Sunday, 13 November 2022

The Brother's War Preliminary Review Part VIII


 0 - unplayable in 40 card singleton

1 - effectively unplayable

2 - has low tier constructed decks it might go in

3 - has mid tier constructed decks it does go in

4 - pretty powerful stuff with several potential homes, able to perform well in lower powered cubes

5 - powerful stuff that is either just too narrow or has too many superior alternatives

6 - fringe cube worthy

7 - cube worthy

8 - cube staple

9 - unpowered cube bomb

10 - powered cube bomb 

Mechanized Warfare 8

I really rate this. It certainly seems more powerful than any of the Anthem effects in white. This effectively buffs spells and dorks in red. Yes, the dorks are buffed a bit less but that lack of extra toughness is the bit that matters least, especially in the context of the kinds of deck that play these cards. This is good with all red stuff. It is absurd with some. Arc Tail does 5! Lava Dart does 4. Kari Zev slaps for five a turn and is even hard to block! Chainwhirler just ruins lives. This is less powerful than Torbran but I think it will wind up playing better. Mobilized Warfare is far less vulnerable while also easier to deploy than Torbran. It will come out much more reliably and safely and even promptly and then it will stay out and get a stranglehold over games, often still relatively fast. Torbran either came out and won immediately with what you already had or was answered and didn't. Warfare will give you the earlier option to play it alongside other stuff as well making it a bit more interesting on that front too. As such Mecahnized Warfare is also a better designed card that will give more fun games than Torbran. It does still seem on the dangerously good side however. For a while I suspect it will feel like Sulphuric Vortex used to feel. Just impending doom that there are few answers to. It even buffs up Bomat Courier and the various thopter tokens a load of red cards give! This is a clear cube staple that is putting red aggro and even more midrange decks well and truley back on top of the pile. That or enchantment removal is going to get rather more popular...   

Simian Simulacrum 6

This is pretty good all told. The floor is an easy to cast 4/3 with unearth. Not good but fine and proactive. As soon as you start putting counters on other things the card starts to get good. You can get pseudo haste on the counters, and thus half the power, just by putting them on something else on the cast. Equally, you get to have them persist if done on the unearth. This means you get some OK value and utility out of this if it is milled. Not only do you get to improve the counters by putting them elsewhere you get to scale them with those elsewhere things. +2/+2 is better on something with evasion or first strike or what have you. It is especially better on something with specific use of counters like Walking Ballista or just additional scaling with power like an Esper Sentinel. All told this card does a lot of work and is a fairly option rich card for what is essentially just a beater. It is like a Verdurous Gearhulk but in the middle of the curve rather than the top. It trades some punch and raw power for a bit more utility and options. I do like this but I fear it is just a little bland and fair without good synergies to go with it which in turn makes it seem a little narrow. Will test this and enjoy doing so but doubtful about it lasting. 

Steel and Oil Dreams 3

Divest is back but now it does bonus exile. And it still isn't good enough. Divest failed due to range and with the same range Steel and Oil Dreams isn't getting it done either. It would need some rather more serious upside that was always good. Mild ancillary perks don't help much when your core card isn't desirable. There might be occasions I want this specific array of hand disruption but it does feel a lot more sideboard than main deck. 

Siege Veteran 7.5

This is fantastic. It is a slightly bigger Luminarch Aspirant with a minor perk. Mostly this will be getting killed first of all the soldiers in play but none the less getting free returns on dead soldiers is a plus. There are about 12 of them in my cube but mostly white and plenty of good cards. Thraben Inspector didn't need a free 1/1 when it dies to be a good value card! While this is very good it isn't as good as Aspirant. Generally I want more than +1/+1 in stats and a narrow effect for my extra mana. I also want my snowball cards to come out as early as possible. Even so, this is a very threatening card. It has synergy and scaling and threat and plenty of option density. It does all the good things you want from it and it does them fairly reasonably. 

Thopter Mechanic 7

Speaking of doing all the things and doing them well! This is one of those filler cards like Mire Triton or Orzhov Enforcer that just does quite a lot of useful things all in once cheap package that it winds up doing good work and getting a reasonable amount of play. This also does what blue is bad at, blue has value stuff for days but it lacks board presence. This is a good set of stats that are reasonably safe and have the capacity to become more powerful and threatening with time. There is some flying, some trickery, some artifact synergy, all good people. This card has a lot going on. It might take a while for this one to find its feet but I do like it. I think it will be a good fit for cube and do good work for those that believe in it! I am imagining it somewhat as the younger sibling of Whirler Rogue. A true workhorse for blue in midrange cubes! 

Machine Over Matter 2

Very cheap and broad card you play if you want bounce in a deck where you have lots of artifact creatures. It is the Metallic Rebuke of bounce. Don't play it outside of those places. Have it be fractionally better than alternatives in the odd deck. Moving on. 

Alloy Animist 1

Never underestimate a one drop. This looks bad and is bad. It is small and narrow and vulnerable. And yet, here I am brewing up a deck in my head that uses Training Grounds and the like and thinking this could do some impressive work in such a place...

Steel Seraph 7

I am not sure how I feel about this. There is an element of Luminarch Aspirant about this where it does stuff right away and is an ongoing problem card. There is also the lack of actual ongoing value and the ease with which this card can be blanked without having done anything. Intuition currently has this performing well, and almost all of that is down to the various airborne bits of this card. It is a fairly meaty aerial beater itself and sends other things up along with it. It has a bit of that out of the blue punch for that flying and that is how white aggro decks tend to be closing things out these days. It is not unreasonable to consider casting this in either mode, obviously we are including it as a three drop in our deck but unlike most of the others there is going to be a bunch of times you happen to be late enough in the game that you can afford to spend three mana on +2/+1 on stats. Worth noting that it is white and white is going to do best with the prototype mechanic thanks for flicker stuff. Where Seraph loses some ground is being a 1WW card you only really want in an aggressive white deck. It is just a bit narrow. It might be more powerful than a Blade Splicer but Splicer appeals to a much wider audience and so is more likely to win a battle over space. Three is a very full slot for most colours, white included. 

Platoon Dispensary 5

I am really oddly drawn to this card and I cannot really fathom why. It is slow and clunky and expensive. It will win eventually but it is a long way off the threat level, or immediate impact, of other cube five drops. I do love to draw cards and this is a reasonably good way to get into the card draw game. It looks white but the white bits of the card are the least important bits. Mostly I am about a 4/6 that draws me a card every turn. The token generation does help keep that card draw somewhat consistent and the unearth is a bit of bonus value, synergy, and punch. I really cannot make a case for this being good enough and yet I still can't convince myself that it isn't worth a test. Fascinating!


Zephyr Sentinel 4

Returning up to one dork makes this a very useful little utility card. A flash flying beater or a means to protect another dork, or the means to reuse another EtB effect. Cheap rounded tool. My cube meta isn't in a place where blue wants a card like this but it absolutely could be so this is one to keep in mind. This is a much more playable Quickling as the return is optional meaning the card isn't prohibitively narrow.

Gixian Puppeteer 3

Reasonable power level but unreliable and thus also on the narrow side. I feel like I want a bit more threat or punch for my four drop as well. As this doesn't exile itself it is a card that pairs very well with the likes of Recurring Nightmare. That will get out of hand very fast indeed! 

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