Card Evaluation – Bone Shredder

Pros

  • Creature!
  • evasive
  • can play as sorcery speed removal

Contra

  • Poor power / cost ratio
  • echo

General Comments

Bone Shredder is probably the most complained about card in my cube. My drafters say ‘it’s overcosted’ , ‘i’d rather have rend flesh’ ‘if that card were a woman, it’d be yo mamma’ etc.  And I’d agree, if Bone Shredder wasn’t in my 360 cube, and is therefore pretty good.

Looking at it on it’s own, Bone Shredder is awful. It’s a sorcery speed terror, which costs more, and you get a 1/1 flier for a turn out of it. That’s how most people evaluate it, and this is what they imagine it as:

Now, this card sucks, whereas I consider Bone Shredder pretty safely in my cube.  What’s the difference? You still kill a creature and get to chump for a turn. There are two differences, which people rarely consider : that you can pay the echo on bone shredder , and secondly, the creature supertype.

Now, I cheated a little, since they’re very related. But, what cards care about the difference between Bone Shredder and the card above? Well, for one thing, if you pay the echo, you’ve got a 1/1 flier regardless. That can carry equipment, get pumped by anthems, and can be sacced to an edict effect. Alternatively, you can flicker it in and out of play with Recurring Nightmare, and kill creatures. I mean, why sac anything else when this’ll usually die anyway? You can also return it with Sun Titan every turn, or tutor it up with Fauna Shaman/Survival.  Or genesis for it if you need removal.

The worst case scenario for Bone Shredder is that you play it as a 2B sorcery terror, and then they don’t attack. The most common deal a lot of the time is to play it and chump a fattie. Another normal scenario vs aggro is to play it, kill an X/2 or something, and then kill an X/1 when they attack,giving you a 2 for 1.

Boneshredder is probably the worse Nekrataal Clone, having the fewest targets, the most unimpressive body, and having echo. On the other hand, it comes down earliest of all the nekrataal clones (barring evoking shriekmaw), and is only the second one with evasion. Unfortunately, if we get another flying nekrataal clone, or a clone at 3cmc, I can see Bone Shredder leaving.

As a card, I’ll admit, Bone Shredder isn’t a great deal. But if you look at it holistically, as part of the set which is your cube, there are an increasingly large variety of synergies it has, which, for me, makes your draft feel less like a pile of cards, and more like a cube.

Verdict : 360 staple, for now.

I really wanted to evaluate some more controversial cards, but Bone Shredder should get evaluated at some point, since it’s so often misregarded as bad.

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