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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!


Image from Wizards.com

Pack Rat
- Return to Ravnica

Reviewed October 3, 2012

Constructed: 2.60
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 2.80
Multiplayer: 2.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Pack Rat

People are always going to play with tribal cards, even if they're weird tribes. Especially if they're weird tribes. I think something about the human mind's need to find patterns and make connections clashes with the creature type on Magic cards-- 9 times out of 10, a creature's type is as irrelevant to the game as its flavor text. But occasionally it does matter, so players are naturally drawn to the cards that make it matter, because all the information on a card should be relevant to the game if it's not in italics, right?

Rats are a kind of weird tribe. Rat tribal has pretty much always been part of the game-- remember Swarm of Rats? Pretty much every block has had at least a few Rats, but there's never really been an organized Rat deck outside of Kamigawa block or casual play. The only one I can think of that caught on was Relentless Rats, and even that was mostly a gimmick deck. But the fact that it existed proves just how much people love tribal, and will take any excuse they can get to play it.

Pack Rat, that said, is a decent card. It's a Rat that gets bigger the more Rats you have, and it makes Rat tokens, and the tokens also get bigger the more Rats you have. Your opponent really can't afford to leave it alone, and you can't afford to just play Pack Rat on turn two. Wait until you have the mana to play it and use its ability in one go. That way even if your opponent has a kill spell, now he needs to kill the original and the copy.

Constructed- 2
Casual- 4
Limited- 2
Multiplayer- 3

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Pack Rat
 
As I think I've mentioned in this space before, I mostly play singleton formats - Filth Casserole, Legacy Filth Casserole, and Unglued/Unhinged Highlander being my favorites - so you can't imagine how many years I've been waiting for a Plague Rats variant that works as printed in singleton. Nothing against house errata, but sometimes it's nice to feel like someone up there is looking out for you. In casual settings, you'd be surprised at just how much of a "thing" Rat tribal decks are. You have access to hand disruption (Ravenous Rats and Chittering Rats), reusable removal (Throat Slitter), recursion (Nezumi Graverobber), a card I consider to be one of the best finishers control decks have ever had (Ink-Eyes), and Demonic Tutor with fear (Ratcatcher). Rat tribal is most certainly a thing.
 
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Filth Casserole deck to build.
 
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Paul

Welcome back readers todays card of the day is a rat and makes more rats. Pack Rat provides a 1/1 body for two mana initially but can grow as you discard making it grow out of control. Discard outlets are always good but only when they don’t have mana activation costs meaning this rat wont see much play, it does however present a nasty board position with only one or two activations but discarding two cards and paying six mana may not be the most powerful and is setting yourself up for a Terminus or Supreme Verdict. In standard Loleth Troll is the king of discard and has a powerful body making this creature look bad by comparison I don’t think it will see any play too much mana to activate. In modern you can combine with Rat tribal cards but little else. In legacy and vintage wouldn’t pack any of these into my deck. In casual and multiplayer rats are a somewhat popular tribe I don’t foresee this fitting into Relentless Rats decks but I can see it as a 1 of in Relentless Rat based commander decks providing more rats for cards like Marrow Gnawer. In limited its all right not the best but if you discard some Scavange Cards you can sculpt a decent board presence not suffer too much from card disadvantage. Overall a card meant strictly for casual and multiplayer and a niche card at that.  I don’t see it getting there anywhere else.
 
Constructed: 1.0
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 2.0
Multiplayer: 2.5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Pack Rat which is a two mana Black rat with power and toughness equal to the number of rats you control and for three can allow you to discard a card from hand to put a token copy of Pack Rat into play.  This is an interesting change on the Relentless Rats concept that is better in several ways, first by counting other types of rats, second by having the option of a card in hand being a rat instead of playing dozens of the same card, and third by having a casting cost of two which curves nicely with the effect on turn three and a turn one Typhoid Rats or Drainpipe Vermin.  Overall this is a card with some potential as a gimmick deck and will be a staple in any casual rat build, but probably won't be seen much in the competitive formats.
 
For Limited a two mana creature that creates tokens for three out of any unneeded card in hand, or possibly one with Scavenge, definitely has value in the format.  This is fairly solid in the early game as without a turn three play it is a 2/2 attacker on that turn with another 2/2 rat on defense.  Late game with eight mana you get three 3/3 creatures in one turn if you have two cards to spare, such as extra lands or unneeded specialized hate.  If you manage your hand size and keep a few cards back this is a strong addition to any Sealed deck and first pick in Booster.
 
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 3.0

John
Shultis
Phoenix
Gaming

        Welcome to another great card of the day review here at Pojo.com. We continue our look at Return to Ravnica by looking at Pack Rat. Pack Rat is a rare black creature rat. Pack Rat costs one generic and one black mana, and is a */*. Pack Rat’s power and toughness are equal to the number of rats you control. Pack Rat also has the ability of pay two generic and a black mana, discard a card: Put a token onto the battlefield that is a copy of Pack Rat.

        I clearly feel that the Pack Rat was printed more for older formats. There are not many rats in Standard at all, and certainly this would be the best of them, and that is hardly worth building a deck around. But, some people like their rats. And Pack Rat is definitely a great rat. The ability to clone itself for relatively little can mean that suddenly there are a bunch of them.

        The thing to do to take complete advantage is utilizing Parallel Lives and Flashback cards, should you wish to use this card in Standard formats. Then you get two 3/3’s effectively for three mana, more so the next time you use the ability, and still have the ability to later on use the card you discarded.

      In older formats, I think this guy will revitalize the older rat decks. A field formerly owned by Relentless Rats.
 
Limited: 3/5
Constructed: 5/5
Casual: 4/5
Multiplayer: 2/5


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