We are on the cusp of Strixhaven Spoiler Season and the crew and I would like to put our final bids in for what may still be coming in this new set. First, let me reinterate what’s been speculated before from our previous articles:
KASMINA: Friend or Foe?
EVERYONE is expecting a Kasmina card in this set. From the very beginning of the Strixhaven speculation, it has been a given that she was from this school as on of the instructors. But Wotc stays silent on this issue. And, even if she IS in this set, who says she’s one of the ‘good guys’. Go read her write-up. Check our her on MTGWiki. Secret Orders. Shadowy Cabals. Mysterious Goals. It just reeks big bad. Is that what Maro meant by a ” planeswalker you know, but not as you know them”? Have we only assumed she was one of the good ones; future gatewatch? Taken it for granted that she was going to be a part of Strixhaven toward good goals only to find that she and her ‘shadowy cabal’ have other plans?
Or is Strixhaven not what it appears to be? Is she a leader in this school because their ‘mysterious purpose’ is to churn out emissaries for their nefarious plans? Am I reading too much into this? Probably. But maybe Kasmina is not ‘as you know’ her. And maybe this school and its colleges are up to no good. Them being built on ‘enemy colors’ may be a clue; maybe not. And who is the hooded figure all of the students seem to be fighting on the set booster box?
OTHER POSSIBLE PLANESWALKERS
The obvious answer comes on the artwork of the bundle box. Rowan and Will Kenrith return probably after their leaving Eldraine to continue their growth. The school would be the greatest place to do that. And making the Royal Scions more prominent in MTG as important planeswalkers really works for me. They are already unique in the multiverse seeing that they share a spark.
I’m still (tentatively) speculating that they end up the Prismari College due to their elemental abilities and Maro’s tease “an MDFC with the same card type on both sides that hasn’t been printed before” just screams a Will/Rowan MDFC.
The only other speculation on planeswalkers comes from that mysterious tid bit Mark Rosewater laid on us this last week. ” planeswalker you know, but not as you know them” can mean many things. But Kaya just came off a Phyrexian incursion on Kaldheim and, if she realizes what was taken or not, she’s going to be investigating. OR maybe her mysterious benefactor is also looking in on Strixhaven? If Kaya and her crew from the War of the Spark novel are involved, there are a few guesses I have. BUT one sticks out. A character that we’ve known for ages/years in Magic. A familiar face.
What if this planeswalker we know is Liliana Vess. And what if the way she becomes ‘not as you know’ is because she continues in disguise and keeps the name Ana Lora? Are we going to get an ANA LORA card in Strixhaven? And how will she be there? Teacher? Student? Or spy for Kaya and her benefactor? Just something to think about.
What if she takes the Oath and keeps it this time?
And, as stated in an article before, where the Kenrith twins go, can Garruk Wildspeaker be far behind? The last thing he promised was to look after them.
One outside possibility for planeswalker is Tamiyo from Kamigawa. This is one set where the plane of origin means nothing. She is considered because of her affinity with books and stories and with her unique type of magic.
Although, in the end, although she would make a great segue into the future Kamigawa set that’s been rumored to be coming, she doesn’t fit in with any of the colleges. The closest in color is Quandrix, but their math and patterns motif clashes with her story as magic style.
And, considering that only Planeswalkers make the packs (usually), are we to assume that all of those characters showcased on the draft packs are possibly new planeswalkers?
After getting the whole story in Kaldheim, we’re even more sure we haven’t seen the last of the dangerous Phyrexian. I mean, why make it a creature type if you’re only going to do one? Obviously, Elesh Norn has an overarching plan to raise her kind to perfection. And gaining the sap of immortality is a start. But Are we to believe that the school of Strixhaven has something these abomination needs? And why not? My bet is that the College of Lorehold has dug something up; something old and powerful. Something Elesh Norn wants. And who better to send to a place of study and research than Jin Gitaxias?
I think we can assume that Elesh Norn has overtaken the other Praetors. But Jin Gitaxias should be that hard a sell. It wants the same thing she does: the perfection of the Phyrexian race.
DO YOU LIKE SPIDERS AND SNAKES?
“Pests, Bats, Insects, Snakes, and Spiders” is a snippet from some text coming from Strixhaven according to Maro. Is this a clue that we’re getting more of these creatures in this set and are we getting a card that supports these creatures much like the companion from Ikoria, Kaheera, the Orphanguard? Only it won’t be an actual companion.
THIS SET AIN’T A PARTY
Mark Rosewater went on and on about creature types that would be seen in Strixhaven. And part of it reminded me of speculations early on. With the plane centering on a magic school, a lot of people were thinking that we’d see the different types of magic users found all over magic. Not just Wizards, but shaman, warlocks and druids too. And looks like they were right. Where I thought (and still do) that there would be a good many wizards to go with the warriors I expected in Kaldheim (we got 23 warriors with other cards that actually made warriors), Maro and the designers made room for these three other ways of magic; touting such creatures as a Turtle, Troll and Dryad Druid, Bird and Vampire Warlocks, as well as, an Orc Shaman.
LOREHOLD DELVING IN SPIRITS PAST
Looking over the abilities on the COMMAND cards shown in Wotc’s first look, the first ability you get to pick from is making a 3/2 red and white Spirit creature token.
Now, you find many spirits with red in the cost (56), but adding white takes that number down to a handful. It’s just that, recently, spirit hasn’t been a red thing. We got a whole spirit deck out of Kaldheim in Azorius, but, these days, it’s rare to get a red spirit. In fact, in all of standard, there’s not one.
ELDER DRAGON’S COMING TO STRIXHAVEN?
In the early spoiler article from Wotc, we were told that five colleges ( Lorehold, Prismari, Quandrix, Silverquill and Witherbloom) were all founded by an Elder Dragon who is the paragon of the school of magic they originated. This leaves a lot of great possibilities coming. Is this why they won’t show us the art of the 5 commander sets that will premiere with Strixhaven? Are the commander cards the very Elder Dragon’s who started the school?
In the first introduction to Strixhaven, Wotc did say that we wouldn’t be meeting the ‘founders’ today; insinuating that they still exist and we would meet them down the road. Still say it has something to do with the secrets behind the commander sets.
There have been 11 other Elder Dragons in MTG. But Maro makes it clear these are not the ones from Dominaria, at least. My bet is that they will be five uniquely new Elder Dragons and I can’t wait. I wonder if this means Nicol Bolas will have some real compitition?
That’s all we have for now. Can’t wait for the official spoilers to begin this week!