Ikoria Partner Commanders: Shabraz and Brallin
Welcome back to another series of articles from CommandBeacon.com. We're taking a look at the first partners that were spoiled for Commander 2020, the Jeskai / Raugrin duo Shabraz, the Skyshark and Brallin, Skyshark Rider. Ikoria brought us a number of crazy monsters and the bonds they create are interesting. Ikoria has brought us these flying Skysharks in two cards, Shark Typhoon the Sharknado cycle enchantment, and our Commander Shabraz. Brallin was just trying to catch Shabraz to show off at home and ended up bonding with him. Apparently this was done by punching him really hard and fighting for awhile, I guess that's one way to do it.
Shabraz and Bralin trigger with card draw for life and discard for damage respectively while also growing bigger with +1/+1 counters. This deck is looking to either trigger our commanders for a draw/discard damage combo finish or just grind value to crush our opponents. For consistency we have multiple similar spells with similar abilities but building a deck with a linear game plan doesn't always work out. There are some control elements in the deck to help the strategy get through and get out of a less optimal situation but also some cards that can change the state of state of the game whether by control or adjustment of resource level for everyone.There are a number of newer cards with these consistent rewarding effects that I wanted to use and you may be able to spot some of these so have a look.
For those who have played the Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind or Nekusar, the Mindrazer decks some of the deck may feel familiar with Bralin. He is a Curiosity combo card like many others but with discard instead of draw and dealing damage to possibly several opponents at once which is an ability also done recently with Glint-Horn Buccaneer. With Niv-Mizzet decks in a multiplayer game you may not have enough cards in the deck to deal with each player one by one so these each opponent damage abilities make things a bit easier. Then there's Shabraz who's effect is like Horizon Chimera which combos with Drokol Reaver. It's a dangerous way to go as you can draw out your deck if you can't finish off your opponents or remove one of the pieces before drawing out your deck but otherwise it can trigger several other win condition cards or you'll have most of your deck in hand to try and win with. There's more to the deck than there seems and if you to see more details on the choices check out Shabraz and Bralins deck tech article on Command Beacon and just enjoy the fact you have a flying shark as a Commander.