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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Oct 30 2019 11:00am
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A GUIDE TO BRAWL

 Brawl is the latest format to come to MTG Arena, following the release of Throne of Eldraine on September 26. With the October 24 update, a week-long Constructed Brawl event has debuted the proper format on Arena, whereas MTGO has had a Brawl option since a while (it's located under the Commander scene). And given that Throne of Eldraine comes with built-in Brawl support, in the form of four preconstructed Brawl decks with exclusive ELD cards as a supplemental product, Arena players already got to experience a little taste of Brawl with a special event that launched September 4 and lasted through September 9, where a slightly reworked version of the four precon decks was made available in a self-contained format where they only played against each other.

 So, what is Brawl then? To make it simple, it's Standard Commander. It debuted last year and it's being now more widely pushed as a quicker version of Commander that plays especially well as a 1v1 format, though it also works for multiplayer. The two formats play very similarly on a broad level: you have singleton decks (i.e. only one copy of each card is allowed except for basic lands) and a Legendary commander that can be played again and again from the command zone, with a cumulative tax of two generic mana per each time it's been cast from there after the first. Here's a list of the main differences between Brawl and its parent format:

  • Brawl only uses cards from the Standard pool (so it's a rotating format);
  • Brawl decks are made of exactly 60 cards (59 plus commander) instead of 100;
  • Brawl's starting life total is 25 in 1v1 and 30 in multiplayer instead of 40;
  • Brawl doesn't use commander damage as a wincon;
  • Brawl always gives you access to a free mulligan, even in 1v1;
  • Brawl commanders with a colorless identity can run basic lands;
  • last but not least, any planeswalker can be your commander in Brawl, not just those whose rule text allows it.

 So Brawl decks are smaller and the life total is closer to regular MTG games, so the games generally play out at a faster pace. The most striking difference is the fact that Brawl lets you use planeswalkers as commanders instead of just Legendary creatures, which is a big deal.

 Even within a restricted pool, the building options for Brawl are many, and this could feel intimidating to format beginners. As we're right after rotation, Standard is at its nadir, with only five sets available. Still, Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the SparkCore Set 2020, and Throne of Eldraine amount to a grand total of 115 Brawl commanders – split between 63 creatures and 52 planeswalkers (War of the Spark's 37-planeswalker count greatly increase the amount of the latter). And this figure even disregards all the planeswalkers from the starter decks, since those are usually negligible, overcosted and overly generic, or even just strictly worse versions of those featured in the actual sets. You can still have fun with them, but chances are you'd rather have a "real" planeswalker at the helm of your deck. There are currently thirteen of them (two for each regular set, five for the core set), and we'll just feature them here, as a reminder that they exist, but they won't be given an entry in the list below (with two exceptions).

    

   

   

 Not including those starter decks planeswalkers, the commander count by color is presently as follows:

  • Monowhite: 9 commanders
  • Monoblue: 10 commanders
  • Monoblack: 11 commanders
  • Monored: 13 commanders
  • Monogreen: 11 commanders
  • Azorius: 4 commanders
  • Dimir: 4 commanders
  • Rakdos: 3 commanders
  • Gruul: 5 commanders
  • Selesnya: 5 commanders
  • Orzhov: 4 commanders
  • Izzet: 5 commanders
  • Golgari: 5 commanders
  • Boros: 4 commanders
  • Simic: 6 commanders
  • Esper: 1 commander
  • Grixis: 1 commander
  • Jund: 1 commander
  • Naya: 1 commander
  • Bant: 1 commander
  • Abzan: 1 commander
  • Jeskai: 1 commander
  • Sultai: 1 commander
  • Mardu: 2 commanders
  • Temur: 1 commander
  • Pentacolor: 3 commanders
  • Colorless: 2 commanders

 This means we have all mono-color, dual-color and three-color combinations covered, plus some options for five-color and colorless. Four-color combinations are extremely rare (only eight of them exist in the game), so not to be expected.

 Let's then review all the potential Brawl commanders we're going to have available until Fall 2020, ordered by color identity, with the creatures listed first, followed by the planeswalkers. [NOTE: This article combines and updates three previous articles that were detailing separately legendary creatures, planeswalkers and the Throne of Eldraine additions.]

 Jump to: Monowhite, Monoblue, Monoblack, Monored, Monogreen, Azorius, Dimir, Rakdos, Gruul, Selesnya, Orzhov, Izzet, Golgari, Boros, Simic, Esper, Grixis, JundNaya, BantAbzan, Jeskai, Sultai, Mardu, Temur, Pentacolor, Colorless.


 MONOWHITE BRAWL COMMANDERS

     

 God-Eternal Oketra: Oketra is a very powerful commander for aggressive creature-based decks, probably the most appealing option in monowhite, even if her arsenal will be somewhat limited by the color's reduced amount of good toolbox creatures. The self-tucking God-Eternal clause can come in handy to sidestep the commander tax.

 Linden, the Steadfast Queen: The queen of the white court of Ardenvale is in direct competition with Ajani, Strength of the Pride as the commander of choice for "life matters" decks. Ajani is more versatile, but with Linden and a few creatures on the battlefield, the quantity of life triggers is potentially game-breaking. Then again, there are probably not going to be too many lifegain payoffs on the battlefield at once in a game of Brawl.

 Sephara, Sky's Blade: Of course in a vacuum, Sephara is an even more explosive commander than Oketra, though she requires more build-around. The issue here is running enough monowhite small flyers to fuel Sephara's alternate cost – we have seventeen that cost less than four mana right now, but a good chuck of them is pretty dire Limited fodder like Griffin Sentinel. Still worth a try.

 Syr Alin, the Lion's Claw: Serviceable in a White Weenie deck, Syr Alin looks a bit too expensive for his effect, and as an uncommon, he unsurprisingly can't hold a candle to mythic commander options like Gideon Blackblade or the equally costed God-Eternal Oketra.

 Tomik, Distinguished Advokist: Nothing particularly exciting in running Tomik as your commander, though he certainly has a high recastability factor. And he's definitely one of the best enablers in a Sephara deck. 

    

 Ajani, Strength of the Pride: Of course Ajani is the commander you want for "life matters" decks (although, unfortunately, he won't be able to include Bloodthirsty Aerialist in them). He could also work in generic aggro lists, but Gideon is probably the better choice for those.

 Gideon Blackblade: The go-to commander for White Weenie decks. After all, he was part of the main lineup of White Aggro during that archetype's zenith at PAX East. Some of those cards aren't in the meta anymore, but there's always going to be enough White Weenie fuel to ensure the archetype's existence in a form or another.

