Welcome to Strixhaven, School of Mages! Today’s lesson will contain everything you need to know about the Strixhaven Draft.
We’ll start with studying the mechanics, as they’ll tell us plenty about the draft environment. The lecture will continue with the best commons for each of the five colors. Next up, perhaps the most insightful part – overview of all five major archetypes and some lesser ones.
Before we end the lesson, we’ll rank the archetypes and take a look at some final tips about the Strixhaven draft.
With all that said, let’s start learning.
UPDATE: If you’re looking forward to drafting the newest set, you should read our Dominaria United Draft Guide.
There are six (or some less, depending on how you look at it) mechanics in Strixhaven:
- Colleges / Multicolored Pairs
- Mythical Archive Cards
- Learn & Lesson
- Modal Double Faced Cards
Colleges / Multicolored Pairs
While this isn’t technically a set mechanic, it’s a major part of the Strixhaven draft format. There are five colleges (enemy color pairs) on Strixhaven:
- Lorehold (red-white)
- Silverquill (white-black)
- Witherbloom (black-green)
- Quandrix (green-blue)
- Prismari (blue-red)
Each college got around 20 cards in both of their colors (also counting hybrid and modal double faced cards). There are 6 commons, and 5 uncommons, so you’ll be seeing a lot of multicolored cards.
The five major archetypes are naturally in these five color pairs. But more about that in the Archetype section.
Mystical Archive Cards
Mystical Archive cards are some of the most popular instant and sorceries from all Magic’s history. (Okay, there are also some weak cards like Divine Gambit and Revitalize.) Each booster contains exactly one of these cards.
So these cards appear as often as rares or mythic rares (1 per booster, 24 per draft pod). So on average each player would end up with three of them in their pile.
They mostly consist of:
- Strong and efficient removal spells like Lightning Bolt, Swords to Plowshares and Putrefy
- Good draw spells (Blue Sun’s Zenith, Brainstorm and Harmonize)
- Build-arounds (Approach of the Second Sun, Mizzix’s Mastery)
- Various other effects.
As you can see, cards vary from amazing (Doom Blade) to mediocre (Defiant Strike). So don’t just automatically pick the Mystical Archive card from your booster, just because it has an amazing alternate art.
You can find a list of all Mystical Archive cards here. In that article you’ll also find all additional information you might need about them.
Learn & Lesson
Now we’re moving to the first actual mechanic of the set, and perhaps the most skill-testing one in the Strixhaven draft format. Let’s learn about Learn.
Some cards will simply say learn on them. This gives you three choices:
- Search your sideboard for a Lesson card and put it into your hand. (Usually the strongest option.)
- Discard a card, and draw a card. (Useful, if you don’t have a Lesson you’d need.)
- Do nothing. (You’ll decide to do this in rare cases, when you have no bad cards to discard and no Lessons to get.)
What are Lesson cards you might ask? Lesson is a new subtype, currently found only on sorcery spells. Here’s one example:
There are various Lesson cards, some are colorless, like the one you see above. The best of them is also colorless – Mascot Exhibition.
There are hybrid lessons for each one of the colleges (like Inkling Summoning and Elemental Summoning). You’ll also find mono-colored Lessons like Containment Breach.
Lesson Cards in Strixhaven Draft – Main Deck or Sideboard?
You can put Lesson cards in your main deck or in your sideboard. However, we’d recommend you always put them in the sideboard if you got at least a couple of Learn cards. Why? There are multiple reasons for this:
- You improve your Learn cards with this, you get multiple choices to get the exact Lesson you need, when you need it.
- Lessons are usually higher costed to make up for the fact that they can be easily tutored for.
- Premium Lessons, like Mascot Exhibition should also stay in your sideboard. If you have at least two Learn cards, you have a higher chance of “drawing” Exhibition, then you would if you’d put it in your main deck.
When to Draft Lessons?
How early should you pick Lessons in Strixhaven draft? That depends. In general, you should value Lessons higher, the more Learn cards you already have in your deck.
Additionally, the first copy of a Lesson is much better than the second one, especially if it’s something situational like Teachings of the Archaics. The reason for that is that the first one gives you a lot of flexibility, while the secondary copy can often be redundant.
However, you should still probably pick any Lesson card over the cards that are unlikely to have an impact on your main deck. Some extra flexibility never hurts.
You can find more about Learn & Lesson Rules here.
