30, Jul, 21

100-Card Historic Brawl Is Here To Stay

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We did it people. we finally did it. High fives all around and take to the (digital) streets and celebrate. We're getting 100-card Historic Brawl.
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Cast your mind back a few months and you may well remember us writing about how great it would be if MTG Arena allowed us to have 100 card Brawl decks.

We knew it would be a tricky thing to implement, but we also knew it was a great idea that would be met with a really good reception. Then, fast forward a couple of months later, 100 card Brawl was a limited-time event, and boy was it fun. Well, we’ve got good news…

100-card Historic Brawl is back, baby

That’s right, thanks to the latest State of the Game post, we know that we’re going to be getting a 100-card Historic Brawl queue. They say that’s the entire update, but they go into things a little bit more.

The decision has come about because they were happy with how well the recent Historic Brawl events had gone, “and it’s clear that there is a small but dedicated audience that’s interested to keep playing in this format.” They also liked the reaction to the 100-card Historic Brawl, so “Historic Brawl will now default to being 100-card whenever it is offered.”

This is undoubtedly very good news for Commander fans who’ve been staring at MTG Arena since it launched screaming at it and crying intermittently. We assume that’s what everyone else has been doing, but you might have your own way of coping with these things.

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How’s it going to work?

“Like we do with Standard Brawl, we will be using a matchmaking system that takes into account the power level of your commander to help ensure that matches are fairer and more fun for both players.” Of course, there are now digital-only effects, or will be soon, so they need to be addressed too.

“Speaking of fair, some perpetual effects (especially toughness reduction) can basically shut down an opponent’s commander. Locking out a commander is why Meddling Mage and Sorcerous Spyglass are banned in Brawl, so we’ll be taking a similar approach with some perpetual cards. We’re starting with banning both Davriel’s Withering and Davriel, Soul Broker in Historic Brawl, and we’ll be keeping an eye on the rest of the effects in Historic Brawl.”

Of course, this is MTG Arena, so no gift comes without some kind of warning label or small print text.

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What’s the catch?

As it stands, this queue will exist until at least September when things rotate while they “monitor how interest and play volume hold up for the format. Our goal is to leave it up if it can remain healthy and provide enough population for rapid, fair pairing. If you want permanent Historic Brawl, play it!” That’s all simple enough, play it to show you want it, it’s a classic take.

They also gave an update on Standard Brawl, which will be losing Command Tower and Arcane Signet soon, except they won’t as “we’ll make sure those staple cards stay legal in Standard Brawl on MTG Arena.” This is an interesting little bit strapped onto the rest of the announcement.

Does this mean that anything considered a Brawl staple will end up becoming permanent in Standard? Will that affect how things are done, or will there just be some kind of included list, like the opposite of a banned list? We’ll have to wait and see, but at least we can do so while playing with 100-card decks.

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