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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Skaab Ruinator
Image from Wizards.com

Skaab Ruinator

Reviewed October 21, 2011

Constructed: 4.25
Casual: 4.25
Limited: 4.67
Multiplayer: 3.25

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 


Skaab Ruinator

Do I really need to say why a 5/6 flyer for 1UU is a good choice? I shouldn't. But the additional cost here is the talking point. You have to have three dead creatures to cast the Ruinator, and you need to exile them. If you can't get three creature cards into your yard by turn three, then the 5/6 flyer on the turn your opponent's casting Cultivate is not going to happen. You could run some cards with which to mill yourself, but if your deck is about dumping cards into your own yard, then the temptation to run reanimation spells will run contrary to the Ruinator, who wants to exile those cards where you can't get them. Also, you run the risk of milling away the Ruinator itself, defeating the purpose of milling thyself.

You could simply wait until your early-game creatures have died. Skaab Ruinator is certainly big enough to be the late-game cleanup hitter, standing shoulder to grafted-on shoulder with Sphinxes and Dragons. But if your opponent runs bounce, then the Ruinator may be too unwieldy to function properly, as you'll need to restock your graveyard with each recasting. How many creature cards does an average deck have in it? Probably not more than 15 or so in Limited, Constructed tops out at 30ish but may run far fewer depending on the strategy. And generating tokens won't help-- your deck has a certain number of cards in it, and there's not really any way to get exiled cards back into your deck or graveyard.

This is definitely going to generate some dramatic tension in the months to come. Keep your eyes out for this one, especially if your opponent is playing blue and seems all too willing to chump block.

Constructed- 4
Casual- 4
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 4

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Skaab Ruinator
I'm actually a fan of all the skaab creatures from Innistrad. They look really cool, they add a different angle to blue than the very well-travelled "counter and draw" model, and they remind me of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and that makes me smile. Skaab Ruinator is the most efficient in terms of cost to power, but it might actually be harder to cast than the Goliath (6/9 trample for six), considering there aren't too many ways to get three creature cards into your graveyard in the first two turns. Granted, it doesn't always matter too much - a creature as powerful as this one is hard to beat at any stage in the game. When you add in the times you actually do get lucky, perhaps with something like Hedron Crab or Dream Twist, Skaab Ruinator becomes a very powerful choice for any aggressive deck including blue.
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Skaab Ruinator which as a three mana 5/6 with Flying is a very impressive creature for the cost, though it requires three creatures in the graveyard to be exiled which greatly influences the deck design to accommodate it. With proper support of creatures and a method to get enough of them into the graveyard this being low cost and reusable if destroyed makes it one of the bigger threats around.
Even with the two Blue in the casting cost a Blue/Black build can efficiently run it and it is likely at least a few variations on the concept will be making the rounds.

For Limited this is a huge bomb in a creature heavy deck and should not be too difficult to cast during the game considering the average length of games and number of creatures in any given pool. Normally a double Blue on a three cost creature is an issue, but as this is more of a middle to late game threat with high power and toughness that is less of a concern. An easy first pick in Booster that can be supported by library destruction if available and works in any Sealed build using a decent supply of Blue mana. There is little chance of an opponent being able to handle a 5/6 with Flying repeatedly which makes Skaab Ruinator a top finisher and can actually make up for a fairly weak pool by itself.

Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.0


       Welcome to the final card of the day review for this week at Pojo.com! To close our week out, we are looking at Skaab Ruinator. Skaab Ruinator is a mythic blue zombie horror. Skaab Ruinator is a 5/6 with flying for only one generic and two blue mana. As an additional costs to cast him though you must exile three creatures from your graveyard. However, you may also cast Skaab Ruinator from your graveyard.

      This guy is just nuts. For starters, there are plenty of ways to drop creatures into your graveyard, especially in blue and in Innistrad. So either getting him and/or enough creatures to cast him shouldn’t be that hard to do. Which means that Skaab Ruinator should see play rather fast. But what’s worse is once he is there, he is a 5/6 flier. Luckily he doesn’t have trample, so holding him off until you draw a kill spell, or other lockdown spell is completely possible. And believe me, the lockdown would be the better of those choices, since using a kill spell is a wasted effort, since he could be again cast from the graveyard.

       My favorite thing about Skaab Ruinator is vintage play, or casual play. It is completely possible using some luck to drop both Skaab Ruinator and Demon of Death’s Gate turn three (sooner if you REALLY lucky). Three sacrifices to the Demon of Death’s Gate, and then so long as you’ve dropped two Islands, or some other lands that produce blue mana, and any other land, you would be able to cast two huge fliers early game, and laugh at your opponents futile attempts to survive. Because really, how would you handle that? Best you could hope for is a Day of Judgement next turn to get away from that, but if you don’t drop it, the Skaab and Demon could well end you, and in vintage, there may be a Force of Will lurking just for the well timed Day of Judgement.

       Regardless of format, or how utilized, this guy could be a game changer. If your opponent is running a mill deck, I’m sure you’ll be delighted as your cards fill that graveyard. If they aren’t you’ll just have to mill yourself to fill it for this gruesome abomination.

        No matter what, your opponent will have to think fast, or be ruined, by Skaab Ruinator.

Limited: 5/5
Casual: 5/5
Constructed: 5/5
Mutiplayer: 2/5


Welcome back readers today’s card of the day is an interesting graveyard based creature. A 5/6 flying creature is nothing to sneeze at, even with the requirement you need to exile three creatures from your graveyard. The ability to recast this creature over and over is icing on the graveyard cake. In standard this card will most likely see singleton play in Birthing Pod decks running blue as a nice beater that can be recast potentially off of your sacrificed creatures that accumulate in your graveyard. Also I could see some sort of standard dredge deck intent on dumping creatures and other things into the graveyard and going to town I could see a deck like this emerging. In extended and modern there has to be a place for a new Dredge deck that can feature this and/or Vengevine and worry about stocking its graveyard. In eternal formats it could see fringe play in legacy it is a big beater after all, in vintage I suspect it’s too slow. In casual and multiplayer the person who uses their resources most effectively wins and if you aren’t using the creatures in your graveyard for anything this is the perfect use of depleted resources. It can survive fighting with a lot of 5/5 flying angels and dragons making it an effective attacker and blocker making it a resistant creature. In draft it requires two blue mana but it is a recurable bomb and obviously goes as a first pick or relatively high. Overall this is a fantastic creature with built in recursion and a beefy body begging for graveyard decks to include him.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.0

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