– Throne of Eldraine
October 14, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you’ve been looking for this card as a single and found it to be just as elusive as the faeries in its art, you might have been wondering why. After all, neither of its sets of game text is particularly unusual. It’s what happens when they’re on the same card that is worthy of note. Options are always a good thing, making a card more useful in more situations and allowing you to include a larger number and range of effects in your deck – this is why modal spells, split cards, and kicker cards are so good. Neither part is inherently game-changing in itself, but once you have enough mana to chain Petty Theft into Brazen Borrower, preferably during your opponent’s turn, you have a potentially devastating tempo shift. While your opponent can generally just replay the card (barring it being some kind of off-color reanimated creature), they’ll now be facing a threat on your side of the table that they may not have been equipped to handle. Even just leaving the Borrower on the adventure for a turn or two can change how the opponent plays; perhaps they have a two-toughness flying creature that they’ll now want to hold back, or they’ll be cautious of your new ability to go on the offensive any time you choose.
Brazen Borrower is one of those cards from Throne of Eldraine that earned its mythic status based off its power, not off of its lore. It looks pretty pedestrian at first: a 3/1 for flying for 3 with the “high flying” blocking restriction, but where Brazen Borrower shines is that it also comes as a Disperse before coming down as a creature. Any time you can eke out two cards worth of value from one card is something more than worth looking at; while you can bin Brazen Borrower entirely by making the target of Petty Theft immune to the spell, curving a turn 2 Petty Theft into a turn 3 Brazen Borrower is pretty legit. This little obnoxious sprite is going to wreak a lot of havoc in this Standard because of its efficiency and how brutal it can be when it comes down, and who cares about its blocking restriction when 3 power in the air is good at ending games?
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