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Syr Gwen, Hero of Ashvale Commander Brawl

Upgrading Commanders: Building Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale in Brawl

Other Brawl Budget Upgrades

Wild Bounty | Savage Hunter | Faerie Schemes

Hey everyone! I’m back with my third flexible budget Brawl deck upgrade! This week, we’ll be focusing on the Knights’ Charge deck featuring Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale.

Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale - Collector Pack Exclusive

The idea here is to take the preconstructed Brawl decks and spend up to $25 (since it’s a 60-card deck, I’ve lowered the budget) before tax and shipping to improve them. Obviously, $25 has a different impact on everyone, but the idea is to show you how to take a deck and improve it while still operating on a set budget.

We’re going to throw a wrench in here, though. I’ve been considering how these budget articles could scale to different price points because everyone’s budget is different. This time around, I’m going to upgrade the decks for four price points: $25, $50, $100, and Unlimited. That way, you can pick and choose the upgrades you like based on how much you want to invest in a deck. If this ends up being something you like, I’ll incorporate it into more articles.

As we go through the changes, I’ll list the prices (from this very website, ChannelFireball.com) of each card I plan to add. That way, you can see how I keep things in budget. Prices and availability of cards may have changed since I wrote this because time always progresses forward no matter what we do. If you see an inconsistency because of that, I apologize, but it’s inevitable. The overall idea is that Brawl, just like Commander, isn’t a pay-to-win format–instead, it’s about synergies and themes.

Oh, and this is predicated around multiplayer Brawl, just like my Commander articles.

For reference, you can find the full decklist for this and all the Brawl precons here.

Let’s talk about some cards I’m not hyped about from the initial list (this is a nice way of saying I’m cutting them, I guess):

Fireborn KnightVenerable KnightSkyknight VanguardSingle CombatShining ArmorCrystal SlipperOrzhov GuildgateRakdos GuildgateBoros GuildgateIntegrity // InterventionOb Nixilis's CrueltySkyknight Legionnaire

The available Knights in Standard don’t have a deep enough pool for me to be as excited about this deck as I’d like to be. That said, some of these Knights are below my relatively low bar. Fireborn Knight looks like it’ll rot in our hand for a while. Venerable Knight is a low-impact one-drop, which isn’t really where multiplayer decks want to be. Skyknight Vanguard is okay, but it’ll be replaced by a superior token generator. Skyknight Legionnaire just doesn’t have the punch it needs to compete at the three-drop spot. Integrity//Intervention loses out too hard on power level for the flexibility. Shining Armor and Crystal Slipper are fairly depressing in terms of effect for the cost of a card. Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty is easy to outclass in the removal department. Finally, the Guildgates are the worst lands in these decks unless you’re doing Gate stuff, which this deck definitely isn’t.

Here are the cards we’ll use to replace these for the $25 budget version:

Worthy Knight ($0.49)

This is the token generator I was talking about that outclasses Skyknight Vanguard. Any time we cast a Knight, we’ll get a 1/1. That’s a great way to get value–and if Syr Gwyn isn’t around, the 1/1s are decent equipment targets.

Blacklance Paragon ($0.49)

Lifelink is welcome when we’ll be losing life to Syr Gwyn, and the deathtouch can be a real mid-combat surprise. Blacklance Paragon is one of the best Knights available.

Acclaimed Contender ($0.49)

What’s better than one Knight? More Knights! Acclaimed Contender finds more of those, or maybe some equipment or a very special artifact we haven’t talked about yet.

Murderous Rider ($7.99)

This card is a Brawl staple even in non-Knight decks, and in this deck the creature half is even better.

Cavalier of Dawn ($2.59)

2WWW is a tough mana cost, but this deck can use both the effects pretty well. Oh, and there’s a decently sized creature attached. White is our primary color, and this card wants to be cast in the late game, so hopefully it doesn’t rot in hand too long.

