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Ten Innocuous The Brothers’ War Cards That Are Secretly Great

There's a lot of flashy cards in The Brothers' War, but Skura believes there's a lot of excellent options flying under the radar! Find out his top ten cards you should be keeping an eye on and the best decks to put them in!

The Brothers' Waris full of interesting designs and very powerful cards. However, sometimes the most interesting ideas can slip under the radar. Today, I will delve into cards and shells that can absolutely be viable, but are pretty innocuous!


Haywire Mite

Mono Green Ramp
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $345.1
Explorer
best of 3
4 mythic
30 rare
7 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (21)
4
Llanowar Elves
$1.16
4
Elvish Mystic
$3.16
1
Voracious Hydra
$4.49
Sorceries (4)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (22)
15
Forest
$3.75
60 Cards
$242.04
15 Cards
$125.41

This tiny insect will be a great addition to Karn, the Great Creator sideboards in all the green-based ramp shells. The list of relevant permanents it tags is rather long, but just to name a few: Fires of Invention, Parhelion II, Unlicensed Hearse, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Nettlecyst, Shark Typhoon, Shadowspear, Enigmatic Incarnation, and the list goes on.

It doubles up as a life-gain spell when you play against some aggressive strategies. And you might encounter a good number of those as plenty will be viable post-The Brothers’ War.


Yotian Frontliner

Mono-White Aggro
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $91.3
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

This uncommon one-drop can boost the white weenie archetype in Standard. Despite its one point of power, it essentially brings two to combat as it buffs another creature. Crucially, it also boosts toughness which can make your threat survive combat when it otherwise wouldn’t.

Unearthing it is certainly going to come up very often and we can treat it as a white Shock.

You can always forget about Unearth and play it in other colours. It works well with haste two-drops in red.


Soldiers

Azorius Soldiers
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $283.29
Standard
best of 3
4 mythic
43 rare
8 uncommon
5 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
60 Cards
$289.44
15 Cards
$52.93

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. Even though it’s just an uncommon, it is going to be a role-player for aggressive strategies.

A true Soldier pay off. While it may seem too cute, I do think there is real potential. On rate alone, it’s a 2/3 for three with evasion which is good enough to see Standard play if there is anything also going on. And going on there is. It attacking grows our board presence and allows us to both attack in the air and start going wide. Additionally, it acts as a Soldier Cryptbreaker. A steady stream of cards is something that such a deck can really take advantage of.

While it may be quickly dismissed due to being a clearly slower Luminarch Aspirant, it still adds a lot to the battlefield. Aspirant is super strong and this card, while less explosive, is still strong. However, its true face is seen through its trigger. The fact that any Soldier dying is replaced with another Soldier is huge for Soldier tribal. When you start thinking of this card as a Soldier, it certainly gets stronger.

Once your creatures get traded in combat and you get a fresh batch of Soldier tokens, you can tap them for Skystrike Officer‘s ability, making you leave combat up a card or two.


Gix’s Command

Rakdos Midrange
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $844.15
Explorer
best of 3
7 mythic
38 rare
8 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Instants (7)
3
Fatal Push
$7.47
2
Abrade
$0.50
2
Eliminate
$0.70
Sorceries (5)
4
Thoughtseize
$67.96
1
Gix’s Command
$0.35
Enchantments (4)
Lands (25)
2
Mountain
$0.50
5
Swamp
$1.25
3
Haunted Ridge
$41.97
4
Blood Crypt
$75.96
60 Cards
$671.8
15 Cards
$131.19

The black command was very quickly dubbed the weakest by the community, especially when compared to Invoke Despair. However, I reckon it may slot in as a cheeky one-of into Rakdos Midrange. Rakdos does not really want to play Invoke as it is super hard on mana, especially in a deck with Den of the Bugbear, Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance and Mountains. What Gix's Command could give this deck is a great way to break board stalls. With all the bigger creatures it plays, it roadblocks the opponent, but you might still not be able to start attacking yourself. The second mode destroying all the pesky blockers and annoying go-wide tokens can clear the way for your attacks. The lifelink will have its moments in racing situations – you gaining six life thanks to 6/5 Bonecrusher Giant is going to swing games.

The other modes are also relevant. You can Gravedigger two of your value creatures – which is all of them. I assure you that the opponent won’t want to continue the game once you’ve Raise Dead-ed another Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet.

Last but not least, the sacrifice effect will always tag the biggest threat.

While not an auto-four-of, I do believe it has its place.