Magecraft is a mechanic that can be found on various permanents, but mostly on creatures. Your Magecraft abilities trigger whenever you cast or copy and instant or sorcery spell.
Should you build around the Magecraft cards? Yes, but only around the best ones.
There’s no reason to eagerly go out of your way to enable Eager First-Year. On the other hand, if you have something like Archmage Emeritus, you might want to pick some more instants and sorceries, that would work well alongside it.
This doesn’t mean that you can just play bad instant and sorceries – they should still be a fine playables on their own. The only difference you want to make is to play more instant or sorceries over the creatures of the similar power level.
You can find more about Magecraft rules here.
Modal Double Faced Cards
You’ve already seen Modal-Faced Card in Zendikar Rising and Kaldheim. This time there are various new combinations, such as creature-creature, creature-sorcery, planeswalker-planeswalker, etc.
If this is your first time playing with them – they’re pretty simple. You can choose which half you want to cast from your hand – it’s like you’re having two cards in one. These cards don’t have a special effect on the Strixhaven draft format.
One important thing to note is that you don’t have to play Lorehold combination to put the Augusta, Dean of Order in your deck. You’ll probably happily play it in your Silverquill decks as well, and ignore the front side. This can be especially tricky, if you aren’t paying attention during the draft process and simply register it just as a red card.
Ward is surely the least important mechanic in the set, at least by its effect on the Strixhaven draft format. There are just four cards with this mechanic, two rares and two commons. Anyways, since it’s a brand-new mechanic it’s worth mentioning it.
A creature with ward will have a ward cost. If an opponent targets one of your creatures with a spell or ability, it’ll get countered – unless they pay the ward cost. These costs can be different. To successfully target Waterfall Aerialist an opponent will have to pay two additional mana. Owlin Shieldmage requires 3 life to do so.
From the design point, it’s a nice mechanic for limited, as it’s basically a less powerful version of hexproof, which was often miserable to play against. More details about Ward rules are available here.
This is the last mechanic, which means that we should move on to the next lesson – the best commons.
Best Commons for Strixhaven Draft
Commons are very important part of the draft, as these are the cards that you’ll see to most of. This is why we always take a look at the most powerful commons in each color.
One thing that you might notice here is that the mono-colored commons are a bit weaker than usual. The reason for this is that Strixhaven is a multicolored set. This means we also get multicolored commons, which are mostly more powerful.
So in this section we’ll talk about mono-colored commons. Multicolored commons will get their turn in the archetype sections, where will go into details about each of the five colleges.
Nevertheless, even when we’ll talk about mono-colored cards we’ll take into account how they fit into their two respective archetypes.
White cards will find their home in Lorehold (red-white) and Silverquill (black-white).
1. Combat Professor
We’re starting off with a Professor. This bird might look unassuming, as it’s just a 2/3 flyer for 4 mana, which is below the curve. However, its ability is very relevant. You can play the bird in your pre-combat main phase, to immediately get some value out of it.
On your following turns you can also target itself, so you can attack with a 3/3 vigilant flyer. Now that’s a real deal! Combat Professor will probably often enable profitable attacks, without leaving yourself vulnerable.
Expel isn’t a premium removal spell, but it’s still a fine addition to most white decks. Effects like this are often worse in more aggressive decks, as you can’t remove blockers. (Both Lorehold and Silverquill look to be on the more aggressive side.) However, your opponents will attack you in the course of the game, and you’ll be able to get rid of anything.
You can also combine it with Study Break to get rid of something that wasn’t tapped before. Give that Study Break is by no means a bad card, you can expect this interaction to come up often enough.
3. Pilgrim of the Ages
Pilgrim is an interesting card. The 2/1 body for three mana is weak, but it immediately replaces itself by drawing you a Plains. Getting a guaranteed land is nice, as it makes it easier to curve out.
In the late game it gives you a mana sink that works nicely with some Lorehold cards, which care about cards leaving your graveyard. All in all, it looks like a fine addition to a lot of white decks.
Defend the Campus is similar to the cards we’ve seen in the past. There are only 23 creatures (17.2%) with power 4 or greater, so you wouldn’t always maindeck this card if it didn’t have the other option of pumping your team. As such, the card always does at least something, and you’ll probably happily play at least one copy.
Beaming Defiance is a strong pump spell, which doubles as a counterspell for opposing removal spell. You’ll probably always want to play one.
