My Current Top Ten Cards In Brawl

The addition of Brawl to MTG Arena was met with a very warm reception from the Magic community, and after a week of playing, Dayv has list of the ten cards he thinks shined the brightest!

Hey everyone! I hope everyone is recovering from nonstop Brawl action with
the weeklong Brawl queue on Magic Arena. For those of you who didn’t get
enough of the format, you will be able to battle in similar Brawl queues
every Wednesday, and if that isn’t soon enough for you, join The Brawl Project Discord, where
you can find other people looking for direct challenge matches.

Oh, and before I forget, there’s a giveaway this week!

Today on The Brawl Project we’ll be counting down the top ten cards in the
Brawl format, excluding commanders. It’s easy to say that Oko, Thief of
Crowns or Golos, Tireless Pilgrim are great cards and thus build powerful
Brawl decks, but Teferi, Time Raveler is also extremely powerful at face
value as well but doesn’t translate as well into a powerful deck. Which
cards build the foundation for powerful Brawl decks?

If you are looking for the top ten commanders, I

ran those down on The Brawl Project podcast

this week.

Based on my experiences this past week, I’ve come to the conclusion that
tempo plays a big role in most Brawl matches, even in multiplayer Brawl. A
battlefield with creatures backed by a planeswalker is tough to answer with
just one sweeper, with only Planar Cleansing and Single Combat able to deal
with multiple creatures and/or planeswalkers at the same time. This means
that putting together permanents that synergize well together and anything
that might let you speed up your development are stronger than simply
drawing cards. Similarly, being able to disrupt your opponent’s permanents
efficiently, especially at instant speed, are valuable effects to keep your
opponent off their synergies.

So, what are the top ten cards in Brawl right now? Let’s take a look!

10. Realm-Cloaked Giant

Sweepers in Brawl are scarce, and Realm-Cloaked Giant (really, Cast Off)
gets the nod over Kaya’s Wrath and Time Wipe. Easy to cast and with a 7/7
Vigilance available as an afterthought, Realm-Cloaked Giant is a staple for
white decks playing for the late-game. The only Giants people tend to play
(aside from Realm-Cloaked Giant itself) are Bonecrusher Giant and Beanstalk
Giant, so more often than not, Cast Off is hitting every creature on the
battlefield. Sweepers keep strategies that develop several threats quickly
in check, but even then, have their limitations in not answering diverse

9. Paradise Druid

If one of the keys to the Brawl format is to develop quickly, no creature
does it as well as consistently as Paradise Druid. It fixes your mana and
accelerates to your Vraska, Golgari Queen or Ajani, the Greathearted a turn
early. On top of that, it can attack to pressure your opponents’
planeswalkers or hold back to block your own!

8. Unsummon

Many of you may be surprised to see Unsummon on this list, but that’s just
a testament to how important tempo is in this format. Korvold, Fae-Cursed
King into Plaguecrafter is an insane value play – unless an Unsummon hits
the Korvold to prevent the card draw. Attacking with 1/1s with a Torbran,
Thane of Red Fell out does a ton of damage – unless an Unsummon snags
Torbran so the red cards do the damage they’re supposed to. The options for
instant-speed removal are not terribly plentiful and Unsummon is cheaper
than cards like Murderous Rider or Mortify. The ability to disrupt
synergies dependent on creatures that cost four or more is such a huge
tempo swing that Unsummon becomes one of the best cards in the format.

7. Shimmer Dragon

Shimmer Dragon only works in decks that play a ton of artifacts, but in
those decks it is fantastic. I have yet to see a Shimmer Dragon without
hexproof, and it turns artifacts that stick around like Glass Casket or
Golden Egg into card draw engines that start working immediately. Plus, it
attacks and blocks!

6. Arcane Signet / Command Tower

The best fixing in the format, period. I wouldn’t go as far as to say
Arcane Signet and Command Tower go in every Brawl deck, but they definitely
go in every three or five-color deck. Command Tower provides any color you
need with no cost and Arcane Signet also accelerates for just an initial
investment. What’s not to love?

5. Guardian Project

Green card advantage in commander often goes off the rails, and Brawl is no
exception. Guardian Project basically says “draw a card whenever a nontoken
creature enters the battlefield”, though do keep in mind its effect can be
negated with a removal spell with the trigger on the stack. That said,
Guardian Project triggers on creature commanders and keeps the cards
flowing through sweepers and waves of removal. This is a must-have in
creature-based green decks.

Some of you may be wondering why Guardian Project gets the nod over The
Great Henge, and that’s because it’s easier to start your development with
Guardian Project while playing The Great Henge requires some setup. Also,
Oko can turn The Great Henge into an Elk, but not Guardian Project.

4. Fires of Invention

Not just for Golos decks! Any red deck that doesn’t play countermagic or
rely too heavily on artifact ramp probably wants Fires of Invention. Why?
Well aside from playing cards from your hand for free, you also get to cast
your commander for a huge discount. Sadly, you still have to pay the
commander tax, but even so casting Torbran the third time for six mana
instead of ten makes a huge difference.

Oh, and if you’re playing Golos, it’s completely insane.

3. Divine Visitation

Divine Visitation may do nothing on its own, and it’s too bad there are no
white commanders you can pair with it to consistently create Angels right
away. Oh, except Trostani Discordant; Emmara, Soul of the Accord, and
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves. I suppose Dovin, Grand Arbiter and Ajani,
Strength of the Pride work as well. There’s also that Kykar, Wind’s Fury
deck that plays Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. Okay, well outside of
commanders there aren’t repeatable ways of making tokens, unless you count
Dawn of Hope, Outlaw’s Merriment, or Skyknight Vanguard.

It’s pretty easy to make tokens in Brawl right now, and Divine Visitation
makes each one a huge threat.

2. Agent of Treachery

Speaking of huge threats, everybody in the format is playing a commander
that powers up their deck. If you Unsummon, destroy, or exile it, the
commander just goes back to the command zone to be casted again. You know
what denies your opponent access to their commander? You can take control
of their commander with Agent of Treachery and force them to answer their
own commander, then pay the command tax to get it back. Mass Manipulation
is good too, but you can reanimate, copy, or blink Agent of Treachery and
the double blue is much easier to cast than quad blue.

1. Casualties of War

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It’s not tough to find a ton of targets for your Casualties of War in
Brawl. Creature and land are practically a given, and most decks have
multiple planeswalkers. On top of that, Arcane Signet is ubiquitous in the
format and three of the top ten cards are enchantments! Casualties of War
is often a one-sided sweeper or close enough that it doesn’t matter. The
only downside is having to play a deck that can cast Casualties, which is
part of why Vraska, Golgari Queen and Garruk, Cursed Huntsman make such
powerful commanders.

There you have it! My top ten cards in Brawl right now. Don’t agree with
me? Great! I’d love to hear your take via Twitter or Discord!