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Sneak Peak: MTG The Brothers’ War

We got our first look Thursday at what’s coming up in Magic: the Gathering’s next major set, The Brothers’ War.  Wizards is hitting the ground running with spoilers, showing off not only a nifty Urza that melds with an artifact to become a supersized planeswalker but also some slick retro The Brothers’ War Commander cards and alternate art treatments.  This is just a teaser ahead of the big reveals we’re expecting from Hasbro Pulse on October 2 and Magic30 October 28-30.  And what a teaser it is.

Let's take a look!

First up is the man himself, Urza.  This is only one of apparently several cards featuring Urza, and it’s a doozy.  He starts off innocently enough as a three drop 2/4 that discounts artifact, instant and sorcery spells by one colorless mana.  The back of the card is ominous, and foreshadows what happens when you pay 7 to meld with a card called The Mightstone and Weakstone.

The Mightstone and Weakstone itself costs 5 colorless to play, which Urza himself reduces to 4.  That boils down to a whopping 14 mana for The Brothers’ War’s first spoiled planeswalker.  Urza, Planeswalker has FIVE loyalty abilities and melds out with 7 loyalty to start.  Not terrible, given how fast mana ramp can happen in Commander.  Oh, and you can activate his loyalty abilities twice on your turn.  That means you can +2 twice, and then ult him on the next turn.  Doing the +2 twice doesn’t make much sense, since  the mana discount won’t stack, but if your goal is to board wipe, the option is there.

Okay, but what about EDH?

We also got the first hint of what’s in store for The Brothers’ War Commander.  Wizards dropped the bomb that two of the commanders will be the Brothers themselves, Urza and Mishra.  What’s more, each card in The Brothers’ War Commander comes with the retro frames we first encountered back in Timespiral Remastered.  For fans of the retro border treatment, there are sure to be plenty of Commander staples coming out of The Brothers’ War Commander decks.

But what about the shinies?

As part of their ongoing “something for everyone” strategy, Wizards is also providing tasty chase cards in the form of retro frame artifacts and retro frame schematic-style artifacts.  The first time we saw this schematic style art was in bonus cards in the Secret Lair Drop series.  While these aren’t the same cards (that we know of), this WILL give more players and collectors access to this unique treatment.  As if that weren’t enough though, some of these artifacts are going to have special foiling and a serial number.  There will only be 500 of each of these “double rainbow” foil cards printed.  This is another thing we first encountered in Secret Lair bonus cards – the numbered limited run of deliberately “misprinted” mirrored Viscera Seer.  While it’s new to Magic in The Brothers’ War, it’s nothing novel in collectable cards in general.

Don’t worry, Wizards assures us that the schematic artifacts will also be available in their regular forms in booster packs of all flavors.  The serial cards will be a flex, but for those of us who don’t care about style so long as a card is sleeve playable and tournament legal, they’ll just be a spiffy extra bit of excitement to look forward to when we crack packs.

And this is only the beginning!

We’re going to have a lot more coming up on Game Talk Network in the coming weeks as we move into The Brothers’ War spoiler season, so keep checking back here and tune in to the MTG Rundown for more!

About the Author
Silver has been playing Magic: The Gathering and other trading card games off and on since 1999, and is a lifelong roleplayer. They believe in Rule 0 and The Rule of Cool, and that the gaming table should be a safe space for everyone.

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