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Prowess as a combat trick

So in Magic there’s this creature ability called “prowess”!

I’ve been playing against Monestary Swiftspear decks a lot lately but there’s this trick you can do that I often see players not doing.

You have a Lightning Strike in hand and a Monestary Swiftspear on the board. They’re all tapped out but have a 2/1 or a 2/2 on the board.

I often see people blasting the blocker and swinging with the prowess monk for two damage.

End result: dead blocker, tapped monk, opponent has lost two life.

What you can do instead is swing with the monk, if they block you blast face, your pumped monk kills the blocker.

End result: dead blocker, tapped monk, opponent has lost three life. Better.

And if they don’t block, then you blast the blocker and you end up with the first result. So you’re giving them the option: do they feel lucky that you don’t have an instant? If they do, they’ll lose one extra life. If they don’t, well, that’s fine, you’re still back at the first result.

That’s why prowess was so scary when it first showed up. It adds so much uncertainty and tension to the board state fights. Prowes makes any instant a combat trick.

Don’t apply this mindlessly—if they have tricks on their own, you might be in trouble. But I see people doing it the other way even on a tapped out boardstate in a pitchless format, losing out on that one point of damage that might make or break the duel.

Yeah, yeah, I realize that not all games are life-and-death stakes and that you can save some clicks by just casting spells & tapping out first and then hitting attack and then sitting back while your opponent is doing stuff. The synchronous nature of Magic that’s fun in paper becomes fiddly on digital. I get that.