Pro Tour Dominaria wrapped up this weekend, and to a fan, it was a really disappointing top eight. I’ve long said that I prefer diverse formats, and Standard right now, is not that diverse, even with a super large card pool thanks to Kaladesh still a part of the format. The cards and mechanics of Kaladesh are just super powerful and I think it’s fairly obvious by now that these sets were not meant to be played with Dominaria. The failed rotation plan had promise, but it did not work out the way WotC had hoped, which has sadly made Standard a little bit worse, but in 122 days or so, rotation will be upon us, and we can move on from the energy and vehicles of “block”.
The published lists from the Pro Tour were dominated by decks. Goblin Chainwhirler really broke out during the event, killing tons of x/1s over the weekend, and making the strategy of going wide against red futile at best. Rampaging Ferocidon was banned in Standard for doing basically the same thing, and I know that there is a banned and restricted announcement coming out soon. July 2nd in fact. This will give WotC much more data to work with to see if anything needs to be banned in Standard, but at this point I don’t really care anymore, let’s just let the currently banned cards come off the banned list and let Standard be silly for a couple of months again. Aetherworks Marvel, Smuggler’s Copter, Felidar Guardian, Attune with Aether, Rogue Refiner, Rampaging Ferocidon, and Ramunap Ruins should all get to go out of the format in a blaze of glory!
With Standard being relatively solved, and to me a bit more boring, I’ll be covering the decks, when the site needs content (Daily Decklist feels like a lie) but with less of an emphasis on Standard. If I see a cool deck, I’ll write about it for sure, but right now, the coolest deck from the Pro Tour was Black Green Ramp or maybe the Blue Green Artifact deck, and even then those had less than impressive results tacked on to them. I’m going to cover Brawl this week, because the rules changes have finally come to MTGO and we have some decks to go over finally.
Brawl is a Commander variant, played competitively on MTGO, that uses a 60 card Standard deck. One of these cards is a commander, and Planeswalkers can fulfill that role. In 1v1 games, players start at 20 life, in multiplayer, it’s 30. There is a Brawl banned list, it’s currently Smuggler’s Copter, Baral, Chief of Compliance and Sorcerous Spyglass. Baral and Spyglass were just to powerful for the format, and quickly warped it when it started off on MTGO.
The most important part of this format is that it is a ton of fun after the rules changes! 20 life games allow aggro decks room to grow and actually be a threat in the format. Planeswalkers as commanders is a super cool idea, and calls back to the time walkers were commanders in WotC product. You can play colorless commanders as well, but the basic lands you use have to be of one type. The Standard format allows for strategies of all kinds right now, well in Brawl at least. There are tribes that can be built around, control strategies, and midrange seems to be doing just fine as well.
Let’s kick things off with a quick look at Admiral Beckett Brass, a Grixis based Pirate deck that is currently going for around 14 tickets on MTGO. The Admiral has two great abilities stapled on to the card, the first being with it in play Pirates you control get +1/+1. The second ability can be game breaking. When you deal damage with three or more pirates, you can take control of a nonland permanent. The first time I lost a copy of The Scarab God to the ability was one of the worst recent events to happen to me in a Magic game!
If you are looking for fast paced, fun gameplay online, give Brawl a chance. This deck costs less than a draft, and could be some of the most fun you ever have with the client!
Admiral Beckett Brass
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