MTG Keywords Explained: Learn

Card Kingdom Strategy

Magic is going back to school with Strixhaven: School of Mages, a set that takes place in an elite university. And what could be more appropriate for an academic setting than a mechanic all about learning?

Today, we’re going to break down the learn mechanic and the new card type Lesson from Strixhaven. Are you ready to learn?

What is Learn?

Learn is a triggered ability that appears on cards in Strixhaven. Everyone learns differently, and the learn mechanic is all about giving players options.

Your first option is to search for a Lesson card you own from outside the game and put it into your hand. Lesson is a new subtype for instant and sorcery cards, and these cards function just like any instants or sorceries you’ve seen before. Lesson only affects how other cards interact with these instants and sorceries — sort of like Arcane in Kamigawa block, or Tribal in Lorwyn.

Now, you may be asking, “What does ‘outside the game’ mean?” This refers to any cards that aren’t in your starting deck for the game. So, if you’re playing in a tournament setting or on MTG Arena, “outside the game” will refer to the cards in your sideboard. In more casual settings, there are no restrictions on what’s considered “outside the game”; you can use any cards in your collection! Keep in mind that you’ll still have to follow normal deck construction rules, so you can only have four copies of a single Lesson card between your main deck and your sideboard.

What if you don’t have a Lesson card in your sideboard, or you don’t have a good opportunity to use one? Instead, you have the option to discard a card from your hand and draw a fresh card from your deck. That’s another opportunity to find the right card for the situation — and, hopefully, to learn something!

One note for any Commander players out there: Rule 11 of the Commander Rules prevents the use of any cards that are outside the game, so think twice before including any cards with the learn mechanic in your decks. Unless you’re built a deck around discarding and drawing cards — in which case, go forth and learn!

We hope you’ve learned an important lesson about how this new mechanic works. Be sure to check out Strixhaven at Card Kingdom, and stick around for more keyword breakdowns.