Urza, Prince of Kroog – The Brother’s War
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Interestingly, The Brothers’ War leans into a design practice I’ve mentioned before, one from an unlikely source. In the old Star Wars collectible card game from the 1990s, the main characters from the movies were rares in the premiere set, perhaps unsurprisingly given a TCG manufacturer’s usual priorities. Also unsurprisingly, the fans wanted to play with their favorite characters from the movies. So, one of the promotional releases contained lower-power, lower-rarity variants of the characters so that people could jump right into making Luke fight Darth Vader, and maybe work their way up to finding or trading for one of the others.
This is one of three versions of Urza in this set, four if you count the one you have to use a meld ability to get. One is less rare than this card, presumably intended to let people start re-enacting the Brothers’ War straight away. The Prince of Kroog is an interesting combination of straight-up creature combat and straight-up value. He works pretty well as a Glorious Anthem in an aggressive artifact deck, where his activated ability is worth aiming at your best creatures. He also works pretty well in a deck based around just finding the craziest things for him to copy. Using his ability on a Powerstone makes the soldier token have its mana ability, and using it on Platinum Angel gives you redundancy in your prison combo. And using it on a planeswalker that’s been targeted by Liquimetal Coating probably does something good, though that kind of thing gives me a confusion headache!
Commander [EDH]: 4
One of three Urza cards from the main set, this one is the one meant to command your artifact soldier hordes into battle, thanks to a built-in Tempered Steel effect and the ability to raise an army from one artifact. While that’s expensive, it is a fallback, and just the fact that he provides a lot of potential stats in one four-mana investment is fairly scary. I’d say he can’t be underestimated, simply because that’s a big swing, though a fragile body makes him a bit of a weakness if your opponents can get to him. Still, this Urza plays well and pairs well with a lot of them, and I think he can be very scary with all the shiny things running around.
Commander [EDH]: 4
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