1, Apr, 21

Strixhaven Is Another Great Commander Set, But Is That A Good Thing?

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With a new set of Elder Dragons and plenty of incredible new Legendary Creatures, Strixhaven is very Commander-heavy.
Article at a Glance

With a whole new cycle of Elder Dragons, an array of excellent modal cards, and exciting new takes on nearly every color in MTG amongst the Strixhaven spoilers, it’s clear that this set is going to be a great addition for Commander players.

It’s great news for sure, and while we’re always happy to see new cards for one of our favorite formats, it sort of feels like recent sets have all had a very heavy Commander focus.

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Vanilla is no more


Now, Commander is an incredible format with a huge following that absolutely deserves to be one of the most popular formats in MTG, so it’s natural that Wizards of the Coast would want to support it.

It’s clear that with the likes of Velomachus Lorehold, the new Deans, the teachers themselves, and a wealth of other Legendary Creatures all over the place, it feels a lot like this is the best set for Commander in a while, but it’s not the only set that’s felt as though it’s filled with toys for Commander players.

You can’t look at any of the sets in the last few years without finding cards that feel pushed specifically for Commander, and while that’s great, it can sometimes feel as though Standard is less of a format in its own rights, and more just an excuse to print new cards for EDH. Just count up the number of Creatures that have no abilities in the last few sets, and you’ll see how much the landscape of Standard has changed.

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Is this power creep?


A lot of this could well be to do with the general power creep that all of us are aware of. If you were to play your average Creature of today against one from a decade ago, then you’ll usually be better on the modern monster.

You only have to look at the sheer volume of text on any given Strixhaven spell to see that things just keep ramping up, some pun intended.

It could well be that the focus on Commander, while no doubt intentional, is also a product of the fact that Standard has to continue to be relevant, and if you want new sets to play a part in that, they also have to bring something worthwhile, which often ends up being a chunk of new power.

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Does this matter?


The main question from all of this is whether or not this is good or bad, and it probably depends entirely on which formats you like to play.

If you love a bit of Commander or Brawl, then this set is going to be incredibly exciting for you. New cards are always exciting for those players though, because we love jank.

However, with the focus on these oddity formats, do we lose something for those players who want to play Standard competitively, or those who play Modern, Legacy, or even Vintage?

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