According to a poll by MTG head designer Mark Rosewater, players are nuts about squirrels, with plenty thinking the creature type should be included in every Standard set.
A surprising 35% of MTG players want the squirrel creature type, once deemed too silly for Standard, to appear in every single Standard set going forward. That’s only slightly below the winning result, the 39% who felt ‘once a year’ was the best fit for the creature.
Of course, these results may be slightly skewed by the fact that the poll (which has 1531 responses) was run by MTG head designer Mark Rosewater, champion of the squirrel creature type, over on his Blogatog blog.
Most squirrel cards are penned by Rosewater, and in 2020 he said his love of squirrels was one of the two things best known about him – he even dressed up as a squirrel for a video once. It could be that fans chose that answer because they knew it’d make him happy. It’s also a well-known fact that people love to choose the silly option in any internet poll. Did you ever hear the tragedy of Boaty McBoatface?
But squirrels are nonetheless popular, and not just because the game’s head designer holds a candle for them. They may have started out as a joke, but over the years the humble squirrel has become a fairly well-supported tribe, propped up in particular by a load of support added in Modern Horizons. There’s something hilarious about using a creature as innocent and inoffensive as a squirrel to kick butts, and it’s especially fun that a 1/1 squirrel token can draw in a fight with all other 1/1 token types, from saprolings to human soldiers
First appearing in Weatherlight (1999) as token creatures made by Liege of the Hollows, Squirrels got their first real creature card in Odyssey, with Krosan Beast. By the mid 2000s they were only being released in supplemental sets, but have recently made a comeback, appearing in premier MTG sets such as Ikoria and Kaldheim. We might be seeing a lot more of the bushy-tailed little buggers soon, at least if MaRo gets his way.