Daily Dose of Strixhaven #5 – Top Mystical Archive cards for Limited
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Today I’m going to be talking about the wonderful new subset of cards from Strixhaven: the Mystical Archive. These are cards that appear in every booster pack you can get from Strixhaven. This means that prerelease, draft, and sealed events will allow you to play with these potentially powerful cards. They are so good, it’s almost like a guaranteed playable card in every pack. There are some though that stand out from the rest, so today I want to talk about the Mystical Archive cards that will have the most impact on Limited play.
Gods Willing - To start you have White’s version of a counterspell in Gods Willing. At one mana this can counter any targeted removal spell in the format, helping you keep your strongest threat on the battlefield. Being able to Scry one is a nice bonus to the spell most players won’t see coming.
Swords to Plowshares – All you need to know is that this is a 1-mana removal spell that exiles any creature on the battlefield. Having a drawback of your opponent gaining some life is not much of a drawback at all. Being only 1-mana will often allow you to play multiple spells in a turn and using tempo to bring the advantage in the game back to your side.
Day of Judgment – You can always, always use a sweeper removal card in your deck. Who knows if there will be any sweepers in Strixhaven, so this could be your answer for mass removal. You are laughing at being able to cast this for only four mana. It would make it hard for your opponent to aggro you out of the game if you opened this removal.
Brainstorm – Drawing three cards for one mana at instant speed is powerful even if you must put two cards back on top of your library. If you can combine this with a way to manipulate your library, Brainstorm is a powerful cantrip that you don't want to miss out on.
Counterspell – The original is back and there’s nothing better to counter a spell. A two-mana cover everything counterspell will go a long way into helping you win the game. You get to trade it for their best spell and keep the game tilted to your side.
Time Warp – Taking an extra turn is more powerful than some players think, especially in Limited. One of the main advantages for Limited play is being able to have two attack phases in a row. It changes the way you attack and if you have creatures that can’t be blocked you get to get in for double the damage you normally would potentially finishing off your opponent.
Doom Blade – The old saying, “Dies to Doom Blade” is because of this lovely two-mana removal spell. Though occasionally it'll be a whiff, in Limited it'll be rare that you're playing against a Mono-Black deck. This should be able to be used at some point in the game to take out a strong threat.
Dark Ritual – Ramp in the form of spells is one of the most powerful things in the game. This will help you cheat out a spell two turns early, allowing you to put out a more powerful threat before your supposed to and before your opponent does. If you’re able to get a strong Black three-drop on turn one it could be lights out for your opponent.
Demonic Tutor – Being able to search out your library for your best card could be the difference between you winning and losing a game. Sometimes the shuffle gods are not in your favour, so you need a card like Demonic Tutor. At only two mana it helps to be able to cast this and the spell you grab from your library.
Lightning Bolt – Another one-mana spell makes the list with one of Red’s all-time best removal cards. When in doubt you can just hit your opponent for three damage to finish them off.
Increasing Vengeance – There is a new mechanic in Strixhaven called Magecraft and it triggers not only when you cast an instant or sorcery, but when you copy it as well. This makes Increasing Vengeance have a little more value than usual when played in Strixhaven Limited.
Mizzix’s Mastery – Speaking of Magecraft triggers, how about a handful of triggers if you can overload Mizzix’s Mastery! Even without the overload for this spell, you get to choose your best instant or sorcery in your graveyard. Perfect for Strixhaven mages to reuse their best spells.
Regrowth – There is nothing better than casting the best spell in your deck when playing Limited, except maybe casting it again. This card allows you to get the best card from your graveyard and cast it for a second time. At only two mana, you can usually cast this and play the spell you’ve retrieved from your graveyard.
Primal Command – Commands are a big part of Strixhaven so why not add this Green one in the mix. You can gain life, tutor a creature, shuffle your best cards back into your library or tuck a nonland permanent back on top of a library to give you a tempo advantage. There is too much value in this card to not have it in your Limited deck.
Cultivate – As we have seen with other Mystical Archive cards, ramp is so important to help you get larger mana value spells out before your opponent. It also helps you fix your mana if you're playing two or three coloured decks, which you most often are in Limited.
Growth Spiral – The card was banned for a reason. Ramp is just so powerful in Magic and this card does it at instant speed and replaces itself.
Putrefy – Although we haven’t seen many artifacts in Strixhaven, just the creature destruction itself is so strong in any format, especially Limited. There will be some large creatures in Strixhaven like the Elder Dragons and you want to make sure you have protection against your opponents’ largest threat.
Despark – Great removal for the late game as it will guarantee you can handle their largest threat, whether it be a creature, planeswalker, enchantment, or artifact.
Lightning Helix – Like Lightning Bolt this is one of the better removal cards of its time and it's back in Strixhaven Limited. Similar cards in the recent past have cost four mana or more showing the value of having this as a two mana value spell.
It’s going to be exciting to open these blasts from the past and play them in the current Strixhaven Limited format. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. Join me again tomorrow as I delve back into cards from the new set.