Have you jumped into the Magic: The Gathering (MTG) Arena craze yet? MTG Arena is the digital version of tabletop Magic: The Gathering with over 10 million users as of 2021. Hence, it’s a never-ending gaming experience on this computer and smartphone game!
One of the most fun ways to play Magic: The Gathering Arena is picking a specific legendary creature that acts as your commander and building a deck around this creature with synergistic cards that fit its abilities.
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The brawl format is almost like Magic: The Gathering tabletop Commander format. The commander format allows you to choose one card as your general or captain over your creature army. The other creatures are your army support while the instant, sorcery, artifact, and enchantment cards are the supporting pieces to protect your army and give them extra perks. The tabletop commander allows you to start at 40 life while playing brawl is a quicker game with players starting at 25 life.
Standard brawl allows you to use cards that are currently legal in the standard format from the most recent sets such as Dominaria United, Kaldheim, Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, Kamigawa Neon Dynasty, and others.
Historic brawl allows you to use cards from older sets that are currently considered not standard sets such as Core Sets 2019, 2020, and 2021, Kaladesh, Ixalan, Dominaria, Guilds of Ravnica, and others.
The main difference between standard and historic brawl is that the standard deck is 60 cards and the historic deck is 100 cards. Your commander is the one card that will return to your command zone if it dies while on the field. When you have to recast your commander from the command zone after the first cast, it costs an additional two mana for each time it has returned to the command zone.
To start your brawl deck, you must select a legendary creature. This creature will be your commander. Once you make this selection, you can build your deck based on your commander’s color identity.
For example, if your creature has green in the casting cost, you can only use green instant, sorcery, artifact, and enchantment cards. If the legendary creature has red and white, you can use those colored cards. The more colors that you have in your commander’s color identity, the more access you have to different popular cards in the format.
Any colorless cards such as artifacts, which are cards that either tap for mana beyond lands or you can equip to your creature for additional benefits, can be included in your deck no matter what colors are in your commander’s color identity.
The amount of cards that you have of each kind depends on your deck’s theme. Blue decks usually run more instant and sorcery cards as they can mill a player’s deck to where they can draw no more cards or they can counter an opponent’s spells.
If your legendary creature relies on other creature spells to be cast for a specific trigger to happen, you may want more creature spells than others. The same is true if your commander needs enchantment triggers to create creature tokens.
Get creative with how you form your deck. For starters, here are some suggestions for counts of card types for 60-card standard brawl decks and 100-card historic brawl decks just to get an idea. Tweak the counts per your legendary creature’s build theme.
- 24 lands.
- 17 creatures.
- 4 artifacts as mana rocks.
- 5 instant cards.
- 5 sorcery cards.
- 5 enchantment and/or equipment cards.
- 38 lands.
- 27 creatures.
- 5 artifacts as mana rocks.
- 10 instant cards.
- 10 sorcery cards.
- 10 enchantment and/or equipment cards.