Last updated on April 3, 2021

Strixhaven colleges graphics

Source

Welcome to the school of mages! No, this is not a Harry Potter book, but the warmest welcome Wizards of The Coast is giving to you and all players around the world for its new set: Strixhaven.

Today we’ll go over our first impressions and discuss and speculate about what this new world has to offer to both novice and experienced magicians. By the way, this set is going to be Standard legal. Woo!

Let’s get into the details.

Basic Information

Important Dates

About the Set

Wizards has an imperative to switch up the feel of their sets to keep things interesting for us players. This time, we’re headed to a set that centers around the magical school genre and is based on the premise that you can choose from one of the five colleges. These colleges consist of the enemy color pairs, with their characters and mechanics at the heart of what they stand for.

The Story

The most elite university in the multiverse — on the plane of Arcavios — has five colleges, each founded 700 years ago by an elder dragon whose name they bear. They use their magic and knowledge to share their vision with their students so that they can follow along the same magical paths as their founders.

Students get to choose what type of mage they want to be — and which college to join — after their first year of studies. What can you do at this prestigious school? Go to the Biblioplex to study every single spell in the universe! Inside, you’ll find the Mystical Archive, with the most powerful spells ever from Magic (more on that later). You can also participate in college activities, with each boasting its own respective campus, mascot, faculty and logos.

And maybe the most fun activity of all — you could compete in a game of Mage Tower with your fellow students!

This means we’ll almost definitely be getting five new legendary dragons for the enemy color pairs (this is new!), and they could potentially be the faces for the new upcoming Commander decks!

The Five Colleges

Each college has its cool own motto along with its preview Command card. We’ll go over each one of them right now!

Boros: Lorehold

Lorehold banner

“Leave no stone unturned.”

This implies we may get a lot of artifacts and artifact synergies along with some way to turn dead creatures into spirits. Each color pair also has a preview card. For Boros, we got Lorehold Command. Take a look:

Lorehold Command

I like this one because it reminds me of Boros Charm mixed with Lightning Helix. It also offers cool other parts such as creating a creature and card advantage.

Boros is known as the aggro color pair on draft archetypes and I don’t think Strixhaven will be an exception to the rule. Unfortunately, cards with the word “Boros” or any other color pair abbreviation won’t be reprinted, at least not strictly. Instead, we may get cards that may have the same effect with another name, otherwise known as “functional reprints.”

Izzet: Prismari

Prismari banner

“Express yourself with the elements.”

Also known as artifact hate. That’s the first thing that comes to mind along with card advantage for Prismari. Its preview card, Prismari Command, seems to confirm my theory as a cheap instant with the possibility to be a better Electrolyze-slash-Izzet Charm. Here it is:

Prismari Command

Izzet has been getting some cool tricks recently. Kaldheim saw Izzet focus on giants and we might finally get the tools to make a tier 1 giants deck viable with the new sets. Either way, direct support to the color pair is always appreciated.

Simic: Quandrix

Quandrix banner

“Math is Magic.”

To me, this indicates some counter shenanigans and tempo tricks. Quandrix Command, its preview card, doesn’t contradict this theory and actually offers both! Take a look:

Quandrix Command

I think WotC learned its lesson with busted Simic cards (yes I’m looking at you, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and Oko, Thief of Crowns!). This preview card seems fair in terms of power level, even if it is powerful. Bouncing planeswalkers is nice but certainly less powerful than bouncing any permanent. It enables some cool tricks, which is always fun.

Orzhov: Silverquill

Silverquill banner

“Sharp style. Sharper wit.”

To be honest, nothing came to mind with this motto, and there should be a read-between-the-lines kind of thing going on here. This color combo usually brings creatures back from the graveyard and sends opponent creatures to the graveyard. Its preview card, Silverquill Command, is a good example of these effects:

Silverquill Command

The card is ok, but the abilities are a bit all over the place. They don’t synergize well with each other, but having your opponent sacrifice a creature while sending a flyer for lethal damage is no joke, especially in Limited.

Golgari: Witherbloom

Witherbloom banner

“Get your hands dirty.”

We’ll probably get some destroy effects and sending things to the graveyard with Witherbloom. And that’s exactly what the preview card, Witherbloom Command, does:

Witherbloom Command

I also expect some reanimator enablers and one or two black reanimation spells from Golgari. Green has had some big fatties over the last sets, and I don’t think Witherbloom will be the exception.

Set Mechanics

Magecraft

Magecraft is a triggered ability that says “Whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell…” — do something. This could be gaining life, putting counters on things, drawing cards, anything. This points to you being heavily incentivized to draft and play instants and sorceries in limited so you can get these bonuses.

