First Drafts of Strixhaven's Limited Archetypes

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First Drafts of Strixhaven's Limited Archetypes

Starting our trimester in Strixhaven, let's explore which content each college has and build example decks to help you on your first drafts!

By Luiz, 04/17/21, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

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Greetings! After analysing the entire set of Strixhaven to Limited, it's time for us to take the next step and draft the archetypes. It's an useful exercise so we can have a notion on how the synergies works inside each college. Remember that the objective of this previous study is to simplify the choices during our first Drafts, but everything here is subject to change as we learn more about the set. As the goal is to find things that seem reasonable and not just build broken decks that will never happen, I have some rules for the sketches:

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- We will not use rare cards, as they tend to appear less often. - Up to two cards from the Mystic Archives. - Up to six uncommons, none repeated. - Up to four Lessons, up to one repeated. - We fill the rest with commons (up to four pairs of replicates) and basic land at will. I am using this link - A pool with two copies of each common and uncommon of the set to build your decks. You should use it too, can help you a lot!

Quandrix

Strixhaven's idea was for each college to approach its color combination in a different way than usual but Quandrix ended up sort of more of the same, where the goal is to ramp, draw cards and cast big spells. The three multicolored uncommons are pretty insane - Quandrix Apprentice, Quandrix Cultivator and Zimone, Quandrix Prodigy. And the archetype is the one that best makes use of the big bomb of the format that is Bookwurm. Don't forget that you need ways to not die at the beginning of the game, and Needlethorn Drake plays that role pretty well.
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Witherbloom

Witherbloom works on two axes: It has both the lifegain theme and the sacrifice theme. The Pest tokens and the student prodigy Dina, Soul Steeper work well with both, but I believe that the more focused on one of them the better your deck. On the Sacrifice deck, I think the big move is to curl a 1-drop into Bayou Gruff and wreak havoc with your 5/4. Daemogoth Woe-Eater is also huge in cost, and both synergize well with Tend the Pests.
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The Lifegain one works around Blood Researcher, which can grow to monumental sizes if not answered immediately and can give a huge headache with Menace.
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Silverquill

This college is the one that presents the most clear and aggressive game plan of the format. To keep small creatures relevant in the long game, we had Equipment in Kaldheim. In Strixhaven we take advantage of instants and sorceries that put counters on creatures (triggering Magecraft). Again, enhancements work especially well when creatures have good abilities (flying, lifelink, etc.).
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Besides the standar version, maybe there is some Silverquill archetype that can take advantage of multiple Clever Lumimancer and Show of Confidence alongside low-cost spells to "Storm" in a single turn.

Lorehold

On this college we see a theme of playing the long game and winning the resources battle, taking advantages of our "buyback" spells and creating spirits with Quintorius, Field Historian.
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The problem with the deck above is that you are very dependent on Quintorius since your cards don't do that much when he's not in play. If you don't have access tp it, you may want to build a more aggressive deck, perhaps with a Spirits tribal theme, or take advantage of Twinscroll Shaman. Personally, it's the deck that attracts me the least - and I really like Boros...

Prismari

Prismari have been given an identity in which you want to cast great spells - their spectacles - like Elemental Summoning and Creative Outburst. My understanding is that this is a trap, and these spells seem to work best as splashes on Lorehold or Quandrix. I believe that the classic "Izzet Tempo" works best on this format, just put some cheap threats on board and interact in a timely manner.
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These are the starting points of the format. In practice, we still have the rare cards to consider, the Mystical Archive, the way the picks will unfold and more archetypes to emerge, such as four or five-colored decks

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We will come back with more in-depth information as we play with the cards! A good resource to keep watch on what works on this set is the 17 Lands's Trophy Page.

Bonus

There is a very unlikely and very lucky way to actually win on the format's second turn: TURN 1: Plains, Clever Lumimancer TURN 2: Swamp Dark Ritual, Professor's Warning, Professor's Warning, Show of Confidence, attack for 20. Please, record and upload if you ever do this. Thanks for reading!
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Luiz

30 years old and father, plays Magic in his spare time. Booster Draft enthusiast, he met the game in 2000.

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