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The Brothers’ War Limited Archetypes Guide and Example Decks

In this guide, we go over the 10 archetypes in The Brothers' War Limited, including example decks (archetype skeletons) for you to refer to.

Hey everyone! The Brothers’ War is about to launch on Arena and we’ve already reviewed all of the cards and discussed the mechanics. That means its time to go over the archetypes. While mono-colored is possible in this set, we’re going to stick to the two-color archetypes here.

For those that don’t know what an archetype skeleton is, it is building a sample deck that is representative of what an average draft deck in that archetype could look like. The restrictions are no more than one rare, four uncommons, or two copies of a common. The Retro Artifacts are odd because they take up a common slot so I’m going to allow a few in each deck as commons even though they are technically uncommons.

For the purpose of this exercise, I am going to keep the mana bases very basic. Outside of one example, I’m going to leave them at 17 lands even though there is a good argument to drop most of them to 16. In actual deck construction, having a couple cantrifacts (cantrip artifacts, it’s definitely a thing and not something I made up after a few drinks) usually means you can get away with one less since they both fix and draw.

One of the benefits of looking at these before jumping in is that you have a better idea of which cards go in which build. Its especially helpful in sets like this where synergistic decks with a plan are much more important than pure value.

Azorius

While not the typical blue white flying deck that you expect, Azorius Soldiers functions very similarly as a tempo based aggressive deck. It comes out of the gate hard and fast before finishing the opponent off with removal or an anthem effect such as Yotian Tactician or Ambush Paratrooper.

Harbin, Vanguard Aviator is an amazing card in this deck as it provides its own early clock as a two mana three power evasive creature and it has the chance of saying “Oops, all flyers” before leading your now airborne forces to victory.

You do want a critical mass of creatures, preferably soldiers. Beyond that pretty much any combination of tricks and removal in these colors can help you get across the finish line. As long as you’re not playing something sketchy, it’s probably correct to drop down to sixteen lands in a deck like this.

One more thing that I want to address here is Phalanx Vanguard vs Powerstone Engineer. Both are typically fine in most white decks, but you would prefer Phalanx Vanguard in the more aggressive decks. Conversely if you are more of a midrange white deck, Powerstone Engineer does a lot more of what you are looking to do. Just part of the differences in building a deck instead of a pile of good cards.

BRO UW
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $8.17
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
5 uncommon
34 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (2)
1
Disenchant
$0.25
Artifacts (1)
1
Bone Saw
$0.25
Enchantments (3)
2
Prison Sentence
$0.50
1
Static Net
$0.25
Lands (17)
8
Island
$2.00
8
Plains
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$10.2

Orzhov

Orzhov has a strange theme based around cards costing three or less. It’s odd because it involves both going wide and recursion within the same deck. It remains to be seen whether these create too much tension with each other or if they end up complimenting each other.

While I’m definitely not a fan of Warlord's Elite, it does play well with Mishra's Bauble, Soul-Guide Lantern, and Phalanx Vanguard as ways to drop it ahead of schedule. It can also be a real beating if you Recommission it early after milling it with Airlift Chaplain.

BRO Orzhov
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $12.71
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
6 uncommon
33 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (4)
2
Disfigure
$0.50
Sorceries (3)
2
Recommission
$0.50
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (1)
1
Static Net
$0.25
Lands (17)
8
Plains
$2.00
8
Swamp
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$12.48

Boros

Surprise, surprise, surprise… Boros is an aggressive deck that wants to drop creatures, burn things out of the way, and jam enough damage through before the opponent can find their footing.

If you were wondering why there are some cantrifacts in here, it’s because they provide a lot more value than they seem. The obvious thing is prowess triggers, but they also trigger Fallaji Vanguard and are even hits to generate value with Queen Kayla bin-Kroog.

With this many cantrifacts, I felt safe cutting down to sixteen land. There was even room to debate down to fifteen, but I think that might have been pushing it.

Bro Boros
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $10.74
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
7 uncommon
32 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (2)
2
Whirling Strike
$0.50
Sorceries (3)
Artifacts (3)
1
Chromatic Star
$0.35
1
Elsewhere Flask
$0.25
Enchantments (1)
1
Prison Sentence
$0.25
Lands (16)
8
Mountain
$2.00
8
Plains
$2.00
40 Cards
$10.4

Selesnya

Selesnya is a beat down deck with a subtheme of artifacts. It has potentially the best two mill three creatures in Airlift Chaplain and Blanchwood Prowler along with one of the standout commons of the set in Argothian Opportunist.

You might be wondering why I choose Myrel, Shield of Argive when there aren’t that many soldiers in here. First off, it’s a lot easier to get a fight spell off if your opponent can’t respond to it. There is also the ridiculousness that goes on if you start making artifact soldiers with wither Sarinth Steelseeker or Yotian Dissident out.

Bro Selesnya
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $27.31
Limited
best of 3
1 mythic
0 rare
6 uncommon
33 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (1)
1
Gaea’s Gift
$0.25
Sorceries (3)
1
Bushwhack
$0.25
1
Shoot Down
$0.25
Artifacts (3)
1
Chromatic Star
$0.35
Enchantments (1)
1
Static Net
$0.25
Lands (17)
8
Forest
$2.00
8
Plains
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$30.38

Dimir

The theme of Dimir is getting triggers off of drawing two cards in the same turn. While fairly easy to trigger on your turn with a plethora of cantrifacts floating around, you can also trigger it on your opponents turn with Stern Lesson or other instant speed effects.

