– Zendikar Rising
September 28, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
“Is there such a thing as a time crab?”
Apparently the answer to Stan’s question was yes. Hedron Crab was quite effective enough in the right kind of deck, and Ruin Crab very much follows in that card’s footsteps. Limited decks are particularly vulnerable, and adding an angle to your deck where you can stall the opponent and wear down more and more of their library is a legitimate tactic. In most constructed decks, you’ll want to combine him with either green land-searching (but not Uro; don’t be boring) or fetchlands, and perhaps the Zendikar Rising subtheme that looks for eight or more cards in an opponent’s graveyard. He’ll also be quite good in my 50-card singleton format. I promise you now, though, that I can’t see myself ever banning him there!
One of the fan-favorites from the original Zendikar was Hedron Crab, a cute little crab that threatened to play demolition derby with an opponent’s library in a long contest. Turns out that ten years and a calamity is enough to give the little crab an upgrade, and so Ruin Crab adds one toughness, one card to the mill, and makes it non-targeted. Outside of corner cases where you want to mill yourself, this represents an upgrade over Hedron Crab by and large.
Mill has the issue of being a fairly fragile, inefficient strategy in most scenarios, but the efficiency of passive mill effects like Ruin Crab can add up (and the effect does stack nicely), so getting a horde of crustaceans out early can spell doom for an opponent. With the usual provisos about milling being exploitable by the right deck, Ruin Crab gives mill decks a new weapon (and another warm body), and I could see it being a delightful little rogue option across any format where mill is a Thing.
Constructed: 3 (it’s a rogue strategy, with all the variance that entails)
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