Strixhaven spoiler season
Posted on March 25, 2021, 3:29 p.m. by Coward_Token
Thought I'd make a general thread as a complement to the more specific ones.
March 25th stuff (with risk of EDH centrism) Show
For the first time since the Zendikar Eldrazi sets, colorless spells are back. I'm particularly intrigued by the humble common MV 5 Vindicate for EDH, as it gives e.g. red commanders another tool for getting rid of a sticky Song of the Dryads
With Learn heavily relying on sideboards, I wonder if the EDH rules committee will revise their (not unmerited) stance? (I dunno if anyone would be upset if it was solved by just banning egregious color hate cards.)
Magecraft makes it pretty probable that this is a spellslinger set, as expected. I think there'll be a decent amount of token spells, since those can pull double duty by filling up Creature slots in a set. (Also, no storm spell in the Mystical Archives yet? Wait never mind, hello Weather the Storm .)
Willowdusk: I'm a bit weary of golgari jumping onto white's recent lifegain matters bandwagon
Adrix & Nev: Parallel Lives in the command zone. That is all.
Storm Kiln Artist: I usually like the design of red repeatable non-dork mana creatures, and this one is no exception
Will: Kinda weary over blue getting more exile/destroy removal, but at least it's held back by being tied to an ultimate
The templating "Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery." has been shortened to "Activate only as a sorcery." Might be kinda confusing for new players.
Augusta: the most important thing about this is that you can tap down Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist , even when she has vigilance!
Link to the Twitch vod with spoilers: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/962617661
Learn: You may reveal a Lesson card you own from outside the game and put it into your hand, or discard a card to draw a card.
"Lesson" is a new sub-type of instants and sorceries.
Ward X: Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays X.
We also have the return of Modal Double-Faced Cards. This time they appear to be two different people on the same card? E.g. Will and Rowan Kenrith.
And they have revealed the new cycle of lands, which completes the Shadows Over Innistrad Reveal Land cycle.
March 25, 2021 4:06 p.m.
But I understand what you mean. Just being a butthole lol
March 25, 2021 4:07 p.m.
My thoughts? I HATE the MDFCs. I loved them in Zendikar - what a novel way to try and fix mana-screw and mana-flood! I appreciated them in Kaldheim - equipments and 5-color enchantments are super niche, so it helps playability to have them stapled to a creature sometimes.
These don't make any sense. They aren't in the spirit of what a MDFC should do, which is ease bad draws, and I hate that they're two different characters on the same card with no transformation flavor or anything. It's just... ??? I don't understand!
I'm also pretty concerned about Learn, just given what we found out about free cards from outside the game in whatever that Mutate set was. But if the Learn cards are as underwhelming as they currently are, and only at common, it could be fun.
I like Ward, and I like Magecraft. The apprentices are cool so far. I like the flavor they're giving Orzhov and Boros in this set with spirits and counters.
March 25, 2021 4:10 p.m.
I like how they tested the waters with Magecraft way back in War of the Spark
March 25, 2021 4:19 p.m.
I’m loving the set so far, I’ve always been a spellslinger player and this set has a lot of that.
This is gonna be perfect for my Adeliz, the Cinder Wind deck!
March 25, 2021 4:20 p.m.
Mutate and Learn feel like Yu Gi Oh mechanics. In other words, mistakes.
The Deans are lame. They feel like they were made into MDFCs in a slap-dash attempt to avoid further flak for partners/partner with. They seriously feel like they were changed at the last minute.
Maybe Im just experiencing intense spoiler season burnout, but there are only a couple worthwhile cards thusfar. Magecraft does look pretty neat, though!
March 25, 2021 4:37 p.m.
I can't wait for the EDH community to get in an uproar saying that their MDFCs Deans should be allowed a copy of each for their Commander. That if you can cast either side, you should be able to have both. So two Commanders.
In other words, not one Commander who you can cast either side of. Rather two Commanders, each being only one half. So your starting library as 98 cards and you retcon "partners with" onto them both
It'll never happen, but you can expect Mitch and The Professor (Brian, is it?) to make videos on why it should be the case and their advocation for it as they cry all butthurt in a "sincere" tone, as they always do.
March 25, 2021 4:50 p.m.