 Teyo, the Shieldmage: Probably not the monowhite commander you want. Not even in a Wall deck (which wouldn't be monowhite anyway). Not even in a deck trying to be as casual and low-impact as possible.

 The Wanderer: Now, this interplanar woman of mystery makes for a solid choice of an utility commander, as having a couple of exile creature effects periodically available is pretty major. Think of it this way: your four-mana commander could send most of the high-end opposite commanders back to the command zone twice per iteration, creating essentially a commanderless game (unless the opponent is also using a planeswalker as commander, of course). Which maybe isn't the most entertaining approach to Brawl, to be honest, but can efficiently lead to a more control-oriented monowhite build.

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 MONOBLUE BRAWL COMMANDERS

      

 Atemsis, All-Seeing: Trying to break Atemsis's alt wincon in Brawl will be a fun challenge, and a worthy Johnny endeavor. Still not particularly effective, even if it could just mean you're building a good stuff monoblue deck paying a modicum of attention to differentiate casting costs and hoping for the best. The deck can also trying and exploiting our Sphinx's discard outlet ability somehow, even if there aren't that many payoff for that strategy in monoblue.

 Emry, Lurker of the Loch: Eldraine's take on the Lady of the Lake gives you access to much more than just Excalibur. Problem is, in a monoblue Brawl deck, her scope of targets will be somewhat limited; but there's still enough power cards among them, like Mystic Forge, The Magic Mirror and Midnight Clock, to warrant the attempt at a strong thematic build.

 Fblthp, the Lost: If you're looking for a cheap commander with intrinsic value, Fblthp might be your guy. He won't make for an intimidating presence on the battlefield, but he'll always deliver the card-drawing you seek. His second ability means the little fella will be functionally killed by any spell targeting him, but the change to how tucking works in Commander means he won't end up lost into your library (which is a big flavor fail, if you ask me). Unfortunately, Brawl doesn't incorporate the technology to turn him into a double Demonic Tutor with Proteus Staff in creatureless Fblthp Commander combo decks.

 Gadwick, the Wizened: The wizarding ruler of the blue court of Vantress, this Merlin counterpart positions himself as the default commander for monoblue, a color that was until now deprived of a truly convincing "good stuff" option beyond cards like Narset, Parter of Veils and God-Eternal Kefnet. Gadwick is more mana intensive, but his payoff neatly increases with the progress of the game, and his tap trigger can prove annoying.

 God-Eternal Kefnet: A spellslinging monoblue deck can't do much better than running Kefnet as its commander. Well, except maybe considering going Izzet instead, with Kefnet as just one of the 59 in the deck. Your call.

 Syr Elenora, the Discerning: As far as uncommon commanders go, Syr Elenora is solid, since making it harder to kill your commander is never a bad thing. Although, in the late game, she risks of becoming just a cantrip and a ground blocker. The appeal is not high, but the overall working of her abilities could be worse.

    

 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries: A commander with a built-in strategy AND endgame. If you aim to win through Jace's static ability, what's better than to have him always at the ready in the safety of his own command zone? Looks like a no-brainer. The plan, I mean. Jace, on the other hand, has notoriously a big brain. He's also the favorite commander for Persistent Petitioners decks, where all the milling is more commonly aimed straight at the opponent.

 Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor: Some board presence, some card filtering, some removal disruption; Kasmina provides a wide array of useful abilities, and seems like a safe choice for monoblue control in Brawl, albeit in competition with Narset.

 Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer: Yanling has a similar set of abilities as Kasmina, but with a different distribution and a larger focus on preventing creature damage while producing an advantageous board state. She's also faster and, unsurprisingly for a wind goddess (or whatever she is, she does look otherworldly pretty in her artwork), a good match with flyers. So perhaps her ideal home is some monoblue "flying matters" deck, though she could successfully lead any kind of blue list.

 Narset, Parter of Veils: Putting Narset at the helm of your Brawl deck is basically like having Impulse as a commander. Which is, of course, very desirable in blue. You cast her turn three, get your Impulse going, hopefully for two turns in a row, then you wish the opponent will be annoyed enough by her static ability (and they will: Commander formats relies on card drawing a lot to overcome the lack of redundancy) to try and remove her from the battlefield, so you can do it again. Narset is a very narrow commander, but her one trick is extremely valuable and can translate into crucial card advantage and selection. No contemporary monoblue Legendary creature compares with her, and going with one of the other monoblue planeswalkers also feels like sacrificing power level in favor of versatility. Not bad for an uncommon, but that's War of the Spark for you.

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 MONOBLACK BRAWL COMMANDERS

    

   

 Ayara, First of Locthwain: The black-widow-y queen of the black court of Locthwain really shines as the commander of a monoblack deck, since everything she desires is having black creatures flocking to her so she sacrifice them to draw into more. Not a bad gameplan at all, especially considering the various cheap value creatures the color offers.

 God-Eternal Bontu: We can just establish all the God-Eternals make for attractive Brawl commanders. Bontu excels in a "sacrifices matter" build, which in monoblack will be orphan of Judith, the Scourge Diva and Mayhem Devil, but still pretty darn effective.

 Massacre Girl: A sweeper effect as a commander? You can't really go wrong with this murderous gal. The opponents will see her coming, but they won't be able to do much about it, and trying and playing around her massacre will be painful.

 Rankle, Master of Pranks: Eldraine's resident Rumpelstiltskin is an explosive Brawl monoblack commander who's always going to impact the board right away every time he drops. He wants to be in roughly the same deck as Ayara, so they can easily switch duties as commander of the same list when one grows bored.

 Syr Konrad, the Grim: This dour graveyard guardian is definitely something you want around every time Ayara and Rankle cause sacrifices, but he can also be an effective commander in his own right for a more combo-oriented list, perhaps one specifically built around The Cauldron of Eternity and other reanimation effects.

 The Haunt of Hightower: Ravnica Allegiance's exclusive Buy-a-Box promo hasn't seen much play in Standard even after the advent of Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord. It has the potential to be a heavy hitter, but it takes a lot to get going and doesn't impact the board in any meaningful way when it drops, which is now what you want your six-mana commander to do.

 Vilis, Broker of Blood: Similarly, Vilis represents a high power level concentrated within a single top-end card. This kind of approach historically never works well in Commander formats; if your commander already costs eight, chances are you won't be able to cast it too many times during a game, and you're just presenting the opponent with a way to disrupt your entire battleplan through a single answer. Vilis might be more fitting as a payoff card in Brawl decks headed by more ramp-friendly entities.

