Last updated on November 17, 2022

Urza, Lord Protector - Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Urza, Lord Protector | Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

The Brothers’ War is shaping up to be a pretty awesome set. There’ll be several versions of famous characters from across one of Dominaria’s most important events, and many look like pretty great options for Commander. One really exciting thing to look forward to is the return of the meld mechanic, which makes for interesting commanders and appears on versions of Urza, Mishra, and Titania.

Another really exciting aspect of The Brothers’ War’s new commanders is the introduction of some new deckbuilding directions. Azorius () soldiers, for example, is seeing a push. It’s always fun to get some new archetypes to build around, and I’m super excited to see how this new set shapes the format.

There are also plenty of great commanders for older archetypes, of course, especially artifacts. But which are the best? Let’s jump in and find out!

How Many Commanders Are There In The Brothers’ War?

Mishra, Eminent One - Illustration by Randy Vargas

Mishra, Eminent One | Illustration by Randy Vargas

There are 47 commander cards in The Brothers’ War. 30 are totally new printings and can be found in the main set, Commander precons, and supplemental Commander cards (which are only available in set boosters and collector boosters). There are also 17 reprints found in the Commander precons.

A fun design aspect of The Brothers’ War is that the set takes place over several distinct eras. As a result multiple versions of legendary creatures appear from across the long history of the conflict, including four Urzas, four Mishras, and multiple versions of other notable players from the war.

New Commanders

#30. Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard

Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard

Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard is a good card for the 99 of a legends matter deck, but it’s an underwhelming commander. Its main ability requires sacrificing it, and it doesn’t even protect all your creatures.

This might be passable if it had more colors, but it’s too limiting to be stuck in Gruul () for a legend deck. Besides, there are much better legends matter commanders.

#29. Feldon, Ronom Excavator

Feldon, Ronom Excavator

Feldon, Ronom Excavator is one of those Magic cards that makes me wonder if I’m missing something, or if it’s just not very good. If it could block, I’d get it. If it put the unchosen cards back into your library, I’d get it.

As is, I don’t see Feldon being a good commander. I think it could be really useful in the 99 or other formats where you can swing with it and hope it’s blocked so you can dig deep, but I don’t think it’s powerful enough to build a great deck around.

#28. Loran, Disciple of History

Loran, Disciple of History

Loran, Disciple of History is a good utility card, but it doesn’t offer enough to be a good commander. It has potential if you build in some flicker effects and have a decent number of artifacts that benefit you when they’re sent to the graveyard, like Solemn Simulacrum or Ichor Wellspring.

This version of Loran will probably be more useful in the 99 of a deck built around someone like Osgir, the Reconstructor.

#27. Loran of the Third Path

Loran of the Third Path

Loran of the Third Path gives you good value for the cost. Its ETB effect can be very helpful, and white card draw is always nice to see. While it’s a good card, I don’t think it’s a great commander. It just doesn’t do enough on its own for me to pick it over other mono-white options.

I will say, Loran of the Third Path could be a very interesting commander for a player who likes to do a lot of negotiating. Working with other opponents and helping them draw cards can be one way to keep yourself in the game longer. Including flicker spells gives you a way to reuse the removal ability and makes it a helpful tool for other players.

But Commander politics can be hit or miss and some tables just want to slug it out. I’d call this a niche strategy at best.

#26. Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist

Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist

Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist asks a little too much for what it gives in return. Powerstones aren’t terrible, but it’s a steep price to pay by risking your commander and having to sacrifice another creature. A 3/3 isn’t bad, and these Zombie artifact creatures could be good for a few different kinds of decks.

But five mana for a 3/3 token creature hardly seems like a good trade, and it’s limited by the number of creatures in your graveyard. I think you’d find you aren’t really activating Ashnod’s abilities all that much, making this a pretty useless commander.

#25. Harbin, Vanguard Aviator

Harbin, Vanguard Aviator

I keep going back and forth on Harbin, Vanguard Aviator. In one respect, it can help to do a ton of damage if it’s played at the appropriate time. Play it from the command zone and swing out with your creatures which suddenly have a slight buff and start flying.

But your opponents will be expecting this move because your commander will be visible for the whole game. Harbin also doesn’t do a whole lot for you before you’ve built up a decent army of soldiers. It could really be great in an ideal situation, but it’s also a one-trick pony that your opponents will see coming a mile away.

#24. Sanwell, Avenger Ace

Sanwell, Avenger Ace

I think Sanwell, Avenger Ace is a pretty fun commander. It gets around white’s card draw issue by allowing you to grab extra cards when it’s tapped, and it’s can protect itself when attacking.