I'm not excited over any of the Deans but I'm fine with them? (If nothing else Stolen Strategy in the command zone is pretty neat.) Like the Kaldheim Gods, they're probably meant as tweak on Legendary for non-Highlander formats. The respective sides obviously synergize too.
March 25, 2021 4:53 p.m.
Or they'll make it a weird combo of partner with and mdfc. Start every game with a 99 card deck and all the benefits of 2 commanders (being the inherent card advantage).
March 25, 2021 5:01 p.m.
Oh and Plarrg is another source of semi-novel boros repeatable card advantage. These things must be noted.
March 25, 2021 5:06 p.m.
And to be fair, by no means am I particularly against it. We all bend the rules a little on occasion. For example, plenty of people play with Dune-Brood Nephilim as a Commander when it's technically illegal. We also use Planeswalkers who don't have the "may be your Commander" text. If I sat down at a table and someone asked to have both, I'd say fine I don't care.
I just can't wait to see Brian and Mitch get butthurt and whine like big babies again. That's always amusing.
March 25, 2021 5:12 p.m.
Generally, my rule is I don't care. Almost anything is fine, just have the common decency to ask before we begin. If you can be respectful and notify the table and ask if it's fine, I'll probably say yes. But if you bust out some illegal nonsense and expect everyone to go along with it, nah man you gotta respect the people you're playing with first.
March 25, 2021 5:19 p.m.
Slightly yet still disproportionally excited over the possibility of the golgari Elder Dragon having flying and vigilance
March 25, 2021 5:44 p.m.
I literally built an Elder Tribal deck the moment I learned of them.
Commander / EDH
Waiting on the full release to update. Planning on replacing either the OG Elder Dragons for their upkeep costs, or the 5 Placeholders.
Also want to make room for more ramp to speed it up.
March 25, 2021 6:01 p.m.
Previews for Strixhaven have finally begun!
I shall first say that I am not particularly fond of the learn mechanic, because being able to obtain cards from outside the game is very powerful and prone to abuse, so I believe that that ability should have bene abandoned.
I also severely dislike the wording on Augusta, dean of order, because players do not attack, their creatures do.
Even further, Will, scholar of frost being able to unconditionally exile permanents is yet another break in blue; it does not matter that the players are given tokens to compensate for the loss of the permanents. Blue is not supposed to be able to remove permanents, other than by returning them to their owners’ hands, so why does WotC continue to give blue such powerful removal?
Why does Uvilda not use the suspend mechanic? That would have been much easier than creating an entirely new type of counter for her ability.
Willowdusk’s ability would be so much better if it could be used at any time, as the fact that it can be used only as a sorcery severely limits its usefulness.
Lisette is mostly worse than is Archangel of Thune , but it is nice to have that effect on a legendary creature, for use in EDH. However, Valentin is far too inexpensive for such a powerful effect; how did WotC think that such a card was balanced?
Breena, the demagogue is very nice, but her ability is useless in one-versus-one games, so any deck that contains her must be used only in games with three or more players.
I do like the cards in the mystical archive, but only two of them are multicolored, thus far, so I hope that more of them shall be. Another reprint of Time Warp is always welcome, to me.
The flavor text on both Blue Sun's Zenith and Krosan Grip implies that the students of Stirxhaven are aware of the existence of other planes, which is actually a nice departure from the majority of planes being utterly unaware of each other’s existences.
Ward being a new keyword is nice, so I do hope that WotC gives it to all previous cars that had it (which were admittedly not many).
Adrix and Nev render Parallel Lives obsolete, but still cannot replace Doubling Season , due to them lacking that card's other ability. Also, why has the wording been changed from "if an effect would create one or more tokens" to "if one or more tokens would be created under your control?" I dislike that, because there is a difference between a cost and an effect.
I see that the "reveal land" cycle from Shadows Over Innsitrad is the cycle that is being completed, which is nice for fans of that cycle, but disappointing, to me, as I was hoping for the "battle land" cycle from Battle for Zendikar to be completed, but I am certain that that cycle shall eventually be completed, some day.
March 25, 2021 8:24 p.m.
I’m super excited to see the throw-away commons for each of these new sets. I’m hoping for a new card for my Briny Deep or a new natural disaster. I think it’s more likely to get a witch or two! Spoiler Time is Best Time.
