Dwarven Driller is an honest laborer out to set the world right. How can you not love his single-mindedness? And he's not pure LD. He gives your opponent a democratic choice: "Will ya be having the cup of Stone Rain or Shock today, Sir?" In today's crazy mana acceleration world, Dwarven Driller brings solid comfort to those toiling away in the unappreciated land destruction factory. The persistent 2/2 Dwarf might seem a bit pricey at 3R, but if you can keep him around, he just gets more and more annoying to that card-flopper across from you.
Currently, I use him singly in a quite defensive LD deck that employs very few creatures. Along with an Anarchist, Magnivore, and Storm Shaman, he's out on the frontier of mono-red working among direct damage and numerous Caltrops to keep his master safe. Sometimes he gets to swing into combat, but mostly he's there to bring your opponent to a decision about land or life. He fills in as a last-ditch blocker now and then as well.
Strategies and game play:
Between black and red, especially with Helldozer out and about, I think the Dwarven Driller could serve a useful purpose in a casual R/B deck that mixes in LD, burn, and discard along with multi-purpose creatures to upset and punish an opponent. He also could find room in a R/G deck. Whether alone or in infuriating multiples, the Driller has enough use, even at his cost, to be invited along. Once he's over his summoning shyness, I like to put his activated ability out there early on my turn--1st main phase. Especially if I'm holding a Stone Rain. If the opponent is land-critical, he'll take the 2 points of damage only to watch in horror as you Pillage that single Plains. Next time he's in the same situation, he'll be second-guessing himself more than a weatherman on Ground Hog's Day.
Combos with other cards:
Ankh of Mishra and Dingus Egg make nice bookends for the Driller to work between. He is also quite content to come into play and go right to work if you can get Anger in the graveyard. There's always Lightning Greaves too. (Apr. 19, 2012 note: How could I forget his pal, Avalanche Riders?! They're distant cousins with a common cause)
Ways to counteract it:
Easily dealt with, the Driller can be destroyed, stolen, or neutralized. Terror it, Shock it, Control Magic it, Counterspell it, , or simply place a Faith's Fetters on it.
It's a creature, and most always, you are going to be happy drawing a creature. It offers attack, block, and LD/burn complement.
There exist a plethora of cards that defeat the Driller. That's a major drawback, plus he's not the fastest guy into play, especially if you're having your own mana issues. Run multiples if you expect to get him
Available in Judgment only, as a non-foil or foil. Languages available are the nine basic languages of Magic.
Artwork and aesthetics:
The art captures the spirit and intensity of this Dwarf hard at work undermining the mana base (or at least threatening to do so) of your opponent.
How about a 5?! Not generally useful, but in a focused LD deck or as a complementary side element in a deck, Dwarven Driller is solid.