Outside of that it is a value deck seeking to win through card advantage. It holds Overwhelming Remorse and Go for the Throat to remove relevant threats while trading off with smaller creatures until they can leverage the advantage.

The reason I choose Gix's Command for the rare is that it is straight cracked. This is also the exact type of deck that can maximize return on having access to the various modes.

BRO Dimir
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $12.41
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
7 uncommon
32 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (13)
2
Combat Courier
$0.50
2
Thraxodemon
$0.50
1
Carrion Locust
$0.25
2
Scrapwork Rager
$0.50
2
Trench Stalker
$0.50
Instants (5)
2
Stern Lesson
$0.50
Sorceries (2)
1
Emergency Weld
$0.25
1
Gix’s Command
$0.35
Artifacts (3)
1
Chromatic Star
$0.35
Lands (17)
8
Island
$2.00
8
Swamp
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$11.88

Izzet

In another shocking turn of events, the Izzet deck is once again a spells deck. It’s great to see that we are getting triggers off of noncreature spells for Third Path Iconoclastand not just instants and sorceries. That makes the cantrip retro artifacts much better in these builds. That means you can also support the prowess package as well.

Mightstone's Animation looks like a huge overperformer here as a non-creature spell trigger that can also be a hasty 4/4 for four that draws a card. It shouldn’t be too hard to have a powerstone ready to go for it between Excavation Explosion and Stern Lesson.

BRO Izzet
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $15.27
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
7 uncommon
32 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (3)
1
Curate
$0.25
2
Stern Lesson
$0.50
Sorceries (3)
Artifacts (3)
1
Chromatic Star
$0.35
Enchantments (4)
1
Bitter Reunion
$0.25
Lands (17)
8
Island
$2.00
8
Mountain
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$13.08

Simic

Simic is rolling up on people with some serious fatties. Its goal is to ramp up and drop bombs until the opponent is overwhelmed in a bigger Kaiju attack than Pacific Rim. You do have to balance how many giant monsters you play because you don’t want to just get ran over. I went with four of them here, but it could easily be plus or minus one.

One of the key cards for me is Weakstone's Subjugation since it allows you to continues to develop your board while shutting down a problem attacker for only one mana. If you didn’t get the opportunity to play with Bubble Snare, I can assure you it puts in some work. It was one of the most important cards in the UG ramp/kicker deck in Zendikar Rising because of playing that role while being able to flip into removing a defender for a few extra mana.

BRO Simic
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $8.54
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
6 uncommon
33 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (3)
1
Gaea’s Gift
$0.25
2
Stern Lesson
$0.50
Sorceries (1)
1
Shoot Down
$0.25
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (17)
8
Forest
$2.00
8
Island
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$11.34

Rakdos

Rakdos is once again thanking you for your sacrifice. It even lets you role play as an American politician by sacrificing your constituents for your own personal profit.

The star of the show is Sibling Rivalry as a way to steal whatevers in your way and then sacrifice it to one of the many, many ways you have floating around here. Ashnod and Kill-Zone Acrobat provide zero mana sacrifice outlets to really take advantage of it on curve.

Chromatic Star also shines here since it gives you the card when it goes to the graveyard from the battlefield even if you don’t use it’s ability. Double the value on a sacrifice sure sounds good to me.

BRO Rakdos
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $14.52
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
7 uncommon
32 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (1)
Sorceries (6)
2
Sibling Rivalry
$0.50
Artifacts (3)
1
Chromatic Star
$0.35
Lands (17)
8
Mountain
$2.00
8
Swamp
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$12.02

Golgari

Golgari is a graveyard-based value deck that is seeking to generate value from unearth and bonuses for having creatures in your graveyard. Unfortunately, some of the cards from the dumping into your graveyard strategies seem a bit underwhelming and require playing subpar cards to optimize for them. I’m not looking to play Wasteful Harvest just to turn on Gixian Skullflayer early.

This is the one archetype that looks like focusing on value is the optimal plan. I don’t think going in this direction is necessarily a bad thing as there is a lot of nice value cards that can add up over time. It’s just the exception that proves the rule here.

BRO Golgari
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $8.7
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
5 uncommon
34 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (3)
Sorceries (4)
1
Bushwhack
$0.25
1
Emergency Weld
$0.25
Artifacts (1)
Lands (17)
8
Forest
$2.00
8
Swamp
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$10.88

Gruul

Gruul is going to be smashing face with undercosted creatures backed up a variety of tricks and burn spells. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. While Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard doesn’t have anything to protect here, a 3/3 body for two mana is just want Gruul wants.

BRO Gruul
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $10.37
Limited
best of 3
0 mythic
1 rare
4 uncommon
35 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (3)
2
Whirling Strike
$0.50
1
Unleash Shell
$0.25
Sorceries (6)
1
Bushwhack
$0.25
1
Shoot Down
$0.25
Lands (17)
8
Forest
$2.00
8
Mountain
$2.00
1
Evolving Wilds
$0.25
40 Cards
$10.14

Wrap Up

Now that I’ve went over the archetypes, let’s talk about what we’ve learned since the early reviews. I clearly underestimated the cantrifacts because I put a disclaimer about how you only wanted them if they actually did something for your deck. It turns out that basically every deck wants them which means they will end up being high picks.

I think that every archetype in BRO can be competitive if the draft falls your way and there isn’t really a clear standout right now. It looks like BRO will heavily reward properly reading your role in the draft as well as tight game play.

Well, that wraps it up for preview season! Check back in a few days when I will have the BRO draft guide ready to go!

I’m always open to feedback, let me know what you loved, what you hated, or just send dog pics. You can contact 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.

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