The Brothers' War Set Review - Red

Mike Carrozza • November 8, 2022

(The Fall of Kroog | Illustrated by David Auden Nash)

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


It's time to get into The Brothers' War cards coming soon! Let's see what goodies we got in red this time around!


Draconic Destiny

So the review begins with a surprise cycle entry! Remember Angelic Destiny? Draconic Destiny has the same last line of text returning the Aura to your hand when the enchanted creature dies. I would say Demonic Embrace spiritually is part of this cycle for now. It's pretty exciting to see the design team reach deep into their back pockets to find something like this kicking around.

Turning the enchanted creature into a Dragon, buffing it by one, making it a hasty flyer, but also giving it fire-breathing for one generic mana on top of the recursion built into the card means that I can definitely say that Voltron strategies in red will appreciate this printing. Decks helmed by Mazzy, Truesword Paladin will like this for its ability to come back to you even when your commander is no longer castable or is Imprisoned in the Moon. Uril, the Miststalker was reprinted in the latest Double Masters 2022 set, and with folks rediscovering the big beast, cards like Draconic Destiny will make Uril a threat at the table yet again.

Skitterbeam Battalion

The first Prototype card in red is doozy... in Limited. I'm not seeing immense potential for this in Commander unfortunately. That said, there are a few decks that I can see this being good for.

Saheeli, the Gifted can reduce the cost to zero when the battlefield is set up for it, and in my experience, it isn't difficult to do. Getting three artifacts out of the deal also means that the next spell gets reduced by more.

Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer decks where you can cast it for nine with your mana reductions, like Cloud Key and Foundry Inspector, are surely into it. Maybe.

Even that just gets you three 4/4s with trample and haste. Sure, that can end a game in the Brudiclad deck, but the Battalion tokens are created on cast, and for the Prototype cost you get six power versus 12. Blinking and reanimating the Battalion won't net you an advantage.

You might be thinking "At least in Izzet you can play the Battalion for five and then Rush of Knowledge for nine cards. That's something!" or "Bosh, Iron Golem can yeet this for nine for nine mana, that's cool!" and you would be mistaken! Prototype keeps the mana value it was cast for!

I don't think Skitterbeam Battalion will make a massive impact on our format, but where it appears, it will at the very least look extremely cool.


Blast-Furnace Hellkite

Ah, our first card from the Commander preconstructed decks.

I am not high on Blast-Furnace Hellkite, though I cannot deny its power. It does cost one more mana than Avatar of Slaughter, which I would argue is its closest counterpart. It also only gives creatures attacking your opponents double strike instead of including those coming at you. I'd say that's worth the extra one mana if we're hard casting this.

Artifact Offering is what makes this really juicy. With Artifact Offering, you can tap your Gilded Lotus for three red mana, sacrifice it for another five mana, and then pay one mana of any type, and boom, you get a Blast-Furnace Hellkite. Not only do you have the 5/5 double-striker in the air, but Offering allows you to cast it as though it had flash! Let's say an opponent offers a deal to another where they can hit them for some advantage but it's still a nice chunk of damage - you flash in the Hellkite, now it's double the damage.

Dragon decks can have another finisher, but this time it can also go into Lathliss, Dragon Queen decks, too!

Brotherhood's End

The common refrain in the last year or so is that there is too much Treasure production. Brotherhood's End is an excellent sweeper that allows you the flexibility of hitting all artifacts with mana value three or less or sending a Lightning Bolt to each creature and planeswalker. Is a player getting a little too much value copying their Sol Ring or Arcane Signet? Did everybody let Smothering Tithe get out of hand? Is the five-color player banking too much on their Chromatic Lantern? Do you have a Gilded Lotus and Thran Dynamo while the rest of the table has been spending their turns mining their Signets? Blow them up.

I love the damage wipe because you can play this in your The Swarmlord decks and not worry about your creatures while also being able to wipe artifacts when you've got land ramp.

I'll be testing this in my Sevinne, the Chronoclasm Brash Taunter "tribal" list where I run a ton of damage-based board wipes. With the added flexibility here, it's  difficult to imagine it not making the cut.

Farid, Enterprising Salvager

A new legend from the Commander precon deck!

My first impression of Farid is that any deck where we can expect Farid to lead or join in the 99 will require two things: lots of artifact cards and lots of mana.

