by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Torrent Elemental once saw play in the competitive Sidisi Whip deck in Standard. Once the primary card of that build, Whip of Erebos, left Standard, though, it basically stop seeing play. That was in spite of a Delve-based Sultai deck remaining in the format. One of only a couple creature cards that can be played from exile, it seemed to be a good choice to see some future play. But, did that actually happen?
The Elemental is a 3/5 flyer for 4U. Whenever it attacks, you tap all creatures the defending player controls. That's a pretty sweet ability, actually, helping you to swing past big problem creatures. Since Sultai decks played huge creatures like Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Gurmag Angler, and Sidisi, Undead Vizier already, that tap ability can be a game-ender.
Then, if you happen to need to Delve it away, you can pay 3BB, 3GG, or 3BG to return it to play from exile tapped. It does have to be played as a sorcery, which is kind of too bad. Having to be played from exile at sorcery speed is probably why this hasn't seen more play in that Whip deck. It's basically been relegated to the sideboard in a lot of build to deal with Aggro strategies, but some players have mainboarded it with some success.
The big thing about Torrent Elemental is that it could survive Languish, the powerful-4/-4 board-wipe in Magic Origins that was a major removal spell in Standard for quite some time. It's really not a bad creature at all, and it seems playable. But, without Whip to bring it back from the graveyard, it lost a lot of its Standard competitive usefulness.
For awhile, this was a bulk mythic rare that vendors had high hopes for, and you could get them as throw-ins in trades to get some vendor store credit quite easily. Unfortunately, a new deck never emerged for the Torrent Elemental. But, it's still a good card that may one day find a new home.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Abzan Beastmaster is an interesting creature card from Fate Reforged that helps you fuel your hand. The Beastmaster allows you to draw an extra card at the beginning of your turn if you control the creature with the greatest toughness or tied for the greatest toughness.
Wizards of the Coast seems to love this card a lot because they decided to commission alternate artwork for a Friday Night Magic promo card, which will be handed out as part of the prize packages for May 2015 FNM events. So far it hasn't seen much play outside of sideboards, but it's a card with some potential.
With high-toughness creatures such as Siege Rhino (5) and Wingmate Roc (4) seeing considerable play, it's not hard to see the Beastmaster consistently drawing you a card or two in the course of a game.. It does have a rather fragile body at 2/1, and currently creatures like Courser of Kruphix take up the 3-mana slot in many Standard decks. But at the September 2015 rotation, there will be room for this card to see play.
In Commander, there are plenty of options in Green for card draw.. Garruk's Packleader, which lets you draw a card anytime you play a creature with power 4 or greater, is a bit more consistent at the creature level. If you can pump out a ton of creatures quickly, though, the Beastmaster should be able to draw you at least a couple of cards, but there are better things to put out in Commander on turn 3. Plus, you have Harmonize, which draws you 3 cards for 4 mana (2GG). Beastmaster is a bit slow for that format.
While Abzan Beastmaster isn't the strongest Friday Night Magic promo ever, it's one that should be played a bit at some point, so it's a good one to have around for when it does end up in some top lists.
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