Last updated on August 16, 2023

Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos - Illustration by Uriah Voth

Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos | Illustration by Uriah Voth

We sometimes revisit old favorite characters as we traverse the Multiverse in MagicMOM gave us team-up cards that showed some of our old favorites in a new light (and new color combinations!) as they fight the invading Phyrexians.

But not every character returned with a happy story. Many characters fell in Phyrexia’s quest to compleat the Multiverse, including Brimaz.

Today I’m using the warrior king-turned-Phyrexian conqueror to bring Phyrexia’s glory to your commander pods with a Phyrexian-themed deck led by Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos. Let’s check it out!

The Deck

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben - Illustration by Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | Illustration by Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss

Commander (1)

Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos

Planeswalker (1)

Karn, the Great Creator

Creatures (32)

Myr Convert
Benalish Sleeper
Keskit, the Flesh Sculptor
Norn's Inquisitor
Bloated Processor
Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim
Phyrexian Delver
Phyrexian Censor
Progenitor Exarch
Vulpine Harvester
Grafted Butcher
Leonin Arbiter
Essence of Orthodoxy
Marionette Master
Filigree Vector
Activated Sleeper
Suture Priest
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Mite Overseer
Braids, Arisen Nightmare
Skrelv, Defector Mite
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Phyrexian Obliterator
Ethersworn Canonist
Norn's Choirmaster
Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor
Wurmcoil Engine
Giver of Runes
Drannith Magistrate
Elesh Norn
Mondrak, Glory Dominus

Instants (12)

Costly Plunder
Reckoner's Bargain
Swords to Plowshares
Deadly Dispute
Generous Gift
March of Otherworldly Light
Path to Exile
Malakir Rebirth
Anguished Unmaking
Clever Concealment
Flawless Maneuver

Sorceries (4)

White Sun's Twilight
Breach the Multiverse
Emeria's Call
Agadeem's Awakening

Enchantments (4)

Sculpted Perfection
Phyrexian Scriptures
Etchings of the Chosen
Skrelv's Hive

Artifacts (12)

Mind Stone
Talisman of Hierarchy
Idol of Oblivion
Fellwar Stone
Arcane Signet
Sol Ring
Nim Deathmantle
Vanquisher's Banner
Ashnod's Altar
Bitterthorn, Nissa's Animus

Lands (34)

Swamp x6
Tainted Field
Orzhov Basilica
Command Tower
Plains x11
Caves of Koilos
Concealed Courtyard
Fetid Heath
Brightclimb Pathway
Karn's Bastion
Isolated Chapel
Fabled Passage
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
Silent Clearing
Shattered Sanctum
Godless Shrine
Prismatic Vista

This is an aggressive black-white deck looking to take over the game with a slew of Phyrexians, backed up by stax pieces. This a bit of a low-powered deck looking to be thematic more than playing the best spells.

The stax pieces fall in line with this deck both mechanically and thematically. Aggressive decks need ways to slow your opponent down via stax. Aggro decks can be weak in Commander because the format rewards going big over going small. The stax pieces help bring other decks, especially unfair ones, to your level, giving you more time to get in with your creatures before finding a finisher.

The idea of stax also works with the theme of Phyrexians. Phyrexia, especially under Elesh Norn, is all about control and domination, a force seeking to take anything “other” and compleat it, to make it one with Phyrexia in blessed, perfected harmony. Who needs free will when you can follow the Mother of Machines?

The Commander

Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos

Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos helms your Phyrexian deck with a commander that lets you reap the rewards of playing Phyrexians and artifact creatures. The Incubator tokens work well with some of your stax effects by giving you additional sacrifice fodder or ways to use your mana beneath a Rule of Law effects.

This commander also helps you build a strong board presence. Almost all your creatures are Phyrexians or artifacts, so most creatures you play get you an extra body to keep pressuring your opponents. Brimaz gives you a fantastic board advantage with this ability, and you’ve got a few other ways to use its tokens.

The Incubator tokens make up for the weakness of aggro decks. Go-wide strategies are susceptible to board wipes, but the tokens serve as reinforcements if you don’t flip them instantly. You can throw a bunch of creatures onto the board, forcing your opponents to board wipe, then start flipping tokens to maintain board presence and force them to have a second board wipe or die.

Token Value

Let’s start by looking at the cards helping you make the most out of your Incubator tokens.

Mondrak, Glory Dominus

Mondrak, Glory Dominus is an incredible value engine because you get double the Incubator tokens. They also serve as sacrifice fodder for Mondrak to keep it around through removal and board wipes.

