Magic: the Gathering


Pauper Commander: Best cards from The Brothers' War

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Let's find out together what the new set offers us in terms of news for PDH, a format that has been growing a lot in the last few months!

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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The last Standard set of the year is coming! Developed for the Standard format, it's The Brothers' Warlink outside website.

Not always the T2 sets bring as many good cards for the common card formats like Pauper, which is the format which our Pauper Commander springs out of, but it's a fact that this set brought some additions that deserve to be quoted - and that's what we'll do in this article.


The Brothers' War brings many card possibilities and a new mechanic: prototype, which allows you to have a smaller creature for a smaller cost. In my opinion it's worth it to use them, of course there aren't that many creatures, so maybe you won't be able to have a deck with a completely prototype strategy, but it's possible to make good use of it.


If you have a reanimate deck, for instance, and a prototype card is in your graveyard, you can return it with some kind of direct reanimate to the battlefield (bring the most expensive version of the card). The same goes for blink effects.

Highlighted Common Cards

This Set came filled to the brim with interesting commons that are worth a try and can even see play - especially because Pauper Commander is independent of Pauper, which it springs out of, for the fact you use common cards in your deck (except for Commander).

But it's to the PDH's advantage to use those cards that Pauper wouldn't use, besides the ones that would end up forgotten and becoming cheaper.

Cycle of cards that mill

It is nice to highlight that this set has a cycle of cards that mill, that is, they put cards from the top of the deck in the graveyard. In this cycle it's a card of each color, as we can see below:

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The White card in this cycle is Airlift Chaplain, with it we open up the possibility to ramp or a card select which in white is very hard to find.

As for the Blue card, it's a Fallaji Archaeologist, which ends up placing a card that isn't a creature nor a land in your hand. People have been referring to it as the new enhanced Augur of Bolas, as it could get 1/4. I wouldn't say it is better than Augur, but it really is a nice card for its cost.

The Black one is Ravenous Gigamole. In this case, it differs from white because it is a creature regardless of its cost. Here we could observe a deck with graveyard interaction such as Delve, and you will still get a 2/3 creature.

Tomakul Scrapsmith, the red one, also mills 3 when it comes in and you will place an artifact among them in your hand and it can work for decks such as metalcraft or with Affinity. For artifact based decks, this card can be very good due to the fact it grabs an artifact among these 3.

And to finish this cycle of grinding cards, we have Blanchwood Prowler, which mills 3 when it comes in and you will place a land among them in your hand, which also differs from the white card which just places Plains, grabbing any type of lands, regardless if it's basic or not.

An important piece of information is that for all of them, if you don't get any of the mill cards, you can place a +1/+1 marker on a creature and depending on the deck, if you have a good color combination, it helps a lot. That can be very useful due to the synergies between ETB and flicker.

The player can choose to focus their deck on mill, on the graveyard interaction or on the fact that you need the graveyard to do anything. But you can also use this card as a resource, or to speed up a Tolarian Terror, Gurmag Angler or even Treasure Cruise. It's your choice.

Other Commons

We can notice that maybe more cards than there are in this article come to be useful in the future, but for now these that I found and we're about to see next, I consider the most relevant.


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This 2 cost white creature, besides flying, has flash, an ability that allows it to go into the battlefield at any moment.

Though it is weak, just a 1/2, it has this ability that depending on the moment of the game in which you are it can be a good finisher, its activated ability that costs five mana and doesn't need the creature to be tapped, so it can be activated in the moment it needs to come in and all their creatures have +1/+1 till the end of the turn. It can be considered a card that can be used to finish one or more opponents.

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When Argothian Opportunist comes in, the player creates a Power Stone. Power Stone is an artifact with a mana ability, which taps to add one colorless mana, and this mana can't be used to cast cards that aren't artifacts.

So the player will end up filling their board with Power Stones, and if they are using cards that sacrifice artifacts, metalcraft or even Affinity, it will match the deck really well. Besides also having a nice synergy relationship with strategies that use artifacts in general.

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From my point of view of a Pauper player, this is one of the best cards that came out in this set, even more so because I am a self-titled Tron player for more than five years, only in Pauper, and it's the new Prophetic Prism that players needed!

As for our format, Energy Refractor can be considered more like a card because it's just a filter, of course the card advantage that it will give you just from coming in and drawing a card is very good.

And if you have a deck that creates a lot of manas, with just a few resources to filter, it is an excellent choice, as it is possible for you to pay to filter and not need tapping the card.

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This magic, besides placing a +1/+1 counter, will make a creature get reach, trample, magic resistance and indestructible till the end of the turn. So it's four things in just one card.