March 25, 2021 9:59 p.m.
Well, I'm building something around Witherbloom Apprentice. No idea what yet, but it's going to be either pure sparkling jank or redefine at least one meta.
March 26, 2021 1:52 a.m.
I super like the white Learn uncommon Professor of Symbology. I will take more efficient mono-white card draw where I can find it. Looking forward to seeing if there will be official rulings on a commander sideboard because of this.
March 26, 2021 9:23 a.m.
Looks like the card Environmental Sciences shows a new Mage peering into Zendikar, and they call other Planes "Vastlands"
You can clearly see Valakut in the red sphere and the iconic floating stone monoliths in the white sphere.
March 26, 2021 11:25 a.m.
I am very, very concerned about Learn though. Being able to discard a card to draw a card is one thing, but to specifically pull from outside the game? Now if I am correct, this doesn't mean from your own personal stockpile of cards in the other room. It means your sideboard, yes?
In a casual setting sure, it's from where ever. But in competitive play it means your sideboard? And in EDH there is no sideboard and effects don't pull from outside the game, so you'd get nothing, correct?
- Not 'nothing', you'd still be able to discard to draw. I mean exclusively you'd get nothing from the 'outside the game' half.
March 26, 2021 11:29 a.m.
So far, the Lessons to be Learned look pretty straightforward--basic, simple utility effects. Make some small tokens, small card filtering, expensive but flexible removal, that sort of thing. Confront the Past has high potential, but it's narrow. As long as it stays this way--either small utility effects or narrow strong effects--I don't see Learn getting out of hand.
Of course, they haven't revealed everything yet. There might still be that pre-errata Companion level card.
March 26, 2021 12:25 p.m.
I'm getting a sense that this set is designed to be strongly separated from EDH. The double-faced legendaries and the "outside the game" Lessons make me think that this set was deliberately made to swing away from EDH, especially after the commander-like companions. There was a lot of discussion about how Ikoria Standard was turning into Commander Lite, and this set would have been well into development at that time.
So, Ikoria Standard was Commander Lite, and Strixhaven Standard is looking like Anti-Commander. I'm wondering now if they're measuring something, or if I'm seeing patterns that aren't really there.
March 26, 2021 12:33 p.m.
Soooo... the new Faithless Looting art is for April Fool’s Day, right? That’s the best way to do an April Fool’s Day joke...right..? Early...?
March 26, 2021 7:58 p.m.
I'll be honest, I have zero interest in Strixhaven...however, I must have a copy of these Dean Pelton alters:
March 26, 2021 8:03 p.m.
FormOverFunction that was my thoughts as well. Like wtf? I like weird/different art on cards, but idk about that one!
March 26, 2021 10:36 p.m.
Take a look at their right (our left) hand. look at their index finger. Completely broken, lol.
This is like some MS Sonic artwork here on DeviantArt. I'm waiting for the biography that goes along with it. Those are always interesting...
March 26, 2021 11:44 p.m.
legendofa, possibly. Sets are often designed up to two years in advance. They begin to hammer out broad details such as the world they want to set it on and the conflict of said world. The world building process can take a full year just by itself and is either going to be Top-Down or Bottom-Up, referring to whether the world is developed around a core element or if the world is inspired by multiple sources and it built more freely.
Cards are often the second-to-last step, with the artwork for print being finalized and put on. So they may have already been done with world building by the time Ikoria was released, and were in the card design phase. Given the numerous product lines they have been releasing lately, I'd be willing to wager that R&D is given less time to test each element of the new set so they can get it out ASAP. Some minor tweaks here and there and off to the printers it goes.
Lessons are fine. But Learn is a serious mistake and I fully expect sweeping errata similarly to Companion. Probably that you can reveal a card from outside the game if you pay , otherwise draw a card and then discard a card.
I mean, imagine Pop Quiz into Introduction to Prophecy.
Draw a card.
Learn. (Reveal and put Introduction to Prophecy in hand)
- Card is drawn.
- Introduction to Prophecy is in hand.
Introduction to Prophecy
Scry 2, draw a card.
- Scry 2
- Draw a card
So for 6 mana, only needing a single symbol, you just got to draw two cards and scry two. I mean obviously there's better ways to spend a total of , but the point remains that this is not a very healthy design.
