Magic: The Gathering – 5 Tips For Drafting The Brothers’ War
The Brothers' War is the most interesting Magic: The Gathering Draft formats in a long time. Aside from the set's flavor focus on artifacts, Brothers' War introduces a number of other changes from your run-of-the-mill Magic set release, including providing every color access to mana ramp through the use of Powerstone tokens, a more aggressive playstyle for green, and more.
Suffice to say, Brothers' War shakes up the Draft scene in a manner we haven't witnessed since possibly the introduction of morph cards in Khans of Tarkir. Let's take a look at some of the ways you can cash in on the action of this exciting artifact based before competition knows what hit them.
5/5 Consider Building Mono-Color
Normally, you want to draft a minimum of two colors for your deck in virtually every draft you sit down to play. However, Brothers' War features 46 common and uncommon colorless artifact spells you can choose from to help fill your deck with the appropriate number of spells. Additionally, each color in Brothers' War has access to removal, ramp, and recursion at common rarity, meaning each color is capable of supporting a good deck all on its own.
Any frequent Draft player has encountered tens of games, if not more, where they were unable to draw their second mana source and ended up forfeiting the match as a result. Building mono-color secures you from having to deal with this risk. On top of that, many of the signpost uncommon gold cards that you would normally want to run two colors in order to field are not as impactful as they have been in other sets, so you won't lose too much by not picking them up. All that being said, splashing a second color for a bomb like Myrel, Shield of Argive or Sarinth Greatwurm is still well worth it.
4/5 Go Big
Another thing you might notice about Brothers' War are the exceedingly high mana costs attached to many of the cards, especially a number of colorless artifacts. This is likely to result in the format taking a "battlecruiser" sort of form, where decks rely on repeatedly playing huge threats in order to win. The high number of Powerstone tokens available to players in every color will give players access to high amounts of mana much earlier in the game than usual.
Consequently, decks featuring more big cards capable of taking advantage of these excessive amounts of mana are sure to fair better on the whole. High cost artifact cards should be favored over high cost nonartifacts due to Powerstone mana only being usable on artifact spells. In case you're not a fan of battlecruiser Magic, there is also the opportunity to build a super aggressive deck in red or green. However, these aggressive strategies won't be able to support as many players in a draft due to having a much more shallow card pool, so be sure that an aggressive deck is open before fully committing to it.
3/5 Artifacts Everywhere
As we've mentioned a couple of times now, artifacts are running rampant throughout the Brothers' War card pool. This has the effect of making artifact removal cards like Raze To The Ground and Disenchant much more valuable. Additionally, cards that rely on artifacts such as Mightstone's Animation become considerably better as well. While these kinds of cards would normally see niche play at best in a Draft environment, the exact opposite will be true in this set.
Prioritize filling your deck with cards that interact with artifacts over everything besides bombs and unconditional removal. A large number of the cards you'll need to interact with, especially at high mana costs, will be artifacts, so you'll want a deck that's prepared to handle them.
2/5 Graveyard Hate Matters
On top of bringing back the unearth mechanic, Brothers' War also features heavy graveyard themes in black and green, as well as a number of graveyard relevant cards in white as well. Many of the artifacts available to all colors also feature the previously mentioned unearth mechanic, allowing them to temporarily be returned from the graveyard to the battlefield.
All things considered, graveyard hate will be more useful in Draft than it has been in a long, long time. There's also a very small amount of it available, so keep your eyes open to take advantage of it when you can.
1/5 Unconditional Removal Is King
Looking at all of the recursion and big creatures going around in this set, there's no doubt that games will go longer than usual. A byproduct of this is that players will be able to field their bombs more frequently than in other formats. Consequently, unconditional removal capable of answering any threat becomes highly valuable. Spells like Static Net, Overwhelming Remorse, and Powerstone Fracture will retain their usefulness no matter how big of a creature your opponent manages to play.
Conventionally, removal is the most important thing for players to draft behind bombs. In this format, unconditional removal like the spells mentioned above are arguably more important to fill your deck with. With so much mana going around, these spells will allow you to outpace your opponent by making it possible for you to advance your own board state and deal with theirs at the same time.
The one thing to be wary of is spending your unconditional removal spells too early in the game. The reason you're drafting them more highly than bombs is to efficiently deal with all the high mana cost bombs floating around, so be sure to save them for their proper purpose.
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