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The Runeclaws. They do nothing.
It’s been a few years now since Runeclaw Bear replaced Grizzly Bears as the bear of choice in core sets. It still remains painfully obvious though that they are virtually identical and that being outfitted with runed up limbs does nothing to improve a bear’s combat effectiveness. Makes you wonder why they even bother. Or whether the runes are even legit.
Regardless you’ll pretty much never see either bear in a serious constructed deck. There’s always a better option with a relavent ability for a the same cost such as Fauna Shaman. Because of this many people question why they even print cards like Runeclaw Bear. I would argue, however, that Runeclaw Bear is possibly one of the most important cards in magic today and ever. It is, to me, the constant to which all other creature cards can be compared. The horizon above which stellar cards can float. Its ability to define Magic at it’s most basic far outweighs its usefulness as a deckable card.
Plus I frikkin’ love this guy in limited.
Innistrad will soon give Black it’s own bear in the form of Walking Corpse. Usually Black would have to settle for a 2/1 at 1B such as Krovikan Scoundrel or a bear plus disadvantage such as Spineless Thug. Recently they’ve had a surfeit of 2/1’s plus advantage like Child of Night and Onyx Mage but Walking Corpse is, to my knowledge, Black’s first bear.
Sadly this momentous occassion will, undoubtedly, be overshadowed by the simultaneous arrival of Diregraf Ghoul. The most aggressively costed version of the Carnophage template 2/2 with disadvantage for B. ‘Comes into play tapped’ is virtually no setback at all for such an efficient little beater.
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