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Much Abrew: Yarokamonicon (Brawl, Magic Arena)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're trying something a bit different. After a long wait, Brawl is finally released on Magic Arena, which means we're going to take one of my favorite commanders out for a spin in the format: Yarok, the Desecrated. If you're somehow not familiar, Yarok, the Desecrated is basically a Panharmonicon on a legendary body, which means we're playing a deck that's overflowing with creatures with powerful enters-the-battlefield triggers. Our main goal is to simply out-value our opponent and trust that we'll eventually figure out a way to win the game after we draw through most of our deck. How good is Yarok in Brawl? What does the Brawl format look like on Magic Arena? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Yarokamonicon


  • Record-wise, Yarokamonicon was great. We ended up going 7-0 with the deck, and most of the games didn't feel especially close! Apparently, the plan of overloading on enters-the-battlefield value is a good one in the Brawl format.
  • One of the things I realized while playing Brawl on Arena is that a lot of people seem to build Brawl decks like singleton Standard decks. The numbers of Pelt Collectors and aggressive red creatures were surprisingly high. My theory for building Brawl decks is that you should build them like Commander decks, dedicating the early game to ramping, playing plenty of card draw, removal, and sweepers along with as much graveyard recursion as you can muster in your colors. Rather than trying to be efficient like in Standard, try to go over the top of whatever your opponent might be doing like you would in Commander. 
  • Ramp-wise, we've got a bunch of options. Since we are in green, we get access to a bunch of mana dorks (Gilded Goose, Incubation Druid, Paradise Druid, and Leafkin Druid) along with cards like Beanstalk Giant and Cavalier of Thorns, plus Arcane Signet and Chromatic Lantern. Ideally, we'll spend the first two or three turns of the game ramping, which will allow us to get Yarok, the Desecrated online early in the game.
  • Our card draw and removal are a bit strange, mostly because we're a Yarok deck. While we do have Assassin's Trophy, in general, we're looking to use cards like Plaguecrafter, Massacre Girl, Agent of Treachery, Meteor Golem, and Voracious Hydra as our removal spells since they all have enters-the-battlefield triggers we can double up with Yarok, the Desecrated. Meanwhile, for card draw, we use Risen Reef, Gadwick, the Wizened, and Cavalier of Gales, along with some card advantage–generating planeswalkers. 
  • Speaking of planeswalkers, cards like Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner (ramp), Tamiyo, Collector of tales (recursion), and Liliana, Dreadhorde General / Garruk, Cursed Huntsman (card draw and removal) don't really do anything with Yarok, the Desecrated specifically, but in a deck like ours that can ramp into them early, they are simply too powerful to pass up. 
  • As I mentioned before, we aren't especially concerned with trying to win the game. Instead, we're trying to generate value and trust that in one way or another, that value will win us the game. That played out time and time again in our matches, with opponents often scooping at 25 or even 30 life simply because they knew they couldn't overcome our enters-the-battlefield value. 
  • Heading into our matches, I was worried about Oko, Thief of Crowns. Some people had been reporting that they were playing against Oko more than 50% of the time in Brawl. Somehow, we didn't play against Oko, Thief of Crowns a single time, and in our small sample of Brawl matches, the metagame actually looked very diverse as we played seven different commanders in our seven matches. 
  • While I'm pretty happy with the deck, I realized after the matches that we were playing Evolving Wilds over Fabled Passage. Apart from budget concerns (i.e. not having enough rare wildcards), Fabled Passage is a strict upgrade on Evolving Wilds, so feel free to make the swap if you have Fabled Passage in your collection. Another card to consider is Hydroid Krasis. Even though it doesn't work with Yarok, it is a very powerful card in our colors, and a Brawl deck can never have too many card-draw spells.
  • So, should you play Yarakamonicon in Brawl? While I think the deck is very good and I play on continuing to play it, the beauty of formats like Commander and Brawl is that you can play whatever playstyle you enjoy. If you like drawing cards and enters-the-battlefield value, I'd recommend Yarokamonicon, but a ton of other sweet commanders are available in the format as well, so you should be able to find one that fits your playstyle (for some ideas, check out the Ready to Brawl article series that went up this week). 
  • One last recommendation, this time for Wizards: add Brawl as a fully supported format. Right now, both Standard and Limited are in the worst place they have been since Arena has been available, which means there isn't a whole lot of fun to be had on Arena at the moment (unless you really like Oko mirrors in Constructed or mill mirrors in Draft). Having Brawl as an evergreen format available seven days a week would give players something to do on the client while Standard and Limited aren't fun. Right now, there's a risk that people will simply stop playing Magic altogether and switch to a different game. I had a ton of fun playing Brawl, and it would be nice to be able to do it more than just once a week, especially right now, while other formats are in a rough place.


Anyway, that's all for today. Do you want more Brawl content in the future? Let us know in the comments! Oh yeah, and don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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