Pauper Set Review: The Brothers' War

Magic: the Gathering

Review

Pauper Set Review: The Brothers' War

11/06/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

The Brothers' War is the last release of 2022 for Pauper, and it brings some options to power certain strategies and even bring Tron back from the dead.

Writer image

By Romeu

Writer image

translated by Romeu

Edit Article
The new set, The Brothers' Warlink outside website, which arrives in players' hands on November 11th, during the Prerelease, and on the 18th on Online platforms, it will be the last release of 2022 for Pauper - a year in which several changes have taken place and the format, like the others, has received at least a few impactful additions to each set. In today's article, opening the Cards Realm review season, I present my analysis of what the new release brings to Pauper, and how its cards can impact the Metagame.

Ad

White

Loading icon
Recurring to creatures or lands from your graveyard coupled with a body is a relatively new effect in white's common slots, and while Airlift Chaplain's effect is limited, it's exclusive enough to deserve an honorable mention.
Loading icon
Deadly Riposte may not instantly destroy the creature like Swift Response does, but the attached lifegain may give it some sideboard slots if Mono Red Aggro grows any further.
Loading icon
Every new Standard set always comes with that card that deserves an honorable mention because of Mono White Heroic, and Loran's Escape is exactly that card, but I have a feeling there will be more room for that spell in Pioneer than in Pauper.
Loading icon
A cheap reanimation effect for low-cost creatures, and that even comes with a pump, is a great addition. Although it still doesn't have a home in the format today, Recommission has enough potential to create some absurd recursions alongside Archaeomancer and Ephemerate, even if more limited than Late to Dinner.
Loading icon
A 4/4 for three mana isn't relevant enough in 2022 Pauper, where we cast Myr Enforcer in a Midrange for less mana and/or have 3/3 and 5/5 creatures with Ward 2 for cheaper than that. If Warlord's Elite were a 5/5, maybe it would have some space within certain archetypes.

Blue

Loading icon
Fallaji Archaeologist makes an already very well-established archetype in Pauper — Dimir Terror — even better, and is most likely an automatic replacement for Augur of Bolas in this strategy and possibly others as well. The new blue two-drop feeds the graveyard and grows if you don't find something with its ability, and a 1/4 body blocks Monastery Swiftspear exceptionally, as well as surviving Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. While it doesn't offer that minimal pressure on an empty battlefield and doesn't interact on the "non-human" spectrum with Of One Mind, I suppose the card also deserves a slot in place of Augur of Bolas in some Faeries variants, and perhaps help establish Tolarian Terror's slot in that strategy. Overall, Fallaji Archaeologist looks like the best card from The Brothers' War for Pauper as it fits into one or more of the top lists in the competitive scene today, but it's not the set's most important addition to the format.
Loading icon
Honorable mention. Kenku Artificer does a relatively better effect for a lower cost and with the possibility to blink it with Ephemerate to create an army of artifact creatures, so there is no room for Mightstone's Animation today.
Loading icon
Third Path Savant is another infinite mana payoff and can be tutored with Drift of Phantasms in the Walls Combo. It probably doesn't do enough to be worth the slot, but deserves an honorable mention.
Loading icon
Weakstone's Subjugation is an interesting variant of the numerous "tap-lock" effects available in blue, which often have space on Mono Blue Faeries' sideboard. At first glance, the enchantment seems less punitive than Bind the Monster if you chump block, but less effective than Curse of Chains and the like on an empty battlefield. Might be worth trying it out on Leagues.

Ad

Black

Loading icon
Some players have mentioned Gixian Infiltrator as a card for Affinity due to its interaction with Makeshift Munitions and Krark-Clan Shaman, but it differs greatly from the role that previously belonged to Disciple of the Vault, with the main problem being that the combination between the two is

highly telegraphed

by the opponent, unless you have means to give haste to the attacker. Also, combining it with Krark-Clan Shaman opens up a very tenuous space for opposing interaction, as the creature will always have only 1 toughness even on an empty board, making it an easy target for blocks at Instant Speed ​​and/or any removal available in the opponent's hand. On the other hand, that doesn't make Gixian Infiltrator totally useless: it interacts wonderfully with Deadly Dispute and other available sac effects, and can grow beyond the opponent's control quickly, so just like the card above, it deserves a few tests in Leagues.
Loading icon
A removal that can cost up to a mana in creature-oriented decks deserves an honorable mention, though its inclusion on the list is counterintuitive to what these archetypes tend to pursue with their game plan.

