October 23, 2017
Commander [EDH]: 2.78
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This basic effect, with varying stats for both the initial creature and the token, has been around on occasion since Arabian Nights‘ Rukh Egg. It’s not always that interesting for constructed – if the Raptor Hatchling never gets dealt damage, you’ll be attacking with a pretty slow clock for the foreseeable future – but you can use it as a pretty good target for auras or equipment that turn it into a threat the opponent has to deal with but won’t want to.
Welcome to Clever Girl week, let’s get cracking. Raptor Hatchling is one of the few 2 mana dinosaurs designed to make sure your tribal deck has a nice curve. Due to the card’s nature, it becomes a bit of an oddity. Being red you would think this card should be attacking, but ninety percent of the time your opponent will take a measly 1 damage instead of a 3/3. This causes the hatchling to end up playing a defensive role. In multiplayer this guy can deter people from attacking you in the early game, buying you time to. build your board. I would probably go with Nest Robber instead if you are playing aggro Red-White Dino’s. With that out of the way, 4 power over 2 bodies is pretty good. The fun part with this card is trying to get multiple activations. Savage Stomp is probably the most obvious solution to this conundrum. This little guy requires some support but the reward is worth it.
Without any other shenanigans, Raptor Hatchling is a 1/1 that turns into a 3/3 after it dies. It gets far scarier if you can buff its toughness, though, and being able to turn the little guy into a Dinosaur-generating value engine makes it very dangerous to go up against with the right pieces. I don’t know what the Ixalan Dinosaur deck will look like, and a 2-mana 1/1 with nothing to offer while alive is going to be hard to build around. But it’s certainly promising, and these sort of “build around me” cards can make things really exciting if you reach the payoff.
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