Daily Dose of Strixhaven #9 – Jamming up the 3-drop creature slot for White decks
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Today I’m going to be talking about three new cards from Strixhaven that just happen to be all White, all creatures (mostly), and all cost three mana. Despite all the similarities I just mentioned, that is where their commonality ends. They're all quite different cards including a creature with a zero-mana activated ability and two Modal DFCs.
To start off I want to talk about a Human Cleric that instead, can be used to cast a powerful, yet expensive sorcery. Here is Selfless Glyphweaver // Deadly Vanity.
Selfless Glyphweaver // Deadly Vanity
On the front side, you get a 2/3 creature for three mana that protects your other creatures. We've seen an ability like this on other creatures in the past and it's proved to be a great way to protect from mass removal. It also basically forces your opponent to remove Selfless Glyphweaver before removing other creatures. Speaking of mass removal, how about the spell Deadly Vanity? You can use this almost as a one-sided wrath, allowing you to keep your best creature or planeswalker while removing the rest. At eight mana, it’s a bit of a pain to cast, but that’s why it’s on the backside of a non-legendary creature.
Next up is not a plane, but a Bird, here is Mavinda, Students’ Advocate.
Mavinda, Student's Advocate
This legendary creature starts off as a 2/3 Flying creature for three mana, which isn’t too bad. Mavinda, Students’ Advocate has a zero-mana ability that allows you once a turn (you can activate during your opponents’ turn to cast an instant as well) recast an instant or sorcery from your graveyard by exiling it. The catch, however, is that if it doesn’t target a creature you control it costs you eight additional mana to cast. This means you want to have beneficial spells that target your own creatures to pump them up or give you an advantage. The first one that comes to mind that does both is Defiant Strike. Recasting allows you to draw another card and pump a creature. You can cast it twice in the same turn for two mana, not bad for +2/+0, and two cards.
Another good option is Keep Safe. You can use it to protect a creature from removal and draw an additional card. One of the best of the bunch though is Sublime Epiphany. Since it targets one of your creatures to make a copy of it, you can just use the rest of the choices to your benefit!
Finally, I want to talk about another Modal DFC planeswalker arriving in Strixhaven. Here's Mila, Crafty Companion // Lukka, Wayward Bonder.
Mila, Crafty Companion // Lukka, Wayward Bonder
Let’s start off by talking about Mila, Crafty Companion. The power in this creature doesn’t lie in its basic 2/3 stats, but in its two triggered abilities. The first ability allows you to protect your planeswalkers. If you can put together a control deck with a bunch of planeswalkers, this could add loyalty and leave them out of reach of dying or bringing them closer to better loyalty abilities. I think the next ability is the best of the two though. All your permanents have a replacement effect from removal from your opponent by allowing you to draw a card whenever they're targeted.
Now the return of Lukka, Wayward Bonder. This is a six mana planeswalker, which is expensive, but with the creature option on the front of the card, it won’t be stuck in your hand in the early game. Let’s break down the abilities of this planeswalker.
+1: You may discard a card. If you do, draw a card. If a creature card was discarded this way, draw two cards instead. – A classic Red drawcard ability, but with a twist. If you discard a creature (which you will want to when you see his next ability) you draw two cards instead. Having a way to plow through your library, drawing a total of three cards per turn (including your normal draw phase) can help you get the best spells you need to win.
-2: Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of your next upkeep. – Those wonderful creatures you just discarded with the +1 ability can now be used to get in for some damage, but that’s not where this ability ends. The keywords on this ability are “next upkeep” and not “next end step”. This allows you to bring back a creature to block if you need to. It also allows you to find a way to either sacrifice it for more value or bring it back to your hand to recast another time. Finding a way to build around this ability shouldn’t be too hard in potentially a Mardu sacrifice shell.
-7: You get an emblem with “Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, it deals damage equal to its power to any target.” – You can get this ability by turn three after casting it which isn’t too bad. The emblem itself turns all your creatures into damage spells. This is basically an emblem version of Terror of the Peaks that your opponent can’t remove from the battlefield.
As you can see, the three-drop slot for White decks will have on shortage of choices thanks to Strixhaven. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Join me again next week and more lessons drop for this exciting new set.