Magic: The Gathering is a game about powerful wizards matching wits against one another. And few of the game’s expansion sets deliver on that premise quite like Strixhaven: School of Mages.
Strixhaven is a new Magic set coming April 23, 2021. It will feature brand-new, Standard-legal cards, and it will be available on Magic Arena, Magic Online, and for tabletop play. Plus, there will be five new pre-built Commander decks coming with the set, as well as special premium cards available in each booster pack.
While we still have a lot to learn about this enigmatic academy, we’ll be sharing all the latest info with you here as soon as we have it.
Strixhaven’s Theme & Story
According to Wizards of the Coast, Strixhaven is the most elite university in Magic‘s Multiverse. It’s located on the brand-new plane of Arcavios, and it’s made up of five Colleges, each aligned with an enemy color pair:
- Lorehold (Red-White): researchers and archaeologists who “leave no stone unturned”
- Prismari (Blue-Red): artists who use magic to “express [themselves] with the elements”
- Quantix (Green-Blue): puzzle-solvers who believe that “math is magic”
- Silverquill (White-Black): poets and writers with “sharp style [and] sharper wit”
- Witherbloom (Black-Green): botanists and potion-makers who aren’t afraid to “get [their] hands dirty”
Wizards of the Coast has previewed five cards from Strixhaven so far — one for each of the five Colleges. This cycle of “Commands” works just like the cycles from Lorwyn and Dragons of Tarkir — they’re modal spells that allow the player to choose two of four options.
Modal Double-Faced Cards Return
Magic‘s head designer Mark Rosewater has also confirmed that Modal Double-Faced Cards (MDFC’s) will return in Strixhaven.
MDFC’s are a new kind of card introduced in Zendikar Rising last fall. Each MDFC has two sides, and players can choose which side they’d like to play. Many of these cards have been well-received by the community because they give players more options on each turn; for example, some MDFC’s include lands on one side, and others include two spells that are best used at different stages of the game. For more info on MDFC’s, read our article on how they work.
Rosewater indicated that Strixhaven would have a slightly different take on MDFC’s than Kaldheim or Zendikar Rising. We’ll keep you posted as previews for the set begin (likely in late March).
What products can we expect?
Strixhaven will feature the same selection of products that we’ve seen with previous Standard-legal sets like Kaldheim and Zendikar Rising. Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, Theme Boosters, and Bundles will all be available.
To learn more about these products and figure out which booster is right for you, check out our Booster Pack Guide.
Wizards also revealed that, like Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths last spring, Strixhaven will include five pre-built Commander decks that are thematically tied to the set. Each deck will be aligned with one of the five Colleges and will feature exclusive brand-new cards.
Wizards has not yet revealed the packaging for the decks, but has stated that, like the new Challenger Decks, they will feature more eco-friendly, reduced plastic packaging.
The names of the five Commander decks are as follows:
- Lorehold Legacies
- Prismari Performance
- Quantum Quandrix
- Silverquill Statement
- Witherbloom Witchcraft
Additionally, Strixhaven will include a special subset of cards called Mystical Archive. These cards are similar to Expedition and Masterpiece cards you may have seen in the past: they’re all reprints of existing Magic cards, and they’re available in highly stylized premium versions. Wizards shared three Mystical Archive cards on their Strixhaven intro stream: Opt, Swords to Plowshares, and Demonic Tutor.
Strixhaven will feature 63 Mystical Archive cards. Draft Boosters and Set Boosters will contain one Mystical Archive card each, and Collector Boosters will each contain more than one. The cards will not be legal in Standard, but you will be able to play with them in Strixhaven Draft and Sealed. While the cards will be coming to MTG Arena with the release of Strixhaven, some will be excluded from the Historic format based on their power level.
Magic‘s Japan team has also announced that special alternate-art versions of Mystical Archive cards will be available in Japanese Strixhaven packs. While these cards will only appear in Japanese Draft and Set Boosters, at least one of these cards will appear in Collector Boosters in all languages.
That’s all the info we have on Strixhaven right now, but we’ll be updating this page regularly through the set’s release. Until then…