Hello everybody and welcome back to another article of Brawl Haul! Before going into the rest of the article, I want to specify two terms that are used throughout the article, these being flickering and blinking. Flickering is when a creature is exiled and returns immediately while blinking is when a creature is exiled and returns at the end of the turn. With all that being said, time to jump into this week’s article!
The main goal of this deck is to outvalue the opponent by repeating all of our enter the battlefield triggers with Yorion and Escape Protocol. Both are strong on their own but when combined, they can pull ahead of the opponent in card advantage very quickly.
What does Yorion, Sky Nomad do for our Deck?
Yorion is arguably the best blink commander in the format right now, which to be honest, is not saying much since the only other strong one is Thassa, Deep Dwelling. The biggest difference between these two is that Thassa provides slow incremental value while Yorion is one-time use but with a significantly stronger boost. Each of these has a different scenario where they excel, but overall Yorion is stronger for this style of deck, at least in the style I have built it. On top of this, Yorion gives access to another color, which is something that is always beneficial for formats with a limited card pool, such as brawl.
Curving out into Yorion is one of the easiest ways to win with this deck, as when turn 5 comes along, every one of our creatures is able to have their enter the battlefield effect trigger again. Because of this, the strongest value pieces are the ones that come out early, these being Overwhelmed Apprentice, Charming Prince, and Elite Guardmage.
Overwhelmed Apprentice and Charming Prince serve essentially the same purpose of setting up future draws to ensure we can cast Yorion on turn five. Charming Prince is significantly better as his blink ability works well with Yorion and the rest of the deck. It can be a bit slow as both are blink effects, but in slower matchups, it is an incredibly strong combo. Elite Guardmage is a great way of stabilizing against faster decks, as well as giving card advantage to help us hit some of the stronger enter the battlefield effects.
One of the main subthemes in the deck is cycling, this to take advantage of Escape Protocol. Not only is this card a great way to flicker things early on, but it also can be used to activate Yorion again, making all of the cycling cards be able to flicker all of our permanents. Because of this, more often than not the cycling cards are not cast, instead just cycling them. There are still some cards that are usable for the normal effect, these being Neutralize, Hampering Snare, and Ominous Seas.
Neutralize is very strong as it provides good interaction that if not needed, can be cycled. Holding up interaction is always very strong, especially in blue as it can easily deter the opponent from doing anything on their turn. Hampering Snare is strong in the same way, being able to blow out the opponent if they were to swing-out. Ominous Seas is another powerful card as it is able to push out 8/8 Krakens fairly easily. It works well with the entire deck as it churns through cards fairly quickly.
Closing out the Game
As much fun as generating a ton of value is, the deck still needs to close out the game eventually. The best ways of doing this are through Meteor Golem, Agent of Treachery, and Thassa, Deep-Dwelling.
Meteor Golem and Agent of Treachery are both very strong for stopping the opponent from progressing their gameplan. While both have similar effects, both lead to very different results, with Meteor Golem mostly just being removal while Agent of Treachery, at least in my experience, has boiled down into land destruction for the most part. The strongest part about both these cards is that they are demoralizing to play against and after repeating their effects two to three times, most of my opponents conceded. Thassa, Deep-Dwelling is not strong on her own, but with any decent enter the battlefield cards, she closes out the game very quickly. Her activated ability is also very strong for slowing down the opponent and for letting us swing in for damage.
Other Notable Cards
Like always, there are a couple of cards that stand out as overperforming, but then do not fit in with the rest of the main goals of the deck. These cards are Spark Double, Justiciar’s Portal, and Tale’s End.
Spark Double is an amazing card in this deck as it is incredibly flexible. It can be used to repeat an enter the battlefield trigger, it can be used with Yorion in the same way as Charming Prince, and it overall is just an incredibly strong card. Justiciar’s Portal is strong as being a one-time flicker ability, but also can be used to defensively as the first strike part of the card is not negligible. Lastly, Tale’s End is just an annoying card to face against and so whenever a deck has access to blue, the deck should have it. It has targets against every deck and its very easy to splash for.
Strengths and Weaknesses
This deck excels against slower decks due to how powerful Yorion is, especially with Escape Protocol. There were very few times I lost to control decks after playtesting with 70+ games. Having cycling be a subtheme in the deck also adds a lot of consistency to the deck.
While the control matchups were very good, the aggressive matchups were not at all. Not having access to black means the deck lacks good single target removal, and even when including strong lockdown pieces like Deputy of Detention and Dungeon Geists, they are still slow for most the matchups where we would need them the most.
If you are interested in trying out the decklist featured in this article, here is a link to it!
This has been a deck I have been tinkering around with for a good while now, and while there are some cards that are not performing as well as planned, the deck overall feels very solid right now. I am still working on making a deck that can use a companion and I was planning on using Yorion as a companion originally, but Brawl is locked at 60 cards, resulting in it being impossible to do that. With the mechanic being touched on June First, it feels like using a companion is going to get significantly harder.
That is all I have to say about this deck, and I hope you have enjoyed this week’s deck tech. As always, if there are any cards that interest you and want to see my take on it, make sure to let me know. I would also like to thank everybody for the support the last couple of months. Until next time, good luck brewing!