Swiftblade Vindicator is a two-mana Human Soldier from Magic the Gathering’s Guilds of Ravnica set. It was later seen again in the Double Masters reprint set. The Vindicator is a mere 1/1 creature, but also has Double Strike, Vigilance, and Trample. Double Strike and Vigilance makes this a pretty useful card on both offense and defense. But, you may ask yourself, why would you put trample on a 1/1 creature?
In the Guilds of Ravnica set, the Boros guild (the Red/White guild of Ravnica) has a mechanic called Mentor. Whenever a creature with Mentor attacks, it puts a +1/+1 counter on an attacking creature with lesser power than the creature with Mentor. Tajic, Legion’s Edge is perhaps the most perfect example of a creature with this ability. Tajic alone can boost a Swiftblade Vindicator twice, since he himself has 3 power. Being a 3-mana creature, Tajic and Swiftblade Vindicator are perfect companions in an aggro deck.
It’s not surprising that in pre-orders Swiftblade Vindicator and Tajic, Legion’s Edge were among the top cards players wanted to get their hands on early from Guilds of Ravnica. Swiftblade Vindicator is a powerful little creature. Indeed, both Tajic and Swiftblade Vindicator saw plenty of Standard competitive play in October 2018. However, by the time early 2019 rolled around, Boros Aggro lost its mainstay status in the format. Then, with the release of Feather, the Redeemed in War of the Spark, both the Vindicator and Tajic returned to the Top 8 Standard tables.
Since Guilds of Ravnica left the Standard format, Swiftblade Vindicator has still occasionally appeared in Boros Equipment decks, thanks to Colossus Hammer. Giving a Vindicator +10/+10 is excellent, since this is a creature that both tramples and hits twice in one combat phase. Also, it should be little surprise that Tajic, Legion’s Edge Commander decks have invited the Swiftblade Vindicator to be a staple creature.
While Swiftblade Vindicator has faded a bit in Modern relevance with Hammer Time decks moving to Mono-White for more consistency, Boros Equipment is a theme that continues to be pushed by Wizards of the Coast. Many Legendary Creatures continue to be printed in Red, White, and Red/White all of the time.
In particular, Bruenor Battlehammer from the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set appears set to be the next obvious home for the Vindicator. There’s also General Ferrous Rokiric from Modern Horizons 2, who loves multicolored spells to be played in his deck in order to create cheap 4/4 Golem tokens. All things considered, while Swiftblade Vindicator will never be an expensive card, it will always have a home.
Have you ever played Swiftblade Vindicator?