The Brothers' War: Early Look

An Early look: The Brothers’ War

Chris CornejoStandard

Well, that was a busy September, wasn’t it? Dominaria United released, and then we went through two full preview seasons for the Warhammer 40K Commander decks and Unfinity. With those two supplemental products coming out soon, we finally have a chance to relax, take in everything and slowly look forward to…wait. Oh. Well. Never mind, time for The Brothers’ War

That’s right — we’ve already gotten the first full information blast about the next main set in the Magic storyline, and we’re here to round up all the information that’s already out there in one convenient place. So without further ado, let’s dive in! 

The Story 

We’ve covered the story leading up to Dominaria United, and even given odds on the fate of the various planeswalkers involved. The Brothers’ War picks up right where DMU left off, with Teferi somehow opening up a portal to the past in order to try and figure out how to work Karn’s Sylex, rebuilt by Saheeli.  

Teferi stands against giant mechs in Dominaria’s past | Provided by Wizards of the Coast

Now, the full scope of the story of the actual Brothers’ War forms the backbone of early Magic lore and is a rather expansive tragedy with lots of moving parts. The story of The Brothers’ War the set looks to touch upon a lot of those characters and events, but will mostly follow Teferi and company’s efforts to find a way to deal with the Phyrexians back in their own time — likely by trying to find Urza and figure out the Sylex. 

My personal hope is that Urza, through this multi-set story arc, comes to “modern” times and takes his place as the new main villain of Magic after either helping defeat the Phyrexians…or by taking them over and leading them. 

Urza, if you dig into his history, was not the best person, to put it mildly. And an Urza reaching the height of his powers just as his Planeswalker spark ignites inside of him, flush with victory over his brother Mishra and Gix (the then leader of the Phyrexians), untempered by the later events of his life would be a fearsome foe indeed. 

That’s especially true considering that Urza, in this state, is a Pre-Mending Planeswalker, when that power was even more potent than it is now. He’s basically a demigod. 

The Set 

However, that’s all speculation. Here’s what we do know about the set.

There will be three meld cards in total — so, actually six cards in three pairs of two. Unless there’s a new wrinkle on meld that allows for more than two cards to meld into something, but for now we’ll assume it’s the same meld we’ve seen before. 

We know the first two sets of meld cards, and what they meld into: Urza, Lord Protector and The Mightstone and Weakstone combine into Urza, Planeswalker, showing the moment of Urza’s spark igniting in the wake of the activation of the Golgothian Sylex.

Urza and Mishra bring Meld back for the first time in years.

Meanwhile, Mishra Claimed by Gix and Phyrexian Dragon Engine become Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia — a fearsome creature with lots of enter-the-battlefield effects. 

Dominaria United saw six of the original “pain lands” get reprints, and it has been previously confirmed that the other four would be coming along in The Brothers’ War. So, Battlefield Forge, Brushland, Llanowar Wastes and Underground River are on the way with new art.

Speaking of lands, the full art basics in the set showcase the war machines that Urza and Mishra used in their war, also showing how the land itself was affected by the conflict. 

Obviously there’s more to come, but as for specifics…well, check a few sections below. But first…


Here’s a list of key dates around The Brothers’ War

  • 30th Anniversary Kickoff Stream: Oct. 4 
  • The Brothers’ War Story: Oct. 20–26 
  • Building Worlds Panel: Oct. 20 
  • Card Kingdom Presale Starts: Oct. 21 
  • Debut Video and Previews Begin: Oct. 27 
  • The Brothers’ War Magic 30 Previews: Oct. 28–30 
  • The Brothers’ War Previews Continue: Oct. 31–Nov. 4 
  • WPN Game Store Prerelease Events: Nov. 11–17 
  • MTG Arena and Magic Online Release: Nov. 15 
  • The Brothers’ War Global Release: Nov. 18 
  • WPN Game Store Commander Party Events: Dec. 16–18 

Products, Promos, and More! 

The Brothers’ War will feature the full line of sealed products we have come to expect: Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, Bundles, Jumpstart boosters and two flavors of Prerelease Kits — one for each side of the war. 

The set will also feature two Commander decks with different versions of Urza and Mishra at the helm: 

The Urza and Mishra Commander decks come with alternate versions of the characters

In a twist, and to tie in with the time-travel theme of the set, these two decks will be printed entirely with retro frames. New cards, reprints — everything will have a retro frame! 

The Brothers’ War Commander decks will come in all retro frames.

If you like those Urza and Mishra commanders but aren’t a fan of the old frames, those will also be available with a modern extended-art frame in Collector Boosters. 

Prereleases are getting a bit of a shakeup this time around, as all the previously listed products will be available to purchase at those Prereleases. So, you can get your hands on whatever you’d like a little earlier than usual! Also available at those Prereleases (while supplies last at your friendly local game store) will be some special time-stamped promos: 

While you’re picking up whatever Sealed product you’d like at those Prereleases, you can also pick up a Boy-a-Box promo (again, while supplies last), a callback to the original creature-land, a retro-bordered Mishra’s Foundry! 

Mishra’s Foundry

Mishra’s Foundry also appears in the set in both extended art and normal frames: 

The extended and normal frames for Mishra’s Factory

If you pick up a Bundle, you can also get a special version of a character that features heavily around the edges of old Magic lore who has never had their own card, a promo retro-bordered Queen Kayla bin-Kroog!

Queen Kayla bin-Kroog

As with Mishra’s Foundry, she’ll also be available in the set with either a normal or extended-art frame.

Now, for some promos that aren’t actually a part of the set but that can be found in Bundles and Set and Collector’s Boosters, when you least expect them, you can find Transformers promos! 

Optimus Prime and Megatron lead the Transformers coming from Universes Beyond.

Available in normal or special “shattered glass” frames, a total of fifteen different Transformers cards can be found in those various Brother’s War products. I mean, Urza and Mishra did build and use mechs in the war (see the basic lands earlier in the article), so there’s at least a thematic fit there. 

These cards aren’t Standard legal, aren’t technically part of the set and won’t be showing up in draft or sealed events, as they don’t appear in Draft Boosters. Just consider them a shiny bonus if you open one.

Ancient Artifacts 

Much like with Dominaria United and cards from the original Legends set, The Brothers’ War Draft, Set and Collector boosters all have a small chance of containing an artifact from Magic’s past in a retro-frame border. These cards come from all over Magic and have their own set symbol: 

Like Mystical Archives, Brothers’ War will come with special artifacts in certain packs.

Even rarer, these artifacts also come in a schematic art, still in the retro frame: 

Players can also find this special schematic art frame in boosters.

Rarest of all, and one of the rarest promos ever printed in a Standard Legal set in Magic’s history, you can find serialized double-rainbow foil Schematic Arts in boosters as well. Each of these is limited to a printing of 500 cards, and each card is uniquely numbered. 

End Step

Are you getting excited for The Brothers’ War? Card Kingdom’s presale starts soon, and until then, we have all your other MTG needs covered!