What's your opinion of skulk?

edited February 2019 in Off-topic Chat
I ask because I was thinking of using it on a card I was designing and then realised we hadn't seen skulk for a while. I hadn't realised this but it seems WotC decided it didn't work out as a keyword, MaRo saying it was too complicated(1) and only interesting on small creatures(2).

1) http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/148621035288/hi-mark-big-fan-of-your-drive-to-work-podcast
2) http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/148624571278/how-was-skulks-design-space-limited

So I'm just curious what your thoughts are. I really liked skulk. I don't find it particularly complicated and the comment about it only being interesting on small creatures is a little like saying trample is only interesting on big creatures. I'm not sure it's *that* much of a limitation. It also leaves Dimir without an evergreen keyword.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? What was it like to play with for you during Shadows over Innistrad, for example?


  • Skulk was alright, but it certainly wasn’t my favorite mechanic.
  • @Ranshi992

    Did you find it uninteresting in any way? I mean, trample, for example, isn't all *that* interesting but it's solid and makes sense. Did you find it complicated?
  • It's a weird ability, but I felt it more flavorful than just rats and rodents. I like the ability, but it was just awkward. But then again, I play EDH, I see weird stuff every time.
  • @Bowler218

    Awkward in what sense? Just curious.
  • Just, uh, (thinks on how to describe it) not being able to block something with a bigger creature, as creatures right now tend to be equal P/T, makes blocking not a viable thing unless you kill off your own creature. It doesn't carry from thematic to mechanical easily.
  • @Animist, it was simple enough. It just seemed underwhelming and slightly unnecessary. It’s just a nerfed version of unblockable.
  • edited February 2019

    Fair enough, although interestingly "nerfed version of unblockable" is kinda why I like it, both balance-wise in keeping you from loading up your unblockable creatures with enchantments that make them bigger and flavour-wise in that a little rat might be able to sneak past a brute but not a huge enchanted one. Maybe I just have a thing for any sneak / stealth related mechanic or flavour!

    Also, it could be argued that menace is essentially a nerfed version of unblockable too and yet that seems to have been embraced by WotC. I appreciate menace is simpler than skulk but, still, kinda just nerfed unblockable.
  • Menace is closer to nerfed intimidate.

    I think a big part of the reason skulk wasn’t well received was because it wasn’t an “exciting” mechanic. Your creatures can’t be blocked sometimes, woo hoo. Skulk didn’t get any great payoff creatures and skulk creatures are inherently weak, which means Spike, Timmy, and even Johnny don’t get much out of them. Only kind of players that can seem to do skulk are Vorthos making their skulk tribal deck.
  • edited February 2019
    Because people nowadays just want the quick victory.
  • The ways that skulk and menace make blocking different are extremely dissimilar. One requires the defender to attack less so that they can have enough blockers, the other by planning out which creatures need to stay behind in a slightly different way.
  • True, skulk and menace are approaching it in different ways. What I meant was they're both variations on conditional unblockability, like intimidate.
  • I like your point on trample because I do agree with the trample for the most part unless it has its own way of gaining power...unlike charging badger

    I like skulk but I think that it needs to be applied to better cards because it isnt that effective on just like a 1/1 with skulk is pretty bad but maybe "discard a card, if you do draw a card"
  • Some quick research says that Skulk (the keyword) was printed on only 13 cards across two sets, two of which aren't creatures. The fact it didn't get much chance to show off may be part of why it was poorly received.
  • Skulk is interesting. The existing cards with Skulk, Startled Awake and Wharf Infiltrator aside, are not. Not even mentioning standalone power level, just cool design/possible synergy.

    No one wants to play a 1/3 Skulk Lifelink 3-drop. What's the point of giving Skulk to creatures with 3+ power? Or choosing to make great part of subtypes of the creatures who have this ability Spirits, which already have better, evergreen evasion in Flying?
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