I think mono-white is unfortunately a little restrictive for a vehicle commander because lots of more recent vehicles and vehicle support has been multicolored. It probably won’t be the most powerful, but I think Sanwell will be fun to play. It’s nice to see vehicles continue to get support.

#23. Mishra, Excavation Prodigy

Mishra, Excavation Prodigy

While its older incarnations are very powerful, little baby Mishra, Excavation Prodigy isn’t as exciting. It’s interesting to have a looting ability built onto a commander, and it’s even better on Mishra because it has haste.

This card would be incredible if the mana ability activated more than once per turn. As is I’d say it’s okay, though not overly exciting.

#22. Urza, Powerstone Prodigy

Urza, Powerstone Prodigy

Urza, Powerstone Prodigy is very similar to Mishra, Excavation Prodigy, but it gets the slight edge. It’s nice to be able to discard after drawing a card. This gives you more cards to pick from for discarding, and it can be activated with no cards in hand. You’ll have to pitch whatever you draw, but it still lets you cash in on triggered abilities that activate when you draw and possibly make a Powerstone.

The other reason I give Urza the edge over Misha is that Powerstone mana is more consistent than the two red Mishra creates. These Powerstones can add up and allow you to cast expensive artifacts or activate powerful abilities over time.

#21. Farid, Enterprising Salvager

Farid, Enterprising Salvager

Farid, Enterprising Salvager is a pretty good value for its mana cost. It has solid power and toughness, and its abilities play really well together.

You get a Scrap token you can use to activate it again anytime you sacrifice a nontoken artifact to Farid’s activated ability. This lets you buff it up pretty big or be somewhat consistently goading your opponents.

I think Farid’s main drawback is that Daretti, Scrap Savant is a much better option for a mono-red deck that’s pretty mercenary with the lives of its artifacts. I think Farid could make an interesting build if you’re looking for a change of pace.

#20. Hurkyl, Master Wizard

Hurkyl, Master Wizard

Hurkyl, Master Wizard is an interesting choice for a commander. It looks somewhat underwhelming at first glance, but I think it can be powerful. Mono-blue decks are likely to cast a good number of noncreature spells so you’ll be getting one or two extra cards at the end of each turn if built correctly.

Hurkyl’s ability also puts cards into your hand instead of letting you draw them. This is an important distinction because it gets around pesky effects like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse or Narset, Parter of Veils. Any deck can be improved by allowing you to consistently refill your hand at the end of each turn.

#19. Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam

Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam

I really like Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam‘s ability to protect your artifacts at instant speed. It’s annoying to have to recast them, but less so than losing them. This also sets your opponent back because they’d have wasted mana.

You’ll also be able copy your artifact when you recast it if you have enough mana, which will help it stick around a bit longer. Drafna is the kind of commander that you just staple onto a well-built artifact deck that could use a little extra protection, but it doesn’t reach the heights of a great blue artifact commander like Urza, Lord High Artificer.

#18. Tawnos, the Toymaker

Tawnos, the Toymaker

Tawnos, the Toymaker is the latest commander that copies a specific type. If Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm and Volo, Guide to Monsters are any indication, Tawnos will be a pretty decent commander.

Beasts and birds aren’t as powerful as dragons, but getting two creatures in one is great. The copy being an artifact may make it easier to remove, but there are plenty of good artifact payoffs in blue that make this a wash if you build your deck with this in mind. I could also see a fun deck that runs lots of birds and drops a Craterhoof Behemoth for a huge double buff on all your fliers.

#17. Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea

Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea

Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea can be a pretty effective mono-green commander for a creature-heavy deck. You won’t really have use for its ability to make any color of mana, but the fact that it taps for two will likely put you ahead on mana quickly.

Add to this that it untaps when you cast powerful creature spells and you’ll be getting a ton of value out of Gwenna both early and late in the game. There’s also plenty of mono-green support like Hardened Scales that can help you scale up Gwenna pretty fast if that’s the direction you want to take.

#16. Liberator, Urza’s Battlethopter

Liberator, Urza's Battlethopter

Liberator, Urza’s Battlethopter is a very interesting colorless commander. You lose a lot of options going colorless, but there are definitely powerful cards still at your disposal. Besides, they’ll all have flash with Liberator!

A Liberator deck could easily snowball to the point when you’re flashing in Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on your opponent’s turn with all the artifacts and lands that generate multiple colorless mana per turn. It That Betrays with flash is another powerful tool if you can play it in response to something like Invoke Despair.

Liberator opens up lots of really fun and powerful interactions for colorless decks, and I can definitely see it getting a lot of love in EDH.

