Strixhaven Prerelease Primer

by Phoenix Comics and Games

Pack up your textbooks and scrolls! It’s time for us to go visit an esteemed college of mages. Five of them actually! Strixhaven arrives in stores on April 23, but you can get a sneak peak at this set beginning April 16th by attending one of our three prerelease events. Read on to find out more about our events plus a number of changes in the works for preorders!

Strixhaven Prerelease Basics 

Let’s start with the very basics, shall we? We’ll have three webcam prerelease events for Strixhaven running from Friday, April 16 to Sunday April 18. Dates and times are as follows:

  • Friday, April 16 – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 17 – 1:00 PM
  • Sunday, April 18 – 1:00 PM 

Each event will consist of up to four rounds of swiss style sealed play, using prerelease kits we provide. In fact, this time around you get to pick which college to join. You’ll have to pick between:

  • Silverquill (White/Black)
  • Witherbloom (Green/Black)
  • Prismari (Blue/Red)
  • Lorehold (White/Red
  • Quandrix (Blue/Green) 

This choice will influence what colors you play, because each Strixhaven prerelease kit comes with 5 draft boosters plus a seeded booster containing cards related to your chosen college. If you played any Guilds of Ravnica or Ravnica Allegiance, this might feel familiar to you. Sound fun and exciting? Ready to enroll? Just click the link below to head to our events page.

 

But that’s not all of the changes that are in store with this set! There are some noteworthy changes coming to the release schedule that we should definitely talk about. 

Prerelease and Release Product Change-Ups

Beginning with Strixhaven, Wizards is trying something new. In lieu of the draft booster boxes that are normally available for purchase during prerelease events, we’re instead being given an increased allocation of set booster boxes. Draft boosters will be available for release weekend in a smaller quantity than we might normally receive. 

For those of you who haven’t tried these yet and are wondering, “What’s the difference?” - Here’s the simplest way we can put it: 

Draft boosters are for drafting. Set boosters are for opening!

Set boosters contain between 1-4 rares or mythics, a guaranteed foil, an art card, and tend to have better chances at containing fancy borderless or showcase cards. Plus, one in every four packs will come with a card from ‘the list’ – a group of cards that span Magic’s history. List cards are printed mystery booster style (so they’ll look just like their original printings, but with a tiny planeswalker symbol in the bottom left corner). Here’s an example from what you could find in a Kaldheim set booster.

Vernal Equinox (the List)

So, if you like getting your hands on all the coolest and hardest to get cards as fast as you can, Set boosters are a pretty sweet deal! But that’s not all that’s available during prerelease. You can also get your hands on a suite of 5 brand new commander decks. One for each college!

These commander decks are built to serve as this year’s release of Commander products. While we don’t have decklists yet, expect more rares and better synergy than you might have found in the Zendikar Rising or Kaldheim commander products, not to mention more exclusive cards!

Preparing for the Prerelease

Once you've preregistered for your event(s) of choice, there's a small checklist of things to do before prerelease weekend rolls along. Before the tournament gets started, you'll want to make sure you've got the following things taken care of:

  • Access to a webcam-based setup that you can use over discord (you are 100% allowed to use our discord server to test these things and play casual games with friends).
  • Download the Magic Companion app to your phone or tablet.
  • Make sure you have a login setup with the MTG Companion App (if you play Arena, these login credentials are the same for both game and app).

That's it! Ideally you do probably want to play a few games over webcam to get the feel for how it works. If you're up for it and have a deck, why not try our Tuesday Night Modern or Saturday Afternoon Standard events? If not - just ask around on the discord and we're pretty sure you could put a game together.

Prerelease Weekend

Once prerelease weekend rolls around, you'll want to pick up your prerelease kit as early as you can to give you maximum time to build. For Strixhaven, we're allowed to give these out anytime after the store opens on Friday, April 16. 

Just stop by the shop, pick up your kit and bring it home. If you need any basics, don't hesitate to ask - we'll have packets of land available upon request. You have from the time you pick it up until your event starts to build your deck. If you've never participated in a prerelease before, here are all the requirements for your deck:

  • Minimum Deck Size is 40 cards
  • You may use whatever is in one single prerelease kit (plus the promo) to build your deck.
  • Aside from basic land, you may only use whatever is in your prerelease kit to build with. (No trading with other players or combining multiple pools, please)
  • There's no cap on the number of cards of the same name you can have in the deck (ex: if you open 5 of the same card, you can use all 5 if you want).
  • You may adjust your deck between games or matches. If you're just not doing well with what you built, maybe try a different combination of colors!

Once you've got your deck built, set the rest of your card pool aside until the end of the event. Those leftover cards will be your sideboard. 

Prerelease Prize Support

Our prerelease events are run with an eye towards having the best possible time, learning, and trying out new ideas and strategies that come from every new set. So with that in mind, we stick to a simple pack-per-win prize structure that looks a little like this:

  • 4 Wins - 4 Packs
  • 3 Wins - 3 Packs
  • 2 Wins - 2 Packs
  • 1 Win - 1 Pack

Each event will have a maximum of 4 rounds. The winner of each round will receive a Strixhaven draft booster next time they stop by the shop. Please allow approximately 2 hours after the event ends for prizes to be available for pickup.

Please Note: If you are registered for multiple events, please wait to pickup your prizes until all of the events are finished. 

Strixhaven Mechanics

We're getting introduced to two new mechanics with Strixhaven, in keeping and theme with going through the magical college experience - Magecraft and Learn / Lessons.

Magecraft

Since we're studying to be the best mages we can be, the keyword ability Magecraft will help us out with that. Magecraft is a triggered ability that goes off anytime you cast or copy a spell! Cast a spell, then copy it? You get that ability twice!

Learning your Lessons

This newest mechanic is really a keyword ability combined with a new subtype of spell - the lesson. When you are instructed to Learn, you can do one of two things:

  • Reveal a Lesson card from outside of the game and add it to your hand.
  • Discard a card to draw a card.

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