I'm really enjoying the return to Brawl to Magic Online, and while there are certainly some frustrating decks to play against (Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain comes to mind), the new format has nothing like Baral, Chief of Compliance floating around oppressing other strategies, so it's been nice to explore as things settle.
One thing that is true is that aggressive strategies are much better-positioned now than they were – you can find red decks everywhere. But we aren't playing Kari Zev or Hazoret this week, we're having much more fun: Tribal Wizards with Adeliz, the Cinder Wind.
Our commander essentially gives all our Wizards prowess, and as a 2/2 flying, haste creature for just three mana, Adeliz itself is a tempo-generating monster. We play our value Wizards – many of which are also Merfolk – for the first few turns, and then play Adeliz and begin the beatdown. Of course, being a Wizards deck you know we have plenty of instants and sorceries, which puts this successful Magic Online brew into an interesting niche where it can fight the aggro strategies with removal and countermagic while also getting in underneath the dedicated control decks of the format.
This deck does a little bit of everything. We have aggressive creatures in Ghitu Lavarunner and Spellweaver Eternal and so on, but we also have some nice late-game value Wizard creatures like Ghitu Chronicler, Riverwise Augur and Naru Meha, Master Wizard. From spiking huge amounts of damage in big bursts to slinging some countermagic, we have a ton of flexibility in our gameplan game-to-game, and the deck can switch roles quite easily, going from a beatdown deck to a disruptive deck to a control deck when the need arises.
Of course, sometimes that dual identity can hurt, and I've found I've had more trouble with control decks than aggressive ones. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a dominant commander in this format, because while decks like ours have to hedge against both creature and control decks, Teferi decks can just rest on their own creature removal knowing they have few or no creatures in their deck so they can blank some number of cards from decks like ours, and since Teferi is the ultimate trump in all control matchups, they inevitably pull ahead if they don't get Overrun.
But while the risk of drawing the "wrong half" of your deck is a real concern with Adeliz, this is one of the most fun Brawl decks I've played specifically because it isn't so dedicated to one strategy – every game is dynamic and offers interesting choices, which is exactly what I want from singleton formats.
Thanks for reading,