By the time you’re reading this article, The Brothers’ War will have been released on Arena, and we will all be happily jamming drafts as much as we possibly can. Luckily for this article, however, I had the chance to do some drafts ahead of time in the Streamer Early Access event on Twitch (thanks to WotC for my free account! #sponsored). While I don’t have enough drafts under my belt to have solved the format by any stretch of the imagination, I do feel like I have some insights into the BRO draft format.
In Early Access, several things stood out to me as potentially format-defining rules of engagement for Brothers’ War. If you’re not familiar with the concept of “rules of engagement,” think of them as format-specific truths that you need to understand in order to maximize your win rate in the format. First and foremost of these rules, I believe there is a huge disparity in the power level of the best rares, the best uncommons, the best commons and all of the rest of the cards in BRO. The best rares are significantly better than the uncommons, and the best uncommons are significantly better than the best commons. This power level disparity, combined with the fact that many of the best cards are colorless, means that you are going to be disincentivize from pivoting off of the powerful cards you start with in the draft most of the time.
Another potentially format-defining feature I observed was that you were very easily punished for not affecting the board or being able to interact with your opponent’s cards. Along with powerful rares, removal is back in a big way. If you’re familiar with the B.R.E.A.D acronym for the basics of drafting (bombs, removal, evasion, abilities, dudes), Brothers’ War seems about as close to that as you can get to me. During Early Access, I was all about testing out Powerstones and ramping towards big expensive artifacts. Folks, if that’s what you were hoping the format is about, I have some bad news… Brothers’ War seems like a fairly fast format that rewards being proactive to me. While I was trying to cast 10/10 mechs, my opponents were curving out and killing me with Soldier tribal quite effectively.