This morning, Wizards of the Coast announced a new casual Commander format called Brawl.

Brawl is a Commander variant that only uses cards from the current Standard format. Players choose a legendary creature or planeswalker to be their Commander and build a 60-card deck (including their Commander), in which only one copy of each card is allowed. Just like in the original Commander format, your Commander’s color identity determines the colors of the cards you can put in your deck. For example, if you choose the Boros legendary creature Firesong and Sunspeaker as your Commander, you can only include red, white, and colorless spells in your deck.

Players start a game of Brawl with 30 life and with their Commander in the Command Zone. Multiplayer matches of Brawl allow for a seven-card first mulligan and for the player with the first turn of the game to draw a card, just like in Commander.

During the game, you can cast your Commander from the Command Zone at any time it would be legal to play. Just like in the original Commander format, each time your Commander is countered, destroyed, or would otherwise leave the battlefield, it is returned to the Command Zone, where it can be cast again for an additional two generic mana for each time it has returned to the Command Zone.

If this seems to you like Brawl is just Commander but with 60 Standard cards…well, you’d be right. Wizards says that Brawl is designed to be more accessible for new casual players than the original Commander format, since Standard-legal cards will have a flatter power curve and be cheaper than many Commander staples. Brawl will likely serve as a gateway to the popular 100-card Commander format as players build their collections, and will also be a stepping stone to Standard, since it will be easier to acquire single copies of popular cards at first rather than a full playset. Though Wizards made no mention of MTG Arena in their Brawl announcement, it does seem likely that this Standard-legal format will eventually be included in the game.

Brawl will become and official format with the release of Dominaria on April 27, 2018.

UPDATE: Gavin Verhey says the Brawl will be coming to MTGO with the launch of Dominaria.


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Read Wizards’ announcement of Brawl here.

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