Patch 1.01.00, MCV Results, Historic, Bannings, All About Brawl!
The Brawl patch is finally here! There’s a lot of other stuff going on too, and you can read all about it on the official patch notes. Most of the bits are about client stability, Brawl, and cosmetics.
One thing to note that wasn’t mentioned; You can build Historic Brawl decks and play them in direct challenge mode with your friends. Historic Brawl is in the game!
Mythic Championship 5 Results
After sneaking through both day 1 and 2 with 4-3 records, reigning World Champion Javier Dominguez ran the table on day 3, taking a Gruul Aggro deck to the trophy for Mythic Championship 5! In a field dominated by Field of the Dead and Oko decks, Javier managed to navigate to a spectacular finish, slamming a Skaargan Hellkite and sending it GRUUL SMASH style.
State of the Game
This is fairly old news at this point, but the October State of the Game was pushed out last Friday. They talked a good bit about client stability and performance issues. There was a big section about the Brawl format and event. They showed off the sweet new storybook cosmetics…
But, there was a little tidbit about the upcoming friends list feature that went without much fanfare.
They’re working on putting eight-person draft pods, spectating, and four-player formats into the game. This is incredible news for those of us who have been wanting to play with our playgroups and friends across the world. This is looking to shape up into a very social platform, and I sincerely hope all of the above get implemented. Can you imagine playing four player brawl with your buddies on different continents?
Historic is Out There
There has been a lot of discussion this week about how many people didn’t even realize that the Historic game mode was available. It is available, and has been since the 1.00.00 client was released. Though, it is nearly completely hidden from sight.
To play the format, you simply need to build a deck that includes historic cards (you can’t play a Standard legal deck in Historic), and select that deck in the Play queue. You can tell which decks are Historic by the special frame around the deck name, and the yellow caution triangle telling you how many Historic cards are in the deck.
Field of the Dead Banned
To no surprise, WotC announced Monday morning Field of the Dead is banned in Standard. After seeing the MCV decklists, and WotC moving the B&R announcement up four weeks, this was a very expected move.
But that leaves us wondering what the metagame will look like. If MCV is any indication, Oko decks are poised to take over. It’s even concerning to a lot of folks, with many calling for a ban of Oko. But considering several Aggro decks did very well in the tournament, I think we’re in a good spot to let the meta shake out. Remember, Field of the Dead decks completely pushed Control out of the format. There is a large chunk of the meta that is unexplored.
It’s finally here! But a little background first. Way, way back in April of 2018, that’s 18 months ago for those doing the math, WotC announced a new format to accompany their upcoming set, Dominaria. Since Dominaria was ripe with legendary creatures and planeswalkers, they wanted to kick off the Brawl format with that set’s release.
The premise was simple. Brawl is a singleton format, based on cards in Standard, that can have a legendary creature or planeswalker as the commander. Many enfranchised players groaned. They didn’t want another rotating format. And if they wanted to play Commander, they would just play Commander. On the other end of the conversation were people like my son and I, who were just getting (back) into Magic. We had the absolute best time building and playing Brawl decks with the limited card pool we had.
With the announcement or Brawl, and the increasing volume of players in the Arena closed beta, it was a natural assumption that Brawl would be brought to Arena, where it would thrive. WotC, and the Arena development team had other plans, and stated that they had no plans to bring Brawl to Arena. With the shock of that announcement, and the complete lack of support for the format from WotC, it quickly died off.
Fast forward to this fall, Wizards announced that support of Brawl has been revived. They were going to release Brawl preconstructed decks, and the format was coming to Arena. The precons quickly sold out everywhere. Thought, that was mostly because they put new Commander staples in them. But, the fact remains, that 1v1 Brawl is now coming to Arena.
Needless to say, I’m extremely excited to play this format. I’ve event built five paper Brawl decks already. That brings me to another point. This weekend is Brawl Weekend at many local game stores. And just for participating, you will get codes for three cards in Arena. Two of which are common, Arcane Signet and Command Tower, and the third is the rare Tome of Legends. If you’re going to be playing Brawl at all, you’re going to want these cards, though they don’t work at all outside of Brawl on Arena. I’ve already crafted the Command Tower and Arcane Signet for my decks to use this weekend, but I’m holding off on the Tome of Legends, to save my rare wildcard. You can easily find these events by punching your Zip Code into the event finder tool.
