Gnarled Professor from Strixhaven
There was a time when Gnarled Professor would have been about the best creature there was.
A 5/4 for 2GG mana is not too far off of the legendary Erhnam Djinn (4/5 for 3G)… And old Ernie had a disadvantage while Gnarled Professor has two clear advantages. It starts off with trample and you essentially draw a card via learn.
More than that, “learn” is like drawing drawing with selection; it’s Demonic Tutor-ish.
Gnarled Professor is near the top of the efficiency list for learns and Lessons. For the most part, the learn cards are a little inefficient and the Lessons are a little overcosted. The trade-off being that you got card advantage along the way. How about another?
Let’s go on a Field Trip!
Field Trip is pretty similar to some other cards that people play in Standard. The main difference on the front side is that Field Trip can only get a basic Forest; whereas Cultivate or Fertile Footsteps can get any sort of a basic land.
So the color restriction is a definite disadvantage on the front end. On the first card, this is a little weaker than the market at 2G. The real question is how you value the learn ability.
Would you rather have the option of buying a Beanstalk Giant from exile? How about a second basic land [that may or may not be a basic Forest]? How might you rate those against the front-side learn on Field Trip?
The answer, of course, depends on how much space you set aside for Lessons. None of the Lessons is particularly efficient, but you can stockpile removal, dig for basics, or draw cards… Essentially on-demand; and generally care of card advantage. Both Gnarled Professor and Field Trip here grant a Lesson on top of doing something you might want to do for a reasonable amount of mana.
Lessons from Strixhaven (that might not be Lessons)
- A modal double-faced Gnarled Mass
- The return of a beloved Planeswalker card as… kind of one Planeswalker card
- Michael loving one kind of 40/40 (and Patrick trying to get him to like another flavor)
- “More” Lots more!