Lord Skitter, Sewer King – Wilds of Eldraine
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 3.83
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I don’t consider myself a full-scale color pie scholar, certainly not the type who writes essays reflecting on whether Excommunicate fits in white and if so, how often an effect should be reprinted. But I do admit to finding it a little odd that every color currently seems to get 3/3 creatures for two colorless and one of the relevant color. 3/3 is the smallest power and toughness at which a creature can be called “big”, so I would have expected this cost-stats ratio to be most common in green and after that in white (as it wins enough to be in the color best at combat and can fit in with small creatures with the right abilities and creative). Having said all that, it feels better on a legendary creature than on a random henchman, and the concept of a rat big and strong enough to be a 3/3 for 2B is actually pretty menacing. Lord Skitter will do a lot of good work just because he attacks and blocks well.
And then, of course, there’s his ability. Assuming he stays in play, he chips away at graveyard strategies in a way that’s hard to stop, and adding to your table at the same time feels rather harsh on top of that. But to be fair, he bridges one of the problems that graveyard removal sometimes has: it stops the graveyard deck from winning, but doesn’t actually bring you closer to winning yourself. Cards like Leyline of the Void and Tormod’s Crypt are the best examples of this, and the aforementioned issue was usually ignored in their case because they were facing off against decks where you could lose on the spot without doing anything unless you had them. Lord Skitter is just fine against the fairer graveyard strategies, and also a rat-typed Bitterblossom on top of that – if you’ve been reading this site, you know I have to rate that highly.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5 (probably not the best mono-black Commander, but an interesting choice for a rat theme deck, and probably a role-player in some other general’s deck too)
Talk about a payoff for all of the ratting about that’s going on. Lord Skitter, Sewer King isn’t a traditional Rat lord, but his ability to chew through graveyards is a pretty nice set of skills to have…that you don’t even need to wait for, since he brings a friend with him when combat starts, and so you’re getting four power and a card out of a graveyard for three mana. That’s pretty good on its own, but Lord Skitter isn’t just one rat and one card out of a graveyard: he’s one rat each turn. A steady stream of rodents can be hard for any deck to deal with, and that’s just for paying three mana and letting His Majesty sit there, surveying his domain.
Lord Skitter’s already started seeing play (mostly in Standard, but with forays into Modern, Pioneer, and Legacy), and I think he’s good both as a standalone threat and with more of his friends. He’s not going to usurp the truly terrifying token generators of yesteryear, like Bitterblossom, but he’s a strong card in his own right and a way to rat out your opponents
Constructed: 4 (generates advantage immediately and plays well with a bit of additional set-up)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25 (can work as a Commander, but I think there are better Rat commanders)
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 would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