#3 The Scarab God
– Hour of Devastation
December 27, 2017
Commander [EDH]: 4.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card was ranked 2nd in my Top 10 list.
I’m usually pretty oblivious when it come to standard, but I saw this card becoming popular from a mile away. I like the Bolas gods a lot more than the Amonkhet 5 mostly due to mechanics, design, and lore. Having a huge body and pseudo-regeneration is scary enough but the main threat is its other abilities. The first ability can get out of control in Black Blue zombies, which there was a lot of when Shadows over Innistrad was still in Standard. Being able to Scry 2 during your upkeep is strong enough, imagine having a horde of zombie tokens. Also all opponents lose life, meaning this card is great in multiplayer and amazing in Commander where the Scry is even more important.
The second ability is where the real fun is though. Being able to “eternalize” not just your creatures but your opponents for 4 mana is quite good. Don’t forget you can cycle a card to just immediately bring it back stronger. My favorite targets are Torrential Gearhulk, or if you want zombie shenanigans, Noosegraf Mob. Oh, and abilities A and B synergize so even in limited you can start Scrying. This card is the right balance between fun, strategy, and weird.
This card was ranked 6th in my Top 10 list.
The Scarab God certainly looked good when it initially came out: a hard-to-answer 5/5 that gave Zombie decks inevitability certainly looked quite powerful, and it could even raise an army all on its own with time and resources. It turns out that it well exceeded expectations very quickly; besides Zombie decks and value-oriented U/B decks, it also found a home in the multi-colored Energy shells, as being able to reanimate fallen creatures into a zombie army and whittle away at your opponent, all while fixing your draws, is a potent combination indeed. It’s a very menacing threat in Standard, thanks to being hard to permanently answer and hard to even get off the table in the first place. And, of course, reusing Gearhulks is pretty good value.
This card was unranked on my Top Ten list.
It’s interesting how blue zombies have become a “thing” in very far-flung sets. It was highly novel in Grixis as part of Shards of Alara, and the introduction of Innistrad‘s Frankenstein-style skaabs was obvious once you saw them. The Scarab God gets much of its blue identity from its master, Nicol Bolas: card selection lets you be like the Elder Dragon at the center of your very own web of plots, and the ability to steal any creature as an Eternal is outright devastating against most value creatures and in the mirror match. Ever wished Dark Confidant were a 4/4? I never have, but now I can’t stop thinking about it. You don’t even have to hit the opponent in combat as with the likes of Scion of Darkness.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