Brawl Launch Event
Starting yesterday, October 24th, and running for a whole week, is the Brawl Launch Event. The event costs 1000 gold or 200 gems to enter and you can play as much as you like. Each win up to your first five gets you a Brawl exclusive card and it’s accompanying card style. If you miss out on these, you will still be able to craft them later.
You can read the deck construction rules on the Brawl page. But enough on the background of Brawl, you all want some decks!
Due to the size and quantity of decks this week, I’m doing things a bit differently and linking to our affiliate AetherHub.com for the importable decklists. If you’re interested in a deck, simply click on the AetherHub link, then Export and MTG Arena Format. You can copy the decklist from there ready for Arena!
Let’s just get this one out of the way. Oko has some lady-slaying abs, and is going to be at the top of the pile this weekend. He single-handedly turns off opponents’ creature commanders. He’s also ridiculously cheap, and has a strong set of colors to back him up. With that in mind, Oko will be on my mind when building any deck.
The Book of Judith in the Catholic Old Testament is a story of a Jewish woman, Judith, who saves the Jewish people from the Assyrian army. Judith infiltrates the army with promises of key information to use against Israel. After gaining their trust, she is allowed into their leader, Holofernes’ tent, where she beheads him, disbanding his army and saving Israel. Old Testament stuff is brutal, just like this deck!
This version of Judith is also looking to infiltrate the enemy with discard and sacrifice effects. We’re staying low to the ground with only a few 4+ mana spells. The strategy is to swarm our opponent early, turn our smaller creatures into real threats with Judith’s +1/+0 ability, and keep them on the back foot using incremental advantages.
Torbran, King of the Mountain
This is a bit bigger Red Deck that has some late game action. Torbran is one of the few creature commanders with a casting cost over three that I would be willing to use. He has the ability to swing the game when he hits the board, increasing your damage output considerably if only for one turn.
Gideon Blackblade was one of the first decks I wanted to build this season and I like the way it gets around the Oko problem. The deck has fast and efficient creatures, removal, a sweet on-theme planeswalker commander, and a top-end that makes your team better.
Garruk, The Predator
I was initially down on Garruk, Cursed Huntsman when I first saw it, but after playing with the card, I think it’s great. I don’t know how much play it will see in the more competitive formats, but a six mana planeswalker that does so much is sure to be awesome in the command zone.
This deck is just doing what Golgari does. It has ramp, removal, fat creatures, and graveyard shenanigans. If Oko doesn’t ruin the format, I’m most looking forward to playing decks like this one.
Dovin’s A Cutie
He sure is! Dovin, Grand Arbiter is an interesting commander for an evasive and aggressive deck. I’ve filled this deck up with lots of flying creatures and a bit of counter magic. The trick is going to be to get enough attackers through after using Dovin’s +1 that you can use his -7 the next turn to refill your hand.
This is another deck with a lot of low casting cost threats. Sorin at the helm fills several roles, giving your team lifelink, recurring creatures from your graveyard, or just pinging your opponent or one of their planeswalkers.
Inspired both by the MCV winning deck and my desire to send creatures at face, I’m using Domri, Anarch of Bolas. This Gruul Brawl build is sure to recreate all of the good stuff Gruul Does.
Golos, Guess Who’s Back
This deck is mostly for the memes as they say. I wouldn’t necessarily put it out there in a competitive setting, but in multi-player paper, it is definitely fun. As a bonus, you get to use Golos and Field of the Dead again! But, in a less oppressive way.
The Wrap Up
This week has truly been all about Brawl for me. Sure, WotC announced the Pioneer format, which won’t be coming to Arena any time soon, if ever. But being a casual MTG fan, I find the singleton and commander formats much more entertaining from a game play perspective. The deck building is a bit looser. The variance is much higher. And you have to really think the find wins sometimes.
I don’t think I’ve been this excited about Arena since I first got into closed beta nearly two years ago, and despite some missteps along the way, I think WotC really wants Arena to succeed. I’m confident they’ll fix the Historic situation. I’m certain that draft bots won’t always be as bad as they are this go around.
2019-10-18 (MCV, GerryT Interview, Pro Decklists, ELD Constructed)
2019-10-11 (Patch 1.00.02, B&R moved up, Field of the Dead, Azorius Flyers)
2019-10-04 (Patch 1.00.01, Ally Warfield Interview, Win Every Card Event)
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