    

 Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage: It'll come a point during a game when investing more and more mana into recasting Davriel to force a single discard leads to diminishing returns, especially since the opponent will see that coming and can take countermeasures like keeping lands in hand. And the potential upkeep damage is small potatoes. All in all, Davriel's presence is not significant enough to make him a major monoblack commander, but he's of course still the right choice for a dedicated discard deck.

 Liliana, Dreadhorde General: Very appropriately, Liliana is the Brawl option for the monoblack player who pursues raw power. Faster and more resilient than Vilis, Broker of Blood, more versatile than Massacre Girl, six-mana Lili impacts the battlefield like a dark meteor, sweeps, gives you cards, as well as two different forms of inevitability (her ultimate and her Zombies). You can't go wrong with big Liliana.

 Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted: Nixie is a strange beast. He ensures two instances of creature removal, much in the same vein as The Wanderer, but he also gives away cards in exchange, which is a big no-no in Brawl. Trying and winning through forced draw damage doesn't seem too viable in monoblack, not to mention a plan that's bound to backfire at any moment, so perhaps the best application of our demonic friend is a deck where you want him to target your own creatures for value. It could be an interesting build.

 Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord: Well, it doesn't take a scientist to understand where you want Sorin as your commander, and which deck you're compulsed to build around him. Yeah, it's Vampire Tribal all right. He loses you access to all the white ones, unfortunately, but he'll manage.

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 MONORED BRAWL COMMANDERS

      

 Drakuseth, Maw of Flames: Another "big cost, big reward" commander, though it's slightly cheaper than Vilis and in a color that features more ramp capabilities, even if the rotation of Core Set 2019 takes away all the tools to build a proper Dragon-theme Brawl deck – which would have used Sarkhan, Fireblood as a commander, anyway.

 Ilharg, the Raze-Boar: The angry Boar God might just be the least effective God-Eternals to build around in Brawl, because it doesn't do much until it gets a chance to attack and after that it's strictly dependent on your hand composition at that moment. I also feel like Ilharg without green might struggle a little. Still makes for a nice Timmy-pleasing commander, though.

 Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin: Krenko is probably the commander you hire if you want to go monored aggro in Brawl. He's cheap enough that his token gang will surely add up to a fair number of mischievous Gobbos over the course of a game. Worthy of a Cavalcade of Calamity inclusion.

 Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion: Solid midrange commander for a monored good stuff build. Reasonable cost, threatening trampling power, some looting and some mana production. It's possible Brawl will prove to be the right environment to truly express Neheb's potential.

 Syr Carah, the Bold: If you're keen on the idea of putting a pinger in command of a Brawl deck, Syr Carah is your girl. She also adds a limited impulsive drawing effect, a la Chandra, Fire Artisan, though the latter is clearly a more accomplished commander.

 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell: One of the grand lords of Embereth (the red court is ruled by assembly), Torbran is a truly explosive commander for monored. Forget Jaya, Venerated Firemage, this cranky Dwarf is going to add a whopping two to any red creature's power as well as the damage output of any red spell and effect. You don't have to see it in action to grasp how huge this is. With Torbran as a coach, three-mana Chandra, Acolyte of Flame creates the Elemental tokens of six-mana Chandra, Flamecaller! Syr Carah pings like she were Kamahl, Pit Fighter! Shock becomes a kicked Burst Lightning! Even the more control-ish monored builds can't go wrong with Torbran – when in doubt, just make everything more destructive.

    

    

 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame: The endless parade of Chandras (spoiler alert: they're all good!) starts with the cheapest one, who's also one of the most alluring. Granted, in monored you can't sacrifice her Elemental friends to Priest of Forgotten Gods or in the presence of Judith, the Scourge Diva or Mayhem Devil, but I'm sure you can still find a use for two free creatures per turn. And you can certainly find spells to flash back with her minus ability, and what about the fact that this little Chandra is apparently an inspiration to all other red planeswalkers (possibly because even Sarkhan finds her adorable)? Monored Superfriends, anyone?

 Chandra, Awakened Inferno: The Chandra who's come of age shows all her destructive power. While generally quicker than their Commander counterparts, games in Brawl tend to last longer than in regular Standard, so Chandra's emblems might be a reliable wincon against aggro too, and the rest of her abilities are just burn, baby, burn. She's going to be a common sight in the command zone.

 Chandra, Fire Artisan: A combination of card advantage and inevitability, this is the thinking man's Chandra. Okay, maybe that's overestimating the way she'll be used, since in all the non-Brawl games where she's featured, she's been just a matter of drawing into more burn, then drawing into all the burn while you also burn their face for seven.

 Chandra, Novice Pyromancer: The youngest Chandra was a nice kid who took care of her beloved fire pets and didn't cause too much damage. It's actually the Chandra with the most flexible disposition, providing a bit of ramp, the occasional Shock, some anthem. The latter is the key element, though, since the direct reference to the Elemental tribe will push you to build around it, resulting in a monored Elemental deck, which of course will also feature all the older Chandras coming together to help their past self – a time-traveling Chandra theme deck!

 Jaya, Venerated Firemage: Arguably the commander of choice for Brawl Burn decks. She's also a must-include in every kind of Chandra-lead deck, and not just because she's her mentor – Jaya's static ability fittingly boosts everything Chandra does in any incarnation.

 Rowan, Fearless Sparkmage: Shout-out for the solo Rowan from her planeswalker deck (Will is gonna be jealous). In short, you don't want to ever play her in any kind of Constructed endeavor, even less as a commander – five mana for a Sure Strike or a bad Chandra's Pyrohelix aren't exactly a good investment. She does look fabulous in her red riding hood, though (Will is gonna be jealous of this, too).

 Sarkhan the Masterless: Another powerful monored commander that lends himself to two different, very crowd-pleasing themes that can potentially be combined together – planeswalkers and Dragons. Unfortunately, the rotating Core Set 2019 was the Dragon-themed set, while the upcoming Standard environment doesn't have too many good monored Dragons left (though Skarrgan Hellkite is still around; plus of course Drakuseth, Maw of Flames). However, Sarkhan remains the main competitor to Chandra, Acolyte of Flame for the role of commander in a monored Superfriends list – durability vs. brute force.

 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator: Burn may either try to increase its damage output with Jaya, or ensure itself against lifegaining with Tibalt. He's also a faster drop that leaves some board presence behind at each iteration. He seems the way to go when attempting a Cavalcade of Calamity deck, albeit I doubt that's actually viable in singleton.

