Hello everyone! With Jumpstart: Historic Horizon’s release, both Historic and Historic Brawl are going to see some massive changes. With 19 new Commanders to choose from coming in from Jumpstart, narrowing them down to the best ones was very difficult, but I’m happy with the results.
For this article, I decided to go with what I believed to be the 5 strongest Commanders coming out of Jumpstart and built decks around them. I’m sure all 19 could have very viable decks so don’t be discouraged if your favorite isn’t on the list. As a final note, these aren’t listed in any particular order.
Sarkhan is exactly what I’m looking for when I’m looking for a new Commander. He has great synergy, he has a strong plus effect, and he even protects himself! The issue I have with Sarkhan though, is that the support is not there at all. There were so few Dragons in just Red that his abilities wouldn’t be the most effective most of the time, something that’s just not acceptable for a 4 mana Commander. Maybe when there’s more support for him I can pack a deck full of Dragons and smash opponents.
We have another Sarkhan situation, but to a much higher degree. Ayula is such a great Tribal leader, but there’s like 3 Bears on Arena. So sad.
This card is cool as hell, but I have no idea how you’d get this to work beyond Rosethorn Acolyte and a lot of Ramp. I can’t imagine this is better than any of your other options, but you will win so many cool points if you kill someone with just Ooze.
Chatterfang is a powerful build around Commander that will reward you for going all in on the token theme. It’s not the most inherently powerful as a board wipe will likely mess you up, but I’m sure it can be a fun challenge to see how large you can make your board.
MY TOP 5 COMMANDERS
Elves is an insanely powerful tribe, but has lacked a solid Commander so it’s been virtually non-existent in the Historic queues. Freyalise is going to change that and in a big way. Elves is so powerful as it has a powerful and repetitive game plan: flood the board and cast expensive spells. With that, Elves always struggled against a board wipe, but now that you have a Planeswalker on turn 3 every game, just wrathing you is not going to be enough to take you out the game. Freyalise can ramp you, buff your team, draw you an Elf, or ultimate into a free Regal Force which is absolutely nuts at any point in the game.
Beyond just Freyalise, this deck just looks very powerful in general. It has a super low curve, a boatload of mana Elves, and a huge amount of late game payoffs between threats, card draw, planeswalkers, and other annoying permanents. Furthermore, the base power level of most of the cards is pretty high so this deck can operate rather well even on fewer resources.
If you’re a fan of Elves, playing this seems like a no branier.
Yawgmoth in terms of power level is just one of the best cards coming into Arena so building a deck around him seemed like a great idea! At it’s heart, this deck is a Sacrifice deck with all the cards more or less working towards that game plan. Generally decks that are that polarized (despite it being my recommendation to do so) will have a fatal weakness of some sort whether it’s wraths as an aggro deck or counterspells as a slower deck, but I don’t think Yawgmoth suffers from this endemic issue.
Wraths against a deck that’s looking to actively sacrifice all of it’s creatures aren’t likely to be terribly effective. Furthermore, counterspells against a deck where the curve is obscenely low will also not be terribly effective. Our biggest worry is decks going over the top of us, but we have so much value generation with Yawgmoth sacrificing a million creatures that it shouldn’t be a common issue. The best part about Yawgmoth is that you don’t even have to put a counter on anything so you can just cast him, draw a bunch of cards, and do it all again if your opponent lets you untap.
Out of all the Commanders coming to Arena, Yawgmoth is definitely the one I’m the most excited for.
Another tribe that has been absent from Brawl, Merfolk is looking to make a splash with Svyelun coming in!
Unlike Elves, Merfolk is definitely going to be more synergy reliant than pure power. When I first tried my Muxus, Goblin Grandee deck I was concerned that playing bad Goblins was going to make the deck too weak, but I quickly learned that if your Commander is busted and works with weaker cards, there’s no issue. Furthermore, since Merfolk (seemingly) has the most lords out of all the Tribes in Arena and Svyelun inherently wants 2 Merfolk on board, the stock in a random Merfolk is greatly increased.
Overall, we are all in on making Svyelun as good as possible, and that’s not a particularly tall ask. We have a solid amount of Merfolk, and since we’re Blue, we also get access to to the classic counterspell suite on top of all the other very powerful spells available in Blue.
What this deck lacks in total power it makes up with consistency, interaction, and Svyelun being absolutely nuts.
Enchantress has been a staple EDH archetype since the format’s inception so it’s exciting to have access to it in Historic Brawl as well! The issue with Enchantress was always the Commander was either weak or didn’t really work with the theme, but you literally can’t do any better than Sythis, Sythis is absolutely nuts and makes Enchantments that seem middling into extremely powerful options. Sky Tether and Unbridled Growth are not inherently powerful cards in really any sense, but when Sythis turns them into one mana removal draw a card or a one mana Divination, it’s a completely different story.
Beyond just Sythis, there’s a whole host of payoffs for being Enchantress in Brawl including Nessian Wanderer, Sanctum Weaver, Setessan Champion,
Although this deck is neither particularly fast nor interactive, it has such a powerful self contained game plan and a strong engine built around Sythis that I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t a great Brawl deck.
I’ll be the first to admit, The First Sliver isn’t the best thing you can be doing in 5 color. Honestly, it’s probably not even the second best thing you could be doing either, but Slivers holds a special place in my heart and The First Sliver itself is so strong, I couldn’t help but build around it.
A 5 mana 7/7 Cascade that gives half your deck Cascade is nothing short of busted. Sure, you do have to play a lot more suspect cards than other tribes to make it work, but having it live for even a turn can let you build a massive board very easily. Furthermore, each Sliver does make your board exponentially better since every Sliver is a functinoal lord, so I very well could be underestimating the strength of this deck.
Despite being 5 color, the mana should still work most of the time as we have access to a large slew of dual lands as well as mana fixers. Furthermore, beyond the inherent synergies between the creatures, we get to play the powerful tribal artifacts like Pillar of Origins, Icon of Ancestry, Herald’s Horn, and Vanquisher’s Banner.
What Brawl deck are you most excited to play? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading!