Time Warp
4, Jul, 22

Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive May Be Returning Sooner Than Expected!

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Article at a Glance

First appearing in 2021’s Strixhaven: School of Mages set, the Mystical Archive is another avenue for Wizards of the Coast to give players what they want: reprints. The Mystical Archive has yet to return following its first appearance. This has left the future of the supplementary set has been unknown. Thankfully, that may no longer be the case, as Wizards of the Coast has opened up about the set’s future.

What is Magic: The Gathering’s Mystical Archive?

Similar to the Masterpiece Series, the Mystical Archive is a collection of reprinted cards that appear in a set’s boosters. Unlike the Masterpiece Series, the Mystical Archive cards could be found frequently and reliably, with one in every Draft Booster. Mystical Archive cards could also be found in Set Boosters, and more frequently in Collector Boosters.

Due to the frequency at which Mystical Archive cards appear, the reprinted cards significantly impact Limited formats. While able to be drafted like any other card in a Strixhaven: School of Mages pack, the Mystical Archive cards are not automatically Standard-legal. Cards from the Mystical Archive do not have any legality changes due to their reprinting (with the possible exception of Pauper). 

In the Strixhaven: School of Mages Mystical Archive, all the reprinted cards were Instants or Sorceries. This followed the themes of the set. However, there’s no indication that Mystical Archive cards must follow this precedent. 

In their only appearance thus far, Mystical Archive cards have been available in multiple variants. Alongside their standard showcase frame printing, they were also available with stunning Japanese alternate art. Both regular and Japanese versions of Mystical Archive cards are available in foil and as foil-etched cards via Collector Boosters.

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Back by Popular Demand

The official return of the Mystical Archive has yet to be confirmed by WotC. However, it’s looking more likely than ever. This is thanks to Magic: the Gathering’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, explicitly asking fans when they want to see the Mystical Archive return.

Prompted by a question on their blog asking about the popularity of Strixhaven’s Mystical Archives, Rosewater turned to his devoted following, asking, “how often would you like to see a bonus sheet like the Mystical Archive”? This question was met with an overwhelming consensus that the Mystical Archive must return.

Wizards have yet to respond to this demand. However, if players get their way, we could see the Mystical Archive returning at least once a year. This could help dramatically reduce the cost of some iconic cards in Magic: the Gathering. This would not just be limited to Instants and Sorceries. For example, The Brothers’ War set could have a Mystical Archive focused on Artifacts.

While we hope to see a new Mystical Archive bonus sheet soon, likely, it won’t return until 2023 at the earliest. This is because, as you might expect, designing a set takes time. With the Mystical Archive having a considerable impact on a set’s Limited environment, it’s doubtful that WotC could splice one onto a set. Instead, it would need to be considered from the set’s inception.

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No Change, Only Value

Unlike other reprint-focused sets such as Double Masters 2022, Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive didn’t give Paper anything to be excited about. The non-standard set did feature several rarity-shifted cards. However, rarity was only increased rather than decreased. This prevented the Mystical Archive from disrupting anything other than the Limited environment it was designed for.

While players have expressed concerns over how Mystical Archive cards could come to dominate Limited formats, this opinion is in the minority. Thanks to the value provided by these booster sheet reprints, most players view these cards as either an enjoyable addition or a worthy sacrifice to a set’s Limited landscape. 

Personally, we’re fond of anything WotC has up their sleeves to mitigate the enormous cost of Modern and Eternal formats. 

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