It serves both to attack and to defend in a strategy or some advance, protect a combo piece, besides the fact that putting a marker is great, of course, so we can conclude that it's five effects in one card.

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This 2 cost creature is a 2/1 human, being able to be used in decks with aristocrats, and as we are all well aware, many in the black color are also matched with green and red. And every time you sacrifice another permanent it will place the +1/+1 marker on this creature, which can be very good.

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It might be interesting as it costs one generic mana less for each creature that you have in your graveyard. Its effect is to exile target creature, and that's a big differential, as it can go around indestructible creatures.

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This is a new thing for the common card format, as it cannot be annulled. Pay close attention to that, it will destroy an artifact, if its cost is one or less you will draw a card – which can replace the card in your hand with a certain ease.


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It might be one of the best ones, if not the best, common card in this set because its effect when compared to its cost is beyond what is considered good.

Let's put it this way, it is a card that comes from the graveyard directly to the battlefield, so it is a very powerful reanimate as it only costs 2 and it doesn't only targets one creature, you can get an artifact, something that makes all the difference.

Even more so considering this format in which artifacts are very important not only as a strategy, but also to give base to certain plays, combos, etc.

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There's another cycle that's coming up with this set, similar to Urza's lands, but they are artifact creatures, and here we have first Mine Worker. When it's tapped, it gains one health point and if it controls creatures with the name Power Plant Worker and Tower Worker, it will gain three instead of just one.

Playing them in Tron Pauper has absolutely no chance, probably zero to none, but in Pauper Commander I think they might come in very well, depending on the strategy you're planning to use.

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Just like Mine, Power Plant Worker is also a creature that will only cost five colorless mana. You can pay for its activated ability which doesn't need to be tapped, then you pay three and it will give you +2/+2 until the end of the turn if you control two other Worker creatures. You can opt to place two markers on Power Plant Worker instead and it can activate only once per turn.

As it doesn't tap for its ability, you can activate and attack with it later!

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To finish all 3 Worker cycle cards. Slightly limiting Urza's lands, Tower costs 3, it's a 1/1, has reach, can be tapped to create one colorless mana and if you control the Mine and Power Plant, it will create three mana instead.

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Outside the basic ones, this was the only land viable. It is a bit poor for the format, honestly. Of course it will be used, but we could've had a cycle, we could've had a reprint of some cycle or even a new one, and unfortunately it didn't happen.

Possible Commanders - Uncommon Cards

Maybe some of you readers won't agree with me, but I didn't find this set particularly rich in Commander production. I really expected a set with a bigger number of Uncommon cards for this format, but unfortunately it disappointed me a bit, as I'd have really liked to see some 3 color uncommon creatures.

But we have a few good options and at the end of our analysis there's a small list, prepared with care for readers.

Alloy Animist

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This is one of the best options for a green deck that takes advantage of artifacts and can still be aggressive. For its colors, it can ramp really well too.

The 4/4 creatures can make a big difference when it's combat time.

Hero of the Dunes

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Another card with artifact interaction, and here we can observe a really different effect from that we are used to seeing in this format, returning an artifact from the graveyard directly onto the board.


The possibilities are countless: aristocrats with artifact creatures, and we can even use Kor Skyfisher to return the Commander to the hand, besides Ephemerate.

Recruitment Officer

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This Commander ends up being worth the entire set: it only costs 1, it has the possibility of being protected by last standard set's shields, Streets of New Capenna, such as Boon of Safety, and even though it is fragile, because of its defense, its activated ability makes up for everything, as it doesn't need to be tapped.

It's a pity white doesn't have rituals or many mana sources, but we can make up for that with some different land sources to try and speed up its ramp, such as Commander's Sphere, Arcane Signet, Bonder's Ornament, among others with this double role.

Its ability speeds up something which is already quite fast, an aggressive deck full of creatures, as it is a 4 card creature select, which is worth much more than a draw.

Urza, Powerstone Prodigy

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With this Commander, it can solve many of the "too many mana generation" problems that mono blue faces, as just like white, it doesn't have rituals or mana sources that aren't lands.

We can craft a deck focused on artifacts and synergies with them, artifact creatures with cards to lift them from the graveyard, due to its ability, such as Archaeomender. Another good option is to build a deck with a lot of equipments.

Yotian Tactician List

As we always do, we have a list in this article!

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The Yotian deck has a very clear strategy, being a soldier and equipment tribal. The deck also counts with annulments to help protect your game plan, and explores triggered abilities when a creature comes on board, the ETBs.

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Final Thoughts

This set at first glance didn't bring cards of an exceptional level, but I can say we players will know really well how to build a deck using some of the new stuff we have seen here.

Keep an eye out for the next articles!