Preview season for upcoming Magic: the Gathering set The Brothers’ War has officially begun! Read on to find out more about the upcoming set, its new and returning mechanics, card treatments, and spoilers.

The newest Magic set The Brothers’ War is officially starting its preview season. In anticipation of the release of the upcoming set, the official Magic: the Gathering YouTube channel recently held a stream discussing what to expect from the new set.

New and Returning Mechanics

The Brothers’ War has two new mechanics. The first of the new mechanics coming to the set is called Prototype. Flavor-wise, Prototype is meant to show earlier iterations of the war machines built for the conflict between Urza and Mishra.  Mechanically, Prototype is an alternate cost that can be used to cast some artifact creatures. A card cast with Prototype will have reduced power and toughness, but will retain all of its other keywords and types. Casting a card for its Prototype cost may also affect other characteristics, such as its color. The other new mechanic is Powerstone tokens. First seen in Dominaria United with Karn, Living Legacy and The Mana Rig, Powerstone tokens add one colorless mana that cannot be used to cast non-artifact spells. However, they can be used for other situations, such as casting artifact spells, paying for alternate and mandatory costs, and paying costs for activated or triggered abilities. In terms of flavor, these powerstones represent what was used to fuel the mechanical creations of those involved in the war.

The set will also bring back two older mechanics. The first one is Unearth. First seen in Shards of Alara as the signature Grixis mechanic, Unearth is a graveyard-based mechanic that allows cards to be cast from a graveyard for a cost. Those permanents will then return to the battlefield with haste and will be exiled at the beginning of the next end step or if it would leave the battlefield. The other returning mechanic is Meld. First introduced in Eldritch Moon, Meld is a keyword action that appears on pairs of cards. If a player owns and controls the proper pair of cards, they will be instructed to turn both of those cards onto their back sides and merge them into one oversized card. There are three pairs of Meld cards for this set. We previously saw the Urza, Lord Protector/The Mightstone and Weakstone pairing along with the Mishra, Claimed by Gix/Phyrexian Dragon Engine pairing. Now, we know what the third pairing is: Titania, Voice of Gaea/Argoth, Sanctum of Nature. These meld cards are meant to show the most prominent characters in the war at the height of their powers.

The Commander Decks

As with other recent releases, The Brothers’ War will come with its own commander decks. The commander decks are meant to represent the conflict between the two brothers, who both serve as the face commanders of their respective decks. Both decks act as mirrors of each other in terms of flavor; while Urza‘s deck focuses more on filling the battlefield with several artifact creatures (“going wide”), Mishra‘s deck wants to create a single large artifact creature (“going tall”) and make use of noncreature artifacts. Aside from that, their power and toughness numbers are mirrors of one another. To add to the theme of going back to the past, all cards in both decks will feature cards printed with the old frame. This will include the face commander cards, reprints, new cards, and even the lands.

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Previews and Card Treatment

As with other preview streams, this stream gave us some previews for cards that will appear in the set. For the main set, we can expect to see different versions of both Urza and Mishra, with each version of the brothers getting progressively stronger (and rarer) to represent their rise to power during the war. We now also have cards for characters who were previously just mentioned in other card names and flavor text, including Hurkyl and Gix. The planeswalker Teferi will receive another planeswalker card for this set.

The remaining four painlands that were not printed in Dominaria United will be reprinted for the set. Basic lands for this set will also receive a full-art “mech” treatment that showcases locations and the war machines that were used in the war.

Lastly, there is a list of artifact cards called the Retro Artifacts associated with The Brothers’ War. Similar to the Strixhaven Mystical Archive, these Retro Artifacts are a curated list of non-Standard artifact cards from throughout Magic’s history that will appear in every draft, set, and collector booster for this set. Also, like the Mystical Archive, these reprints will only be legal in formats where they are currently legal, and they have an influence on the Limited environment for the set. The cards in this series will receive three different treatments: one version in the retro frame, a second version in the retro frame but with blueprint schematics, and a third version with blueprint schematics and a serial number. Cards with the third treatment will receive double-rainbow foiling and will only appear in collector boosters.

Important Dates

Prerelease for The Brothers’ War will begin on November 11. The set will then be made available for Magic: the Gathering Arena and Magic Online on November 15. Lastly, the full set will release to tabletop on November 18. Commander parties for the set will be held from December 16 to 18.

As part of the celebration of Magic’s 30th anniversary, players who participate in a prerelease for the set may get promo card versions of Wall of Roots, Wood Elves, Windfall, and Loyal Retainers (in simplified Chinese).

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