Brimaz, King of Oreskos
– Born of the Gods
November 14, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you’d asked me before the first Theros block, I wouldn’t have guessed that leonin would be one of its major features, but once the set actually came out, it really just felt right. Humanoid cats are actually pretty tame compared to some of the things that some of the Greek cartographers and travelographers thought might be out there!
Much like yesterday’s card, Brimaz is a great way for a white deck to keep pace and build momentum. He works on both offense and defense, too, particularly with vigilance; in fact, this might make him slightly more weighted towards defense than something like Hero of Bladehold. Although many attackers are likely to kill the token, you’ll be well into the midgame by the time the typical attacker is likely to kill both the token and Brimaz. And of course, he can quickly get out of hand when you add in the Glorious Anthem effects that white loves so much.
His focus on combat does mean that his prospects suffer a little in any format with a lot of combo decks, like Modern and Legacy are now. Any time that games are decided by attacking and blocking, he’s a strong addition to any white creature deck.
Big king kitty cat was one of the few cards in Born of the Gods to really make an impact, and it’s not hard to see why. The body is aggressively and efficiently costed (a 3/4 for three is still really good), and he makes combat math even harder to wrangle as a result of making friends whenever he attacks or blocks; he can even do both reliably, thanks to vigilance. And in white, the color of Anthem effects and general boosts to tokens, this can make games turn chaotic very fast once Brimaz comes out to play. He’s not particularly resistant to removal (though 4 toughness does get it out of Lightning Strike range), but three mana is acceptable for being a threat when it does stick around…and it pairs well with Collected Company decks as one of the bigger potential hits in that three-mana slot.
I have actually gotten a fair bit of mileage out of Brimaz, King of Oreskos in Modern, as his suitably high toughness forces more expensive answers and his attack/block trigger floods the board very readily. He’s not a format all-star, as removal is abundant and reliable in Modern, but his efficiency forces answers before he runs away with the game. Definitely more of a rogue option, but not one you can sleep on.
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