April 26, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.0
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There are so many reprinted or reissued cards in Dominaria that put a smile on my face, and as a longtime fan of Gruul (and Jund, and werewolves, and Fires of Yavimaya, etc), Skizzik was among those I was absolutely happiest to see. It was already a notable card back in the days of Invasion, for good reason – it’s one of the few Ball Lightning evolutions that offers a notable different dimension than the original, as its three toughness makes it more likely to survive combat and thus less likely to sit in your hand waiting for an appropriate clear table state to emerge. Even if all it does is five damage to the opponent for four mana, that is a good curve-topper for aggressive red decks, and the kicked five-mana option makes it a threat that effectively punishes control decks for tapping out. Additionally, his stats are very often the equivalent of an RKO outta nowhere to planeswalkers, which is not going to stop being relevant any time soon.
Turns out that older sets had interesting kicker spells. Skizzik is one of them, returning all of the way from Invasion in time for Dominaria (and dropping down to an uncommon in the process). And it’s still pretty decent!
Skizzik is a twist on Ball Lightning: it’s slightly more durable but weaker in turn, and it has a less color-intensive cost. It comes in two modes: a 4-mana 5/3 that will get damage in and promptly expire, and a 5-mana 5/3 that keeps living afterwards. This gives a red deck running Skizzik some extra options late, able to keep their big trampler out for longer and keep smashing face with it.
The flexibility makes the card a bit easier to build around in deck construction, and Skizzik is likely to have some impact on Standard. It can get in that last bit of damage if you need it to, but it can stay around and smash face if that’s the best option.
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