The college of Strixhaven has opened its doors to welcome all students of the arcane arts - by which we mean Magic: The Gathering players both old and new. The 87th expansion for Magic: The Gathering takes us to Arcavios for the first time - a distant plane lit up by two suns, filled with endless mysteries, and home to the Strixhaven School of Mages.
With its five distinct colleges and cast of new and returning characters, Strixhaven has an easily digestible narrative that makes it a great place to start delving into Magic: The Gathering lore.
Founded by five Elder Dragons, with each naming a College after themselves, Strixhaven has been a hub for greatest mages and magical students for around 700 years, giving players several lifetimes of fascinating history and rich lore to get embroiled in.
And for an expansion that introduces Lessons and Learning into the Magic ruleset, it’s a perfect time for new players to start their own journey into learning the rules and mechanics of Magic: The Gathering.
So what exactly is new in Strixhaven?
The expansion focuses around the titular magical institution and its five Colleges. The College of Lorehold prides itself on research, history and summoning ancient spirits. Prismari are the theatre and drama kids with their captivating elemental sorcery. Quandrix are the logicians and mathematicians - making magic out of fractals and numbers. Silverquill are the stylish wordsmiths, while Witherbloom harness the powers of nature, which obviously includes riding zombie crocodiles into battle.
Strixhaven introduces several new mechanics that add some depth for veteran players while not overwhelming newcomers. The big ones here are Lesson and Learn - fitting given that Strixhaven is the most prestigious magic school in the multiverse.
Play a card with Learn, and you’ll get the chance to use a new Lesson card, which may contain all manner of effects that range from summoning College mascots to empowering your creatures. It adds an exciting new dimension to card battles, while pulling you into the themes and story of Strixhaven so you’ll feel like you’re right there alongside the students, absorbing the mysteries of the Magic universe.
Then there’s Magecraft, which grants bonus effects whenever you cast or copy an Instant or Sorcery spell (which, with a bit of luck, should be quite a lot!). It’s a rewarding mechanic that amplifies the satisfaction of casting sorceries by stacking their effects.
Whether you’re just starting out or refining your deck after years of play, Strixhaven is a great expansion to jump into. You can play Strixhaven on PC and mobile through MTG Arena, the good old-fashioned way with physical cards, or even remote-physically using SpellTable.
New players should think about grabbing one of the Strixhaven Commander Decks, each of which focuses on a different one of the five Colleges - a great way to familiarise yourself with the distinct factions of Strixhaven. Alternatively, you can bolster your collection with a Strixhaven Draft Booster 3-Pack, a Strixhaven Set Booster Box containing 30 packs, or go all-in with the 36-pack Strixhaven Draft Booster Box.
Players wanting to know more should head over to the MTG YouTube channel for more videos about Strixhaven, while new players can take a look at the channel’s How to Play Magic video series. You can also tune in to The Great Strixhaven College Clash, a quiz show mini-series pitting online personalities against each other in their quests to become Strixhaven’s Greatest Mage. Expect plenty of bad blood and belly laughs!
There’s never been a better time to enrol into the rich world of Magic: The Gathering.