Calamity’s Wake

Azorius Control
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $497.06
Historic
best of 3
5 mythic
42 rare
9 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (8)
Instants (16)
1
Dovin’s Veto
$3.99
2
Undersimplify
$0.00
2
Memory Deluge
$0.98
Sorceries (5)
3
Supreme Verdict
$11.97
2
Farewell
$19.98
Artifacts (3)
3
Portable Hole
$7.47
Enchantments (2)
2
Shark Typhoon
$25.98
60 Cards
$435.68
Sideboard
2
Dovin’s Veto
$7.98
1
Aether Gust
$0.79
2
Devout Decree
$0.70
15 Cards
$65.77

Calamity's Wake is unbelievable in Historic. Decks like Azorius Control have a powerful tool against Greasefang, Okiba Boss, Dragonstorm, Arclight Phoenix, and a plethora of other combo decks or graveyard strategies.

The card does not even have to be brought in against graveyard decks. You can always cast it on the opponent’s upkeep as a Silence of sorts. There are also some cheeky application like casting it in response to Emergent Ultimatum, effectively countering it. As far as I’m concerned, this uncommon should be played in sideboards going forward.


Powerstone Fracture

Rakdos Artifacts
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $456.43
Explorer
best of 3
6 mythic
27 rare
8 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (14)
Instants (7)
3
Fatal Push
$7.47
4
Deadly Dispute
$11.96
Sorceries (5)
3
Thoughtseize
$50.97
Artifacts (11)
4
Blood Fountain
$1.56
4
Oni-Cult Anvil
$1.40
Enchantments (2)
60 Cards
$286.88
Sideboard
2
Voltage Surge
$0.50
2
Abrade
$0.50
1
Heartless Act
$0.35
1
Duress
$0.25
1
Thoughtseize
$16.99
1
Necromentia
$2.49
15 Cards
$100.59

Bone Shards, Spark Harvest, and Bone Splinters had a baby and it’s Powerstone Fracture. The key part about this card is that it allows you to sacrifice an artifact. If you play it in the right deck, it’s going to be more of an upside than downside. Here, you can sacrifice Implement of Combustion making it Dreadbore which draws a card. There will be plenty of Blood tokens around to be sacrificed as well.

Targeting Planeswalkers, while not crucial, is relevant against Liliana of the Veil, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Narset, Parter of Veils, and importantly, Karn, the Great Creator.

While not an auto-four-of, I do believe it has its place.


Evangel of Synthesis

Esper Greasefang
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $616.18
Explorer
best of 3
4 mythic
39 rare
11 uncommon
6 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (14)
4
Ledger Shredder
$103.96
Instants (16)
4
Fatal Push
$9.96
4
Consider
$7.16
Sorceries (4)
4
Thoughtseize
$67.96
Artifacts (5)
4
Parhelion II
$5.96
Lands (21)
1
Island
$0.25
1
Swamp
$0.25
2
Deserted Beach
$17.98
3
Watery Grave
$41.97
1
Godless Shrine
$12.99
60 Cards
$397.7

Evangel of Synthesis sets up a turn three Greasefang with Parhelion II. It’s going to be better than Raffine's Informant if you want to build your deck more as a Dimir splashing White rather than Azorius splashing Black. However, it still does more than Informant. It is a three-power threat with menace to start applying real pressure if triggered. In a deck with Tainted Indulgence and Faithful Mending, it’s going to be trivial to turn on.

Esper Midrange
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $523.79
Standard
best of 3
15 mythic
32 rare
6 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Instants (9)
1
Rona’s Vortex
$0.25
2
Infernal Grasp
$3.98
3
Make Disappear
$2.37
3
Destroy Evil
$0.75
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$598.88
Sideboard
2
Cut Down
$1.18
2
Negate
$0.50
1
Depopulate
$0.39
2
Farewell
$19.98
15 Cards
$88.09

In Standard, it can further bolster Esper Midrange as it’s an early body that filters draws. Moreover, it works great with Raffine, Scheming Seer as it basically ensures that Evangel’s condition is met every single turn. You will be able to ditch dead removal against control or clunky threats against aggro.


Energy Refractor

Grixis Artifacts
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $234.52
Standard
best of 3
8 mythic
31 rare
8 uncommon
13 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (4)
4
Voltage Surge
$1.00
Sorceries (4)
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$343.6

A great way to filter mana in artifact decks in Standard. It draws a card upon entry so you’re always card neutral. It nicely converts powerstone colorless mana to the needed colour. All in all, it won’t look scary, but will increase consistency in the right decks.


End Step

As you can see, some cards may be lurking under the surface just waiting to be discovered. While we tend to look at the rares and mythics, there is a myriad of exciting designs baked into lower rarities. Frequently, a simple effect that bolsters the overall plan is enough to help a deck jump half a tier up.

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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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