Wednesday Brawl – Week 1 – Oko Banned, Core Set 2020 Commanders
Welcome to our first weekly column of Wednesday Brawl! Brawl and Singleton are by far my favorite formats to play in MTG Arena, and this will be a good excuse to regularly review our decks and increase our experience in the format. If you are new to Brawl, check out our guide on the format before you dive in!
This series of articles is named after the weekly Brawl queues that will be available in MTG Arena every Wednesdays for 24 hours, from 8 AM PST. Each week we will be rounding up new decks and ideas, updating decks and any other relevant information to increase awareness and enjoyment of the format. Hopefully this way, this will increase awareness and Wizards will make Brawl available all the time soon (a contentious topic on its own) and be more generous with Brawl events.
If you have any feedback or want us to feature any particular theme or commander, let us know! You can also join our Discord to find players to play with, or discuss the format.
Oko, Thief of Crowns Banned
If you have missed yesterday morning’s news, Oko, Thief of Crowns is now banned from Brawl in MTG Arena. We were actually planning to do a small write up regarding this card that stirred up the format for a brief moment. Wednesday Brawl does not offer any additional rewards other than quest and win progress, but hopefully this banning will encourage more interesting gameplay now that Oko cannot invalidate everybody’s commanders.
Just a reminder that we have access to the five new Brawl exclusive cards we got as rewards last week’s event if you were able to attend it, or the tabletop Brawl Magic Weekend which grants you a code for some other Brawl cards. Otherwise you can only craft these using Wildcards, and as a disclaimer some of these may be used in our decks. Arcane Signet and Commander Tower should go in most decks, so go ahead and craft those since they are only commons!
Core Set 2020 Commanders
For this week we will highlight the themes and present you fun, updated decks for you to try based around the tri-colored legendary creatures from Core Set 2020. They were actually designed with Brawl (and Commander) in mind, so as long as you stick to the intended synergies, you will be in for a good time!
Kykar, Wind’s Fury (Decklist)
Kykar, Wind’s Fury is a card that is not yet quite good enough for competitive Standard decks, but makes for an excellent commander that has a broad ability that you can build around. Our version of the deck is closer to a Jeskai Superfriends deck that uses as much planeswalkers as possible to trigger the ability. You can even use the extra mana from the Spirits (if you are not attacking with it already) for X spells such as Electrodominance and Expansion // Explosion.
Another possibility is to stick to the true theme of the commander, which is to use the flyers and token synergy for a more creature-centric build. Here is an example build by Sunyveil here. It uses a nice mixture of noncreature spells that work well with flying creatures as well as late game pressure via Divine Visitation and Dawn of Hope.
Kethis, the Hidden Hand (Decklist)
This deck attempts to get value out of every legendary spell available in Standard, and reanimate them should they end up in the graveyard. Kethis suffered quite a bit when Oko was legal, but now that he is banned you should be able to roam free a little bit more. The deck can be weaker to aggressive strategies as it is slower to get out of the gate, but is great fun to play.
Kethis will be much more fun to play in Historic Brawl, where we have access to even more legendary spells – the best one being Mox Amber. If you remember the Kethis Combo Standard deck from the previous season, it should be fun to build around.
Omnath, Locus of the Roil (Decklist)
Elementals is a decent deck in Standard with the support of the overpowered Risen Reef, but unfortunately we cannot use four copies. We still have a formidable shell to work with outside of that. Rotation was not to kind on this tribe as Throne of Eldraine does not add too much power to this deck (have not lost much either), but we can just use more lands (the Castles), ramp and Field of the Dead to overwhelm your opponent as well. Neoform is perfect for this deck, as we do have some way of recursion and helps us tutor out the better elementals from the deck and use cards like Quasiduplicate and Spark Double to amplify our most powerful elementals.
Kaalia, Zenith Seeker (Decklist)
Another unfortunate commander that lost a lot of power from Standard rotation (e.g. Resplendent Angel, Lyra Dawnbringer – drooling at the thought) and suffers from a smaller card pool that we have now. It’s even hard to go aggressive as Angels, Demons and Dragons are expensive flying creatures in general so we’re stuck in a strange place with Kaalia. We’ll leave the Knights and aggro strategies to Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale. Still, all the creatures in the deck are relatively difficult to deal with so it should still be a fun deck to build and upgrade as sets become released.
Yarok, the Desecrated (Decklist)
Probably the most powerful commander out of the five in a vacuum, since its ability is easy to exploit. We can also combine it with some elementals similar to Omnath above, since Risen Reef and Field of the Dead is so powerful it’d be a mistake not to use it. This deck combines is one of my favorite color combinations, though it misses the Explore creatures from last Standard, it packs a lot of punch and value that other decks will not be able to keep up with!
Budget Brawl Deck of the Week
Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage (Decklist)
If you want to dip your feet into Brawl without too much investment, or just a new player with a small collection and want to join in the fun, each week we will introduce you to a Brawl deck with your budget in mind. Like our Standard budget deck collection, we do not use rares and mythic rares in the deck, and will give guidance on cards to use for upgrading if you have them already or get them later on.
Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage is a cheap planeswalker which makes for an ideal commander, though it is a little bit fragile. The theme of the deck – you guessed it – is obliterating your opponent’s hand with all the discard spells so they can only rely on topdecks. By then, hopefully you have your little creatures and Davriel picking away your opponent’s life total.
There are also tonnes of room for upgrades. Rankle, Master of Pranks is perfect for this deck, as well as Murderous Rider and Castle Locthwain as the ubiquitous good black cards. You may also want some board clears such as Ritual of Soot. Then you want to choose your secondary theme of the deck – ideally a sacrifice theme involving Ayara, First of Locthwain and Midnight Reaper. As an example, see our Rankle Brawl deck!
There we have it! As we stated above, make sure to join our Discord community to discuss Brawl, and find players to play with outside of the weekly queues. Enjoy the rest of the week, and we will see everyone this weekend for Mythic Championship VI coverage (more information on this later)!