Daily Dose of Strixhaven #3 – Only Instants and Sorceries Allowed!
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. School is still in session and there is only one lesson to learn today. That lesson is that only instants and sorceries are allowed. That’s right, the focus of today's Daily Dose of Strixhaven is on a new mechanic: Magecraft. Think of it as Landfall for instants and sorceries. Magecraft triggers whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell. This is music to the ears of all those control players. Not only am I talking about the new Magecraft mechanic, but I have the return of the Royal Scions! I’ll talk about these planeswalkers a little bit later.
First up is a creature that will you continue to cast more instants and sorcery spells. Here is Archmage Emeritus.
To start you get a 2/2 for four mana which isn’t the main attraction for the card. The attraction lies in its Magecraft ability allowing you to draw a card whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell. Once you have Archmage Emeritus on the battlefield the goal would be to start drawing more instant and sorceries off your card draw to keep the chain going. Archmage Emeritus will be a lightning rod for removal, so it might be best to wait until you can get value out of it. Having multiple on the battlefield at the same time might allow you to combo off even.
Next up is a Druid looking to get more powerful thanks to Magecraft. Here is the brand-new Dragonsguard Elite.
I’m a big fan of this 2/2 for two mana. Throughout the game, you can start casting and copying your instant and sorcery spells and watch them grow. Being able to add counters at instant speed makes it harder for your opponent during combat. Later in the game, you can start doubling the number of +1/+1 counters each turn until it can take down your opponent in one swing. I think this card gets value if you can get it to four or five power with your spells. Not a bad creature for only two mana.
Finally, it’s time to get two cards for the price of one, planeswalker style! Here is Rowan, Scholar of Sparks // Will, Scholar of Frost.
Rowan, Scholar of Sparks // Will, Scholar of Frost
This double-faced modal card gives you the choice between two new planeswalker cards. Let’s break down the abilities of each planeswalker.
Instant and Sorcery spells you cast cost 1 less to cast. – Cost reduction is always great. Having this static ability be available for only three mana will help you cast most of your spells from your deck in hopes of chaining multiple spells in one turn.
+1: “Rowan, Scholar of Sparks deals 1 damage to each opponent. If you’ve drawn three or more cards this turn, she deals 3 damage to each opponent instead.” – Basically, the opportunity to deal three damage is dependant on if you have a spell or combination of spells that allow you to draw two more cards after your draw step. The cost reduction ability can help in achieving that. Even without that, you can start pinging your opponent for one each turn while building up her loyalty.
-4: “You get an emblem with “Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, you may pay 2. If you do, copy that spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.” – This is an amazing emblem that plays very well into the new Magecraft mechanic. Getting two triggers for each instant and sorcery provides so much value, and gives you two copies of every spell you cast! You can get this ultimate just two turns after casting Rowan, Scholar of Sparks, which could mean you get to copy spells in no time!
Instant and Sorcery Spells you cast cost 1 less to cast. – This cost reduction is great as well, but not as good when you consider you can’t have it on the battlefield until turn three. One thing to note though is that if you cast both planeswalkers and have them on the battlefield at the same time, it will double to a cost reduction of two for instants and sorceries.
+1: “Up to one target creature has base power and toughness 0/2 until your next turn.” – This allows you to basically shut off one of your opponent’s creatures or make it small enough for you to kill it with a damage spell. If you happen to have a creature with a bunch of +1/+1 counters on it, it could also increase its toughness. Having it be until your next turn shuts down any attacks as well.
-3: “Draw two cards” – There are better ways to spend five mana to draw two cards. However, possibly being able to repeat this process makes it very appealing. Note that if you have both planeswalkers out, this will trigger the three drawn cards needed for Rowan, Scholar of Sparks’s first loyalty ability.
-7: “Exile up to five target permanents. For each permanent exiled this way, its controller creates a 4/4 blue and red Elemental creature token.” – Getting twenty power onto the battlefield even if you must exile five of your own permanents will most often win you the game. It'll take a while to get up to seven loyalty, but it's well worth it if you can win the game.
As you can see, Strixhaven is all about instants and sorceries and gaining value from them through the new Magecraft mechanic or an awesome new modal DFC Planeswalker. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Join me again tomorrow as we continue our lesson plan so that we can pass our Strixhaven test.