When I started learning how to play, this little fella was my first best friend in Magic. He was a staunch defender with the kickback of killing him to make another creature just as good at defending. however, his true strength was in his hidden talent. Both of those things all rolled into one.
imagine an opponent with a 2/2 starting his attack phase with a 1/1 and Armor Thrull as your defenders. Would he attack?
Sacrificing the Armor Thrull as a fast effect, targeting the 1/1 and blocking with it is an effective play. You could even block with the Armor Thrull straight up, force the opponent to waste cards to pump the attacker if he chose to kill it, only to sacrifice the thrull off.
What is important here was in the days of limited cards and resources, Armor Thrull the a king of options. Today’s game is a bit different (as well as the rules back then where you could block with Armor Thrull, sacrifice him and still deal the thrull’s damage to the blocked creature).
Creatures like these are called Trigger Critters. You can pull the trigger on them for desired effects at any given time.
On the other side of things, having a Trigger Critter in play gets into the mind of an opponent. He must think more about the play, what will happen, what may not happen, and what may happen. It’s nearly as good as having an instant in your hand but in this case you get a two for one deal, a creature that can attack, block and an effect.
Granted, My friend Armor Thrull is quite old and isn’t something you would even find in commons boxes nowadays, but there are plenty of Trigger Critters in newer sets. Icefeather Aven is a good candidate for a Trigger Critter. This 2/2 morph creature can return a creature you control to your hand. This is good for chump blocking where your blocker would definitely die or even after a combat trick gets played against it to save it. It also can make a good come into play effect creature do double duty.
One of the most important skills needed when playing on a budget is trickery. Not playing a popular deck throws off opponent and forces them to dig deep into their mental card library. Trigger Critters are one way to play trickier then the opponent.
What are some of your Trigger Critters?