A long long time ago, I used to be really passionate about the lore of Magic: The Gathering. It probably had more to do with the set novels being bundled in with the Fat Packs of the time, and when that stopped, I stopped keeping up with the lore. Eventually novels were phased out altogether, and they started to publish things online, but it’s not been a thing I followed since then. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe I just prefer books, despite my two e-readers having thousands of books on them, to digital works. However, The Brothers’ War, written by Jeff Grubb has been one of my favorite pieces of fantasy writing. Also known as The Antiquities War, The Brothers’ War told the story of Urza and Mishra after they found a Thran Powerstone that was split in to two pieces.
The Mightstone and the Weakstone were key in regards to opening a portal to Phyrexia, awakening guardian golems, taming Dragon Engines, and killing Tocasia. The brothers, while fighting for these stones wage a decades long war that eventually leads to Urza using the Golgothian Sylex, which causes an explosion which kills Mishra, decimates the armies of the brothers and ignites Urza’s Planeswalker spark. The Mightstone and Weakstone fused to Urza to become his eyes, and eventually were the key to finishing the legacy, which was Karn, and also ended up triggering his Planeswalking spark as well.
Yes, it was a weird and convoluted story that my short recap did no justice in really recapping, but old Magic set design was even weirder. These powerful storyline artifacts for the most part sucked when it came to game play. The Stones were a mirrored pair, the Mightstone gave attackers a +1/+0 bonus and the Weakstone did the opposite. The Golgothian Sylex destroyed cards from the Antiquities expansion, and this was a card style that say print in other sets as well. Cards like City in a Bottle and Apocalypse Chime (who thought cards from Homelands needed to be hosed?) were printed and I can’t imagine what these cards would do in modern Magic design.
This Mono Blue deck from WotC_Writer_RaphaelL features 30 creatures, all of which are artifacts. In fact, outside of Metallic Mimic, this is Construct tribal list. We have Bomat Courier, which I believe fills a different role in this deck as opposed to its inclusion in something like Mono Red. Yes it’s still the same creature, but this deck really wants to activate it, that way in the late game we can flood the board and really take the best advantage of The Antiquities War. Chief of the Foundry gives all of our artifacts +1/+1, while Foundry Inspector reduces the cost of our artifact spells by one. Merchant’s Dockhand is a really sweet one here. The one drop has a sweet ability that for four mana and some untapped artifacts can help us find cards that we need. Metallic Mimic, set to constructs, naturally, makes our creatures bigger. Scrap Trawler, an MVP in the Modern Krark-Clan Ironworks combo deck, is a lot more fair here. It just gives us a bit of recursion, making it a bit hard for our constructs to be dealt with forever. Scrapheap Scrounger can come back from the yard, and Walking Ballista, as mentioned before, is just one of the best creatures printed. With multiple copies of Foundry Inspector it is even better!
The other 8 non land cards in the deck are Karn, Scion of Urza, and finally I’ve seen a deck that takes the best advantage of the Planeswalker’s -2 ability. Karn, when it is minused should be making a rather large Construct. The namesake card of the deck, The Antiquities War should find us two artifacts after its first two chapters, and the last ability should finish the game, when your team of constructs becomes super sized!
This is a fairly unique deck, and I am super glad that it exists. I’m not sure how good it is, but it is exciting to see something like it in action!
The Antiquities War
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