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Fume Spitter

I like little creatures that come with great utility. Being able to get something out of a critter, even a weak one drop, later in the game is one of the goals I enforce fairly strongly. There’s little more frustrating than trying to get back into a game and you draw nothing but lands (unless, of course, landfall is perhaps involved) or weak critters that aren’t helpful.

Alternatively I could simply give in to monstrosity romance and the like.

When we stop to consider one drops in the history of Magic we are often left seeing engines like Weathered Wayfarer, parasitic and linear bodies like Goblin Lackey, or modest utility like Llanowar Elves. Many of the best of these options aren’t set at common or aren’t feasible without a cube subservient to ensuring the parasitic themes are working.

But sometimes a creature comes along that’s worth a closer look and careful consideration because it’s a hidden contender for something greater. Something like Fume Spitter.

Fume Spitter, Common from Scars of Mirrodin

It’s easy to take a quick glance at Fume Spitter and chalk it up as just another black “sacrifice for a one shot effect” dude. However, like Mogg Fanatic, some one shot effects can be very useful and desirable, potentially even late in the game.

When I first looked over Fume Spitter I ignored the delicate balance that power and toughness contribute in Limited. There are few creatures in the game that can chump block one big dude and simultaneously reduce the power of another. Giving a -1/-1 counter to a creature can dramatically change the balance of the board:

  • Errant Ephemeron or Rhox Brute become much easier to trade with
  • Virtually every pinger bites the dust
  • Most of the creatures with shadow take a hike

Fume Spitter isn’t an aggressive creature but it can be a value-add for some control and midrange builds. Edging and grinding an opponent down is easier when little guys that potentially can are running around.

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