Today, a new Magic: The Gathering card set has launched called Strixhaven. Strixhaven, the School for Mages, is a card set centered around university and learning. Mike Turian, the Principal Product Designer at Wizards of the Coast, has shown off the new card set in a preview. The team talked about some of the lore behind Strixhaven university, which you can read about here.
Strixhaven card set
Land cards have always played a big part in MTG. With Strixhaven, the whole world is centered around spells and sorcery. Strixhaven University, is after all, a college for the magical arts. With all this magic running around, its understandable that land cards would be slightly different. The colleges of Strixhaven each represent two mana colors, therefore mana is interacting in two forms at the same time. Land cards reflect these magical phenome. For example, the “Snarl” cards are a mana vortex of two colors, each for a specific college.
Since there’s a lot of magic in this set, some new spells are also coming to MTG. There are ways to use non-creature and non-land cards to cast spells, and this is possible through the “Duress” card. You can take a card directly from your opponents hand too. These are known as “mystical archive” cards and are guaranteed in each booster. If you read our guide on the five colleges of Strixhaven university, you’ll notice the mystical archive holds every known spell ever cast in MTG.
Lightning Bolt is also coming to the mystical archive, as well as Time Warp. You might enjoy using lightning bolt to deal direct damage to your opponent, or even using Time Warp to take an extra turn.
Firstly, Strixhaven isn’t about Planeswalkers. This card set is more about the students of Strixhaven university, their life, and how they interact. There are cycles of legendary students, dragons and professors. creating more of an academic focus. But you can’t have a MTG card set without the Planeswalkers. Instead of stashing Planeswalkers randomly into the set, Planewalkers are integrated into the university life of Strixhaven. Some old Planeswalkers are back, including Kasmina who hasn’t been seen since War of the Spark. Kasmina has both normal and borderless art cards.
Rowan and Will, both scholars seen in Battlebond and Throne of Eldraine before, are coming to Strixhaven. They are at the university to level up their magic skills. They now have individual cards that are double sided, one side Rowan, one side Will. Alternate borderless art versions of these cards will be available to collect too.
Lukka from Ikoria is coming to Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven as well. Last time Lukka was seen he was kicked from the military, had lost his companion animal, and seemingly lost his way. However, he’s coming to Strixhaven university to find meaning again. His card is yet to be released so keep an eye out during the preview season.
Professor Onyx is another Planeswalker. She’s a mysterious and powerful necromancer who teaches at Strixhaven university, or so her students know her as. Players will recognise her as Liliana and her card comes in both regular and art collectables. To read more about the stories of each of the Planewalkers, dailymtg has all the lore, including side stories and history.
Double-faced cards, magic, and more
Double faced cards have been seen in many of the recent card sets, including Kaldheim. However, the double faced cards are being changed slightly. There will be no double faced cards that are common or uncommon in Strixhaven. Since Strixhaven is focused around magic, most of the mechanics will center around the use of magic, namely instances and sorceries. Mage craft will be rewarded in gameplay by receiving bonuses when you cast spells. This will be a slightly different game mechanic that encourages players to dive into the magic that Strixhaven offers.
There’s also a new mechanic called “Lesson and Learn”. With these cards you can ‘learn’ when you play them. One of the new cards for example, allows you to add new cards from your hand from ‘outside’ the game. Lessons are sorceries, bringing the magic of Strixhaven closer to the gameplay itself. There’s also a “Pop Quiz” card, which allows you to instantly draw a card and learn quickly.
When you can go hands on with the cards
The Strixhaven card set goes live in Magic: The Gathering Arena and Online on April 15, 2021. The set is also available on April 23, 2021 for table top players. This is the 87th card expansion for MTG and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon.