Innistrad: Midnight Hunt has brought a wealth of new legendary creatures and planeswalkers to Arena, which is very exciting for Historic Brawl. These new cards represent characters old and new, from Teferi and Sigarda to Old Stickfingers and Ludevic. One of the lesser known legendary creatures from the set has been mentioned in the lore before but is now receiving a card for the first time. Rem Karolus, a Thraben inquisitor, has been described as a brave and brawny soldier and his white-and-red coloured card captures this with an aggressive three-drop. His first ability, adding one to any damage your spells deal reflects his offensive nature and skill in combat. Meanwhile his ability that protects your creatures from noncombat damage shows that despite his bravado he is also a protector, and he often serves to help the common folk. All of this flavour combined with the fact that this card is a cheap commander that can be built around has tempted me into building my new favourite Brawl deck.


Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer

Historic Brawl
by Dawson Reynolds

MTG Arena decklist

1 Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer

1 Play with Fire
11 Plains
1 Sacred Fire
16 Mountain
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Flame Channeler
1 Kabira Takedown
1 Mila, Crafty Companion
1 The Wanderer
1 Ramunap Ruins
1 Blazing Volley
1 Reckless Rage
1 Shock
1 Soul-Scar Mage
1 Spikefield Hazard
1 Cinderclasm
1 Abrade
1 Electrostatic Field
1 Grapeshot
1 Lightning Strike
1 Roil Eruption
1 The Flame of Keld
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Bonecrusher Giant
1 Mana Tithe
1 Goblin Chainwhirler
1 Hungry Flames
1 Risk Factor
1 Skewer the Critics
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Bloodthirsty Adversary
1 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
1 Glorybringer
1 Shatterskull Smashing
1 Integrity // Intervention
1 Justice Strike
1 Lightning Helix
1 Rip Apart
1 Deafening Clarion
1 Tajic, Legion’s Edge
1 Solar Blaze
1 Lorehold Command
1 Chandra’s Pyrohelix
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Fanatical Firebrand
1 Secluded Steppe
1 Clever Lumimancer
1 Selfless Savior
1 Bounty Agent
1 Volcanic Fallout
1 Elite Spellbinder
1 Cast Out
1 Den of the Bugbear
1 Castle Embereth
1 Showdown of the Skalds
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Furycalm Snarl
1 Inspiring Vantage
1 Lorehold Campus
1 Needleverge Pathway
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Wind-Scarred Crag
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Radiant Scrollwielder
1 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
1 Forgotten Cave
1 Ghitu Lavarunner
1 Pillar of Flame
1 Tin Street Cadet
1 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
1 Dual Strike
1 Slaying Fire
1 Runaway Steam-Kin
1 Flames of the Firebrand


The first step in building a deck around Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer, was to compile all of the best burn spells in the format. It turns out that Brawl boasts an impressive list of bolts and shocks, including the likes of Lightning Helix, Play With Fire, and Lightning Bolt itself. Burn spells that can have multiple targets such as Hungry Flames and Grapeshot were given special consideration since they can work doubly or triply as well with Rem Karolus. As well as these targeted spells, I decided to include a number of red damage-based sweepers, like Anger of the Gods and Cinderclasm. Since Rem Karolus prevents the damage to your other creatures these can act as one-sided board wipes, although they still can kill Rem himself (unless you have Tajic, Legion’s Edge on the battlefield as well, which can be a great combo). 

Once I knew I was going to be playing a lot of burn spells I decided to get very aggressive with my other card choices. Rem Karolus being a hasty attacker makes him a great three-drop to back up a few smaller creatures. As well, by playing cheap aggressive creatures this deck can have solid early plays without having to use its burn spells before deploying the commander. Creatures like Soul-Scar Mage and Ghitu Lavarunner reflect Rem’s brash and fiery attitude. Meanwhile, Selfless Savior and Bounty Agent reflect the fact that Rem Karolus is a crusader for good, protecting his fellow civilians. This deck’s best starts typically involve playing some quick threats, attacking on turn three with the Inquisitor and friends, and then backing up this offensive with burn spells, leaving opponents dead or dying by turn five.

When this deck isn’t able to win before the midgame, it also has some amazing threats for four and five mana. Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Glorybringer are pretty obvious includes for any red aggressive deck, but there are some other creatures that can be even more scary in this list. Torbran, Thane of Red Fell has consistently been the best card in the deck when I’ve played it. It will often make your turn four attack lethal, and if you have the opportunity to play burn spells with Torbran on the battlefield that will also usually be game over for the opponent. Radiant Scrollwielder is also super powerful in this deck, with its lifelink ability being a huge problem for opposing aggressive decks and its other ability providing endless fuel. 

The biggest weakness of this deck is inconsistency. There are a lot of super powerful cards and combos in the list but sometimes you only draw some medium burn spells and don’t draw the right creatures at the right time. Sometimes opposing control decks can take advantage of this by removing what threats you do play and playing a powerful planeswalker or endgame creature before you can mount enough pressure. As well, once Rem Karolus is dealt with once, it is not the most scary coming back as a five or seven mana play (although sometimes a hasty flier is all that is needed to finish games). To shore up the consistency of this deck I have considered playing looting spells to be able to filter through cards but no specific cards have stood out to me as playable inclusions, and spending time drawing cards is also not this aggressive deck’s primary gameplan. I think in order to try and play the beatdown in Brawl you have to live with some amount of inconsistency and be prepared for the fact that sometimes you will be completely overpowered in the late game. It is certainly worth it when you also have games where you burn out the opponent before they’ve even made one impactful play other land drops and mana ramping.

Overall this deck has been a great way to experience one of the new legendary creatures from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and also take a new approach to Brawl. I typically play slower, more over-the-top decks in Brawl, and usually play blue as well. Bringing a Boros deck to the table has been a great change of pace, and it’s nice to see that a wide variety of strategies are feasible in Brawl, which seems to be a very healthy format these days. Rem Karolus especially appeals to me because when you chain together burn spells with all of these synergistic abilities it feels like you’re comboing off, bringing the same joy that a Brawl deck with an insane late game does. If you’re a big fan of burn or looking to take a unique stab at Brawl like me, I would certainly consider playing the Thraben Inquisitor and vanquishing your foes just how Rem vanquishes the various eldritch threats of Innistrad!


Find me on twitter: @dreynolds2727

Check out the stream:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.