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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!


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Mardu Skullhunter
- Khans of Tarkir

Reviewed Sep. 18, 2014

Constructed: 2.62
Casual: 2.42
Limited: 3.62
Multiplayer: 2.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Deck Garage

Mardu Skullhunter

A fairly simple common creature, and a decent vehicle for showing off the new "Raid" mechanic. Raid is pretty simple. If you attacked with a creature on the turn you play the Raid card, you get an extra effect. Raid is a Black, red, and white mechanic, and the specialty of the Mardu clan. Not all Raid cards are creatures.

I like Raid as a mechanic, as it reinforces two important lessons for new players to learn: don't forget to attack with your creatures if you've got an opening, and it's usually better to play your creatures after your combat phase, so your mana is open and the enemy doesn't know whether or not you have a trick. With Raid, you have to play the card after combat to get the effect. So, if your opponent has seen you play Raid cards, he won't know if you're leaving mana open because you have combat tricks, because you have a postcombat Raid card, or because you just don't have a play this turn.

Mardu Skullhunter is pretty subpar if he's not on a Raid. A 2/1 that enters the battlefield tapped? That's borderline even in Limited. If his Raid trigger goes off, then he's good. Two mana to get a 2/1 and make your opponent discard is good value. Cheap discard spells are always nice, but this is definitely a mid-game discard spell, unless you're playing aggro and genuinely expect to play a creature Turn One and swing with it Turn Two in a majority of games. That said, I like that even in the mid-game, this is cheap enough that you can swing with a few guys and have mana for a combat trick AND a postcombat Skullhunter.

Constructed- 3.5
Casual- 2
Limited- 4
Multiplayer- 2.5


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Mardu Skullhunter
 
This is a curious sort of card to evaluate. On the one hand, it almost looks like a riff on Ravenous Rats, and could thus be part of a disruptive strategy. On the other, its stats and the raid ability asks for a more aggressive strategy which casts a creature on the first turn (or at least sometime before the Skullhunter) and attacks frequently. Not that you couldn't be both, of course, but it remains to be seen how exactly this card fits in. Older formats are notoriously hard for new cards to crack, but at least Standard will soon no longer have Sphinx's Revelation and the attendant decks that can ride out anything short of a Thoughtseize.
 
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 2/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Mardu Skullhunter which is a two mana Black
2/1 that enters play tapped and has Raid which has target opponent discard a card if you attacked with a creature the turn the Skullhunter enters play.  This is a pretty average creature for Black and the types aren't heavily supported in color, so the only real selling point is the effect.  It is a nice effect as a situational plus one card advantage and this will see play for that alone, even outside of Liliana or other hand destroying builds.  The attack requirement demands one mana cost creatures to support it and overall it will see pla
 
In Limited this is a very nice card to have as an early play with the potential card advantage attached to a useful low mana cost creature. 

An automatic inclusion for any deck using Black mana in Sealed even as just a two mana 2/1 and a reasonable middle of the pack pick in Booster.
 
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.0

Mattedesa

Deck Garage
Mardu Skullhunter
 
The "Raid" mechanic is going to work well in aggressive decks. Turn 1, play a 1-drop creature. Turn 2, attack with that creature and play this guy second main, forcing an opponent to discard. It's no Thoughtseize, but every little bit of card advantage is helpful.
 
But what if you aren't in the position to be attacking? Then, this guy is terrible. Not only do you not get the discard ability, you can't even block the first turn since he comes in tapped.
 
I doubt he's going to be powerful enough in any constructed format to compete with the powerful 2 drops out there, but he should be a limited staple. A few of these guys could really put your opponent in a tough spot.
 
Constructed: 2
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 1.5 

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