Brawl is now officially arriving to MTG Arena! This is a fun format where you choose your commander, and build a singleton deck around it. For the next week, you can participate in the Brawl Launch Celebration event for your chance to win some unique Brawl cards and their card styles. After that, we will be getting weekly Brawl queues on Wednesdays.
Read on for more information about the event, find out what Brawl is, how to build Brawl decks and get started with our exclusive Brawl decklists. This will also be our ultimate guide to Brawl and will be updated throughout the week, so bookmark this page so you don’t miss out!
- Duration: October 24 2019 at 08:00 AM PT (15:00 UTC) – November 1 2019 at 8 AM PT (15:00 UTC)
- Format: Brawl
- Entry Fee: 200 gems or 1000 gold
- Ends After: Until end of event duration. Rewards do not go past five wins but you can keep playing!
- Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)
To clarify, you do not have to re-enter the event and you only have to pay the entry fee once and there is no limit on the number of losses (or victories). Play as much as you want for the duration of the event
- 1 Win: Mace of the Valiant with Card Style
- 2 Wins: Faerie Formation with Card Style
- 3 Wins: Taste of Death with Card Style
- 4 Wins: Embereth Skyblazer with Card Style
- 5 Wins: Thorn Mammoth with Card Style
What is Brawl?
Dive into a Brawl! Build a deck around a legendary creature or planeswalker which serves as your commander, and fight your way to victory. The following cards are banned in Brawl:
– Sorcerous Spyglass
If you are new to Brawl, we highly recommend you read our guide on the Brawl format using the link above. It details on the rules of the format and how to play it in MTG Arena. However, many players may already be familiar from the previous Eldraine Courtside Brawl event! Here is a overview of Brawl for those that want a quick recap:
- Uses the Standard card pool – you can use cards from the following sets: Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, Core Set 2020 and Throne of Eldraine.
- Choose a legendary creature or planeswalker as your commander.
- Choose 59 other cards – a single copy (singleton) of each – as your deck, that matches the color identity of your commander.
- Color identity is your commander’s casting cost and any mana symbols in its rules text.
- Your commander is available for you to cast in the command zone (without having to draw it from your deck). Each time your commander dies, it costs 2 more to cast for each time it died.
- Each player starts at 25 life and you get a free mulligan.
- Sorcerous Spyglass is the only card banned from the format.
Note on Friendly or Historic Brawl
You are now able to play Brawl via Direct Challenge, and there are no constraints on what cards you can use. That is, you can use cards not in Standard!
Building Your Brawl Deck
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s build some Brawl decks! A lot of the fun comes from building your own deck from your collection and many players may already be familiar with the Commander format. In this section of the guide, we will review what cards will constitute your Brawl deck and find out what updates we can make from our previous Singleton experiences.
The approach to building a Brawl deck is very similar to how we have built Singleton decks in the previous events, except for one key factor – which is your commander! By nature, singleton decks are not meant to be consistent, especially when our card pool is limited.
The fact that we can repeatedly cast our commander without having to draw it becomes a very powerful ability as that is one thing you can rely on. Choosing cards that works and synergies well with your chosen commander will be the key to success (and fun) in Brawl.
Having said that, your commander restricts your deck with its color identity, so keep that in mind as well. As an example, choosing Kenrith, the Returned King or Golos, Tireless Pilgrim allows you to use all five colors.
Throne of Eldraine Brawl Cards
In Throne of Eldraine, there are 20 additional cards that are made specifically for Brawl. They come from the four tabletop Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine Brawl decks, which are otherwise only available in MTG Arena through Wildcard redemption (do not have codes and not found in booster or limited packs). You can view the full Brawl card list. Five of these cards are rewards for this event, shown above and we won’t include them in decks yet.
For the purposes of this guide, go ahead and craft these cards two cards:
They are only commons and will be staples in Brawl decks and will be included in most of our Brawl decks going forward. This is especially true since mana fixing in Brawl may be shaky with our currently available lands in Standard. Mana ramping is also important as your mana curve is higher than the usual streamlined Standard decks.
Tome of Legends is also a great generic card that can go in most decks as well, but craft it only if you can spare a rare Wildcard. Also note that these cards are also rewards for participating in the upcoming Brawl Magic Weekend, along with their card styles.
Tips and Strategies
We covered these points in our Singleton guide, and not much as changed other than the cards available since then due to Standard rotation. To summarize:
- Choose core cards with similar functions: The more consistent your deck, the better. Some examples of cards you can use together for redundancy:
- Ramp creatures: Gilded Goose, Paradise Druid, Incubation Druid, Leafkin Druid, Arboreal Grazer
- Burn spells: Shock, Scorching Dragonfire, Lava Coil, Jaya’s Greeting, Skewer the Critics, Slaying Fire
- Discard spells: Duress, Thought Erasure, Pilfering Imp, Drill Bit
- White Removal: Deputy of Detention, Conclave Tribunal, Prison Realm, Glass Casket
- Counterspells: Sinister Sabotage, Ionize, Absorb, Negate, Essence Capture
- Mass removal: Planar Cleansing, Kaya’s Wrath, Cry of the Carnarium, Time Wipe, Ritual of Soot
- Mana rocks: Guild Globe, Golden Egg, Chromatic Lantern, Arcane Signet, Firemind’s Vessel
- Choose a strategy and try to stick to it: The more redundant and consistent your deck is, the better. Decks that rely on combos or strategies that are too shallow are not so good in singleton, as even a small disruption will render your plan useless. As a general rule, have at least 20 cards that have the same synergy.
- Don’t forget about the removal spells: Reserve 10 to 15 cards for removal spells. Being able to answer your opponent’s key spells will be important, especially in singleton format.
- Tutor effects are very powerful: Cards that can look for specific cards are great in Singleton, whether they search your deck.Here are some examples:
- Prime Speaker Vannifar
- Wishclaw Talisman
- Circuitous Route
- Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
- Note: In Brawl, the sideboard tutors (e.g. Vivien, Arkbow Ranger, Fae of Wishes, Karn, the Great Creator) do not work.
- Use a competitive deck as a template: As an example, an Esper Hero deck may have 11 creatures, 11 Planeswalkers, 4 hand disruption spells, 8 removal spells, and 26 lands. Then you can replace multiples of a card with something that has a similar function, as shown on the first point above.
- Persistent Petitioners: Yes, Rat Colony is now gone and rotated out of Standard but these guys still remain. You can use 59 of these and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries or Ashiok, Dream Render as your commander if you wish.
Our Top Brawl Decklists
Many of our Brawl decks are based off our popular Singleton decks from previous events, updated for the new Standard card pool including Throne of Eldraine. Remember you can check out our permanent Brawl decklist section here also. Throughout this event, we will be adding and updating the decks, so keep checking daily!
If you are here to just grab the five wins and get out, then choose the Tobran, Vivien/Yorvo, Oko or Yarok deck – there is a high amount of powerful cards in green and blue at the moment. Vraska one is also almost as good, as she is a reliable answer to Oko. To see how powerful Oko is in Brawl, check out our video on it here.
The Brawl Launch event will be ongoing until November 1, and we will keep updating the guide as necessary. More importantly, we will continuously add new Brawl decks and update our current ones as we get more experience with them – the changelog will detail all the updates. Who knows, all the decks might need The Elderspell for Oko? Also we will be starting a weekly column for Brawl, as we will be able to play it every Wednesday – so keep your eyes out for that as well!
Also remember, you can always engage in our growing MTG Arena Zone community:
- Discuss everything and ask quests about MTG Arena in our Discord server or our Forums
- Follow our Twitter for the latest decks and guides
- Subscribe to our new YouTube channel – we aim to get a few videos of our decks in action!
- Leave a comment below if you have any feedback or just want to let us know how the decks went.
- October 25, 2019: Video showcasing the Oko deck added.
- October 24, 2019: Fixed some bugs with some decklists. Looks like we cannot use a sideboard for the Vivien deck.
- October 23, 2019: Guide posted.