Legacy Set Review: The Brothers' War

Magic: the Gathering

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Legacy Set Review: The Brothers' War

10/11/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

Today, let's analyze how The Brothers' War impacts Legacy!

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By Eltinho

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translated by Romeu

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revised by Tabata Marques

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It's time to look at what #mtgbro brings to Legacy! Based on the story originally told in Magic's second expansion, Antiquities, The Brothers' War promises to bring a set focused on artifacts and the story between Urza and Mishra that annihilated much of Dominaria and eventually spawned the Ice Age. As it is not possible to review everything (cards are more focused on Limited or Standard), let's go to what, I believe, has relevance for the format:

White

Calamity's Wake

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Some cards are what I like to call a broad spectrum answer. They aren't particularly effective at what they do, but they cover more area than specific hate cards, which can be valuable when you want to save sideboard space. Calamity's Wake is both a graveyard hate and an answer to combo decks like Storm (in the case of decks like Oops, All Spells — both) and while not a bomb like Leyline of the Void or Surgical Extraction, its flexibility has to be considered.

Loran of the Third Path

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It appears to be a card made with Death and Taxes in mind: it is tutorable with Recruiter of the Guard, offers a better answer for artifacts and enchantments than Cathar Commando, interacts well with Karakas and the activated ability is quite useful (when activated at the end of the turn, you have more opportunity to generate value with the resource than your opponent), especially if combined with Spirit of the Labyrinth. Eventually, someone will lose the game to this ability being activated in response to a Thassa's Oracle trigger and will be pretty mad!

Myrel, Shield of Argive

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Four mana is at the limit of what is tolerable for the format, but with an effect similar to Teferi, Time Raveler, Myrel might have what it takes to see play in Legacy. Its triggered ability can get out of control quickly, especially when you remember that both Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Recruiter of the Guard are Soldiers as well.

Soul Partition

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An instant removal for any kind of nonland permanent, however temporary, is something to consider. It is particularly effective against Tokens, such as Marit Lage, or cards cheated too soon, such as Reanimator. It's a Tempo card and in a format as fast as Legacy, that might be enough.

Blue

Defabricate

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Similar to Calamity's Wake: it's not efficient like Stifle, it's not efficient like Annul, but it does what they both do and that opens up options for decks that want to address these specific problems.

Forging the Anchor

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3 mana for a spell that doesn't affect the board is a high price to pay in Legacy, but the ability to draw 3 or more cards is tempting. A deck like 8-Cast plays with more than 30 artifacts, so the odds of hitting 3 or more cards are over 50%.

Hurkyl, Master Wizard

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Hurkyl basically gives double value to your cantrips, as playing it and casting either Ponder or Brainstorm in the same turn will trigger the ability at the end of your end step and generate more cards for your hand. It might interest some Control deck.

Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim

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It's not easy to play a 5 mana Planeswalker in Legacy, if even the absurd Jace, the Mind Sculptor has a hard time seeing play for 4. But the point here is that this version of Teferi has the potential to get out of control quickly: a simple Brainstorm already sends its Loyalty sky-high. If there's any format with the ability to see this beast activate the 3rd ability fast, it's Legacy.

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Black

Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor

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If played on-curve, Gix can enable the draw of an obscene number of cards and if he survives, and its second ability can win the game on-spot. But that's a lot of 'ifs' for a creature that dies for Lightning Bolt. It seems to be better suited for formats with a weaker power level.

Red

Brotherhood's End

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Fiery Confluence is a card strong enough to see play for 4 mana, so there is room for a less versatile version for 1 less mana. The fact that this spell hits Planeswalkers can also be a huge difference.

Feldon, Ronom Excavator

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A buddy made for aggressive decks that offers a Ponder if it takes a Lightning Bolt? Feldon can be an interesting addition to decks like Burn.

Mishra's Command

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Probably too slow to see play, but the flexibility of this card catches my eye. If it were Green, I think it would be an easy addition to Cloudpost decks.

Green

Sarinth Steelseeker

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In an as-yet-nonexistent Green deck with a generous amount of 0- or 1-cost artifacts, this creature can supply your hand with lands at the same time as it prepares the graveyard for recursion.

Multicolored

Third Path Iconoclast

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Young Pyromancer lost space in Izzet decks, but could a version that can be used as fuel for Force of Will be what was missing to see boards full of tokens in the strongest deck of the format? If banning occurs on the deck, especially on Murktide Regent, this is a path the deck can go down again.

Artifact

Haywire Mite

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One mana artifacts are always worth considering when Urza's Saga is involved. This bug offers the possibility for Saga to seek a removal for problematic permanents even in Game 1 and one cannot rule out the possibility of using it as a chump block that gains life in games against the clock set by aggressive decks. It's worth remembering that even the Mono Blue artifact decks can activate its ability with Lotus Petal or Mox Opal.

Mishra's Research Desk

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The Urza's Saga consideration goes for this artifact here as well (the irony of using Urza to fetch a card from Mishra is great). Searching this desk opens the possibility of looking at 4 cards and “drawing” 2 of them. Although Aether Spellbomb is usually used for its ability to return problems to the opponent's hand, it eventually ends up being tutored for the extra card. The remark about Lotus Petal or Mox Opal above applies to this card as well.

Portal to Phyrexia

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All is Dust is usually the massive removal of Cloudpost decks, but this monstrosity here is an attention-grabbing alternative: it's both a Board Wipe and a Win Condition on one card. For those who are hardcasting Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, 9 mana is a joke.

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The Stone Brain

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This is a common effect on Black (and in some ways, even colorless, through Surgical Extraction's Phyrexian mana). What we have here is the possibility of hitting some combo decks in colorless, coincidentally at a mana cost that fits perfectly with Sol lands (Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors). Decks like Lands, particularly vulnerable to some combos, can resort to this artifact to dodge problems, not least because they can easily activate it on turn 2 (either with Mox Diamond or with Exploration to have 4 lands and do everything at once on turn 2).

Conclusion

Here I end this review for The Brothers' War, If you thought I missed out on something that could impact Legacy, leave a comment. Thanks for reading!
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Eltinho

Two-time Brazilian Magic runner-up, World Top 4 by teams in 2006, Red Prison enthusiast in Legacy and "Tip the Scales" in Hearthstone.

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