Learn / Lessons

What is a magical school without spells that you can learn? Learn is an ability that certain cards have that allows you to either go get a “Lesson card” from outside the game (ie, your sideboard) or rummage (discard a card, then draw a card).

You can, of course, put these Lesson cards in your maindeck, but they seem to be pretty underpowered and better suited for your sideboard so you can only draw them in the right situations.

Ward

Ward is pretty straightforward mechanic — it reads “Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays

Ward is the next in a long line of “creature resilience” mechanics that have often been problematic throughout Magic history. Protection, hexproof, shroud, and regeneration all have led to some pretty unfun situations, so here’s hoping this one strikes the right balance.

Return of MDFCs

As promised when they premiered in Zendikar Rising, modal double-faced cards keep showing up in new ways in subsequent releases. As a refresher, you can choose either side of an MDFC when playing it. It stays on that side until it leaves play, in which case it always counts as the front side of the card.

In Strixhaven, we’ve got the five deans of each college represented as MDFCs, as well as a planeswalker.

Spoilers

Here’s the list of previewed cards up to today:

April 3, 2021

April 2, 2021

April 1, 2021

March 31, 2021

March 30, 2021

March 29, 2021

March 28, 2021

March 27, 2021

March 26, 2021

March 25, 2021

March 22, 2021

Sneak Peek

Fun Facts

There are a few other things mentioned by WotC aside from the schools so far. Let’s get into it.

Commander 2021 Strixhaven

You’ll notice a difference in packaging with the new Commander products. Only the wrapping around the cards themselves will be plastic, which is great news for nature!

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
$44.95
$44.95
$47.23
$44.95
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
$47.23
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
$44.95

Packaging Spoilers

When you look at the face of the set boosters,  you’ll notice a few different things that give us some extra clues into what we can expect from Strixhaven.

Strixhaven set booster

First we’ve got Jace battling against some other characters. It only makes sense to assume we’ll be getting another Jace planeswalker card on this set. It’ll be interesting to see how R&D fits him in this magical school.

Strixhaven draft booster box

Speaking of booster and packaging faces, The Royal Scions (Will and Rowan) are on the front cover of the draft booster box! Maybe they found a new home on Strixhaven in the Prismari College?

The final thing worth mentioning is that we may have a new set of uncommon legendary creatures representing each color pair. In fact, we may already know them! They might be the new faces of each theme booster. Silverquill’s theme booster features Kaya’s apprentice, which means we may be seeing her again very soon.

Mystical Archive

Boy, these spells are mystic! There’s going to be a series of spells with brand new art and borders. You’ll receive one card — in a dedicated slot — in each draft booster and set booster. And you’ll get at least three in each collector booster. Overall, we’ll get 63 cards with a similar power level to the ones below.

Here’s what we’ve seen so far:

These are all very powerful cards that are also going to exist in foil.

Because of their power level, they won’t be playable either Standard or Historic. BUT — they will be available in draft boosters, so if you happen to draft any of these iconic spells, cast away!

We’ll also be getting some cool Japanese variants, which will be found in Japanese draft, set, and collector boosters, and at least one will come in collector boosters in all languages. Take a look:

Wording Changes

We’re going to get a couple of wording changes for clarity and conciseness’s sake.

“Shuffle your library” will be shortened to just “shuffle.” A better wording that uses less text space while getting the same message across. An improvement.

“Mana value” is going to be replacing “converted mana cost.” This is pretty self-explanatory since “mana value” is the amount of mana it takes to cast a card. This one has been met with a little… skepticism from long-time Magic players.

MaRo’s Teaser for Strixhaven

As he always does for a new set release, Magic designer Mark Rosewater dropped a bevvy of teaser information on his Tumblr to get everyone excited about the set. Here’s what he had to say:

First up, here are some things you can expect:
• a white card with the rules text “draw three cards”
• a planeswalker you know, but not as you know them
• a card featuring Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa’s likeness (for winning the World Championship)
• a spell with three X’s in its mana cost
• introduction of a new evergreen keyword
• a red sorcery that you can have as many copies in your deck as you want
• a futureshifted card (appearing for the first time in a premier set other than Future Sight)
• an MDFC with the same card type on both sides that hasn’t been printed before
• a card sharing something never shared before
• a cycle of enemy dual lands finishing off a ten-card cycle

Here are some snippets from rules text that appear in the set:
• “Search your library and graveyard for up to four creature cards with different names”
• “Otherwise, put a study counter on it.”
• “Whenever a permanent entering the battlefield causes a triggered ability to trigger”
• “untap each creature you control, then tap any number of creatures you control”
• “Pay 10 life:”
• “Repeat this process six more times.”
• “Pests, Bats, Insects, Snakes, and Spiders”
• “Each mode must target a different player.”
• “Whenever an opponent activates an ability that isn’t a mana ability”
• “where X is the number of cards in your library”

And finally, here are some creature type lines from the set:
• Creature – Turtle Druid
• Creature – Bird Warlock
• Creature – Frog Wizard
• Creature – Spirit Dwarf
• Creature – Troll Druid
• Creature – Eye Bat
• Legendary Creature – Vampire Warlock
• Legendary Creature – Orc Shaman
• Legendary Creature – Dryad Druid
• Legendary Artifact Creature – Construct

Creature — Eye Bat? What!!

