The Brothers' War: Minotaur Set Review

Minotaur Reviewer • November 9, 2022

Sardian Cliffstomper by Joseph Weston

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Gold I | Gold II | Artifacts | LandscEDH

War. War never changes. Dominaria has been invaded by Phyrexians three times now, but The Brothers' War was the first, and in the battles of monstrous machines and an eternal sibling rivalry, one question remained: were there any good Minotaurs?

Welcome to the latest installment of my famous Minotaur Set Reviews; naturally I am The Minotaur Reviewer. If you're a new reader, the purpose of these reviews is to evaluate new cards in the context of the best tribe of all time: Minotaurs. I'm not here to tell you what to play, just show you what you've missed. And teach you how to be a real Minotaur!

If you need to catch up on the latest Minotaur developments, check out my Unfinity set review or my Magar of the Magic Strings deck tech.


Diabolic Intent

This is a huge reprint! Not only because of its obvious applications in Commander, but also opening it up for Pioneer. With Pioneer Minotaurs, it often comes down to playing one of our more impactful lord cards, so being able to tutor for one, at the cost of one of our weaker creatures (Such as Gnarled Scarhide) can be the difference to winning the match. Alternatively it also helps us get a Deathbellow War Cry, if that's something you're able to cast.

Dreams of Steel and Oil

I see this as being another card among many options for one-black-mana hand-attack spells, and I think that's a good thing, especially when it can be a budget version of Thoughtseize. That said, this only can target artifacts or creatures, so in some matches this could be a dead card in hand. I see this more of a local meta call whether to run it, and if you do, probably keep it in the sideboard.

Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor

I love so many things about this guy. For one, in Commander it rewards us for attacking multiple opponents by being able to draw up to three cards. Then in the late game we can use his activated ability to pitch cards for our discard synergies, and then we get to free cast cards from our opponents' libraries equal to what we discarded. If you've played against Etali, Primal Storm, you know how backbreaking it can be to steal cards from your opponents' decks, so I expect some good things from Gix, and I hear his buddy Yawgmoth is pretty chill too.

Go for the Throat

Ah, another classic two-mana black kill spell with a condition. Now, this is a reprint, but this is new to the Pioneer format. Personally, of all the two-mana kill spells we've seen printed as of late, this is probably better than most of them (next to Power Word Kill or Feed the Swarm). When I think on Pioneer, there aren't to many artifact creatures running around, although Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and The Brother's War might shake up my impression, and I'm certainly excited to blast threats with it.

Hostile Negotiations

This card I see having a lot of potential with Magar of the Magic Strings (see my Magar deck tech). It really helps add gas to the deck's gameplan because it really won't matter which pile is put into the grave and the other into hand. Magar wants instants or sorceries in the graveyard, but even if they are in hand, the deck runs a lot of ways to discard them. Even at this card's worst, it still helps. And then Magar can animate Hostile Negotiations to keep repeating this effect.


Bitter Reunion

When I look at this card, I see it as Tormenting Voice with a massive upside, the ability to give our creatures haste for a turn. This can be pretty big, because outside of Kragma Warcaller, Minotaurs don't have a lot of access to mass haste in Pioneer without splashing into green, so this is an enchantment you can play early and keep a hold of it for the right time to make a devastating attack.

Mishra's Command

This is very exciting for a few key reasons. The biggest one this is the first ever X mana cost command spell allowing it to always be relevant through out a match.

The other is how versatile it is for Minotaurs. In almost all cases I see, the first option being chosen to target ourselves so we can effectively replace our hand. Doing this works with discard synergies and/or can set up our graveyard for Magar. The other options will be chosen based on the board state but I see all of them being viable in a bunch of situations. So unlike some other command spells, I think I will always be happy to cast this at any point in the game due to its flexibility.

Penregon Strongbull

When the full set was revealed, this was a real shock and treat to see. At a glance it's a strictly better Hurloon Minotaur, which is a nice callback, but its activated ability is where things get interesting. In Limited or Standard, any Powerstones you make can pay for the mana and sacrifice cost for the ability, so if you've built up a handful of Powerstones through the game, this can be a game-ender.

In Commander, I see this as potential win con with a bit of set up. The goal is to make either make infinite mana and infinite artifacts, or to create a loop that produces artifacts while being at least mana-neutral. I'm sure there are many ways to construct such a set up, but I'm not savvy enough to list them all, nor do I want to take away any of the joy of discovery of a combo. However, one option I've seen posted is Nim Deathmantle paired with Su-Chi Cave Guard. While it's not an ideal set up, it will net 3 colourless mana per loop, and mana that won't disappear between steps and phases until end of turn.

