Alternate win conditions in Magic: The Gathering are powerful cards that require the player to jump through some hoops to get that sweet “you win the game” effect.
Throne of Eldraine had Happily Ever After and Ravnica Allegiance had Simic Ascendency. And now, another alternate win condition is coming in Strixhaven: School of Mages that relies on gaining counters and dealing combat damage.
- CMC: 3
- Type: Artifact
- Rarity: Rare
- First ability: Tap: Add one colorless mana. Put a point counter on Strixhaven Stadium.
- Second ability: Whenever a creature deals combat damage to you, remove a point counter from Strixhaven Stadium.
- Third ability: Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to an opponent, put a point counter on Strixhaven Stadium. Then if it has ten or more point counters on it, remove them all and that player loses the game.
Strixhaven Stadium is a neat alternate win condition similar to Simic Ascendency. Hitting the alternate win condition in a fair way will be difficult, though. Go-wide aggro decks don’t want a mana rock on turn three. That’s a crucial turn for most of these decks. There’s no circumstance where casting Strixhaven Stadium will be a better option than dropping an Anax, Hardened in the Forge or Lovestruck Beast.
The ideal home for Strixhaven Stadium is in decks that can manipulate counters. A deck built around Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider in Standard with Strixhaven Stadium as an additional win condition could be effective. Proliferate decks in eternal formats can get 10 counters on Strixhaven Stadium quickly.
Another way to win with Strixhaven Stadium is to untap the card with Paradox Engine or Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner. In Commander, Strixhaven Stadium will see significant playing time but could show up in fringe Constructed lists.
Strixhaven will launch digitally on April 15 and a tabletop release is scheduled for April 23.