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 MONOGREEN BRAWL COMMANDERS

      

 Gargos, Vicious Watcher: Hydra tribal is very unlikely to materialize in Brawl, but as far as expensive commanders go, Gargos has some merits, its cost remains within Titan mana, and its removal capabilities are crucial in a format that can't otherwise count on the redundancy of solutions.

 God-Eternal Rhonas: The case of Rhonas is pretty straightforward, as he's the best choice to build a Stompy deck in Brawl. Green might just lead to the most balanced monocolored Brawl decks, since it has access to acceleration and removal to any kind of permanent thanks to fight, and its creatures are self-sustained, whereas other colors might fail to reproduce their usual shticks, not being able to easily pile up crucial and specialized effects like white's anthems and red's refueling.

 Mowu, Loyal Companion: A monogreen "+1/+1 counters matter" deck (which, must be said, will always play second fiddle to its Simic version) can't do better than gathering around good puppy Mowu, except maybe going with his own master, Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter, who however doesn't guarantee a counter collector will be around at any given time, while Mowu does. He once again embodies the trouble of ultimately amassing a high degree of power into one easily removed card, but his Hardened Scales ability makes it somewhat easy to build him up again.

 Questing Beast: Now, this is tricky to evaluate as a commander, because Questing Beast is definitely a powerful card, one of the most coveted of the entire set, but it doesn't particularly synergize with the rest of a list as a whole, beyond just nullifying protection from green and giving all your creatures resistance to Fog effects. Still, with Questy as your commander, you get constant access to four hasty damage that sneak past most go-wide defensive setups and deal particularly well with your opponent's planeswalkers, including those that they may have elected as their commander. It might not be as impactful as Nissa, Who Shakes the World or as versatile as Vivien, Arkbow Ranger, but starting with Questing Beast in the command zone is not the worst choice.

 Syr Faren, the Hengehammer: A quick-on-the-draw, low-to-the-ground green commander for specific Stompy lineups that feature a lot of pump spells, probably backed by cards like Season of Growth and of course The Great Henge. It could work.

 Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig: The ruler of the green court has the ability to quickly grow into a serious threat on the battlefield, but he needs some form of support, namely something giving him trample (Vivien, Arkbow Ranger being the best at this job). On top of that, he might not be the most effective commander, because he doesn't contribute anything else other than his big body, and commanders are routinely sent back to the command zone anyway, so Yorvo's counters will be constantly reset, even if he can rebuild them again easily enough.

    

 Arlinn, Voice of the Pack: Even with the additions from Throne of Eldraine, Tribal Wolf will likely remain a pipe dream in Brawl – plus Garruk has come back to claim that list for himself, in direct competition with Tolsimir, and both of them outclass Arlinn severely.

 Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter: Yanggu would be the perfect commander for +1/+1 shenanigans decks – if Vivien, Arkbow Ranger didn't exist, that is. The reduced casting cost and the bit of ramp he provides don't make up for Vivien's overall superiority.

 Nissa, Who Shakes the World: One of the most powerful cards in Standard, period. Hard to justify going monogreen in Brawl and not using Nissa as your commander; in fact, Nissa's existence is what will entice many players to go monogreen in the first place, just to make sure to have her out by turn five – or, more likely, sooner. Nikya of the Old Ways has a similar ramping effect and opens the deck to one additional color, but at the cost of giving up on noncreature spells. What's more likely, that you don't want any noncreature in a singleton ramp deck, or that green creatures are already enough to ramp into? Plus, Nikya is just one body, if decently sized, while Nissa is 18 damage in three turns, and doesn't die to Murder.

 Vivien, Arkbow Ranger: Now, if one wants to avoid the too obvious Nissa route, M20 Vivien is probably the second best option, still beating all the monogreen creature options as commander. Her wishboard is shut down by the absence of a sideboard in Brawl, but her other two abilities are strong enough to compensate, the triple green cost is not a factor in monogreen, and her plus is what you want in any deck that cares about +1/+1 counters – or just to give a persistent boost and trample to your beaters.

 Vivien, Champion of the Wilds: While not as impactful as Nissa or her own other incarnation, this cheaper Vivien has the monopoly on flash-based decks. Unless you manage to collect enough creatures with native flash (which has become increasingly common in green), then you won't even need the Champion of the Wilds, who's after all a very frail planeswalker with a reduced range of abilities.

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 AZORIUS BRAWL COMMANDERS

    

 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade: Since her printing, Lavinia has been completely ignored in Standard, being too narrow of a hatebear in the format (she was designed for more Eternal purposes). Still, at the moment she's the only creature option for Azorius decks in Brawl, and considering Esper has none and Dimir is a different kind of control beast, maybe we're going to see Lavinia played just to get access to such a classic color pair through a creature (aw, who am I fooling, everyone will just play Teferi, Time Raveler). Plus she does contribute with something, as her first ability keeps Mass Manipulation at bay out of the Simic ramp decks (remember X is not zero when the spell is on the stack), and the second stops all kinds of free spells, even if that would be more relevant in a format with Omniscience and Mox Amber still around.   

 Dovin, Grand Arbiter: Dovin is a solid option for going Azorius in Brawl, a color pair with only one Legendary creature to its name in the current pool, although the shadow of Teferi looms large on the whole endeavor, threatening to make every other discussion moot. Still, Dovin wearing the Grand Arbiter cape is a nice commander, if one with a limited scope, as he mostly creates Thopter tokens. His little Thopters are good at multiple jobs, though: they generate synergies with either flyers or artifacts, help go wide within an aggro build, and function as chump-blockers in control. There are more things going on with this Dovin than it might be apparent at first.

 Dovin, Hand of Control: The uncommon Dovin from War of the Spark is more focused on pure control, putting a tax to the opponent's battle plan while also neutering one of their permanents five times before going back to the command zone to recharge. He's generally less appealing than his mythic version, but still serviceable.

 Teferi, Time Raveler: Oh, man. The prospect of facing a Teferi-lead deck might be enough to put players off the Brawl experience entirely. I will say this, though: while having Teferi as commander is clearly better than just having a singleton copy of him floating around in the deck, it's also somehow worse than being allowed to run four copies. It's true that he can come back infinite times from the command zone, but after a while you'll be asked to pay more than he's worth, and you won't be able to simply string together a series of Teferis for three mana apiece; in fact, you'll have to wait for the opponent to get rid of the present iteration on the battlefield (or for you to find a way to do it yourself) in order to cast him again. So, he might prove to be less of a warping element in Brawl than he is in regular Standard, especially if you're facing decks that don't much care for playing at instant speed.

