– Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths
May 26, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 1.62
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
To quote Battlestar Galactica, if you let a complex system run for long enough, it’ll eventually do surprising things – such as evolve another Brushwagg on the other side of the multiverse from the only other known Brushwagg. This guy is in kind of a difficult position for tournament decks, since he doesn’t stay late-game strong without turn-by-turn payments, and we’re in a Standard format with early mana producers who decks will prefer (to get to the late game early). I wouldn’t entirely rule him out, as “trample tribal” is kind of a thing in Ikoria, and he is an early play that fits the theme (much like Glistener Elf did in New Phyrexia), but he probably won’t be a Mythic Championship staple. I think the Rule of Cool overrides that in this case, though!
23 years after the only other member of its species made it to print, Ikoria brings us the second-ever Brushwagg in the form of a better Charging Badger. Make no mistake, Almighty Brushwagg (despite what its name might imply) is not going to be a Constructed powerhouse: it’s a 1/1 with no defensive utility, and four mana for a temporary boost is more a Limited trick. It’s not a “once per turn” ability, so the Almighty Brushwagg can violently disembowel any who would dare laugh at it with enough mana to back it up, and trample pairs well with it. Mutate can also actually be a nice thing to get more use out of the Brushwagg, since trample and a stat boost is a good basis for another creature, but I’m still leery of it seeing play in Constructed. It’s still awesome, though.
Constructed: 2 (I’m not optimistic, but mutate is a Thing, and there are ways to make Almighty Brushwagg’s abilities really pop on a bigger creature)
Hello and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! Today we’re taking a peek at the one and only Almighty Brushwagg, does he live up to his name or is he merely the tail wagging the brush?
We’re not going to spend too much time pondering the depth of this card in the eternal formats and instead go straight to where cards like this are made for. Limited, and boy does it work in Limited!
The Mutate Mechanic thrives on abilities and for a simple G and a card, your evolved nightmare can have a giant growth pump ability and trample, great for a mana sink and threatening the board. This guy is basically a walking enchantment that you play out first for future mutate fodder.
Card Advantage is pretty spicy in Ikoria with Pacifism being almost first pickable given how you can probably 3 for 1 a double mutated creature with it. In that sense Ikoria is amazing for battle cruiser magic drafts, and this guy is a great starting point to start pinging in damage if your opponent is slow on the go. And with 3 color being the norm it’s not uncommon for them to drop taplands for 2 to 3 turns and passing back, all while your brushwagg is poking them with spines.
This guy might even be viable in a Pauper Level cube if you opt to take in a lot more mutate creatures and ways for him to take advantage of his slow roll giant growth, but outside of Ikoria Draft and Sealed this guy is basically fodder for your Library Donation box.
Constructed 1/5 – Much better options for a green.
Limited 2.5/5 – He’s not first pickable but he’s a solid 23rd for your draft deck.
Commander 1/5 – Not worth playing here.
Cube 1/5 – Only in low level pauper cubes.
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