Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven

Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven


Magic: The Gathering meets Hogwarts

The world of Magic: The Gathering is full of characters that can cast some powerful spells, but where did all these characters learn their magic abilities. Well, the answer is Strixhaven, a school (or University) for mages, not unlike Hogwarts from the world of Harry Potter. Like Hogwarts, the students at the school are broken up into separate houses or colleges. At Strixhaven, there are five multicolour based colleges, and this mixture of colours flows through to the whole of the deck, with more dual or multicoloured cards than in the average Magic: The Gathering card set. The five colleges are as follows:

Lorehold (Red and White) is the home of passionate scholars of history,
Prismari (Blue and Red) is full of artistic and creative types,
Quandrix (Green and Blue) is the home of the mathematicians and scientists, who find patterns in forces the world around them,
Silverquill (White and Black) are bard types, gaining inspiration from poetry and arcane insults to use against their foes.
Witherbloom (Black and Green) use nature to enhance their spells for personal gain.

Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven

New mechanics

Being that it is a school of magic, the focus in the Strixhaven set is around the Instant and Sorcery cards.

Lesson and Learn
Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven

Lesson cards are a new type of Sorcery and play out similarly to standard Sorcery cards. The lesson cards can eliminate opposing threats, keep the cards flowing (Scry), create creature tokens and even gain life. Some lesson cards give the player multiple options, allowing the player to select the one that suits them at that particular time in the match. Lesson cards can be included in the sideboard or the main deck (similar to any other sorcery card) if players so wish.

And this is where the Learn mechanic comes into play. Learn (a keyword option) allows players to reveal a Lesson card they own from outside the game. For casual players, this will be their collection, but for tournament play, this will be the players sideboard. Although Lesson cards can be included in the players main deck, being able to play these cards from outside your deck via the use of the Learn cards, gives players an added strategy to their gameplay.

Magecraft (Ability word)
Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven

These cards are creature cards that have abilities linked to casting of instant or sorcery spells. For example, casting an instant may provide for a +1/+1 boost to all your creatures, or may allow the controlling player to draw a card, or could gain life for the player or reduce an opponent’s life counter. And with the Strixhaven set based around instants and sorceries, these cards can become quite important to the result of a match.


The Strixhaven set has five Planeswalkers, although two feature on each side of the same double-faced card
Liliana - Professor Onyx (Black)
Kasmina (Blue and Green)
Lukka (Red)
Rowan (Red)/Will (Blue) on double-faced card

Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven

Feature a mixture of single and dual-coloured Lands. The dual-coloured cards in particular are wonderfully drawn, with the mixture of colours prevalent. The lands represent each of the colleges as well as locations throughout Strixhaven and do a great job of setting the scene for the school.
Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven

As well as the dual-coloured lands, the Strixhaven set features an abundance of dual-coloured cards. With the various colleges being dual colours, it makes sense that the set contains more than the usual number of cards requiring more than one colour to activate or to bring onto the battlefield.

For Magic: The Gathering card collectors, Strixhaven comes in two versions. There is a standard version, but also an alternate one for Japanese players, which has alternative images present on the cards as well as having the cards written in Japanese.
Away From Keyboard - Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven

Pack types

Set Boosters (12 pack)
Draft Boosters (15 pack)
Collector Booster (15 pack)
Theme Boosters (35 pack) – based on each particular college and are perfect as beginner decks.

The Strixhaven set has a strong Harry Potter Hogwarts vibe. It is a school based around spell and spellcasting, and you could almost imagine the Malfoys being part of the Witherbloom college and the Weasleys being members of Lorehold. I do like the focus on Instants and Sorcery cards in the set. The Lesson and Learn mechanics push players to use the Instant and Sorcery cards more than they might normally do so, partially because they do not need to be in their playing deck. The Magecraft mechanic also gives players further incentive to include more Instants and Sorceries. The dual-coloured colleges also give gamers the opportunity to test out their abilities with a colour set that they may not normally be familiar. So, get playing…