12, Dec, 21

Culmination Of Studies Is A Real Oddity

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Some cards are weird, and that's okay.
Article at a Glance

It’s been a long year with an awful lot of cards. So many, in fact, that you’d be forgiven for forgetting half of them, or more.

One advantage of this, though, is that we can now look back and see which cards might be fun to build around. As we’re going through this process, it also means we’ve spotted a few weird cards that inspire us to build strange decks. This time around, that means talking about Culmination of Studies.

What is Culmination of Studies?

Culmination of Studies is a blue and red sorcery from Strixhaven: School of Mages. It costs X and one of each of those colors, and it reads, “Exile the top X cards of your library. For each land card exiled this way, create a Treasure token. For each blue card exiled this way, draw a card. For each red card exiled this way, Culmination of Studies deals 1 damage to each opponent.”

In short, this card effectively has a lot of potential, but the RNG factor makes it tricky to truly build around. Fill a deck with lands and you get a lot of treasure, in a mostly blue deck you get a lot of cards, and in a mostly red deck, you deal a lot of damage.

The key here is to know what you’re trying to do. There are a few ways to turn this into a win condition on its own or as part of a greater strategy for the deck, so let’s look into it a little.

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What cards could make it work?

So, let’s look into support cards here first. The logical thing to do is to get the biggest effect out of the smallest investment here. Therefore, one of the best cards we can have in this deck is Elementalist’s Palette. This is a three-mana mana rock, but it gets two charge counters whenever you cast an X spell, and you can also use it to add X mana equal to those counters especially for X spells and costs. This means you can build your entire deck around this theme, if you want to.

You can also copy the spell using whichever methods you prefer to do so. From here, if you’re playing mostly blue, then it makes sense to add in Laboratory Maniac to make sure you having no more cards in your library is a good thing.

You can also go the mostly red route and focus on damage if you’d like to. At this point, building around exiling cards is your best bet, and that means looking at cards like Laelia, the Blade Reforged and a more aggressive strategy. Sadly Studies only puts one +1/+1 counter on Laelia, but it’s still a fun strategy if you’re looking for something unusual to play around with.

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