#15. Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor

Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor

Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor is a very powerful option for a creature-heavy Bant () deck. Allowing your creatures to both attack and still be used to surveil is a really strong ability, and it helps you to fuel Tocasia’s second ability.

Bant also has pretty good recursion that make it less of an issue to dump a bunch of cards into your graveyard, like Regrowth and Tamiyo, Collector of Tales. Tocasia also pairs well with a personal favorite, Grolnok, the Omnivore.

#14. Myrel, Shield of Argive

Myrel, Shield of Argive

I love that Myrel, Shield of Argive can basically keep your turn sacred. There won’t be any surprise spells or abilities coming at you, allowing you to play more confidently than normal.

This is especially good for a token commander because you can swing out with your huge army without worrying about a Settle the Wreckage ruining everything you’ve built.

#13. The Archimandrite

The Archimandrite

The Archimandrite is a fun multi-tribe commander that can turn lackluster creatures into pretty strong brawlers. Building a good amount of lifegain into the deck can lead to some really big attacks, and giving your creatures vigilance also gives you a chance to attack and still use creatures to draw cards.

I think there’s a lot of ways this deck can be built with the wide range of creatures it works with, leaving space for you to be creative and include your favorite advisors, artificers, and monks.

#12. Titania, Nature’s Force

Titania, Nature's Force

Titania, Nature’s Force is a frustrating card for me. I think it’s really good, but it’s also more expensive than I like to pay. If you’re okay knowing that you’ll have a hard time casting your commander more than a couple of times then I think this version of Titania would be lots of fun.

All of its abilities work well together, allowing you to create things out of your deck without worrying about missing land drops. This is a slow engine to get started unless you have a good amount of ramp.

#11. Tawnos, Solemn Survivor

Tawnos, Solemn Survivor

Tawnos, Solemn Survivor looks like the kind of commander that can get out of hand quickly. It’s cheap to play, meaning you can copy artifacts as early as turn 2 or 3. Copying early mana rocks can really help you get ahead of your opponents.

The more tokens you build up early on the easier it is to retrieve creatures and artifacts from your graveyard later. Even if Tawnos dies it’s so inexpensive that you’ll likely be able to recast this commander pretty quickly.

#10. Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa

Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa

Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa is going to make your opponents think twice before removing your permanents. It makes cards like Casualties of War and Decimate just as devastating to their controllers as they are to you. If your opponents bite the bullet and remove some of your permanents you’ll be able to unearth them at a pretty cheap cost.

This version of Mishra can definitely help If you hate having your cards destroyed. Throw in It That Betrays or Tergrid, God of Fright and you’ll be able to replace your targeted permanents with those your opponents sacrifice.

#9. Queen Kayla bin-Kroog

Queen Kayla bin-Kroog

Queen Kayla bin-Kroog‘s activated ability can be very powerful. You can get up to six mana worth of artifacts or creatures for four mana while also refilling your hand. If you build your deck around this ability specifically you can repeatedly refresh your hand and drop a bunch of free permanents.

You may want to include an Underworld Breach to go back for your more expensive cards later, but you’ll always know what you’re discarding and won’t have to pitch anything you don’t want to.

#8. Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor

Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor

After a long wait we finally have a Gix card. Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor is a great way to incentivize your opponents to attack one another instead of you, and you can get it out pretty fast.

Gix also lets you trade any card in your hand for one from an opponent’s library. This can be a great way to punish a player who tutors to the top of their library or just exchange a dead draw for a chance at a good card.

#7. Mishra, Eminent One

Mishra, Eminent One

Mishra, Eminent One is great because it allows you to double dip on your noncreature artifacts. Sure, you can use them as attackers, but you also get lots of other options. They have haste so they can tap during your second main phase if the artifact you copy has a mana ability.

The copy is a creature, so you can sacrifice them or at least benefit from any death triggers.

#6. Titania, Voice of Gaea

Titania, Voice of Gaea

Titania, Voice of Gaea is one of the meld commanders from this set. It combines with Argoth, Sanctum of Nature to become Titania, Gaea Incarnate.

You’ll need a reliable way to dump lands into your graveyard, so cards like Crop Rotation and Scapeshift can be very powerful in this deck. They’ll also let you search up Argoth, Sanctum of Nature and make it easier to meld.

The main downside to this Titania is that it has to be alive on your upkeep to meld, and your opponents will be gunning for it if they know it’s about to go off. You may want some landfall triggers to go with it if you manage to meld, like Scute Swarm.

