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Strixhaven Draft Guide – White | Magic: The Gathering

Welcome to my Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven Draft Guide, where I rank and judge each card of a set. Now, Strixhaven is kind of a special set to draft. Why? Because there’s a heavy focus on the synergy between the “colleges”.  It’s highly recommended that you try and draft within these predetermined archetypes, otherwise, you’re going to lose a lot of free natural synergy. In this specific guide, I’ll be reviewing all the White cards in the Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven set.

The set is still very new, so I’m not quite sure how fast it is quite yet. I’ll most likely change these ratings the more I draft this set (just like any set), and post updates here and on my social media.

Before I get into my rating for each card, here’s a brief overview of my Strixhaven draft guide rating system.

  • 1 – Bad card or only useful in the sideboard
  • 2 – Passable, but not something I would pick early or often
  • 3 – A solid card I’m happy to pick most of the time
  • 4 – Powerful cards that provide a lot of value on their own
  • 5 – Cards that will almost always win the game if your opponents can’t deal with them

Now that we know how I’ll be rating each card, let’s get straight into the ratings.

Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven Remastered draft guide – White

Academic Probation
Academic Probation – 1

The effects of Academic Probation are lackluster at best. Both options are extremely situational and don’t do much to help gain a better board state. If you have a bunch of learning cards and are in white, then this card could serve a little bit of value. However, I’d avoid this card for most of the draft.

Ageless Guardian
Ageless Guardian – 2

I’m okay drafting Ageless Guardian if I need to get to the late game, but for the most part, a 1/4 for 2 vanilla creatures isn’t anything impressive.

Beaming Defiance
Beaming Defiance – 2.5

I wouldn’t draft more than two, but this is a very solid combat spell because of hexproof. I think more than a few people are going to dismiss Beaming Defiance due to it costing 2-mana, but I think the effects are well worth it.

Clever Lumimancer
Clever Lumimancer – 1.5

I’ve never been a fan of aggressive 1-drops in limited. They look good on paper, but underperform when it comes to games. In my opinion, Clever Lumimancer is no exception.

Combat Professor
Combat Professor – 4

I could be wrong, but Combat Professor just seems crazy good. It’s a 3/3 vigilance creature for 4 (a solid statline for a common) and has the flexibility to distribute its effect to any creature you need to have vigilance.

Defend the Campus
Defend the Campus – 2.5

This is a strictly better version of Smite the Monstrous.

Detention Vortex
Detention Vortex -2

The 1-mana cost makes Detention Vortex tempting, but don’t be fooled. 3-mana isn’t a very expensive price to pay to destroy this card. If the format ends up favoring aggressive decks, this card will increase in value, otherwise I’d be careful when picking it.

Devastating Mastery
Devastating Mastery – 1.5

I would have to already be in a dedicated white control deck before picking this card. Here is why Devastating Mastery isn’t worth it:

  • It’s sorcery instead of an instant.
  • It costs 4 white mana.
  • The alternate mana cost effect only allows your opponent to keep two nonland permanents.

Dueling Coach
Dueling Coach  – 3.5

Amazing creature to sink mana into. The main reason why I’m really high on Dueling Coach is the fact that it comes down and can put a +1/+1 counter on any creature that needs it. This means you can put it on an evasive creature, and slowly turn it into a game-winning threat.

Eager First-Year
Eager First Year – 2.5

A filler 2/2 unit. Add if you need 2-drops, pass it if you don’t.

Elite Spellbinder
Elite Spellbinder – 3.5

A great tempo flyer and flexible first pick.

Expel – 3

Solid white removal for 3 mana. There are a few downsides to this spell – for example, it needs your opponent to attack first, and it’s weak against vigilance creatures – but exile is a good bonus.

Guiding Voice
Guiding Voice – 2.5

Honestly, I think this is a pretty solid card to include most of the time, as long as you have a good selection of lessons in the sideboard. +1/+1 counter and a free card for 1 mana? Sign me up.

