I have a confession. Ever since they announced The Brothers' War, I have been anxiously awaiting its release. Usually I can keep my inner fan in check, but not for anything Dominaria related. While DMU was a modest set with a few decent cards for Commander, BRO is looking like straight fire. Let's check out some awesome cards!
But First, Don't Forget About Unfinity!
Far Out interacts with so many BRO cards in a massively favorable way! Obviously if you're not going to allow acorn/silver-bordered cards this won't matter much, but, it's crazy how powerful all of the new "command" cards are when you get all four modes! Even the lowly Bushwhack which does an obscene amount of work for just one green mana. Last but absolutely not least, if you are somehow playing all the right colors (five color "modes" dot deck!), you could choose all six options with Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia! To me, that's a win even if you don't end up taking the entire game and is a great motivator for deck design!
Of course, virtually all of the Command cards are highly playable in every format. In terms of Commander, I think the best to worst are blue, green, red, black, white. Mishra's Command in particular looks very nice as a much more flexible and powerful late-game card than, say, Expedite, which does crack the EDREC top 100 for red. On the bottom end, Kayla's Command just does not do enough for three mana and is not an instant. Overall, though, they are all very good, and will find places in many different archetypes.
An Urza, a Mishra, and an Advisor
An awesome fact for BRO is that there are a lot of legendary creatures and thus many new commanders. These are my picks for by far the best new Commanders. Why? Each of them does something new, unique, and also absurdly powerful.
The Archimandrite is a living Ivory Tower that combos with lifegain but also features the ability to work with new tribes! Sure, Artificers have some support, but what about Monks and Advisors? Now you can play a ton of awesome creatures throughout Magic's history and have a very functional deck. Hats off to Wizards for this one!
Mishra, Eminent One is my Mishra pick for raw, unadulterated power. Copying your best artifact every turn can easily lead to huge plays, and more often than not you will simply copy a mana rock for extra mana each turn. Meanwhile, you're bound to include ways to sacrifice the copy for extra value on top of that. Simple and very effective in colors that love extra mana.
Of course no list would be complete without an Urza, and Urza, Lord Protector checks all the boxes. Adds mana in colors that need it, low cost, absolutely absurd abilities... if you can meld him. However, that's the point of the card! I'm sure a large number of Commander players will be playing this card, and for good reason.
White Is Being Heavily Pushed
For me, there is no question that white has been by far the least powerful color in Magic since pretty much forever. That being said, some of these cards are exactly what white needs to even the odds. Kayla's Music Box offers an exceedingly low-cost virtual card draw ability. Lay Down Arms is yet another one-mana removal spell that looks good. Loran's Escape is hands-down the best single-mana save spell ever printed. Myrel, Shield of Argive is a second copy of Grand Abolisher. Finally, Disciple of Caelus Nin is for players who want to watch the world burn as they virtually reset the game.
Big Bad Blue
Overloading a Cyclonic Rift for seven mana is a backbreaking move. Hurkyl's Final Meditation is a ten mana version that is not nearly as good. That being said, it's effectively a Counterspell on top of a discard effect, and you can use it for seven. I think it's going to be underrated.
Stern Lesson, on the other hand, is a pure value spell. Card selection, replacing itself, and mana ramp, all for three mana at instant speed? You're going to see this card in a huge number of decks going forward. And no blue list would be complete without a Teferi. I've seen some suggest this one is , but he builds loyalty very easily, a quality which has pushed walkers like Oko over the edge.
Mono-Black, My Favorite Archetype!
Black does not need any help in Commander but wow, some awesome cards that all go directly into none other than K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth. Crown is a new Skullclamp. Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist turns every creature into a potential mana rock, is a "rattlesnake" because of deathtouch, and even has a bonus ability on top of that, because why not?
The Transmogrant Altar is not nearly as good as, say, Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar, but it fills an early-game gap where you can only sacrifice one creature and three colorless mana is more valuable. Finally, Wreck Hunter continues in the tradition of awesome black creatures with flash.
Maybe the flavor isn't quite there or it's just me, but mono-red has very little going for it in BRO. Luckily, it is splashed in many color combinations! However, there are still a couple of standout cards that look to be quite good.
