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Fleetfoot Panther
by Cantata

Ok, I am going to talk about my other favorite "Gating" creature in this
the Fleetfoot Panther.  A tough cookie in any game at 3/4, his two abilities
really make this card BA-ROKEN, IMHO.

Fleetfoot Panther
1GW - 3/4
You may play Fleetfoot Panther any time you could play an instant.
When Fleetfoot Panther comes into play, return a green or white creature
you control to its owner's hand.

The possibilities with this card are truly amazing, as I will attempt to
demonstrate.  I have a G/W deck using the Panther as a key component.  This
is a Stompy type of deck, running 27 creatures and 10 spells.  Some of the
creatures include Angel of Mercy, Thornscape Battlemage and Familiar,
Battlemage, Voice of All, and Sabertooth Nishoba as the powerhouse.  With
exception of the Nishoba and Familiar, every creature is a viable target for
gating with the Panther.

Let's take a few examples:

Voice of All can give you the ability to stop the beats from anything that
doesn't have trample.  Cast it out and declare the color you need protection
from.  Now let's say that creature has been dealt with, but your opponent
another nasty creature of a different color.  What to do?  Cast Fleetfoot
after declaring the Voice of All as a blocker and gate the Voice back to
hand, where-upon you recast it and declare the new color you require

If you read my article on Cavern Harpy, then you should be familiar with
gating where Battlemages are concerned.  In this case, Thornscape and
Battlemages.  I have considered dropping the Thornscape Battlemage as his
abilities have not been very useful in my play group, although 2 damage can
help.  Not many people play artifacts in my group, so I'm looking for an
alternative.  Anyway, the Sunscape Battlemage has two very powerful effects,
being card drawing and creature removal.  Both can be invaluable, and I have
reason to change this card at all.  Being able to reproduce these CIP
abilities as
needed can often mean victory or defeat.

Angel of Mercy should really be self evident, as gaining 3 life when the
comes into play is nothing to sneeze at.  You get a 3/3 flyer to boot!

Other cards I run in this deck include Mana Cylix so I can pay the off-color
costs on the Battlemages, as well as Birds of Paradise for mana acceleration
more access to off-color mana.  I also like Armadillo Cloak in this deck, as
well as Hero's Reunion, both complimenting the Angel of Mercy's CIP ability
well.  You might include some creature pumps since this is mainly a combat
design, and I've thought more than once how nice it would have been to save
creature I'd rather not loose, but had no pumps main deck or sideboard.
Strength, Vitalize, Monstrous Growth, Gerrard's Command or similar would all
nicely.  You could include Restock so you can use the Panthers or other
again and again.

Now, the real key to the Panther is timing.  The cards you use to support
Panther are really up to you, but using the Panther optimally is where his
truly lies.  He can be cast during combat, and that is probably the most
use, although casting him before your opponents end-of-turn can be a
surprise in
itself!  Now his/her combat math is completely hosed and you have an extra
Even casting the Panther before the declare blockers phase, assuming you're
defender, can cause quite a bit of mayhem.  You pick up your little 2/1
and drop a 3/4 Panther in his place.  DOH!

Fleetfoot Panther can be a staple card in a well designed deck.  Take full
of his superb abilities and you should have a good advantage when dueling!