Of course, I’m also excited to see a futureshifted card. That ties in quite elegantly with the recent release of Time Spiral Remastered.

Products available

The sealed product offerings for Strixhaven are fairly standard, let’s take a look at what’s been released so far.

Draft Boosters

Strixhaven draft booster packs

Draft boosters have the typical 15 card composition with one rare/mythic, three uncommons, ten commons, one land, and a token. Don’t forget that this time around you also get a guaranteed alternate-art mystical archive card.

Draft boosters are perfect for getting a bunch of Standard-legal cards or doing a draft with your friends!

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Strixhaven (STX) Magic: The Gathering Draft Boosters
  • 1 Mystical Archive card in every pack
  • 1 Lesson card in every pack
  • Total of 15 MTG cards in each Draft Booster
  • Just add lands and draft with up to 12 players

Set Boosters

Strixhaven Set Booster Box

Set booster boxes are all about the experience of opening a pack of cards and discovering what’s inside. They’re just just plain fun to crack. They usually have:

  • 30 packs in one box
  • A box topper with a premium rare card
  • A foil in every pack
  • Special art cards with beautiful new art from the set
  • Unique, special release cards not found in the normal set
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Set Booster Box | 30 Packs (360 Magic Cards)
  • 30 Strixhaven (STX) Set Boosters
  • Best MTG booster for opening packs just to see what you’ll get
  • 1 Mystical Archive card in every pack
  • 1 Lesson card in every pack
  • 1–5 Assorted Rares or Mythic Rares per pack

If you prefer the sweet looking Japanese version, they’re surprisingly almost the same price!

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Japanese Set Booster Box | 30 Packs (360 Magic Cards)
  • 30 Japanese Strixhaven (STX) Set Booster Packs
  • Best MTG booster for opening packs just to see what you’ll get
  • 1 Mystical Archive card in every pack—card is Japanese Alt-Art in 50% of packs
  • 1 Lesson card in every pack
  • 1–5 Assorted Rares or Mythic Rares per pack

Theme Boosters

Strixhaven theme boosters

Theme boosters give you a little more direction while you’re trying to collect a theme without going the limited-play route. They revolve around one particular color or theme (in this case, the five colleges) and have exclusive cards that are unique to each theme.

The packs contain:

  • 33 to 34 commons and uncommons
  • 1 or 2 rares
  • And, if you’re lucky, you’ll get some uncommon showcase cards
MTG Magic Strixhaven Theme Booster Display Box – 10 (35-Card) Booster Packs
  • Welcome to Strixhaven: School of Mages! In this latest release, Magic fans join the battle between five different colleges at Strixhaven, the most prestigious university for magical learning in the Magic Multiverse.Each college has its own unique personality and playstyle, and players can choose whichever college they prefer.
  • Silverquill (WB), Prismari (UR), Witherbloom (BG), Lorehold (WR), and Quandrix (UG). Learn from the best professors and explore Strixhaven’s huge library.
  • The design of this set is Magic’s take on the magical school genre. Each one of the featured colleges represents one of Magic’s enemy color combinations, with their own character and mechanics. Cards associated with the different colleges feature separate watermarked insignias.
  • This listing is for 2 sets of all 5 themes(10 in total)2 Silverquill Theme boosters (WB)2 Prismari Theme boosters (UR)2 Witherbloom Theme boosters (BG)2 Lorehold Theme boosters (WR)2 Quandrix Theme boosters (UG)
  • Release Date: April 23, 2021

Collector Boosters

Strixhaven Collector Booster Box

Collector boosters are perfect if you love premium, high-end versions of cards. Bling to the max. These typically include:

  • 12 packs with 15 high-end cards in each
  • A couple of premium box-toppers
  • Around 48 rares, 132 foils, and 72 alternate art cards
  • Unique card styles that aren’t found anywhere else
STX collector booster contents

Source

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Collector Booster Box | 12 Packs (180 Magic Cards)
  • 12 Strixhaven (STX) Magic: The Gathering Collector Boosters
  • Shortcut to the coolest cards in Strixhaven
  • Only Strixhaven boosters with Foil Etched cards and Extended-Art
  • 1 Foil Etched Japanese Alt-Art Mystical Archive card in every pack + up to 2 additional JP Alt-Art Traditional Foils
  • Total of 3–4 Mystical Archive cards in a pack—2 Foil Etched in every pack

If an entire box of these bad boys is too expensive for you, you can treat yourself to a single pack at a more affordable price point.

