So I got really excited about Time Elemental recently. The card seemed almost unbelievably good, and ready for a go in all my blue-themed EDH decks.
And of course, I was wrong on a couple different points.
In particular, I am bothered by this quote:
"But what an ability! Return target permanent to it's owner's hand. Direct and straightforward, a powerful ability like this would be worth more in a modern set, I guarantee it. But it probably would never come up at all, considering the universal hatred for repeatable land bounce."
Turns out there are actually a FEW permanents that perform exactly this action! Cards doing it BETTER than Time Elemental, for less mana and published more recently than Time Elemental.
There are 2 cards in particular. Let's take a look at them in detail.
Better Than Time Elemental Numero Uno: Temporal Adept. Printed in 9th, 8th, 7th and Urza's Destiny.
3 mana to cast. 3 mana to activate. Requires a bit of commitment to blue, but in EDH it's not too hard to come up with 3 blue mana online after 6 turns or so. And it eliminates the goofy "permanent that's not enchanted" corner case the original designer for Time Elemental so helpfully decided to include.
Another interesting point…the Adept is a Wizard, which from my experience is a much more synergistic tribe than Elemental in EDH. Azami, Sigil Tracer and Riptide Laboratory are what spring to mind first.
Better than Time Elemental Part Deux: Heidar, Rimewind Master. Printed in Cold Snap.
A very resilient body, than can also perform small feats of blocking and attacking in its down time. And a SWEET 2 generic mana activation cost! For only 2 mana, this is most certainly the way to bounce multiple permanents every turn using stuff like Fatestitcher and Minamo.
Once again, Heidar is also a Wizard. Allowing synergy with all the other nasty wizards out there.
The "twist" with Heidar is, of course, you have to use snow permanents. This isn't really very hard, considering the existence of Snow-Covered Island, Coldsteel Heart and Goblin Rimerunner to beef your decks up with. If only Heidar was snow…but then you only have so much to squeeze into a type line.
Snow may just be the NEXT BIG THING in EDH. Many have used it just to take greater advantage of Extraplanar Lens. But I might just run more Snow for Heidar, Rimewind Taskmage, and even Skred.
I was wrong in so many ways!
Luckily, there are people out there smarter than me, most notably Meritocracy and Snow Monkey from the MTGSalvation boards. That way, at least I get things right the second time.
Hmmmmmm…Skred keeps looking better and better.