Rise of Extus is expensive, but it is a two-for-one and gets rid of everything. Try to pick up some good lessons alongside it. Something like Introduction to Annihilation, which will be useful in the late game.
Pillardrop Rescuer can be good if you have some premium three drops. Lorehold has some graveyard synergies that play well with it.
Blue cards go into Prismari (blue-red) and Quandrix (green-blue)
1. Frost Trickster
Frost Lynx was already a fine card. Add flying on top of that and what do you get? The best blue common in Strixhaven draft, that’s for sure.
Although it doesn’t have any specific synergies withing Prismari or Quandrix, you’ll happily play as many copies as you can in all of your blue decks. Both the efficiency and the power level of this card is extremely high.
2. Bury in Books
Bury in Books is a very flavorful spell, as you get to bury a creature in the library. Besides that it’s also a very powerful card in this format. The fact that the creature doesn’t get directly back to their owner’s hand is a big plus.
Additionally, there are a bunch of 4/4 Elemental tokens running around and even bigger Fractals. Bury in Books straight up murders them. The spell also synergies with the 5+ cost spell theme from Prismari.
Even though the mana cost looks expensive, you can nevet have too many of these in your blue deck. In the following weeks this card might even become the #1 blue common in the set.
3. Serpentine Curve
This is a card that we’ve overlooked in the first version of this Strixhaven draft guide. It looked like a heavy build-around, but both Prismari and Quandrix often end up with a lot of spells anyways. Additionally, you “draw” a bunch of sorceries with your learn cards.
Keep in mind that Serpentine Curve counts itself. So if you have three instant and/or sorceries in your graveyard when you cast it, you’ll get a 4/4 for four mana which is already a good deal. In a deck with a ton of spells, it can get even better than that quite fast.
Cheap counterspells like Reject always come in handy. Three mana is a lot to pay, so you’ll be able to counter all creatures in the early to middle stages of the game. It does, get worse in the late game, so don’t play too many of them. A copy or two copies will usually be fine.
Bury in Books is a very flavorful spell, as you get to bury a creature in the library. Besides that it’s also an interesting bounce spell. The fact that the creature doesn’t get directly back to their owner’s hand is a big plus. There are some 4/4 Elemental tokens running around and this get rid of them permanently.
Pop Quiz is an interesting draw spell, which gets better with better lessons you have. Speaking of lessons, you should definitely try and pick Elemental Summoning and Fractal Summoning for your sideboard – no matter which blue combination you’re playing.
Soothsayer Adept is a serviceable two drop, that shines in the late game, when you’re searching for your most impactful spells.
The two black colleges are Witherbloom (black-green) and Silverquill (white-black).
1. Mage Hunters’ Onslaught
This is a great removal spell. Sure, it’s not optimal that it’s a sorcery, but it removes any problematic creature, and sometimes even a planeswalker.
The added bonus will sometimes be irrelevant, but other times it’ll just win you the game on the spot.
You can expect quite some games ending with a well-time Onslaught. Especially, since both Silverquill and Witherbloom have access to tokens. Kill their biggest blocker, then swing in with a bunch of Pests.
2. Lash of Malice
The first thing you have to take into account with cards like this is, naturally, the amount of creatures with toughness 2 or less. There are 69 such creatures, which is around 51.5% of all the creatures in the format.
So Lash kills over half of the creatures without any other help. At just one mana and at instant speed, that’s a real deal. On top of that you might even use it pump one of your creatures now and then.
3. Specter of the Fens
2/3 flyer would be fine for at three mana. At four, it’s somewhat mediocre. However, the added ability really improves it a lot.
In the late game your opponents will have to deal with it sooner or later. Specter will often be able to attack for some damage and when you run out of cards, you just start activating it. If you have any other kind of board presence, your opponent won’t be able to race you, thanks to the life gain.
All in all it’s a very playable card, and you’ll be happy to include it in any kind of black deck – both Silverquill and Witherbloom has some life gain synergies, which will pair nicely with Specter.
Witherbloom Pledgemage is huge. It’s the best body you can get on the common slot, and it lines up nicely against most of the creatures in the Strixhaven draft. On top of that it has a relevant ability.
Hunt for Specimens is a nice almost two-for-one, if you have enough good lessons.
