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Card of the Day

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Chittering Rats 

Reviewed March 30, 2004

Constructed: 2.8
Casual: 3.2
Limited: 3.7

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


* game store owner in CA,

Time Walk, hamster style.  To some newer or casual players, this may seem like an innocuous ability, but as anyone that has played with Power 9 cards knows, it's quite powerful.  By putting a card from their hand back on your opponent's deck, you are basically causing they to "miss" a turn by denying them a card to draw. They lose tempo with the game, and this is significant. Do it multiple times, and the card advantage it will gain you can turn the game heavily in your favor. Once again, repeat after me... "Card Advantage Wins Games."  This ability also punishes an opponent who keeps a poor draw or mulligans.  It's a 2/2 for 3, albeit black intensive, but still decently costed for it's size when you take into account its very good ability. So, it could sneak it's way into some mono black constructed decks.

In casual, this guy can really throw a punch in a deck sticking to the Time Walk theme. Consider Chimney Imp and Agonizing Memories.  If you want to go with or add a Rat theme, how about Razor Tooth Rats or Ravenous Rats. Maybe add a hand destruction or land destruction theme with it, and it gets kinda ugly. And best of all, this is a very inexpensive deck to put together.

In limited, this is a very respectable and solid pick for black. The more of these you have, the more profound the impact. In draft, you can play as many as you want in your deck since you are not limited to 4 in this format, and since these rats are common, you might see a few come your way..

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Current Price:
Chittering Rats - Darksteel - $0.19
Chimney Imp - Mirrodin - $0.19
Agonizing Memories - 7th Edition - $0.79
Time Walk - Unlimited - $350.00
Razortooth Rats - Weatherlight - $0.50
Ravenous Rats - 8th Edition - $0.19

Judge Bill

*Level 2
MTG Judge

*game store employee

Ah yes, the "Time Walk Rats." So named because of the tempo this guy provides in allowing you to effectively make your opponent skip his next draw phase (if he has a card in hand). A great tempo card, this can really punish mana light draws. I am surprised that this is not being used more in type 2 right now.
In casual, I would shy away from this, because although you can set up a situation where you can lock your opponent, I think most people won't want to play against that deck for very long.
In limited, it's great if you can cast this guy on turn 3, which sets your opponent back one draw, which is quite a bit more relevant than you might think.
Constructed: 4
Casual: 3
Limited: 4


* game store owner (The Game Closet - Waco,TX)

* pro tour player

* Scrye writer since 2002

Chittering Rats   
I didn't think this was going to be that great of a card when I first saw it.  In constructed, it fits into a couple of decks.  It mainly goes into any deck that's trying to "turn lock" you.  It can force you to keep drawing the same card over and over again.  It's cute.
Casual players just see it as one more guy for their rat or discard deck. In limited play, this card is stellar when you can get two or three of them.
Constructed: 2
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 3

Jeff Zand

5 Time Pro Tour

Level 2 Judge

Chittering Rats
These are the rats that teach your opponent how to tell time, by sending
them BACK in time one turn every time they hit the board. This delicious
ability comes attached to a 2/2 permanent with the cutest picture to be
found in Darksteel. Chittering Rats became an immediate hit in limited.
Because they cost two black mana to cast, not every deck can afford to
splash for them, the way that you can for Terror, Betrayal of Flesh,
Murderous Spoils or even Irradiate. Because of this, one player in a draft
will usually get most of the Chittering Rats to himself. Therefore, just as
in real life, when you SEE one rat hit the board, you can assume there are
MORE to come, sooner or later. Combos with Crystal Shard, says Captain
Obvious. Great constructed card for casual play, and could appear in some
serious mono black control decks.
CASUAL:              4.0
LIMITED:              3.5

Ray "Monk"
* Level 3 DCI Judge
*DCI Tournament Organizer
*Game Store Owner (Gamer's Edge)

Chittering Rats


Rats! MmmmMMmMmMmmm! So tasty with barbeque sauce. So good at tempo. That guy is great. Heís a 2/2 for three mana, so your basic Grey Ogre, but his ability is great for tempo in a normal game. Play one of these cards and you not only put a beater on the board, but also remove a draw step from your opponent. Play another one and youíve gained so much tempo and card advantage that you should win the game easily.


While its lack in pure damage dealing ability knocks it down for constructed decks, this card is a great pick for limited, and well worth your time.


Constructed:                 2

Casual:                         4

Limited:                        4


* Level 1 DCI Judge

*game store employee

* gaming for over 15 years
Chittering Rats

This is my favorite card art from Darksteel. How can you not fear the power of Chittering Rats. He is well costed at double black and a colorless. His power and toughness are grizzly bear like but his ability is pretty solid. He gets the nickname timewalk rats from me. I like the ability because setting you opponents draw back by a turn is pretty cool. In constructed he has been spotted in a couple of control decks. In limited he is a mid range pick what with the double black in his cost. In casual play he might be cool in a rat deck.

Constructed 2.5

Casual 2

Limited 2



2 Grand Prix Top 8's

Multiple Pro Tour appearances

Chittering Rats


This guy definitely wasnít supposed to be taking a seat at the constructed table; however, Iím seeing him pop up more and more frequently in various builds of mono-black, either control or aggro.  Iíve included him in a decklist in one of my own articles.  While Gray Ogres donít normally do anything good in constructed, this guyís ability is just a kick in the pants no matter what environment youíre in.  Combined with fun things like Foundry, Crystal Shard and Aether Vial, heís seeing play in all sorts of places.  Keep an eye on him.


He jumps right into your rat deck for fun games and causes a ton of trouble, heh.  Iím not really sure what else he might work out to be.  For BB1, I definitely see this guy as a strong candidate in Mental Magic; thereís not too much stuff at that casting cost to use, and unless Infest is a must-use at the moment, this is a great way to net some cards without enabling your opponent through discard.


An absolutely solid play on his own in limited, he gets more ridiculous with numbers.  Any game where you manage to drop one of these on turn three then another on turn four should be a game you canít possibly lose; itís absolutely crippling to stunt someoneís development so badly.  Draft these highly and looks for tricks to go with them; if you have a Crystal Shard in your deck, pump up their value.


Constructed:  3.0

Casual:  3.0

Limited:  3.5


Secret Squirrel on the

Chittering Rats

Extremely powerful in limited, especially if you can pick up a Crystal Shard. In effect this says, your opponent cannot draw a card next turn. On top of that, itís a 2/2. It also has the equivalent facial expression of the player that pulls this. Itís been a pretty high pick for a while and should stay that way. I havenít seen it played that much in constructed, or this card specifically. Itís good, but I havenít seen a specific deck revolving around it, and it canít really be a filler.

In Casual, sure, why not? Itís a nice common I suppose, and it annoys the opponent.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 3
Limited: 4.5

Copyright 2001


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