Welcome Students! The next Magic the Gathering release is almost upon us, with early access prerelease kits dropping Friday April 16th, and the official release scheduled for Friday April 23rd. This is MtG’s take on the magical school genre, with different colleges of the Strixhaven school focusing on opposing color factions.
Interestingly, the creators of this set chose to combine colors that would seemingly be at odds in a traditional setting (known as “enemy colors), stating that the purpose of these color combinations was to “represent a subject area, and the colors would represent the internal conflict of the people studying it.”
The five college divisions are as follows:
- Prismari (Blue/Red): Intellect vs. Emotion theme based on art classes, the core conflict being on whether it is meant to stimulate more emotionally or intellectually.
- Quandrix (Green/Blue) – Nature vs. Nurture theme. This is the math inspired color combo, with the source of conflict being found in an examination of math itself – is it a natural force or a creation of humanity?
- Lorehold (Red/White): Chaos vs. Order theme focusing on how differently personal and societal relationships and rules develop (Psychology, History, Anthropology). The inspiration is the bending and breaking of rules in personal relationships and how society controls overall with rules and regulation.
- Silverquill (White/Black) – The good of one vs. the good of all is the conflict at play here. Is literature by nature selfless or selfish? Inspired by english, communications and literature classes.
- Witherbloom (Black/Green): Life vs. Death theme inspired by science classes, particularly biology
Each of these colleges is named after an elder dragon founder, with fierce rivalry present between them. The set is fittingly very spell based and includes lots of instants, sorceries, and enchantments. Magecraft and Learn are a couple new mechanics to watch out for, with the former causing an effect whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell, and the latter allowing you to reveal Lesson cards or draw and discard a card.
This set really does have it all! By pairing together color combinations that generally have opposing strategies, it creates a whole new realm of possibility, and introduces the “spells matter” playstyle that was once relegated largely to red and blue to the entire set. It is a great time to jump back into the game if you’ve taken some time off, and current players should love the change of pace as well. Be sure to swing by, pick up some packs, and give this set a try!