July 3, 2018

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Brawl Deck Ideas from Outside the Box

Interested in Brawl, but think there’s no interesting decks to pilot?

That's an easy assumption to make when limited to the current Standard rotation. But, after tinkering around a bit, I’ve found a few brews I’m quite intrigued by. Perhaps these ideas will spark a few of your own and you’ll discover some interesting brews out there too!

Do you like to play storm? That’s right, storm. While not an official keyword in the set, it's still something we can simulate in Brawl.

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is going to be drawing us a lot of cards if we brew around her historic ability effectively.

Naturally, we're going to want to run a lot of artifacts, so if we run something like Reckless Fireweaver we can wear our opponents down while we “storm” off. Of course we’re going to want to run Jhoira’s Familiar and Foundry Inspector to make all these artifacts cheaper. I’ve saved the best for last in mentioning Aetherflux Reservoir as the most storm-like card in the block. It doesn’t take casting too many artifacts in a row to get enough to end a player. We just need to manage our politics early so that we aren’t responsible for defeating the whole table ourselves!


Do you run Laboratory Maniac decks? Always wanted to but just wanted smaller taste of them? Timestream Navigator does a decent imitation!

The principles of this deck are the same as a Lab Maniac deck. We want to get our own library down to zero as quickly as possible, and then we’ll resolve and activate a Timestream Navigator in an endless loop enabling us to win that way.

Fraying Sanity is a nice early play to get our mill machine working fast. If we were to resolve a Strategic Planning while our sanity is being frayed, our library will be six cards smaller, if nothing else happens. But what if we mill the navigator? We’ve got Perpetual Timepiece or a flipped Conqueror’s Galleon to get it back. If that’s not reliable enough for you, we might add green or black to the deck to get more graveyard recursion.


Of course we also have a classic reanimator strategy available to us. With the ability to run Planeswalkers as Commanders, Liliana, Death's Majesty is a perfect choice!

Liliana cares about zombies, but that’s not our focus. We control those loyalty abilities, so we’ll use them as they best benefit us. We’re going to be adding zombie blockers to our board while we buy time to fill our graveyard with cards like Final Parting. A tutor plus one card in the yard? What could be more in line with this strategy?

While we have a bunch of those zombie tokens building, we’re happy to resolve an Embalmer’s Tools to get our yard filled faster. There are only a handful of true reanimator effects in the format, but we don’t need many since we’re only brewing 60 cards. Besides our Commander, my favourite method is the Demon of Dark Schemes. Our zombies become nice energy food. Not to mention any Slimefoot saproling opponents out there.


Although this isn’t a particularly “clever” variant on a traditional Commander deck, the “White Weenie” strategy gets pretty interesting in Brawl. Spoiler alert: these weenies are impressive!

We’re used to this strategy spamming the board with tons of cheap creatures, and probably some tokens as well, but we’ll include a bit of equpment in here to make our creatures very difficult to block. We’re running cheap cards and hitting really hard. Danitha Capashen, Paragon makes casting our equipment even cheaper, while Sram, Senior Edificer draws us cards as well. We’ve also got Oketra the True making more tokens as well as being a true beast of an attacker. And did you notice that many of our “weenies” are legendary creatures? That means we can get the most of the Blackblade Reforged.


So there are a few ideas I came up with while brewing up a Brawl decks. They seem really fun to play, and have some real synergies in them to take advantage of, which makes them feel more like "real" decks rather than just a bunch of good stuff crammed into sixty sleeves. I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun this was, and I even have a few more ideas to brew up some more decks in the near future! Tell me about your favourite Brawl ideas in the comments. If enough people are interested, I'll do another article like this!

As always, follow me on Twitter to get into deeper conversations. I'm @seantabares, or try my podcast account @commandersbrew. Talk to you soon!