Hidy Ho Happy New Years Planeswalkers!

Today I wanted to share with you a guide on the recent Turbo draft featuring the Strixhaven set on MTGA  in an effort to help you improve your win ratios & competitiveness on the format based on observations, research, and many many successful at bats in this draft format.  Of which, I absolutely love it! I was able to take down the Decathlon Event on the second try in a highly contested event!

Ultimately, my goal is to impart the knowledge I have found to be useful to help you complete the decathlon event! More so in the future to hopefully farm some gems, fill up Strixhaven missing cards, and acquire more packs to get those much needed crafts prior to the Strixhaven Release!  You certainly could farm the decathlon event for some packs or gold if you wanted.  With that said, I will outline my approaches to success:

  1. Stack Ranking of Strixhaven Set Colors
  2. Two Points of view in terms of Key Considerations
    1. Straight up
      1. Spells
      2. Colorless
      3. Draw
      4. Counter
      5. Creatures
      6. Land Base
    2. Mirror
      1. Counter
      2. Colorless
      3. Draw
      4. Spells
      5. Creatures
      6. Land Base
  3. Overall Point of View
    1. Strategy
    2. Picking

Before I get started we need to consider this format for the specifics that it is worth.  It is similar to the original Omniscience draft format BUT not the same.  The things to keep in mind is we reduce casting cost by 5 colorless, and do not gain a benefit on creature abilities that cost mana unlike Omniscience.  This makes for a very unique, fast pace, fun draft format, and even better the drafting is bot based giving us a good opportunity for priority picking the way we need to in order to build efficient decks.  I say this because if you look at the cards that work best in the format you ABSOLUTELY do not need a single RARE or MYTHIC to be successful!  Which makes this amazing and a great level playing field.

Stack Ranking of Strixhaven Set Colors

    1. Izzet enough said
      1. Best Draw Card – Practical Research
      2. BEST CARD – Elemental Masterpiece
    1. Most versatile
    2. Enabled with Learn/Lessons – Can main board – Keep a couple sideboard
  • BLUE
    1. Counter Magic is Powerful, VERY important for this Turbo draft context with the Strixhaven Block – Test of Talents = Win Games
    2. Good Draw Outs – Solve the Equation
    3. Best Creature – Unblockable – Wormhole Serpent
    4. Evasive spells – Bury in Books & Snow Day
    5. Loaded With Spells – Serpentine Curve, could play all spells
  • RED
    1. Discard Draw
    2. Spells
      1. Haste
      2. Damage
    1. Removal
    2. Draw
    1. Monsters
    2. Lots of Double mana
    1. Low Powered in this format
    2. Some removal

Key Considerations

In this section I will primarily focus on the Mirror Match Consideration andl talk about counter, colorless, draw, spells, creatures, land base..  These are all extremely important to keep in mind as you are drafting.  First, let us take a look at counter magic.  This is a must in this format where it is dominated by power spell magic that IS NOT creature focused.  One test of talents on Elemental Masterpiece is a game over! The mirror of this mirror is to have a few good creatures as backup.

Next, I want to cover the colorless portion.  This includes both the creatures and artifacts.  With the way this format is set up these are free casts. The best card in this format is Letter of Acceptance. This turn one especially, however any other time really allows you to play multiple spells.  It is even more important when we talk about lands and play much less! Generally as a rule of thumb for everyone of the Letter of Acceptance you have – cut a land.  Additionally, there are lots of powerful colorless spells because of the Lesson mechanics.  The creatures here are also worth drafting, personally I enjoy Biblioplex Assistant, and I found Reflective Golem to be a huge trap.

With Draw you absolutely want the ability to gain 2:1 cards in this format, I always feel it is super important in Turbo Draft.  If you draft a ton of the Letter of Acceptance, you certainly are good to go!  I do rate however, the colorless Letter of Acceptance over draw in pick for this set.  I wanted to bring your attention to this because generally draw could be prioritized, however after playing this set a bunch for some reason I’ve found the ability to run more extra draw/cover to and tons of spells to be beneficial.

Another thing I want us to take a look at is creatures.  ALL the main ones I primarily listed above.  This set IS NOT creature dependent, in fact you don’t need a single one to win.  However, as I mentioned in the mirror of mirror strategy you will want a few.

The last thing for me to cover as addressed in considerations is the mana base.  To restate this first and foremost whenever you get a Letter of Acceptance you can reduce land.  As a starting reference I think you can run just fine between 12-15 lands you will want to go towards 15 if you are running 3 colors and if you don’t get the Letter of Acceptance..  Yes, it can happen, and you need to be prepared to adjust.  Generally I find 14 is a good number because you ideally should have 1-2 in your starting and if you are lucky you will have a Letter of Acceptance as well.  

The biggest call out that should seem obvious is the more colors you add the harder it is to hit the mark despite running the alters.  The benefit in this format is I would say it’s not as bad as a regular draft, but you can run into problems.  My advice here which is pretty standard is go 2 colors, if you want to go three I would only splash for real value, and that value will be few and far between as well..  My preference is actually spell based again for this format.  Ultimately, YOU WANT TO BE ON IZZET.

Point of View – Parting Words

I would like to leave you with a few final thoughts that I have used to my own success.  When I start my drafts for this Strixhaven Turbo draft format  I actually keep in mind a narrow  strategy with the focus on Izzet spells.  This is a pretty strict guideline for me with this set and format.  If you break it, it better be a big green creature or board wipe!   Again, you can check out my guide above to see how I am able to make this workout!  

The next piece is with this strategy in mind.  I focus on the uncommon first depending on my priority preference which leans towards the Letter of Acceptance, however if not a usable card in my book I go right to common.  Common has a ton of value in this format so you need to keep that in mind and not be scared.  Equally, people say you get penalized for mulligans here, but I would argue as long as you have a decent chunk of Letter of Acceptance or draw you are better off mulliganing.  Due to the bots you will see a lot of value later in picking however don’t let that also fool you and risk picking the early value because there is no guarantee.

I wish you the best of luck in this lovely Turbo Draft format featuring the Strixhaven Set!