The best Magecraft cards in MTG: Strixhaven

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Eager First-Year by Cristi Balanescu Strixhaven
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Magic: The Gathering’s newest set Strixhaven: School of Mages officially drops later this month, but many people will be testing out the set this week during its pre-release.

Among the new features the set introduces are cards with the keyword ability “Magecraft” that triggers any time you cast or copy an Instant or Sorcery spell. 

While there are 25 cards in the set that have some sort of Magecraft ability, there are a few that stand out above the rest as particularly powerful. 

Unlike some mechanics, Magecraft is represented well by each color in the game. So no matter what color you prefer to play, there’s probably a good Magecraft card you’ll want to open this weekend when you’re doing sealed events.

Here are some of the most powerful Magecraft effects MTG’s Strixhaven: School of Mages has to offer.

Clever Lumimancer

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This hyper aggressive card is like a Monastery Swiftspear on steroids. Though it doesn’t naturally have any power, if you’re playing a deck that has a lot of Instants, like Burn, you’ll be able to swing for a ton of damage on turn two or three if you get it out on turn one. 

Beware of this card and many others like it when you’re playing Limited formats. Along with Clever Lumimancer, Wizards of the Coast also printed a handful of low-cost creatures that gain power for a turn through Magecraft.

Some of the other cards that share a similar effect with Clever Lumimancer are Leonin Lightscribe, Eager First-Year, Lorehold Pledgemage, and Silverquill Apprentice. All will likely be viable options when constructing decks in a Limited format.

Archmage Emeritus

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He who holds the cards holds the power—or at least that’s what your typical Blue player wants you to believe. Costing four mana, Archmage Emeritus will be a powerful card-drawing engine in many Limited format decks that use Blue.

Though it’s not especially powerful and can be removed without any sort of special tricks, all it takes is one Magecraft trigger for the card to effectively do its job. Being able to draw a card anytime you cast an Instant or Sorcery is extremely useful in formats like Draft and Sealed.

Dragonsguard Elite

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Dragonsguard Elite might not look powerful when you initially put it out onto the battlefield, but as a low-cost creature that you can get out early and slowly buff up over the course of a few turns, it’s everything a Green deck wants at the two-drop slot.

Even without Magecraft, the 2/2 for two mana is playable. Add in the ability to give it counters just for playing Instants and Sorceries, and you’ll have a formidable threat that your opponent won’t be able to ignore.

At a cost of three mana instead of two, Quandrix Pledgemage will fill a similar role as Dragonsguard Elite as well. It might not be quite as good as Dragonsguard Elite, but being a Common instead of a Rare, you’re more likely to get your hands on one in a limited format.

Extus, Oriq Overlord

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As a Mythic Rare, you might have a tough time getting Extus, Oriq Overlord in a Limited setting, but if you are lucky enough to see one, you’ll probably want to play it.

While the card costs four mana, the Magecraft effect that puts creatures from your graveyard back into your hand can give you the late game fuel you’ll need to win long grindy games in a Sealed or Draft setting. 

Sedgemoor Witch

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Costing three mana, Sedgemoor Witch is effectively a poor man’s Young Pyromancer. Having the boardstate advantage in Limited games can be critical.

Sedgemoor Witch’s Magecraft will help you load up the board with token creatures assuming you have the Instants and Sorceries to trigger it. You might have a tough time reliably getting one of these in your Limited deck because it’s rare, but if you see it, you’ll definitely want to take it.

Professor Onyx/Witherbloom Apprentice

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It’s not every day that you’ll open up a planeswalker in your Sealed event or be able to pick one in a draft. Without its Magecraft ability, Professor Onyx is worth a spot in any Limited deck. 

But the card’s Magecraft ability that leeches life off of your opponent only amplifies the value of an already powerful card. 

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Meanwhile, Witherbloom Apprentice serves as a slightly watered-down version of the same effect, but you’ll be able to play this card early in games as a two drop. Additionally, it’s rarity is Uncommon, meaning you’ll have a significantly higher chance of getting one in your deck.

This Magecraft ability synergizes well with the Black-Green archetype for Strixhaven. If BG is your thing, you’ll want to look out for these two cards.