Pauper: Finding a Home for Monastery Swiftspear
06/28/22 0 comments
Monastery Swiftspear will likely be the most important card in Double Masters 2022 for Pauper. But what strategies does it really fit into, and how can we build a deck for it?Edit Article
Khans of Tarkir, in 2014, has a long history in all formats in which it was present and is still considered a staple of the most varied strategies in Pioneer, Modern and Legacy. But how exactly can we apply its potential in Pauper? What decks will it best serve as an aggressive one-drop with strong growth potential? These are the questions I intend to answer within this article.
Understanding Monastery Swiftspear
Burn, Mono Red Prowess, Boros Heroic, Izzet Delverand
Death's Shadow. And what all these strategies have in common is that they are mostly proactive. Delver of Secrets and other low-cost creatures, looking to use spells like Counterspell for protection, and while it is very useful and help prevent the opponent from doing many things, this card interacts negatively with her and other recurring threats from these archetypes — it doesn't mean you can't run Counterspell, but it's counterintuitive with what Monastery Swiftspear sets out to do. Of course, the Legacy version had Force of Will and Daze, but not only did it also have Sprite Dragon, but they were free spells and a necessary evil to deal with existing unfair strategies. In Pauper, you may need cheap options to avoid explosive plays or removals like Spell Pierce or Dispel, and you can also turn to Izzet Charm, which has as much proactive and reactive functions, but I wouldn't consider putting Counterspell in a deck where my one-drop is Monastery Swiftspear. In many ways, playing this new creature will remind us of how to play Kiln Fiend or Seeker of the Way — in fact, they will likely accompany her on this journey through the Pauper universe.
should never be your main threat, it is a complementary addition to something your list already proposes and rewards you by giving it a more aggressive clock. And in that sense, it's closer to Seeker of the Way, where it works as a means to an end for decks like Boros Synthesizer or Mono-White Heroic, but it's never going to be exclusively the threat that wins the game on its own most of the time,
I would like to point out that they are intended to serve as a starting point for developing ideas with the new card, and not exactly as definitive lists with the right adaptations for the Metagame, and you can change them as you see fit.
Mono Red BlitzFestival Crasher in Midnight Hunt and for the extra reach provided by Reckless Impulse — the Light up the Stage we deserve. Now with Monastery Swiftspear, I believe the need for Burning Prophet or Kessig Flamebreather no longer exists and allows us to play something closer to what Mono Red Prowess did in 2019's Modern, and the mix of protection with Mutagenic Growth and Apostle's Blessing alongside damage spells and “free spells” like Manamorphose and Lava Dart definitely makes it possible for any creature of the list becomes a threat, and Swiftspear also adds more consistency to quick turn 3 kills with the right sequencing. This is the archetype that you should most expect to face in the coming weeks.
BurnMonastery Swiftspear fits this strategy perfectly in all formats it's legal, and in Pauper it's especially lethal as not only do we have the full set of Lightning Bolt variants, we can also count on Fireblast.
Gruul StompyMight of Old Krosa.
DracV_ pauper_bdid with his decklist.
carvs, but with a slight adaptation since he's running an interesting tech that I particularly prefer him to show to the world himself, Boros Heroic has been considered since the reveal of Tenth District Legionnaire's downshift.
Boros SynthesizerMonastery Swiftspear is in the Kuldotha Boros (or Boros Synthesizer) shell, where it allows for more aggressive openings that add even more to the “aggro” spectrum alongside Seeker of the Way.
Rakdos Monarch, a Black-Based variant very famous in Brazil at the time, but more geared towards spells and removals as I created a fast clock with Kiln Fiend and Gurmag Angler.
Rakdos Fiendwas basically the same proposal that Jund Death's Shadow had in comparison to traditional Jund: I traded a proposal to drag the game to later turns and win by overwhelming card advantage for an explosive early game with Kiln Fiend, using it not as a combo piece (although I could still sequence two spells + Temur Battle Rage to victory), but as a quick and efficient threat at a time when having the Monarch and lots of 2-for-1 effects coupled with low-cost spells were a big plus. This made my game against other Black-Based worse, but there were so many decks that needed a setup to work that removing a key piece with Duress and following with Kiln Fiend + removals was usually enough to end the game before the opponent could recover. But times have changed, and it doesn't seem to make sense to adapt this list for 2022's Pauper, where Gurmag Angler has gone from being the monster it once was, Snuff Out has become a staple and most decks will simply ignore a Duress in the first few turns because there is
so much card advantage to accumulate that a measly discard no longer makes a difference. If we want to go down a Rakdos route, we need to consider what this combination looks like in the current format, and of course, that would take us all the way to Deadly Dispute — and eventually to Affinity.
variousnon-creature spells that can be harnessed with Monastery Swiftspear while the rest of the deck acts on its own, creating a more aggressive stance, and I even tried to fit Lightning Bolt, but it's unnecessary with Galvanic Blast and Makeshift Munitions. Like Boros Synthesizer, playing Swiftspear in Affinity doesn't mean needing to rush her on turn 1 (but you can if your hand allows), but looking to take advantage of her triggers when you have spells to cast, and with 22 draw sources, you won't lack useful features that can speed up the clock with it.
Rakdos BurnMonastery Swiftspear fits perfectly into fast-damage strategies and
Rakdos Burnfalls into that category, with a much greater reach for longer games than the monocolored variant. However, everything in this archetype is very synergistic and works around the same mechanic: discarding things to cast them with Madness and turning Faithless Looting or Blood tokens into true card advantage engines — an objective in which Swiftspear doesn't interact with absolutely nothing. However, with only 8 to 9 creatures, I believe in the possibility of testing its inclusion in this archetype, and I opted for the Kitchen Imp slot, but we can also remove Chain Lightning, since I expect many red deck mirrors in the future, and the creature from Modern Horizons II can fly over Affinity and interacts better with the list's objective.
have this elementary and exploitable weakness in most colors, so they don't become a problem in the future. Thanks for reading!