Getting an artifact Scrap token that literally does nothing else but exist as an artifact permanent puts the onus on other cards to benefit from their presence. Reckless Fireweaver and the relatively new Ingenious Artillerist will ping your opponents for each new artifact entering. To get any of Farid's abilities, you must pay 1R and sacrifice an artifact, but at least it's not sorcery speed! This means you can goad creatures, even hasty surprise creatures, at instant speed. You can hold up resources and then rummage as much as you need before you start your next turn. Or you can beef up Farid and go for attacks. Either way, I see Farid as more of an accessory to an artifact deck that loves Scrap Mastery and Marionette Master

Feldon, Ronom Excavator

I am a big fan of Feldon of the Third Path, and I know I'm not alone based on all the reprints. I was thrilled to hear that he would be returning with a new card.

Clearly, the designers don't want you to keep Feldon up to be a rattlesnake because he can't block. Giving him haste means they likely want him swinging. Attacking with Feldon dares your opponents to block with their 6/6 creatures knowing that while yes, they will kill your creature, they're also giving you the best card from the top six of your library.

Run Pyrohemia? Activating it once means you'll get a card out of Feldon each time. If you go around the table, each turn doing one damage to Feldon, you'll be able to play three to four extra cards a turn. That's without giving him indestructible.

I'm interested in trying out Feldon, but having to choose a card out of the ones you exile can be a difficult decision, especially if Feldon gets blown up with a Blasphemous Act. Let's see how he works in my Brash Taunters list! He's not what I expected, but he's definitely giving me a lot to like.

Mechanized Warfare

Punisher decks love to see it. Curve Mechanized Warfare into Manabarbs means that while your lands still hurt you for one, you'll turn your opponents' lands into permanent Shocklands. Cavalcade of Calamity decks get a lot out of this card if your attackers are red or artifacts. Swing with three Goblins, that's three triggers that deal two each now, then if they get through, assuming with power one, that's also buffed for a total of 12 damage because you attacked with three little troublemakers!

Play this in Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph to upgrade his Shocks to Lightning Bolts. That's only assuming if the sources dealing one damage aren't red or artifacts because their damage is upped by one which no longer triggers Starn. Something to consider...although maybe not too strongly.

Mishra's Command

I don't see it. The art is gorgeous, but that's all this card has going for it. For XR, you're likely going to discard X cards and draw that many - not that many plus one, which a lot of cards have been doing lately - and getting rid of a creature. The final mode is not one I anticipate much unless someone is within striking distance, but really this does not excite me.

The one deck that this feels at home in would be Magus Lucea Kane. She can double the spell choosing the same modes, but the discard/draw mode is worded "up to", meaning you don't have to discard the same number of cards.

Over the Top

I have several decks where I would like to try this and they each showcase different reasons.

My Grand Warlord Radha deck is a token swarm that has a bunch of enchantments and creatures that create tokens for me to smash with. The secret ultimate goal is to Glimpse of Tomorrow or Warp World. This card is another version of this that allows me to keep my 30 tokens while also slamming down likely every card I reveal into play. I can say the same of my Prosper, Tome-Bound deck and all the Treasures then dumping all my artifacts and win conditions out.

My Zaffai, Thunder Conductor deck makes a lot of his 4/4 Elemental creature tokens. By playing this card,with a board of mana rocks and creatures, I'm sure to flip around 20 cards. Will there be a lot of permanents among them? Lands, maybe, sure. But it'll also certainly dump a ton of instants and sorceries in the graveyard for my big Mizzix's Mastery or Past in Flames play. The same is true of my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deck that hopes to Dawn of the Dead a ton.

Yes, this happens for your opponents, too, but you get to decide when to play this. You pick your moment, and sometimes your opponents getting stuff doesn't mean anything when you're about to end the game.

Phyrexian Dragon Engine

The most exciting part of this card to me is that it Melds with Mishra, Claimed by Gix to become Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia.

There are cool ways to get that enters-the-battlefield ability beyond its Unearth cost. Creature reanimation effects, like Animate Dead, can do the trick. There are also artifact reanimation effects, like Goblin Welder or Goblin Engineer, that will get the Dragon Engine into play from the graveyard, allowing you to replace your hand with three new cards.

