The Brothers’ War: Mechanics Quick Recap

Information Updates 
ChrisCee · November 19, 2022 · 3 min

The global release of The Brothers' War is at hand. As always, some are new abilities like the old, some old abilities are made anew. This includes the return of one particular interesting ability from at least six years ago.

Prototype

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Yes, it is yet another one of those Kickers. And no, there’s no means to level them up afterward. Prototype is essentially reversing the larger casting cost for the smaller one. You have a default color, mana cost, power, and toughness, and then you have the smaller, Prototype color, mana cost, power, and toughness.

All this comes at no change to standard abilities. You still reap all the potential benefits of the card’s effects, only with a smaller frame, a possibly a faster tempo to boot. Goring Warplowimage keeps its Deathtouch. Blitz Automatonimage still has Haste. Steel Seraphimage may still bestow abilities at the beginning of combat each turn.

That being said, abilities that check for color, power, and toughness will still be affected by the Prototype ability. For example, a Prototype Arcane Proxyimage will still “Snapcast” your instants and sorceries, but only with a default mana value of 2 or less. A Phyrexian Fleshgorgerimage may only force your opponent to pay 3 life at minimum when Ward is triggered.

Other things you need to keep in mind:

  • Prototype is exclusively for artifact creatures... for now.
  • If the artifact creature card with Prototype ability is not on the battlefield, the card targeting it will check for its regular stats.
  • When cast as a Prototype, any card targeting it will look at Prototype characteristics instead, even when copied on the stack.

 

Powerstones

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Adding another entry to the growing list of predefined artifact tokens are Powerstones. Cards that produce Powerstone tokens have the complete text and ability as with other artifact tokens like Treasures, Food, Clues, etc. So for the most part, its main usage is pretty straightforward.

Unlike the earlier ones that mostly require a sacrifice cost, Powerstones stays on the battlefield. They simply tap for colorless mana, albeit non-applicable to non-artifact spells. Thankfully, there is one directed loophole that it never states any limitations for activated or triggered abilities.

This means that even if you can’t use it to cast creatures or enchantments, you can still tap the mana for the appropriate ability costs of any card that stays on the battlefield, as well as paying mana for opponent's card effects. Heck, Young Urza can even pay for his own ability!


Unearth

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Unearth comes back with the same mechanics as before, though this particular set’s focus for the ability will be mostly on artifact creatures, and for the first time, non-creature artifacts.

As a reminder of the ability's basic rules:

  • Unearth an activated ability. You don’t cast the card.
  • Unearth will do nothing if the card is removed from the graveyard before the ability resolves.
  • Unearthed creatures are exiled when removed from the battlefield even if they lose all abilities.
  • Unearthed creatures are treated as new objects when exiled and returned (or flickered) by other cards.

 

Meld

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Meld finally makes its somewhat long-awaited return, since its first appearance (and rather more gruesome representation) in Eldritch Moon. To recap, melding requires two cards, or meld pairs, which combine to create one giant permanent upon fulfilling certain conditions. One card in the pair will give the instructions or requirements on how to meld. After melding, the combined back face card is then considered a new object, unrelated to the two cards that are combined.

The Brothers’ War introduces six more new meld pairs, with the resulting permanents being Titania, Gaea Incarnateimage, Urza, Planeswalkerimage, and Mishra, Lost to Phyrexiaimage.

As a reminder of the ability’s basic rules:

  • Melding exiles the pairs once. Any other effect that previously affected the two cards won’t affect the melded permanent.
  • This also means copied tokens can’t use meld.
  • The mana value of a melded permanent is the combined value of the meld cards.
  • The melded permanent itself can be copied as a token, but the mana value of the copy is 0.
  • While the melded card only has characteristics of the combined back face, its front face cards may still be named by other card effects.

 

Transformers Abilities

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Lastly, this set also includes both propular Autobots and Decepticons from Hasbro's Transformers franchise. At least three new-ish abilities will be featured by these cards so far:

Convert

Convert is the main face-flipping ability of the Transformers cards. Convert is technically the same as Transform. However, due to the technicalities of the original ability name’s use within the Transformers franchise, the name had to be officially changed.

More than Meets the Eye

This ability allows Transformers cards to be cast already converted on the battlefield. This removes the downtime for most transformed cards, as they are typically cast front face first. This ability also applies in any zone where the card can be cast.

Living Metal

As Vehicles (on one side), this ability basically adds “artifact creature” to the Transformers’ card types so long as it is your turn. They return as normal artifacts on your opponent’s turn, and would then be affected by the appropriate card effect targets.

About ChrisCee:

A witness since the time the benevolent silver planeswalker first left Dominaria, ChrisCee has since went back and forth on a number of plane-shattering incidents to oversee the current state of the Multiverse.

"Target bird is no longer available. Please leave a message after the last bounce."

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