Brawl is quickly becoming my new favourite format for Magic the Gathering. It’s fun for new players as a great way to learn the game and it’s fun for experienced players with all the new deckbuilding possibilities. A Muse N Games recently hosted the Hardcore 24 at A Muse N Games and it was a huge hit and makes me so excited for the future of Brawl.

Brawl has surprised me with how fun it is. I threw together a deck featuring The Locust God and I honestly felt like it was not going to be very good. My assessment of how poor the deck would be was based on my previous experience with Commander – just knowing how underpowered this deck would be in that format. My criteria for cards to make this deck was basically “blue card, draw cards; red card, destroy things” and assumed my deck would do nothing for six turns and then just die. To my surprise, I found that Brawl was the exact format needed to unlock The Locust God and all of its power!

brawl the locust god

Magic is designed in a way where a lot of the cards evoke certain emotions. White cards tend to have a heroic sense to them, blue cards make you feel intelligent, black cards often incite fear, red cards have an impulsive emotion, while green cards emphasize strength. Mixing the colours do interesting things, so when I see The Locust God, I expect to feel this sort of impulsive intelligence that drawing cards and blowing things up do. Brawl’s single-card with only standard legal deckbuilding restriction enables that card to actually be playable so I can experience what I was looking for that card to do.

I was able to experience the fun I was looking for when The Locust God was first revealed. It is a powerful card that I was excited to try out but in practice was never good enough for Standard and Commander because it was too slow. Brawl enables this card and finally playing with it is so satisfying. There are other decks better tuned than mine that are overall more successful but I got to finally check a box off my achievement list – draw like 14 cards in a turn and attack with a ton of locusts! So for experienced players looking to experiment with cards they always wanted to but never could realistically play, Brawl is the format for that!

Brawl is a much easier format where you can open a pack and go

“Oh hey, this card is sweet”

and jam it into your Brawl deck.

This also makes it great for new players trying to make a deck for the first time. You can look at a commander you think is cool and just throw in cards that seem to synergize with it and you’ll make a fun deck. There are more fine tuning possibilities other than that but you can at least start playing and seeing what happens! I sometimes found friends just getting into Magic frustrated by the nuances of deckbuilding and not finding much success. Brawl is a much easier format where you can open a pack and go “Oh hey, this card is sweet” and jam it into your Brawl deck. When I learned Magic 20 years ago, that was always the most fun. Just getting some random card I didn’t really know anything about and just playing with it because it seemed cool. Brawl allows you to actually do that now and feel how fun these cards can be.

The rotating format will keep it fresh

So many Commanders feel like good ideas in Commander but fall short if you don’t have all the proper set up cards. Brawl allows you to get away without having the big Commander staple cards that set up every deck and just have fun playing. The rotating format will keep it fresh and, while it will be sad to no longer play The Locust God when rotation happens in the fall, I now look forward to some awesome Dominaria cards coming out to take its place (I look forward to welcoming you to my deck box Adeliz, the Cinder Wind).

A Muse N Games Brawl League kicks off Saturday, April 28th at 3 pm! So stay tuned for more details and start brewing some sweet decks!

Brawl Dominaria

Dominaria Prerelease is this weekend and you can still sign up! Get some cards to start building your Dominaria deck! The packs you get from the prerelease alone might be enough to throw together a Brawl deck and I’d be happy to play you at the store!

Jonny Esports (more like Jonny Bsports for this blog) is an avid gamer of both the electronic and board game varieties. When he’s not figuring out ways to put Enigma Drake into a deck, he can be heard shoutcasting various local & international tournaments or found streaming Magic Arena at Twitch.tv/jonnyesports.