March 26, 2021 11:54 p.m.
See, like suppose you go Gruul beatdown, right?
Enthusiastic Study into Expanded Anatomy is +4/+3 Trample and Vigilance until end of turn for . With the new Rowan, it's actually . And given that she gets her emblem rather quickly in just two turns, you're copying both Study and Anatomy.
So that's really +8/+6 trample and vigilance. +4/+4 of this are counters, by the way.
Not to mention Learn isn't a cast trigger. So copying it tutors out a card as well. So you can;
- Cast Study
- Learn Anatomy
- Copy Study
- Copy Anatomy
- The copied version of Study Learns
- Learn another Anatomy
I mean this shit is stupid. The Command Zone podcast with Jimmy Wong, they kept making jokes about Storm. Well, yeah. You can.
Then look at Lili- erm, Professor Onyx's Magecraft. That'd be -12 life and +12 life. They'd be dead before you even swing.
This is so insanely stupid.
March 27, 2021 12:03 a.m.
I'd go Jund. Cheat out Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider and slap down Rowan and Onyx.
Crack that emblem off and get to copying.
Use a 1-cmc Learn spell such as Guiding Voice or First Day of Class if you can manage some more cost-reduction.
Find Confront the Past (Lesson). = .
Imagine if you cast and copy Guiding Voice / First Day of Class.
- 2x Magecraft triggers
- 1x Cast
- 1x Copy
Then you Learn out 2x Confront the Past. If you have the cost reduction, like a second Rowan out, you could even go for Environmental Sciences as it now too costs . Either way,
- 4x Magecraft triggers.
- 1x Cast
- 1x Cast
- 1x Copy
- 1x Copy
Boom. -12/+12 life spread. If you got E.Sciences, then the life spread is -12/+20 because you gain +2 life for each E.Science.
I mean I know this isn't ideal and obviously we are only what, 43 cards spoiled as of my post? But still, you see the kind of nonsense this causes? It's just... I don't know, man. I get it, to a degree. A school for mages so you want to encourage spell slinging. I understand that. But it just feels broken and wrong.
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like Learn is far too powerful. There's practically zero downside to it, and given that the WOTC team said Energy from Kaladesh was broken as it too had inherently no drawbacks, then by their own logic Learn is also inherently broken as it has no drawbacks.
At least Companion forced you to build a deck a very specific way. This doesn't even say that! In fact they even encourage the abuse with colorless spells!
It's just all a bunch of silly nonsense. Will the set be fun? Of course. Will there be amazing combos that players find? Sure. Will it lead to many highlights and laughs? Absolutely.
But is it properly balanced? Not at all.
March 27, 2021 12:16 a.m.
Mcat1999 I get your concern, but your first hypothetical effect just showed in Kaldheim for a split-payment , with Behold the Multiverse . Good card, but not exactly tearing up multiple formats. Your second example I would compare to, let's say, Fierce Invocation or the Elvish Rite I just looked up and Brute Strength , with New Rowan out. Not quite as perfect a parallel, but I'm not sure your example is much worse. Your final example involves cheating out a creature, plus two planeswalkers, for Sorin's Vengeance and Syphon Life .
Of course, if they reveal a completely broken low-cost insta-kill Lesson, I retract everything and condemn the design fully. But I'm cautiously optimistic that the Lessons are going to stay fairly clean and healthy. From what I've seen, any potential gains in colorlessness and flexibility are offset by cost and effect size. After all, unless you have New Rowan out, you still have to pay and an opponent's card draw for Utter End .
March 27, 2021 12:26 a.m.
legendofa, well everything revealed thus-far are commons. So hopefully we do get higher-rarity Lessons that cost considerably more.
All I'm saying is I'd have designed it the same way with one, very basic, change.
- Learn (You may pay and reveal a Lesson from outside the game and put it in your hand. Otherwise draw a card, then discard a card.)
I think that simple tax of would have gone a very long way. Then, make creatures or that say;
- Whenever you learn, the cost to reveal a Lesson from outside the game is reduced by .
Then you can build into cost Learn -> Lesson, but you need to build into it. Sort of flutter the breaks a bit, you know? That's how I'd have done it.
March 27, 2021 12:41 a.m.
That card example above should be Elven Rite .
