“These are its last days. Better to grow broad and heavy. Better that the enemy is crushed beneath its carcass.” – Original flavor text of Trained Armodon.
Trained Armodon first entered the Magic the Gathering multiverse way back in 1997 with the release of the Tempest set. It’s a lowly common 3/3 Elephant for 3 mana (one generic, two Green.) Ordinarily, it’s a card most of us wouldn’t give much thought. But, in the Every Magic Card Has a Story series, we are interested in what stories even simple commons have to tell us.
It may surprise you to learn that Trained Armodon has actually been reprinted numerous times. It would reappear in multiple core sets, including Classic Sixth Edition and Seventh Edition. The Elephant even made its way into the Modern era with Eighth Edition, Ninth Edition, and a Duels of the Planeswalkers deck printing.
Also, with its reprinting inSeventh Edition, the flavor text of the Armodon was changed drastically to read: “Armodons are trained to step on things. Enemy things.” Not nearly as poetic as the Tempest text, I’d say, but perhaps accurate.
Unsurprisingly, Trained Armodon has never seen much in the way of competitive play at all. However, even as a vanilla creature, a 3/3 for 3 mana is perfectly acceptable in Draft. It would see play in Core Set drafts for a number of years. Even now, you will see casual Cube drafts featuring Tempest or other Core Sets with the Trained Armodon occasionally include it.
The Armodon also will crop up in Elephant Tribal decks in EDH. Of course, there are plenty of very playable Elephants in today’s Magic. But, when you just need one more Elephant, there is Trained Armodon!