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Monday, July 24, 2017

Commander Review: Born of the Gods – “THIS!!! IS!!!! ORESKOS!!!!!“ Brimaz, King of Oreskos

September 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

MtG Cats

Meow? Who’s turn is it???

Cats, a small Creature race in MtG which had been there in small numbers since the beginning had recently gained an increase in numbers since the Leonin, their humanoid form, debuted in Mirrodin. Although they had seen numerous leaders in their ranks in the past, today’s review Commander is in my opinion one of the best of them all, in terms of cc, power/toughness, & abilities. So let us have a look at this new king of the Pussy Cats, shall we?

 

Cats of Many Lives

Name Colors Set
Jedit Ojanen WU Legends
Purraj of Urborg B Mirage
Mirri, Cat Warrior G Exodus
Jareth, Leonine Titan W Onslaught
Raksha Golden Cub W Fifth Dawn
Mirri the Cursed B Planar Chaos
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava G Planar Chaos
Kemba, Kha Regent W Scars of Mirrodin

 

A little back history here, there had been many Cat Generals over the years in MtG. The very first one who came from the set Legends, was the all famous Jedit Ojanen, who was just a White and Blue high cc vanilla 5/5 Creature. Next came the voracious Purraj of Urborg from Mirage set, fearsome attacker who grows stronger with more Black spells being casted. The next Cat General was Mirri, Cat Warrior, part of the infamous Weatherlight crew. She was very much in reference to another old Legends card, Cat Warrior, but with a bit more abilities added. There was a long break in between sets with no Cat Generals till Onslaught set with Jareth, Leonine Titan, who was the White part of the cycle of pit fighters for the set, added to the ranks. He was a powerful defender who was also very difficult to kill. The Cat race quiet down for a few sets with only a few occasionally appearance here and there. That was till Mirrodin when they got a huge boost in numbers as they were also one of the prominent races on the plane. Their leader came from the set Fifth Dawn as Raksha Golden Cub, who pumps the entire tribe by their theme of getting extra enhancement from Equipments. The next Cat Generals after Raksha were both alternate timeline versions of two older Cat Generals. Both Cats are from the set Planar Chaos. One of them, Mirri the Cursed who took the curse in place of Crovax in an alternate timeline, was a Vampire Cat who was a strong attacker packed with Flying, First Strike, & Haste and a relatively high power 3 with a just 4cc. She also has the Vampire ability of growing bigger with kill but she only needs to deals combat damage to get +1/+1 counter. This makes her even an even more powerful attacker as she has First Strike. This meant that she actually is a default 4/3 attacker if she is blocked as she deals combat damage first to the blockers blocking her. The other was the good old Jedit Ojanen of Efrava, who had in this timeline decided to instead stay in his hometown instead of leaving to explore the world. He has an attacking and blocking trigger ability of putting 2/2 Cat Warrior tokens, a very similar ability to Brimaz today review Commander, which we will talk about that later. After the nostalgia throwback, we will given some small doses of cats in some of the sets in between Time Spiral block and Zendikar block before we were given feedback to the people of Mirrodin in Scars of Mirrodin, where we were given yet another Cat General, Kemba, Kha Regent. Taking the leadership baton in Raksha’s absence, Kemba increases the Cat army numbers instead of pumping them up. This time round the more Equipment you piled on her, the more Cats you will get.

Mirri the Cursed

Ferocity and Hunger had never look so sexy before.

 

King of Cats

Brimaz, King of Oreskos

The King has returned.

And now introducing the Cat Commander in question today, Brimaz the king of the Leonin on Theros. According to the story, the Theros Leonin fell from their power after their ruling Archon was overthrown. They lived on then in the wilds till Ajani came along and mentor them. Brimaz was one of Ajani’s disciples then and had rise to power ever since to be the king of his people. An interesting fact from the R&D of Wizards, Brimaz was actually inspired by King Leonidas of the Spartans, a top down design to reflect how he led his army of 300 into battle, thus the mechanic of bringing in tokens when he is in combat (initially bringing in 300 tokens). Below are the stats of the King of Oreskos.

 

 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

Card Name: Brimaz, King of Oreskos

CMC: 1WW

Types: Legendary Creature – Cat Soldier

Card Text: Vigilance

Whenever Brimaz, King of Oreskos attacks, put a 1/1 white Cat Soldier creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield attacking.

Whenever Brimaz blocks a creature, put a 1/1 white Cat Soldier creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield blocking that creature.

P/T: 3/4

As can be seen above, Brimaz and Jedit Ojanen of Efrava both have the same ability of putting Cat tokens onto the battlefield when they attack or block. The tokens are just in a way smaller version of them with the combat ability they have. The differences here is that Jedit Ojanen of Efrava tokens are bigger at 2/2 and comes with Forestwalk, instead of Brimaz’s tokens which are smaller at 1/1 with Vigilance. Another major difference here is that although both triggers put token onto the battlefield, Brimaz is more superior than Jedit as the tokens from Brimaz actually joins in the battle with him. Jedit’s tokens on the other hand are put in after the declare attackers and blockers step, hence fore they cannot be assigned as attackers or blockers in that same combat phase they are produced as it had already passed that step. This is actually in a way more similar to Hero of Bladehold and much stronger than Jedit since the tokens created are able to join in the battle straightaway. It is to be noted though that when the tokens created by Brimaz are already attacking or blocking, they were never declared as attackers or blockers and will not trigger abilities that will trigger whenever a Creature attacks or blocks. The greatest advantage, and probably the reason for his mythic rarity, is both the tokens and him have Vigilance. This allows you to attack with Brimaz and get a token which both are ready to block for you after the combat, making him very useful both offensively and defensively. On a side note, it is to be noted that the Hero of Bladehold is stronger than Brimaz on the offensive for her Battle Cry which makes even her solo attack has a total power of 7.

Hero of Bladehold

Same Same But Different.

 

Commander Potential

Brimaz strength lies mainly in his “one man army” combat skill. He brings his own army to combat allowing you to recover your army through him as long as he survives the combat, which is not too hard given his quite high toughness making him a nice addition to token style decks. Surviving in EDH for a Creature ain’t an easy task sometimes. Since it is always about dealing with multiple opponents in most games, board sweeps are always common. Also with so many opponents, there is the danger of getting multiple spot removals aimed at Brimaz too. So if your Commander is important to the strategy of your deck then some form of protection for your Commander is a given. Below are some ways you could use to protect Brimaz from dying too fast and often.

 

Darksteel Plate / Shield of Kaldra In my opinion still the best Equipment till date which use Indestructible to protect the Commanders and the Equipment itself.
Cauldron of Souls Revive the fallen using Persist.
Eland Umbra / Hyena Umbra / Mammoth Umbra White Auras with Totem Armor. The Auras would save the enchanted Creature even from board sweep. Although limited in numbers in mono White, this could be negated as Umbra Mystic, also White, makes all Auras attached to permanents you control have Totem Armor.
General’s Kabuto Protects Commander with Shroud and from combat damage. Say NO to Deathtouch damage.
Gift of Immortality Aura which sort of gives “immortality” to the enchanted Creature. Takes more effort to kill the enchanted Creature.
Lightning Greaves / Swiftfoot Boots / Whispersilk Cloak Protects equipped Creature with Shroud / Hexproof.
Nim Deathmantle The Equipment which does not need to be equipped to be useful. Leave mana open to “reanimate” the fallen.

 

When well protected, Brimaz could allow you to recover your army just by attacking and blocking even after a board sweep. He is also happens to have a moderate cc to compliment his power. 3cc is not a very high cost to pay if you choose to send him to graveyard after he dies to be revived via returning him to your hand to recast. 3cc is also what Sun Titan brings back when he enters the battlefield or when he is attacking. Another lesser known card which can be used is the Order of Whiteclay with the ability to return 3cc or less Creatures from the graveyard to the battlefield. These are only when Brimaz is your Commander. The possibilities and ways to bring him back would of course increase if you use Brimaz as a common Creature.

Order of Whiteclay

“We can help too.”

 

Family Reunion – Brimaz and the Pussycats

To make it more fun, since the Leonin introduction into MtG, there are more than enough good Cats to form a decent Cat Tribal deck. Most Cats are mainly in White and Green. Earlier Cats are mainly from Red. Their numbers are relatively huge but distributed among the colors White, Red, Green. I would recommend using the Cat Tribal theme but not using their Commanders as most of them are mono colors, limiting the number of useful Cats which you could use. Referring to the Cat Generals earlier in this article, the colors which are best to use are White and Green as these colors have Raksha Golden Cub to pump the army; Brimaz, Jedit Ojanen of Efrava, & Kemba producing tokens. Some other good Cats are as below.

 

Felidar Sovereign Wins the game for you if you manage to stay healthy till it enters the battlefield and survive till your next upkeep.
Fleetfoot Panther / Whitemane Lion Use to save your other Creatures in danger.
Leonin Abunas Give your Artifacts Hexproof.
Leonin Arbiter Tax tutors which are common in EDH.
Leonin Shikari Let you throw Equipments around at Instant speed.
Phantom Nishoba / Phantom Tiger Cats which will not die as long as their toughness is pumped up.
Qasali Pridemage One of my favorite Cat which provides benefit both by being on the battlefield and when leaving the battlefield.
Seht’s Tiger Your surprise way to protect yourself from a chosen color.
Spirit of the Hearth Give you Hexproof.
Taj-Nar Swordsmith Equipment tutor.

 

Going deeper into the theme, there is even Ajani, the Leonin Planeswalker, who is more than happy to provide his help to his kin. One of his versions, Ajani, Caller of the Pride, even has an ultimate which provides you with Cat tokens equal to your life total. If you feel that Ajani is not enough, maybe you would like to use White Sun’s Zenith to get more Cats. Kitty power had never been stronger.

Ajani, Caller of the Pride

“Hey! I’m a Cat too even when I am near Godly.”

 

THIS IS ORESKOS!!!!!!!!

In conclusion, I think Brimaz makes it better as a common Creature than being a Commander in a token style deck. It is not saying that it is impossible to make a Brimaz EDH deck but just in view of a token deck it is not very easy to go mono White. Otherwise Brimaz plays pretty well as a Voltron Commander too for his abilities. Regardless of which, Brimaz is a bomb and bombs are always the biggest targets on the table. It could be quite frustrating to have him as a Commander to come in and out of the battlefield. I would use him as a common Creature for that reason. Do tell us what you think of the king of Oreskos in the comments below. And with that, that is all I have for the king of Oreskos. Do stay tune for more Born of the Gods Commander review. Thus till then… THIS IS ORESKOS!!!!!!!!

This is Oreskos!!!!!

“Madness? THIS!!! IS!!!!!! ORESKOS!!!!!!!!”

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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