#5. Urza, Prince of Kroog

Urza, Prince of Kroog

Urza, Prince of Kroog is far from the best Urza, but it’s still pretty solid. It’s a good anthem for artifact creatures, which also means it’s technically spitting out 3/3 Soldiers instead of 1/1s if Urza stays out. Azorius soldiers are getting a push for this set, and this Urza may be the way to go if you’re looking to build a deck around it.

Copying your artifacts for six mana is also great, and things can get out of hand because Prince of Kroog doesn’t tap to make copies. If you have a Chromatic Orrery you can make a copy of it as many times as you can generate one mana.

#4. Urza, Chief Artificer

Urza, Chief Artificer

Urza, Chief Artificer has lots of great traits for a commander. Its affinity ability can help reduce its commander tax and get it out early. Giving artifact creatures menace gives you a clear direction to build in, and this Urza also helps to build your board. The Construct tokens are particularly powerful in this deck because they both reduce Urza’s cost and buff each other for each new one made.

One of the best parts of Urza is how much synergy all its abilities have. You can also include every other legal version of Urza in this deck thanks to its color identity. This is a good option for your commander if you want to make Urza tribal.

#3. Mishra, Claimed by Gix

Mishra, Claimed by Gix

Mishra, Claimed by Gix is a great option for eating away at your opponents’ life totals. It can guarantee you get some damage through (even when opponents have blockers) and synergizes well with cards that care about opponents losing life, like Bloodchief Ascension.

Mishra may be one of the easier meld commanders to activate thanks to tutors with access to black mana. You’ll be able to punish your opponents pretty badly with each combat step once it’s turned into Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia.

Mishra may actually be better left in its original form if you’re relying on its ability to drain life, depending on how you’ve built your deck.

#2. Ashnod the Uncaring

Ashnod the Uncaring

Ashnod the Uncaring can be used to create powerful aristocrats decks.

It’s a little bit of a flavor fail that Ashnod doesn’t work with Ashnod’s Altar, but there are still lots of great interactions. For instance, Time Sieve and Arcum Dagsson are even more powerful when copied.

#1. Urza, Lord Protector

Urza, Lord Protector

Urza, Lord Protector‘s meld ability may be the flashiest, but the cost reduction is the real star. Reducing artifact spells by one mana is incredibly powerful as it turns your Sol Ring into a better version of Mana Crypt.

Your opponents are going to be in a pretty bad spot if you’re able to get Urza’s meld ability off and create Urza, Planeswalker. Two activations of the planeswalker‘s +2 ability allow you to play artifacts that cost up to four mana for free.

Urza can perform a largely one-sided board wipe to likely lead you to victory in two turns. Seeing this card, it’s pretty obvious why Urza won the war.

Reprinted Commanders

#17. Armix, Filigree Thrasher

Armix, Filigree Thrasher

Armix, Filigree Thrasher is a pretty underwhelming on its own. I wouldn’t recommend building it without a partner at all.

Partnered with Silas Renn, Seeker Adept creates pretty good synergy because you’ll be able to get artifacts back from the graveyard. Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer is another common partner for Armix since they both care about artifacts going to or being in your graveyard.

#16. Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

Silas Renn, Seeker Adept is another partner commander, so it’s hard to truly rank. Silas doesn’t really have enough going for it on its own, and how good it depends on who you pair it with.

It pairs pretty well with Akiri, Line-Slinger using an artifact theme, but even then I don’t think Silas Renn, Seeker Adept is all that strong.

#15. Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer

Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer

Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer is an amazing character, but it’s just an okay commander. It’s nice to be able to trade one artifact to save another, but that ability doesn’t really build up to anything.

Slobad just isn’t the best mono-red commander for either artifacts or goblins, so it’s pretty underwhelming.

#14. Padeem, Consul of Innovation

Padeem, Consul of Innovation

Giving all your artifacts hexproof is nice, but you have to be really sure your deck is super well-built to make Padeem, Consul of Innovation your commander. It doesn’t do a whole lot to help you out besides keeping your artifacts on the board so you need a deck that can win without a powerful commander.

#13. Fain, the Broker

Fain, the Broker

Fain, the Broker’s abilities all work well together, but it’s a little slow to really start a chain. You’re probably not in the best place if you don’t have anything better to do with four mana than untap Fain.

I’m sure there’s a way to get creative with this commander, but it requires more moving parts than some better commanders.

#12. Geth, Lord of the Vault

Geth, Lord of the Vault

Geth, Lord of the Vault can get through a lot of creatures without being blocked, so it’s a pretty serious threat in terms of commander damage. But its second ability is a little lackluster in black because you won’t have access to a ton of artifact removal.

