Parallel Thoughts: Premodern Brawl Q&A (and debut of Rules v.1.1) – 04.16.2020

It’s been a little over a week since we released an initial set of rules for Premodern Brawl and the community engagement has been nothing short of incredible!  We definitely did not expect such a quick, passionate, and welcoming response.  Since then, we’ve received a lot of questions, comments, and suggestions and we’d like to share them with you.  Today, we’re here to let you know that our friends at the Raven Guild have been working around the clock to intercept your thoughts and that we have some new rules and errata for Premodern Brawl that come directly from you: the players!

The original article has also been updated to include the new rules and errata below, so if you haven’t read that article, that might be a good place to start.  We also expect to continue to officially respond to the community’s questions, comments, and suggestions on a semi-regular basis to issue new rules and errata, suggested by the players themselves, if we think they are necessary and flavorful.  If you want to talk to us about Premodern Brawl, contact us on Facebook, Discord, or Instagram!  That’s enough talking for now.

Knuckle up;

Let’s Brawl!

“Parallel Thoughts” by @BenThompsonArt



i.  Errata (specifically, to errata certain creatures to “Legendary” and consequently allow new Commanders and color combinations)

We fully expect this to be a constant issue for the first few months as the format evolves.  However, it’s also the most exciting issue to address because the community gets to right rewrite WotC’s wrongs.  This isn’t our first time addressing the concept of Color Identity.  As a refresher, CR 903.4 states:

“903.4. The Commander variant uses color identity to determine what cards can be in a deck with a certain commander. The color identity of a card is the color or colors of any mana symbols in that card’s mana cost or rules text”


Justin, and many others, suggested that the Apocalypse Volvers be errata’d to be Legendary so that decks can be built with the Color Identity of the Enemy Color Wedges.  This is because their Kicker costs count towards Color Identity.  My favorite is Anavolver, who looks like a happy Phyrexian with wings and a.. leaf… blade?  Anyways, we looked at the Volvers and, essentially, they are over-costed vanilla creatures that rarely see competitive play.  They’re the quickest and safest way to patch a gaping hole in the deckbuilding construction rules and could actually be competitive because they scale as the game progresses.  Therefore, we are excited to announce that the following creatures have been errata’d to be “Legendary Creature – Volver”!!

  • Anavolver;
  • Cetavolver;
  • Degavolver;
  • Necravolver; and
  • Rakavolver.




In this thread, Gabriel (who has quickly become one of the most active and creative  members of the Premodern Brawl community) and I (and a few others) debated back and forth about Sawback Manticore, Viashivan Dragon, Yavimaya Kavu, Raging Kavu, Shivan Wurm, and (my personal favorite) Giant Trap-Door Spider.  However, Neither Sawback Manticore nor Viashivan Dragon are particularly exciting and, at this time, we’re concerned about Shivan Wurm giving RG access to reusable bounce and Giant Trap-Door Spider giving RG access to reusable removal.  A mid-range vanilla creature like Yavimaya Kavu and/or Raging Kavu seem like the best balance between a Commander that is both competitive and safe.

We’re also reviewing an errata to Desolation Giant as the first Boros Commander and to Desolation Angel as the second Orzhov Commander (currently, the only Orzhov Commander is Selenia, Dark Angel).

However, considering that we just introduced five new Commanders, I would like to take the time to research and address all of the missing Allied and Enemy Pairs at once.  Therefore, we will not be issuing any additional errata at this time.


lord of undead

Lance, we will definitely keep the “Lords,” “Warchiefs,” etc. of all Tribes in mind as potential errata targets.  However, this suggestion doesn’t address the current problem: certain color combinations don’t have a Commander!  Therefore, we’d like to take the time to slowly address that issue first before we try to make everyone’s individually favorite Tribes viable.  For the time being, Zombie players could try one of Black’s nineteen (19) available Commanders, many of which have Zombie sub-themes.  For example, Balthor, the Defiled (Reanimator) and Ascendant Evincar (Go Wide).  Personally, I’d love to issue an errata so that I can build a deck around my favorite Premodern Tribe:

Image (11)


ii.  Banlist


Alexander, and many others, contributed to this discussion.  We discussed unbanning cards like Recurring Nightmare and Entomb, but leaving Biorhythm banned.  With that being said, it is no secret that the original Premodern Brawl banlist was hastily assembled by combining both the Premodern and Commander (EDH) banlists.  We needed to start with something.  As time goes on, we will slowly unban cards that aren’t oppressive in Premodern Brawl and, similarly, ban the cards which are oppressing the format.

If you’d like a card to be unbanned, I suggest that you ask a willing participant to help you test it (cough cough, Andrew from Ready to Role, cough), build a deck designed to abuse it, and then see how fun it is for both players.  Let us know how it goes!



This format would not be possible without you!  Please keep sending us your questions, comments, and suggestions!  You might even be featured in a future Parallel Thoughts!

Please also keep it up with those Premodern Brawl deck pics on our Insta!  If you’d like to participate, please use the hashtag #premodernbrawl and tag @readytorole in your deck lists, photos, mail days, etc.!

Knuckle up;

Let’s Brawl!

Thanks for reading and please consider joining our Discord to continue the discussion!  We also urge you to follow us on TwitterYouTubeInstagram, and Patreon so that you don’t miss anything.  At the very least, please take a moment to subscribe to our Twitch channel with your Amazon/Twitch Prime account and/or rate us 5 stars on Facebook.  Those are two great ways to support our blog and they cost you absolutely nothing!


