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 indeed we will be looking at the main overarching motif. This article is all about artifacts, robots, and contraptions. 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 Green Ramp
Green ramp decks with Karn, the Great Creator will benefit a ton from the set, despite the fact that they won’t play any of the cards in their main deck. However, enriching the Wish board and its toolboxy nature will positively affect its presence in the metagame. First off, we’ve got an easy upgrade to the previously-played Meteor Golem – Cityscape Leveler. It’s a way bigger body that is an actual must-answer threat. On top of that, it has evasion which works well with its eight points of power.
Moreover, it has a trigger that does what Meteor Golem‘s trigger did, but also triggers upon attacks. Recurring utility and constantly destroying the opponent’s permanents will win the game on its own. If that wasn’t enough, it can be unearthed to get eight damage in and the trigger once again.
An innocuous piece of utility that can come in handy against hate cards and opposing threats like Witch's Oven or Fires of Invention. It gaining life is a nice addition to an otherwise very strong effect.
A powerful hate piece against decks whose game play is heavily centered around some subset of cards like Greasefang, Okiba Boss, Arclight Phoenix, Transmogrify, Enigmatic Incarnation, etc. It’s an effect that green decks have never had, so it remains to be seen how impactful it’s going to be.
Another very unique effect. Its main merit is that it is basically Time Walk– it ensures that you get another turn. The biggest downside though is that it does not protect Karn, the Great Creator with which you got the card in the first place. However, getting to untap might be worth it, especially if you’d be dead otherwise. The main difference between it and Karn's Sylex is that you can use Coffin immediately while Sylex needs a whole turn cycle to be used, barring untaps effects with Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner.
Green White Scales
A huge addition to Explorer which might reinvigorate a fan-favourite – Hardened Scales. Not only does Dissident trigger upon any artifact entering play, but it also chooses where the counter goes. It allows you to carefully decide which creature you want the biggest which will have combat application. Moreover, you can opt to place counters on Hangarback Walker so it produces more Thopters when it dies. To go further into the rabbit hole, all those Thopters would individually trigger Dissident again.
A huge upgrade that might be overlooked. Brushland will allow a smooth mana base in those colours. It’s key now as there are two GW two-drops you need to be able to cast in Yotian Dissident and Conclave Mentor.
Green White Angels
A cheeky submission on my part as it’s not an artifact deck. However, I wanted to highlight that we’re getting an artifact that has a very relevant creature type – Angel. I will leave it here mainly as an idea as it has one big issue – you cannot put it into play with Collected Company. However, it may be an inspiration for some people to potentially go a non-Collected Company route, i.e going mono-white.
Blue Red Artifacts
In Izzet shells in Historic, you have got a million artifacts lying around in multiple forms. Saheeli, Filigree Master +1 is always Scry 1, Draw a card. The minus could be relevant when you want more bodies to increase the artifact count for Thought Monitor and Nettlecyst. The ultimate increases the mana efficiency of your draws and buffs all the semi-random tokens that you’ve generated that game, including the otherwise tame Ornithopter
The main reason I’d like to try it out is the fact that the tokens it generates are artifacts and it triggers with any noncreature spell. In practice, all those tokens will contribute heavily to the artifact count for Nettlecyst and Thought Monitor and are good cannon fodder for Voltage Surge. Saheeli’s ult buffs all of them nicely as well to create a real army to go wide.
This is a Standard shell for Izzet which plays a ton of new cards. Skitterbeam Battalion makes creature tokens to be buffed by Saheeli, Filigree Master. Thanks to Enthusiastic Mechanaut, there is a world where you hard cast Battalion and swing the tide of the game immediately.
An early-game defender that hold the ground and can trade with most 1-, 2-, and 3-drops. If the game goes longer, it will become a 5/4 threat that eventually draws three cards.
Mishra's research Desk is a spin on Light Up the Stage-esque effect. It’s the deck’s way to accrue card advantage and card selection, and with Enthusiastic Mechanaut on the battlefield, it can be deployed for free. The Unearth ability is another way to use the effect in the later stages of the game.
In Standard, we could try to take advantage of the available tools and make a deck that’s full to the brim with artifacts. Razorlash Transmogrant is a great early game pressuring threat that can come back late. If the condition of the ability is met, it will keep coming back. Without specific exile removal, it’s going to be a nightmare (technically Zombie) to deal with.
This card does everything and anything. You have to actually make a choice on which mana you want to put in, depending on the desired effect. The Blue mana will help you pull ahead, Black to strip the opponent of resources, and Red if you want to push damage through. I reckon the Red ability is worth paying only once for as trample and haste don’t stack, and getting discard or draw is much more valuable than another +1/+0 buff.
It’s a very aggressive threat that can’t easily be blocked and forces the opp to lose even more life thanks to the Ward ability. Tough to play without prototype, but it could come up.
Bladecoil Serpent really wants us to pay coloured mana for it, so Energy Refractor will really come in handy. On top of that, it cantrips upon entry so it’s a free card ,but works with our synergies like Voltage Surge.
A great card to turn our Energy Refractor into double Powerstone and actually ramp towards hardcasting prototypes.
A deck that I’ve already written about here. Bladecoil Serpent will fit in perfectly. While in theory you can only use the black and red mana, in practice, there are Treasure tokens from Deadly Dispute and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker to provide potential Blue. Great curve topper.
A two-drop with evasion is great, especially when it makes an artifact upon entry. Not only that – the token is a Powerstone which can allow you to play double two-drop on turn three which is huge. It allows ramps us to the next card described below.
An excellent go-wide card for aggressive decks. Powerstone from Horned Stoneseeker definitely helps play it ahead of schedule.
Cost ways, this deck can easily be deemed a budget construction.
As you can see, with so many artifacts coming in The Brothers' War there are numerous ways to include them into powerful decks. I’ll be excited to see which artifacts turn out to be the best.