For its time in Standard, Questing Beast was one of the format's defining curve toppers. Four mana for a 4/4 haste kills your opponent very quickly, either after playing a 2- and 3-drop, or just killing some stuff along the way. While Questing Beast will always be remembered for being a novel-long collection of rules text, 90% of the time "haste" and "4/4" was plenty to get the job done.
Well, with March of the Machine almost upon us, we've got a new entry into the Questing Beast family!
Presenting CoolStuffInc.com's official preview card for March of the Machine, Rampaging Raptor:
Is it a 4/4? Check!
Does it have haste? Check!
However, like Questing Beast there's a lot more going on here.
While it doesn't have deathtouch or the excellent vigilance, Rampaging Raptor does add on Trample for some extra evasion which is excellent, as well as a great mana sink ability in the pseudo-firebreathing +2/+0. In the mid to late game, it won't be tough to attack for six or eight damage on a stalled board which is excellent for closing things out.
One of the biggest issues for an aggressive deck is when you need to take off a combat step to attack a planeswalker, essentially gaining your opponent a bunch of life for the necessary task of removing a planeswalker from play.
Well not Rampaging Raptor!
Now you get to have your cake and eat it too, dealing damage to your opponent as well as their planeswalker all in one shot. However, that's not even the most exciting part of the ability, as this also works for battles. While your opponent has to decide to put planeswalkers in their deck, you get to decide what battles they will have in play, making Rampaging Raptor the perfect complement to the brand new battle card type I discussed right here on CoolStuffInc.com last week.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to battles for an aggressive deck is putting a card in your deck that makes you not want to attack your opponent's life total directly and Rampaging Raptor removes that issue entirely, while also just being a fantastic card in and of itself.
Whether it's in Mono-Red Aggro, a more midrange deck based around battles, or even as a sideboard juke option, Rampaging Raptor is going to be a major player in Standard once March of the Machine marches in! Big thanks to Wizards of the Coast for the official, free preview card!