The imp's ability:
Before the Resolution Phase, you may discard all cards of a given suit (other than Ravens) and name a player. You are considered to have the same number of cards of the suit you discarded as the named player.
That's not a bad ability by itself, but here's the real question: how does this ability interact with the number of Ravens in hand?
In a normal hand, if you have more non-ravens, you need to pair them up with other cards to kill them. You only get the skulking ravens if any are left. We've found that it's extremely unlikely for more than one player to have ravens by the skulking phase, so normally however many a player has is how many shadow magic cards he's drawing.
The Imp makes it VERY easy to have skulking ravens at the end of the hand. Let's say you have two ravens, two swords, and a victory. Pitch the swords. Now you're guaranteed to have one skulking raven.
Alternatively, does "You are considered to have the same number of cards" mean you have to kill ravens if you can, assuming the player you named has cards of that suit? That's a little clunky because, if the ravens still have to be paired off as if your hand has the suit of cards you named, you can't know until cards are revealed how many of card the named player actually has, and therefore how many ravens you need to play.
Basically, passing ravens to the Imp is a good way of handing him shadow magic cards. But holding onto ravens means you impede your own progress. Compared to the other characters, the Imp does seem to change the dynamic of the game, at least for his neighbors.
An excellent question.
Ravens still must be used to sacrifice cards and IMP states that you are considered to be holding X cards. So, at the time the named suit is revealed you will determine how many are soaked up.
In your example, 2 Attack cards, 2 Ravens, 1 Victory.
Pitch the 2 Attack cards and be considered to have the same amount as 'Bob'.
Victory resolves first.
One Raven must be used to sacrifice the 1 Victory you hold, as it is the only card it can act upon.
Attack resolves and Bob holds 2 Attack. Your Raven sacrifices one and you have a 1 point attack.
OR Bob holds none.
You have two Skulking Ravens
Perhaps Attack resolves first:
Bob has zero attacks, you sacrifice your Victory and get 1 Skulking Raven
Bob has one attack, you use one Raven. The other kills the Victory.
Bob has more than one attack, you may use one or both ravens.
So, it really hasn't changed anything at all.