How to Win at Brawl: An MTG Guide

MTG App Staff

28 Jan 2023

Brawl is a popular Magic: The Gathering format that combines elements of Standard, Legacy, and Commander. It’s a great way to experience the game in a new and exciting way, but it can also be quite challenging to win. In this article, we’ll take a look at some strategies and tips that can help you improve your chances of success in Brawl.

  • Play one-on-one digitally on MTG Arena.
  • Great for new players to learn to brew their own deck.
  • Build your deck with a single copy of any card, and the option to use multiple basic lands.

Understanding the Format

Before you can start winning at Brawl, you need to understand the format. Brawl is played with a 60-card deck, and each card in the deck must have been printed in a Standard-legal set or a Brawl-specific product. This means that you can’t use any cards outside the current Standard format, and you can’t use any banned or restricted cards.

One of the key differences between Brawl and other formats is that each player must also have a commander, a legendary creature representing your deck. Your commander is the card that you start the game within the command zone, and it can be cast again and again for its commander cost. This means that you can use your commander as a key part of your strategy, but you also need to be careful not to let it get killed too easily.

Another critical aspect of Brawl is the life total. Unlike other formats, where the life total is typically 20, in Brawl, the life total is 25. This means that games can last longer and be more grindy, so you’ll need to have a plan for the late game.

Choosing Your Commander

Choosing your commanders is one of the most important decisions in Brawl. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your commanders:

  • Color Identity: Your commander’s color identity determines what colors of mana you can include in your deck. Make sure to choose a commander that fits well with the colors of the cards you want to play.
  • Synergy: Look for commanders that have synergy with other cards in your deck. This can be a combination of colors, creature types, or abilities.
  • Power Level: Some commanders are simply more powerful than others. While this doesn’t guarantee a win, having a powerful commander can give you an edge.

To help you get started, here are a few examples of commanders that are well-suited for Brawl:

  • Karn, the Great Creator: This powerful artifact-based commander can help you control the battlefield and protect your key cards.
  • Niv-Mizzet, Parun: This legendary dragon is a great choice for a spell-based deck, as it generates card advantage and deals damage to your opponents.
  • Tibalt, Rakish Instigator: This devilish commander is a great choice for an aggressive deck that can take advantage of its ability to deal damage to opponents and creatures.

Building Your Deck

Once you’ve chosen your commanders, it’s time to start building your deck. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Focus on Synergy: As mentioned earlier, synergy is key. Build your deck around your commander’s strengths and try to include cards that work well together.
  • Include Removal: Having a way to deal with your opponents’ threats is crucial. Make sure to include cards that can destroy or exile creatures or other permanents.
  • Have a Plan for the Late Game: With a higher life total, games can last longer. Make sure to include cards that can help you win in the late game, such as card draw, life gain, or finishers

Playing the Game

Now that you have a strong deck and a solid understanding of the format, it’s time to start playing. Here are a few tips to help you improve your gameplay:

  • Be Aggressive: With a higher life total, it’s important to be aggressive and put pressure on your opponents. This will force them to make difficult decisions and potentially make mistakes.
  • Play defensively: With a higher life total and the ability to recast your commander, it’s also important to be defensive and protect your key cards.
  • Manage Your Mana: With a 60-card deck and the commander’s cost, it’s important to manage your mana effectively. Make sure to play lands in the most efficient way possible and hold back mana for removal or counter spells when needed.
  • Be aware of the Meta: Keep an eye on the most popular commanders and decks in the format, and make sure to have a plan for dealing with them.


Winning at Brawl takes a lot of practice and experience, but by following these tips and strategies, you’ll be well on your way to improving your game. Remember to focus on synergy, include removal, have a plan for the late game, and be aware of the meta. With the right deck and the right mindset, you’ll be able to outrank your opponents and come out victorious.

By understanding the format, choosing the right commanders, building a strong deck and playing the game with the right mindset, you can improve your chances of winning at Brawl and outrank your opponents. Remember to always be aware of the meta and adjust your strategies accordingly. Happy gaming!

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