2 Ways to Get Brawl Started In Your Store

July 11, 2018 | 2 min to read

Brandi Reece and Nathan Strand, WPN Development Team

If you haven’t started with hosting Brawl events in your store, now’s a great time to give it a shot. We asked about the format in a recent poll for Dominaria, and more than 20% of respondents said they’re playing Brawl. That’s astronomically high for a brand-new way to play.

Brawl is in something of a “beta” stage. R&D is watching, gathering data and feedback, and fine-tuning the rules and banning cards when necessary. We’re also looking into the future of in-store Brawl, and how we might go about supporting it.

In the meantime, we’ve got two recommendations for getting started in your store.

One: side events. "Standard at 6:30, Brawl after round two." It gives players who go 0–2 a reason to stick around.

Two:

 

Start a league.

 

Before players will invest in a new format, they want proof that it’ll be worth their while—they want to know that, if they start a collection and build a deck, they’ll have consistent opportunities to play. A recurring League helps establish that consistency.

Brawl—the TL;DR Version:
  • 60-card decks
  • All cards must be Standard-legal
  • No more than 1 of a given card (except basic land)
  • 1 "commander"—a legendary creature or planeswalker that begins in the command zone and returns to it any time it leaves the battlefield
  • Any mana symbol that appears on a given card must also appear on your commander
  • Players start with 30 life (25 for 1v1 matches)
  • Best played in groups of 3–5 players
  • 1 free mulligan in 1v1 matches

You might try something along the lines of Magic League: four weeks of casual play, matches whenever players choose, plus a weekly meetup night (perhaps alongside FNM or Standard Showdown.)

You might also borrow a tactic commonly seen in Commander leagues: achievement lists. Achievements are in-game actions through which players can earn points—things like “crew a vehicle with a dinosaur” or “take control a permanent from each opponent in single turn.”

Think “side quests.” It’s a good way to add some flavor, encourage inventive play and deckbuilding, plus keep the focus on fun, rather than competition (some organizers even take points away for hyper-competitive play—things like “eliminate a player before turn six.”)

Our Retail Development team has put together an extensive list of achievements to get you started. Here are just ten of them:

10 Ideas For Brawl Achievements:
  • Control a creature with at least 20 power or 20 toughness.
  • Eliminate an opponent with precisely one point of damage.
  • Cast 4 different instant and/or sorcery spells in a single turn.
  • Cast a Buy-a-Box promotional card (Firesong and Sunspeaker; Nexus of Fate)
  • Attack with a flying Merfolk.
  • Win a game with a one mana spell or permanent.
  • Have a life total that is at least three times the combined life totals of your opponents (minimum three opponents).
  • Control 7 creatures that share no creature types.
  • Play every land in your deck.

Note that these scale up in difficulty as the list goes on. Our Development team recommends using tiers—the higher tier an achievement, the more points it’s worth. They also recommend limiting points to five per night, and having an opponent verify the achievement.

Wanna see more? Email the Retail Development team via Retail Support for the full list—more than 50 achievements in total—plus more guidance on getting Brawl off the ground in your store.