So What’s So Great About Ruin Crab?
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?
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 — 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: