Expressive Iteration Will be Good in VINTAGE

Expressive Iteration
Expressive Iteration

Expressive Iteration Will be Good in Vintage…

… And great in Standard. It’ll be all over Historic, Modern, Legacy…

So what’s so exciting about this card?

Here’s the secret: Don’t play it on turn two (in non-Vintage). If you play it on turn three, you can exile a land card (and play it that turn). Sure, there will be times that you have to Iterate Expressively on turn two… Just know that that won’t be the norm.

In Vintage the rules will be a little bit different. Not only can you play this with a Mox Sapphire or Mox Ruby (without first making your second land drop) you can also just exile stow a zero casting cost artifact.

In a sense Expressive Iteration is just better than drawing two cards. You get to “draw” the best two of the next three. (As long as you know the play pattern). But now you do!

More Strixhaven Hits and (near?) Misses

Mike absolutely loves Body of Research! Not only is this a 40/40 (or so) for six mana, it can be part of a killer two-card combination. Deceiver Exarch + Splinter Twin required seven mana; but could be awkward to set up due to timing. Body of Research + Fling is only one more mana and still a reliable kill.

… Did we mention it’s also a 40/40 (or so) for six mana?

Body of Research
Body of Research

What’s up with Shadrix Silverquill?

Shadrix Silverquill
Shadrix Silverquill

There is a LOT going on with this Elder Dragon. It’s essentially a four power flyer on offense… Maybe more with its self-buffing ability.

Our hosts are only medium on it. Lots of hoops to jump into before it even gets interesting… Do they have any creatures? How many? Can we kill 2/1 creatures without using a card?

But the bigger issue is that — between white and black — Standard has plenty of competition at the “four power flyer” category… Especially after all those Angels in Kaldheim.

Whether you want to murder the opponent’s creatures or fight fair, “Expressive Iteration Will be Good in VINTAGE” has got some great Strixhaven takes for you. Listen up now!

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Going Deep into the Strixhaven Previews

Some Assorted Strixhaven Previews…

Lorehold Excavation
Lorehold Excavation is probably MIke’s favorite of the Strixhaven Previews so far

Will it be good?

Deeply, deeply, mediocre?

Great against control? Or embarrassing against control in a world word where it coexists with Yorion, Sky Nomad?

There is no way to know just yet… But our hosts, at least for now, have not reached consensus.

Let’s look at some big “Boros” cards from Lorehold

Velomachus Lorehold
Velomachus Lorehold

Imagine a deck that hunkers down with big Planeswalkers or seeks to control the midgame.

Might the red-white Elder Dragon Velomachus Lorehold be productive as the biggest of the big?

“What did you think you were going to get for seven mana?”
-Mike

Probably if you’re going to dig seven deep, there is going to be something waiting there you might want to cast. That “something” might be regular cards; or, in one host’s opinion… If you’re playing Velomachus Lorehold, you’re probably playing weird cards to exploit its presence.

Radiant Scrollweilder
Radiant Scrollweilder

Notably, neither Lightning Helix nor Warleader’s Helix actually has lifelink. So, if you’re going to stretch far enough into the instants of red-white’s past, there is some extra synergistic spice waiting for you!

This is a card that, if it’s going to be good, it’s going to be really good because of that lifelink ability. Think a Pyroclasm of sorts. Your Radiant Scrollweilder will live; the more guys they have, the more lifelink is going to make it look good. But even non-creature heavy decks are going to have to respect its ability to procure extra cards, even when you can’t pick and choose.

Valentin, Dean of the Vein from the Strixhaven Previews

Valentin, Dean of the Vein
Valentin, Dean of the Vein

This card is spectacular… Especially for one mana.

On its face, Valentin, Dean of the Vein is comparable to Healer’s Hawk. Sure, menace is a little worse than flying… But it also doesn’t have to share Standard with Goblin Chainwhirler.

Valentin can be sweet on one; and if they don’t kill it, it’s probably going to get some immediate money. Unlike Healer’s Hawk, it’s in black, meaning you can clear a path more efficiently and can set up the pest-making triggered ability. That really pushes Valentin over the gop!

