April 12, 2021

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Chapter 3 – Strixhaven Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour

Table of Contents – Ultimate Guide to Strixhaven Limited and Prerelease
Chapter 1 - Top Commons for Limited and Prerelease
Chapter 2 - Top Uncommons for Limited and Prerelease
Chapter 3 - Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour
Chapter 4 - Guide to Learn and Lessons

Welcome all to the Ultimate Guide to Strixhaven Limited and Prerelease. It’s time for the Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour for Strixhaven. Anytime you're playing a new set, the biggest hurdle is knowing what to expect from your opponent. This guide is here to help you figure out what those spells are and how you can prepare yourself. You'll see all the possible removal spells and combat tricks that you can use and that can be used against you. Once you have the knowledge of knowing the different spells, it'll help you think of better lines to beating your opponent. Strixhaven brings a unique challenge of two-colour colleges that could both widen and narrow what your opponent could be playing.

To make it easier, I’ve broken it down by colour so you can have an easier reference to what you’re looking for.

White Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

To start off we have a typical White aura removal spell, but with a twist. Detention Vortex can stop a creature for only one mana for at minimum one turn as its removal clause can only be done as a sorcery. White has only two instant removal spells to worry about, with the three-mana Expel and a modal card I’ll talk about later. At sorcery speed though, you have a blank removal spell that leaves behind a Spirit with Reduce to Memory. White does have a good sweeper in Devastating Mastery. It can be cast for only four mana at times, so watch out, but most likely will be cast for six mana.

As usual, White has a slew of combat tricks. The other instant removal spell is Defend the Campus, a sweet modal combat trick and removal spell in one. Beaming Defiance can be used to stop removal or just pump to win in combat. Show of Confidence can also pump up a creature, but depending on what’s been cast, could pump up multiple creatures. Finally, the ultimate combat trick can be played in Semester’s End. This can protect multiple creatures/planeswalkers from removal and will make them larger when they come back during the next end step.

Blue Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

Blue starts off with a few combat tricks. The Lesson searching Arcane Subtraction will help you win a normal combat trade. Resculpt will morph your worst artifact or creature into an Elemental threat at instant speed. With six mana, two creatures can get tapped down for a couple of turns with Snow Day.

When it comes to tuck/bounce spells, Bury the Books can be played at instant speed, whereas Multiple Choice can be used at sorcery speed to bounce a creature of your choice back to your hand. Blue doesn’t disappoint with three different counterspells. Divide by Zero will return the spell (or permanent) to your hand, Reject can counter creatures/planeswalkers, and Test of Talents can take out all four copies of an instant or sorcery. Finally, there's one Flash creature for Blue in Strixhaven with the power reducing Frog Burrog Befuddler.

Black Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

There's no shortage of removal spells for Black with four of them being at instant speed. Umbral Juke can make you sacrifice a creature or planeswalker. Lash of Malice is like Disfigure with the upside of adding power to a larger creature of your own if you need to. Flunk is a solid mid-game removal spell that gets better the less cards in your opponents’ hand. Baleful Mastery is just a solid instant exile removal spell that could possibly be cast for only two mana.

Black also has two sorcery removal spells in the Lesson Necrotic Fumes and the full creature/planeswalker removal spell Mage Hunters’ Onslaught. There's one combat trick to worry about with the one mana Professor’s Warning. There's a sorcery planeswalker removal Lesson with Confront the Past. All the way up at six mana is the planeswalker Professor Onyx which can make you sacrifice your largest creature.

Red Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

As usual Red hits you with a bunch of damage removal spells. To start off we have a couple of sweepers with the Mythic Crackle with Power that gets better the longer the game goes and the spell exiling sweeper Draconic Intervention. If you want to deal some damage at instant speed, Explosive Welcome is expensive but can deal eight total damage and give you some mana for another spell. Heated Debate only deals four damage but has the bonus of being uncounterable.

At sorcery speed, Igneous Inspiration can deal three damage directly to your opponent and will help replace itself with a Lesson. Pigment Storm is the nice common sorcery removal spell that can potentially deal some damage to the opponent as well. For situational removal, if you need some artifact destruction, Start from Scratch is the Lesson that can help you out. Finally, Red has some combat tricks with the reach giving Academic Dispute and the first strike delivering Sudden Breakthrough.