Red

Loading icon
Bitter Reunion is an excellent combo card alongside Exhume and Ulamog's Crusher and/or any other reanimation-worthy permanent, as it offers both the discard enabler and a means to make your threat have an immediate impact. Unfortunately, it's likely not enough to make Reanimator a consistent and viable strategy in Pauper, but it's an important step in redundancy, as well as increasing the number of available slots in the list. In other scopes, Bitter Reunion interacts well with Flashback and other graveyard recursion effects alongside Kor Skyfisher, in addition to possibly allowing another variant that seeks to reanimate creatures inside a Midrange core.
Loading icon
Dwarven Forge-Chanter is a good balance in the recent pseudo-Kiln Fiends that has been coming out in the last year, like Festival Crasher, as a threat that protects itself better. As it grows with Prowess, there are pros and cons to its use as the creature punished interactions with a Shock, but Mono Red Blitz would rather win fast rather than safely, so I suppose there's no room for this new two-drop right now.
Loading icon
Goblin Blast-Runner is not the "Red Delver", but it does a good job of establishing pressure on strategies that want to sacrifice things for benefits. It's notoriously spectacular alongside Goblin Sledder, and perhaps helps Moggwarts create a more aggressive opening in their game plan, as well as being another decent one-drop alongside Kuldotha Rebirth in Mono Red Aggro, and maybe it's a good time to revisit the old red variants of Goblins with Goblin Grenade and the like.
Loading icon
For three mana, Raze to the Ground is probably not good on lists that resort to Cleansing Wildfire, and it also doesn't do enough to deserve a slot on the sideboards of other strategies against Affinity.

Ad

Green

Loading icon
Citanul Stalwart works like copies 5-8 of Jaspera Sentinel if needed on Elves, though it lacks the main quality of Kaldheim's one-drop: blocking faeries and bird tokens and surviving combat. It also works with artifacts to generate mana, so maybe there is some room for it somewhere.
Loading icon
There is a slang in Legends of Runeterra called "keyword soup", it refers to when you add several different abilities to your battlefield. Gaea's Gift is the perfect example of a keyword soup in Magic, as it not only gives a +1/+1 counter, it also grants four different abilities. This card looks more interesting for Standard than it does for Pauper today, but deserves an honorable mention for its qualities in a common slot.

Artifacts

Loading icon
Honorable mention as a creature you can draw directly from the graveyard. It might be worth a slot in Tortured Existence for guaranteeing one more recurring discard outlet, despite having a relatively high cost.
Loading icon
Boulderbranch Golem is solid enough as a Big Mana option to guarantee a big threat on the board coupled with some Lifegain. Its Prototype cost means casting it as early as turn 3, granting 3 life and a body to block. And if the player manages to cast it at full cost, 6 life is as impactful as a Pulse of Murasa while granting an equally large body to set the clock.
Loading icon
Fallaji Archaeologist isn't The Brothers' War's most important card to Pauper, only because Energy Refractor promises to be the most impactful piece of the set in the format. Prophetic Prism was banned from Pauper in January of this year for making it too easy to distribute colors without any concession in resources, especially for Tron, a Big Mana Control that won games through a hard lock, making it impossible for any other Control to exist, as well as predating on Midranges. What Energy Refractor offers is a Prophetic Prism made

exclusively

for Tron, as it's the only archetype willing to spend mana negatively to filter color combinations. If we look at other strategies that relied on the artifact, none of them other than Tron really need manafixing so much that they want to perform negative resource exchanges. Its plus, however, is that since it requires more mana to filter, Tron won't be able to do the absurd things it usually does in the first few turns, and even during the middle of the game - where it normally the archetype would dominate the Midranges — it might still have some problems with not having enough mana to do everything the player wants. On the other hand, as the game goes on, it becomes easier to abuse Energy Refractor, as they will have more Urza Lands available to filter colors. But if Tron returns, what does that mean for Pauper today? The Metagame looks far more hostile than it was in January: three of the top strategies today — Dimir Terror, Kuldotha Burn, and Affinity — manage to ignore Tron and/or play under it long enough to win the game, and the absence Bonder's Ornament is still a huge issue to maintain resource parity compared to other options like Ichor Wellspring or Experimental Synthesizer alongside Deadly Dispute. That is, Tron may come back, but the format seems to have changed enough to render it unable to dominate Pauper as it has in the past, and its rise could help put a cap on the Caw-Gates variants.

