Last time on the rundown, I took a look at Magic's Basilisks. The next creature type that comes up in the alphabet is a bit more realistic than six-legged reptiles whose very gaze can kill. This entry is on a real-world animal: Bats. Creepy as they are, most of them are harmless in real life, but some of the ones in Magic are considerably deadlier. There have been thirteen Bat creatures printed to date, all of them black, at least in part (Blind Hunter, the Orzhov creature from Guildpact, is the only multicolored one and it's white-black). They've flapped through the night skies of the multiverse since Legends, and recent years have been rather good to them - they've appeared pretty regularly in quite a few sets released in the past few years, including Gatecrash.
BATS' DEAL: Invariably these are black flyers, usually on the small side of power and toughness - cheap early-game evasive bodies. Nearly every single one has power and toughness each between 1 and 2. There is a 4/1 among them - Marrow Bats - but it's an anomaly.
THE STRONGEST: The best of a not-particularly-powerful bunch is Screeching Bat - a 2/2 flyer for 2B is decent in Limited, and if you can generate 2BB during your upkeep you can transform it into 5/5 groundpounder Stalking Vampire, which comes in over the curve for black creatures despite the seven mana you have to sink into it over a couple of turns. The Vamp can also turn back if need be, making this a flexible small evader/big beater that's a lot of fun, especially since it personifies the classic vampire-turning-into-a-bat trope.
THE WEAKEST: There are a couple of utter, utter stinkers here. I'm going to call Dakmor Bat the worst of the lot - a 1/1 French vanilla for 1B wasn't good back in Portal: Second Age and it's definitely not good now. Homelands' Sengir Bats almost made this slot, but at least it has a point of toughness over Dakmor Bat and has a reasonable chance of growing bigger than its initial 1/2.
THE WEIRDEST: The big outlier is definitely Marrow Bats, the aforementioned 4/1. Bats are usually evasive, but minor, annoyances - a 4-power flyer is a big threat no matter how you slice it. Also, it regenerates, which is unusual for a Bat - but par for the course for a Skeleton, which it also is. Is there anything not completely scary on Innistrad? Special shout-out to Dementia Bat and its rad gas mask.
MY FAVORITE: Blind Hunter will always be near and dear to my heart. Most people don't like the haunt keyword, but it's among my favorites. And to those who'd pass this over since it's a four-mana 2/2 multicolor flyer - hardly enticing stats - think of it more as an 8-point life swing for four mana that happens to have a 2/2 flying body strapped to it.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Basilica Screecher, Orzhov's latest chiropteran servant, is a good option for the lower end of extort decks' mana curves. It's easily one of the better extort creatures defensively, thanks to that flying, and can swing in evasively to chip away at opponents' life totals if it comes to that.