Brawl! The 60-card version of Commander. Brawl, being the singleton format that it is, is not as consistent, or as competitive as Standard.
Commander itself is a broken format. Not in the sense that it’s overpowered, but in the sense that it’s so vast and varied it requires Rule Zero: “… If you’d like an exception to these rules… please get the approval of the other players before the game begins.” You and your playgroup get to define which cards are acceptable to play, and which rules you all get to abide by.
While Commander retains some level of competitiveness (there is only 1 winner after all), Commander is mostly about maximizing the wacky and fun factors of the game. And it’s singleton nature gives players the opportunity to have very different game outcomes from one match to the next.
Brawl is a shorter, more compact, and more competitive version of Commander. Brawl’s “singletonness” allows you to keep the variability Commander offers, while limiting the pool of cards you get to choose from. This constraint gives you pinpoint focus for what your decks are trying to accomplish. An experience which might give you “scatter brain” in Commander, having more than 20,000 different cards to choose from.
If, like me, you enjoy Commander’s variety and the competitiveness of Standard, Brawl will fit you like a like a glove, tightly strapped on a boxer’s fist.
Which would be a glorious affair if it weren’t for Ugin showing up everywhere and spoiling it for everyone.
He’s been ruining Standard since about July, and that’s a game where games are often finished by turn 8. A card with a CMC of 8 is very expensive in Standard, and he’s still overpowered. He has only recently been overshadowed by Valki, the Broken.
In Brawl, the games run typically longer than in Standard. Players have access to a lot more Mana during games, and Ugin becomes the almost totally predictable end to every game.
During Zendikar Rising, it was the case that nine times out of ten, Ugin would close out the game on his own. With the arrival of Kaldheim’s Vorinclex, players now get to activate Ugin’s ultimate ability on the turn he comes into play. In either case, I make the argument that Ugin wins the game, not the player.
Ugin is colorless, which means he can fit in every deck. He’s everywhere, with everyone playing Ugin, in every Brawl deck they build! Suffice it to say, half of your games will be ended by Ugin.
I came to Brawl for the variety. If I wanted all my match-ups to end the same way, I would be playing Standard!
Ladies and gents, in Brawl, Ugin is a cop out. Ugin is an easy win. Ugin is in every deck you face. Ugin needs to be taken out of Brawl, and Brawl needs to be to the unique, singleton experience it was meant to be.