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 DIMIR BRAWL COMMANDERS

    

 Etrata, the Silencer: I was previously mistaken in my evaluation of Etrata, forgetting how the rule about shuffling your commander into the library was revised back in 2015. Since now you can send your Vampire Assassin back to the command zone after each hit, she becomes a bonafide scary win condition, as promptly demonstrated in this video. She makes for a quirky, all-in commander, especially effective against creature-heavy decks (otherwise you'll lack targets for her ability, which encapsulates your entire strategy).

 Lazav, the Multifarious: Withing Brawl, Lazav won't be able to copy his pal Kethis, the Hidden Hand, but will still mimic all sorts of other dead creatures. He could take the mantle of principal Brawl commander in Dimir over the more specialized Ashiok and Tezzeret.

 Ashiok, Dream Render: Will Ashiok be able to turn his milling into a self-sustained wincon? It's possible, if properly defended then promptly returned to the battlefield upon exhaustion. After all, you only need to go through this process three times (or even two and a half) to completely erase the opponent's library. Plus, Ashiok shuts down graveyard recursion and tutoring, both critical elements in a Commander format. Might be a good choice for a Dimir commander, as strange as it sounds. Also, Brawl decks filled to the brim with Persistent Petitioners are a thing, sadly, and even those need a commander.

 Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge: A build-around-me card if there's one, Buy-a-Box promo Tezzeret is the commander you want for your artifact brews. Sure, Ugin, the Ineffable reduces the entire deck's casting cost, but he also precludes access to anything colored (including colored artifacts), whereas Tezzeret gives you two colors to work with – while still allowing you to run Ugin. I expect him to be popular, in proportion to the measure of in-color artifact support we'll be getting in the next few sets.

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 RAKDOS BRAWL COMMANDERS

   

 Judith, the Scourge Diva: Oh boy. A Rakdos sacrifice deck with Judith at the helm is... very close to a regular Rakdos sacrifice deck, but with Judith always around. Tier-1 material right there.

 Rakdos, the Showstopper: If you wish to go big in Rakdos, nothing will beat the main guy himself. It's not as surefire a sweeper effect as Massacre Girl is most of the times, but it gives access to a second color, and casting our showstopping Demon again and again will be truly spectacular, in spite of anything that may happen with his random trigger – at least we know Mayhem Devil will be spared. 

 Angrath, Captain of Chaos: Rakdos is another guild that's not given a ton of options in Brawl so far, with everything pointing at Judith, the Scourge Diva and her very specific brand of sacrificial deck. Angrath doesn't really change this situation, since even a generic good stuff black-red build would profit more from Judith's anthem and pinging ability than from universal menace and one Army token. If only Angrath, the Flame-Chained was still around.

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 GRUUL BRAWL COMMANDERS

     

 Grumgully, the Generous: The most obvious choice for a Gruul commander in Brawl is either one of the two main Domris, but this weird mushroom pusher makes a good case for himself, just as something that you drop early on to gift with a permanent boost all your following creatures, which will most likely agree with his non-Human requirement. Particularly intriguing in the under-explored archetype of red-green tokens, which is given to exploit highly profitable cards like Legion Warboss, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, Chandra, Acolyte of Flame and Nightpack Ambusher.

 Nikya of the Old Ways: This Centaur lady is the only non-planeswalker Gruul option right now, and is an enticing one. Her main competitor in the big mana category is Nissa, Who Shakes the World, and each of them brings a different brand of versatility into the proceedings, with Nikya opening red avenues and Nissa allowing for noncreature spells. I guess at that point it's a question of personal taste, because both options seem pretty strong in Brawl.   

 Domri, Anarch of Bolas: Prior to Throne of Eldraine, going Gruul in Brawl is a question of choosing between the creature ramp of Nikya of the Old Ways or some Domri action. The smaller one is already a tried and tested presence in Gruul aggro decks: anthem, fight, little ramp, unconterability – he's a full package of utility. Gruul primary candidate, probably.

 Domri, Chaos Bringer: Four-mana Domri from Ravnica Allegiance is a more traditional planeswalker sporting a plus ability, a minus ability, and an ultimate – remember how simple things used to be before the War? He ramps at the same pace as his cheaper version, but also adds riot to the deal; this is the major point in his favor, and might be the deciding factor, along with his card selection ability, which is always extremely important in a singleton environment. So maybe this is actually Gruul Number One? Which Domri to elect as your commander, then? Aw shucks, just toss a coin. Or make them exchange place in between games, you know you'll run them both within your 60 anyway.

 Samut, Tyrant Smasher: Alas, Samut is just a strictly worse Domri, Chaos Bringer, since he also essentially gives haste to all your creatures to an extent – it's just less effective when you're adding more than one creature to the battlefield each turn. But considering Samut doesn't do much else, it's not even a choice, unless you find a way in red-green to engineer an endgame where you suddenly summon or generate a large number of creatures at once, which seems unlikely.

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 SELESNYA BRAWL COMMANDERS

     

 Emmara, Soul of the Accord: Selesnya owns one of the best collections of Brawl dual-color commander candidates. Emmara is perfect as a cheap commander that works wonders in a go-wide strategy. Remember all those times when you suicided your Emmara attacking into a trade only to get a token? Now you'll be able to do that and then replay Emmara a couple turns later!

 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves: On the other hand, Tolsimir makes for a more midrange-y commander providing repeatable removal and lifegain. He's also allowed to run all of the Wolves in his deck, especially Nightpack Ambusher (though not the new Garruk, unfortunately).

 Trostani Discordant: But the mother of all Selesnya decks is (literally) Trostani, a generic good stuff option where you clearly feel incentivized to play the other Selesnya commanders under her rule. Then again, you'll probably going to play these three in any Selesnya Brawl deck, regardless of who gets to wear the commander hat between them.  

 Ajani, the Greathearted: If Selesnya has a strong trifecta of eligible creature commanders, its planeswalkers are somewhat lacking. This Ajani is playable, but he's much less apt to helm a "lifegaining matters" deck than his most recent monowhite incarnation. On the other hand, his minus ability might make him suitable as the leader of a large band of walkers – if we include all the white ones, all the green ones, the other Selesnya one and the colorless ones, there could be up to twelve of them in a Greathearted deck, which is an acceptable number to make the plan works, although their power level is very variable.

 Huatli, the Sun's Heart: Building a deck around Huatli's static ability could be fun, even if it's pretty limited in extent, as she doesn't actually help defenders attack nor gives access to cards allowing it, like High Alert (and if she did, then her ability would be redundant, as opposed to complementary). So, fun, but if we're being perfectly honest, also probably the weakest of all the planeswalkers from War of the Spark.

