The fledgling Alpha 40 format (minimum of forty cards and any number of the same named card) does not use the decisive rule which renders Plague Rats unplayable (“100.2a …A constructed deck may contain… no more than four of any card with a particular English name other than basic land cards…”). Therefore, with an average opening hand (2-3 Swamps and 4-5 rats), average draws (two rats for every three cards drawn), and no opposing board-sweepers, you can expect five 5/5 Plague Rats on turn six.
Greven il-Vec had better watch his back, because there’s another Spinal Villain in town. Now that I got all of my skeletal puns out of the way, let’s see why I think Spinal Villain might be a budget King Suleiman. Unfortunately, due to a buyout around Amonkhet, this little guy skyrocketed from $10 to $40. That’s still a lot better than the $200 that the King has been sitting at for quite some time.
Also, in case you missed it, check out last week’s Knowledge Vault on Hand of Justice!