Mcat1999 The problem with Energy, as I remember, wasn't that it had no drawbacks (first strike doesn't have drawbacks, either), but it creates a new resource that couldn't be negatively interacted with. You spent mana, you got energy, you spent mana and energy to get more energy, and your opponent couldn't do anything about it. Lessons are just more sorceries (and instants?) that can be countered or discarded.
Catching up to your new post, because I spent a long time writing this one, that Learn tax with cost-rediction effects would be a good failsafe, and you still have the fake-cycling option if you can't/don't want to pay. I'd like to know if that was ever considered during development.
March 27, 2021 12:49 a.m.
Legendary Creature Test
Legendary Creature - Ooze Wizard because why the heck not
Whenever you Learn for the first time each turn, you may pay instead of .
Obviously not as rough around the edges and thematically posed for such an ability, but hey that's pretty sweet isn't it?
And instead of giving Rowan and Will the same static ability, maybe Rowan has a cost reduction of on instant and sorcery spells and Will has a tax reduction of on Learn costs. Both of these feel very and respectively; Acting on impulse and acting on studiousness. Is that a word?
March 27, 2021 1:15 a.m.
Adrix and Nev could easily have been mono-white, since both of their effects have been used in that color, before: the token doubling in Anointed Procession and the additional cost for spells in many cards, so, hopefully, WotC shall eventually print such a card in the future.
Also, having mentioned Adrix and Nev, how does everyone here feel about the last several Commander sets being connected with the "normal" sets that have released around the same time as them? I have no trouble with WotC doing that, on occasion, but I hope that it does not become a regular occurrence.
March 27, 2021 4:53 p.m.
I like the idea of double-faced legendaries. Legendary cards always have the problem of wanting to have multiples in your deck, but you only want to draw one. Having MDFCs means you can run 4 in a deck, but not feeling bad when you draw more than one.
Also, why can't we get more unique art as just the regular art? Like, just look at this:
It would give the set a more distinct flavor and allow for some artist creativity.
March 28, 2021 4:24 p.m.
Why is it that every card from mystical archive has now been revealed, but only a small percentage of the normal set has? Why did WotC do that? Would it not have made more sense to do the opposite and reveal the entire mystical archive only after the entire normal set was revealed, to increase hype for MA?
March 28, 2021 8:45 p.m.
Elite Spellbinder: White taxing pseudo-discard
Rip Apart: Surprisingly edgy name for a boros card
Venerable Warsinger: yay, finally more Sun Titan s!
"Potion of Empowerment": Potentially explosive. Instant too!
Thunderous Orator: I wish this plane skipped on Kor, they just look like creepy humans here.
Returned Pastcaller: No super innovative design space here, but that mana cost tho
Radiant Scrollwielder: unofficial commander potential right here
Lorehold Excavation: self-milling is moving into boros, although I think red could do it on it's own; it can already get cards to the graveyard rapidly trough rummaging & wheeling
Velomachus Lorehold: spellslinger voltron gooooo. MV 7 is kinda oof tho
March 29, 2021 11:51 a.m.
I'm getting the odd feeling that is getting better at old-school Reanimator decks than , especially in Modern. A lot of key cards are either banned in Modern, or too old to use outside of Legacy or Commander. Recently, it's been getting stuff like Back for More , Return Upon the Tide , and Nissa of Shadowed Boughs ( is trying to be a support color). Yeah, Goryo's Vengeance is still around, but when was the last time it was used for anything but Griselbrand ? Unburial Rites is easier to cast for from the graveyard than from the hand.
Now, I haven't actually seen a competitive dump-and-revive Reanimator deck since Dread Return , Golgari Grave-Troll , and Bridge from Below all went away, and losing Faithless Looting didn't help either. But there's a lot of recent cards trying to do that, and I'm wondering if Mardu or even Boros will be the first to crack the code.
March 29, 2021 12:49 p.m.
Hofri Ghostforge: Boros undying in the command zone, kinda! You could immediately sac a creature after casting it to get it back with haste, trample, and an anthem boost. Is there perhaps a 2-card combo to be had involving an ETB tutor?
legendofa: not that odd since Lorehold basically has Golgari's mechanical guild identity in this set, with a twist
Uh speaking of which, what are people's impressions of the other college's mechanical identities? Withbloom seems quite Orzhov-esque with lifegain, and Silverquill seems to like its +1/+1 counters. Not really seeing what sets Quandrix and Prismari apart from their Ravnica counterparts yet tho
March 29, 2021 4:50 p.m.