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 ORZHOV BRAWL COMMANDERS

    

 Teysa Karlov: In a comparable manner to what Judith represents for Rakdos, Teysa's identity encompasses the two colors she needs to create a functional "tokens matter" and "death matters" deck in Orzhov. I expect she'll be popular enough.   

 Kaya, Bane of the Dead: Big Kaya plays similarly to The Wanderer, but she's more expensive because her ability is non-conditional and can target hexproof creatures. She also opens the deck up to a second color, which is huge, but you can do the same with the other Orzhov walkers, even if none of them is without their own shortcomings.

 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper: The Kaya from Ravnica Allegiance drops for half the cost of the one from War of the Spark, but she's also only good against certain things, namely the graveyard and permanents with CMC 1. She could lead a deck that exiles a lot of cards and aims to win through her ultimate, so she at least comes with a battle plan and is not just the "exiler fairy" – although, Ashiok, Dream Render would love to be part of her deck, and can't.

 Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord: Orzhov Aggro has probably in Sorin its best shot at a balanced commander. Universal lifelink, some recursion and some pinging – he's far from the best Sorin ever (he's too dependent on the board state compared to older cards like Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and Sorin, Solemn Visitor), but not the worst, either. And descending onto the battlefield only when the conditions are ideal is something being a commander helps achieving.

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 IZZET BRAWL COMMANDERS

     

 Niv-Mizzet, Parun: Here's another of the Brawl commanders that's going to have many, many fans. You'll get to do your Izzet hi-jinks recklessly, with the knowledge that your Niv-Mizzet is just lurking in the shadows, waiting for the moment you'll hit six mana and the endgame will commence.   

 Ral, Izzet Viceroy: Designed, like most Izzet cards, to be part of a spellslinging deck, this Ral actually has kind of a predictable pattern: he digs for spells, shoots down a creature every now and then, and if he won't need to do that too often, he'll get to the ultimate, which is a way to further weaponize instants and sorceries for the win. It's a good card, but I'd rather go with his rare, wilder version below.

 Ral, Storm Conduit: Now, this is a Ral that feels more like a dangerous, unpredictable mad scientist. The fact that his triggered ping also affects planeswalkers is already a neat tactical tool, but then he'll suddenly go and copy some key spell, with crazy, unexpected consequences – up to and including the very end of the game. A Storm Conduit deck can include everything Ral needs for all his combos, so going infinite with Expansion/Explosion is not off the table. Who could resist trying that in Brawl?

 Saheeli, Sublime Artificer: Another Izzet walker with mad combo potential. You have Flux Channeler, you have Runaway Steam-Kin, go nuts turning those little ornate Servos into instruments of doom. Or you can use your Saheeli more sensibly and just disseminate the battlefield with the little suckers, pursuing other avenues of victory while they're doing all the chump-blocking for you and protect their mistress.

 The Royal Scions: I've been underwhelmed by the shared card that Throne of Eldraine chose to represent the twin siblings planeswalkers Will and Rowan Kenrith (in what's apparently their first outing on their native plane before their Battlebond adventures), which I expected to be splashier and, above all, less generic. This said, if you want to go Izzet in your Brawl adventures, all the other options quite naturally lead to a spellslinger deck, whereas The Royal Scions want creatures around, while still providing some digging into the library. They're also designed to enable a "drawing your second card matters" kind of deck, with Improbable Alliance and such. Now, there are only seven cards with that mechanic, but it also plays well with other card-drawing spells and their payoffs, like Murmuring Mystic, so it's a viable archetype in Brawl, too.

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 GOLGARI BRAWL COMMANDERS

     

 Izoni, Thousand-Eyed: Izoni could work as a commander in a deck with Golgari graveyard strategies, just chilling in the command zone until the time is right for a big undergrowth payoff. However, I feel like giving up on early commander action could hurt such a deck, and for that reason Izoni will be overshadowed by the likes of Vraska, Golgari Queen.

 Storrev, Devkarin Lich: A less specific collection of black-green cards might assemble under Storrev's command. He looks akin to Neheb, just a powerful midrange trampler with added value, in his case recursion. Probably still less desirable than Vraska, though.  

 Garruk, Cursed Huntsman: Here's a mighty Brawl commander who challenges Vraska, Golgari Queen as the dominant choice in this color pair. Essentially, you can go Vraska to have your commander available earlier and more frequently, or you can choose Garruk to have a greater impact on the battlefield every time you can afford his heftier mana cost. They both supply some card-drawing and some removal, although in very different ways, and they also play extremely well with each other, so there's a good chance they'll end up in the same deck – i.e. in each and every Golgari-aligned Brawl deck until they'll rotate.

 Vraska, Golgari Queen: I'm inclined to call this Vraska one of the best commander choices in Brawl. She's an accomplished, multifaceted walker, but has also always felt like an especially great design because everything she does has some condition attached, which makes things more interesting than if her abilities were just "draw a card", "destroy a creature" and "you win the game". While she'll be perfectly fine at the guide of any Golgari deck (Izoni and Storrev: you're good, but you're no Vraska), it'll be even more intriguing to build to her strengths.

 Vraska, Swarm's Eminence: Too bad the Vraska from War of the Spark is not at the same level as her Guilds of Ravnica counterpart, in that she's an extremely selective quasi-tribal lord that only cares about deathtouch creatures. This certainly means we can build a nice deck around the concept, and Brawl might even be the format where it comes together, because you won't have to run several copies of this Vraska to make sure you'll have her on the battlefield. But I'm afraid it'll be a casual venture at best. Which means we'll definitely see it, as it's too attractively linear to dismiss.

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 BOROS BRAWL COMMANDERS

    

 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice: Boros rivals with Selesnya for power level of their commanders, with these three guys and gals going to be featured heavily either inside or outside the command zone. Aurelia is the non-nonsense choice, a big-butted flyer that boosts a member of your team starting from turn four.

 Feather, the Redeemed: And Feather, whoa. Imagine a Feather deck that never fails to cast her on turn three? Where the titular Angel will always come back to the battlefield, no matter what? If there's a card with any chance of ending up banned as a Brawl commander, it's this.

 Tajic, Legion's Edge: Tajic is less powerful than the two Angels he shares his color identity with, but he hits faster, and is suitable as the commander of a Boros deck that aims to go aggro in a more traditional way, without too many fancy interactions involved. 

