Last updated on May 14, 2021

Elemental Masterpiece | Illustration by Marta Nael

I have to admit that, as a college student myself, I’m super excited for the new Strixhaven cards and lore. Not to mention that having a set that’s all about attending college when most, if not all of us, have had to stick to online classes for the past year feels almost like a gift from the Magic team.

I really like the way they’re trying to take the five color pairings in new and interesting directions instead of rehashing older identities and themes. Prismari being artists instead of crazy scientists and engineers like the Izzet seems like an almost natural evolution. Simic leaving biology on the side for a while to become Quandrix and focus on math also feels like a logical path to follow. Lorehold being historians and archaeologists feels really in line with the Boros’ grandeur while bringing a new flavor to it. Witherbloom are probably the least different from their Golgari counterpart, with them being biologists who live in swamps and care about the life and death dynamic. And finally, the Silverquill intellectuals are the furthest from the Orzhov’s corruption-ridden church they could possibly be, at least lore wise.

The new Strixhaven Commander 2021 decks are a great way to explore this new world. With five 2-colored decks, this set lets us pick our major and compare ourselves against our fellow students. Exactly as you might do in real-life college, but here you can at least throw spells at each other.

My Pick
Lorehold Legacies
Silverquill Statement
Prismari Performance
Witherbloom Witchcraft
Quantum Quandrix
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
$32.45
$29.97
$35.86
$36.14
$36.85
My Pick
Lorehold Legacies
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
$32.45
Silverquill Statement
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
$29.97
Prismari Performance
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)| Minimal Packaging Version
$35.86
Witherbloom Witchcraft
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)| Minimal Packaging Version
$36.14
Quantum Quandrix
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
$36.85

A Quick Overview: Strixhaven vs. Previous Sets

Dazzling Sphinx | Illustration by Oriana Menendez

There was a lot of talk last year around all the Commander precons released with each set. After all, we had an enormous total of 11 decks in just one year, not to mention we also got a Commander-centric set. But even more concern was raised because there was a steep difference in price between the five Commander 2020 decks and all the other precons. After all, the latter ended up costing about half the price.

Last year’s annual set got merged with the Ikoria release, giving us five decks that represented the plane and the struggles between its humans and beasts. We saw the replacement of Planeswalker decks with even more EDH decks that sought to expand the lore and explore set-specific various strategies with Zendikar Rising, Commander Legends, and Kaldheim.

These six decks were released in pairs and served as companions to each set. They didn’t include the usual giant cards that are typically included in Commander products. They also included less foils, less designed-for-Commander cards, and had a slightly lower power level in some cases. But, even with all of these changes, there has been a lot of praise for these decks. Most of them had good and interesting reprints, their value in singles wasn’t far from the Ikoria decks’ values, and they were all-around fun to play. And let’s not forget, all this for half the price.

After all of these changes, WotC is going back to the higher price tag for the Strixhaven precons. But does this mean the inclusion of the giant face cards, more foils, and a few more Commander-centered cards? Well, not quite.

These decks include:

  • 1 foil-etched display commander card
  • 1 regular foil commander
  • 99-card deck
  • 10 double-sided tokens
  • 1 cardboard deck box
  • 1 life wheel

Out of the 99, we get:

  • 1 regular foil secondary commander
  • 2 new mono-colored legendary creatures
  • 17 new cards

So without checking for card prices, which could make a big difference, we’re getting more or less the same things that we did in the last decks for double the price tag. What we do get are better cards and higher quality foils.

Both the reprints and the new cards we’re getting this year seem to be more interesting than what we got in the last few sets of precons. Overall, I think this compensates for the increase in price.

Let’s see what’s in each of the decks.

