Pioneer Bant Spirits: Deck Tech and Sideboard Guide

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Pioneer Bant Spirits: Deck Tech and Sideboard Guide

01/14/23 Comment regular icon1 comments

We'll speak thoroughly about Pioneer's more aggressive Spirits version, the version with the highest number of lords, carrying Collected Company's strength.

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About the Deck

In today's article, we'll talk about Bant Spirits, a very popular deck in Pioneer which always brings in results in MTGO's leagues and Challenges. As it is a deck that only has 7 noncreature spells, the Bant version becomes the most aggressive of Spirits lists, as all their creatures can go into the battlefield with Collected Company, which has the versatility of looking for answers such as Spell Queller or Skyclave Apparition.
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Another way of using Collected Company very well is to bring more aggressive creatures such as Empyrean Eagle or Supreme Phantom, which increase even more the power of the Spirits which are already in your battlefield. With this play, it is possible to finish the game between turns 4 and 5, specially if there is a Mausoleum Wanderer in play.
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The list we will use in this article has 3 Portable Hole and 4 Skyclave Apparition, favoring more interaction with permanents.

Bant Spirits Decklist

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Mulligan and Game Posture

This deck has basically two game styles. One of them is more aggressive, in which you will use your flying creatures as fast as possible alongside Supreme Phantom, finishing up quickly, and just countering spells and removing key enemy permanents. In this game style, favor using Collected Company on your turn to increase its attack and remove possible blockers. The other game plan is a bit more disruptive, as here you will use your Card Advantage mechanic with Rattlechains and Spell Queller to always keep yourself ahead in plays and in the race, as many of your creatures have flash. For that strategy, use Collected Company as an answer to your opponents' spells, looking for good answers at that moment.

Sideboard Guide

Azorius Control

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To face Azorius Control, we must always prioritize the quickest strategy in the initial turns, and look for answers from turn 4 onwards. We shouldn't go into late game, as we have much less card draw resources throughout the match. This way, we must take advantage of our flash cards such as Rattlechains and low-cost aggressive cards such as Mausoleum Wanderer, holding out our Spell Queller to answer Supreme Verdict or The Wandering Emperor. Post side, we must optimize the Tempo strategy. For that, we take out cards that don't interact well against Azorius, and as it doesn't have creatures, we take out Shacklegeist. As it doesn't use the graveyard a lot, we also take out Remorseful Cleric. We want to enhance our card advantage against spot removals with our Shapers' Sanctuarys, as we intend to return the creatures that died with Extraction Specialist. Another important strategy is to keep Portable Holes, which are useful to use in the copies of our opponents.

Mono-Green Ramp

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This is a favorable matchup because we can put on a lot of pressure on board in a small amount of time. Prefer hands with Portable Hole or Skyclave Apparition, as we can't give our opponent much time to stabilize the board. We must remove Old-Growth Trolls and ramp units to delay our opponents from casting Cavalier of Thorns or Elder Gargaroth, which are cards that prevent our aggression. Always remember to use your Shacklegeist to remove these blockers.

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Post side, we put in cards that delay our opponents' late game, such as Damping Sphere, always keeping in mind to keep a hand, if possible, with interactions or if you are going first, keep aggressive hands, while trying to play as many lords as possible with Collected Company.

Rakdos Midrange

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This is a very interactive match, and so your resource management is essential to reach success. For that, we must enhance our Rattlechains and Mausoleum Wanderers to protect essential creatures such as Supreme Phantom. We must take advantage of our removals to deal with our opponent's threats, such as Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki, so they don't advance their game plan. It is interesting to start out the match with Mausoleum Wanderer to protect ourselves from removals and discards. Post side, our strategy is to try to win the game through card advantage, trading out 2 to 1, and for that, it is essential to take full advantage of Extraction Specialist. If possible, start the match with Shapers' Sanctuary to reduce the potential of our opponent's spot removals; for that, we reduced the number of 3 drop creatures.

Lotus Combo

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This is a match which we must go for the victory with speed, as we need just one or two interaction cards against our opponents. In G1, we must prioritize our Mausoleum Wanderer, which besides being a creature that puts on the biggest pressure early game, it can also counter opponent's key cards such as Pore Over the Pages. As much as you can, try to counter spells with Spell Queller to prevent the opponent from advancing their game plan. Post side, even if you have creatures that aren't that relevant in the match, here they have the role of serving as threats. We need to focus more on the speed than on our game plan of preventing our opponent from doing their combo, that is: in case you have hands with Damping Sphere and Rest in Peace, but only 3 mana value creatures, it is the correct mulligan. Keep in mind that your opponent uses global removals post side, so Selfless Spirit is important to fill your battlefield.

Mono U Spirits

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In this match, our deck has more creatures than our opponent's. We must always prefer keeping a battlefield with creatures that are bigger than theirs. Any time you can, block the creatures that are enchanted with Curious Obsession to prevent our opponent from having more card advantage.

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Post side, we increase our Lifelink creatures to enhance our clock, and Extraction Specialist is useful to return our creatures that suffered damage in trades during combat. Use Portable Holes as soon as possible to prevent your opponent from stabilizing.

Gameplay

Final Thoughts

This is my cue! In case you have any questions about the deck, I'm available in the comment section. See you next time!
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Raphael Martinez

I'm Martinez! Math teacher and in my spare time I do missplays live or on YouTube. Lover of our card game called Magic!

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