Zendikar rare Scute Mob is not quite Tarmogoyf… Does it matter?
Scute Mob is looking to be one of the most signficant cards in Zendikar… and that’s saying something!
No, you didn’t read that wrong… Scute Mob is probably a terrible one drop, as far as one drops go. That is, don’t look for it to be much more effective than, say, a Mon’s Goblin Raiders, at least not on or around turn one.
The value of Scute Mob is that as the game progresses–past turn five or so depending on the acceleration involved–it is an extremely powerful card.
Imagine Scute Mob in a control deck of some sort. It is probably needlessly narrow to say a U/G control deck given the mana options, but suffice it to imagine a control deck capable of producing G and countering target spell.
Scute Mob is a perfect card to play with five lands in play. The contol deck in question will have four lands left to fight permission wars, either over Scute Mob (that is, resolving it) or keeping the opponent from doing some kind of funny business.
The next turn, Scute Mob will be a 5/5… That is, a 5/5 for one mana.
Okay, there is already a cadillac control creature, a pair of them in fact, Broodmate Dragon and Baneslayer Angel. The first turn around, Scute Mob will not be able to tangle with Baneslayer Angel, but remember it is already far faster than Broodmate Dragon, and a fight–specifically the double block–may be significantly less profitable than it may look from afar.
The greater problem is that Scute Mob is going to be 9/9 the next turn, and 13/13 the turn after that (and so on) provided its daddy has five or more lands in play. It will jump past Baneslayer Angel in the course of one turn, and be completely out of control before too long.
Now our previous hypothetical outlined playing Scute Mob in the middle of the middle turns, and potentially fighting over it (or stuff going on around it). There is no reason the control player couldn’t just play Scute Mob at some point (even turn one) and wait for it to eventually grow up. That is a possibility, and might even be the right play against either another counterspell deck or a combo deck that needs to be put on a clock.
The even more interesting interaction may be Scute Mob piggybacking Ranger of Eos. Think about that tag team! Ranger of Eos already “implies” having four lands… five lands is just one more than that. It is entirely possible to see Antoine Ruel digging up a pair of Scute Mobs and playing them both immediately, presenting 13 or so power the following turn.
I see Scute Mob as being a clear Staple. It is just too cost effective. Go get your playset immediately; it is the second coming of Tarmogoyf, everything Figure of Destiny wanted to be and more.
Currently Reading: Nikolai Dante: Beast of Rudinshtein (Rebellion 2000ad)