Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by Spiderman, Mar 23, 2018.
Really seems like a limited Commander.
The Commander format is OK for us because we get to sell those expensive precons, but it doesn't help move booster packs. Imagine how cool it would be (for us) if there were a format like Commander, but without all of those old cards that don't make us any money.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think this will work. Standard works because WotC provides some of the infrastructure and support for the format through their tournament system. But this is, explicitly, a casual format. If casual players want to play a format based around legendary creatures, I'm pretty sure they already have one.
Though it is one that is increasingly filling up with expensive cards. Whenever I find out that some random old card is valuable, the answer is almost always, its played in Commander. My favorite thing about Commander is that it makes more cards playable. There is nothing I hate more than looking at cards in my collection or opening a pack and looking at the rare and then saying, this card will never be in any of my decks. So, from that perspective, I like Brawl, because it will make more cards playable.
My initial impressions - this is a better format than Commander, and better for a mixed casual group setting than Standard. Ergo, my first impression is, "Good job Wizards." I agree completely with Oversoul that there is a profit motive mixed in there with moving booster packs, and with Melkor in the analysis of Commander as an increasingly overpriced option that I personally find a lot of faults regarding. It is not the casual format I would have asked for, but it is one I can be glad will have official support going forward.
So I initially pooh-poohed the whole concept of the "Brawl" format. While I do have some reservations, I had an interesting conversation about it that did quell some of my initial reaction...
Basically, I've been visiting an old local game store I remember from when I was a kid (one of those places that started out focused on baseball cards decades ago, but branched out to other hobbies and is still around). For a long time, I never went there, just because even though it's reasonably close it's not geographically in an area I've usually had reason to go. Recently, a friend I went to high school and community college with was hired as manager there, and he's trying to get regular Canadian Highlander events there. So I'm finally exploring Canadian Highlander. Eventually, once I actually have more than a tenuous handle on the format, I'll probably post something about all that. But anyway, he and I and some of the other players there for Canadian Highlander discussed various formats.
So Commander is obviously popular and successful. But it has some issues...
Huge cardpool, which is daunting to most new players.
Awkward ban list, which is regulated by a committee separately from other major formats.
In most places, Highlander gameplay gets taken over by broken stuff and the format becomes unapproachable to outsiders.
The divide between multiplayer and one-on-one is more of a complicated barrier than for other formats.
Similarly, with stuff like the "Standard Showdown" WotC are trying to push Standard not just as a flagship tournament format, but also as an entrance point for new players. And Standard has its own issues when it comes to approachability. Hopefully the new "Challenger" decks will help mitigate this, but when it comes to bringing inexperienced newcomers or returning players into the fold, Standard isn't really meant to be a friendly format. I guess it's common for those players to show up at FNM hoping to play the game, but they just aren't ready and they get trounced by optimized tournament decks piloted by regular LGS barnacles. Yeah, some people won't even be put-off by losing. But it's one thing to lose. It's another thing to be completely overwhelmed and to start realizing that even if you had knowledge and experience, you don't own the four copies each of the three most sought-after mythic rare Standard tournament cards, which you'd observe in your opponent's deck.
Supposedly, and I don't know how much this will turn out to be the case, Brawl won't be as dependent on having the appropriate chase-rares. One person even claimed that the format was sufficiently constrained from broken stuff and high-value card engines that a new player could reasonably open some sealed product and, with the collection available to someone who is still starting out, come up with a deck that is viable in the format. Of course it won't be a favorable matchup against the experienced, knowledgeable player for whom money is no object, but that guy is probably playing Commander or something anyway, and has little incentive to build a Brawl deck. And even when it does come up, the gulf isn't as pronounced. Give me the Commander rules and card pool and tell me to build a deck to beat a newbie with a meager collection of cards and I'll probably dominate that matchup handily. Switch the format to Brawl and I simply don't have as much to work with. Even if I have the advantage, it's a closer matchup.
Future of Brawl
I've got mixed feelings about the changes. Personally, I am not a fan of planeswalkers as commanders. But I also understand that once Dominaria leaves Standard there won't be such a rich array of legendary creatures for the format. And if planeswalkers as commanders is going to be an important aspect of the format, Sorcerous Spyglass is probably a bit much.
Not sorry to see Baral go, but balancing this casual multiplayer format based on people trying to turn it into a competitive duel format is going to cause problems in the long run.
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