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MTG The Brothers’ War has no Vehicles, to keep its retro feel

Senior Designer Gavin Verhey says MTG The Brothers' War has no vehicles or coloured artifacts, to keep it feeling "like Antiquities"

MTG The Brothers' War - A giant mech fizzing with red and green magic.

The next Magic: The Gathering set, The Brothers’ War, is looking to please the game’s old-school fans, with loads of returning characters – including five different copies of Urza and Mishra.

MTG senior designer Gavin Verhey says the set is also trying to harken back to the past through its mechanics. As a result, he says, The Brothers’ War will lack certain newer card types, such as MTG Vehicles and coloured artifacts. There’s still planeswalkers though – they’ve not been that radical.

“One really interesting challenge for us was: How do we make this feel like Antiquities?” Verhey tells Wargamer.

Part of Wizards solution was to be a bit restrictive with the card types. “Vehicles didn’t exist in Antiquities – so it didn’t make sense to have one back in the storyline, even though a lot of things could be Vehicles,” Verhey explains.

MTG The Brothers War a mech with blue tubes running across it

Similarly: “There are no artifacts that cost coloured mana to cast”. While Wizards has kept things balanced using unearth and prototype costs that do use coloured mana, Verhey suggests every artifact in the set can be cast without it.

Now, this is a little bit confusing, because Mark Rosewater’s teaser for The Brothers’ War suggests there will be one (but only one) coloured artifact. Perhaps it will be an artifact with a colour identity but that doesn’t cost coloured mana to cast? Or maybe there’s a case of crossed wires here.

Verhey says that trying to design a set that felt like Antiquities threw up some challenges. “But I found them pretty exhilarating,” he adds, “because it was really cool to harken back to this really traditional Magic story, and try to do some of the things like we did in the year 1994, with the resources of today.”

Check out our MTG The Brothers’ War guide, for the latest details on the set. Or if you want to look to the future, not the past, here’s the MTG 2023 release schedule.