8, Feb, 24

What is Brawl in MTG Arena?

Article at a Glance

First introduced to MTG Arena in December 2020, Brawl is an incredibly popular casual format. Currently, Brawl is the closest thing MTG Arena has to the Commander format. Both 100-card Singleton formats with Commander-led decks, Brawl boasts incredible freedom, fun, and variety. Unfortunately, Brawl is only a one vs one format for the time being.

Previously, the Brawl format used to go under a different name. Prior to December 2023, this format was known as Historic Brawl. Despite no official announcement from Wizards, it’s believed this change was made to mitigate confusion, especially around card legality. Since this variant of Brawl is significantly more popular than Standard Brawl, hopefully, this change should be more fitting.

The new name aside, Brawl is an incredibly enjoyable format and a firm fan favorite on MTG Arena. So, if you want to give it a go yourself, here’s everything you need to know about Brawl!

Read More: What is Standard Brawl in Magic: The Gathering?

What Is Brawl?

Lurrus Historic Brawl

Brawl is a 100-card singleton format meaning decks can only be built with single copies of cards. Brawl can use every card on MTG Arena, outside of those on the format’s ban list. Your deck must also be built under the color identity of your selected Commander.

Thankfully, since MTG Arena is a digital game, building around your Commander’s color identity is an easy thing to do. Once you’ve picked your Commander, the game will automatically restrict what cards you can put in your deck. This handily prevents you from turning up at an FNM with an illegal deck you were excited to play!

You can have any number of basic lands in your deck but any other lands, such as dual lands, must also be limited to one. When starting a match of Brawl, players begin the game at 25 life.

Read More: What is Gladiator in MTG Arena?

How to Play Brawl


When starting a game of Brawl you draw seven cards as standard. Your first mulligan is free but any others follow standard rules of placing one card back in your deck per mulligan. Your Commander is placed on show in your Command Zone. It can be played from here as long as you have the required mana. Each time your Commander is removed from the battlefield and back to its Zone, its cost increases by two mana. Your Commander cannot be permanently removed from the game.

The remainder of the game plays out as normal with the standard draw, main and combat phases. The winner is the last player left with a positive life total or the first to reach their win condition with a card like Angel of Destiny.

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