Sale
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck Bundle – Includes 1 Silverquill Statement + 1 Prismari Performance + 1 Witherbloom Witchcraft + 1 Lorehold Legacies + 1 Quantum Quandrix
  • Bundle of 5 Strixhaven Commander Decks—Silverquill Statement, Prismari Performance, Witherbloom Witchcraft, Lorehold Legacies, Quantum Quandrix
  • Explore all 5 Strixhaven colleges, each with their own unique take on magic
  • All 5 ready-to-play MTG decks contain 100 Magic cards, including 1 foil Commander card
  • Each deck comes with 10 double-sided tokens, 1 life tracker, and 1 deck box
  • Decks come in reduced-plastic packaging

Strixhaven Colleges: The Decks

As with the Ikoria Commander decks, this time we’re getting five decks that act as solid worldbuilding tools. These enemy-colored decks stand for each of the colleges of Strixhaven University and their idiosyncrasies. Let’s get into their decklists and strategies so we can choose our majors!

Witherbloom Witchcraft

Willowdusk, Essence Seer | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

The black and green natural sciences students’ main subject of research is life and death. This deck’s main strategy revolves around lifegain. Willowdusk, Essence Seer is the face of the resident botanists. Its main goal is to have you gain a lot of life on your turn and then use that to make your creatures grow larger one by one.

Gyome, Master Chef is your other commander. It focuses on a food-centered strategy and gives creatures indestructible.

Witherbloom Witchcraft

Money Cards and Notable Reprints

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)| Minimal Packaging Version
  • Comes in reusable deck box for reduced-waste packaging
  • 100-card ready-to-play STX Commander deck (2 foil, 98 nonfoil cards)
  • 1 foil etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • 17 Magic cards make their debut

Prismari Performance

Zaffai, Thunder Conductor | Illustration by Dmitry Burmak

Zaffai, Thunder Conductor is at the head of an orchestra of spell-slinging art students in the new blue and red deck. Students of the Prismari incorporate the arts into their magic, or maybe it’s the other way around for some of them. In very Izzet fashion, this deck centers around casting and copying instants and sorceries.

Veyran, Voice of Duality is your secondary commander here, reinforcing the spell slinging theme by copying abilities that would be triggered by instants or sorceries.

Prismari Performance

Money Cards and Notable Reprints

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)| Minimal Packaging Version
  • Comes in reusable deck box for reduced-waste packaging
  • 100-card ready-to-play STX Commander deck (2 foil, 98 nonfoil cards)
  • 1 foil etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • 17 Magic cards make their debut

Silverquill Statement

Breena, the Demagogue | Illustration by Simon Dominic

The deck, led by Breena, the Demagogue, plays strongly into the Silverquill’s theme of debate and politics. It creates a pillow fort defense and gives small advantages to your opponents to ensure they’ll take care of each other. Once the political scheme in motion, it uses a variety of creatures to take other players out of the game.

Felisa, Fang of Silverquill is this deck’s alternate commander. This secondary general leaves aside the more political aspects of the deck and focuses more strongly on putting counters on other creatures.

Silverquill Statement

Money Cards and Notable Reprints

Sale
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
  • 100-card ready-to-play Strixhaven (STX) Commander deck (2 foil, 98 nonfoil cards)
  • 1 foil etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • 17 Magic cards make their debut
  • Reduced-plastic packaging

Quantum Quandrix

Adrix and Nev, Twincasters | Illustration by Andrew Mar

This set’s green and blue deck has Adrix and Nev, Twincasters as its main commander. It focuses on +1/+1 counters and creature tokens. The main goal of this strategy is to swarm the field with tokens that have counters instead of a set base power and toughness. This way it swarms the field with tokens that may start out small, but by the time they attack, they’re all giant creatures.

Esix, Fractal Bloom is your alternate commander here, reinforcing the deck’s theme of token creation and synergizing really well with the main commander.