If you play any nostalgic formats, or are considering it, then you may enjoy my other articles:

Premodern Brawl


Old School 93/94 Brawl



As a special thanks to our readers, we’ve secured some discounts at your favorite gaming and gaming-related retailers:

  • FlipSide Gaming.  Enter the coupon code READYTOROLE at checkout for 10% off any order of $10 or more.  Alternatively, enter READY40K for FREE SHIPPING on any order of $10 or more in Games Workshop products!
  • Surly Good Designs.  Use coupon code READYTOROLE for 10% off.
  • Kirby’s MTG AltersMention our name to receive 5% off!
  • Kobra Kawaii.  Use coupon code NAKAMA to receive 10% off any order of $25 or more in gaming and anime apparel.

9 Comments on “Parallel Thoughts: Premodern Brawl Q&A (and debut of Rules v.1.1) – 04.16.2020

  1. I honestly think with our limited card-choices, the commander rules is just hard to apply in Premodern. Please experiment having:

    1. Any creature can be used as a commander.

    2. Deck’s color identity doesn’t have to correspond to commander’s color identity.

    Back in the early days of EDH, we played this way within my playgroup since almost everyone within our circle quit when Mirrodin came. It was a blast and a lot of interactions and deck themes are created even with just an uncommon, non-legendary creatures.


      • I don’t have decklists right now but I remember a lot of really interesting builds came from that format. Like a zoo decks with Mother of Runes as commander, UBR with Flametongue Kavu as commander, Mid-range with Ravenous Baloth as commander, etc.

        The point I can deduct from that experience is, you can have a lot more fun and make deck themes more playable by skewing the commander rules. Current commander rules is just not designed with our card pool anyways.

        I can safely say that it was the very peak of my experience with the game.


      • It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun, but Mother of Runes as a Commander in even a Mono White deck sounds pretty overpowered. So Mono Black has to draw non-targeted removal like Mutilate, Edict or double-up with two Instant-speed removal spells against her every game or it auto-loses? And then you just replay her for 2W and the Black player has to do it all over again?


  2. I seriously dig the other commenter’s idea. Me and my childhood friends would love to delve into Premodern brawl but the only thing that’s holding us back is how cluttered and confusing all these erratas has brought forth. I wish it’s more simple and somewhat universal. It’s hard to look up the rule book everytime.


    • How can I make it less-confusing? Have you played other Commander variants? If not, it takes some getting used to. Maybe you guys would enjoy Singleton, instead.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think we are ever going to open the floodgates for every non-Legendary creature. That’s just not how Commander works. Moreover, it’s a lot easier to balance a format with 100 Commanders, not 3,000. If, at the outset of the format, we allow any non-Legendary creature to be a Commander, the format would die a quick death from overpowered Cavern Harpy, Cloud of Faeries, Exalted Angel, etc. decks. Who really wants to play against FTK on turn 4 every single game? Isn’t the reason we play singleton to get away from the consistent feelbads? It is for me.


  3. @FRC3S Yes, it was fun indeed. As I remember, the guy who got what seems to be an overpowered commander gets jumped on by multiple players. Politics happens and just so one player has Mother of Runes as his commander doesn’t mean he’ll auto-win against a slew of other players.

    Iirc, people are packing Serrated Arrows even, though not exclusively to deal with overpowered 1/1s.

    Good luck!


    • @Nie, Thanks for the engagement. Youlve given us a lot to work with! I don’t think a politic solution is reasonable or reliable. What happens in 1v1? Do we need a banlist for head-to-head and a banlist for multiplayer? Doesn’t that make it even MORE complicated?

      Serrated Arrows is great! However, you have a 1/60 chance of drawing it when your opponent has a 60/60 chance of drawing Mommy. Enjoy those 59 autolosses.

      This is why the color identity and legendary requirements exist.


      • I think the way I see it is a little really skewed because back then there will always be at least 4 players playing the same game, never just 1v1. We even played 6-8 players on dry days. I’d like to list down my observations as I remember it:

        – Since players can come up with different array of overpowered commanders to build around, it dilutes what you would define as an overpowered commander as a lot of them will now. It now boils down to whether your commander can hold up the pressure from the others.

        – Best player/commander or just best overall deck loses first. This happens almost every game. Players would purposely sandbag their game just to avoid posing a threat to others.

        – Worst player/commander or just worst overall deck is almost always second place. The playgroup tend to ignore them early on. It gets really interesting when it boils down to the last 3 players as these players will find a way to conspire with one another to take out who would seem to be strongest. The worst player/commander will find a way to help out and at the same time prepare to make a surprise comeback when 2 players remain.

        – Serrated Arrows isn’t the magic bullet when someone casts an overpowered Mother of Runes as their commander. You have to assume that that Mother of Runes player will have a hard time trying to hold his/her fort for so long against the other 3 or so players. He/she would be lucky if the other players will simply try to take out his/her commander because most of the time, they simple overwhelm that player with attacks and control spells left and right until he/she gets eliminated. I played an enchantress deck back then with Argothian Enchantress as my commander and couldn’t really remember if I ever won a game with it. When you play that card, they just swarm at you.

        – Another variant of this modified commander rules would be make commander creatures exclusive to any rare creature with 4 CMC or higher. Though, this would take out a lot of the fan favorites but really, fan favorites are usually the stronger ones. We never played it though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: