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Winning the Brother's War Limited Challenge: Tips, tricks & analysis

Lucas Giggs
20/12/2022 · 8 min read



Today I'm doing something a bit different. Instead of focusing on constructed formats, I'm writing an article about the Limited format of The Brother's War, which has been one of my favorites in recent times. Last Saturday I placed first in the Limited Challenge, splitting the prize in the last round. I'm going to do a small analysis of the built deck, as well as give some tips about the format.

Intro to Brother’s War Limited

The deck I played

First and foremost, I will post the deck used, followed by the rest of the pool.

The rest of the pool

How I built the deck

Finding the best colors

When I opened my pool, one thing I noticed was that green and red were the best colors. I had aggressive creatures, efficient removal, and one of the best combat tricks in the form of Gaea's Gift. My drops were very good: Giant Cindermaw is one of the best uncommons, Simian Simulacrum one of the best rares, and Draconic Destiny one of the best mythics.

The rest of the cards were pretty honest: creatures that ramped powerstones, that put tokens, big creatures and a mana sink for artifacts in Penregon Strongbull. By the way, this is one of my favorite cards and I always want to have it in my decks when I have the chance.

The weight of artifacts in the format

The format has a lot of artifacts and in the late game it is a very real kill condition, not to mention that the combination with Sibling Rivalry allows you to steal and sacrifice powerful artifacts from the opponent, causing damage that can be crucial to win the game. In addition, the format has many enchantments that "imprison" other artifacts, such as Weakstone Subjugation and Prison Sentence, making these cards much worse when we have them in the deck.

Drawing those colors, I had one of the best bombs of the format: Gix's Command.

I had one of the best bombs of the format: Gix's Command

Is Splashing The Way to Go?

However, black mana wasn't really doing me any favors, the rest of the cards were mediocre or fillers, and I had 3 Powerstone Fractures, which is a great removal but with a very restrictive clause, as it requires sacrificing creatures and/or artifacts , so I could only have 1 or 2 of them at most. I could have used Clay Revenant, but I didn't want to have a mediocre card that doesn't help me be aggressive or stabilize the game if I need to. But I also had Mishra, which has a good body and a hefty drawback for the opponent, since the format is heavily designed around removals and sacrificing a permanent, even in the late game, can be quite painful.

His second ability could be interesting, with some of the few artifacts I had in the deck like Boulderbranch Golem and Fallaji Dragon Engine, and if I could return any of those with his ability, it would already be worth it.

Splashing for three cards seemed like a valid play, but I had another problem: when you splash, you usually want cards with a low mana cost, because mana can become an issue. But Gix's Command is such an insane card that the risk was worth it in my opinion. I still had one card that helped me in that plan: Gilded Lotus.

Ramps usually already are good in the format, but this card also had an important role: helping with the double costs of the other colors, like Unearth from Simian Simulacrum and Draconic Destiny. Speaking of Draconic Destiny, the image below shows how the Lotus enabled me to win a game that I would have had a hard time winning without it in the deck.

Of course, this was an atypical situation where I was able to deal a whopping 20 damage in just two turns, but it really demonstrates how a well-built deck within your own ideas can really pay off in the end.

At the tournament, I faced some really good decks, but I truly felt that mine was a notch above the rest, especially because of the mythics that allowed me to steal many games. Gix's Command really paid off and showed itself to be a very viable splash, even if it was a bit of a gamble.

The Brother's War limited: Tips & tricks

I have played quite a few Limited tournaments of The Brother's War, so I bring here a bit of my experience to those who will be playing important tournaments, such as other Limited Challenges or future MOCS Opens.

1. Turn 2 Drops Are Incredibly Crucial.

In The Brother's War, it may appear to be a slow format due to the plethora of high-cost artifacts and creatures, especially with the prevalence of artifacts with the "Prototype" ability, but don't be fooled. Some decks can really leave you behind, with no real chance of coming back. Some of the most important common drops in their respective colors are:

All of these are common drops that I rarely leave out of my decks, as they are good both early and late game and have highly relevant abilities.

2. Combat Tricks Can Win Games

As previously mentioned, War of the Brothers is a format where turn 2 drops are very important for the development of your game. With this in mind, we can say that combat tricks are also important, as they help break combat and give you an edge at the table. Some of the tricks that stand out to me when building decks:

Some spells such as Disfigure and Desynchronize may not be traditional tricks, but they can work as one, so I included them in the list. They are even better when used as removal spells.

3. Don't Fall Too Far Behind On The Board.

This tip works on the same argument that turn two drops and tricks are really strong in the format. You can open a pool and have heavy creatures that look amazing to win games. But if you build your deck relying solely on that, you may not have enough time to cast them, due to the speed of the format.

Striving for balance in your curve is key. Sometimes including a 2-drop like Mine Worker or Phalanx Vanguard that may seem mediocre can be important if you find yourself against a deck that has a bigger late game impact.

Your opponent may not want to trade, and even if they use a trick or removal to get it out of the way, it has already done its job, allowing other cards to shine.

4. Run the right number of lands

In this format is key to determine how many lands are required by your deck.

To answer this question, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is my deck running a low curve?
  • Is my deck's curve too high?
  • Is my deck light on removal spells?

If the answer to both the first and second questions are yes, then you can play with fewer lands, from 16 to 15 (I personally wouldn't recommend playing with less than 16, but others have had success with that amount). Your deck is likely configured to be more aggressive, so you can't afford to buy too many lands and eventually the cards that cycle will find the lands you need.

If the answers to the third and fourth questions are no, then you should play with at least 17 lands (often up to 18). As previously mentioned, this format may appear slow, but you can't afford to be steamrolled by the decks of the first example. Making your land drops is essential for your higher drops to be more effective.

5. Don't Be Afraid To Splash!

As I mentioned in the example of my challenge deck, I was initially hesitant to splash a card with a double cost, but upon further inspection of my pool, it had already provided me with a great solution when I opened Gilded Lotus. So, be sure to analyze the cards at your disposal; some presences alone can already provide sufficient reward for splashing more powerful cards of other colors. Some of my favorite cards in this regard include:

Final words

I hope you enjoyed these tips about War of the Spark Limited, as it is a quite challenging and enjoyable format to play. Depending on the feedback, I may bring more content for Limited formats. See you next week!

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Lucas Giggs
MTG Streamer
Hi, my name is Lucas de Almeida Hervás. I'm 31 years old, married, and I live in Indaiatuba/SP, Brazil. I've been playing Magic the Gathering since 2009, but I've been making a living off of it since 2019 through leagues and tournaments on Magic Online. For those who don't know me, I'm 2.17 meters tall, hence the nickname "the tallest Magic player in Brazil."


Published: 2022-12-20 00:00:00

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