Finale of Glory ($2.49)

I’m under the impression that this deck should be flooding the board, and Finale of Glory is really good at that. Even though it doesn’t make Knight tokens, it makes a lot of nonsense and can easily win a game that goes on too long.

Bedevil ($3.99)

Another piece of removal that shines very brightly in Brawl. Simple but effective.

Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord ($1.15)

Recursion is very powerful, and Sorin’s second activated ability does a good job of providing that. What I’m really into, however, is the static effect. Lifelink is going to be huge for a deck like this, especially as we focus more on filling the board with garbage.

The Circle of Loyalty ($2.19)

An obvious inclusion in any self-respecting Knight deck. Everything it does improves the functionality of our deck. It pumps our Knights, makes Knights, and makes more Knights.

Temple of Silence ($2.15)

If our lands are going to enter the battlefield tapped, then they’re darn well going to provide at least a scry.

Plains and Swamp ($0.00)

This deck badly needs its lands to enter the battlefield untapped. If we’re taking an aggressive stance in multiplayer games, that’s very important. With that in mind, I’m upping the basic count.

So far, we’ve spent $24.02. Let’s see what we’ve created so far:

Knights’ Charge – $25 Budget Upgrade

Commander: Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale

1 Bloodfell Caves
1 Command Tower
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Godless Shrine
5 Mountain (343)
6 Plains (331)
1 Scoured Barrens
4 Swamp (339)
1 Temple of Silence
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Tournament Grounds
1 Wind-Scarred Crag
1 Acclaimed Contender
1 Belle of the Brawl
1 Blacklance Paragon
1 Cavalier of Dawn
1 Corpse Knight
1 Embereth Shieldbreaker/Battle Display
1 Embereth Skyblazer - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Foulmire Knight/Profane Insight
1 Inspiring Veteran
1 Knight of the Ebon Legion
1 Midnight Reaper
1 Murderous Rider/Swift End
1 Order of Midnight/Alter Fate
1 Silverwing Squadron - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Smitten Swordmaster/Curry Favor
1 Syr Konrad, the Grim
1 Wintermoor Commander
1 Worthy Knight
1 Ancestral Blade
1 Arcane Signet - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Bedevil
1 Bond of Discipline
1 Colossus Hammer
1 Despark
1 Finale of Glory
1 Icon of Ancestry
1 Knights' Charge - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Mace of the Valiant - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Marauder's Axe
1 Mask of Immolation
1 Mortify
1 Response//Resurgence
1 Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord
1 Steelclaw Lance
1 The Circle of Loyalty

Commander Popular

From here, if you want to upgrade to my $50 list, the plan is pretty simple.

Out: Bloodfell Caves, Wind-Scarred Crag

In: Blood Crypt ($12.99), Sacred Foundry ($11.99)

Improving the mana base is really important for this aggressive deck.

Out: Mask of Immolation

In: Ethereal Absolution ($0.49)

Mask of Immolation is definitely better in the sacrifice-focused deck. We want to attack with our creatures use them to improve cards like Silverwing Squadron and Embereth Skyblazer. So, instead, Ethereal Absolution takes our wide board and improves it a ton by pumping our creatures and shrinking opposing ones. It also exiles creatures from graveyards to prevent shenanigans.

What’s that? We’ve now spent a total of $49.49? Incredible. Let’s see the decklist:

