Scryb Ranger – Time Spiral Remastered
Date Reviewed: March 16, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I miss the player’s guides they used to give you with the bundles. We got them as recently as War of the Spark, so it’s hardly like I’m referencing bands with other or something. When you want a reminder of what the set’s about after some months (or years), the little booklet is much easier to flip through than a box of cards, and more convenient than Gatherer or Scryfall (both of which seem to be set up for programmers. The majority of Magic players have never been programmers).
In Time Spiral‘s booklet, the card image gallery has Scryb Ranger right next to Spectral Force, so basically everyone who bought the bundle saw that combination on day one. It went on to be a moderately good deck in Standard, though it had problems once Dralnu and his twenty-odd counterspells took off.
Regardless of that problem, and perhaps because of it, Scryb Ranger was still a good card to have around at that time. Protection from blue and flying did a good job of slowing down or attacking past some nasty mid- and high-cost blue creatures. That is, if anything, even more the case now at casual tables where blue decks might be coming at you with giant octopuses, sea goddesses, and sharknadoes. I’ve also seen the Ranger as one of a small number of non-Elf allies in Elf decks, thanks to her adding redundancy on creature-untapping effects (and thus on, basically, mana-doubling effects).
I’m actually really glad all around that Scryb Ranger made it into Time Spiral Remastered, even if Spectral Force didn’t. I’ll be happy to get a version in the M15 card face, and more exposure for Rebecca Guay’s art can only be a good thing.
A green Faerie…you don’t see that every day.
Scryb Ranger synthesizes several references: green’s fondness for protection from blue, Scryb Sprites, and Quirion Ranger. And it’s pretty solid as a card! Being able to untap a creature can be very powerful in terms of reusing effects in decks that use lots of mana creatures (or activated abilities), and its stat line is pretty good against the color most given towards swarming the battlefield with cheap fliers. While the effect isn’t necessarily unique, it’s still quite powerful, and it sees some use in competitive play for its ability to ambush unsuspecting opponents.
This definitely is more a combo piece than an unassailable monstrosity, but it serves its role quite well. Being a small green flier is also unique enough, as green rarely gets flying to begin with, but Time Spiral did like to go all-in on the weirdness.
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