March 24, 2021

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Daily Dose of Strixhaven #2 – Everyone wants a good Professor

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Strixhaven! Class is once again in session and today, we get to meet one of our professors. One of the most exciting previews of any preview season is the new Planeswalkers. Today I will be going over two new Planeswalkers we've seen before, but one of them might be in disguise. With five Colleges in play for this set, there could be an opportunity for five new Planeswalkers. It would make sense that the Mythics from the set be separated within each of the five Colleges to make it ideal for an even Limited experience. I think that some will be mono-coloured so that they can be played in more than one college, opening the deckbuilding options for Strixhaven.

Before we get to our new professor in disguise, I want to talk about a Planeswalker that we first saw back in War of the Spark, and she is ready to do some teaching of her own. Here is Kasmina, Enigma Sage.

Kasmina, Enigma Sage

We have seen some powerful Simic cards in the past few years and this three-mana Planeswalker should see some play. Let’s break down the abilities for this Planeswalker.

Each other planeswalker you control has the loyalty abilities of Kasmina, Enigma Sage. – What an interesting static ability for a planeswalker. It is almost the opposite of Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God as it teaches all its abilities to others. This allows you to use any of the abilities you see below possibly twice or more in one turn. It can also add a plus loyalty ability to a planeswalker that doesn’t have one like Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis or Garruk, Cursed Huntsman.

[+2]: Scry 1. – Scry 1 by itself isn’t a strong ability but gaining two loyalty is. It allows you to make a larger creature in future turns or work quickly towards her ultimate ability. Having a +2 loyalty for other Planeswalkers you have can help as well.

[-X]: Create a 0/0 green and blue Fractal creature token. Put X +1/+1 counters on it. – This is the most interesting ability for this Planeswalker. The option on turn one is to either bump it to 4 loyalty or make a 1/1. Chances are you don’t want to make a 2/2 killing Kasmina, Enigma Sage. There wouldn’t often be too much difference between a 1/1 and a 2/2 although it could come into play. This ability on other Planeswalkers allows you to Scry with Kasmina, Enigma Sage and make a creature to protect it with another Planeswalker.

[-8]: Search your library for an instant or sorcery card that shares a color with this planeswalker, exile that card, then shuffle. You may cast that card without paying its mana cost. – A great ultimate ability in which you have a better chance of getting to it with a different planeswalker and not is Kasmina, Enigma Sage herself. Remember you are limited to the colours of the planeswalker using the ability so having this ultimate go off with say, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon won’t accomplish much as there are no colourless spells in Standard right now.

Overall, I really like the design space around Kasmina, Enigma Sage. Even without other planeswalkers on the battlefield it can grow in loyalty quickly or make a bunch of small Fractal creatures to protect itself. Will be interesting to build around this card for Standard.
Now it’s time to meet our Professor in disguise. Who is it you might ask? See for yourself, here is Professor Onyx.

Professor Onyx

That’s right, it’s Liliana in disguise! This powerful six-mana Planeswalker has four abilities and they are all powerful. Let’s break down the abilities for this planeswalker.

Magecraft - Whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell, each opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life. – This might not seem like much, but this will add up over time and will start to put a clock on your opponent. In a control deck, you will have mostly spells in your deck and this could be a win condition for any control deck.

[+1]: You lose 1 life. Look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. – A +1 loyalty ability that draws you a card is some major value. Not only that but you get to handpick the best out of your top three cards. The one life loss doesn’t mean much as you’ll be gaining that life back thanks to Magecraft.

[-3]: Each opponent sacrifices a creature with the greatest power among creatures that player controls. – This uses 3 loyalty but will usually get rid of your opponents’ best creature. This is a good way for Professor Onyx to protect herself and stay alive long enough for you to start taking over the game with her Magecraft ability.

[-8]: Each opponent may discard a card. If they don't, they lose 3 life. Repeat this process six more times. – Unless your opponent has been stacking a ton of lands in their hand, this ultimate will most often win you the game.

Now that class is in full swing, I cannot wait to see what other Planeswalkers show up in Strixhaven. Will there be one per College? Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Join me again tomorrow as we see more new cards and figure out which students are behaving, and which ones want to be bad.