Ready for the next level? Upgrading your Eldraine Brawl precons to Commander decks, part one!
With the upcoming release of Throne of Eldraine, the latest Magic: the Gathering expansion, the masterminds behind the scenes at Wizards of the Coast are bringing us a brand new product... Brawl decks! Introduced in 2018, Brawl is a multiplayer-focused format where you play with 60-card singleton decks. Each deck has its own commander - a legendary creature or planeswalker that sits away from the other 59 cards in your deck and represents the colours that you can play within your deck.
If you're feeling a creeping sense of déjà vu, you're not alone - Brawl is essentially Commander Lite! However, where Brawl differs is the card pool, which is Standard-legal only cards. This means that Brawl, like standard, rotates every year.
All those decks will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
While Eldraine won't rotate out for quite a while, if you'd like to save your new preconstructed Brawl deck ahead of their inevitable end (or just like the new commanders on offer), and give them a bigger card pool to work with at the same time, we've got you covered. In this article, I'll show you how you can upgrade your Brawl decks into Commander decks! I'll also cover some of the key pieces in the deck so you can get a better idea of how the game plan will work without having to play it yourself.
For these upgrades, we're working with a small set of rules.
- The cost of the upgrades has to be about $30 USD or less (based on TCGplayer pricing at the time of writing).
- No more than six cards can be cut from each deck.
- Basic lands are free.
While some of these commanders could be converted into cEDH-ready powerhouses, those upgrades would cost thousands of dollars and would leave your deck nothing like how it started. With these upgrades, you will be playing a deck that feels like a bigger, better version of what you started with, without breaking the bank!
Commander: Chulane, Teller of Tales
Goal of the deck: Play heaps of creatures, draw heaps of cards, and swing wide for heaps of damage!
In this deck, you're running exactly 50 creatures (including your commander). While most have additional effects, they're all bodies that you'll be able to swing with come the right time. When your board is full, you'll be able to drop End-Raze Forerunners to buff your force and swing in for lethal. The best part is, even if you ended up leaving one or two opponents alive in the process, you'll be able to return it to your hand with Chulane to do it all again next turn! All of your creatures will also be untapped thanks to the vigilance that those ferocious boars provide, meaning you'll be able to survive the potential crack-back.
Typically in Commander, a 2/2 for 2 with downside is next to unplayable. While you can flash it in, it also means you'll have to return a creature to your hand when it comes in... and all for a 2/2 Cat? However, with Chulane out, Whitemane Lion essentially becomes Growth Spiral with upside. Like the aforementioned instant spell, you can play it at any time, it'll draw you a card, and it'll let you play a land from your hand. The big difference is that, once this hits the field, you can use its ability to bounce itself back to your hand, letting you do it all over again. There are several cards in this list that do what Whitemane Lion does, but none do it as efficiently as this fantastic feline.
With the new version of this deck, much of the ramp package has been assembled with creatures that tap for mana or creatures that can untap lands. Village Bell-Ringer allows you to untap those important creatures, letting you potentially add more mana than you put the Bell-Ringer into play. Combined with Chulane's ability, if you've got five mana worth of mana-producing creatures, you can then churn through your entire deck to find whatever piece you may need!
When fifty percent of the deck draws you a card just for casting it, chances are you'll be churning through your deck at a breakneck pace. Typically, when you go to draw a card from an empty deck, you lose the game - an unfortunate end. However, with Laboratory Maniac out, you'll instead win the game! Combined with the mana-creating creatures and Village Bell-Ringer, you'll be able to draw your entire deck and win in a single turn. If you're on the opposite side of the table to this, keep that removal ready - Laboratory Maniac is not to be trifled with!
Commander: Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale
Goal of the deck: Fill the board with knights, equip them to draw cards, then win with large creatures!
In this deck, there are 17 different pieces of equipment. While it's not the intense saturation present in Wild Bounty with creatures, equipment are crucial to your game plan, and you'll be playing a lot of them. While he may not be a Knight, Sram, Senior Edificer allows you to keep drawing cards while you're playing through your deck, keeping that train of value rolling and rolling!
Once again, I'm doing the unthinkable here - recommending a card that is clearly not a Knight for your Knights deck! On its surface, what you're looking at right now is a non-bo (a non-combo) with the rest of the deck. Moving all of your equipment onto a single body means you'll only be drawing one card per combat, which isn't really the amount of value you're looking for. On top of that, it isn't a Knight (unless you give it the Sigiled Sword of Valeron), meaning you won't be able to equip for free later on. What Heavenly Blademaster represents instead is a late-game bomb - a massive creature that makes all your other creatures significantly bigger, meaning you'll be able to swing for massive damage at one player and spread the love with your army of powerful knights!
When you're playing a tribal deck, you have lots of interesting pieces that can help flesh out your deck - from cost reducers, to draw spells, to wide buffs, tribal decks tend to have lots of support before you even look at tribe-specific cards! Heirloom Blade is a great example - it allows you to draw cards when the creature that wields it dies and can then be equipped to your new creature for only a single mana! In this deck, Heirloom Blade is even better, as it fits nicely into the deck's desire for equipment, letting you draw cards when you attack with whoever wields the blade!
This is one of those cards that entrenched players know the value of, but might elude those who are stepping into Commander for the first time. Swiftfoot Boots allows you to protect any of your key creatures from targeted removal for only three mana - like your commander, for instance, which is the deck's most powerful draw engine! In this deck specifically, it also means that you can cast Syr Gwyn as soon as you have six mana, equip it for free and then swing immediately, drawing you a card the turn you play them!
That wraps it up for this week's decks - make sure to check back in next week, where you'll be able to learn how to do the same for Savage Hunter and Faerie Schemes!
If you like the look of these upgrades, make sure to get your hands on a set of these decks before they're all gone!