 Nahiri, Storm of Stone: Poor Nahiri really didn't put her best qualities on display during War of the Spark – in the story she disregards the crisis because she's mad at Sorin, and to add insult to injury, her card is kind of terrible. The Boros Legion wouldn't mind having to look elsewhere for a commander.

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 SIMIC BRAWL COMMANDERS

   

    

 Prime Speaker Vannifar: Of course Vannifar is going to be a fan favorite (she sure is mine!). She'll be the queen of the toolbox decks, and Simic has some good bullets to offer in that regard. All hail the pretty Ooze!

 Roalesk, Apex Hybrid: Compared to Vannie, Roalesk appears less enticing, but he's still a solid flyer that boosts his team, so I can see him played as a curve-topping commander in more aggressive Simic lists. The death trigger is a nombo for a commander, though, since going back to the command zone is a replacement effect.

 Zegana, Utopian Speaker: For lovers of +1/+1 counters shenanigans, Zegana might be the way to go. She replaces herself, eventually swings for eight, and provides a form of evasion to everyone else. Not too flashy, but synergistic enough, even without actually fostering those counters.  

 Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner: As unassuming as this uncommon Kiora is, it's actually the best incarnation of the Merfolk planeswalker. Which might sound like faint praise, considering her two previous versions were both severely underwhelming, but the Behemoth Beckoner is actually a fine card. As a commander, she suggests a deck where she can untap permanents for value and big creatures abound, both things very easy to provide in blue and green, so she's going to be a happy commander. I would rank her right after Prime Speaker Vannifar as the most productive Simic commander, and a case can be made for Kiora to be even more appealing than the majestic Ooze.

 Oko, the Trickster: This is the Oko from his planeswalker deck, and as far as these beginner-level cards go, he's surprisingly playable. Sure he's costly, but at least he provides a very different ability from his regular version, as well as something pretty unique in general, as a sort of Vesuvan Doppelganger planeswalker, which is also the one instance where his flavor of being a shapeshifter is portrayed in card form. Granted, that alone might not be something you want to spend six mana on, especially when it comes to your commander, since it's only able to copy creatures you control, and can't even successfully copy legendaries; but it's still intriguing, and his plus ability is decent enough, so it's the one starter level planeswalkers that shouldn't be dismissed entirely.

 Oko, Thief of Crowns: His Trickster incarnation might be cute, but of course this is the real Oko you want to play, the one whose many tricks are not just referenced in his name, but a very tangible element on the battlefield. Now, Simic has a steep competition for commanders, but Oko defiantly challenges all his rivals with the incredible versatily of his set of abilities. With Oko you can: gain life; remove or steal problematic creatures; remove problematic artifacts; populate your board with potentially hasty creatures; enable sacrifice triggers; enable "artifacts matter" effects; get rid of longterm harmful effects from your creatures and artifacts; enlarge creatures with +1/+1 counters on them and base P/T equal to zero (or lower than a 3/3 anyway); plus other stuff that's not immediately apparent (did you know he can straight kill a creature that's been assigned damage if turning it into a 3/3 results in lethal?). One thing is sure, for the next two years, there won't be a Simic Brawl deck that won't include Oko somewhere within their 60.

 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales: The first Simic Tamiyo (after she was first monoblue, then Bant) is also a generally outstanding card, although her plus ability wasn't really meant for singleton formats. Nonetheless, having a commander who's able to regrow anything from the graveyard a few times, while also incidentally protecting from hand disruption and edict effects, shouldn't be understated. Whether she'll reside in the command zone or not, this Tamiyo is a must-include in every self-respecting Brawl deck with access to her colors.

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 ESPER BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Alela, Artful Provocateur: With Alela we delve into the territory of the Brawl preconstructed decks that are part of the Throne of Eldraine release (although their exclusive cards only show up in collector boosters, not in draft boosters), but at the same time feel like a different product altogether. In fact, their four designated commanders appear unambiguously conceived for a Commander format, as you can tell from three main details they all share: 1) they're three-colored, so the deck they command can access more than just one or two colors but fewer than four or five, thus maintaining a strong identity while achieving a bit of flexibility; 2) they all have a clear theme to build around; and 3) they all produce a degree of card advantage.

 In the case of Alela, she's Esper (possibly not coincidentally, three out of four commanders of the Brawl decks come in a color combination that wasn't previously available); she cares about artifacts and enchantments; and while she's the only one of the four that doesn't directly draw you cards, she still provides card advantage in the form of token generation. She's also a "lord of the flyers" as a secondary theme, and herself a flyer that trades for about anything, thanks to deathtouch, and improves your life total for grindier games, thanks to lifelink. She's kind of a complete package, but that's the feeling all these commanders induce – as powerful as other legendaries could be, especially the planeswalkers, it's a safe bet that these four represent the most accomplished commanders available for Brawl right now, since they've been expressly designed for the job. "Artifacts and enchantments matter" is a theme Throne of Eldraine at large already supports, so there are many more cards to tap into in the set proper (Dance of the Manse immediately comes to mind) to help Alela triumph, as well as more enablers for her "flyer tribal" subtheme. Nonetheless, Alela's own precon deck, called "Faerie Schemes", features three exclusive rares that remain must-include: Banish into Fable, Shimmer Dragon, and Workshop Elders.

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 GRIXIS BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God: Grixis is the only three-color combination currently hosting a planeswalker – the signature one for that shard, Nicol Bolas himself. Magic's Big Bad is embodied here in the most approachable of his incarnations, clocking in at just five mana, albeit all colored. The Dragon-God is a great Bolas and a powerful commander that's going to impact the battlefield every single time he'll recur. He also likes to have other walkers under his control, so that's a natural route to explore, and you can include up to 24 other non-starter-deck planeswalkers in a Bolas-headed deck!

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 JUND BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King: Arguably the ancillary card with the highest potential for constructed applications in actual Standard, Korvold is at the moment the only Jund option available for Brawl. He's the ultimate combination of sacrifice outlet and sacrifice payoff, the latter mainly being of the card-drawing variety, while also growing a big, evasive finisher in the meantime. Building around this hungry Dragon (his precon deck is aptly called "Savage Hunger") is fairly easy: to say it in three words, Korvold wants food – and this doesn't even need to be a metaphor anymore.

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 NAYA BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Rienne, Angel of Rebirth: The Core Set 2020 Buy-a-Box promo is very out of touch with her environment, being the only shard-aligned creature in Standard at that point, whereas her own set featured a full cycle of wedge-colored legends. She's not a bad card, though, she just suffered for lack of surrounding development. But she basically wants to lead a Kaleidoscope Brawl deck, which could be fun.

