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 Magic‘s newest set, out now! It features brand-new, Standard-legal cards, and it’s available on Magic Arena, Magic Online, and for tabletop play. Plus, along with Strixhaven, Wizards of the Coast has released five new Commander decks with thematic ties to the set, as well as a new subset of special premium cards.
Strixhaven and Commander 2021 are both available now at Card Kingdom. In honor of this exciting new set, we’ve teamed up with some friends to give you a sense of what Strixhaven has to offer. Check out our exclusive video below, and get more info on Strixhaven after the jump.
Strixhaven’s Theme & Story
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”
- Quandrix (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 welcomed Strixhaven back in February by previewing a new card 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.
Each College of Strixhaven bears the name of an Elder Dragon who founded it. These Dragons look like powerful additions to both Standard and Commander; check out our review of them here.
While we’ll be meeting many new characters in Strixhaven, we’ve also seen a handful of familiar faces. Will and Rowan Kenrith, Kasmina, Lukka, and Liliana (cleverly disguised as Professor Onyx) all have cards in the set.
Modal Double-Faced Cards Return
Magic‘s last two major sets included modal double-faced cards, and we were promised a new twist on the mechanic in Strixhaven. This time around, we have our first double-faced planeswalker, as well as some double-faced legendary creatures.
Will and Rowan Kenrith are often portrayed as two sides of the same coin, and now they’re two sides of the same card. You’ll have your option of two Kenrith twins to play in a blue-red deck, and both will make it easier for you to cast instant and sorcery spells.
The Deans of Strixhaven’s five Colleges also get the MDFC treatment. They’re all legendary creatures, so you can build a Commander deck around either side of any given card. Check out our review of the Deans.
Strixhaven features the same selection of products that we’ve seen with previous Standard-legal sets like Kaldheim and Zendikar Rising. Here’s a list of the products we have available:
- Draft Booster Boxes & Packs
- Set Booster Boxes & Packs
- Collector Booster Boxes & Packs
- Theme Booster Packs & Sets
- Japanese Set Booster Boxes & Packs
- Set Booster Combo Packs (1 Set Booster Box, 1 Bundle)
- Set Booster Variety Packs (1 Set Booster Box, 1 Bundle, 1 Set of 5 Commander 2021 decks)
To learn more about these products and figure out which booster is right for you, check out our Booster Pack Guide.
Like last spring’s Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Strixhaven includes five pre-built Commander decks that are thematically tied to the set. Each deck is aligned with one of the five Colleges and features exclusive brand-new cards.
The names of the five Commander decks are as follows:
Additionally, Strixhaven includes 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.
There are a total of 63 Mystical Archive cards in Strixhaven. Draft Boosters and Set Boosters contain one Mystical Archive card each, and Collector Boosters each contain more than one. The cards are not legal in Standard, but you can play with them in Strixhaven Draft and Sealed.
While Mystical Archive cards are available on MTG Arena, some have been excluded from the Historic format based on their power level. Learn more about what Mystical Archive means for Historic here.
As an added bonus, there are special alternate-art versions of Mystical Archive cards available in Japanese Strixhaven packs. While these cards only appear in Japanese Draft and Set Boosters, at least one of these cards will appear in Collector Boosters in all languages.
Going Off: Card Kingdom Preview Card Recaps
Last but not least, check out our video series, Going Off, where our team shared their first impressions of Strixhaven and Commander 2021.
Episode 1: Debut Stream Reactions
Hallie Santo, Bradley Rose and Scott Cullen give their hot takes on the new planeswalkers, legendary creatures, Mystical Archive cards and more just after the Strixhaven debut stream.
Cards mentioned in this episode:
- Kasmina, Enigma Sage
- Professor Onyx
- Rowan, Scholar of Sparks // Will, Scholar of Frost
- Zaffai, Thunder Conductor
- Breena, the Demagogue
- Shadrix Silverquill
- Uvilda, Dean of Perfection // Nassari, Dean of Expression
- Plargg, Dean of Chaos // Augusta, Dean of Order
- The Snarl Lands
- Abundant Harvest
- Lightning Bolt
- Strategic Planning
Episode 2: Week 1 Recap
The first full week of preview season was a doozy, featuring preview days for each of the five Colleges. Hallie caught up with competitive Constructed experts Mason Clark and Ally Warfield to get their thoughts on the most powerful cards in the set.
Cards mentioned in this episode:
- Elite Spellbinder
- Strict Proctor
- Clever Lumimancer
- Star Pupil
- Grinning Ignus
- Symmetry Sage
- Test of Talents
- Solve the Equation
- Augmenter Pugilist//Echoing Equation
- Double Major
- Valentin, Dean of the Vein//Lisette, Dean of the Root
- Selfless Glyphweaver//Deadly Vanity
- Mila, Crafty Companion//Lukka, Wayward Bonder
- Faithless Looting
- Mind’s Desire
Episode 3: Commander 2021 Recap
The last week of previews was all about Commander 2021, and we had Commander fanatics Bradley and Scott back to share their first impressions of the precon decks.
Cards mentioned in this episode:
- Excavation Technique
- Cursed Mirror
- Monologue Tax
- Archaeomancer’s Map
- Secret Rendezvous
- Veyran, Voice of Duality
- Inspiring Refrain
- Rousing Refrain
- Octavia, Living Thesis
- Esix, Fractral Bloom
- Deekah, Fractal Theorist
- Ruxa, Patient Professor
- Spawning Kraken
- Felisa, Fang of Silverquill
- Fain, the Broker
- Nils, Discipline Enforcer
- Keen Duelist