Knights’ Charge – $50 Budget Upgrade

Commander: Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale

1 Blood Crypt
1 Command Tower
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Godless Shrine
5 Mountain (343)
6 Plains (331)
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Scoured Barrens
4 Swamp (339)
1 Temple of Silence
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Tournament Grounds
1 Acclaimed Contender
1 Belle of the Brawl
1 Blacklance Paragon
1 Cavalier of Dawn
1 Corpse Knight
1 Embereth Shieldbreaker/Battle Display
1 Embereth Skyblazer - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Foulmire Knight/Profane Insight
1 Inspiring Veteran
1 Knight of the Ebon Legion
1 Midnight Reaper
1 Murderous Rider/Swift End
1 Order of Midnight/Alter Fate
1 Silverwing Squadron - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Smitten Swordmaster/Curry Favor
1 Syr Konrad, the Grim
1 Wintermoor Commander
1 Worthy Knight
1 Ancestral Blade
1 Arcane Signet - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Bedevil
1 Bond of Discipline
1 Colossus Hammer
1 Despark
1 Finale of Glory
1 Icon of Ancestry
1 Knights' Charge - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Mace of the Valiant - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Marauder's Axe
1 Mask of Immolation
1 Mortify
1 Response//Resurgence
1 Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord
1 Steelclaw Lance
1 The Circle of Loyalty

If you really want to make your Knights deck top-notch, there’s some more work to be done. Let’s take it up to $100.

Out: Bond of Discipline

In: Embercleave ($19.99)

Bond of Discipline might let you kill one opponent. That’s nice and all, but have you read Embercleave recently? This is a deck where you can reasonably cast it for RR mid-combat and then equip it for 0 on a subsequent turn. If Embercleave isn’t dealt with, it’s nearly guaranteed to take over the game.

Out: Scoured Barrens

In: Fabled Passage ($15.49)

The only remaining ETB tapped dual in the deck is getting cut for a fantastic fetchland. Who could have seen this coming?

Out: Embereth Shieldbreaker

In: God-Eternal Oketra ($5.49)

We’ve got plenty of ways to handle artifacts, and the 2/1 just isn’t enough to justify Embereth Shieldbreaker’s presence. The god-cat lets us go even wider than we already do, and it’s very hard to deal with.

Out: Despark

In: Smothering Tithe ($9.99)

We’ve already upped our removal game a lot, and I do love imposing taxes on my opponents. I think establishing a board state uninterrupted is a lot easier when we’re ahead on mana, either via Treasures or because our opponents are actually paying.

We’ve now spent $100.45. Ordinarily I’d be very strict about the budget and not allow this kind of overage, but honestly, there’s no Unlimited Budget upgrade this week. Why not, you ask? Well, I tried to make a few more changes after I got to this point with the list, and I just couldn’t. They all felt like change for the sake of change rather than actual improvements, and I don’t think that fits the spirit of this series. Here’s the last list:

Knights’ Charge – $100 Budget Upgrade

Commander: Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale

1 Blood Crypt
1 Command Tower
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Fabled Passage
1 Godless Shrine
5 Mountain (343)
6 Plains (331)
1 Sacred Foundry
4 Swamp (339)
1 Temple of Silence
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Tournament Grounds
1 Acclaimed Contender
1 Belle of the Brawl
1 Blacklance Paragon
1 Cavalier of Dawn
1 Corpse Knight
1 God-Eternal Oketra
1 Embereth Skyblazer - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Foulmire Knight/Profane Insight
1 Inspiring Veteran
1 Knight of the Ebon Legion
1 Midnight Reaper
1 Murderous Rider/Swift End
1 Order of Midnight/Alter Fate
1 Silverwing Squadron - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Smitten Swordmaster/Curry Favor
1 Syr Konrad, the Grim
1 Wintermoor Commander
1 Worthy Knight
1 Ancestral Blade
1 Arcane Signet - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Bedevil
1 Colossus Hammer
1 Embercleave
1 Ethereal Absolution
1 Finale of Glory
1 Icon of Ancestry
1 Knights' Charge - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Mace of the Valiant - Brawl Deck Exclusive
1 Marauder's Axe
1 Mortify
1 Response//Resurgence
1 Smothering Tithe
1 Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord
1 Steelclaw Lance
1 The Circle of Loyalty

 

That’s it for this week! Sound off in the comments and on Twitter (I’m @RagingLevine) about all the things you’re doing differently with your Syr Gwyn decks. I’ll see you next time with the last deck, Faerie Schemes!

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