mono-Black Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $376.84
Standard
best of 3
12 mythic
22 rare
6 uncommon
20 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (6)
2
Cut Down
$1.18
4
Infernal Grasp
$7.96
Sorceries (4)
4
Invoke Despair
$3.16
Lands (26)
20
Swamp
$5.00
60 Cards
$493.64

Standard also benefits from those new cards. Both the previously mentioned Gix and Fleshgorger are going to be played, most probably in full playsets.

We have got a new Scrapheap Scrounger in Razorlash Transmogrant. It looks awfully similar, because it is. In practice, I think that the cost reduction on its ability will come up very often, at which point it’s going to be a stronger Scrounger, both thanks to the counter and the fact that there is no additional cost. With Scrounger, you always had to have two spare cards in the graveyard to exile them, while here, the only thing that matters is the opponent’s mana base. Returning it turn after turn is going to be a huge headache for decks with non-exile removal.

We’re also getting a toned-down version of Mutavault. For each deck, it will have to be carefully analyzed whether and how many colorless land such a deck can afford. With so many black mana symbols in the costs, drawing two in the opener is an insta mulligan. However, if there are enough spells which can be cast with generic mana, I think it’s a great inclusion that allows you to put pressure even if you’re empty-handed.


Mono-Red Aggro

Mono-Red Aggro Obosh
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $129.99
Explorer
best of 3
4 mythic
13 rare
28 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Companion
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (16)
4
Soul-Scar Mage
$7.16
4
Phoenix Chick
$3.16
Instants (8)
4
Play with Fire
$9.96
Sorceries (8)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (20)
11
Mountain
$2.75
4
Ramunap Ruins
$2.76
60 Cards
$135.74
15 Cards
$26.77

Another aggressive flavour is Red. Monastery Swiftspear is a huge addition to Standard, Historic, and Explorer. One of the best red aggro creatures *ever* is being added. Now, it does not affect deck building immensely. I expect most red strategies to throw out the current worst one-drop and slot Swiftspear right in. However, due to the nature of prowess, I suspect that those decks might up the spell count to accommodate the mechanic.

Mono-Red Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $89.32
Historic
best of 3
2 mythic
17 rare
24 uncommon
17 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Creatures (12)
4
Soul-Scar Mage
$7.16
Instants (12)
4
Shock
$1.00
4
Play with Fire
$9.96
Sorceries (8)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (22)
13
Mountain
$3.25
4
Ramunap Ruins
$2.76
60 Cards
$105.94

In Historic particularly, the power level of the spells is so high that Swiftspear will really feel at home there.

Mono-Red Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $81.12
Standard
best of 3
4 mythic
13 rare
20 uncommon
23 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (20)
4
Phoenix Chick
$3.16
Instants (8)
4
Play with Fire
$9.96
Enchantments (7)
3
Hammerhand
$0.75
Lands (21)
16
Mountain
$4.00
60 Cards
$118.3

Standard is a bit different as there haven’t been any top tier red decks to begin with. However, with the addition of this Monk all might change. The creature suite is finally cohesive enough that it can punish all the grindy Esper midrange decks that have dominated Standard Challenges for a while now.


Mono-White Aggro

Mono-White Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $90.73
Standard
best of 3
7 mythic
21 rare
14 uncommon
18 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Sorceries (2)
2
Lay Down Arms
$1.18
Lands (23)
18
Plains
$4.50
60 Cards
$129.06

For Standard, there are multiple role players in white to make a viable aggro deck. Recruitment Officer is a two-power one-drop which meets the baseline of what we want. Its ability might come up in the drawn-out games and it’s not that unrealistic.

Another powerful one-drop coming out of The Brothers' War While it does not have two power, its buff ability virtually makes it bring two power to the board state. The unearth ability will come up and you should see it basically as a Shock– it attacks for one and buffs another creature for one.

A slower version of Luminarch Aspirant. Permanently buffing a creature every single turn demands an immediate answer from the opponent – otherwise the board grows out of control really quickly. It is not legendary, so you could play two of them turn after turn and then it really affects the texture of the board. Its trigger is going to matter a ton in combat where creatures are blocked, chumped, and traded left and right. Those tokens will count for Adeline, Resplendent Cathar which is very important.

This card has been praised as a threat for green decks. However, if you cast it for four mana in a Monowhite deck, it’s going to distribute four +1/+1 counters, effectively adding six power to the board, counting itself and the counters. It’s going to perfectly match the curve after our turn three Adeline, Resplendent Cathar to further add to its toughness making it unkillable in combat. If you find yourself in a late game too-many-lands-drawn situation, you can always cast it with a bigger x value and grow the board that much more.


Mono-Green Aggro

Mono-Green Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $102
Standard
best of 3
4 mythic
45 rare
4 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Sorceries (4)
4
Bushwhack
$1.00
Lands (20)
7
Forest
$1.75
4
Llanowar Wastes
$1.96
4
Deathcap Glade
$29.96
60 Cards
$114.78

*As a note, I included Black lands to help increase sideboard options

There could be a viable Monogreen aggressive shell in Standard that has an artifact angle. Teething Wurmlet can really grow big, really fast. The deck has got eight artifacts so I’d expect Wurmlet to be a 3/3 on average which is already pretty good for a one-drop. Having Deathtouch is nice icing on this already teething cake.

Simian Simulacrum is a great card for the deck. Being an artifact is of course relevant to Wurmlet, but it also is four power for three mana, spread across however we wish. We can make a different creature even bigger or grow Simian itself. Unearth is a great late game option, but with so many things going on in the deck, we might not even have time to do it.

Another mythic prototype on the list. The majority of the time, it’s going to be a 2/3 for two mana which is fine. However, in more grindy matchups, you can fully expect to cast it for five and then use its ability to get that colossal 15/15.


Soldiers

Soldiers
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $126.19
Standard
best of 3
0 mythic
40 rare
19 uncommon
1 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+

The biggest and most pushed tribe in The Brother’s War are Soldiers. They even got an exclusive dual land in Fortified Beachhead which further shows that Wizards really want to make it a thing. Most Soldiers are Humans, and a lot of Humans are Soldiers so there will be some overlap between Human decks and Soldiers.

Easily the best pay-off to playing specifically Soldiers is Harbin, Vanguard Aviator. It being a two-mana 3/2 flyer already is super appealing for an aggro deck. Being able to fly over the blockers is always important. However, its trigger is what makes it so strong. When there is a board stall, we can amass creatures and basically win the game in one swing as everything gets a buff and flying. With that telegraphed, the opponent will do everything in their power to remove Harbin as it’s such a strong looming threat. That’s also a reason why the raw number of Soldiers is important and Soldier-making Resolute Reinforcements are going to swing games.

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Skura
Skura

Also known as Skura or IslandsInFront on Twitter and YouTube, Filip started his career upon the release of Gatecrash and has been passing the turn in all formats ever since. He coaches and creates written and video content, mainly centered around the control archetype. He is passionate about Magic game theory and countering spells. Outside of Magic, he is a fan of snooker/pool, chess and Project Management.

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