Daily Dose of Strixhaven #1 – Welcome to Class
Welcome all to a brand-new season of the Daily Dose with some exciting new content with Strixhaven! Strixhaven centers around five colleges of Magic and the students from them. Each college centers around an enemy combination of colours. Today I’m going to have a look at the five colleges of Strixhaven and a new card from each College!
Some of my favourite cards to play in Magic are modal cards. I like cards that give me choices and provide me some flexibility when it comes to what I can cast. Modal cards are like having multiple cards in one and this is especially true with Command cards we’ve seen in the past like Cryptic Command. Command cards are back in Strixhaven with each college getting one to play with.
Lorehold is the Red and White college focused on disciplined study and making sure that they “Leave no Stone Unturned”. Let’s have a look at their new Command card, Lorehold Command.
Five mana for an instant is quite a heavy cost to pay for this Command, but its rewards can make it worth the investment. Let’s break down each choice for this Command.
Create a 3/2 red and white Spirit creature token. – This can be used as an instant blocker or played at the end of your opponents’ turn to put a threat to attack the following turn.
Creatures you control get +1/+0 and gain indestructible and haste until end of turn. – This is one of the most interesting ones as it can be used to save your team against a sweeper or prevent any of your attacking creatures from dying during combat. The extra power bonus will grow if you have a pile of small creatures on the battlefield.
Lorehold Command deals 3 damage to any target. Target player gains 3 life. – We have seen this ability on a few Red/White cards in the past and having this as one of your choices is great. It gains you some life to help you survive while either killing off a creature or dealing 3 damage directly to your opponent.
Sacrifice a permanent, then draw two cards. – At five mana, this is probably the best choice of the bunch. It allows you to sacrifice any permanent, so often one of your lands will do. You can also use it to counter a removal spell by sacrificing the permanent that was going to die anyway.
Lorehold Command has some great possibilities and is a good end-game threat. Its hefty cost could be too much for it to see play in an aggressive deck, but I wonder if it could be seen in a Jeskai Control deck of some kind. Its combination of choices can allow you to have a 4/2 Haste creature if needed or deal six damage to a larger creature with a 3/2 blocker and dealing three damage to it. If you don’t have a permanent you want to sacrifice, you can make a 3/2 Spirit and sacrifice it to draw two cards. There is great synergy between the abilities, but I’ll have to see how it plays out in some games before my final judgment.
Primsari is the Red and Blue college focused on being artistic and creative with their magic, making sure they always “Express yourself with the Elements”. Let’s have a look at their new Command card, Prismari Command.
At three mana and being an instant, this looks to be one of the better Command cards of the cycle. Let’s break down each choice for this Command.
Prismari Command deals 2 damage to any target. – This can often just be a reasonable card by itself for three mana at instant speed. It’s great to deal some damage while getting another benefit from the card.
Target player draws two cards, then discards two cards. – You will often want to do this choice for this card to help improve card selection. Depending on your deck, you could even gain value by discarding two cards to your graveyard as well.
Target player creates a Treasure token. – Unless you really need the mana, I don’t see this ability being used often unless you cast this when there are no artifacts on the battlefield, and you have 0 cards in your hand.
Destroy target artifact. – This is like having a sideboard card built into your deck without having to use up a spot in your 60-card deck. Great versatility and potential removal card.
Most often I see myself using the first two choices on this card to kill a creature and gain some card selection, but just having those two other choices there adds some value to the card. Even if it’s a 10% chance you will need to kill a pesky artifact, it just adds to the value of having the card in your deck.
Quandrix is the Blue and Green college focused on math. That’s right, they believe that “Math is Magic”. Patterns and symmetries are just part of what they use with their magic. Let’s have a look at their new Command card, Quandrix Command.
Another three-mana instant spell which makes it appealing. Let’s break down each choice for this Command.
Return target creature or planeswalker to its owner's hand. – Bouncing a permanent can always be a strong ability, but even more so when combined with something else. Bounce spells that draw cards or do something of additional value are often played. Being able to bounce your own permanent gives it slightly more value as well.
Counter target artifact or enchantment spell. – Another great sideboard card built into a card you're already using, like what we saw with Prismari Command. There will be times where you need to counter an artifact or enchantment spell, and this will allow you to do that and have a bonus choice to go with it.
Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature. – This is one of the payoff choices for this card. It can help you keep your creature alive in combat or deal more damage to your opponent by adding this to an unblocked attacker. It can also help triggers abilities on creatures that want +1/+1 counters.
Target player shuffles up to three cards from their graveyard into their library. – This is a nice added choice you can use to put back three cards into your library to cast again, potentially including another Quandrix Command. This could help you survive against any mill strategies you are up against.
This card has the potential to provide you a serious tempo advantage with some serious 2-for-1 value. Being able to stop some potential graveyard strategies can be something opponents won’t expect. Each choice on their own is weak, but the combination of any two of them for only three mana makes this a strong spell.
Silverquill is the Black and White college focused on being quick-witted and charismatic. They probably dress really nice with a “Sharp Style. Sharper Wit”. Let’s have a look at their Command card, Silverquill Command.
The first thing you will notice about this card compared to the other Commands we have seen is that it's a Sorcery. This often means you get more powerful choices. Let’s break down each choice for this Command.
Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains flying until end of turn. – Right away, this can be used to finish off an opponent by giving your creature evasion and three extra points of damage. Since it’s a sorcery, it can’t be used in a defensive way, but this choice is all about the attack.
Return target creature card with mana value 2 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. – Reanimation abilities are always strong, even with the drawback of it needs to have a mana value two or less. Note that because this is the second choice, you can’t give a potential haste creature you bring back +3/+3 and Flying.
Target player draws a card and loses 1 life. – A great second choice for whatever else you are choosing. It replaces the card you are using and grants you one other choice to use.
Target opponent sacrifices a creature. – Making your opponent sacrifice a creature is always very situational but can still be beneficial if played at the right time.
Although there can be a ton of value from this card, a lot is very situational and a game needs to line up for it work. Without any creatures with mana value two or less, then that choice is a blank. If you have no creatures on the battlefield, the first choice is a blank. If your opponent has three or four creatures, the last ability is a blank. The key to this card is to find the right time in the game.
Witherbloom is the Green and Black college focused on drawing power from creatures and making fancy potions! Whatever they do they always tell you to “Get your Hands Dirty”. Let’s have a look at their new Command card, Witherbloom Command.
We have seen some two mana Commands in the past rule Standard with Atarka’s Command and Dromoka’s Command, but both of those could be cast at instant speed. Let’s break down each choice for this Command.
Target player mills three cards, then you return a land card from your graveyard to your hand. – This is a great additional choice to use if you have some graveyard synergies or if you really need to make sure you hit your land drops.
Destroy target noncreature, nonland permanent with mana value 2 or less. – A very situational removal spell, where the value is determined on the power of the cards that it can target. If more cards fit in this bucket of targets, the better this choice becomes.
Target creature gets -3/-1 until end of turn. – Since it's at Sorcery speed, you can use it after combat to finish off a creature or at any time on your turn to kill a one toughness creature.
Target opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life. – Another great additional choice that hopefully you can add to one of the removal choices.
Two removal choices, and two bonus choices. You will often save this Command for a time that you can use one if not both removal choices, but one removal and one bonus if find for two mana as well.
Five Colleges of students ready to battle at Strixhaven to show that their college is the best! Which college do you think will be the best college from Strixhaven? Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Strixhaven. I look forward to another great season of previews and analysis from all the wonderful cards and mechanics from the new set! Join me again tomorrow as I continue with my next lesson in Strixhaven.