Rimescale Dragon – Coldsnap
Date Reviewed: February 4, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 2.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Rimescale Dragon doesn’t read very spectacular compared to recent creatures in its mana cost, but it can actually be surprisingly hard to stop. With enough snow lands available, it becomes the monster that steals the sun from your opponents’ sky; of course, the problem has always been surviving that long. It didn’t make much of an impact in Standard back in 2006, mostly because the card advantage decks were on the insane side and Ravnica had lots of creatures that read really good but couldn’t stop that. There are worse places to go for a snow-themed deck, and it’s worth keeping in mind that red often has trouble dealing with creatures that like to die (Havoc Demon, Penumbra Wurm, etc).
Back from when Coldsnap was a Thing, Rimescale Dragon looks like an effective way to enact the ice age. Unfortunately, it’s not.
For seven mana, you get a flying 5/5 that can ice down creatures for three mana. If you get the chance to untap with it, this isn’t bad! The issue is it living long enough to untap with it, and that it’s a mana sink. Admittedly, tapping down permanents is an uncommon thing for red to do, but it’s limited to creatures and does so inefficiently…and things will untap as normal when Rimescale Dragon leaves play, meaning that the dragon frost lock is easily melted.
As for ice counters…only two creatures can spread them around the battlefield, by my count. The other creature that can place them is Rimefeather Owl, who also costs seven mana and is even in different colors. It places them more cheaply, but this strikes me as woefully inefficient for middling payoff.
If you’re using Rimescale Dragon, it’s simply because it’s cute. And it is cute! But it’s not very good, outside of limited (where its value is mostly in being able to swoop early and often).
Constructed: 1 (inefficient, with no real worthwhile payoff)
Limited: 4.5 (resists much of Coldsnap‘s removal and can “remove ” their creatures…if you have the snow lands to back it up)
Commander: 2 (it’s a mostly unique effect in red, but it’s so inefficient that it’s frankly not worth it)
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