March 31, 2021

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Daily Dose of Strixhaven #7 – Multiple Choice Question about playing Colourless spells

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Today I’ll be talking about a rare occurrence in magic, Colourless spells. Colourless spells are a non-artifact way of having spells that all decks can cast regardless of their colour combination. With all the two-colour Colleges running around Strixhaven, it’s nice to have some spells we know can be fit in any deck. We don’t often see Colourless creatures outside of Eldrazi, and when we do, they come sparsely like Adaptive Shimmerer in Ikoria. What is even rarer is a Colourless instant or sorcery. Only eight have ever been made in Magic’s history with only six of them using generic only mana including the original Not of this World. Today I’ll be bringing you two Colourless spells, including a Lesson and a double-faced modal colourless card. Stay tuned after that for a bonus multiple choice card.

To start off is a Lesson that you can get from your sideboard anytime you cast a spell with the new Learn mechanic from Strixhaven. Here is Environmental Sciences.

Environmental Sciences

Currently there are four Colourless sorcery Lessons that have been previewed. Being both common and using only generic mana, these spells will be usually one or more mana more than you would be used to seeing if it was a coloured spell. For example with Environmental Sciences you get an effect that usually is reserved for a one-mana Green spell. Environmental Sciences is nice in the way that it gives you two life which can help in certain matchups. I really like the idea of Colourless Lessons to make the Learn mechanic have more value. I would probably not consider playing these in Constructed formats, but they will go a long way into improving a Limited deck.

The other card I want to talk about is two spells in one as a double-faced modal card. Here is Wandering Archaic // Explore the Vastlands.

Wandering Archaic // Explore the Vastlands

Let’s start off with Wandering Archaic. You get a 4/4 for five generic mana which is of average value. It doesn’t have evasion or any other keywords. What it does excel at though, is potentially handcuffing your opponent from playing any instants or sorceries. If the spell they cast can benefit you from having a copy of it, they’ll have to pay more mana. One thing to note as a bonus is that if you do copy a spell, it will trigger any Magecraft abilities you have, giving you more value on top of the spell you copy.

If a creature doesn’t trigger your fancy, how about getting two cards in your hand with a potential price to pay. Explore the Vastlands will most often net you two cards and three life if you’ve built your deck around it. The tipping point is having about twelve instants and/or sorceries in your deck. That means one in five cards you have is one of those spell types. If you have less than twelve, you have a better chance of failing in finding one. If you have more than twelve then your odds increase. I think overall it’s a risky proposition to give your opponent two more cards in their hand, but at the same time if you have enough Magecraft triggers it could be worthwhile.

Before I go, I just want to talk about one more card as a little bonus. Here is Multiple Choice.

Multiple Choice

I’m a big fan of well-designed cards and Multiple Choice fits that bill. With its design, it becomes four spells in one.  Ideally, you would want to wait until you can make X = four, but you won’t always have the time to do that. If you're having trouble finding the card you need, especially land, you might need to make X = one. If you're getting overrun by creatures, X = two is the way to go. You can also choose yourself and bounce a creature with a negative Aura or a great enter-the-battlefield trigger. If you're getting overwhelmed by creatures it might be a good idea on turn four to make X = three and put out a 4/4 Elemental token. All the above though is the best way to go. Having a 4/4 that bounces a creature, Scry 1 and draw a card is some major value.

As you can see, the advantage of having additional spells in multiple decks really improves the pool of cards you can use for deckbuilding. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Join me again tomorrow as I investigate the next chapter of Strixhaven previews.