Braids, Arisen Nightmare

Braids, Arisen Nightmare similarly likes using the Incubator tokens as fodder. You’ll get a bunch of card draw off this ability. Most players only have mana rocks they won’t want to sacrifice, so you’ll get plenty of cards and some chip damage.

Deadly Dispute, Costly Plunder, and Reckoner's Bargain all give you ways to sacrifice the Incubator tokens to draw a couple of cards. They’re also good in the face of spot removal, sacrificing a creature that would die anyway for some card draw.

Idol of Oblivion

Idol of Oblivion continues the trend of converting token production into card advantage. You’ll make a token almost every turn, so this is basically a personal Howling Mine. Don’t be afraid to turn this into an Eldrazi, either; surprise 10/10s win games.

Norn's Inquisitor

Norn's Inquisitor has been powerful in MOM Limited and steps up to a larger stage with this deck. It’s great when you want to flip your Incubator tokens because it adds a lot of power to the board.

Keskit, the Flesh Sculptor

Keskit, the Flesh Sculptor turns a bunch of tokens into a bunch of card draw. Drawing the best two out of three is better than drawing a random two. It’s not even true card draw; you put the cards into your hand, which gets around things like Narset, Parter of Veils and Spirit of the Labyrinth.

Mite Overseer

Mite Overseer is some tech from All Will Be One that lets your Incubator tokens hit hard and fast with a buff and first strike. It’s also a token producer itself, giving you lots of power to rebuild post board wipe with a single card.

Norn's Choirmaster

Norn's Choirmaster gives your Incubator tokens another buff with frequent proliferation. This curves incredibly well into Brimaz, letting you make a 6/6.

Phyrexian Payoffs

Besides your commander, you’ve got several ways to benefit from playing a bunch of Phyrexian creatures that help you compleat your pod.

Grafted Butcher

Grafted Butcher is a great play early or late. Early in the game, this gives you lots of extra pressure as a lord. Later in the game, it becomes a potentially game-ending threat by giving your team menace and a stat boost, making it hard for many decks to block effectively. You can also bring it back if it dies!

Bloated Processor

Bloated Processor consumes any fellow Phyrexians incapable of upholding Phyrexia’s glory and converts them into something more useful. It can be an effective stopgap against a board wipe, turning your board into a single large creature and reducing the impact of spot removal.

The Mother of Machines graces this deck with her presence. Elesh Norn is a fine card in its own right. But what you want is The Argent Etchings, which is this deck’s best finisher. It makes a bunch of tokens, then buffs them the following turn for a massive alpha strike. If that weren’t enough, it turns into a super-effective Plague Wind that has minimal impact on our board and decimates opponents.

Vulpine Harvester

Vulpine Harvester gives this deck a little resiliency. You’ve got lots of cheap creatures, so you don’t need many attackers to reanimate something impactful. It’s another card to help mitigate the damage done by wraths and spot removal.

Essence of Orthodoxy

Essence of Orthodoxy is basically a back-up of Brimaz. The Incubator tokens aren’t nearly as large, but it produces a steady stream of tokens. This is super useful if your opponent kills Brimaz while you have something like a Smokestack going off.

Vanquisher's Banner

Vanquisher's Banner has become a staple in tribal decks since Ixalan. You’ll always choose Phyrexian here, getting an anthem and a ton of card draw. This card benefits from your low curve since you can start churning through your deck with the card draw.

Etchings of the Chosen

Etchings of the Chosen is another card always naming Phyrexian. Believe it or not, this is more protection against board wipes! Your opponents will still get some of your creatures, but this gives your board way more resiliency. It’s important to note that the sacrificed creature must be Phyrexian, but the creature you protect can be any creature type.


You need to slow the game down so your aggro plan has time to work, so let’s look at all the pieces that make you the villain of the table!

Ethersworn Canonist

Ethersworn Canonist is another Rule of Law effect that stifles opponents while having a minimal impact on your board. You have a pretty robust artifact count since many of your Phyrexians are artifact creatures, and you have the Incubator tokens to keep using your mana.

Drannith Magistrate

Drannith Magistrate is one of the strongest stax pieces in Commander, punishing opponents wholly reliant on their commanders to win. It also shuts down several sources of card advantage like cascade or anything that allows players to cast spells from exile like Jeska's Will.