Sardian Cliffstomper

So when MaRo teased a few weeks back that the set would have a Minotaur Barbarian, you better believe I was excited. And while I didn't know what to expect, Sardian Cliffstomper was certainly not even in the ball park. That's not to say I think this card is bad, but it definitely is a very unique design that feels a little "de-horned" and pushes for a more midrange deck direction.

For starters, despite being a two-mana Minotaur is not very aggressive. It's not until turn four that this bull becomes something other than a glorified Wall. However, turn 4 and beyond this bull becomes a power house, and it only gets better with each additional mountain. In Pioneer, how many two-mana 4/4s can you think of with no downside? I think this guy has a lot of potential, I'm just not sure how to retool Minotaur tribal to work around his conditions effectively.

Visions of Phyrexia

The first thing that comes to mind when I see this card is Outpost Siege, specifically because in Commander the Khans side was always chosen, which is the first half of this card. But that wouldn't be very noteworthy if it wasn't for the second half, because it softens the punch when you're unable to play the exiled card, or any card you exiled from the myriad of red exile draw effects.

Getting a Powerstone can be a big deal when they accumulate in Ccommander, as they can used to pay for the colourless part of activated abilities, something I have often felt pinched by when playing Minotaur tribal in EDH, so if you currently run Outpost Siege, then consider this as an obvious replacement.


Mishra, Claimed by Gix

Mishra is admittedly a win more card, but dealing extra damage and gaining extra life just for attacking with creatures is too good for me to ignore. You don't even need to attack with Mishra to activate it, which makes this even better in my mind.

Bladecoil Serpent

Due to Commander mana restrictions, this cannot be played unless you wish to construct a Grixis Minotaur deck using a non-Minotaur commander. I wouldn't recommend it, but give it a try if you would like.

However, in Pioneer I can see value in this being a one of as a finisher card. Mostly due to its ability to hand attack while also buffing itself with trample and haste. At its worst its a 8/4 with trample and haste, and combined with all our other Minotaurs, this can be devastating. But if we have Irencrag Feat we can cast this as soon as turn 4, but turn 5 would allow for four RED RED activations, making this a 9/4, and as the legend Phil Swift would say "That's a lot of damage!".


Levitating Statue

This card I can see fitting in with Magar as it's something that will just keep getting bigger and bigger without our opponents having too much interaction. And while it sits there, it can be a threat the entire time its on board as a massive blocker, or if our opponent has low defences it can be a devastating attacker. That is assuming if Magar's puppets haven't ended the game already.

The Stasis Coffin

So this is nearly Teferi's Protection without needing white mana? In what world would you not want this? It saves our Minotaurs, our lands, our artifacts, it is just good all round.


Demolition Field

This is Field of Ruin redundancy, so in Commander if you're already running it, then maybe slot this in alongside. I know Maze of Ith can be a real bother, but there are plenty of lands in the format that need answering, and this is a good way to deal with it.

Tocasia's Dig Site

Sometimes in EDH, especially when we are top-decking due to our discard effects, being able to surveil can make a difference. This is true even more for Magar, where we want our big spells to be in the graveyard.

Retro Artifacts

Adaptive Automaton

This reprint is a key card for Minotaur tribal in Commander; heck, in any tribe. Unless your playing Merfolk, it's hard to complain about a three-mana lord creature.

Cloud Key

This is another strong reprint card, but its usage highly depends on the deck your playing. A standard EDH Minotaur tribal would benefit from creature being chosen. However, in Magar, it would probably be better to select either instant or sorcery depending on how many you have in your list.

Key to the City

This reprint is a classic card for Minotaurs in Pioneer in order to squeeze that last bit of damage through. However, it's even better with Magar as it facilitates discarding the big spells and allows the tokens to be unblocked so they can copy the spell they represent.



This I see having potential due to its ability to bestow flying counters to our creatures. Historically Minotaurs lack the flying keyword, for obvious reasons. However with this we can my our herds fly to not only defend against other flying attackers, but also now press the attack if our opponents start to stone wall.

As the Dust Settles

Alas, the war comes to an end and ushers in the Dominaria Ice Age and we come to an end of this review.

After Dominaria United, I was very pleased and surprised with the Minotaur offerings found in The Brothers' War, and while we transition into the battle with New Phyrexia, The Invasion Tree could see Phyrexians attacking Theros, so I'll keep my hopes up for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, but until then, I'd love to here what new cards your excited to try out in Minotaur tribal.

Hello everyone! I'm the Minotaur Reviewer. Hardcore Minotaur enjoyer and casual Johnny/Timmy Simic Hybrid. You may know my most from my Minotaur Set Reviews which started on Reddit. When I'm not jamming MTG I like to play Guild Wars 2, Duelyst 2 and Lufia the Legend Returns