Leonin Lightscribe
Leonin Lightscribe – 4

Now, this is an aggressive 2-drop I’d be more than happy to build a deck around. Since Magecraft can be triggered multiple times in one turn, the flexibility of Leonin Lighscribe is endless. This is one of the stronger white cards in the Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven set.

Mavinda, Students' Advocate
Mavinda, Students’ Advocate – 5

What a spicy bomb! There are so many cheap combat tricks in this set (that also grab lessons), you’re almost always guaranteed to build a half-decent deck around Mavinda.

Pilgrim of the Ages
Pilgrim of the Ages – 3

This is a solid common with immediate value. Any deck will benefit from this card, but the Boros Graveyard matters archetype will gain the most from Pilgrim of the Ages.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Pillardrop Rescuer – 3

A 2/2 for 5 mana isn’t amazing, but the immediate value of getting a creature back from your graveyard is tempting. I wouldn’t draft several copies of this card, as it requires you to have creatures in your graveyard.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Professor of Symbology – 3

Tossing a land or drawing a lesson for 2 mana and getting a body is a great value.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Reduce to Memory – 3.5

Overall, an okay white removal spell. I wouldn’t be particularly happy to main-deck this card as sorcery, but it’s a nice lesson to fetch in the sideboard when I need it.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Secret Rendezvous – 0

 So…what you’re saying is… I pay 3 mana on my turn so that my opponent gets to draw 3 cards AND gets to untap first? Pass.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Semester’s End – 3?

Here’s how I see this card play out. It’s my opponent’s turn, and they are attacking, or casting a removal spell or board wipe. I block with my creatures, prevent some damage, and have my creatures come back stronger with all of  their ETB  effects. For 4-mana that seems like a sweet deal.

The only caveat is that it requires me to have a decent board state, which makes me think that Semester’s End is just a win-more card. I’ll have to play with this card a bit before rating it. I’ll keep you guys posted.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Show of Confidence – 2

Always assume the worst in limited. For Show of Confidence, the worst-case scenario is that you’ll never actually draft or draw enough spells to combo into it. This card can be very strong, but is better as a late-draft pick when you’re already established into the archetype.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Sparring Regimen – 5+

Wow, now this is a powerful enchantment. This takes very minimal setup to gain value from, and can easily be slotted into pretty much every archetype, no problem. Heck, I’d even splash this card if I had the fixing to do so.

With Sparring Regimen, you instantly value it by replacing it with a lesson card, and force your opponents to deal with it instantly or risk being rolled by your ever-growing creatures.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Star Pupil – 2

A solid card for Silverquill aka B/W decks. Star Pupil may help enable the +1/+1 counter synergy, but you need to make sure you have enough payoffs.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Stonebinder’s Familiar – 2

It’s going to take a good amount of effort to grow Stonebinder’s Familiar, and maybe getting a 4/4 vanilla unit just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Stonerise Spirit – 2.5

If you have a way to give this bird +1/+1 counters, it’d be an overall decent card. But otherwise, it’s just a filler for Boros decks.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Strict Proctor – 2

An asymmetrical effect like this works better in constructed where you can set it up to only affect your opponent. In limited, I look at Strict Proctor as a 2 mana 1/3 flyer that can potentially be a downside if picked early. I don’t rate this card highly, and would be hesitant to pick it.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Study Break – 1.5

Study Break falls into the category of spells that are unplayable unless you have payoffs like Mavinda or Leonin Lightscribe.

Strixhaven Draft Guide
Thunderous Orator – 3

A solid addition to any white deck. It’s easy to find value with Thunderous Orator, and it requires very little to enable.

Best white commons

  1. Combat Professor
  2. Expel
  3. Defend the Campus
  4. Pillardrop Rescuer
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Paul Dudsdeemaytha

Paul Dudsdeemaytha is a Vancouver, BC-based writer and content creator at SQUAD. Paul specializes in creating guides for Magic: The Gathering and Legends of Runeterra. When he's not writing, you can probably find him throwing frisbees nearby.
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