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 BANT BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Chulane, Teller of Tales: The theme emphasized by Chulane's preconstructed deck ("Wild Bounty") is the wider of the four, something you could just call "creatures with good ETB triggers". Splicing (Growth Spiral) onto every creature spell you cast, and then getting to rescue and/or recast those creatures, translate into a huge longterm advantage, making Chulane perhaps the hardest of the four precon commanders to face in a game of Brawl. Being vigilant means he can even attack and still activate his ability, or return himself to hand, thus skipping the commander tax entirely. Korvold and Chulane remind of two of the commanders from Commander 2013Prossh, Skyraider of Kher and Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, respectively – but they both feel much stronger than their predecessors.

 Chulane also comes equipped with helpful exclusive cards from his deck (not that the Bant colors will be lacking in apt companions for his strategy, from Frilled Mystic to Agent of Treachery): Faerie Formation, Steelbane Hydra, and Thorn Mammoth are all powerful players in a Commander deck, providing card advantage, threats, and answers to various kinds of permanents. On top of those, Chulane's signature artifact, the Tome of Legends, is something every Commander deck could theoretically enjoy, but Chulane seems particularly good at exploiting it by maximizing his returns to the battlefield.

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 ABZAN BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Kethis, the Hidden Hand: With all the legendary permanents from Dominaria gone (and Mox Amber in particular), Kethis is not the combo powerhouse he was before, but in Brawl he could easily be played straight as a lord for legendary creatures – a commander of commanders, if you will.

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 JESKAI BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Kykar, Wind's Fury: The cycle of five three-colored Legendary creatures from Core Set 2020 has a bit of a "designed for Brawl" label all over them, and Kykar most of all. Right now, this Spirit-loving, Spirit-exploiting Bird is the only option for Jeskai in Brawl. As the commander of a spellslinging deck is serviceable enough, albeit its go-wide strategy feels already outclassed by the similar, yet more focused and rewarding approach from Alela.

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 SULTAI BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Yarok, the Desecrated: One of two powerful ways to build Elemental Tribal in Brawl (the other one being Omnath, of course), Yarok goes way beyond that description, positioning itself as one the most powerful commanders in the format. That trigger-doubling ability is just that good.

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 MARDU BRAWL COMMANDERS

  

 Kaalia, Zenith Seeker: The powerful Angels from Dominaria as well as the Dragon theme from Core Set 2019 are going away, but of course the trifecta of iconic flyers Kaalia cares for will always have some good representatives in any given Standard pool. So she'll remain playable, if perhaps not exceedingly alluring, even in a Timmy-esque build chock-full of potential targets. She's not Kaalia of the Vast, essentially – she won't help dropping those fatties onto the battlefield, she'll just put one of them in your hand, maybe two if you're lucky, or maybe even none. After Throne of Eldraine, Mardu players might be better off trying the more novel Knight route.

 Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale: Contrary to her three fellow Brawl precon commanders, Syr Gwyn's color combination already had an option in Standard thanks to Kaalia. Curiously, both are very focused tribal lords (or, we should say, ladies) that ask for a high degree of build-around. Gwyn is a big-bodied Knight that lets Knights equip for free (cue the very conspicuous combo with Colossus Hammer) and then draw you a bunch of cards when they attack. Mardu Knights is already an established Standard archetype post-Throne of Eldraine, and now thanks to Syr Gwyn you can live the dream of putting all Knights and "Knights matter" cards in one big pile, and have it be a functional deck. You can even add the ones that are exclusive of her preconstructed deck, namely Embereth Skyblazer and Silverwing Squadron, though both feel a bit underwhelming, and the same goes for her equipment of choice, the Mace of the Valiant. On the other hand, Knights' Charge is a fundamental enchantment that gives the deck its name as well as its biggest punch.

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 TEMUR BRAWL COMMANDERS

 

 Omnath, Locus of the Roil: Aggressive-minded Elemental players will favor Omnath over Yarok – after all, you want access to the red Elementals and the Chandras.

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 PENTACOLOR BRAWL COMMANDERS

   

 Golos, Tireless Pilgrim: Golos is the perfect fit for five-color "good stuff" decks. It even helps fix your mana without asking for any specific color to be available when you cast it. It's probably going to be popular in Brawl, possibly reenacting Field of the Dead shenanigans there.

 Kenrith, the Returned King: The good king, when he doesn't get himself turned into venison by Oko, is an alluring competitor to Golos. With his various assortment of activations, Daddy Kenrith feels more entertaining than the wandering robot, sort of a human-sized Zacama, Primal Calamity. He could also shine in multiplayer, since all his abilities are expressed through a politically friendly wording, which is very flavorful for someone who's supposed to represent King Arthur.

 Niv-Mizzet Reborn: Going all-color in Commander always feels a bit like cheating, since the restriction to the commander's color identity is a big part of what makes deckbuilding for the format so fun. This said, rainbow Niv-Mizzet is not without his build-around component, since he doesn't just want to lead a generic all-color deck, but one where there are cards for each color pair, evenly distributed among the various Guilds. And that's even more of an intriguing deckbuilding challenge in Brawl than it is in regular Standard.

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 COLORLESS BRAWL COMMANDERS

  

 Karn, the Great Creator: Unlike Commander, Brawl gives a deck with colorless identity the chance to legally run the basic lands (which technically have a colored identity). Too bad it doesn't permit to assemble a sideboard too, which means this Karn can only search for cards in exile – still more than what Vivien, Arkbow Ranger's ultimate is allowed to do, but not enough to make him too interesting as a commander, or as a Brawl card in general.

 Ugin, the Ineffable: Bolas's grumpy twin, on the other hand, remains as effective in Brawl as he is anywhere else. He's probably best used as an all-purpose removal and card advantage engine for every Brawl deck, but trying to brew a list where Ugin starts in the command zone, by taking advantage of his discount clause for colorless spells, can be fascinating enough, even if the ultimate success of such enterprise strictly depends on how many legal cards a Ugin deck has access to at any given time – a number that's presently set at 65, with only twelve of them being rares, two of which (Glass of the Guildpact and Tome of the Guildpact) do absolutely nothing in a Ugin deck (Chromatic Lantern also doesn't help much).

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 BONUS: COMMANDER-RELATED CARDS IN STANDARD

   


 Next up: Theros: Beyond Death, release on January 24, 2020; Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, release on April 24, 2020; Core Set 2021, release on Summer 2020; Zendikar Rising (triggering the new rotation), release on Fall 2020.