MTG Wiki

DCI Sanctioned
Paper {Cross}
Magic Online {Tick}
Magic Arena {Tick}
Type Constructed
Multiplayer {Tick}
Add. rules Commander
25-30 life points
Singleton deck:
Exactly 60 cards
Dedicated Products
Products Brawl Decks
Scryfall Search

Brawl (named Standard Brawl in MTG Arena) is a Commander variant that uses only Standard-legal cards,[1] in addition to Arcane Signet and Command Tower.[2] It was designed and introduced by Wizards of the Coast staff Gerritt Turner,[3] and subsequently became a Magic Online and MTG Arena sanctioned format.

Rules[ | ]

Since its ruleset is derived from Commander, the Comprehensive Rules consider Brawl to be an option of how to play Commander. However, several significant rules differences and the vast difference in the size of the card pool makes them quite different in practice.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

An option for the Commander casual variant. See rule 903.12, “Brawl Option.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 903.12. Brawl Option
    • 903.12a Brawl is an option for a different style of Commander game. Brawl games use the normal rules for the Commander variant with the following modifications.
    • 903.12b Brawl decks are usually constructed using cards from the Standard format.
    • 903.12c A player designates either a legendary planeswalker or a legendary creature as their commander.
    • 903.12d A player’s deck must contain exactly 60 cards, including its commander. In other words, the minimum deck size and the maximum deck size are both 60.
    • 903.12e If a player’s commander has no colors in its color identity, that player’s deck may contain any number of basic lands of one basic land type of their choice. This is an exception to rule 903.5d.
    • 903.12f In a two-player Brawl game, each player’s starting life total is 25. In a multiplayer Brawl game, each player’s starting life total is 30.
    • 903.12g In any Brawl game, the first mulligan a player takes doesn’t count toward the number of cards that player will put on the bottom of their library or the number of mulligans that player may take. Subsequent mulligans are counted toward these numbers as normal.
    • 903.12h Brawl games do not use the state-based action described in rule 704.6c, which causes a player to lose the game if they’ve been dealt 21 or more combat damage by a commander.

Differences from Commander[ | ]

Brawl is very similar to Commander, with the following exceptions:[3]

  • Players in multiplayer games start at 30 life, not 40.
  • Players in one-on-one start at 25 life, not 40.[4]
  • Players in one-on-one get one free Mulligan like in Multiplayer games.[4]
  • Decks consist of 60 cards, not 100.
  • Any Planeswalker can be a commander regardless of whether they have the ability to become a commander or not.
  • Only cards from Standard-legal sets can be used; consequently, Brawl uses its own banned and restricted list.
  • Commander damage rules (from Commander) do not apply.
  • You can use multiple copies of any one basic land in decks with a colorless commander.[5]

Brawl Decks[ | ]

Four special preconstructed Brawl Decks were designed for Throne of Eldraine.[6] These 60-card decks use cards from throughout Standard, from Guilds of Ravnica all the way through Throne of Eldraine.[7] There are 20 unique cards in these decks that aren't found in Draft Boosters (but they can still be found in Collector Boosters.) Each deck has seven of them — four cards unique to that deck, one card shared with one other Brawl Deck, and two cards shared with each other Brawl Deck. These cards are all legal in Standard, Brawl, and all other formats that allow the latest sets. (Or at least ones where cards in new sets are legal. A life wheel is included in the packaging.

There were no new Brawl Decks planned for the sets immediately following Throne of Eldraine. Further releases were said to be dependent on the reactions to the initial release.[8]

Banned list[ | ]

Standard Brawl[ | ]

Despite sharing the same cardpool with Standard, Brawl uses its own banned list instead of the Standard banned list, after the rule revision on May 10, 2018[5]. As of October 12th, 2020, the following cards are banned in Brawl.

Previously banned cards[ | ]

The following is a list of cards that have been banned at one point during their stay in the Brawl environment.

Standard Brawl[ | ]

Should a banned card which rotated out of standard be later reintroduced into Brawl, the ban will not carry over to that set.

Historic Brawl[ | ]

A Historic variant of Brawl was introduced in December, 2020. In December 2023, it was renamed to just "Brawl".[18]

Other variants[ | ]

Some players choose to play Brawl using different card pools.

  • Commander Brawl — Uses the Commander card pool and ban-list.
  • Post-Modern Commander Brawl — Uses any card printed in the post-Magic 2015 cardframe.
  • Frontier — Uses cards from Magic 2015 onward. Has no ban list.[19]
  • Origins — Uses cards from Magic Origins onward.
  • Historic — Uses Ixalan and onward. Based on MTG Arena.[20]
  • Kerfuffle — Includes silver-bordered cards.[21]
  • Eternal — Decks are made from historical Standard formats; currently legal decks become Eternal Brawl decks after Standard rotates.[22][23]
  • Ravnican Guild Blitz — Uses only guild-affiliated cards.[24]

References[ | ]

  1. Blake Rasmussen (March 21, 2018). "Dominaria Buy-A-Box Pre-order Promotion". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. MTG Arena State of the Game - Jumpstart. Wizards of the Coast (July 29, 2021).
  3. a b Gavin Verhey (March 22, 2018). "Join the Brawl". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Gavin Verhey (July 9, 2018). "Checking in on Brawl". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b c d Gavin Verhey (May 10, 2018). "The Future of Brawl". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (July 21, 2019). "Project Booster Fun". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Gavin Verhey (July 22, 2019). "A new Era for Brawl". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Signofzeta (September 8, 2019). "Are Planeswalker Decks being discontinued?". MTG Salvation.
  9. Ian Duke (October 12, 2020). "October 12, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards Customer Support (October 1, 2021). "With the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, the card Pithing Needle is banned in both Brawl and Historic Brawl.". Twitter.
  11. Ian Duke (May 18, 2020). "May 18, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Ian Duke (March 9, 2020). "March 9, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Ian Duke (April 13, 2020). "April 13, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. MTG Arena Admin (November 5, 2019). "Nov 5 – Brawl Ban Ammouncement". MTG Arena.
  15. Wizards of the Coast (August 4th, 2020). "MTG Arena State of the Game August 2020". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Ian Duke (August 3, 2020). "August 3, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Ian Duke (May 18, 2020). "May 18, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Brett Teran (June 27, 2019). "MTG Arena update: Introducing the Historic format". Magic Esports.
  21. Mark Rosewater (May 04, 2018). "Could you do the honors of coining a separate name for Brawl where silver-border is legal?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  22. Brandon Isleib. (April 3, 2018.) "Introducing Eternal Brawl",
  23. Eternal Brawl Wordpress
  24. Ravnican Guild Blitz Wordpress