Magic: The Gathering's Brothers' War Commander decks are, fittingly, focused on artifacts and ways to make war with them. Each Commander deck is helmed by one of the two titular brothers, Urza or Mishra, and comes loaded with a ton of thematic cards that represent each brother’s approach to artifacts.
Urza’s Iron Alliance focuses on amassing an army of artifact creature tokens and powering them up over time. This white, blue, and black Esper-colored Commander deck features nine original cards, a bunch of new artwork for the reprints, and one alternate commander in Tawnos, Solemn Survivor. Let’s take a look at some of the best cards you can pick up in Urza’s Iron Alliance.
10/10 Liquimetal Torque
This unassuming little artifact can do a ton of work in a deck like Urza’s Iron Alliance. It functions both as a mana rock and can turn a nonland permanent into an artifact. Combine it with cards like March of Progress to make tokens of creatures you normally wouldn’t be able to target.
With a little bit of planning, Liquimetal Torque can also have some unique interactions with cards that care about artifacts. Other copy effects like Sculpting Steel are good or stealing another player’s artifact with Hostage Taker or Memnarch. Liquimetal Torque can even save a nonartifact card if you have Darksteel Forge in play, giving a card indestructible for a turn once it becomes an artifact.
9/10 Bronze Guardian
Bronze Guardian is a powerful creature loaded with all sorts of keywords and abilities. The biggest feature this Guardian has going for it is the fact that it gives your other artifacts ward 2. This immediately taxes all your opponents, making their spells and abilities cost two generic mana more if they’re looking to target your artifacts.
While it doesn’t completely protect them, it does a darn good job at making your opponents consider if it's worth spending the extra mana. Bronze Guardian isn’t done there though, it is a powerhouse if you control even just a few artifacts thanks to double strike.
8/10 Digsite Engineer
In a Commander deck that is constantly putting out artifact tokens, Digsite Engineer can quickly take over a game. The tokens that Digsite Engineer produces build on each other, allowing you to quickly assemble an army off of just one creature. With Digsite Engineer in play, it effectively turns each artifact spell you cast into a 2-for-1 for just two extra mana.
Digsite Engineer creates sustained value over time unless it is dealt with quickly. The Construct tokens, affectionately called ‘Karnstructs’, are the same made by Urza, Chief Artificer and with the two creatures in play, you’ll have a full battlefield in no time.
7/10 Wire Surgeons
Six mana can be a lot sometimes in Magic, so you need to be sure the card is good enough to warrant the cost. Wire Surgeons is pretty darn good. Each artifact creature in your graveyard gains encore equal to its casting cost. When you pay for encore, you exile the card and create tokens equal to the number of opponents you have and then attack them if able, and the tokens are sacrificed during the next end step.
Targeting the right card is important with Wire Surgeons, something like a Wurmcoil Engine will create a bunch more tokens when the main Wurmcoil tokens die, but you permanently lose the Wurmcoil Engine since you have to exile to cast it, which shuts off any future recursion.
6/10 March Of Progress
March of Progress is a mana-intensive way to double all your artifact creatures, making token copies for each artifact creature you control. This sorcery does some impressive things when paired with Bruniclad, Telchor Engineer who already does plenty of token shenanigans. Another funny interaction is with Myr Battlesphere to create even more tokens to deal even more damage when it attacks.
March of Progress may be a bit of a situational card, but because of its two different casting costs, it has plenty of chances to fit wherever you may need it.
5/10 Indomitable Archangel
If you’re looking for a way to protect all your artifacts there are few better cards than Indomitable Archangel. Once you have three artifacts in play, which will be pretty easy to accomplish, all your artifacts gain shroud. Shroud is a bit of a double-edged sword, however, as you can no longer target your own artifacts with spells or abilities either, but more often than not the trade-off is well worth it.
Indomitable Archangel is a little vulnerable on its own, since it is not an artifact and will not give itself shroud. Just be prepared to either turn it into an artifact with Liquimetal Torque, or keep a counterspell up to protect it.
4/10 Alela, Artful Provocateur
A powerful commander on their own, Alela, Artful Provocateur grants free 1/1 flying Faerie creature tokens for every artifact and enchantment you cast. In Urza’s Iron Alliance, Alela generates incremental value for each artifact you cast.
As another card that can grow an army on its own, Alela can just sit in play for a bit and wait to start winning. With a few extra combo pieces, Alela quickly grows into a game-winning strategy.
Combine it with Thopter Assembly and Time Sieve for a quick and easy way to take infinite turns and make infinite tokens that work well with your other artifact-based strategies.
3/10 Sai, Master Thopterist
Very similar to Alela, Artful Provocateur, Sai, Master Thopterist makes 1/1 flying Thopter tokens every time you cast an artifact card. What sets Sai apart is that for just two mana you can sacrifice two of your tokens to draw two cards, which is good!
Sai enables tons of enter the battlefield trigger-based combos with its token creation. A relatively easy combo to set up involves Battered Golem, which untaps when an artifact enters the battlefield, then cast Retraction Helix on it, giving it the ability to tap it and return a card to your hand, targeting Sol Ring. When you recast Sol Ring you get a new Thopter token, untapping the Golem and restarting the combo all over again for infinite creatures and mana.
2/10 Scholar Of New Horizons
Admittedly, Scholar of New Horizons seems a little underwhelming at first, but carefully read the second section of its abilities. You can remove counters from anything you control, not just itself or other creatures. For example, you can remove a lore counter from a saga to continuously gain the same effect over and over again while fixing your mana, or remove any annoying poison counters.
If you have a Mystic Remora, in play you can keep removing the age counter never to pay more than one for its cumulative upkeep. If you wanted to, you even could keep removing the lore counter from The Fall of the Thran saga to continuously blow up everyone's lands over and over again, even if that is discouraged in Commander.
1/10 Urza, Chief Artificer
The Commander of the Iron Alliance, Urza, Chief Artificer is an extremely powerful commander. With affinity for artifact creatures, it will be very rare to have to spend mana to cast it outside of the three esper colors, given the number of ways there are in Commander to mass create tokens. This version of Urza rewards you for committing to a wide board state and helps it along by creating more Constructs at the end of your turn.
This incarnation of Urza will need some help from Darksteel Forge or Indomitable Archangel to protect its army. Combined with other cards from this list like Digsite Engineer and March of Progress and you’ll have your own unstoppable army just like Urza.
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