Hello everybody and welcome back to another article of Brawl Haul! Before jumping into this week’s article, I would just like to say thanks to all the support this series has gotten! I’ve always enjoyed theory crafting and testing and so I have had a blast with sharing new brews. With all that being said, let us jump into this week’s article, featuring Rin and Seri, arguably one of the cutest cards printed recently.
The main goals of our deck are to flood our board with cats and dogs, slowing the game down and letting us use Rin and Seri’s activated ability to help keep the board clean, letting us get in for damage with our mass of household pets.
Why Rin and Seri, Inseparable?
This one is fairly obvious, seeing as we are playing a cat and dog tribal deck and this is the only commander that supports them. Truth be told, cats and dogs are both relatively weak tribes, with cats being fairly stronger than dogs, though that is not saying much considering how mediocre they are. As mentioned briefly earlier, what makes running these suboptimal creatures is Rin and Seri, specifically their activated ability. The first two abilities let us flood the board with both cats and dogs while the activated ability provides a great payoff for having a ton of the smaller tokens. As a result of this, the deck is fairly dependent on having Rin and Seri stick on the board.
Cats and Dogs
In order to make Rin and Seri strong, we need to be able to pump out both creature types in order to make use of the activated abilities. Since gaining life is fairly irrelevant, it is better to amass a large amount of dogs, which means playing cats gives us the most value. The best cats and dogs in the deck are Kaheera, the Orphanguard, Feline Sovereign, Pack Leader, and Selfless Savior.
One of the most important parts of a tribal deck are lords, those being creatures that buff up the respective creature type. We have two lords for our cats that also provide some other benefits, like Kaheera giving vigilance and Feline Sovereign providing artifact and enchantment removal. It is unfortunate that Kaheera does not also specify dogs as it would be an amazing companion, but it is still very strong as apart of the 60. Pack Leader is easily the strongest lord we have access to. Coming out earlier is not incredibly relevant for our deck, but its secondary ability to be a one-sided fog effect is one of the strongest effects ever printed on a lord. The last dog in our deck that is powerful is Selfless Savior, which flavor-wise is probably my least favorite card in the game. Functionally though the card is great as it makes removing our larger threats, specifically Rin and Seri, very difficult to do.
One of the big issues with Naya decks is that they tend to run out of cards fairly quickly, which for a deck like this where we consistently want to be pumping out cats and dogs, is a great way to lose the game. Because of this, we need to make sure to get the most mileage out of our creatures, or finding as many ways of drawing cards as possible. The cards that are the best support cards in the deck are Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner, Keeper of Fables, and Unbreakable Formation.
Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner is able to give us a ton of card advantage, letting all of our tokens from Rin and Seri turn into card draw. Having to dump our hand every time we activate her ability is not a huge issue as we can most of the time empty our hands between activations of it. Keeper of Fables is a slower, albeit easier-to-activate source of card draw, as well as being a large body and a cat. The last support card that performed incredibly well was Unbreakable Formation, which can either let us flunge or just used to protect our board.
Once we can fill the board with dogs and cats, we need to focus on finishing off the enemy. While beating down with all our tokens is the general goal of the deck, we have some cards to help speed up this process. The cards that do this best are Chance for Glory, Return of the Wildspeaker, Ajani, the Greathearted, and Ferocity of the Wilds all are strong finishers for the deck.
Ever since the card was spoiled in Guilds of Ravnica, I have tried to make Chance for Glory work in so many different decks, to no avail. However, the card works well in this deck as not only does it let us get another extra turn and let us flung more, but it also works great with Rin and Seri's activated ability, letting us either clear the opponent’s board to get in for damage or just hit the opponent for massive damage. I have had the card backfire a couple of times during testing, but it was able to close out significantly more games than it lost for me. Return of the Wildspeaker is just a solid tool for all stages of the game. In the midgame, we can use it to draw several cards and in the late game, it is a massive overrun effect for almost every creature in our deck. Ajani the Greathearted and Ferocity of the Wilds are not as explosive, but with a turn or two they both speed up the clock enough to be able to finish the game. Ajani is stronger against decks that go tall as it lets us just chump their creatures if they were to go on the offensive, while Ferocity of the Wilds crushes token decks as trample makes blocking difficult for them.
Other Notable Cards
There are a few other cards that stand out as being powerhouses in the deck, although not fitting in with the rest of the deck's goals. The cards that go above and beyond in the deck are Rhythm of the Wild, Camaraderie, and Vivien, Monster's Advocate.
In any creature-heavy deck, one of my favorite cards is without a doubt Rhythm of the Wild. Ensuring our creatures resolve, as well as giving them Riot is invaluable for defeating control decks. As someone who has been on the receiving end of this card playing a control deck, it is easily one of the most demoralizing cards to face against. Camaraderie, like Chance for Glory, has been a card that I have been trying to make work for a while now, and this deck feels like it is the one it excels in. It is a mix between a support card and a finisher card and if we can resolve it, we most likely win in the next couple of turns. Finally, there is Vivien, Monster's Advocate. Her two passive abilities let us get a decent amount of value but her real strength comes with her downtick, which turns our deck into a toolbox to find whichever creature we need most. Our deck does not have a lot of silver bullets you would usually find in a toolbox deck, but just the extra value we get from her ability is enough to make this Vivien invaluable to the deck.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Our deck has a very good matchup against other decks that try to play fairly, such as aggro or more midrange style of decks. This is because more often than not we are able to stabilize after we drop Rin and Seri, as well as being able to stonewall out enemies with a swarm of dogs and cats.
The biggest weakness of this deck is the tribes we have to run, as both tribes are fairly weak. There are very few dogs that can be considered decent on their own, meaning that the deck is very reliant on Rin and Seri to function well. When they stick around on board, the deck works well but that is not always going to be the case.
If you are interested in checking out the decklist featured in the article, here is a link to it!
As a pet fanatic, I was very excited when Rin and Seri were first revealed and while that excitement may have died down when I realized that there just were barely any good dogs, it was still an absolute blast playing the deck. If even just a couple more strong dogs or cats get printed in future sets, it would not surprise me to see Rin and Seri become dominant in Brawl as they feel very close to becoming so. I might be a little biased seeing as how am a sucker for cute things and unsurprisingly there is a lot of good boys and girls in the deck.
That is all I have to say about this deck, I had a ton of fun playing it despite it being a fairly linear beatdown deck. I enjoyed reading what you all were interested in for commanders last week, so get ready for some decks based off of those commanders in the future! That is all for this week, and so until next time, good luck brewing!