Leonin Arbiter

Leonin Arbiter is a feast-or-famine stax piece. In some games, it cripples players whose mana base relies on fetches and ramp spells like Three Visits and Cultivate and slows down anyone using tutors to assemble a fast combo. Sometimes your opponents play lands and draw cards, and this card does nothing. The rewards outweigh the risks.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a classic stax piece that does wonders here. Your opponent wanted to curve into Signets? Never. They’ve got a board wipe? It’s not nearly as efficient an answer as they want. This never wins a game outright, but it interrupts enough strategies to give you a massive edge.

Thalia, Heretic Cathar

Thalia, Heretic Cathar lets your favorite soldier attack your opponents’ mana base even harder. This is another great card against fetches, but it does a lot of work against most multicolor decks. It also gives you a very aggressive edge since your opponents struggle to block while you curve out.

Phyrexian Censor

Phyrexian Censor is one of the better stax pieces in this deck. Most of your creatures are Phyrexians, so this barely affects you. Even when you do have a bunch of non-Phyrexian spells, you can spend mana to flip Incubator tokens while your opponents get slowed to playing at a snail’s pace.


Smokestack is a classic stax piece that helped name the archetype. This wants to use unflipped Incubator tokens as its primary sacrifice fodder. Generating two permanents for every spell helps keep you ahead of your opponents. While you’re sacrificing excess Incubator tokens, this card eats away at their mana base and board presence.


You’ve got a load of interaction to deal with your opponents. It’s something white-black is pretty good at. There’s the typical spot removal in things like Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares, but also a few specific interactive pieces that are worth highlighting.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a dozen times: aggro decks are susceptible to board wipes. You’ve got lots of resiliency with the options above, but Flawless Maneuver and Clever Concealment give you true protection. Both are mostly free since you want Brimaz early and have creatures to convoke with later.

White Sun's Twilight

I even snuck in some board wipes. White Sun's Twilight sweeps everything away but leaves your Incubator tokens untouched while generating enough Mite tokens to end the game swiftly.

Phyrexian Scriptures

Phyrexian Scriptures destroys everything except your Incubator tokens and gives you some graveyard interaction as a cherry.

The Mana Base

There’s nothing particularly flashy in this mana base. It primarily fixes for your spells so you can curve out with minimal mana issues, though it has a few value pieces.

Modal double-faced cards are incredibly powerful. They give decks a higher spell and land count; this deck has three. Agadeem's Awakening provides a powerful reanimation effect for even more board wipe resistance.

Emeria's Call enables really powerful alpha attacks with little consequence.

Malakir Rebirth gives you some spot removal protection, though it also works well alongside your spells that sacrifice creatures to draw cards.

You’ve also got Mirrex and Karn's Bastion as additional value lands. Mirrex keeps the Phyrexians flowing with a mana sink for the late game, while Karn's Bastion repeatedly buffs your Incubator tokens.

The Strategy

You’re looking to curve out and disrupt your opponents while beating down with your Phyrexian forces. The first thing to consider with this deck is how you want to do that disruption because that impacts your mulligan decisions. The best way to do this is to consider what stax pieces you want based on everybody’s commanders.

For example, Leonin Arbiter shines against 4- or 5-color piles like leaning on searching their library for fixing. It’s far less impressive against mono-colored decks. Ethersworn Canonist shines in many matches but won’t help you against the Urza, Lord High Artificer player, and so on. Commander gives you a free mulligan, so you should use it.

Another aspect of the game to keep an eye on is board wipes. They’re really, really good against assertive decks like this one; that’s why you have so many cards to help you bounce back. Having one of your protective spells to defend against wraths is ideal, but you can make decisions based on them.

Don’t overextend into the wrath. If you dump your hand and it gets Sunfalled, you have nothing. Other players will play creatures, so try to walk the line between deploying enough threats that you’re relevant without overextending. You need to deal with the wrath eventually, so you want to pressure the player holding the board wipe to cast it sooner than they’d like, leaving you with resources in reserve.

Part of not overextending means leaving your Incubator tokens unflipped. Most board wipes won’t destroy a bunch of artifacts. Make as much use of that as you can. If a player has to wrath while you’re holding onto a bunch of 3/3s, you can spend the next turn flipping them and maybe score a win.

If it doesn’t look like combat damage is enough to close out the game, you can always win with an infinite combo.

Combos and Interactions

Who doesn’t love having infinite mana and infinite tokens? You’ve got a combo with a few pieces that lets you win smoothly once you’ve got everything going.

For the first combo, you need Ashnod's Altar, Nim Deathmantle, and Marionette Master.

