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Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War Review: Early Beatdown

The Brother's War Good Cards

Wizards of The Coast has released the Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War on 18th November. Set in the plane of Dominaria, this box depicts the events of The Brothers’ War, where Urza and Mishra waged a great war against each other (obviously).

The Brother's War Box

To coincide with the launch, Wizards of The Coast had sent us a The Brothers’ War set booster box to unpack and review. We have engaged our in-house Magic: The Gathering consultant who shall not be named to collect our thoughts on this set booster.

What’s In The Box?

The Brother's War Unpacked

Like other set booster boxes, each box contains 30 packs of cards, of which each will contain 14 cards:

  • 1 art card
  • 1 basic land (15% chance of being foil)
  • 6 commons/ uncommons (different combinations possible, the most common is 4 commons and 2 uncommons)
  • 1 unique common/uncommon
  • 2 “wild cards” (any rarity from common to mythic)
  • 1 rare (13.5% chance of being a mythic)
  • 1 foil card
  • 1 marketing card/token (25% chance of being a card from The List)


The Brothers’ War brings a new game mechanic to the table with ‘Prototypes’, where you can cast artifact creatures as a ‘Prototype’ at a lower mana cost.

Prototype Cards

This gives you the flexibility to bring the artifact creatures early for a quick beatdown, or cast the bigger and badder version when you draw it later in the game where you should have more mana to spare.

For example, the full version of ‘Phyrexian Fleshgorger’ not only hits harder, but also gains you more life via lifelink, and is harder to remove because the ward cost grows with it.

Urza, Lord Protector

Urza Lord Protector

It would not be a The Brothers’ War set booster without getting one of the brothers: ‘Urza, Lord Protector’. As one of the main featured cards, one would expect a lot of synergy with the other cards in the box, and it does not disappoint.

We were lucky to have gotten the ‘Urza, Lord Protector’ card along with the corresponding Legendary Artifact ‘The Mightstone and Weakstone’. Urza, the more famous of the two brothers in the Brothers’ War, finally has a form that does his legend-among-legends status justice. He melds with ‘The Mightstone and Weakstone’, and becomes ‘Urza, Planeswalker’, just like the novels 24 years ago. Faithful adaptation indeed.

Urza Planeswalker

The back side, ‘Urza, Planeswalker’, is an absolute powerhouse. The amount of options and combination of loyalty abilities you can activate in a turn gives him the answer to any situation you can imagine. Also, you can ultimate on the second turn you get Urza. Your opponent(s) would just give up when it happens.

The front sides are nothing to scoff at, either. Urza reduces the cost of your artifacts, which is always welcome, and the ‘stones pretty much refund you their mana cost in value when they enter the battlefield.

Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim

Tefferi Temporal Pilgrim

Arguably the main character of The Brothers’ War story arc, Teferi observes the Brothers’ War from across time to study Urza and his manoeuvre that ended the war. Unlike previous iterations of Teferi, this one can create his own creature to block for him, giving him that much more board presence as a threat, because both he and his creature token grow as you draw cards.

Retro Frame Artifacts

Each pack contains at least one artifact from The Brothers’ War’s list of reprints. These are famous artifact cards from various points in the game’s 30 years history, and each card in that series had made an impact in some way in the past.

There will also be packs where the art is replaced by a “schematic” design, which captures the imagination of how these powerful artifacts came to be under the pen of a genius inventor lost to time.

Transformers Cards?

Transformers Cards

Don’t be alarmed when you find Transformers cards in your The Brothers’ War set booster packs! These are actual legitimate Magic cards. The Transformers cards can be played on the front side, or on their back side if you choose to pay the More Than Meets The Eye cost instead.

Every Transformer has different abilities on their two sides, and when a certain condition is fulfilled, they convert, which means you flip the card to the other side.

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Magic: The Gathering The Brothers' War Review: Early Beatdown 9

Our Verdict

That just about wraps up our review of The Brothers’ War set booster box. It hits many of the notes veteran Magic: The Gathering players will appreciate with its lore, and the ‘Prototype’ gameplay mechanic will stir up the Standard meta for a foreseeable future.

This set booster box is so good, that our in-house MTG consultant had to snag another box in hopes of getting the ‘Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia’ card.

Written By

Part-time gamer, writer, & full time weird coffee person.

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