Are you trying to recaptue the ‘Magic’ of Harry Potter in other parts of your life? Strixhaven conjures up the answer in Magic: The Gathering’s latest set.
Undertake your magical studies at the most elite university in the Multiverse
Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has just released Strixhaven: School of Mages, the newest set for the world’s oldest trading card game, Magic: The Gathering (MTG).
Magic: The Gathering does actually have a story, with each card set taking place in magical realms called planes. Some are more traditionally fantasy, some viking-themed, and now we have the world of Arcavios and on it a College of Mages.
Strixhaven is a school for mages founded by five powerful dragons, each with their own disciplines and personalities. They have divided their school into five different colleges, with each college devoted to their founders’ ideals.
Magic published a short, cute blog about each of the colleges. Strixhaven sounds very much like a real university with maths, science, history, and literature departments, each with their unique magical flair.
Centred around an elite academy for magecraft, Strixhaven released this month on MTG Arena and for tabletop on 23 April. The new set features five unique colleges of magic, several new mechanics and special cards from Magic’s past for players to explore.
The new set introduces powerful new spells and mages hailing from the five schools of Strixhaven colleges: Lorehold, Prismari, Quandrix, Silverquill and Witherbloom. A campus tour was streamed on WotC’s YouTube and Twitch channels last month, introducing players to the five major colleges. Each college is unique with its own magic prowess and players can pledge allegiance to one based on their expertise and playstyle using an online quiz.
Five colleges of Strixhaven School of Mages
Each of the five colleges has its own cards, mana, and abilities attached. The colleges were each founded by an elder dragon who follows a particular magical speciality.
There’s an apprentice and a commander card for each college. Here’s a breakdown of each of the five colleges, what they represent, and how they fit into the world of Magic: The Gathering Arena Strixhaven.
Colors: Red and White.
Tagline: Leave no stone unturned.
College of: Archeomancy, the study of history of the world.
Known for: Reviving dead historical figures to learn about the ancient past.
Founder: Velomachus Lorehold, obsessed with archaeology.
Mascot: Spirit creatures.
Commander: Osgir, the Reconstructor. A hero of war.
Colors: Blue and Red.
Tagline: Express yourself with the elements.
College of: Elemental artists.
Known for: Expressing their creativity.
Founder: Galazeth Prismari, speciality in elemental magic, and focused on big expressive demonstrations of magic.
Mascot: Elemental creatures.
Commander: Zaffair, the Thunder Conductor. The first musical conductor who is a legendary creature.
Colors: Green and Blue.
Tagline: Math is magic.
College of: Numeromancy, the study of mathematical patterns and symmetries.
Known for: Using maths and numbers to study reality and thereby understand the meaning of life itself.
Founder: Tanazir Quandrix.
Mascot: Fractals – creatures made of living mathematical patterns
Commander: Adrix and Nev, Twincasters. Adjunct professors of the college and good at duplicating things.
Colors: White and Black.
Tagline: Sharp style. Sharper wit.
College of: Eloquents.
Known for: Wielding the magic of the “word”, either spoken or written.
Founder: Shadrix Silverquill, master of inspiring or instilling fear.
Mascot: Inklings – creatures made of living ink.
Commander: Breena, the Demagogue. A bird warlock, a master of both the written and spoken word.
Colors: Green and Black.
Tagline: Get your hands dirty.
College of: Biology.
Known for: Creating spells that channel the essence of living things to manipulate the forces of life and death.
Founder: Beledros Witherbloom, obsessed with life and death.
Commander: Willowdusk, Essence Seek. A Dryad Druid, who lives in a swamp.
How Strixhaven Plays
With a large focus on instants, sorceries and colour pairings, Strixhaven introduces new spell-based mechanics to give students an edge in battle. This includes “Magecraft”, an ability word that offers bonuses or effects for casting instant and sorcery spells, and “Learn”, which allows any Lesson cards owned by the player to be drawn from outside the game.
Each of the dragon founders believe they hold the fundamental forces of nature in which they study.
This new Magic: The Gathering card set is deep, creating a weird and wonderful vibe for Strixhaven. According to Doug Beyer, Principal Game Designer at Wizards of the Coast, the whole development team went to great lengths to create “bizarre characters” that are “wonderous and weird.”
Through creature tokens, players can also summon mascots from their college to aid them during a match.
Magic fans will also be given the chance to explore Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive which contains a vast collection of MTG’s most famous instants and sorceries from throughout the game’s history.
63 cards featured in showcase frames are up for collection, with a minimum of one non-foil Archive spell hidden within each Set Booster or Draft Booster, and at least three variations in every Collector Booster. Players can also obtain special Japanese Mystical Archive variations with alternate artwork by Japanese artists by purchasing Strixhaven Collector Boosters or Japanese language Boosters, as well as in the MTG Arena store.