Ad

Loading icon
Honorable mention. Supply Drop is a reusable combat trick with Kor Skyfisher, Glint Hawk and Ghostly Flicker. Seems kind of expensive for three mana, but could be worth a slot or two on some lists in the future, maybe with a test run on Affinity.

Conclusion

The Brothers' War looks like a good release for Pauper. It brings some new features and effects to common card slots, includes a few pieces that can make a big difference in format but don't seem to have the potential to break it again, and also demonstrates a bit more boldness in the new set designs by Wizards. Thanks for reading!
Profile Main Image

Romeu

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

Social Facebook brands iconInstagram Brands iconTwitter Brands icon

Profile imageSign in and join the conversation
User profile image

Be the first to comment

Same Author

About Magic Burnout, Bank of America and our relationship with the game

Magic in 2022

About Magic Burnout, Bank of America and our relationship with the game

Bank of America's report highlighted the weariness and frustration that a portion of the c...

Standard: Five reasons for its Tabletop demise

Tabletop Standard

Standard: Five reasons for its Tabletop demise

The frequency of tabletop Standard games has dropped dramatically in the post-pandemic wor...

Explorer Review: 10 Best Cards from The Brothers' War

Explorer Top 10

Explorer Review: 10 Best Cards from The Brothers' War

In today's article, we take a look at the top ten cards from The Brothers' War for Magic A...

Pioneer Set Review: The Brothers' War

Pioneer Review

Pioneer Set Review: The Brothers' War

Today we will review the new set, The Brothers' War, for Pioneer, highlighting the cards w...

Card Highlight: Arcane Proxy on Pioneer and Modern

Arcane Proxy

Card Highlight: Arcane Proxy on Pioneer and Modern

Reminiscent of one of the most powerful cards of the last decade and interacting with zero...

More from same author

Most read articles today

Quiz: Which Secret Lair Product fits you best?

Quiz break!

Quiz: Which Secret Lair Product fits you best?

The Secret Lair sets brings some of the most beautiful and funny Magic products. Come find...

Top 10 Best Preconstructed Commander Decks

Top 10 Commander Precons

Top 10 Best Preconstructed Commander Decks

A Top 10 of the best preconstructed Commander decks ever released, ranked by Commander, Sy...

Upgrading Commander Precon:  Urza's Iron Alliance (Urza, Chief Artificer)

Upgrading Urza's Iron Alliance

Upgrading Commander Precon: Urza's Iron Alliance (Urza, Chief Artificer)

An analysis of The Brothers' War Commander Precon: Urza's Iron Alliance, the artifact them...

Upgrading Commander Precon: Mishra's Burnished Banner

Mishra's Commander Upgrade

Upgrading Commander Precon: Mishra's Burnished Banner

This is an analysis of the pre-constructed deck "Mishra's Burnished Banner", commanded by ...

The Brothers’ War: Ranking ALL Commanders from the set

All Commanders from BRO!

The Brothers’ War: Ranking ALL Commanders from the set

In today’s article we rank ALL 45 potential Commanders and their supplementing products! ...

Top 10 Weirdest and funniest Commanders in Magic

Top 10 Commanders

Top 10 Weirdest and funniest Commanders in Magic

In this Top 10 for Commander, we will see some of the most insane creatures with the weird...

Pauper Commander: Best cards from The Brothers' War

News for PDH

Pauper Commander: Best cards from The Brothers' War

Let's find out together what the new set offers us in terms of news for PDH, a format that...

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Izzet Phoenix

Izzet Phoenix Upgrades

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Izzet Phoenix

The Pioneer Challenger Decks 2022 are here! And today, we present a guide on how to improv...

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Dimir Control

Dimir Control Upgrades

Pioneer: Upgrading the Challenger Deck - Dimir Control

Despite the flaws in its winconditions and manabase, Dimir Control offers a solid base for...

X
Hi