The World According to Ruin Crab

So What’s So Great About Ruin Crab?

Ruin Crab is one of Standard’s key pieces of offense

Now that many of Standard’s most powerful cards have fallen by the wayside — or been banned as it were — the format has a brand new top deck. Or at least pair of top decks.

The newer kid on the block seems to be Dimir Rogues… Which while it plays like eight Rogues… Isn’t 100% Rogues. The last four creature slots belong to (you guessed it) Ruin Crab.

This card has, maybe deceptively, a lot going for it. For one thing, the price is right. At only one mana, you can play it super early, and against the increasingly infrequent Mono-Red beatdown decks, it is an outstanding defender. For its cost, anyway.

Ruin Crab is relatively irresistible. It doesn’t have to rumble in The Red Zone, but it gets along really well with, say, a Fabled Passage.

Subtly, the casting cost has more value even than normal. Dimir Rogues can play a variety of higher impact instants and sorceries while containing all their creatures at one or two mana. The Crab at one makes it a perfect re-buy with Lurrus of the Dream-Den. Some Dimir players are also packing Call of the Death-Dweller.

That Means EVERYONE is Playing Crab Beatdown, Right?

… Well, not quite.

The Crab is good… But it’s not “only”.

Remember this Companion?

Yorion, Sky Nomad

While playing the Crab yourself makes Lurrus of the Dream-Den a great Companion, the so-called limitation on Yorion, Sky Nomad might be an advantage.

Gotta play eighty cards? When your mode opponent is trying to Mill you out with Crab / Landfall triggers, starting with twenty extra cards in your library is much like adding a Renewed Faith to your opening hand against Mono-Red Burn. What is supposed to be a disadvantage becomes an edge against Dimir!

Even in the Dimir sub-metagame, some folks opt for a one-drop Merfolk rather than the Crab:

Merfolk Windrobber:
“faster than a 0/3”

Merfolk Windrobber — with its ability to attack with actual power (sometimes buffed by another Rogue ) is faster on offense if the opponent has 80 starting cards. Some decks play both Ruin Crab and Merfolk Windrobber!

Finally, the Naya decks have bent their mana bases around the Crab’s Milling attack. Logically these decks probably want to max out on Evolving Wilds and play only one Plains and only one Mountain… But the risk of losing one of those basics to a random Mill is so great, Naya decks cut a couple of Evolving Wilds for an extra one of each basic.

Oh, Make Sure You Stay Tuned for the Pioneer Section


We’ll let you get to it:

Direct Download

What Do We Do Now that Escape to the Wilds is Banned?

Why Was Escape to the Wilds Banned in Standard?

Escape to the Wilds…
Banned in Standard!

We all know what just happened.

Patrick and Michael both thought that Omnath, Locus of Creation should have been banned alongside Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath a few weeks ago.

With Omnath not banned, the so-called Omnath-Adventures deck took off mightily in Standard. Patrick argued that the ban to Uro might have actually been a “buff” to Omnath rather than a detriment to its popularity… This seems to have borne out in the most recent ladders and big MTG Arena events.

Omnath ended up joining the skeleton of a deck already chock full of two-for-ones… Three-for-ones (or better!) with Lucky Clover.

Escape to the Wilds was a powerful bridge in Ramp-style Omnath decks, and the previous (Temur) Adventures deck already played the card. It bears mentioning that Escape to the Wilds is a natural three-to-five play following a Cultivate or Beanstalk Giant (or previously Uro), making it a more convenient [if less blatantly powerful] Ramp play than Genesis Ultimatum.

The Two Mana Artifact That Joined Escape to the Wilds on the Banned List This Week…

Lucky Clover

Lucky Clover was a Staple in one of the most celebrated decks from last Spring. It offers tremendous card advantage to a deck that is basically all Adventures.

Why ban it now?

For one thing, the Clover was already part of the too-dominant Omnath-Adventures deck… So that put the strategy over the top of where it once was, as one of multiple viable ones.

But perhaps more importantly, it is difficult to deal with, especially main deck. Compare the card to Edgewall Innkeeper. The Innkeeper is a little 1/1 for G. Powerful? Sure! But also pretty easy to kill. The artifact, on the other hand, requires specialized interaction to get off the battlefield.

Notably, Edgewall Innkeeper was left in Standard. That means that Gruul Adventures decks (and whatever Adventures you might dream up) will remain viable for the foreseeable.

Speaking of Adventures… Bonecrusher Giant is the Best Card in the Format

Bonecrusher Giant

Stomp // Bonecrusher Giant was played in almost every deck… Not just every archetype, every deck at last weekend’s de facto World Championships. Only a single Dimir deck didn’t play it.

The card is great with Lucky Clover and Edgewall Innkeeper… Heck, is great in general. It’s about the most punishing card you can run against “fair” … And we predict fair will be on the rise with the broken mana engines largely removed from Standard.

Maybe Bonecrusher Giant should be the next card on the chopping block?

So Where Should You Be Playing Your Stomps-slash-Giants Now?

At least for now, we believe there is a clear best choice in Standard.

  1. With Dimir untouched by the bans, Dimir has risen in Standard popularity… This strategy preys on Dimir’s “Milling” offense and small creatures
  2. With Modal Double-Faced lands, the mana in this deck is solid… Competitive, even, with a one-color Embercleave deck like Mono-Red
  3. Speaking of which, it has dorks to carry an Embercleave (if that is your jam)
  4. Finally, it features the next 6/6 Titan up… Kroxa!

Rakdos seems perfectly poised to be Standard’s next “best” deck. Kroxa itself will be a free card thanks to the opposing Vantress Gargoyle or Soaring Thought-Thief!

… Not to mention your own self-mill and card advantage tools.

It’s big enough to flat-out beat beatdown threats, often even if they’re carrying Embercleaves! And of course, Kroxa can come back from the dead if need be.

Finally, Rakdos even anticipates the mirror with Elspeth’s Nightmare… A card that singlehandedly takes out a two mana creature, gains a little card advantage, and puts a huge hole in the opposing Escape plan.

For more of these Magical thoughts, tune in for “What Do We Do Now That Escape the Wilds is Banned?” now!

Direct Download

What Does It Mean to be the Best in the Format?

With Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath Banned in Standard… What’s the Best in the Format?


Easy pick

“I’d play it in every format.”


Even with Uro banned, the card is already invading other archetypes!

Check out this PTQ winning “Temur” Adventures deck by Michael Bonde:

“Temur” … But with White.

“Adventures” … But with 4x Omnath (and only 2x Lovestruck Beast).

Welcome to the future, I guess.

The Mount Rushmore of Magic: The Gathering…

It’s Kai versus Jon, buuuuuut…

Once upon a time it was unbelievable for someone to go up against Jon Finkel in the category of G.O.A.T.

But Kai Budde did “enough unbelievable” to not only enter the conversation, but exceed Jon in at least some categories.

But the same token… PV has some kind of longevity and consistency! What does PV have to do more at this point than just keep playing [at the level he has been playing for the last several years]?

Give it a Listen Right Now!

Direct Download