Quantum Quandrix

Money Cards and Notable Reprints

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
  • Comes in reusable deck box for reduced-waste packaging
  • 1 foil etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • 17 Magic cards make their debut
  • Choose your college at the most prestigious university for magical learning in MTG’s Multiverse

Lorehold Legacies

Osgir, the Reconstructor - Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez

Osgir, the Reconstructor | Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez

A white and red graveyard-themed commander deck isn’t something you find very often. Especially not as a precon. This is accompanied by a strong focus on artifacts and returning them from the graveyard. Very fitting for the college of archaeologists and historians. Osgir, the Reconstructor leans hard into these themes by sacrificing artifacts and then duplicating them through copies.

Alibou, Ancient Witness is your secondary commander for this deck. It offers a stronger focus on artifacts at the cost of the graveyard recursion theme. It cares about tapped artifacts so it would make for an interesting artifacts and artifact creatures build.

Commander 2020 Decks

Money Cards and Notable Reprints

Sale
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
  • 100-card ready-to-play STX Commander deck (2 foil, 98 nonfoil cards)
  • 1 foil etched Display Commander
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • 17 Magic cards make their debut
  • Reduced-plastic packaging

Which Is the Best Deck?

Radiant Performer | Illustration by Alessandra Pisano

The Best Investment

As of now, Lorehold Legacies holds the three most expensive cards in the whole set with Archaeomancer’s Map, Monologue Tax, and Hellkite Tyrant. And all the other money cards in the deck aren’t far behind what the rest of the decks have to offer.

Buying all the decks and selling the ones you don’t like as much has proved to also be a viable plan in the past. This year may be the exception, however. WotC is supposedly taking measures to make sure that both local game stores and online retailers don’t spike up the prices too much. So this time I might advise against it.

The Competitive Option

Commander precons don’t really tend to be competitive-ready out of the box. This has been true basically since the product exists. You can still find decks that come with a well-built strategy and upgrade it to become competitive.

This year’s best option is Quantum Quandrix. The counters/tokens strategy is strong enough by itself. With Adrix and Nev, Twincasters as your general, you already get a huge advantage for token creation. Throw in a Doubling Season and you can see how this deck gets strong really quick.

Quantum Quandrix

My Personal Pick

I really like how Silverquill Statement and Witherbloom Witchcraft lean into the original strategies for their colors. The idea of a black and white deck centered around politics is really appealing, and the whole Witherbloom “gain life and then invest it on other things” is also fun.

Lorehold Legacies

With all of this said, my favorite deck of the set is Lorehold Legacies. I think a Boros artifact strategy is super original and interesting. Having a lot of artifact creatures and equipment helps maintain the aggro strengths of the two colors while giving them a new and original angle. I’m also majoring in history, so I didn’t really have much choice than to choose the deck that best represents me. Even leaving my biases aside, it stands as a powerful deck that allows for fun and unique builds.

My Pick
Lorehold Legacies
Silverquill Statement
Prismari Performance
Witherbloom Witchcraft
Quantum Quandrix
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
$32.45
$29.97
$35.86
$36.14
$36.85
My Pick
Lorehold Legacies
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
$32.45
Silverquill Statement
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
$29.97
Prismari Performance
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)| Minimal Packaging Version
$35.86
Witherbloom Witchcraft
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)| Minimal Packaging Version
$36.14
Quantum Quandrix
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
$36.85

Commanding Conclusion

Lorehold Command | Illustration by Jason Rainville

This year’s Commander precons are interesting at the very least. Most decks introduce strategies that aren’t really common in those specific color combinations, and that in and of itself is a great way to introduce us to the world of Strixhaven. As obvious as it may seem, they’re also really fun to play and well-built, so they’re worth it. I like the way these decks tie in almost seamlessly into the Strixhaven world, too.

I’m not a fan of going back to a higher price tag when Wizards showed that we can have good EDH products with a more accessible price. But the decks and new cards are all great, so I think we can give it a pass this time.

But enough about me. What Strixhaven college are you joining and what are you majoring in? Will you choose the deck of your college or does some other one catch your attention more? Don’t forget to check out our blog and follow us on social media for more great articles. Until next time!

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