Already been aluded to but I'm confused why Breena, the Demagogue didn't say "has more life than another player" instead, or even just dethrone wording. Not like reliably having a Phyrexian Arena in the command zone (that situationally cantrips) 1v1 is particularly broken
March 29, 2021 5:42 p.m.
Reconstruct history is very nice, although I personally feel that it should not have been able to return a planeswalker, as that makes it too powerful.
Potion of empowerment should have been a green/white hybrid card, because I feel that green alone should not have an effect such as that.
Why does blade historian grant double strike only to attacking creatures? Why is WotC making card that force players to attack, rather than both attack and defend?
Rip apart is not too bad, but the fact that it is merely a sorcery prevents it from being useful, so I shall keep Wear / Tear in my red/white decks, instead.
It seems that there shall be a cycle of campuses and pledgemages for each school, and, thus far, I am not impressed; Lorehold pledgemage could have been good if its ability increased its toughness in addition to its power. It is not yet known if all of the campuses shall have scry, but, if they do, 4 mana to scry one card is terrible, so I shall not be using them, in any of my decks.
Elite spellbinder is very nice, as it explores new design space for white while still feeling appropriate for that color, so I am very pleased by with it.
Venerable warsinger is awesome, so I do hope that I can put it into at least one of my decks.
Dueling coach is almost entirely worse than is Mikaeus, the Lunarch , so I will not even bother with it.
On returned pastcaller, why is the hybrid symbol between the two mono-colored symbols? Would it not make more sense for it to be after the colorless mana symbol?
Efreet flamepainter will be amazing for the Elsha of the Infinite deck that I am building, so I shall definitely get a copy of it.
I shall presume that each school shall have an uncommon legendary creature, who shall be students who are the main characters of the story, and Quintorius is acceptable, but too narrow, in my mind.
Velomachus Lorehold, the founder of the Lorehold school, is as impressive as I would expect an elder dragon to be, so, perhaps, I may put him into one of my decks, but his high mana cost is unappealing.
Given that nearly every card that was revealed today was red/white, is it now safe to presume that each day this week shall feature cards from one specific school?
March 29, 2021 6:06 p.m.
March 29, 2021 6:19 p.m.
I must admit, Lorehold is by far my favorite. I mean I understand we have only see this one and a few cards from the rest, but the flavor and feel of them being historians and archeologists just warms my heart so very much. I was concerned it's be another "Boros Legion" take again, as we see in every set with the color pairing, but I see that they went a completely different route and I am just in love with it.
March 29, 2021 7:39 p.m.
Mcat1999 So far, I'm very happy with how different approaches to the two-color philosophy have been shown. I hope it keeps up through the week.
March 29, 2021 7:58 p.m.
Huh, the take on reanimator in this set is rather interesting. Use Hofri to get extra milage out of ETB triggers and add some Mob Rule effects paired with a sac outlet and you have a pretty interesting Boros reanimator deck. That nerfed "Narset" Boros Dragon is also pretty interesting. Pairs very well with Sunforger , Waves of Aggression , and Armageddon effects.
March 29, 2021 10:19 p.m.
Coward_Token Re: Reanimator: Yeah, it's an interesting direction to take this color combination in. I was mostly thinking about Modern and Lorehold's potential there.
March 29, 2021 11:02 p.m.
I'm not saying I want to hug Relic Sloth, but...
As someone who has seen both Llama and Alpaca in real life and hugged and have been hugged by them...
I definitely wanna hug Relic Sloth
By the way, Llama and Alpaca are just the sweetest. If you're ever at a petting zoo and they have one or both, you need to go see them. They are like dogs and cats. They have the playfulness of dogs but are just as sweet and loving as cats. They are just giant cuddlebugs.
March 30, 2021 1:03 a.m.
Also, whoever gave THIS F-ING THING double strike needs to both be fired and promoted at the same time.
I can't tell if I hate that I love it, or if I love that I hate it.
Depends who's side of the table it's on, I suppose ;)