MtG: 15 Best Strixhaven Cards for Standard

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Strixhaven is the latest Magic: The Gathering set that delves deep into the magical knowledge of spell-casting.

This expansion is heavy on instant and sorcery spells, and introduces two new relevant mechanics: Magecraft and Ward. Magecraft rewards players for casting and copying spells, while Ward protects permanent cards in case they become the target of enemy spells.

Strixhaven also has no reprints, since Wizards of the Coast decided to dedicate a whole other set for that purpose. So expect to see only brand-new cards in this expansion.

In this guide you will find only the best Strixhaven cards for standard meta, so check them all out, if you're aiming to win many games this season.

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Prismari Command

The entire new command cycle of spells in Strixhaven set is really powerful. But standard players will most likely end up using Prismari Command the most.

It has a relatively low cost of only 3 mana and allows you to choose two actions at an instant speed.

It fits Izzet Flash and Jeskai Cycling decks really well, solving most of their needs and problems. Since both of these decks are top tier in the current meta, there is a big future for Prismari Command in the new season.

Test of Talents

This unique counterspell will be of great value in both Temur Adventures and Sultai Ultimatum decks, as well as against them.

Most players will play two copies of Test of Talents in the main deck and two more in the sideboard, which is an indication of a strong utility card that will be much sought out by most control and midrange players.

This card will be very effective against all kinds of combo pieces that rely on instant or sorcery spells, such as Tibalt’s Trickery.

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Plumb the Forbidden

Village Rites from Kaldheim had a pretty good run in standard. But it looks like this new spell from Strixhaven is a much better upgrade.

It has a significant synergy with Sedgemoor Witch, another new card from Strixhaven. You can cast Plumb the Forbidden, and then recoup the sacrificed creatures with the Witch's tokens and even restore your lost life.

This is also an excellent tool against board wipes, which won't save your creatures, but will draw you plenty of cards.

Baleful Mastery

As it stands, Baleful Mastery is definitely going to be a new staple removal in standard.

Although the price for 2 mana cost reduction is pretty steep, you don't actually have to do it, and just pay 4 mana in case you feel that you don't want to give your opponent a card.

Sultai Ultimatum players, as well as control players, will most likely snatch a few copies of Baleful Mastery for their main decks. After Vraska's Contempt rotation, this is the best option we've got so far.

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Strict Proctor

Typically, hate cards always find their way into the standard meta, whether they come in as a maindeck choice or as a strong sideboard option.

Strict Proctor is a great hate card that can be used against a whole number of decks, such as Landfall and Embercleave that will have a problem with all those taxed mana costs.

It can also be used for your own benefit, mitigating negative effects, such as the one in Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. Play them together, and you'll have a 6/6 for 4 mana.

Bayou Groff

Groff or Goyf? This card has Tarmogoyf written all over it, and it is legal in standard.

Sure, you have to sacrifice a creature to cast it, but it could be something like a token from Lovestruck Beast, or you could cast it from your graveyard using Lurrus of the Dream-Den or Call of the Death-Dweller.

It also has a great set up for an early The Great Henge, which can go on board as quickly as turn three or four with the help of Bayou Groff.

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Culling Ritual

This sorcery basically pays for itself, while doing its job.

Standard is currently infested with all sorts of permanents that cost 2 mana or less, such as Omen of the Sea, Mazemind Tome, and many others. Culling Ritual will gladly remove them for you and fill up your mana pool for extra moves on your part.

Since this is a black-green card, it will most likely go into Sultai and Golgari decks that have been waiting for a removal like this for quite some time.

Leonin Lightscribe

Such a powerful effect cannot be ignored and it won't be this season in standard. In a well-built Orzhov list this card can kill almost any opponent very quickly.

This will grow super fast with the help of pump spells, and if there is no removal in the opponent's opening hand, then there is a big chance that Leonin Lightscribe will survive and finish them off in two or three turns at most.

If Mono White players will be willing to give up a few of their creatures for some spells, then Leonin Lightscribe would be a great addition to their decks as well.

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Expressive Iteration

Izzet and Jeskai players will love this one!

In short, this spell lets you draw two cards and scry three for just 2 mana. You can also exile the land card and immediately put it on the table.

It can be used as an early play that will set up your next turn with an exiled card, or serve as a cantrip in the mid or late game.

In any case, Expressive Iteration looks like a real winner in the set that is focused on non-creature spells.

Emergent Sequence

Here is one of the strangest ramp spells in Strixhaven, but it's got plenty of potential.

Heartless Act, currently the most played removal spell, can't do much against it. The creature can't be destroyed, because it has no counters, and if it tries to remove the counters, then your card simply turns back into a land.

Emergent Sequence also has the obvious synergy with the Landfall archetype and Magecraft mechanic. So there is a lot of room for maneuvering when using this spell in standard.

Rip Apart

Here is another flexible removal spell that can be used in Boros decks, but will most likely end up in Jeskai Control lists.

It targets almost all types of permanents except lands, which is seriously good. Abrade has been a staple removal in standard for a long time, and Rip Apart is an excellent alternative.

If it were an instant spell it would probably be too good, but since it's a sorcery, the mana cost is totally justifiable in this case.

Solve the Equation

It seems that every new Magic set has some kind of a tutor card, so it's completely natural that the set focused on spells, such as Strixhaven, has a spell tutor.

Solve the Equation will still only be a niche card in standard, but those few decks will absolutely need this one. This mostly concerns spell-based combo decks and the control archetype.

Tibalt's Trickery will probably be the most sought out target for Solve the Equation, but there are plenty other options as well.

Venerable Warsinger

Boros Aggro players will have some really fun time playing Venerable Warsinger, especially when it's combined with Selfless Savior, who can make it indestructible.

It can also bring back the other copies of itself from the graveyard, which will require opponents to look out for board wipes that exile creatures and not just destroy them.

The most obvious place for this card would be a deck with Embercleave, which can increase not only the power of Venerable Warsinger, but also its reanimator ability.

Flamescroll Celebrant

This new aggro creature is a clear nod to the good old days of Harsh Mentor from the Amonkhet set.

Flamescroll Celebrant has a very strong ability that can prevent any opponent from taking any actions, especially when they're low on life.

Since this is a modal double-faced card, it can also be used as a spell on a flip side that stops opponents from playing spells or activate planeswalkers.

Both of these effects are very relevant in the current state of standard, so expect some fun strategies this season with Flamescroll Celebrant.

Teach by Example

If there was a card in Strixhaven that would define its flavor, then it would definitely be Teach by Example. Although it can't copy your opponent's spells, but only your own, it's still a very solid effect for any spell-heavy deck.

It's a strictly better Doublecast from Core Set 2019 and has instant speed and two optional colors in its mana cost. This provides flexibility and range for many decks, and the common rarity just makes it so much more affordable for Magic players.

Those are the best 15 cards in MtG's Strixhaven set. In addition to this list of the best Strixhaven cards for standard, be sure to check out our other MtG guides and card lists here

Published Apr. 9th 2021

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Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin.

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