There are many features that players have been waiting a long time for on Arena. Things like Spectator Mode and Pioneer are often requested, but there is one complaint in particular I have heard from Arena players time and time again. Why is there no permanent way to play Historic Brawl? The great format has only ever been playable in limited-time events, but that is finally changing. At the behest of brawlers everywhere, Arena is finally adding a permanent queue for Historic Brawl. I could not be more excited, and of course I have already created my ideal Historic Brawl deck.

First off, what exactly is Historic Brawl? Essentially, it is the Commander format of Arena, with a few differences. Two players face off using 100-card decks made from almost any card on Arena, including some that are banned in Historic. Unlike in Commander, both players start at 25 life, and there is no such thing as “commander damage”. Probably the most important difference is that in Brawl, you can use planeswalkers as your commander. This opens the door to a whole variety of interesting decks, and provides more options for players looking to use their favourite characters as a commander. Personally, this allows me to use a planeswalker who has been one of my favourites ever since War of the Spark, where the mysterious Kasmina first made her debut. We still don’t know very much about Kasmina as a character, aside from the fact that she fought in the War of the Spark and taught at Strixhaven. But we do know she is a powerful mage and has some secrets we haven’t yet learned. 

When Kasmina, Enigma Sage was printed I immediately saw its potential as a commander. Blue and green (Quandrix) are great colours in Brawl, plus Kasmina provides strong support for a planeswalker theme. Playing a deck based around planeswalkers provides the potential for running away with games against less aggressive opponents and also provides the ability to use cards like Mox Amber and Karn’s Temporal Sundering

The first step I took when building my Kasmina, Enigma Sage deck was to round up all the green, blue, and colourless planeswalkers and then see how many I could fit in the deck. Some of them were too focused on creatures or artifacts to make sense for the deck, and some of them just weren’t powerful enough, but in the end 13 planeswalkers made the cut. Some of them are included specifically because of how well they combo with Kasmina, like Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner who can create a 6/6 fractal the turn its played with the help of Kasmina.

Aside from planeswalkers, Quandrix is packed with the best ramp cards and I wanted to create a quick and accelerated deck so I included as many cheap ramp cards as possible. This included mana rocks like Mind Stone, spells like Growth Spiral, creatures like Incubation Druid, and most exciting of all, Mox Amber.

Blue and green also feature the best card draw in Brawl, with cantrips like Brainstorm and Once Upon a Time (both banned in Historic) and some more expensive spells that fit the deck such as Tezzeret’s Gambit.

Next, I tried to find the best interaction to include. Quandrix’s weakness is creature and planeswalker removal, which is a problem in a format based around legendary creatures and planeswalkers. I started with four two-mana counterspells, including Counterspell itself. A bounce spell or two and Creeping Mold were added to help out against problematic permanents. The best piece of interaction in the deck is In Bolas’ Clutches, which can steal an opponent’s commander without even giving them the ability to replay it.

To round out the deck there are a few great green creatures that I added to provide some battlefield presence. Elder Gargaroth and Lovestruck Beast provide great protection for the planeswalkers. Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse works quite well in the deck since so many planeswalkers can draw extra cards every turn. 

Lastly, I wanted to add some instants and sorceries that could be cast from Kasmina, Enigma Sage’s ultimate ability. The obvious choice was Time Walks, since they are powerful and expensive and also work very well with planeswalkers. Karn’s Temporal Sundering, Alrund’s Epiphany, and Time Warp are excellent in this deck and make Kasmina even more scary.

Here is the final list I ended up with.

MTG Arena decklist

1 Kasmina, Enigma Sage

1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
1 Regrowth
1 Quandrix Command
1 Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner
1 Vivien Reid
1 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
1 Narset, Parter of Veils
1 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
1 Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor
1 Garruk, Unleashed
1 Jace, Cunning Castaway
1 Brainstorm
1 Opt
1 Pact of Negation
1 Teferi, Master of Time
1 Counterspell
1 Growth Spiral
1 Censor
1 Callous Dismissal
1 Memory Lapse
1 Tale’s End
1 Brazen Borrower
1 Commit /// Memory
1 Time Warp
1 Tezzeret’s Gambit
1 Karn’s Temporal Sundering
1 Alrund’s Epiphany
1 Abundant Harvest
1 Explore
1 Once Upon a Time
1 Spring /// Mind
1 Heroic Intervention
1 Bala Ged Recovery
1 Cultivate
1 Creeping Mold
1 Kamahl’s Druidic Vow
1 Body of Research
1 Leyline of Anticipation
1 In Bolas’s Clutches
1 In Search of Greatness
1 Mox Amber
1 Coldsteel Heart
1 Mind Stone
1 Karn, Scion of Urza
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
1 Ugin, the Ineffable
1 Heart of Kiran
1 Gilded Goose
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Druid of the Cowl
1 Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse
1 Incubation Druid
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Tangled Florahedron
1 Lovestruck Beast
1 Elder Gargaroth
1 Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
1 Spark Double
1 Barkchannel Pathway
1 Botanical Sanctum
1 Breeding Pool
1 Hinterland Harbor
1 Temple of Mystery
1 Thornwood Falls
1 Vineglimmer Snarl
1 Woodland Stream
1 Simic Guildgate
1 Rimewood Falls
1 Quandrix Campus
14 Island
14 Forest
1 Hall of Storm Giants

Other notable inclusions include Heart of Kiran, which may be the best two-drop in the deck. Brazen Borrower provides a bit of interaction and a good way to pressure opposing planeswalkers. Spark Double provides a method of duplicating planeswalkers, which can often be quite powerful for just four mana.

When I started playing with the deck I was blown away by its speed and by how well Kasmina helped the other planeswalkers. I won many games with a battlefield full of planeswalkers and fractal tokens. I also won many games by using Kasmina’s -8 ability with her or with another planeswalker, and then running away with the advantage a free extra turn creates. The consistency provided by the cantrips and ramp cards was a great bonus as well. 

I was amazed that even though Historic Brawl decks are 100 cards, the card quality is still extremely high. It was not difficult to find playable cards whatsoever, and I think part of the reason this deck has been successful is that it focuses on having high card quality above having weaker cards that might be more synergistic with the commander. Although it’s the planeswalkers and Kasmina that usually win the games, it’s the Brainstorms, Tale’s Ends, Llanowar Elves and Regrowths that really make this deck so effective. Going forward I will probably be replacing some of the cards I included for fun like Leyline of Anticipation and Body of Research. The deck is plenty fun without these random cards that don’t really fit the strategy of the deck, and there are plenty powerful cards waiting to take their place. I’m excited to see what options new sets will bring as well. Now that Historic Brawl is a permanent option it will be very fun to work on decks over time and invest in the format. 

If you’re looking for a deck to try out in the new Historic Brawl queue, look no further! This Kasmina, Enigma Sage deck has everything you need to blow away opponents, draw cards, make mana, and take extra turns. Of course, make sure to brew up some decks with your favourite commanders as well. There’s nothing more exciting than going up against someone in Brawl with a commander you’ve never seen before. As well, keep an eye out for more Brawl-related content here in the near future!


Find me on twitter: @dreynolds2727

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