I’m sure everyone’s excited to see how the Brother’s War will shape the meta for Standard, and even Pioneer. But before we dive into BRO brews, here’s one last take on the current standard set – BW Legends.
When I saw Ratadrabik spoiled, my first thought was a kindergarten kid named this card because of how weird and random the name sounds. But if you look closely, ‘Rabik’ offers a unique ability not replicated anywhere else in the game format. He basically interacts narrowly with the Legendary card type and provides us with a way to break the Legend rule allowing us to have multiple effects from the same creatures at any one time. Simply, if your Sheoldred dies, you get her back in a smaller 2/2 body.
Take note, he doesn’t say that the creature that died is exiled. This is the common condition when you get a clone from a dying creature. This means your graveyard is filled with reusable threats while the 2/2 clones buy you time. However, you get the Legendary effects of these creatures for the most part of the game.
Another card I really like is Spirit-Sister’s Call. It gives a reanimating engine for the price of sacrificing something that shares the card type of whatever card you want to bring back. Tokens still hold their card type so by sacrificing a 2/2 zombified Sheoldred, you get the real thing back from the dead. Although Spirit-Sister’s Call will eventually exile the real thing when it dies, do take note that you got 3 times the value from one card: The first time you cast it, Rabik’s replacement effect, and then Sister’s Call to bring the original back from the dead!
The next step is to select the best legends Standard has to offer. I’m sure you also thinking about options if you rebuild this deck in Pioneer.
I already used Sheoldred as an example above so she definitely has an invitation to the deck. I also spoke volumes about how good Edgar is. Take note, by playing 2 Edgars to exploit the Legend rule and have both Edgar and his Coffin in play, adding Rabik’s ability will result in having 2 Edgar, one as a 4/4 and one as a 2/2 zombie, and his Coffin all in the battlefield. Liesa is another card that offers almost the same benefits by leaving you with a token when Rabik’s in play and you can then retrieve the original card for you to re-play on your next turn, doubling whatever effects the card had.
We also need some early game and Elas is great because he trades positively all the time and offers some sustain when your creatures enter and die, further maximizing Rabik, Edgar, and Sister’s Call’s loop effects. Braids is also a great 3-drop because she offers a sturdy 3/3 body but also offers us the key to start Rabik’s engine. Sacrificing creatures constantly will pressure the opponent immensely and when they buckle, you’ll net cards and deal damage. Jadar is a one-off in the deck because the value he brings is OK but not game-changing. But don’t scoff at the 2/2 brainless zombie he keeps sending to the opponent because with Braids out, you can feed the zombie to Braids for the same amount of damage or turn it into a removal and card advantage, or if you have enough Wedding Announcements out, you could be sending a 3/3 or a 4/4 disposable hitter every single turn.
Speaking of Wedding Announcement, although it isn’t a legendary creature you will agree when I say it offers you the effect you’ll find more likely in a Legendary permanent. If you didn’t know, it already fetches Legendary price tags in the market so if you have some lying around, you are sitting on gold.
The rest of the deck is pretty flexible and is brought in for specific scenarios. Against Mono Blue, Thalia cancels Haughty Djinn’s discount and slows the deck down by increasing the cost of their cantrip and counterspells.
Liliana and the Emperor come in against decks that pack a lot of creature hate but not enough to counter Planeswalkers. They come in against sweeper-heavy decks that run Farewell or Depopulate.
The Raven Man is a weird choice but because it’s Legendary and in multiples can generate a lot of birds if left alone, can be useful and might draw removal from a control player. Together with Liliana (read their story because the Raven Man always tries to lure Liliana into his evil schemes), you essential tick Liliana up, make the opponent discard, and net a 1/1 bird that could be a 2/2 with Wedding and additional fodder for Braids to eat.
I’ve taken the deck to Arena and have been winning interesting games with it on Ladder Platinum 2, BO1. Seems fun to play but of course, on paper, the deck can be quite expensive. If you want to build the deck but also equally value having two functioning kidneys, here’s the budget fix you can do:
-3 Sheoldred, the Apocalypse
-4 Wedding Announcement
+4 In the Trenches (BRO), for the anthem effect and incidental removal
+3 Ao, the Dawn Sky (NEO), for the pseudo-card advantage
-3 Liliana of the Veil
-2 The Wandering Emperor
+2 Duress, for more hand disruption to catch sweepers before you’re blown out
+3 Elspeth Resplendent, swapping hand disruption for more card advantage
Thanks for reading, see you soon!