Welcome back fellow Planeswalkers. Join us as we prepare for the new semester for the upcoming Magic The Gathering set, Strixhaven. The release date has been revealed and we would like to share some of our predictions of what will be in the set. So, ready your quill and ink students, time to study!
As mentioned in our previous Strixhaven article, and on the official Magic website, the Royal Scions, Rowen and Will, will be making an appearance. Journeying from Eldraine, the two will be gracing the halls and libraries of this esteemed arcane institute. But what abilities could we see?
For the spark mage Rowen Kenrith, damage, creature buffs, and aggressive battlefield conditions are easy choices. But, since this is placed within the halls of Strixhaven, perhaps hand size will be a factor. Dealing damage split between any targets equal to your hand size could be a possibility. A pay X loyalty ability to draw and deal damage for each none land you draw would be cool too. Or, for creatures your opponent controls to deal damage to themselves equal to their attack power.
As for Will Kenrith, cycling, recycling, tapping of creatures, and even copying of spells fit the character quite well. Now that the twins are older and wiser since their days as the champions of valor’s reach, we should expect more explosive abilities and finishers. Conditions such as tapping or damaging opposing creatures upon casting a spell would be natural for these pair. Even conditions on what type of spell is cast and what effect is triggered. Discarding for an instant would provide interesting decisions to be made for the opponent.
As for other Planeswalkers, it would be excellent to see Teferi lend his knowledge to the campus, or more specifically the college of Quandrix. Whether it be a younger or old version of himself, being a master of time. Or both? Having multiple of himself lecturing students wold be fantastic. Especially if he dabbles with mischief.
To oppose the royal scions, an interesting combination of guest speakers would be Jace and Chandra. Going from the twins who are naturally on the same wave length, to the potential of fire and mind bickering in the halls would be hilarious. And the artwork would ultimately reflect this.
As with most stories of magic and study, there is normally a Prodigy. In this case it could go two ways. The prodigy could master all colleges of thought and ignite their spark, starting their journey in the process. Or, the competition between the colleges could awaken one of the students trained in two of the associated colours. If cards associated by school are in this set, more on that later, then the thought of the Prodigy of Strixhaven having access to all those resources would be immense!
In the main Magic article announcing the upcoming set, it was revealed that each of the colleges were founded by the elder dragon of the same name. It would be rude not to include these mighty beings are cards. It would make sense them being a legendary. But also, to have heavy synergy with their college. It would be easy to see them being a key stone to allow the strategies to flow and retain presence in the battle. These could be good additions to established decks or even be built around for new ones.
It would be an interesting twist, although highly unlikely, that these dragons originated from Tarkir. But, even if such wild theories are unfeasible, these dragons should hold formidable power being the head of their school. Lorehold(white-red) could see buffs, protection, and damage. Prismari(red-blue) could also feature damage but also card draw, tricks, and spell manipulation such as counter and copy. Quandrix(blue-green, and also my favourite!) would do well with ramp, protection, and good ol’ counting of counters. Silverquill(white-black, and arguably the most suave) would naturally fit removal, reanimation, life manipulation, and flying which was featured with the Command Cards. Lastly, Witherbloom(black-green) also feels natural with reanimation, self milling cards, removal, life manipulation, but also creature manipulation.
School Specific Cards
Lastly, it would be thematic and fun to have a fair amount of college specific synergy cards. For instance, a spell could have one effect but, if you control a Lorehold permanent then the effect would change and/or be enhanced. This would be great for new players too as they can focus more on the one set instead of being overwhelmed with all the sets currently in rotation.
This would also lean into card recruiters and non land mana. Having permanents that search for respective college cards makes sense. But, much like sets such as Ravnica, Tarkir, and Ikoria, special lands and/or artefacts could help your choice of colours. There could even be auras and equipment that buff such endeavours even more. Having a set that allows for super fluid games with both players reaching their goals with a flurry of spells flying in all directions would make for some exquisite gameplay. Whether it be draw, recruitment, special mana cards, or tap abilities, a set that invests in the archetypes presented could create some spectacular matches.
Other than the dragons and the support cards, there are the professors to consider. These are most likely the characters featured on the themed boosters that will available for the physical release. Each of these characters will pose heavy synergy with their school of magic. They will most likely add fluidity and/or power to the archetype. These abilities could feature from those listed above. But, it would be exciting to see some more mechanics, one for each of the schools. It might be asking a bit much for one set. But, if 5 new mechanics do make their way into the set, it might knock Tarkir and Ravnica off the top spots for my favourite set!
And that’s your lot for now. Look forward to the Strixhaven MTG Arena and Magic Online release on April 15th 2012. And the physical release date will be April 23rd 2021. You can find more details on the official Magic The Gathering website. What cards do you think will be in the set? And which college will you enrol in? Let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned for more news, reviews, and guides. Until next time, smile and game!