Plus, if you have access to green, you can “kick” it for four mana. At which point you know you already have multiple sources of life gain in your deck.

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Village Rites is Our Official Strixhaven Preview

Look What’s Back… It’s Village Rites!

Village Rites
Village Rites

Our good friends at Wizards entrusted us with this exciting news: Village Rites is sweeter than ever in its Strixhaven form!

Village Rites was already a popular card in the Rakdos and Jund Sacrifice decks of Standard and Historic. The card continues to give you opportunities for card advantage, and sacrifice synergies! All for one measly mana.

And… That’s some fun art.

Professor Onyx from Strixhaven

Professor Onyx
Liliana Vess… now cosplaying as Professor Onyx

Our heroes are torn on their assessment of Professor Onyx.

  • Michael: Unbridled enthusiasm. He imagines this card as kind of a one-card High Tide deck. He imagines untapping with this powerful permanent in play, and passively killing the opponent while doing what a control deck might want to do anyway. Like drawing cards or killing creatures.
  • Patrick: The rate on this Strixhaven Planeswalker is just too bad. Six mana is a ton… And this incarnation of Liliana is no Dreadhorde General. Who do you want it against? Fast Red Aggro? Mono-Blue? How about Elspeth Conquers Death? Exactly.

Kasmina, Enigma Sage from Strixhaven

The other recently-revealed Planeswalker from Strixhaven ends up well worth the discussion. This one has a lot that it might be able to contribute to… But most importantly via that passive ability.

Each other planeswalker you control has the loyalty abilities of Kasmina, Enigma Sage.

Kasmina can grant Ultimates to Planeswalkers with no natural payoffs… And can turn high loyalty Planeswalkers directly into huge creatures.

How about that fail state?

Imagine you just played this card for three; and immediately made a 1/1.

“I won a PTQ with the card Wood Elves in my deck.” -Mike

What’s better as a remainder? A Kasmina with one loyalty, or a basic Forest. Exactly.

Give it a listen now!

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Witherbloom Command is Overrated for Standard

Witherbloom Command Indeed Looks Exciting for Bigger Formats

Witherbloom Command from Strixhaven
  • Witherbloom Command
  • BG
  • Sorcery
  • Choose two —
    • Target player mills three cards, then you return a land card from your graveyard to your hand.
    • Destroy target noncreature, nonland permanent with mana value 2 or less.
    • Target creature gets -3/-1 until end of turn.
    • Target opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life

The first ability in particular is very nice for formats with either Wasteland or Flooded Strand. The ability to re-buy a land from your graveyard is a proxy for “draw a card” (and even better if you are about to miss a land drop).

The fact that it mills three cards first can not only load you up if you haven’t used a fetchland yet; but can power up a Life from the Loam. And, again, Wasteland.

But what is Witherbloom Command going to do for you in Standard?

Even in against Mono-Red, Witherbloom Command is a not-great Vicious Hunger. It’s often worse than cards players already choose not to run.

Further, Standard has fewer specialized lands and non-creature permanents to make this card’s other abilities good. Not terrible perse… But already overrated.

… In fact? Can it in fact be overrated for Legacy?

Oh, and we go deep on the other four Strixhaven Commands as well!

  • If Lorehold Command is good, Strixhaven Standard is going to be a great format! At the least, it looks better than Jace’s Ingenuity — and at least on five mana — it is far, far, better than a Sphinx’s Revelation
  • Prismari Command looks to be a Staple “in the formats you can cast it” … Certainly it will see play in Modern, comparable to an Electrolyze that compacts your deck building costs.
  • Quandrix Command is going to be good… But only in very specific decks. If you’re not in it for +1/+1 counters, you’re not going to be into it. But if you are? It’s an instant speed Man-o’-War!
  • Silverquill Command is consistent if nothing else. Lots of Ojutai’s Command to this one; and that’s a good thing.

Get introduced to Strixhaven here:

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