Magic: The Gathering: The Brothers' War Preview Season Kicks Off!
Hello and welcome, all players, collectors, and other fans of Magic: The Gathering, the premier collectible trading card game designed, developed, and produced by Wizards of the Coast! By the time you read this, the stream officially kicking off The Brothers' War, the newest upcoming expansion set for Magic, will have concluded, an ephemeral memory lost to time (and the archives on Twitch.tv/magic and YouTube, we suppose). Fortunately, we too have a piece of that history in our own hands in the form of many of the card previews from the stream. Let's look at them all!
Urza and Mishra's Conflict Unfolds Like New
In The Brothers' War, the story of the warring brothers Urza and Mishra will unfold before our very eyes, seemingly even newer than the story itself. In fact, the story of the set was chronicled in Antiquities, Magic's second expansion set, back in 1994. However, Antiquities detailed archaeologists and researchers finding the story for themselves a long time after the war transpired. This set shows the war as it is happening.
As Dominaria lay under threat of destruction at the greasy, metallic hands of the New Phyrexians, Karn has been abducted and the one hope the Multiverse had to destroy Phyrexia, a reproduction of the Golgothan Sylex (an ancient artifact that decimated a large part of Dominaria long ago), has been destroyed and rendered completely inert. However, the Planeswalker Saheeli Rai has replicated the Sylex once again – only without instructions for its use. Therefore, the proclaimed Master of Time, the Zhalfirin Planeswalker Teferi Akosa, has offered to risk everything to go back in time – something he had vowed never to do again – and learn how to use the Sylex from the source: The Planeswalker known as Urza.
This set takes us through the lives of Urza and his brother, Mishra, both apprentices to the artificer Tocasia. The brothers find an even older relic known as tha Powerstone, and, squabbling over who should have it, break it into two uneven parts: The Mightstone and the Weakstone. Urza takes the Mightstone for himself and relegates the Weakstone to Mishra (perhaps in a twisted version of fairness).
Years later, Urza has become the prince of the kingdom of Kroog, while Mishra has sullied himself with the Cult of Gix, a Phyrexian insurgency (note that here we are discussing the metal hellscape of the original Phyrexia – Yawgmoth's Phyrexia). The two, through all manner of events, wage war on each other, still for control of the whole Powerstone they'd broken apart years before, but with entire regions of the plane of Dominaria at stake this time. Each artificer proliferates their war machine output and, frankly, nearly destroys Dominaria in the process.
Some background for the above mechanic: Prototype is an all-new mechanic for Magic: The Gathering. Normally, you can cast cards like Phyrexian Fleshgorger for its normal mana cost and have it come in with its normal power and toughness (here shorthanded to "size"). However, if you wanted to bring it onto the battlefield sooner, you could pay its prototype cost as an alternate cost and have it come in with a different mana cost entirely, a different color, and a different size. It'll still have all of its abilities, however, which makes the mechanic quite versatile.
What of the other mechanics involved in The Brothers' War? Let us show you. For starters, the new mechanics from the set are Prototype and the use of Powerstone tokens, as shown on Urza, Powerstone Prodigy. The returning mechanics are Unearth, originally from Shard of Alara and the associated sets from its block…
…And Meld, originally from Eldritch Moon. You've no doubt seen the two Meld iterations of Urza and Mishra, but there is a third Meld pair to be released in The Brothers' War. Here is Titania, Voice of Gaea, and her Meld pair in Argoth, Sanctum of Nature:
And, here's what they meld into:
There are plenty of other previews to come of The Brothers' War, so stay tuned for more of those. In the meantime, what do you think about this new Magic: The Gathering expansion? Are you excited to see a ton of new cards representing some of the oldest named characters in the game's story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to watch this space on November 1st!