Welcome back to my two-part series about The Brothers’ War Limited archetypes and the signpost uncommons that enable them. We can point out all my bad takes in a couple of months, but for now, let’s just read the words on the screen.
Now that we’re on the back five archetypes, let’s put on our Sunglasses of Urza once more, and take a gander!
In a world of Soldiers and Mole Horrors, ask yourself this: why not both?
At first glance, I thought that there would be a nice aggressive build in addition to the obvious Orzhov grind fest. But I think there just might not be enough quality cheap threats, I’m certainly not ruling it out, but the value-oriented builds seem much stronger. Airlift Chaplain and Ravenous Gigamole (creature type of Mole Horror, rad) are great at filling your graveyard with the electrolytes that everyone craves.
Black already has some payoffs to fill up the graveyard with things like Overwhelming Remorse, but we’ve got some of the best unearth commons in Scrapwork Cohort and Scrapwork Rager. This may be the true calling for the controversial Warlord’s Elite, pairing it with Recommission or No One Left Behind, or Hero of the Dunes. Dredging Claw also looks like it may have a home here if you get enough support. I’m not too sure about Meticulous Excavation, but if I had a grindy late game build, I’d give it a shot. Thraxodemon, while always solid, looks at its prime in this color pair, sacrificing Soldier tokens or unearth creatures for some of that sweet, sweet Demon money.
Maybe the Young Pyromancer got stuck on the first or second path, because this Third Path is a banger. Izzet doesn’t have a ton of great aggro cards, but it has some of the best potential for tempo I’ve seen. With the return of Monastery Swiftspear leading the charge, we’ve also got some other prowess players in Wing Commando and Dwarven Forge-Chanter, all triggered by what I consider a potential front-runner for best common in the set, Mightstone’s Animation.
Aside from obvious burn or bounce spells like Excavation Explosion, or Machine Over Matter, there are some remarkable tempo cards. Involuntary Cooldown is a great Frost Breath, considering it’s a sorcery. Mishra’s Domination could be a potential game-ending play Turn 2 on Monastery Swiftspear, but the fail-safe of taking out a blocker is a much less risky play and falls in line with the same aggro plan.
If you’re not ready to climb the Aggro Crag with the bros, there’s a Powerstone build over at the Weenie Hut down the road. There’s a plethora of options that come with your meal, both great Powerstone producers and Powerstone payoffs. Stern Lesson and Excavation Explosion are your best common creators, and curve perfectly into Mightstone’s Animation. Third Path Savant and Penregon Strongbull are solid if you’ve got the Powerstones. Lastly, the prototype cards get a lot better here.
All right, Kor Skyfisher and Skyfisher Spider, you guys getting any bites? I’ve never seen a fish even close to the sky, but it’s good to know there are patient anglers out there just for the love of the game.
Golgari, true to form, wants to “do stuff” in the “graveyard.” Green actually has some really solid self-mill cards in the form of Blanchwood Prowler, Burrowing Razormaw, and Wasteful Harvest. Awesome, there’s Spider Spawning, right? We have Spider Spawning at home in the form of Gnarlroot Pallbearer.
There’s no single card that makes or breaks the deck. Instead, you need to assemble a good mix of enablers and payoffs, with the correct balance of creatures to spells, with no particular payoff being a game-breaking play. On paper, this seems like one of the weaker archetypes to me. Some of the other payoffs are Gixian Skullflayer, No One Left Behind, and Gaea’s Courser.
Boros is in a similar lane as we talked about previously in Izzet. It largely will have one gameplan, smashing with cheap creatures as quickly as possible. Red doesn’t add too many Soldiers to the mix, but it’s got a Dwarf Wizard and a Dinosaur Beast, so we should be all set.
White will differ from blue when paired with red in a few key ways. Instead of building big prowess creatures, Boros will be going wider with smaller creatures, turning Mishra’s Onslaught into a very real card. White adds Prison Sentence to the mix instead of blue’s evasion and bounce. While Recruitment Officer is already an amazing card, it’s throwing out sign-on bonuses in Boros. Ambush Paratrooper will also be at its best here, pairing amazingly well with Fallaji Vanguard.
There are a lot of different tricks available between the two colors, so I’d encourage some experimentation early on in the set to see what works where!
Finally, the Powerstone guild Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy keeps telling me about. This is the Prototype, Powerstone, and other antiques tribe, who would be the most likely to actually want the Power Plant Worker trio.
It’s far too early to say whether Simic will be good, but I’m pretty skeptical about going hard to pump out a big Rust Goliath only to see it die to a two-mana Disenchant, and we’re just playing with our Powerstones. Mask of the Jadecrafter seems like one of the best Powerstone payoffs, as you get a couple of creatures out of the deal.
Third Path Savant seems like a huge boon for any game that starts to go late. Sarinth Steelseeker is an absolute beast in this deck, thinning your deck every time you make Powerstones. Citanul Stalwart is also a good mana-fixer here to pair up with a Powerstone. My last concern with this deck is its lack of permanent removal when it’s trying to play a late game.
Well, that’s it! With The Brothers’ War right around the corner, I wish you the best of luck at any table-top event you get to attend. If there are none, I’ll see you in the Arena!
Lose and learn, learn and win.