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Top 5 Command Cards of Strixhaven

I've been playing Magic: The Gathering for some time, and today I want to share my tricks.


Converted Mana Cost (starting from Strixhaven it will be called Mana Value) 3

The cost of this card is not too high but I find the effects provided to us slightly too situational. At the cost of 3 we can choose two of these effects:

• Return target creature or planeswalker to its owner’s hand.

• Counter target artifact or enchantment spell.

• Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature.

• Target player shuffles up to three target cards from their graveyard into their library.

The effects are less linked to each other than other Commands and therefore do not allow particular synergies.

In the defensive or offensive phase, it can be useful as a combat trick to bounce an opponent's creature and at the same time enhance one of ours.

It can also be useful to be able to bounce our creature or planeswalker in response to an opponent's removal.

In a school of wizards, I expect to see a lot of artifacts (cauldrons? Wands? Spellbooks?) and enchantments so you might find some interesting targets.

The last option instead is a little bit of a filler that can be chosen to not lose the second choice such as against control decks in an empty battlefield.

I don't think it's necessarily bad in Strixhaven (it could also be very good) but there may be few opportunities in the other major formats for this card to shine.

It also favours a Tempo-style game that not all decks can handle properly, so it requires the right build.

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Converted Mana Cost (starting from Strixhaven it will be called Mana Value) 5

Even if this is the most expensive of the cycle we always get only 2 effects of your choice:

• Create a 3/2 red and white Spirit creature token.

• Creatures you control get +1/+0 and gain indestructible and haste until end of turn.

• Lorehold Command deals 3 damage to any target. Target player gains 3 life.

• Sacrifice a permanent, then draw two cards.

This command offers good versatility both when we are ahead and when we are in trouble.

For example, the first two ways can be used together to defend against the enemy assault or in our turn to launch the definitive offensive.

The second way allows us to protect our army from the opponent's wrath.

The "Lightning Helix" effect (the third) is great in all circumstances and can be extremely useful for dealing final damage to remove creatures or planeswalkers.

The latter effect can be very good with low-cost permanents like treasure tokens or the like, and provide a way to draw cards in a colour scheme that hardly has access to this mechanic.

Overall it provides ways to gain card advantage and should not be underestimated, the cost of 5 does not make it playable in many copies like other lower-cost commands.


Converted Mana Cost (starting from Strixhaven it will be called Mana Value) 4

As usual, we can choose two options:

• Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains flying until end of turn.

• Return target creature card with mana value 2 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.

• Target player draws a card and loses 1 life.

• Target opponent sacrifices a creature.

This card loses some ground as it is sorcery but still offers some nice options.

The First Effect in Draft could lead one of our creatures to deal something like 6-7 damage under the right conditions. I was pleasantly surprised to see + 3 / + 3, white usually stops at + 2 / + 2 while + 3 / + 3 or higher is usually the prerogative of green.

The second effect allows the recovery of a small creature but it is not to be underestimated due to particular effects (such as cards that make the opponent discard a card or similar).

The third effect we have also seen on small creatures is a small additional bonus and allows you to have an option that is always available.

This effect allows a creature to be sacrificed and can be combined well with other effects, especially early in the game.

There can be good combinations between these options such as just being able to remove an opposing creature and draw a card or how to boost a creature and remove a possible blocker.

I generally expect it to be a good card for some formats but not for all and therefore it places in the middle of the table.


Converted Mana Cost (starting from Strixhaven it will be called Mana Value) 3

At cost 3 and instant speed it gives us two options to choose from:

• Prismari Command deals 2 damage to any target.

• Target player draws two cards, then discards two cards.

• Target player creates a Treasure token.

• Destroy target artifact.

The first is a simple and always useful "shock" that can be added to a second effect with ease. Also, I expect Strixhaven will again lead to a lowering of the average power and toughness values ​​compared to Haldheim, so 2 damage is not to be underestimated. Strixhaven is a school of magicians not a bodybuilder gym like Kaldheim.

The second effect is reminiscent of Faithless Looting (a banned card in Modern) and this effect also offers a lot of versatility.

The third way allows you to create a small treasure token useful as a colour fix or to speed up a subsequent play.

The last option, "smelt", is always useful to have enough flexibility.

Evaluating the card in other formats it is easy to see that about half of the options are similar to Kolaghan's Command and this can help us evaluate the card. Of course, Kolaghan's Command came first and therefore Prismari Command will not be able to have the same impact as well as even suffer the competition in some formats in which both can be played.


Converted Mana Cost (starting from Strixhaven it will be called Mana Value) 2

This is the least expensive of the whole cycle but like all the other cards it allows us two options of choice:

• 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.

This is one of the first few cards in Strixhaven to have the words "Mana Value" instead of "Converted Mana Cost", these abbreviations are used to have more space in the cards to describe the effects.

The low cost also results in a speed downgrade from Instant to Sorcery.

With the first effect, we can choose whether we mill the cards or mill them to the opponent. In both cases, we can recover land from the graveyard. This could be especially useful with reanimator or landfall decks.

The second effect allows you to remove small obstacles along the way while the third allows you to eliminate small creatures. These two effects would have gained a lot from speed to instant.

The last effect allows for 2 drain life and can be easily used in the absence of many useful targets for the other modes.

I would have preferred a mana cost of 3 for instant speed and a few other small bonuses such as being able to remove 2 toughness creatures.

This is higher than other Commands for being able to play it better in other formats like modern due to Fetch or being able to remove cards like Wrenn and Six.

© 2021 Christian Allasia

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