Crushing Disappointment is by no means a disappointing card. Well, maybe when you’re at two life, but hopefully it won’t come to that. In Witherbloom, you have life gain and in Silverquill you’re often the aggressor. In both cases this is a nice draw spell with some actual upside.
We’ve already talked about Rise of Extus in the white commons section. The same stuff applies here, although it’s somewhat less weak if you already have lots of cheaper black removal.
Lorehold (red-white) and Prismari (blue-red) are the two colleges that contain red.
1. Heated Debate
We just saw how good of a card Demon Bolt was. This doesn’t have the foretell shenanigans, but it’s still just incredibly efficient and powerful.
With this Debate you’ll be able to kill 122 or 91.0% of creatures in the Strixhaven draft. On top of that it’s an instant that costs only three mana. You can never have too many of these in any red deck.
2. Pigment Storm
Here’s another removal spell. While it is clunkier than Heated Debate, it has its upsides. The one added point of damage makes it kill 131 or 97.8% of creatures, so basically everything.
Excess damage being dealt to that creature’s controller is also a real deal. If you’re being aggressive, you can easily finish a game with Pigment Storm by targeting their one-toughness creature.
These scenarios will come up probably more often with Lorehold decks, which seem to be more aggressive than Prismari. Nevertheless, even the Prismari decks will happily play this one, as the rate of 5 damage for five mana is good, even without the bonus.
3. Sudden Breakthrough
This is an interesting combat trick that both colleges will like to play. However, the Prismari will probably make better use of the Treasure token, give that they have a lot of expensive spells.
Tome Shredder plays nicely with both red colleges. Prismari will have a lot of sorceries and instants, while Lorehold has the get-stuff-out-of-graveyard theme.
Enthusiastic Study is a good pump spell, especially if it can draw you Elemental Summoning. It’s also nice paired with Twinscroll Shaman.
The two green colleges are Quandrix (green-blue) and Witherbloom (black-green).
1. Mage Duel
Lately, each draft set has a common fight spell, and they have all been pretty good. Mage Duel has its own twists – it can cost just one mana is you’ve cast another instant or sorcery spell on the same turn.
+1/+2 is usually enough that your creature will survive the fight. At three mana the spell is just a little bit expensive, but thankfully you get a cost reduction if you cast another instant or sorcery spell on the same turn.
All in all, it’s a good fight spell and you’ll always want a couple of them in all of your green decks.
2. Professor of Zoomancy
Professor of Zoomancy is one of the most solid creatures in the set. 4/3 body for four mana is okayish, but it comes with a Pest token, which makes this card almost a clear two-for-one.
While the token might seem irrelevant, it can support both the life gain and sacrifice stuff in Witherbloom decks. Even though it’s probably better in that archetype, Quandrix decks will also like to have access to multiple copies of Professor Bear.
3. Bayou Groff
Bayou Groff is essentially a split card. On one side you get a five mana 5/4 – that’s perfectly fine. On the other side you get a two mana 5/4 that you have to sacrifice a creature in order to cast.
Naturally, any card that offers you two options is always better than a single one of those options. So with both options of this big Dog being playable the dog becomes very good. It’ll find a home in both Witherbloom (which has Pests to sacrifice) and in Quandrix (which can ramp to get to the five mana earlier).
We’ve mentioned Witherbloom Pledgemage in black commons. Thanks to hybrid mana, it’s good as a green common too.
Big Play is a nice combat trick, as it actually leaves a +1/+1 counter behind. That extra counter could often be a difference between a mediocre and a good creature.
Speaking of mediocre, Spined Karok looks like a king of mediocrity. However, its stats aren’t that bad if you’re planning to be more defensive. It single-handedly stops most of the early aggression.
Of course, both green hybrid lessons (Pest Summoning and Fractal Summoning) are something that you’ll want access to, if you’re playing learn cards.
Strixhaven Draft Archetypes
So as we talked about Strixhaven has five major archetypes (colleges). You’ll be drafting this color combinations the vast majority of the time. (Although not always.)
Each of them has a signature token creature (mascot) and two themes. Some colleges have more prevalent themes, and you should lean heavily towards them, while others have softer themes, that you can mostly ignore.
Anyways, let’s take a look at the colleges and examine them more closely.
