Brawling into Dominaria
Since there was a huge lull in Standard and with most of the Dominaria spoiler getting released early I was bummed to say the least. After they announced Brawl as a new casual format a few weeks ago, I was curious to see how the Commander players at my store would view it.
Brawl is a Standard constructed Commander format and the rules are similar. Just like Commander, you have a Legendary Commander set aside and only play cards that match its colors. Your deck size is 60 instead of 100 to accommodate for the smaller card pool. You can also use any Standard legal Legendary creature or Standard legal Planeswalkers as your Commander. The only downside to it aligning with the Standard card pool is that any card banned in Standard is also banned in Brawl.
When a new set comes out, my favorite way to play is at a friend’s house, doing a draft with 7 other friends or playing a few games of Commander in a relaxing and casual environment. I am very happy to see the direction Wizards of the Coast is taking by promoting more casual formats. With the longer Standard rotations and the obvious direction of Dominaria, I can see Brawl becoming more popular than Standard in no time. The games of Brawl I have played have been nothing short of amazing. Tons of interaction, really cool themes, and most importantly everyone is having a great time. No better way than to post a few Brawl decks I have been working on that I am eagerly awaiting to play when Dominaria is released!

(If you haven’t seen the new Dominaria cards, the official preview Image Gallery can be found here:
A few more text only cards are in the accidentally revealed Release Document here:

Karn, Scion of Urza (Commander) • Weatherlight • Icy Manipulator • Voltaic Servant • Jhoira’s Familiar • Howling Golem • Powerstone Shard • Gilded Lotus • Voltiac Servant • Treasure Map • Aethersphere Harvester • Skysovereign, Consul Flagship • Mirage Mirror • Walking Ballista • Foundry Inspector • Chief of the Foundry • Filigree Familiar • Treasure Keeper • Metalwork Colossus • Scrap Trawler • Key to the City • Barricade Breaker • Wall of the Forgotten Pharaohs • Hallow One • Crackdown Construct • Azor’s Gateway • Awakened Amalgam • Sorcerous Spyglass • Hierophant’s Chalice • Golden Guardian • Bomat Bazaar Barge • Paradox Engine • Universal Solvent • Edifice of Authority • Oracle of the Vault • Orazca Relic • Pacification Array • Grave Abomination • Sunset Pyramid • Mishra’s Self-Replicator • Juggernaut • Urza’s Tome • Zhalfirin Void • Unknown Shores • Field of Ruin • Unclaimed Territory • Arch of Orazca • Inventors’ Fair • Aether Hub • Sequestered Stash • Spire of Industry • Cascading Cataracts • Painted Bluffs • Cradle of the Accursed • Grasping Dunes • Sunscorched Desert • Endless Sands • Scavenger Grounds • Hostile Desert • Dunes of the Dead • Survivors’ Encampment

Karn seems like a great Brawl Commander. His -2 ability is fantastic in this deck and you can get old Silver counter cards when he is recast. I would like to have around 23-25 lands in the deck but we can only work with what we have for colorless lands. You are lacking a little on lands in the deck but I believe with enough mana rocks you should be fine. You have a lot of early plays to help you chug through being light on mana sources with cards like Treasure Map, Sunset Pyramid, Azor’s Gateway. A card that turns into a huge Brawl hit for this deck is Awakened Amalgam, with 19 different lands types in theory you can make it a 20/20 with a flipped Azor’s Gateway or Treasure Map!
Another favorite Legendary creature of mind is Ghalta, the Primal Hunger. This is my son’s favorite card from Rivals of Ixalan so I had to brew him up a deck as well.

Ghalta, the Primal Hunger (Commander) • Llanowar Elves • Druid of the Cowl • Drover of the Mighty • Merfolk Branchwalker • Jadelight Ranger • Deathgorge Scavenger • Wayward Swordtooth • Rhonas the Indomitable • Trashing Brontodon • Rishkar, Peema Renegade • Steel Leaf Champion • Territorial Allosaurus • Ripjaw Raptor • Arborback Stomper • Majestic Myriarch • Ridgescale Tusker • Carnage Tyrant • Verdurous Gearhulk • Honored Hydra • Grunn, the Lonely King • Nissa, Vital Force • Commune with Dinosaurs • Thunderherd Migration • Savage Stomp • Song of Freyalise • Hour of Promise • Beneath the Sands • Aethersphere Harvester • Cultivator’s Caravan • Lifecrater’s Bestiary • Strider Harness • Rhona’s Monument • Growing Rites of Itlimoc • Sandwurm Convergence • Hashep Oasis • Arch of Orzaca • Desert of the Indomitable • Field of Ruin • Sunsorced Desert • 20 Forest
Ghalta is an amazing Brawl Commander that just makes me want to scream ROOOOAAAARRRRRRR. With the Jurassic Park movie coming out, and how much my son and I love dinosaurs, this has to be our favorite brawl deck so far. Ghalta is extra awesome as a Commander because if you have to recast it the extra cost also gets reduced by your creatures. Llanowar Elves is a great addition to the deck and glad to see the little mana dork back in action. My goal is to eventually kicker Grunn, the Lonely King and give it trample with Rhona’s Monument or Rhonas himself to attack for over 20!
I hope that Brawl becomes as popular as Commander. I see so many Magic players that come back from a huge break and get pulled back into Magic when their friends show them their Commander deck and how much fun it is to schedule a night every week, or even once a month to all sit down and have a good time playing "Kitchen table magic". As a store owner myself, I would say most of our business is on the casual side of magic and I love to get to know each of my customers and how their playgroup schedules things and what makes Magic fun for them. Introducing Brawl opens up a whole new side of casual Magic that has been missing. Building a Commander deck can be so overwhelming and very expensive which leads to a lot of power level problems in play groups. Brawl fixes all of these issues with a smaller card pool, and being mostly inexpensive to build. For someone a lot newer to the game, it helps get their feet wet to the world of multiplayer casual Magic.

If you have been working on some Brawl decks, I would love to see what you are working with! In the meantime, I hope you all have a great time at the Dominaria prerelease and be sure to look for our Team Massdrop at any upcoming GP’s or Pro Tours!
thumb_upltopper, MarkJacobson, and 2 others


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