Brawl is a format variant inspired by the Commander format. Brawl shares many similarities with Commander but with significant changes, such as using planeswalkers as commanders, a limited, rotating card pool, and lower starting life totals.
Brawl follows many of the same rules as EDH, but differs in some prominent areas:
- Each player builds a singleton deck (no more than 1 of each card, except basic lands) using cards that are only legal in the Standard format. (Historic Brawl is a variant that uses cards only legal in the MTG Arena format Historic.)
- In a two-player game, each player starts at 25 life. In a multiplayer game, each player starts at 30 life.
- Each deck contains either a Legendary creature or Planeswalker that starts in the command zone as a commander. These cards function exactly as commanders do in EDH. They can be cast at any time, following normal timing restrictions. Anytime they would change zones, they can instead be put back into the command zone, and each time the commander goes to the command zone, it costs an additional two mana.
- Each deck must contain exactly 60 cards, including a deck’s commander. In addition, each card in the deck must follow a commander’s color identity. The color identity rules are identical to standard EDH, with one exception: a colorless commander may use basic lands of any type.
- Brawl does not follow the rules of commander damage found in the Commander format.