monastery swiftspear
28, Oct, 22

One of the Most Requested Cards is Finally Coming to MTG Arena!

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Article at a Glance

It’s been a long time since players have been asking for this card! Multiple Explorer and Historic Anthologies have passed without the card being announced, and players were remarkably disappointed… and confused. While most speculated that a power level problem was why this card wasn’t introduced, that no longer seems to be the case. Monastery Swiftspear is being reprinted in The Brothers’ War!

Monastery Swiftspear

After months of disappointing analogies, it looks like MTG Arena is finally getting Monastery Swiftspear! Announced on Gavin Verhey’s Good Morning Magic channel earlier this morning, this aggressive creature sees play in every format it is currently legal in (maybe except Vintage).

As many will know, Explorer’s primary focus on MTG Arena is eventually becoming Pioneer. While Swiftspear still sees Pioneer play in some mainstream decks, it has taken a significant backseat compared to Mono Red’s glory days. As a result, many MTG players repeatedly asked for this card and were disappointed when it wasn’t included. It’s also been mentioned many times that the creation of MTG sets can be put into motion years before we actually see them get released. This likely means that this Monastery Swiftspear reprint has been known by MTG Arena’s creators for a long time.

Time to Save Standard?

In my opinion, Standard is currently in a pretty miserable place. If this weren’t hinted at by the disgusting 69% meta share rate of Esper Midrange, a deck that players expected would wane in popularity after the ban of The Meathook Massacre. While the stats suggest that this is anything but true, it is essential to note here that this is an incredibly small sample size of a specialized metagame. Generally, whatever deck the biggest team ends up on will have a metagame share like this.

Another thing to pay attention to is the word “midrange” in all the decklist names in this meta summary. This is the current problem that many MTG players have with Standard. It’s an incredibly grindy format that is, more or less, a ton of mirror matches. Sure, a ton of different cards are being used – so much so that Standard may actually be one of the healthiest formats in the sense of all the different cards that are seeing Standard play. The problem is that all of these decks feel the same. Most healthy formats will have at least one aggressive, midrange, control, and combo deck. While some midrange decks are more aggressive or controlling than others, Standard is full of Midrange decks. That’s it.

With this in mind, Monastery Swiftspear may be part of the puzzle needed to add some much-needed diversity to Standard. While Mono-Red saw a slight resurgence due to The Meathook Massacre’s ban, it was only a flash of inspiration. After making a few day two appearances in the Standard Arena Open, the deck quickly succumbed to the dominant force that is the Esper Midrange archetype.

Another Spoiler!

blast zone

Another spoiler released simultaneously as Monastery Swiftspear is the reprint Blast Zone! This land is capable of coming into established metagames as a unique answer to common situations. Back when War of the Spark was legal, this card was commonly used in Temur Reclamation decks out Teferi, Time Raveler before Shark Typhoon saw print.

Standard is Getting a Refresher!

The announcement of Monastery Swiftspear’s reprint is, needless to say, incredibly exciting. Mono Red and Prowess strategies may begin to see more Explorer play, and aggressive archetypes will have a fantastic one drop to try and penetrate the midrange murkiness that is currently the Standard format.

Read More: Wizards are Giving Away Black Lotus Reprints?

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