You’ll have to rely on discard or other players removing artifacts, and either way that’s leaving your strategy’s success up to other players.

#11. Muzzio, Visionary Architect

Muzzio, Visionary Architect

Muzzio, Visionary Architect can be a lot of fun. It snowballs pretty quickly. The more expensive artifacts you get to drop for free, the more cards you get to search through, so you have a higher chance of hitting a big card.

You’ll have to be okay with a little bit of random chance, but I honestly think that can make some decks a little more fun.

#10. Losheel, Clockwork Scholar

Losheel, Clockwork Scholar has one thing a lot of players look for in a mono-white commander: card draw. I think the much more exciting part of Losheel is that it allows you to attack with artifact creatures and ensure they can’t die to blockers.

This is a great way to remove your opponents’ creatures without losing yours, and to activate any good attack triggers you might have.

#9. Sai, Master Thopterist

Sai, Master Thopterist

I personally prefer Sai, Master Thopterist in the 99, but it can be a pretty powerful commander. Including low-cost artifacts can help you to spit out lots of Thopters, and this allows you to benefit from any payoffs from having lots of artifacts.

It can be pretty powerful to have lots of flying creatures, so you can possibly deal a lot of damage if you include ways to buff your Thopters.

#8. Sharuum the Hegemon

Sharuum the Hegemon

Sharuum the Hegemon seems underwhelming at first. It’s in a great color combination to have commander potential even though it only has an ETB effect.

There are plenty of flicker effects that allow you to repeatedly use Sharuum’s ability, and you also have access to decent self-mill or other ways to fill your graveyard.

#7. Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle

Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle is a pretty fun artifact commander. Make sure to keep your deck low to the ground in terms of mana value to take full advantage of Teshar’s ability.

Sacrifice is another way to go if you aren’t feeling artifacts, but you’re losing a lot in that department being in mono-white.

#6. Traxos, Scourge of Kroog

Traxos, Scourge of Kroog

Traxos, Scourge of Kroog can be a really threatening commander because you can start dealing out seven commander damage as early as turn 4 or 5 depending on your draws. Cards like Whispersilk Cloak and Rogue’s Passage can be incredibly powerful, and any equipment that buffs Traxos is also a great choice.

#5. Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Like many Throne of Eldraine cards, Emry, Lurker of the Loch has stayed pretty popular since its release. It’s been reprinted in several Commander products, and it’s easy to see why.

Emry is a fantastic artifact commander and its cost-reduction ability can ensure you can consistently keep it on the board. Flicker abilities can be pretty powerful in this deck, along with self-mill.

#4. Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer

Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer

Artifact commanders seem to be a theme in this set, so it makes sense that Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer is included. One of the most popular ways to build Brudiclad is a deck that creates lots of artifact tokens be that Treasures, Powerstones, etc. Once you have a bunch of tokens, Brudiclad can make them all creatures and allow you to swing out for a lot of damage.

Anything that creates Construct tokens, like Urza, Lord High Artificer, is also a great inclusion.

#3. Ramos, Dragon Engine

Ramos, Dragon Engine

Ramos, Dragon Engine can be a super powerful commander. It used to see play as a dragon tribal or 5-color good stuff commander, but it has more recently become mostly used as a mutate commander.

Lots of multicolored cards and anything that doubles up counters can help you to activate Ramos’ second ability more quickly. While maybe not the best card, it’s fun to throw Progenitus into this deck because it can be cast with the exact amount of mana Ramos produces.

#2. Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is one of the most popular artifact commanders. It can be incredibly powerful, allowing you to draw a ton of cards and always find the answers you need.

Jhoira also goes infinite in a couple ways. Words of Wind is a popular option when paired with any two mana rocks that produce more than they cost.

#1. Alela, Artful Provocateur

Alela, Artful Provocateur

Alela, Artful Provocateur is an incredibly powerful commander. It’s most often built in an unnatural theme, meaning a combination of artifacts and enchantments. Most of the cards you cast will also make you a Faerie token, so it’s hard for your opponents to keep up.

Commanding Conclusion

Titania, Voice of Gaea - Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Titania, Voice of Gaea | Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

The Brothers’ War has some really exciting new commanders. While there are some duds there are lots of new cards that introduce fun new angles to build around or to improve old ones. It’s great to see a set so tied into a major event in Magic history get such great cards to go along with it.

Which The Brothers’ War commander is your favorite? Is there a character you wish had been included that wasn’t? Who won the war of better cards, Urza or Mishra? Let me know in the comments below or on Draftsim’s Twitter.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on the next one!

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