Did Selesnya Auras Win the Most with MTG’s The Brothers’ War?

One of the classic ironies of Magic design is that the original Urza’s Saga block was intended to be enchantment-themed. They just made a bunch of even more broken artifacts. More than 20 years later, we have an appropriately ironic turnabout. The Brothers’ War revisits the same story and declares itself a true artifact set, but the deck most improved by it in Pioneer might be Selesnya Auras.

It isn’t even just Brushland doing the heavy lifting, but it’s good to start there. The allied color mana in Pioneer has been an unbalanced disaster for a long time, and we are finally starting to see it get fixed. I used to feel pity whenever I saw Fortified Village or Choked Estuary in a Pioneer deck lists, now I hope I won’t have feelings about it because I’ll never see it again.

Jesse Robkin touched on this earlier this week, but Brushland is uniquely important for Selesnya Auras because it’s the rare deck where Branchloft Pathway doesn’t quite cut it. The core of the problem is your early creatures are primarily green, but your best Auras and double-spell turns require heavy white. A land that can produce green on turn one for Gladecover Scout or double green turn two for Bassara Tower Archer needs to produce white to cast multiple copies of Ethereal Armor or All That Glitters the next turn. A Branchloft Pathway set to green mana is almost casting Stone Rain on yourself once you get to the point of casting spells on your creature. 

The power of Selesnya Auras comes from rapidly building an unstoppable threat, and ending up behind the curve because of your lands leads to losing against the normal threats of the format keeping pace with your all-in strategy.


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