Friday, 19 February 2021 10:20

Welcome to Strixhaven: WotC details Magic's next Standard set

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Welcome to Strixhaven: WotC details Magic's next Standard set WOTC

While it seems like Kaldheim only just came out (it did) and we only recently began talking about Time Spiral Remastered (we have), Wizards of the Coast is already touting the next Standard-legal set due for release: Strixhaven: School of Mages.

Expected for release April 23, Strixhaven follows the battle between five colleges at the most prestigious university for magical learning in the multiverse, Strixhaven.  Each college has its own identity, flavor, and playstyle.

Strixhaven Schools

  • Lorehold, one of the school's colleges, is for those who love a mix of research and adventure.  Obsessed with history, Lorehold students explore the past through the study of archaeological artifacts and summoning long-dead spirits.
  • Prismari is comprised of students who find magic as a source of self expression.  Ever theatrical, their spells can be elegant shows of creativity or raw expressions of creativity.  They are the actors, and the world is their stage.
  • Quandrix is where you'll find most of the school's mathematicians.  They study the special details that allow them to hold command over the forces of nature.
  • Witherbloom, a college described as the place for goth bio-nerds, is all about drawing power from the essence of living beings through both enhancement and exploitation.
  • Silverquil, the "slithers in" as the school's fifth college.  Their students are all about the value of verbosity, using their words -- whether poetry or prose -- and natural charisma to influence the world around them.

Strixhaven packaging

The set will be released in traditional draft boosters, set boosters, and collector's boosters, as well as in a bundle that contains ten draft boosters, a storage box, a spindown die, and more.  Furthermore, each of Strixhaven's five colleges will have their own pre-constructed commander deck with each deck featuring 81 new cards with a focus on the specific college's colors and themes.  And, special for Strixhaven, local gaming stores will be provided an allotment of commander decks specifically for the April 16 prerelease and will be allowed to sell the decks during prerelease week, even if the customer isn't buying a prerelease pack to play in an in-store, at-home, or remote prerelease event.

With the upcoming release of Strixhaven: School of Mages comes a new type of physical packaging.  In an effort to reduce waste, the set's commander decks will feature reduced-plastic packaging as only the wrap around the cards themselves will be plastic -- no more hard, clear plastic cover over the deck's featured card.

But that's not all that will be new with this set.  In fact, it's that old adage of "what's old is new again."

In each booster pack of Strixhaven will be "Mystical Archive" spells.  Flavor-wise, these are old spells that have been dug up in the restricted section -- err -- mystical archive in the school's library.  Reality-wise, it's a Strixhaven subset of 63 cards from across Magic: The Gathering history -- all with brand new artwork and card frames unique to the set.

Strixhaven Mystical Archive

The cards will be found draft, set, and collector's boosters and will be a one-per-pack guarantee save for collector's boosters, which will have no fewer than three in each.  Furthermore, Japanese-language draft and set boosters will feature special Japanese variants of these cards (as seen below).

Mystical Archive (Nihonga style)

Mystical Archive cards will be available in normal non-foil, traditional foil, and gold-etched foil.

Strixhaven: School of Mages is scheduled for release on April 23 with its prerelease week beginning a week prior on April 16.