Green Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

Green is known for its fight cards and it has two sorcery speed ones in Strixhaven. Devouring Tendrils will help you kill a creature and gain some life which helps Witherbloom synergies. Mage Duel fights as well but can give your creature a stat bonus before doing so. Green has a modal situational removal card combining with Tangletrap. It combines Green’s love of killing flying creatures and artifacts.

There are three combat tricks to worry about for Green starting with Big Play which gives +3/+3 (+1/+1 of that is permanent) and reach. Charge Through is something to worry about if you have a large attacker coming against you as it can instantly give trample. Finally, Fortifying Draught is a variable pump spell for a creature based on the amount of life gained for the turn.

Multicolour Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by College

Usually, there aren’t many multicolour cards for this guide, but with five two-colour colleges, I’ll break it down by each college to make it easier as you will often see many two-colour decks in Limited based on these colleges.

Prismari (Red/Blue)

Prismari has two heavy casting cost spells that can do some major damage. Each one can be discarded early on for a Treasure token if you need to ramp. Creative Outburst deals five damage to any target and helps you with some card advantage at instant speed. Magma Opus is the sorcery spell that is the more powerful of the two. It's a value machine if you can cast it that will fill your battlefield, fill your hand, and clear your opponents’ battlefield. Finally is the nice double removal spell in Prismari Command. It can both deal two damage to any target and destroy an artifact at the same time.

Lorehold (Red/White)

To start, Lorehold has one of the best cheap removal spells in the set with Rip Apart. It’s a versatile damage spell that can take care of an artifact or enchantment if needed. Next, you have Make Your Mark that can help your creature trade in combat and leave you with a 3/2 Spirit token. Finally, you have the instant spell that can be used as a combat trick and a removal spell, Lorehold Command. Having a Lightning Helix ability on the card as well as being able to make all your creatures indestructible, it’s a powerful card at instant speed.

Silverquill (Black/White)

Silverquill does have an expensive creature removal with the Learn spell Rise of Extus. A cheaper option with more upside is the part pump spell, Closing Statement. A great utility removal spell can be found in the two mana Fracture. Any monocoloured threats can be taken care of with only two mana thanks to the new Vanishing Verse. Finally, you have the spell that will make your opponent sacrifice a creature among other powerful things, Silverquill Command.

Quandrix (Green/Blue)

To start off is an expensive bounce/regrowth spell with Aether Helix. You'll have to be aware of the combat trick Square Up that can make combat interesting. Quandrix has one of the better modal cards with Decisive Denial. It can act like a Negate or a fight spell. Finally, you have the triple threat of Quandrix Command. At instant speed, it can be any combination of bounce spell, counterspell, or combat trick.

Witherbloom (Green/Black)

Witherbloom is loaded with removal including the small sweeper Culling Ritual. Deadly Brew is an interesting sacrifice card that can potentially get a card back from the graveyard as well and can be played on turn two. One of the best in the set is the blanket removal instant Mortality Spear. No card is safe with that spell.

Next up is a few combat tricks including the deathtouch making Infuse with Vitality. It can lead to some nasty two-for-one’s so watch out. Another potential blowout is with the creature making Tend the Pests. Suddenly your opponent could have a ton of 1/1 Pests available to block or attack the next turn. Finally, you have the double removal threat of Witherbloom Command. It has the potential to remove two small threats, one creature, one noncreature among other fun things it can do including draining someone for two life.

I hope that this Strixhaven Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour will provide some value and insight into what to expect at your first Prerelease or Draft. Thanks again for reading Chapter 3 of the Ultimate Guide to Strixhaven Limited and Prerelease. Next up is Chapter 4 and the Guide to Learn and Lessons.

Table of Contents – Ultimate Guide to Strixhaven Limited and Prerelease
Chapter 1 - Top Commons for Limited and Prerelease
Chapter 2 - Top Uncommons for Limited and Prerelease
Chapter 3 - Guide to Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour
Chapter 4 - Guide to Learn and Lessons