And so it begins; my first booster pack without a single new card. This isn’t surprising when I only need a few rare cards but it was a particularly disappointing pack made up of cards like Coral Commando, Archway Angel, and Rafter Demon. At least the flavour text on Swirling Torrent is amusing! It should be no surprise that the most interesting card was the rare split-card:
I always love these types of cards in a Gruul deck; a simple combat trick that lets you destroy a creature before you even attack. The most common1 example of this is Rabid Bite but Thrash is better for several reasons:
- It’s the same CMC but stapled to Threat giving you plenty of choice
- It’s an instant rather than a sorcery
- It can damage a planeswalker, something that isn’t possible with other cards of this nature2
Another comparison point is cards like Savage Stomp and Titanic Brawl where your creature fights another creature. The key word there is “fights”; you are likely going to take some damage back and that might be enough to leave you vulnerable if you then attack on your turn.
In any case, I really like this ability especially at this cost and speed with the power to kill a planeswalker.
This ability isn’t quite as exciting; pay 4 mana to create a 4/4 beast token at sorcery speed. The mana cost isn’t bad, especially when you consider that beasts have trample; it’s effectively a Frenzied Arynx if you rioted the +1/+1.
Speaking of riot, a card like this obviously pairs well with my Gruul favourite Rhythm of the Wild; watch out though as it isn’t a creature spell so it can still be countered.
There isn’t really much more to say about this side of the card but as a pair they are pretty good. I’d slot one into my Naya dinosaurs build if only for the insurance Thrash offers against planeswalkers but the ability to create a 4/4 with trample is useful too against decks that don’t use many creatures. If I had to get duplicates rather than new cards, I’m glad it was actually something useful!
This post is part of a weekday series where I open up a booster pack and pick a card to discuss. Whilst these are often the best cards from the set, I'll often pick one that is a bit niche or one that has cool artwork or flavour text. If there's a particular card you want me to take a look at, get in touch or join my Discord community.