Monestery Swiftspear
21, Aug, 23

What is Prowess in MTG?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Article at a Glance

First introduced in Khans of Tarkir, Prowess made its return to the Draft environment in Double Masters 2022. Found in the colors Blue, Red, and White, MTG Prowess is the clan mechanic for Jeskai Way in Khans of Tarkir. Since making its first appearance, Prowess has returned in numerous sets as a deciduous keyword. March of the Machine: The Aftermath was the latest premier-ish set to feature a new card with Prowess.

While Prowess isn’t guaranteed to appear in any MTG set, it’s nevertheless a popular tool within the design toolbox. Thanks to this, it’s best to get familiar with the card, especially since it’s currently fairly popular in Standard. So, without any further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Prowess in MTG!

What is Prowess in Magic: the Gathering?

Prowess is a keyword ability that gives relevant creatures +1/+1 until the end of turn whenever a noncreature spell is cast. The Prowess ability may be triggered multiple times a turn, with no limit on how many times it can stack. Prowess is triggered by any noncreature spell that is cast. This includes noncreature artifacts and enchantments.

Currently, only creatures feature this mechanic, as there are no Auras or Enchantments that bestow the effect. Instants, Sorceries, and creatures’ abilities may create creature tokens with Prowess. 

Mechanically, the Prowess trigger goes on the stack on top of the spell that caused it to trigger. This means the trigger will resolve before that spell. As a result, if the spell that caused Prowess to trigger is countered, the ability’s effect will still resolve.

How to use Prowess in Magic: the Gathering

Prowess is an aggressive mechanic that allows small creatures to deal increased damage when casting combat tricks. As a result, Prowess-focused decks are typically loaded with cheap spells to allow for the most triggers per turn. Alongside burn spells and power-increasing combat tricks, Prowess decks tend to require a lot of draw spells.

Currently, the main use for Prowess cards is in Standard, Modern, and Pioneer. Within these formats, decks typically make heavy use of Monastery Swiftspear. Played alongside countless low-cost spells, this cheap card can quickly become a major threat. This makes them an excellent choice within Burn decks, alongside the classic Lightning Bolt to the face.

Will Prowess return to Magic: the Gathering?

Following the Hour of Devastation set, Prowess would no longer be an evergreen mechanic. Despite this, fans will be glad to hear that the mechanic hasn’t gone away for good. Rather than being shelved entirely, Prowess has instead been sidelined into being a deciduous keyword. “Deciduous” keywords are not officially evergreen but may still appear in sets when relevant or needed.

At a four on Mark Rosewater’s “Storm Scale,” Prowess is a mechanic that Wizards of the Coast will “most likely do again, but they have issues that make them less of a guarantee.” These issues stem from the mechanic’s broad range of triggers that don’t always work in a set. In Guilds of Ravnica, for instance, Wizards of the Coast only wanted triggers from Instants and Sorceries. Thanks to Prowess also triggering from noncreature Artifacts and Enchantments, the mechanic was not used for this set. 

Still, prowess has been featured in lots of unique cards from more recent sets. Jaya, Fiery Negotiator from Dominaria United was the first Planeswalker to feature an ability that spawned Creature tokens with Prowess. From the most recent Standard set, March of the Machine, we even saw a Creature with multiple instances of Prowess. Khenra Spellspear had the ability to transform into a Creature with two instances of Prowess that stacked for each noncreature spell cast! It looks like Prowess is not going away anytime soon.

Read More: Top 10 Best MTG Battle Cards (June 2023)

*MTG Rocks is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more