The Cunning Castaway and the Brawl Bans

by Felix Capule on 13 June 2018, Wednesday

Felix Capule


The Cunning Castaway and the Brawl Bans

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all having a great time with your friends and with awesome games of Brawl at your kitchen table, local game store or wherever you and your buddies play. 
A few months after Brawl was introduced, the format immediately received a lot of updates which came as a surprise.

The format may very much still be in its formative stage and to be on such stage, a lot of things would be noticed. Personally, I find it comforting that Wizards of the Coast was quick to react and did something about what they've received from the community. As Garvin Verhey puts it, "we are really in the feedback era."

Just in case you haven't heard about it, here are the changes in a nutshell:


Baral, Chief of Compliance Sorcerous Spyglass Smuggler's Copter

Aetherworks Marvel Attune with Aether Felidar Guardian Rampaging Ferocidon Ramunap Ruins Rogue Refiner


The Ban List

I, for one, like the fact that Brawl has a different banned list to Standard. The Standard ban list contains some cards that have proven to be game breaking, too good, or as some call it "broken cards" for a Constructed format.

But in a Singleton format that is not usually the case.


Saheeli Rai Felidar Guardian

Jodah, Archmage Eternal


Some may say that with Felidar Guardian unbanned for Brawl, players will just use Saheeli Rai to fire-off the combo all over again, but that is a lot easier said than done. Remember that the cards we can play are restricted by the Commander we're playing, and at the moment there is only one Legendary Creature that fits the bill here, and that's Jodah, Archmage Eternal.

Is it possible to pull-off the combo?


But will it be as easy to pull off in Brawl as compared before (back when it was still legal in Standard)?

I honestly don't think so. So, we're good!



Multiplayer and Duel (One vs. One)

It is true that the format has two audiences; Multiplayer and Duel (One vs. One).

Wizards of the Coast acknowledging the existence of both audiences is a good thing. They even implemented a change with the life total for the One vs. One variant. A lot of local game stores have already hosted tournaments for both variants and turnouts have been great.

Of course, a different environment will have a different feel to it as far as game play is concerned, such as card types having a different impact to the game if you're playing Multiplayer or One vs. One. Some even say that Planeswalkers tend to fare better as a Commander on a One vs. One environment. I don't know about you, but I feel that One vs. One version of Commander tends to be a bit more on the competitive side, and the Brawl variant is not an exception to that.

Who knows?

One day we could even be seeing Brawl as a side event of a Grand Prix! I believe that would be a cool side event. Would you sign-up if a tournament like that was organized?

The Thing about Planeswalkers

Now let's talk about Planeswalkers for a bit here, shall we?

One of the main differences between Brawl and Commander is that with Brawl, any Planeswalker can be used as a Commander, while for traditional Commander that is not possible.

So far there are only five Legendary Planeswalkers that can start the game as a Commander. All five Commanders of Commander 2014 first come to mind, since the cards specifically say "*Planeswalker name* can be your Commander".


Will Kenrith Rowan Kenrith



Battlebond features two new planeswalkers; Will Kenrith and Rowan Kenrith with very important text!



Kytheon, Hero of Akros Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Liliana, Heretical Healer Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh Nissa, Vastwood Seer


These five cards from Magic Origins are creatures (even though they transform into a planeswalker when conditions are met). Since Brawl allows all Standard-legal planeswalkers to be used as Commanders, should they allow planeswalkers to be used a Commanders in traditional Commander?

What do you guys think? It would be fun to build a Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Garruk, Apex Predator deck? Or maybe someone will want to try Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded? It could be very good!

What do you think? Should Wizards of the Coast allow this change and will it be popular among the casual crowd?




The Cunning Castaway


Anyway, since we're on the topic of planeswalkers, I've got a deck to share! This Mono-Blue deck is rather easy to assemble, and it is a lot of fun! Just take a look at this beauty!



I built this deck specifically for Duel (One vs. One) and the deck is not going to be as good in multiplayer games. The deck allows us to be aggressive and there is also a lot of evasion. Drake Haven is worth an honorable mention because it works so well with Jace, Cunning Castaway. There are also a decent number of cards with cycling which makes the card even better!

How would you convert it into a multiplayer deck, if it is possible? Do tell us by leaving a comment below.


Interesting Scenarios

Now, thanks for being with me thus far. Before I sign off, I'd like to share two interesting card interactions which you might encounter in your Brawl games.

Scenario 1:

While casting Jaya's Immolating Inferno, Andy sacrifices Squee, the Immortal, his only legendary permanent, to Skirk Prospector for mana to pay for the Legendary Sorcery.

Will the spell still resolve? Is this even a legal play?


Jaya's Immolating Inferno Squee, the Immortal Skirk Prospector

Answer: Yes, the spell will still resolve. It is essential to note here that when Andy "announced" that he is casting the legendary sorcery, he, in fact, controls a legendary creature. Pretty cool, right?

Scenario 2:

Ann controls Karn, Scion of Urza and a Mox Amber, can Ann activate the legendary artifact's ability and will it produce any colored mana?


Karn, Scion of Urza Mox Amber

Answer: Yes, Ann can activate the Mox Amber's ability, but since she only controls a colorless legendary planeswalker, it won't produce any colored mana. As the Oracle text puts it "Colorless is not a color."


That's all I have for this week! I hope you try out the Jace, Cunning Castaway Brawl deck because it is so much fun! A quick shout-out to the local Brawl community as well as MTG Brawl Philippines, a local gaming group which meets up just to Brawl! Thank you very much for reading! 



Felix Capule

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