Explorer Review: 10 Best Cards from The Brothers' War

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Explorer Review: 10 Best Cards from The Brothers' War

11/12/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

In today's article, we take a look at the top ten cards from The Brothers' War for Magic Arena's Explorer format!

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By Romeu

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translated by Romeu

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Closing my participation in the review season of The Brothers' Warlink outside website, today we will analyze the main cards of the new set for Explorer, Magic Arena's format that uses the same rules of legality and banned list as Pioneer. In case you want a complete review for Pioneer, I wrote my full review herelink outside website. Today, we're going to cover the ten cards that, I believe, are the most important for the Explorer Metagame and/or that contribute the most to its eventual transition to Pioneer.

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10 - Misery's Shadow

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Misery's Shadow is a maindeck hate against Cauldron Familiar + Witch's Oven variants, despite its notorious vulnerability against Claim the Firstborn. Its mana sink ability is useful longer games, which can make it a good choice for Midranges, as Nantuko Shade once was for Extended and Legacy.

9 - Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim

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The new Teferi enters the ninth place in the Top 10 because, despite not having a specific home for him today and Control strategies are low in Explorer, he is well-designed and manages to dominate a game on his own due to the natural growth of his loyalty. In addition, the tokens produced by him grows with each draw you have, making it an interesting option for Control or even some Big Mana strategies that want to capitalize on extra draws with mana sink abilities, such as Keruga Fires or some Go Big archetype with Yorion, Sky Nomad. If you wish to read a more in-depth analysis of Planeswalker, it was one of our highlightslink outside website this season.

8 - Obstinate Baloth

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Obstinate Baloth is an excellent answer to Liliana of the Veil, which is present in most Black-Based Midranges, and a 4/4 body that offers 4 life for 4 mana is not so bad as to not be worth some Maindeck or Sideboard slots on archetypes like Golgari or Abzan Midrange, as not only it trades positively against some threats, but also help to hold some Aggro in Best of One. The only problem is that for four mana a player can choose between Obstinate Baloth, Siege Rhino, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet or Sheoldred, the Apocalypse in these slots, and the newest reprint is the least impactful among them.

7 - Brotherhood's End

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Brotherhood's End works well against Rakdos Midrange in addition to the go-wide Aggro, as it deals with Bonecrusher Giant, Bloodtithe Harvester, Graveyard Trespasser and Liliana of the Veil with a single card. It isn't bad against Sacrifice lists either, so it's likely to make it into the Sideboards at Best of Three and maybe even have some maindeck space Best of One.

6 - Go for the Throat

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Go for the Throat's reprint in an environment that is not currently prevalent for artifact creatures makes it likely the best black removal in Explorer after The Brothers' War release, as its restrictions are less comprehensive than Heartless Act and less punitive than Infernal Grasp. It is likely that any archetype that runs one of the two removals mentioned above will adopt it as the main two mana removal.

5 - Diabolic Intent

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Diabolic Intent could be in a better position in the Top 10 as, in a vacuum, it is one of the strongest cards in the new set. However, if we look at Explorer's context, the format lacks lists and archetypes that genuinely care about sacrificing a creature to fetch a key card from the deck.

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Jund Citadel doesn't perform as well in Explorer yet and remains low, Enigmatic Fires doesn't want to lose creatures to fetch one of its key pieces since it has better options in that regard, and Abzan Greasefang doesn't have cards like Satyr Wayfinder to increase the number of creatures in the list to give consistency to the idea of ​​using the tutor to fetch Greasefang, Okiba Boss, and the other combos present in the format today don't run as many creatures either. That is, Diabolic Intent is a powerful spell, but it doesn't seem to have a home in Explorer today.

4 - Recruitment Officer

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Recruitment Officer is an efficient one-drop for Humans and, if they succeed, Soldiers. Its mana sink ability makes it never a bad topdeck, while its permanence on the battlefield can be detrimental to the opponent after a sweeper. Also, a 2/1 for a mana still does a good job of dealing the initial damage and/or generating triggers for Thalia's Lieutenant, while a targeted removal on it can be a waste in the first few turns, which can grant its controller at least one activation of its ability over the course of the game.

3 - Painlands

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The Painlands cycle is now complete in Explorer as well, including Brushland and Battlefield Forge, two essential pieces for more aggressive archetypes in the format, such as Boros Heroic and the various Selesnya variants with Collected Company. Underground River and Llanowar Wastes are also important additions to the format and may appear in their respective strategies, but they don't seem so crucial as to be mandatory additions to lists.

2 - Monastery Swiftspear

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Coming as a pleasant surprise, Pioneer's staple, Monastery Swiftspear will be reprinted in The Brothers' War, making it available in Explorer. The winners of its arrival in the format are mainly the aggressive archetypes that seek to capitalize on the games in the Best of One, especially Boros Heroic, Mono Red and Izzet Prowess (which also received Third Path Iconoclast), and an increase in them can be expected in the environment that favors Aggro. On the other hand, these decks have been down on both Pioneer and Explorer in recent weeks due to the prominence of Midrange, and in an environment where sideboards exist, it's much easier to prepare to play against these matchups with incidental lifegain and sweepers, while their adaptation is smaller and less consistent. That is, Monastery Swiftspear gives fresh air to Explorer's Aggro decks, but the Best of Three environment is still hostile to them as long as the Midranges are not put in check by some archetype that seeks to play over them, as seems to be the case with Keruga Fires lately.

1 - Phyrexian Fleshgorger

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Phyrexian Fleshgorger is perhaps the most impactful card in The Brothers' War for Pioneer and Explorer, but it will take some time to be sure of that statement. In the digital format, where we still don't have Delve Spells and Arclight Phoenix isn't as impactful, the Phyrexian machine seems to be a step ahead of Graveyard Trespasser, as it offers better trades against Aggro while protecting itself well.

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Another central part of the new creature is its interaction with blink effects and/or cards that return it to the battlefield, such as Malakir Rebirth, which bring it back to its original face instead of the prototype, granting you a 7/5 with Lifelink and Menace for one mana. This interaction might be lethal alongside Deadly Dispute or in response to a removal in the right strategy. With an excellent body for both attacking and blocking at a reasonable cost, added to a combo capable of winning games on its own and that its main competitor for the maindeck slots is not as effective in Explorer as it is in Pioneer, Phyrexian Fleshgorger is The Brothers' War's best card for the format.

Conclusion

That's all for today. If you have any card suggestions that can shine in Explorer and that you think deserve an honorable mention or even take the place of another card on the list, feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks for reading!
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Romeu

Journalism student, writer and translator for Cards Realm. Plays virtually every Magic: The Gathering competitive format and is a lifetime Final Fantasy fan.

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