What Commander to Play In Historic Brawl

Picking a commander that speaks to you is key to playing any format that uses the mechanic. Historic Brawl is an increasingly popular variant of the Commander format that’s playable on the Magic Arena digital client, and its staying power is in part due to the powerful options it allows in the command zone. While there are a lot of popular options, I’m going to recommend five of my favorites below.

Golos,Tireless Pilgrim

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

One of the most interesting things about Brawl as a format is its constantly cultivated ban list that, most importantly, is entirely separate from Commander bans. Golos may have gotten the axe for their ubiquity in Commander, but they are free to dominate the five-color space in Brawl! Golos can capably command just about any strategy you can think of, though with an obvious inclination towards land-based synergies and ramp in general. Not only do they pay for half their commander tax up-front with every cast (one of the main reasons the card was banned in Commander), but they build up towards an absolutely back-breaking activated ability as the game goes on.


Heliod, Sun-Crowned

Heliod, Sun-Crowned

One of my favorite things to build around in Magic is life gain. I love increasing my own longevity while putting that power into buffing my cards or draining my opponent of their resources. You need some black in your color identity for life drain, but Heliod does the best job of buffing your board with every instance of life you gain. Even better, his activated ability helps you get to string those buffs together– all while eventually transforming him into an indestructible beater once your board state gets big enough! Heliod also represents a surprisingly aggressive commander, capable of building early creatures into game-ending threats in just a few short turns.


Sythis, Harvest Hand

Sythis, Harvest's Hand

Enchantress effects, drawing cards when an enchantment is played, are exceptional. Having this effect in the command zone for just two mana, sprinkled with a little bit of life gain on top, might be one of the best feeling things you can do in magic. Sythis represents a truly staggering amount of card advantage, especially when combined with many of the unique enchantment creatures that have been printed over time. Sythis is also quite flexible, allowing you to build her up with auras, fill your board with those enchantment creatures, or hit your opponent’s field with enchantment-based removal. 


Muldrotha, the Gravetide

Muldrotha, the Gravetide

Card advantage is huge in Magic: The Gathering and Muldrotha represents a form of card advantage that’s hard to beat. She essentially transforms your graveyard into a second hand, letting you pick and choose from the best permanents contained therein every single turn. While the initial six mana cost puts Muldrotha a little bit out of range after it’s been removed a few times (always a risk with more costly commanders), if she sticks, she can generate card advantage that can get out of hand very quickly. If you’re considering a graveyard-based strategy. Muldrotha should be very high on your list of potential commanders- and if you want to try something fun, consider pairing her up with Umori, the Collector and lots of artifact and enchantment creatures.


Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

My personal favorite commander in the Historic Brawl format, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King does everything I want. Sacrificing creatures for value, also known as the classic aristocrats strategy, is something that I deeply enjoy already. Getting to draw a card for every sacrifice while also serving as a sacrifice enabler himself is certifiably excellent. With the increasing number of treasure and other token-based strategies, Korvold has no shortage of tasty tokens and other permanents to devour. If you have even a little bit of affection for sacrificing your permanents to your advantage, Korvold does everything you can dream of.


Ready to Brawl

Any of the above commanders will give you a solid direction for playing Historic Brawl. My recommendations don’t come lightly- if you’re looking to start stealing wins, any of these picks can readily get you there. Reach out in the comments below with your favorite commanders or any results you’ve enjoyed with these recommendations.

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