Warning! Chainer, Nightmare Adept decks, beware. You will not benefit from Phyrexian Dragon Engine's ability if you use Chainer's ability because casting a card from your graveyard moves it to the stack and not directly to the battlefield, which is what is required for the Engine's ability to trigger. It's the same as Flayer of the Hatebound in being a non-bo with Chainer.

Sardian Avenger

As mentioned earlier, Treasures have run wild. Sardian Avenger punishes your opponents for having artifacts hit the graveyard (like Treasures) and pings them for one damage. The Avenger also gets in for lots of damage when attacking a player and can't be chump blocked so easily given first strike and trample. That +X/+0 is all the artifacts all of your opponents control, meaning that there's some room for political dealings. "If you don't spend your Treasures this turn, on my turn, I can attack Jason for an extra six damage!"

The Brothers' War

The flavor on this card is absolutely incredible. I love the art and the story it tells. An absolute slam dunk. Vorthos players will be stoked.

Goad players will also be excited. Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant, Firkraag, Cunning Instigator, and Kardur, Doomscourge will all find room for this card based on that second part alone. The first part is nice ramp in the right deck. The third will get rid of some stuff or just knock some life off of your opponents. Either way, a Ghen, Arcanum Weaver pillow fort will make some great use of this to play the table like puppets.

Tyrant of Kher Ridges

This Dragon just strikes me as unremarkable. Do you have ways to blink it? That's fine. Four damage adds up. Can you Rite of Replication the Tyrant? Yeah, 20 damage sounds great, but I can't help but think "don't you have anything better to copy?" It has firebreathing, so maybe a desperate Mana Geyser to pump the flyer can kill a player, but there's so much to do with mana. I don't feel like this is great for our format. Sue me!

Visions of Phyrexia

Breathtaking art on this card. Dominik Mayer has been knocking it out of the park.

Here's your obligatory "this seems good for Prosper, Tome-Bound" comment. But it only seems good. "At the beginning of your end step, if you didn't play a card from exile this turn, create a Powerstone token." When the whole point of the deck is to play cards from exile, you're not likely to trigger the second part of this card. That said, another Outpost Siege effect is solid if that's what you're after. However, if you manage to trade off some cards for ramp tokens, this could be the kind of acceleration that takes it over the top. Get your Karn, the Great Creators, folks.

Uncommons & Commons

Arms Race

Artifact Sneak Attack...sort of.

I want to love this card, but what makes Sneak Attack so busted is that it costs a single red mana to put a creature into play from your hand. Four mana to play artifacts from your hand does make them uncounterable (but Stifle-able) and allows you to  get them into play at instant speed.

Bolas's Citadel, Meteor Golem, Wurmcoil Engine, Noxious Gearhulk, and Combustible Gearhulk are all solid. A surprise Eldrazi Monument in response to a board wipe could be devastating. On the opposite end, cheating in Mycosynth Lattice in response to a Vandalblast could make you the table's enemy, but hey, you didn't bring the Vandalblast!

Mishra, Excavation Prodigy

Mishra, the Rummager! He's got haste, so you can draw a card if you've got four mana. Discarding an artifact for mana is pretty great even if it's only once a turn. This is reminiscent of Bone Miser when you discard a land. Pair Mishra with the Miser and you get a card and RR for a noncreature artifact going to the graveyard. Now that's spicy!

Anje Falkenrath is the first commander to come to mind for Lil' Mishra to join. Daretti, Scrap Savant can't discard and Trash for Treasure on the same turn, but with Mishra actually discarding an artifact to reanimate with Daretti's -2, Mishra's effectively tapping for a mana! Not a bad excavation if you ask me!

Bitter Reunion

Another one for the Ghen, Arcanum Weaver deck. Discard an enchantment to reanimate, draw two cards, activate Ghen sacrificing Bitter Reunion. That's what I love to see!

Seeing Red

I'm excited to see how these cards play out in the coming months. It seems like cards they meant to be super splashy (aside from Over the Top) are pretty tame and the seemingly smaller impact cards like Mishra, Excavation Prodigy and new Feldon, Ronom Excavator will be all the rage.

What red card has your mind engine revving?

Mike Carrozza is a stand-up comedian from Montreal who’s done a lot of cool things like put out an album called Cherubic and worked with Tig Notaro, Kyle Kinane, and more people to brag about. He’s also been an avid EDH player who loves making silly stuff happen. @mikecarrozza on platforms