Sardian Avenger is sort of a hybrid of Disciple of the Vault and Goblin Piledriver. It's essential to note that the bonus counts all the artifacts all your opponents control, not just who you are attacking, so this guy has serious potential to attack for massive damage. With all the powerstones and treasures and other tokens, Raze to the Ground can always draw you a card, and being uncounterable is gravy.
Green Wins Again!
In my opinion, green won the Commander lottery in Dominaria United. In addition, they have scored some major cards in BRO. What does green not need? More mana fixing and ramp. What does green get? Even more mana fixing and ramp, but this time it's fixing with a massive upside.
The absolute most talked about green card is Rootpath Purifier, which turns your fetchlands and ramp spells into answers. Maze of Ith, huge mana from Gaea's Cradle, uncounterable creatures from Cavern of Souls or even immunity to damage from Glacial Chasm are just a few of the things this card does. It also can counter Blood Moon.
But Green Has So Much More!
Of course, Purifier crowds out discussion of some of the other good green cards like Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea. This three-mana Elf easily taps for four mana per turn. There are many potential infinite combos possible involving Intruder Alarm or Ebondeath, Dracolich with supporting cards. I think Gwenna with just Instill Energy will prove to be insane. Don't sleep on this rare!
Awaken the Woods is basically a mana doubler and token enabler all at once. It's in green so you have easy access to Concordant Crossroads as well. Combining this with anything else like Doubling Season will result in going completely out of control exceptionally quickly.
Shoot Down gives green a rare exile effect. The ability to hit flying creatures on top of enchantments or artifacts makes this a lot more versatile because so many popular Commanders fly. Giving green an "exile your Commander" for four is pretty good, but it has more flexibility than that and green does not care about four mana. It's easily splashable too.
Gaea's Gift is green another Heroic Intervention effect, but gives a +1/+1 counter as well as reach and trample. Green tends to be able to make absolutely massive creatures, but they don't always have trample when it matters most. This card gives you a solid protection spell with either reach to surprise an attacking flyer, you know like their Commander, or trample to finish someone off. A great common.
Finally, Fade from History is a much-needed and completely unfair boardwipe for enchantments and artifacts. This card will be included in virtually every green deck I ever play in Commander. Enchantments are the hidden OP card type, and this deals with them. Artifacts are the more obvious OP card type, and this deals with them. Bears for all!
All the Artifacts Are Crazy! So I Picked ONE
Shape Anew, anyone? I honestly believe this is potentially game-winning enough to play without artifact cards, or maybe with just a few key cards you wouldn't mind flipping into. However, Portal to Phyrexia gives you a powerful answer with a recurring threat every single turn. Obviously nine mana is a ton, but it does a lot for that nine. Futhermore, colorless mana is at such an unbelievable discount with the number of things that generate Powerstones. I like this card and am going to groan when someone else resolves it.
Should I Even Mention Urza's Workshop?
Sure, you can fetch all the Urza lands with a variety of tutors and eventually make huge piles of colorless mana... as long as you also have metalcraft. To me it seems like it's just not that powerful. Obviously in other formats you'll be able to run four Workshops and, combined with other Urza lands, it will be much better. The other lands are simply reprints or not that interesting. Can't win them all!
Or Can You...! Transformers!
I am unabashedly a Transformers fan, therefore I'm going to get all of these cards. They deserve an article on their own, especially since all of the foil borderless versions are pre-ordering for an absurd amount of money. I was already going to heavily buy into BRO, but now I'm going to have to take out a second mortgage. Please Hasbro, have some mercy! These cards are cool with two completely new abilities allowing for pilotless vehicles. Will they be strong Commander cards? I just do not care; I'm going to play them regardless.
That's All for Now
The Brothers' War is going to bring a whole lot of nostalgia back to Magic but also Transformers! Meld, one of the coolest and least used mechanics, is well represented here. Artifacts, artifacts, artifacts! Everyone loves artifacts. Full disclosure, I'm looking forward to cracking many collector boxes. Are you hype for BRO? Transformers? Do you agree with my ranking of the Commands? Let me know in the comments.