Strixhaven: School of Mages preview season is amongst us! Previews kicked off earlier today over at the official Magic: The Gathering Twitch channel. Strixhaven: School of Mages is the next Standard set that focuses around five colleges– Lorehold, Witherbloom, Quandrix, Prismari, and Sliverquill that sets the tone for magic and conflict.
Strixhaven: School of Mages is set to release for tabletop on April 23, and it will be released on Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic Online (MTGO) a few days earlier.
You can watch the entire Strixhaven: School of Mages Campus Tour below:
The official MTG stream and preview articles on Magic‘s website revealed a ton of new cards, mechanics, and lore. MTGRocks has put together the coolest and most essential spoilers and previews from today, so check it out before signing up for classes at Strixhaven: School of Mages! And make sure to check our spoiler section for every Strixhaven card that gets revealed.
Strixhaven: School of Mages March 25 Previews
Starting off the previews is the reveal of Shadrix Silverquill, one of the five Elder Dragons on the plane of Arcavios who each founded a college of Strixhaven. Shadrix oversees the school of writers and orators, and they lives up to their Silverquill moniker by painting inky trails of Black and White magic in their wake. Shadrix was revealed in the official MTG article about Strixhaven: School of Mages booster variants, Mystical Archives, and other border treatments.
Shadrix also comes in a gorgeous extended-art printing, which you can find in Set, Draft, and Collector Boosters.
Strixhaven: School of Mages Mechanics
The official Strixhaven: School of Mages preview stream revealed several new mechanics appearing in the set for the first time.
While we got to see a sneak peak of the new mechanic Magecraft on the Professor Onyx card spoiled recently, more cards with the spell-centric ability were revealed today. Here’s Prismari Apprentice.
In a nice little two-for-one reveal, the Magecraft announcement also revealed a new cycle of Apprentices from each college of Strixhaven. Each uncommon 2/2 creature rewards you for casting or copying spells and also illustrates what each college is about.
Here are the other four Apprentices:
Since Strixhaven: School of Mages is flavorfully and mechanically focused on spells, every color gets cards with Magecraft. Check out spoiler for all the Magecraft cards revealed so far, including a new Tarmogoyf-like Rare!
Learn and Lessons
Mark Rosewater, MTG‘s Lead Designer, recently wrote in his Blogatog that Strixhaven: School of Mages would be innovative. He didn’t explain beyond that, but we think that he might have been talking about a pair of new mechanics from the set, Learn and Lesson cards!
Cards with the learn mechanic give you a choice between putting a Lesson card you own from outside the game, usually from your sideboard, directly into your hand, or discarding a card to draw a fresh one. Meanwhile, Lesson is a subtype of Instants and Sorceries that allow the Lesson card to be fetched by Learn cards.
We’ll also see colorless Lesson cards, proving that there are valuable lessons that everyone should have access to, regardless of their affiliation to a color of mana. We’re excited to see how this innovative mechanic impacts Limited and Constructed formats with the release of Strixhaven: School of Mages!
Read More: The Strixhaven Staff Members We Want To See
Magic: The Gathering will also have a new evergreen keyword with the release of Strixhaven: School of Mages, Ward! Ward is a more interactive twist on the polarizing Hexproof keyword, which itself was a nerfed Shroud. Limited players will no doubt be pleased at the prospect of seeing fewer unkillable threats.
Ward can appear in all colors, with the text after Ward indicating what kind of hoop your opponent must jump through to target your permanent successfully. It’s worth noting that MTG Play Design will still be printing Hexproof cards. You can read all about this new mechanic here.
Modal Double Faced Cards – College Deans and Planeswalkers
Last but not least in the mechanics portion of our round-up, Strixhaven will feature the Modal Double Faced Cards (MDFCs) from the last two sets that players have come to know and love. While we haven’t seen all the ways MDFCs will work in this set, we do know that the Rare cycle of college deans will be represented by this mechanic.
Each college has two deans, each representing a conflicting philosophy of their college. Here’s the pair of deans from Witherbloom who share a card:
Perhaps one of the spiciest reveals from today’s spoiler bonanza was the return of Rowan and Will Kenrith in the form of a MDFC Planeswalker.
We last saw these siblings sharing a card as The Royal Scions in Throne of Eldraine, after they each got their first Planeswalker cards in Battlebond. Now, they come bundled together as two powerful options in one card.
New Cycle of Dual Lands
Strixhaven: School of Mages will get its own cycle of Rare dual lands, after Kaldheim and Zendikar split the ten Pathway cards between them. Fans of Port Town and friends from Shadows of Innistrad will be happy to see the completion of this cycle of Peek-a-Boo Lands (we’re trying to make it a thing).
Another awesome reveal from the Campus Tour stream was the cycle of Strixhaven: School of Mages Commander headliners from each college. Say hello to Willowdusk, Essence Seer, the Commander from the Witherbloom themed deck:
Last but not least, the Campus Tour revealed more cards from the much-awaited Mystical Archives supplemental set releasing alongside Strixhaven: School of Mages. Here are some of our favorites (check out our spoiler section for the rest!)
And if these gorgeous cards don’t do it for you, check out the special Japanese edition of Mystical Archive cards Lightning Bolt, Time Warp, and Duress! These are some of the most beautiful Magic cards we’ve ever seen.
To find out more about these awesome Mystical Archives, how to get them them, and which formats they’ll be legal in, check out our handy guide.