As soon as a new Magic: The Gathering set is fully spoiled, those clever folk at DraftSim get to work creating a simulated draft experience lickedy-split, so players can learn the new Limited format, before the cards are even out.
This also lets them collect data on how people draft a new set. More than 20,000 simulated Brothers’ War drafts later, and we can really start to get a feel for the lay of the land, with a clear sense of which cards are popular and which are always left till the very end, like Bounty chocolates mouldering in a box of Celebrations.
The tool’s creator has been kind enough to share their draft data with me, which shows us exactly which cards players are picking highly, and which are being left by the wayside. That lets us form a rough ranking of the best cards in MTG The Brothers’ War.
Here I’m going to go over the top bombs, along with the best commons in each colour according to player picks. Be warned though, we Magic players are like magpies: Somewhat bright, but fickle and attracted to shiny objects. I’ll let you know if I think a card on the list is being overdrafted, and finish up with a few ranking positions that surprised me.
Best bombs in MTG The Brothers’ War
Every single card on this list has an average pick position of 1.000. That basically means if players saw it pack one, pick one, they took it there and then. And looking at these bombs, it’s not hard to see why. Most are at least nominally colourless, and strong in virtually any deck.
A big body that draws cards would be good even if it didn’t spit out tokens to power its card draw ability. Runs away with the game at high speeds.
Versatile, and extremely powerful (duh!) picking Bladecoil Serpent first is bound to impact the rest of your draft as you decide which of three colour pairs to go for – but it would be pretty good even if you were only getting one of its effects.
The new Snapcaster Mage? Arcane Proxy feels like less of a standout bomb than most of the cards on this list, but it’s one of those build-arounds where you barely have to put effort in to make it good, and so 98 out of 98 players first picked it. Certainly it’s a strong card that almost all blue decks will want, and Izzet spells decks will adore it.
Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor
(Technically) the only non-colourless top bomb on this artifact-filled list, it’s easy to see why Gix has done so well. A 3-mana 3/3 that draws cards like it’s going out of style is already fantastic, but Wizards decided that wasn’t busted enough and gave it a game-winning ability on top of all that. My heart goes out to the 138 players who first-picked this in the simulator, and are now surely doomed never to open the real thing.
In a world of giant robots, Rootwire Amalgam sets itself apart as the giant-ist: a 15/15 you can attack with on turn five. It’s an amazing payoff for investing in powerstones.
The only retro-frame artifact on the bombs list, Wurmcoil Engine can slot nicely into all but the most aggro of decks, and as a historic card, it’s got some star power behind its name too. A no-brainer of a first pick.
Best Common cards in MTG The Brothers’ War
In most Brothers’ War drafts you won’t get to see any of those cards above. Unless you open them yourself, they’ll be snaffled up long before they get close to you.
Far more impactful and important to bear in mind when approaching your first game, is which bread and butter common cards other players are valuing the highest. Let’s hop to it!
Top Blue Common: Wing Commando
Starting with the lowest-picked top common on the list, Wing Commando narrowly beats the (in my opinion) better option of Weakstone Subjugation, with an average pick position of 4.85. There are definitely times when it’ll be your all-star card, but I can also imagine cutting it from the deck that’s not got many instants.
Top Red Common: Excavation Explosion
With a pick position of 1.9, Red gets a far better top common than Blue (the highest in the set). Good, efficient removal, not much more to say about it.
Top Black Common: Overwhelming Remorse
This unconditional removal spell that exiles is fantastic for a common card, even if it is a bit expensive when your graveyard is empty – its pick position is 2.36, in my view rightly so. It should be noted that Disfigure is very close behind, being the fourth most popular common in the set.
Top White Common: Prison Sentence
Scry 2 bolted rather un-elegantly onto a Pacifism effect makes this the third best common according to players, with a pick position of 2.68.
Top Green Common: Rust Goliath
A Mammoth Spider that could be a 10/10 ain’t a bad card at all, but this card is fourth-picked on average, which seems a little bit high. I think the neat statline may have caused people to overvalue this slightly.
If you’re in green you’re not going to struggle finding a high-end to your deck. I’d likely prioritise good two-drops or removal like Epic Confrontation over this.
Underrated cards in MTG The Brothers’ War
Raze to the Ground – 6.9
It looks like your typical naff artifact removal card, but in this set you’ll always have a decent target, and the first one of these in your deck will kill the best creature on board much of the time. Remember how good enchantment removal was in Kamigawa? Over in white, Disenchant is also sitting somewhat low, at 6.6.
Argothian Sprite – 8.2
This little guy isn’t amazing, but it’s a solid early creature, annoyingly evasive and with a good ability to use your powerstones on in the late-game.
Moment of Defiance – 11.4
A mediocre card, but one that doesn’t deserve to be in the bottom six, just marginally above stuff like fog effects. A three-mana combat trick is a big ask, but this will make a huge difference in a race, and because it cantrips, is going to slot nicely into the UB draw-two archetype.