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Collector Booster Pack | 15 Magic Cards
  • 15 Strixhaven (STX) Magic: The Gathering Cards + 1 foil token
  • Shortcut to the coolest cards in Strixhaven
  • Only Strixhaven boosters with Foil Etched cards and Extended-Art
  • 1 Foil Etched Japanese Alt-Art Mystical Archive card in every pack + up to 2 additional JP Alt-Art Traditional Foils
  • Total of 3–4 Mystical Archive cards in a pack—2 Foil Etched in every pack

Bundles

Strixhaven bundle

The Strixhaven bundle is a great way to get an infusion of new cards and immerse yourself in the new world. Bundles typically come with:

  • 10 draft boosters
  • Lands (Zendikar Rising bundles came with 20 foil and 20 non-foil lands)
  • 1 alternate art promo card
  • An oversized spindown life counter
  • Reference cards

That’s almost 200 cards in a nice, collectible bundle. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Bundle | 10 Draft Boosters (150 Magic Cards) + Accessories
  • 10 Strixhaven (STX) Magic: The Gathering Draft Booster packs
  • Exclusive foil alt-art promo card—Archmage Emeritus
  • 40 basic lands (20 foil & 20 nonfoil)
  • Spindown life counter and MTG card storage box
  • Choose your college at the most prestigious university for magical learning in Magic’s Multiverse

Strixhaven Commander (2021 Edition)

Strixhaven Commander 2021 Five Decks
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
$44.95
$44.95
$47.23
$44.95
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Prismari Performance (Blue-Red)
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Silverquill Statement (Black-White)
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Lorehold Legacies (Red-White)
$47.23
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Quantum Quandrix (Blue-Green)
$44.95
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Commander Deck – Witherbloom Witchcraft (Black-Green)
$44.95

We’ve gotten a bit of insight into what we’ll be getting, at least enough to start us off. The new Commander products will feature 81 new cards and the decks will follow in the college’s footsteps, mirroring the colors and themes of each college. There will be five decks:

  • Silverquill Statement
  • Prismari Performance
  • Witherbloom Withcraft
  • Lorehold Legacies
  • Quantum Quandrix

Get ready once spoilers for Commander 2021 come out, since the face cards for each deck will apparently contain some secrets about Strixhaven.

MTG Magic Strixhaven 2021 Commander Decks – Set of All 5
  • Welcome to Strixhaven: School of Mages! In this latest release, Magic fans join the battle between five different colleges at Strixhaven, the most prestigious university for magical learning in the Magic Multiverse.Each college has its own unique personality and playstyle, and players can choose whichever college they prefer.
  • Silverquill (WB), Prismari (UR), Witherbloom (BG), Lorehold (WR), and Quandrix (UG). Learn from the best professors and explore Strixhaven’s huge library.
  • The design of this set is Magic’s take on the magical school genre. Each one of the featured colleges represents one of Magic’s enemy color combinations, with their own character and mechanics. Cards associated with the different colleges feature separate watermarked insignias.
  • The decks names are-Silverquill Statement (WB)Prismari Performance (UR)Witherbloom Witchcraft (BG)Lorehold Legacies (RW)Quantum Quandrix (GU)Each deck contains:100 card deck1 Premium Commander10 Double-sided tokens1 life wheel1 deck box
  • Release Date: April 23, 2021

Where to Buy

There are a lot of options to get Magic products these days, including digital content. If you can, I encourage you to support your local store any way possible. Otherwise, you can buy the set at several online retailers. To get you a good deal I’ve looked around a bit to do some comparison shopping, so let’s look at our options:

  1. Your trusty local game store
  2. Amazon
  3. eBay
  4. TCGPlayer

Wrap Up

This is all the info available out there about the set. WotC did a great job with their previews but since we’re barely doing baby steps and with the revealing of Time Spiral Remastered, we’ll no doubt get plenty more card previews, spoilers, and details before the big day!

There are also some rumors saying that Jin-Gitaxias will be in this set. If this ends up being true, would that mean that predators are moving outside of their plane? What are your thoughts on this? Would you be excited for the praetor to show up, or does it not interest you in the slightest? Let me know in the comments down there.

If this is your first time on Draftsim, make sure to check out our MTGA tracker, Arena Tutor. We’re going to be adding even more functionality to it soon and, best of all, it’s free!

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Have a good one!

Jin-Gitaxias. Core Augur - Illustration by Eric Deschamps

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur | Illustration by Eric Deschamps

Article prepared by David Royale

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