Lorehold: Red – White
- Mascot: 3/2 red and white Spirit
- Theme 1: Graveyard recursion
- Theme 2: Spirit tribal
Lorehold is definitely an interesting archetype. One of the themes that you’ll quickly notice is graveyard recursion. Your payoffs for moving stuff out of your graveyard are:
Out of these three, only Quintorious is a reason to really try to build around graveyard recursion. However, you should still play good recursion cards like Pillardrop Rescuer and Returned Pastcaller, even if you don’t have additional payoffs.
Don’t forget that the cards don’t have to get returned to your hand or the battlefield in order to trigger leave-the-graveyard stuff. There are a bunch of card that exile cards from graveyard, and that’s okay too. For example Stonerise Spirit or Lorehold Excavation.
Excavation is especially good, since it gives you a ton of value. It’s a late game mana sink, while also getting cards to your graveyard, which you can use for additional value, plus some damage to the opponent which can matter in a long game.
The Spirit theme is even softer. There are tons of cards that either are Spirits themselves, or that make Spirit tokens. However, there aren’t that many cards, which care about Spirits. Besides Quintorius, Field Historian, which we mentioned before, there are also:
You don’t have to go out of your way to provide support for these cards. Your Lorehold decks will naturally end up with a bunch of Spirits.
How to Draft Lorehold?
In general, you’ll be best served to treat Lorehold as an aggressive deck with late game value. Even though the deck has access to plenty of good late game cards, you still want to have a good curve, and not overload on cards that cost 5 or more.
The reason being that even with the late game stuff, some other archetypes (Prismari and Quandrix) also have an excellent late game, so you want to get some damage in early. Play cheap and effective creatures, so you can make use of various good pump spells in your colors like Sudden Breakthrough and Beaming Defiance.
Twinscroll Shaman naturally plays well with pump spells, combined with Enthusiastic Study it can be responsible for a ton of damage out of nowhere.
Of course, you want to pick up various Lesson cards for your sideboard, as there are quite some learn cards in these colors. For example Professor of Symbology and Igneous Inspiration.
Finally, you want to include the best late game cards such as Quintorius, Field Historian or any rares that you might get in these colors.
Silverquill: White – Black
- Mascot: 2/1 white and black Inkling with flying
- Theme 1: Go-wide aggro
- Theme 2: +1/+1 counters
Silverquill is perhaps the most aggressive archetype in Strixhaven draft. Even their tokens 2/1 flying Inklings are best at attacking. They also want to go wide, and they have some cards that support this plan:
They also have a soft +1/+1 counter sub-theme. Their payoffs include:
How to Draft Silverquill?
Silverquill should be drafted as a go-wide aggressive deck. You’ll have some +1/+1 counters synergies, but there’s no need to go out of your way to enable them.
Silverquill’s game plan is quite simple. You want your curve to be low. Efficient cheap creatures paired with good combat tricks like Professor’s Warning and Beaming Defiance will hopefully win you the game. Try to include some powerful late game cards as well. Hopefully, you’ll just get lucky and open something like Blot Out the Sky.
Witherbloom: Black – Green
- Mascot: 1/1 Pest that gives you 1 life, when it dies
- Theme 1: Life gain
- Theme 2: Sacrifice
There are various payoffs of different power levels in Witherbloom:
The key one here is Blood Researcher. It’s a common, so you can get it in multiples, and it can quickly grow into a very scary threat. Menace is particularly relevant here, since it won’t just get chump blocked once it grows.
There are also lots of way to gain life from Pest tokens to cards like Witherbloom Pledgemage. All in all, this theme is pretty well-supported.
The secondary Witherbloom theme is sacrifice. There are no in-your-face payoffs, no cards that would trigger whenever you’d sacrifice a creature. Instead, you’ll trigger your life gain stuff, when you’ll sacrifice Pests, and you’ll get some powerful effects like:
How to Draft Witherbloom?
Witherbloom will be at its best as a synergistic deck. You want to lean into both themes. In order to do so you’ll want lots of good Pest makers, as these tokens nicely support both themes. They are great sacrifice fodder, which gains you life.
In order to maximize on the life gain stuff, you’ll really want multiple copies of Blood Researcher. If you don’t get many of them, you can still make the deck work, by simply playing good efficient black and green cards.
You’ll also have an advantage against the most aggressive decks due to the fact that you’ll have so many incidental life gain cards. For that reason you can afford a slightly heavier top end, so you’ll be able to fight against the midrange decks too.