Start with at least one other creature in play for this to work; Marionette Master can provide this by fabricating three Servo tokens, but they can be anything lying around.

Attach Nim Deathmantle to Marionette Master, then sacrifice any creature to Ashnod's Altar, floating two colorless mana. Then, sacrifice the Master to Altar, bringing you to four colorless mana.

Marionette Master dying triggers Nim Deathmantle’s triggered ability. Pay the four with the floating mana and bring Marionette Master back to the battlefield with Nim Deathmantle equipped to it. When it enters play, make three Servos with its fabricate ability. Sacrifice a Servo and the Master to keep the loop going.

You get a lot from this infinite loop. You generate infinite Servos since you’re getting three but only losing one at a minimum. Since you have infinite tokens, the Altar generates infinite mana, infinite death triggers, and infinite ETB triggers. Most importantly, you get infinite damage from Marionette Master since it sees the Servos you sacrifice die.

You can also perform this loop with Nim Deathmantle, Ashnod's Altar, and Wurmcoil Engine in play. This iteration doesn’t require any extra creatures, just Nim Deathmantle attached to the Engine.

Sacrifice Wurmcoil Engine to Ashnod’s Altar to trigger both Wurmcoil’s death trigger and the Deathmantle’s. Order your triggers so that Wurmcoil’s trigger resolves first, which lets you create two 3/3s before you need to pay for the Deathmantle. Sacrifice one of the 3/3s to do so, letting you pay four to bring back the Wurmcoil.

This is the same loop, with two exceptions. You get infinite 3/3s that are Phyrexians, and this doesn’t just win. Infinite 3/3s are good, especially since you want to save the ones with lifelink, but it’s as susceptible to interaction as any other board state. This deck has a few extra pieces to throw in, however.

If you have Suture Priest in play while you’re going through this loop, you’ll get infinite life to go with your infinite 3/3s, which still gives you an edge even if the board dies. You also get infinite death triggers to kill your opponents with Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim.

Rules 0 Violations Check

This deck is mostly friendly, though not every playgroup will love it. Stax is something many Magic players don’t care for. It can be especially unexpected from a fairly casual tribal deck like this one, but it’s an important part of the game plan.

Similarly, some people don’t like playing with infinite combos. The ones above aren’t too bad; they require a lot of mana and several pieces to work. If your table isn’t interested in any of it, you can just not combo off; each piece of the combo functions in the deck, though Altar is a little weaker.

Budget Options

Elesh Norn is an amazing closer for this deck. Something else that helps your team go wide like Cathars' Crusade or even Tempered Steel can get the job done, though it’s hard to replace the entire Saga.

Sheoldred is another great finisher that costs over $20. You can get a similar effect from Grave Betrayal.

Flawless Maneuver is a great protective spell, but hardly the only option. Make a Stand or Unbreakable Formation do the same job, but they’ll never be free.

Bitterthorn, Nissa's Animus is a fresh take on Sword of the Animist that lets you attack and ramp with lands, which is hard to do outside of green. You could just play another mana rock like Thought Vessel instead.

Anguished Unmaking is an excellent removal spell with a cheaper cousin in Vindicate.

Other Builds

There are a few other ways to build Brimaz. I leaned hard into Phyrexian flavor for this deck, but you could just as easily lean harder into the artifact creature side. There’s plenty of power to be found in a deck with cards like Lodestone Golem, Jhoira's Familiar, and big artifact creatures like Phyrexian Triniform and Platinum Angel.

You could also lean into aristocrats strategies far harder than this deck does. Black-white is ripe for this strategy with payoffs like Blood Artist and Corpse Knight. There are even some great artifact-specific synergies like Disciple of the Vault, Priest of Yawgmoth, and Soldevi Adnate.

Commanding Conclusion

Sol Ring - Illustration by Mike Bierek

Sol Ring | Illustration by Mike Bierek

Sometimes, it’s fun to side with the villains. This deck isn’t the strongest black-white deck it could be, but it’s a pretty flavorful attempt to capture what it might be like to face the Phyrexians. It’s a deluge of Phyrexian monstrosities spilling across the board, overwhelming everybody with sheer numbers.

All the stax pieces even let us, the pilot, draw much of the same vitriol from our table that the Phyrexians would across the Multiverse. Brimaz, Blight of Oreskos was a very interesting take on what compleation would look like for a favorite character and how it would twist them into something else.

What was your favorite commander to build around from March of the Machine? Let me know in the comments below, or over in the Draftsim Discord.

Stay healthy and keep safe!

Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *