Rosewater confirms MTG Strixhaven color pairs built around conflict

Students within the colleges are tied together by a core conflict.

Strixhaven School of Mages
Image via WotC

Mark Rosewater, the head designer for Magic: The Gathering, confirmed today that the upcoming Strixhaven: School of Mages set will contain dual colors in conflict with one another. 

Wizards of the Coast showed off a sneak peek of the upcoming Strixhaven: School of Mages set last week with a reveal of a Command cycle and five preconstructed Commander decks. Both also revealed color pairs that are tied to the colleges of Strixhaven and are considered enemies with one another. Designed around their conflict, Rosewater confirmed today on Tumblr that the colleges weren’t “built around the similarities of the two colors.”

Within Magic, colors are either allies or enemies, each having a unique philosophy that they’re built around. “Colors are allied with the two colors on either side of them, and are enemies with the colors across from them,” Rosewater said in a 2016 article. When matched up against an enemy color, they have a “core conflict,” according to Rosewater. 

  • WB: The good of the group vs. the good of the individual. The core conflict “is about how individuals prioritize the decisions they make.”
  • UR: Head vs. the heart with a core conflict of “how we live our lives.”
  • BG: Free will vs. destiny. The core conflict “is about the role you play in life.”
  • RW: Freedom vs. security with a core conflict “about what is best for how we govern ourselves.”
  • GU: Nature vs. nurture. The core conflict “is about identity and how we see ourselves.”  

It’s unclear right now these conflicts will apply to the colleges of Strixhaven. Rosewater confirmed that he’ll go into more detail closer to the release of Strixhaven: School of Mages, which is scheduled to launch on April 23.