Quandrix: Green – Blue
- Mascot: 0/0 green and blue Fractal (gets +1/+1 counters)
- Theme 1: Ramp
- Theme 2: Value
There are quite some cards that can ramp you. At lower rarities you have:
- Emergent Sequence
- Eureka Moment
- Field Trip
- Quandrix Cultivator
- Zimone, Quandrix Prodigy
- Cultivate (Mystical Archive slot)
With them, you can quickly get to lots of lands. Some cards in these colors unlock additional abilities, when you reach 8 or more lands. Kelpie Guide, Vortex Runner, Scurrid Colony are all cards that are serviceable early on and get better in the late game. Leyline Invocation is also a nice payoff for having lots of lands.
Lots of Quandrix cards are simply packed with value – they offer you:
- card advantage (Quandrix Apprentice, Golden Ratio)
- easy two-for-ones (Biomathematician, Manifestation Sage)
- versatile options (Decisive Denial)
If you manage to get enough ramp spells in your deck, you can also unlock the powerful Bookwurm, and you might not even need to spend a high pick on it, as this archetype is probably the only one that can reliably cast it.
How to Draft Quandrix?
If you’ve ever playing with or against the blue-green decks in Commander, you’ll know how the Quandrix archetype will play out. As we talked about, you’ll play ramp cards and cards that give you value. Sometimes they’ll even do both.
This archetype will often have a very good late game potential, and that’s why you want to be careful, so you won’t fall behind early. These colors don’t have traditional removal spells, so make sure to pick up some pseudo removal spells like Mage Duel, Reject or Decisive Denial.
All in all have a nice curve, packed with good cards, and you’ll do fine. As far as the synergies good, you don’t have to go out of your way to enable anything, as most of the cards you’ll pick here are simply good enough on their own.
Prismari: Blue – Red
- Mascot: 4/4 blue and red Elemental
- Theme 1: Expensive instants and sorceries
- Theme 2: Treasure tokens
Expensive Instants and Sorceries
Prismari has a lot of expensive instant and sorceries. Here are just some examples:
There are two cards that care about spells with
converted mana cost mana value five or more. They are Prismari Apprentice and Spectacle Mage. Latter one is very important as it provides an important cost reduction.
Treasure tokens are the other way to help you cast your expensive spells. There are various cards that make them, for example:
You might have noticed that some cards serve a double duty being both expensive spells and Treasure makers. These are particularly useful due to their versatility.
How to Draft Prismari?
To get a successful Prismari deck a Strixhaven draft, you need to enable the expensive instant and sorcery spells, as they are the most powerful cards in this archetype.
You’ll want cost reduction cards and/or Treasure makers. Some of the best ones are cards that we’ve already mentioned – Storm-Kiln Artist, Spectacle Mage and Maelstrom Muse. They are all uncommons, but hopefully you’ll get at least a couple of them.
Of course, you want the big spells, any of the ones we’ve mentioned before will do. Naturally, the rare ones like Magma Opus are the best ones, but even a common Elemental Masterpiece will do in a pinch.
One more tip – don’t use cards like Elemental Masterpiece to just make a Treasure token if it’s not absolutely necessary. Two mana + discard a card to make a Treasure token isn’t the best use of your resources, unless you can do something powerful with the Treasure on your following turn.
Fill the rest of your deck with good cards along the curve, and you’ll be good to go.
Three Color Combos
Each college can be combined with the two colleges that share at least one color with it by splashing another color. This way you get a three color combination that has access to cards from both colleges. Probably, this won’t be a common way to do a Strixhaven draft these archetypes, but it will certainly come up now and then.
Most often you’ll play a single house and splash another color to unlock one or two powerful higher-rarity cards from the other color. For example, you could play Witherbloom and splash a Blot out the Sky
You can use Letter of Acceptance, Archway Commons and common dual lands to fix your mana.
Colleges mash differently with one another. Go-wide theme from Silverquill can play nicely with Pest generation from Witherbloom. Silverquill’s another pair is Lorehold, both colleges tend to be aggressive, so you might think this paring would also work nicely – however you don’t want to play three colors in the aggressive decks.
Lorehold is actually also bad to pair with Prismari, as their themes simply don’t mash well with one another.
On the other hand, Prismari plays beautifully with Quandrix. Prismari has the expensive instants and sorceries and Qunadrix provides ramp to get to the mana you need. That’s why the red-blue-green is probably the three color archetype we’ll see most often.
