A Pleasantly British Brawl

Budget Brawl

When Wizards of the Coast announced the Brawl format back in March, I think it was fair to say that the community reception was mixed.

While some players where very excited to give it a go, many were very vocal in their criticism of it. The comments ranged from ‘Why would I play Commander Lite?’ to ‘Just an Arena format I’ll bet.’ While I was excited to give it ago myself, I was worried it would fail to find a following and go the way of Tiny Leaders and Frontier.

Fortunately, Brawl rocks!

Thanks to the endorsement of many prominent community members, people actually decided to give the format a go. In doing so, they discovered a vibrant and fun gaming experience. The format has steadily picked up speed and now has a solid following online and in paper. In fact, I am more likely to get a game of Brawl on MTGO than Legacy in the queue these days.

Part of the appeal of the format is its flexibility. It can be played as a 1 vs 1 Canadian Highlander style format, or as a 3-4 player Standard version of EDH, making each game feel unique.

Naturally, we got to talking about Brawl with other members of the UKMTG community and before long, we had assembled a crack team of Brawlers!

The team included our very own Abbie, Vince (otherwise known as PleasantKenobi), his stream co-host and guest writer for Master of Magics, Rob (WhiteRobbit) and myself.

But before we started slinging Standard spells, we had to lay down some ground rules. You see, after playing a few games with WotC’s new Challenger decks at FNM, we started to wonder whether you could do with Brawl what the Challenger decks did to Standard, namely do power on the cheap.

For $35, the Challenger decks line up well against the established Standard decks, allowing players to just pick up and play. So we decided to set an ambitious budget of one Challenger deck to build our decks to create…

Brawl PreCons!

Skip to the video or check out what we came up with…

Angrath’s Treasure Hunt

by WhiteRobbit

1 Angrath, the Flame-Chained

1 Captain Lannery Storm
1 Captivating Crew
1 Deadeye Tracker
1 Fathom Fleet Captain
1 Forerunner of the Coalition
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
1 Pitiless Plunderer
1 Quicksmith Rebel
1 Ruthless Knave
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Skittering Surveyor

1 Abrade
1 Arguel’s Blood Fast
1 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
1 Brass’s Bounty
1 By Force
1 Cinder Barrens
1 Cut // Ribbons
1 Dead Man’s Chest
1 Fiery Cannonade
1 Golden Demise
1 Kari Zev’s Expertise
1 Makeshift Munitions
1 Mutiny
1 Revel in Riches
1 Settle the Score
1 Silent Gravestone
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Sweltering Suns
1 Thaumatic Compass
1 The Eldest Reborn
1 Tormenting Voice
1 Treasure Map
1 Vance’s Blasting Cannons
1 Vona’s Hunger
1 Walk the Plank

9 Mountain
1 Desert of the Fervent
1 Desert of the Glorified
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Ifnir Deadlands
8 Swamp
1 Zhalfirin Void

A self-confessed member of the ‘Fun Police’, Rob decided to run a pirate control brew designed to try and keep everyone else at the table in line.

Running a variety of sweepers and a non-zero amount of target removal, his plan was to keep creatures off the board while he either beat us down with his swashbuckling cow or winning through a combination of Revel in Riches and Brass’s Bounty. Best be on your guard, or this deck will literally steal the game!


by PleasantKenobi

1 Muldrotha, the Gravetide

1 Caligo Skin-Witch
1 Drover of the Mighty
1 Golden Guardian
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Ravenous Chupacabra
1 Sage of Lat-Nam
1 Slimefoot, the Stowaway

1 Arguel’s Blood Fast
1 Blink of an Eye
1 Bounty of the Luxa
1 Chart a Course
1 Commit // Memory
1 Essence Extraction
1 Glimmer of Genius
1 Grow from the Ashes
1 Implement of Examination
1 Lay Claim
1 Liliana, Death’s Majesty
1 Metalspinner’s Puzzleknot
1 Negate
1 Nissa, Steward of Elements
1 Nissa, Vital Force
1 Pull from Tomorrow
1 Renegade Map
1 Settle the Score
1 Song of Freyalise

1 Evolving Wilds
7 Forest
6 Island
1 Memorial to Folly
1 Memorial to Genius
1 Memorial to Unity

Fun fact: Vince forgot we had a budget for this little game. Instead he turned up with a $200 Muldrotha, the Gravetide deck.

After being reminded of the budget, Vince took an axe to his deck and culled Muldrotha’s pricey picks for more budget-friendly options. But even with these cuts, Vince’s deck was still a terrifying to behold. Muldrotha is not a Commander to be taken lightly. If left on the battlefield uncontested, she will just take over the game.

