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Strixhaven Standard Set Review: White and Lorehold

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Strixhaven is finally out, and it is already making an impact on Standard as players are rushing to test the new cards. Strixhaven introduces us to five new schools of magic, each doing something different. We will be splitting up this set review by classes mostly and today we talk about my favorite one, Lorehold. Lorehold is my favorite because it is quite different from Boros. It really shows us what Red and White can do besides just play small aggressive creatures and burn spells. Let us have a look but before we begin, this is how I will be grading the cards.

I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard and I will not be going over the Commander cards that will not see Standard play. For example, cards like Goldmaw Champion and Master Skald will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, "This is just a Limited card" repeatedly gets old rather fast. Do not worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the actual Strixhaven set. So, if you like a certain rare or mythic, it will be mentioned in the review.

Keep in mind I'm rating all these cards for Standard playability. I will mention Modern applications if I believe the card has some.

Each card will be listed by color, then alphabetically by name.

Each card will be given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, its rating is left off the list.

Rating | Explanation | Standard Examples

0 - Will never see play in this format (0 ratings are not listed).

1 - Unlikely to see play. (Divine Gambit)

2 - Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Disdainful Stroke, Annul, Erebos's Intervention, Shadow's Verdict)

3 - Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Righteous Valkyrie, Behold the Multiverse, Solemn Simulacrum)

4 - Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Saw it Coming, Fabled Passage, Bonecrusher Giant)

5 - Format warping. If you are in these colors, you play that card or keep that card in mind when building decks. (Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Embercleave, The Great Henge)

Now that we have that out of the way, let's begin!

White

Academic Probation
Academic Probation - 2 - This is the only White Lesson that I would play in my Sideboard and most likely only one copy at that. It would be nice to name something like Doomskar for a turn or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.
Clever Lumimancer
Clever Lumimancer - 4 - An excellent aggressive creature for White that wants to be paired with pump spells and tricks. Getting +2/+2 from your instants and sorceries will make Clever Lumimancer a terrifying 1-drop to face.
Detention Vortex
Detention Vortex - 2 - This card really shines in bw Auras in Historic. As far as Standard goes, I don't think it's good enough because it's not cantripping for 1 mana like it would in Historic with Sram and Kor Spiritdancer.
Devastating Mastery
Devastating Mastery - 2 - I did not thing they would make Planar Cleansing even harder to cast. At least you can play this one for 4 mana and while it will not kill everything at least it will buy you time!
Elite Spellbinder
Elite Spellbinder - 3.5 - PVD's card is excellent and will fit right into Collected Company decks. In Standard it is a solid 3-drop, but I really wish it had flash. Even though it does not, it should still see play in Standard. I really like the way they are introducing taxing effects with White. Things like this and Smothering Tithe are excellent ways to do it.
Guiding Voice
Guiding Voice - 3 - It's a pump spell for Magecraft and an excellent way to Learn. Great alongside Clever Lumimancer allowing you to potentially trigger the card's Magecraft multiple times.
Leonin Lightscribe
Leonin Lightscribe - 3 - Leonin Lightscribe fits right into token decks, especially since instant and sorceries are usually the cards making tokens. If tokens are a thing, I expect this cat to lead the pack.
Mavinda, Students' Advocate
Mavinda, Students' Advocate - 4 - Recurring Snapcaster Mage for White seems amazing, especially alongside all the Magecraft creatures. Mavinda also allows you to cast multiple spells in the same turn if you have the mana. Reminds me of an easier to cast Feather.
Professor of Symbology
Professor of Symbology - 3 - If you want other ways to Learn besides Guiding Voice, this Professor is a solid way to do that, especially if you are not triggering Magecraft with Guiding Voice.
Semester's End
Semester's End - 2 - Too much mana to save your creatures. Even against Ugin I would rather play more Reidane, God of the Worthy.
Show of Confidence
Show of Confidence - 2.5 - This is a Storm card in disguise and it seems to fit very nicely with a token theme deck or aggressive Magecraft creatures.
Sparring Regimen
Sparring Regimen - 3 - Solid way to learn and slowly make any creature a threat, especially things like Faceless Haven since you cannot Doomskar it. This will be best in a deck that cares about +1/+1 counters.
Strict Proctor
Strict Proctor - 2.5 - Love this card to stop annoying creatures but love it more in Historic to allow me to not sacrifice any lands when I play Lotus Field.

Lorehold

Blade Historian
Blade Historian - 3.5 - Blade Historian is an excellent way to close out a game. Very similar to Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. A best defense is a good offense. This card will only get better once Embercleave rotates.
Hofri Ghostforge
Hofri Ghostforge - 2 - Super cool card for Commander but for Standard it is just a more expensive Luminous Broodmoth and that already sees no play in Standard.
Lorehold Command
Lorehold Command - 2.5 - This is my favorite command of the cycle and I am not even a Boros person. I just love how different this is for Boros decks, the draw ability is also sweet for Control decks. Lightning Helix and Divination (with a caveat) with other options is solid for a control deck.
Radiant Scrollwielder
Radiant Scrollwielder - 2 - Radiant Scrollwielder seems like a cheaper Firesong and Sunspeaker. It seems like a solid card for burn decks against other aggressive decks, at least when Embercleave rotates.
Reconstruct History
Reconstruct History - 2.5 - I just like this card as a wish option for things like Fae of Wishes, it can generate a ton of value when you are ready to cast it making it an excellent wish target for the right deck.
Rip Apart
Rip Apart - 4 - Staple card for almost every format. Rip Apart is extremely versatile and will see a lot of play. Disenchant or Lightning Bolt (for only creatures / planeswalkers) is exceptionally good.
Thrilling Discovery
Thrilling Discovery - 3 - A better Cathartic Reunion if you are in these colors! Especially since you do not have to discard the cards as an additional cost, and you gain some life to buy you time to do whatever graveyard thing you are trying to do.
Velomachus Lorehold
Velomachus Lorehold - 2 - I really like this card, especially alongside Time Warp in Historic but for 7 mana it needed to be able to hit 7 mana value spells to see play in Standard. This is because 7 mana ends the game thanks to Emergent Ultimatum and Velomachus Lorehold will not always do that.
Venerable Warsinger
Venerable Warsinger - 3.5 - Love this card for aggressive or midrange decks, especially alongside Selfless Savior. It also plays very well with Winota since it itself is not a human.

Top 5 Lorehold Cards

  1. Clever Lumimancer
  2. Rip Apart
  3. Mavinda, Students' Advocate
  4. Elite Spellbinder
  5. Blade Historian

We even have some honorable mentions in Venerable Warsinger, it is nice that Wizards is helping White increasingly every set. Some of the top White cards are aggressive creatures but having a card like Mavinda is so awesome and unique in this color pie. Same goes for Elite Spellbinder, I look forward to seeing what these cards can do.

If you shop at Coolstuffinc, be sure to use code ALI5 to get 5% off your entire order. This will save you money and help me too.

Tomorrow we will go over Quandrix and the blue cards, do not miss it! As always, thanks for reading,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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