Insider: Skaab Ruinator and other Pre-order considerations

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Spoilers are still flying around all over the place, and this set looks like a ton of fun. I’m not normally a flavor fanatic, but I’m looking forward to this set for its flavor more than I ever have before. I love the graveyard mechanics, I love the Dual Faced Cards (DFCs) and I especially love Skaab Ruinator. I’m pretty confident this card will be the chase-mythic of the set.

Skaab Ruinator 1UU
Creature - Zombie Horror
As an additional cost to cast ~, exile 3 creature cards from your graveyard.
You may cast ~ from your graveyard.
5 /6

Combined with any looting/mill effects, this guy has the makes of a Standard Dredge-style deck written all over him. It may even be the link to making Liliana of the Veil breakable, but it is to early yet to know for sure. I’m not condoning jumping in on presales, perse, but its the first time I’ve seriously considered it in a while. Star-City Games has him at $22.50, but has 8 in stock at $19.99, and I’m still on the fence, as I think this card will certainly find $25+, but when, and how high can it go?

A mythic, most certainly is worth noting, and an undercosted, cheatable, asking-to-be-broken, beater, is going to see way more action than Vengevine ever did. Vengevine hit $40 range during PTQ seasons, and I do not think that’s impossible for the Ruinator, but I’d say that’s likely his ceiling. There is a reason why Vengevine can’t be a perfect analog to the Skaab Ruinator, but it isn’t a huge one. Both mythics come from big sets, meaning they are drafted in all 3 packs, and see 6 packs of sealed. But ROE sealed was never a PTQ format, and Innistrad will see limited play for about 9 months (in decreasing pack density). As a drafter, my personal need to buy these cards are slim, as I can expect to pick up a couple throughout the PTQ season, and on through the draft year. The question remains, how soon will I need them, and how quickly can they spike.

Enabling this beast could mean an artifact based deck, using Riddlesmith and mill effects to fill your graveyard is a possibility. It might even use Argent Sphinx (if I’m lucky). I still hope that Argent Sphinx finds a home, and a deck with the Ruinator is not a bad combination, to continuously apply high power fliers to the table. I’ve been holding the bulk-rare Argent Sphinx for some time now. It  might be a missed call, but there's no loss in holding out at this point. It’s possible the Ruinator falls into a Liliana deck, filling the role of a Tarmogoyf in a “Team America” style deck of sorts.

While at a particular PTQ Skaab Ruinator may hit the area of $40, I expect it to sit around $20-25 after the dust settles. That being said, buying in at $20 now isn’t a horrible idea, but I’m not sure I’m willing to take the risk, when the opportunity to gain big will depend on what larger events I’m able to attend.

The next card I want to talk about is:

Kessig Wolf Run
T: add 1 to your mana pool.
XRGT: Target creature gets +X/+0 and gains Trample until end of turn.

This card preorders around $2, and I’m considering picking up a set. If there is a R/G aggro deck, an on board fireball that doesn’t use up a card is a sweet addition. Blinkmoth Nexus pairs well with this card too, as do other cheap infect guys. I can only dream about pumping a Razor Swine with this land. At the least, keep your eyes on this card. Try to pick them up in trades, but pre-ordering with cash may be a risk. If you see pre-order prices climbing, I’d try to find a REPUTABLE site to catch before they raise prices.

Lastly, the one-drop aggressive creatures. Both Stormkirk Noble and Champion of the Parish are going to see Standard Play, and I see them tracking like a Goblin Guide would, hitting heights of $5 at times. I’m going to preorder sets of both of these, they are both easily found under $3 each.

My sleeper/gamble pick is Curse of Stalked Prey. Can be preordered for under $2, and I’m simply deciding how many I want to buy. There’s got to be decks in Standard that want this, and it will surely be an EDH staple immediately.

For the first time in recent history, I’m actually pre-ordering singles. I really thought I’d never see that day come.

With a PTQ format around the corner, I typically rely on Limited to supply me with cards I need for constructed, but the seemingly safe moves have definite upside, and I’m willing to throw the dice on this one. Any other pre-order targets I missed?

By next week, we should have a full grip on the remaining spoilers, and we can try to find some good uncommons to target during the Pre-Release/Release weekends and throughout the sealed PTQ season.

Chad Havas
@torerotutor on twitter

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Chad Havas

Chad has been with Quiet Speculation since January of 2011. He uses price speculation to cover all his costs to keep playing. Follow his journey from format to format and be prepared to make moves at the right times.

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4 thoughts on “Insider: Skaab Ruinator and other Pre-order considerations

  1. Is it wrong that I think that Ruinator is 110% hype? The card is no Vengevine. Veggies came out on turn 4, all the time, with no extra assistance. It started swinging immediately. When it died, sometimes you got it back if you had BBE or the like.

    This guy? God forbid you draw two during the course of a game, they'll never come out. Three guys in the yard means you need a lot of Illusions dying or you need to be grinding some seriously bad Looter cards in a deck full of bad looter cards. Then the opponent points their GFTT at it or attacks into it; do you block, remembering that Dismember before combat damage is a serious possibility? Do you let a 1/1 through for fear of having to set the whole thing up again? If this dies, you have to do the whole setup over again; if it gets O-ringed or something similar, you don't even have that option.

    The setup to get this thing out ONCE is too much for a mere 5/6 flier.

    1. I'm on board with Doug on this one. Seems like you'd have to fill your deck with terrible cards to ever get him into play. It's cute when you have 3-4 squad hawks in your bin, but even once you cast him, hes just a flying beater that isn't even guaranteed to get in for a swing. Oh yea, squad hawk won't even be around at the same time as this guy… I think that makes him nigh unplayable even. Conditional cards like this one feel like a "trap".

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