– Masters 25
March 22, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 2.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I don’t think liking old things and liking new things is necessarily incompatible: I like Erg Raiders’ original art, and I like its new art. The original is suitable for an old-school Dungeons and Dragons manual, and the new one is suitable for a new-school Dungeons and Dragons manual!
Even with the recent proliferation of black creatures with cost-power ratios similar to Grizzly Bears, Erg Raiders is somewhat above the curve. It’s not for every deck, but it’s worth considering, especially when your deck has access to cards like Bramblewood Paragon or Lovisa Coldeyes. Remember, you’ve got a 2/3 creature that only cost you two mana – why wouldn’t you be attacking?
I get the feeling that Erg Raiders helped inspire the Raid mechanic. This card could have easily been reprinted in Khans of Tarkir. Its stats are also decent to boot for a 2-drop. It can get probably get in one or two good attacks before biting the dust.
“Devil may care” offence is a staple Rakdos strategy where is doesn’t matter if you take 19 damage, as long as your opponent takes 20. Unfortunately this strategy in multiplayer games means you’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’. Erg Raiders certainly won’t run away with a game but its solid curve filler.
This wasn’t the black Arabian Nights common we were clamoring for, but Erg Raiders is a cool representative from the first expansion all the same. Erg Raiders exemplified the “Suicide Black” archetype that has always been around in some manner: go straight forward, smash their face, and worry about the consequences after they’re dead (or after you are dead; same difference, right?).
The funny thing is, Erg Raiders is actually passable by today’s standards. It isn’t a great creature, by any stretch, but 2/3 for 1B with a minor downside means it blocks well on its first turn and attacks decently every turn after it. And with Limited often revolving around those two-mana 2/2 creatures, this can have a nice time running into those. It wants to keep attacking, thanks to the downside, but there aren’t too many board states where this might want to hold back. It’s good early and maybe not as excellent late, but it’s a solid common all the same.
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