Early access streams begin at 10am PST on Thursday, November 10th. At that point the clock officially begins ticking down towards next Tuesday’s release of The Brothers’ War. The next few weeks and even months of play on Arena will be completely dominated by the latest expansion and here at 15 Wins I want you to be prepared for what’s to come.

Being prepared for a new Standard expansion basically involves three key steps. First, finish whatever needs doing with Dominaria United. Second, make a plan for your MTGBRO collection. Last, start taking notes on the limited and Standard environments to be.

Goodbye Dominaria United

The plane is falling apart while the remnants of Sheoldred’s forces ravage the poor inhabitants of Dominaria whose only mistake in life was to be born on the same plane as Urza Planeswalker. In the meantime make sure you finish off your DMU collection because you won’t be seeing too many packs of that set soon, as most rewards will be replaced with BRO packs. Also, take a look at your progress in the Mastery Pass and work out if you need to do a bit more grinding to reach any milestones, spend any unspent Mastery orbs, and buy any levels you need to buy (if you do that sort of thing).

A few important milestones on the track include the Otarian Goblin Pet at level 50 and the Ajani, Sleeper Agent Exquisite Sleeve at level 70. If you didn’t reach level 38 yet, that’s the final level that refunds some of the gems you spent. You have less than a week to pick those up, so make sure you hit your daily quests and rack up 15 wins every day. Of course, if you’re out of reach of those goals and aren’t going to spend gems to make it, then you may be better off holding onto your daily quests until you have three locked and loaded for the release of The Brothers’ War.

Collecting The Brothers’ War

Now is the time to decide how you want to collect MTGBRO. Yesterday I wrote about the value of the pre-order bundles, and if you’re going to whale or even dolphin on this set/game then now is the time to pick up the bundles. If you do want to whale and pick up the whole set as soon as possible, then you need approximately 200 packs to do so. Those 200 packs should get you approximately 200 rares and rare wildcards plus an additional 20 Golden Packs, with at least 40 more rares from Brothers’ War. At that point you’ll only be about a dozen or so rares away from a full set.

Aside: If you have already collected four copies every other Standard-legal rare from the sets that are already available, then the extra BRO rares you get from Golden Packs will make it so you don’t need to go all the way up to 200 to finish off the set. 150 packs will get you ~150 rares and rare wildcards plus 15 Golden Packs with an additional ~90 rares. That gets you to 240 rares, when you need 252 for the full grip of every rare. Another 10 packs should do it, no problem.

If you aren’t interested in dropping several hundred dollars on a complete digital set of cards then come back next week when I present my free-to-play guide to collecting MTGBRO. I won’t say too much now, but it will involve a decent amount of math, a new spreadsheet to track your collection, a ton of self-control and patience, and a solid fundamental understanding of the new limited environment as well.

Learning the Meta (Not the Facebook thing)

The best part of Early Access is that you can watch streamers make terrible decisions with their draft picks so that you don’t have to repeat their mistakes next week. Not only that, but Brothers’ War limited is going to be fairly prolific in the next few weeks. Obviously there will be sealed events and premier drafts along with the release of the set, but there will also be a phantom sealed midweek-Magic event and the November Arena Open plus the December Qualifier Play-In events all feature Brothers’ War sealed and draft.

You won’t just want to focus on limited however, as the Standard Metagame Challenge returns on November 18th and the format is also featured in Midweek-Magic on the 22nd. You won’t be able to take too many notes on Standard during the preview streams, and limited will likely be the dominant format of the next few weeks of your life. In fact, you might want to make sure you lock in whatever level of Constructed rank you want to achieve for November now, before you spend all your waking moments in the limited queues.

I’ll be back tomorrow with thoughts on today’s State of the Game announcement (will we learn more about Dominaria Remastered?) and of course next week with the official Brothers’ War free-to-play guide ahead of the set’s release.

Rich Stein (he/him) has been playing Magic since 1995 when he and his brother opened their first packs of Ice Age and thought Jester’s Cap was the coolest thing ever. Since then his greatest accomplishments in Magic have been the one time he beat Darwin Kastle at a Time Spiral sealed Grand Prix and the time Jon Finkel blocked him on Twitter.

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