Quandrix and Witherbloom is the last combination. It’ll be possible to make it work, but it’ll often be base blue-green with a black splash for powerful late game Witherbloom cards.
Other Color Pairs
Can you successfully play allied color pairs? Very rarely, but thanks to a lot of hybrid cards and powerful mono colored rares, it actually isn’t impossible.
Let’s say you opened a Gnarled Professor in your first pack, and you got passed a Sparring Regimen (someone took a powerful uncommon or a Mystical Archive card). In this case you can try and draft white-green. You’ll get access to all the green and white cards plus all the hybrid cards in these colors like Lorehold Pledgemage and Fractal Summoning.
Something like this will probably happen less than 5% of the time, and even then it’ll be hard to tell early enough that this is a right choice. It’ll most likely happen when you try to draft as openly as possible, and you get passed a lot of good mono-colored cards in two allied colors.
However, if you didn’t do many Strixhaven drafts, you should first stick to the main archetypes, and explore these after you have more experience with the format.
Strixhaven Draft Guide: Power Rankings
It’s time for the power rankings. If you disagree with our choices, let us know in the comments below.
Given how Strixhaven is so much focused on the five enemy color pairs, we’ll skip the color rankings this time around. These rankings wouldn’t make much sense as the overall strength of a single color is dependent on two others.
Best Archetypes in Strixhaven Draft
As always take these rankings with a grain of salt. The colleges look fairly balanced – at least at the beginning of the format. There’s no single college that we’d recommend staying away from. Just find an open archetype and reap the rewards.
However, you can use the following ratings as a tiebreaker, when deciding between two cards of a similar power level.
Quandrix looks like it’s good everything it needs to succeed in an average game of Strixhaven draft. It can quickly ramp, and it gets a bunch of two-for-ones alongside efficient creatures. Witherbloom is very close to it, and it might even be better. It has a lot of incidental life gain, which gives it an edge against aggressive decks, and it can still compete in the late game with some powerful cards.
Silverquill is the better aggressive deck and falls somewhere in the middle. Lorehold seems somewhat weak if you don’t get all the right cards at higher rarities. Prismari feels the same, as it might sometimes just lose to itself by trying to be too cute.
However, these ratings are bound to change once we get additional Strixhaven drafts under our bells, so come back soon in order to see if anything changed.
Strixhaven Draft Guide – Additional Tips
Before we wrap up, here as just three more tips, that might come in handy.
It’s always a good idea to know how many wraths are in the format. In Strixhaven draft, you might play against:
Crux and Day are from the Mystical Archives, while Mastery is a regular rare. So, if your opponent is holding plenty of cards in their hand and only deploying irrelevant creatures, you might want to think about the possibility of them having a mass removal spell.
In that case you might want to try and play around it by not playing too many creatures.
Power and Toughness Table
Let’s take a look at the power and toughness tables. They show how many creatures in the format have a certain power / toughness.
First the power table shoes, that the power of creatures is generally on the lower side.
Here’s a table of Strixhaven Creature Toughness. As you can see Heated Debate truly does a lot of work, so the 5 toughness is nice to have – even it’s hard to get to it.
Another interesting thing can be noticed. Creatures generally have lower power than toughness. That’s why Spined Karok is actually a fine blocker. It’s power kills over half of the creatures in the format, while it can safely block 82.8% of creatures in the format.
Campus Dual Lands
These lands are good! They fix your mana, and they act as a mana sink in the late game. In the later stages of the game Scry 1 is quite close to drawing a card. You should probably pick lands in your colors around picks 5-6.
They also enable splashes. You could easily splash Velomachus Lorehold into your Prismari deck with two Lorehold Campus without much risk.
That’s the end of our Strixhaven Draft Guide. However, if you want more Strixhaven content, we’ve got you covered. Here’s just some suggestions that you might enjoy.
Are you a Commander fan? You can find Strixhaven Commander decklists here. There are five of them, one for each college.
If you’re playing on Arena, you’ll want to check out MTG Arena codes. This way, you can get various free stuff, including cosmetics, and free packs.
Are you planning on doing some live drafts? You can order a Strixhaven Draft Booster Box on Amazon.
Finally, if you’re a collector, or if you just like nice art, you can find Mystical Archive cards here. There are also Japanese alternate arts are available in Collector Boosters, you can get full information about Strixhaven Collector Booster contents here.
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Until next time, have fun, and may you reach the seven wins in Strixhaven draft with an ease.