Brawling with Walkers

Written by John Cuvelier on . Posted in Brawl, Casual Magic, Commander, Standard

Hello again! Last week I gave you a rundown of the new format Brawl, along with some initial deck lists featuring strictly creatures as the generals. Today I wanted to share some more deck ideas with you but with a Planeswalker at the helm. These lists are all going to be control style oriented since typically it’s the best way to protect them.

First up I have what I believe most players are going to gravitate towards when they first hear of Brawl, in Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh.

Good ole’ Nicol Bolas. Having access to Grixis colors really allows us to play the most powerful cards in the Standard environment. The creature suite is relatively small but undoubtedly powerful. They all offer card advantage immediately or overtime if left unchecked. A theme you will see in most of the deck lists today is the presence of Azor’s Gateway, Treasure Map and Thaumatic Compass. Games in Brawl are going to go on longer, it’s just a fact. Decks are simply not as consistent because of the singleton nature and you have more life to work with. Having access to flip cards provides you an unquestionable card advantage that you will definitely need. The permission and removal is the best of the best these colors have to offer. I even managed to fit in the fun of Dark Intimations which is actually quite insane if you play this in a four player game. With all of these positives it’s hard to see why you’d bother playing anything else. The biggest flaw in decks like these is the mana base is going to be awful. There simply isn’t enough fixing with the singleton restriction and as you can see eleven basics across three colors is not where you want to be. However, if you hit the colors you need there’s no denying the raw power level this deck can provide.

Next up we have the other obvious choice when thinking of a powerful Planeswalker that costs a lot of mana.

All aboard the value train. I’m really pumped for this one. The creature suite is all about card advantage or ramp. The ramp will help you slam your Vraska ahead of schedule or play some of the other overpowered and hard to remove permanents such as Sandwurm Convergence, God-Pharaoh’s Gift or Cruel Reality. The value creatures help you go toe to toe against the grindy control or midrange decks. There are a few creatures in there that can help you hit hard too such as Verdurous Gearhulk, Carnage Tyrant or Tetzimoc, Primal Death. Rounding out the spells we have the best available removal in black. There isn’t a ton of great options available, but thankfully we also can lean on Vraska for that. The mana here although again not perfect, does look a heck of a lot better than the Nicol Bolas list provided earlier. Since Vraska is arguably in the top 3 most popular Planeswalkers out available in Standard, expect to see a lot of her in the beginning weeks.

Next up we have one a little off the beaten path but looks very good. I actually think this might be the best option for so far!

Huatli has been all but ignored in Standard. Not that the card is necessarily bad, it just lines up poorly against Rekindling Phoenix and Glorybringer. Thankfully here, singleton means it has its chance to shine and boy does it ever. This deck is just a straight up prison style that looks to bury the opponent in the ground with dinosaurs from Huatli. Everything in the spell suite is either a removal spell or a way to generate card advantage. Gideon’s Intervention and Sorcerous Spyglass are the real MVPs though. These two cards single-handedly shut down opposing generals. Since I’m aiming for the prison and control strategy there aren’t too many creatures that fit that bill. Angel of Sanctions, Glorybringer and Rekindling Phoenix are here just simply on power level alone. Oketra the True might have a good home here since we’re simply trying to lock our opponent out. By the time that point arrives we will have a lot of mana lying around to make creatures. Dire Fleet Daredevil is here for some additional card advantage. Finally, again we have the flip artifacts along with Heart of Kiran and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. Both of these vehicles are easy to activate thanks to Huatli and thus are a perfect fit for the deck. The mana here is similar to Vraska’s and I’m not too concerned with that aspect. I suspect this to be my favorite list to play once the dust is settled.

Finally, much like last week I wanted to put out a fun list that could possibly be good but at least should be a blast to play.

He’s a Schemer that guy. I went hard on the artifact theme, choosing to forgo playing power house cards such a Hostage Taker and The Scarab God to make sure all the synergies truly shine. The artifact suite is mostly card advantage or ramp. These are the things you expect artifacts to do. The creatures are all artifacts or artifact related for maximum value on that Tezzeret. Finally we have some really sweet spells thanks to improvise. I do however, at least have to acknowledge other decks exist and have included two sweepers to buy time so we can do our thing. The mana here is actually the best of all the decks and isn’t even on my radar of concerns.

Well, there you have it. Four more lists to take in that will hopefully either provide inspiration for your own work or provide you with some semblance of knowledge about what to expect from everyone else. I hope you’re as pumped as I am for Brawl and would love to hear what you’ve got.

Thanks for reading.

John Cuvelier
@JCuvelier on Twitter
Gosu. On MTGO

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