BW Historic

by Master of Magics

1 Arvad the Cursed

1 Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
1 Baird, Steward of Argive
1 Benalish Honor Guard
1 Cabal Paladin
1 D’Avenant Trapper
1 Elenda, the Dusk Rose
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Jhoira’s Familiar
1 Josu Vess, Lich Knight
1 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
1 Knight of Grace
1 Knight of Malice
1 Ravenous Chupacabra
1 Vona, Butcher of Magan

1 Adamant Will
1 Baffling End
1 Blackblade Reforged
1 Board the Weatherlight
1 Cast Down
1 Cast Out
1 Eviscerate
1 Gideon’s Reproach
1 Helm of the Host
1 Memorial to Folly
1 Moment of Craving
1 On Serra’s Wings
1 Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth
1 Profane Procession
1 Seal Away
1 The Eldest Reborn
1 Treasure Map
1 Urgoros, the Empty One
1 Urza’s Ruinous Blast
1 Walk the Plank
1 Weatherlight
1 Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering

12 Plains
11 Swamp

As you might have been able to tell from our Team MoM Prerelease video’s, Abbie really loved her sealed pool. That loved blossomed into this Brawl deck, headed by Magic’s latest brooding, sexy vampire.

Working on the age-old wisdom of ‘How can I lose with loads of Legendries?!’, Abbie believe her plan to be unbeatable. This deck really shows off the variety of potential Commanders Dominaria has to offer.

Boros Bogles

by MTGTengu

1 Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker

1 Adanto Vanguard
1 Adorned Pouncer
1 Captain Lannery Storm
1 Captivating Crew
1 Champion of the Flame
1 Combat Celebrant
1 Danitha Capashen, Paragon
1 Dauntless Bodyguard
1 Raptor Hatchling
1 Sacred Cat
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Skymarcher Aspirant
1 Sram, Senior Edificer
1 Valduk, Keeper of the Flame

1 Abrade
1 Blackblade Reforged
1 Captured by the Consulate
1 Cartouche of Solidarity
1 Cartouche of Zeal
1 Caught in the Brights
1 Dub
1 Forebear’s Blade
1 Frenzied Rage
1 Giant Spectacle
1 Helm of the Host
1 Hour of Devastation
1 Pious Interdiction
1 Prying Blade
1 Revoke Privileges
1 Shield of the Realm
1 Siege Modification
1 Squire’s Devotion
1 Swashbuckling
1 Sweltering Suns
1 Tilonalli’s Crown

1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Inspiring Vantage
10 Mountain
10 Plains
1 Stone Quarry

I decided to stay #onbrand and go for a more aggressive approach. Choosing Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker as my commander, I built a Red/White version of Bogles.

The plan is pretty straightforward, ‘Voltron’ up one threat and ride it to victory. Tiana works as a card advantage engine, giving your auras recursion in the wake of removal.

With weapons chosen, we headed over to MTGO to battle!

But Abbie, being a hardcore paper player has never actually used MTGO before… So cue hasty tutorials, trades and confusion…

But we got there in the end!

Well, that was one heck of a match wasn’t it? While Vince ended up taking over the game, it felt much closer than it appeared. Anyone of us could have taken the game at multiple points, and we all had a blast playing.

After the cameras went off, we had another game which I managed to win thanks to the Vince tactic of pretending I wasn’t a threat for a large portion of the game.

The Brawl Verdict

So, what did we all think of Brawl? In a word, awesome. The whole experience, from brewing to playing is a huge treat and was made even better by playing with some great UKMTG personalities.

It was interesting to see how we all came up with very unique decks with their own flavour and identity. One of the criticisms of Brawl is the size of the Standard card pool, but our decks demonstrate that even with much fewer cards to choose from, Brawl decks are varied and interesting.

We talked about where to take these decks in the future, with upgrades and additions we want to make. Abbie plans to build a paper version for GP Birmingham, so if you want to give her a game you might be in luck!

What do you think of Brawl? Have you already been playing Magic’s newest format yourself? And if not have you been tempted to give it a go?

Let us know about it in the comments below, and while you’re there, subscribe to the site to stay up to date with all the goings on here at Master of Magics.

Finally, be sure to check out Pleasant Kenobi’s YouTube channel if you don’t already enjoy his meme-filled content goodness.

We’re all looking forward to meeting up at GP Birmingham for a weekend of Magic madness, so look out for future content from there in the coming weeks.

So until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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