September 29’s Wizards of the Coast announcement had so much product that the special effects and gimmicks were left out of the stream! Similarly, there is a ton of new things to cover. From prebuilt decks with banned cards, Brothers’ War Spoilers, and the literal Power Nine revealed for MTG Arena, a LOT is going on with this reveal! Let’s get into it!
Power Nine Comes to MTG Arena!
Never in a million years would I have predicted something like this. Dominaria United’s Alchemy set introduces Oracle of the Alpha, a creature that conjures the Power Nine into a player’s library. Sadly, this means that many of the cards that would be broken, like the Mox artifacts, may have a weaker impact, but Time Walk, in particular, is an absolutely terrifying precedent in MTG Arena. Since the card that conjures Power Nine into your deck is an Alchemy card, the Power Nine will likely only be legal in Arena-only formats. Oracle of the Alpha even helps you find these cards by scrying and can attack easily with evasion. This looks like an absolutely insane addition to MTG Arena.
Brother’s War Spoilers
This isn’t going to cover everything spoiled, but it will cover all the cards. We got confirmation that many iconic names in MTG lore (Gix, Mishra, Urza, Ashnod, Hurkyl, and more) will all be seeing representations. The most prominent spoiler is that we are getting some insanely powerful Planeswalkers through the old Meld mechanic.
As a quick reminder, Meld is a mechanic where two MTG cards are combined into a bigger, gigantic payoff. The cost to Meld is high, but the reward is insane, as seen with this pair of cards that can Meld. Urza, Planeswalker is the strongest Planeswalker we’ve ever seen, full stop. That said, the cost to create Urza goes a bit into magical Christmas land territory. Should you amass all the resources, this is a fantastic win condition.
The two parts of Urza, Planeswalker are also pretty good. The Mightstone and Weakstone is a conditional mana rock with a powerful Enter the Battlefield ability to help mitigate the tempo loss for casting an expensive Mana rock.
Urza, Lord Protector, seems like a strong candidate for Commander play. A bunch of different archetypes may desire this cost reduction. Because Urza doubles as a flashy win condition, it’s not hard to see that these cards may be huge hits in Commander.
There is confirmation that a Melded Mishra is also in this set. That card has not yet been revealed but should be announced next week.
This Mutavault-Esque promotional card shown off today will also be your box-topper for The Brothers’ War. Manlands with a cheap cost like this one are incredibly impactful, especially colorless ones that can see play anywhere. While this is likely worse than Mutavault, it does have a tertiary mode that buffs attacking Assembly-Workers, which includes other animated Foundries. All-in-all, this is a solid card that has some fun tribal synergies.
Game Day Promos
These new spoilers will be the Gameday promotional cards for The Brothers’ War. It seems R&D is really enjoying the Evolved Sleeper-Esque design of a creature that goes through different modes. Surge Engine is an exciting application of this, but I’m not sure if this card should be a Mythic rarity. Aggressive players will get excited for Recruitment Officer. This one mana 2/1 weenie can replace itself should you find yourself unable to do much on a later turn.
Queen Kayla bin-Kroog is a card I could see having success in Pioneer, let alone Standard. This three-mana Legendary Creature allows you to wheel your hand while playing up to three different artifact or creature cards from among what you discard. The only catch is that these cards must have mana values one, two, and three, respectively. This could perform well in an aggressive Collected Company deck as a result. I have high hopes for this card. Better yet, because there’s a promo available, it should be relatively easy to access this card.
With the release of The Brothers’ War comes two new Commander decks. These decks will feature a different version of Urza and Mishra piloting them than what will be available in the main set. Here’s what we know about those decks so far:
One of the decks will be an Esper deck featuring Urza, Chief Artificer. This deck seems to have a heavy artifact creature focus, as suggested by the Commander.
Mishra’s Grixis deck features more combat-oriented shenanigans that focus on noncreature artifacts.
The big news is that the entire Commander decks will feature old-bordered cards! This represents the shift in time as a theme we are seeing in The Brothers’ War set. The old-bordered versions of Urza and Mishra will, therefore, be what’s available in these Commander decks. The borderless versions will be available in Collector Booster packs.
Early previews for these Commander decks show off some compelling artifacts players would love to get with an old border art! Expect these to dry up fast because players are already incredibly excited about them.
Brothers’ War Jumpstart
Like what was done for Dominaria United, The Brothers’ War will also feature a Jumpstart product to replace Themed Boosters. This packaging is not new news but was featured regardless.
A New Mystical Archive?
A new sort of ‘Mystical Archive‘ is being featured in the Brothers’ War set! This means that some historical artifacts will be available at every booster pack level in the Brothers’ War product. While this will affect the set’s draft format, these cards’ legality will not be affected by their reprints (they will not be Standard legal).
These retro artifacts will come in a few different variants. As showcased above, these artifacts will feature some artwork with a blueprint-style associated, much like some of the Bonus Slot cards seen in the recent Secret Lair product. This specific art will only be featured in Collector Boosters, while the other art featured for Ivory Tower above will be available in all Brothers’ War products.
The most significant part of this announcement can be seen by the Wurmcoil Engine furthest to the right of this picture. For the first time ever (maybe besides that Viscera Seer), Magic, the Gathering will feature serialized cards in their product! This means that there will be exclusively numbered versions of cards available in the Collector Booster product. As demonstrated by the Wurmcoil Engine shown, 500 numbered cards will be made available. Apparently, these cards will also feature a unique foiling. The implications of this are massive and not something we will have the time to cover in this article. That said, expect some content talking about what this could mean for MTG in the near future.
Brothers’ War Prerelease Promos
Following the Magic 30, prerelease foils for Dominaria United are four newly revealed prerelease foils featured with The Brothers’ War. All of these cards see some level of play, so excitement should be high for those lucky enough to obtain these (Loyal Retainers is the card furthest to the right).
Pioneer Preconstructed Decks!
Featured here are the four different preconstructed decks available for Pioneer! It seems that many of the core cards needed for these Pioneer archetypes (Arclight Phoenix, Torrential Gearhulk, etc.) only have two copies in these decks. This should, therefore, offer a strong shell that can be leveled up with some investment.
The big news here is the presence of a banned card in the Izzet Phoenix list. Expressive Iteration was recently banned in Pioneer. That said, these decks are meant to be played out-of-box, so as long as this exact 75 is being piloted, you are allowed to run the two Expressive Iterations available in this deck. The same solution was used when Faceless Haven, a card banned in that was banned in Standard, was printed into a Mono-White structure deck. If you want to run a different list, there is no need to fret. Expressive Iteration still sees a massive amount of Modern play and still has a price tag on the secondary market as a result.
Game Night and Commander Intro Decks
Spoiled above are the full lists for the third iteration of the Game Night product, a set of five decks meant to play similarly to a board game which all feature one unique card in them. Some of the reprints for these decks are rather powerful.
Five new arts to some older faces have also been featured today. These cards will be the Commanders for the new Welcome Commander decks coming out soon. These are aimed at newer players who want to learn how to play the game through Magic’s most social format. This was a surprising addition to an already extensive lineup of spoilers.
More Explanations to Come!
This article is meant to be a quick survey of all the most essential things spoiled in the Wizards announcement that premiered today. There was a lot of artwork also spoiled that we didn’t feature, and a ton of events talked about on the calendar above that will be covered in more detail in a future article. That said, keep October Fourth marked on your Calendar because more Brothers’ War spoilers have been promised on that date! This looks like a fascinating era for MTG! As a parting note, take a look at these beautiful full-art Basic lands that showcase the incredible era of The Brothers’ War. You can also find more information on these spoilers here.