Strixhaven: School of Mages (STX) Limited Tier List

MTG Arena Zone’s Limited Tier Lists rank all the cards from the set, to assist with picking cards for your draft deck or building your sealed deck. Full written updates will be recorded in the changelog at the bottom, but Drifter regularly makes minor grade changes on the fly as well, so the Tier List will be up to date for as long as Strixhaven is the current set. Make sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it later!

Legend

Who is rating?

  • S: Ridiculous bomb: has a huge immediate impact on the game and threatens to dominate it if unanswered. Always 1st pick. (Baneslayer Angel, Emeria’s Call, Sublime Epiphany)
  • A: Very powerful card: approaches bomb status, pulls you strongly into its colour. Usually easy 1st pick. (A+: Leyline Tyrant, A: Felidar Retreat, A-: Nullpriest of Oblivion)
  • B: Great playable: happy to pick early, pulls you into its colour. After the first few picks, a signal. (B+: Bloodchief’s Thirst, B: Emeria Captain B-: Rabid Bite)
  • C+: Good playable that rarely gets cut. On the wheel, can be a signal, especially in multiples. (Gnarlid Colony, Into the Roil, Thundering Sparkmage)
  • C: Fine playable, sometimes gets cut. A few in the last picks of a pack can form a signal. (Tajuru Blightblade, Tazeem Raptor, Synchronized Spellcraft)
  • C-: Mediocre playable or decent filler, gets cut around half the time. (Nimana Skitter-Sneak, Fissure Wizard, Blood Price)
  • D: Medium to bad filler, gets cut a lot. (D+: Resolute Strike, D: Sneaking Guide, D-: Disenchant in most sets)
  • F: Mostly to totally unplayable cards. (Roiling Vortex, Forsaken Monument, Negate in most sets)

Notes

  • This tier list tries to capture “overall power level”. For more details, check out the mission statement.
  • This tier list is primarily intended for Draft, but should still be useful for Sealed, with some adjustments. For more info, check out my General Sealed Strategy Guide!
  • Two colour gold cards should be taken lower early on – you won’t be able to play them unless you’re specifically in those colours. The amount lower varies – as a general rule, take them about one grade lower if they’re splashable, or two grades lower if they’re not splashable (so a B-tier card becomes a C+ first pick). C+ is the hard limit for any cards in the B range, since C-level and below cards are very interchangeable, so a B- would still be on the lower end of C+. As always, it’s contextual though!
  • Colourless cards should be taken about a grade higher early on, because they can go in any deck.
  • Sideboard-only cards are rated as though they would go in the maindeck i.e. they usually receive bad ratings. Make sure to check out the sideboarding guide if you’re playing best-of-three!
White
Thunderous Orator7
Study Break10
Strict Proctor10
Stonerise Spirit12
Stonebinder's Familiar13
Star Pupil9
Sparring Regimen3
Show of Confidence10
Semester's End10
Secret Rendezvous14
Reduce to Memory10
Professor of Symbology6
Pillardrop Rescuer9
Pilgrim of the Ages8
Mavinda, Students' Advocate4
Leonin Lightscribe5
Guiding Voice9
Expel9
Elite Spellbinder5
Eager First-Year11
Dueling Coach7
Devastating Mastery11
Detention Vortex13
Defend the Campus10
Combat Professor7
Clever Lumimancer12
Beaming Defiance11
Ageless Guardian12
Academic Probation12
MDFCs
Valentin, Dean of the Vein3
Uvilda, Dean of Perfection3
Torrent Sculptor7
Shaile, Dean of Radiance4
Selfless Glyphweaver5
Rowan, Scholar of Sparks3
Plargg, Dean of Chaos3
Pestilent Cauldron8
Mila, Crafty Companion4
Kianne, Dean of Substance5
Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios8
Flamescroll Celebrant9
Extus, Oriq Overlord2
Blex, Vexing Pest6
Augmenter Pugilist5
Wandering Archaic6
Blue
Wormhole Serpent8
Waterfall Aerialist11
Vortex Runner10
Test of Talents8
Tempted by the Oriq5
Teachings of the Archaics13
Symmetry Sage12
Soothsayer Adept11
Solve the Equation13
Snow Day9
Serpentine Curve8
Resculpt12
Reject13
Pop Quiz9
Multiple Choice4
Mercurial Transformation13
Mentor's Guidance7
Kelpie Guide6
Ingenious Mastery12
Frost Trickster7
Dream Strix6
Divide by Zero8
Curate10
Bury in Books7
Burrog Befuddler10
Archmage Emeritus4
Arcane Subtraction10
Multicolored
Zimone, Quandrix Prodigy5
Witherbloom Pledgemage8
Witherbloom Command12
Witherbloom Apprentice7
Venerable Warsinger6
Velomachus Lorehold3
Vanishing Verse5
Thrilling Discovery10
Tend the Pests11
Teach by Example12
Tanazir Quandrix2
Stonebound Mentor9
Square Up12
Spiteful Squad7
Spirit Summoning9
Spectacle Mage8
Silverquill Silencer8
Silverquill Pledgemage9
Silverquill Command7
Silverquill Apprentice8
Shadrix Silverquill1
Shadewing Laureate9
Rushed Rebirth14
Rootha, Mercurial Artist4
Rise of Extus7
Rip Apart6
Returned Pastcaller6
Relic Sloth9
Reconstruct History9
Radiant Scrollwielder4
Quintorius, Field Historian6
Quandrix Pledgemage7
Quandrix Cultivator7
Quandrix Command5
Quandrix Apprentice5
Prismari Pledgemage8
Prismari Command6
Prismari Apprentice10
Practical Research8
Pest Summoning7
Owlin Shieldmage11
Oggyar Battle-Seer10
Needlethorn Drake8
Mortality Spear5
Moldering Karok9
Manifestation Sage8
Make Your Mark11
Magma Opus5
Maelstrom Muse6
Lorehold Pledgemage8
Lorehold Excavation11
Lorehold Command3
Lorehold Apprentice10
Killian, Ink Duelist6
Kasmina, Enigma Sage4
Inkling Summoning7
Infuse with Vitality9
Humiliate7
Hofri Ghostforge3
Harness Infinity9
Golden Ratio9
Galazeth Prismari4
Fracture14
Fractal Summoning7
Expressive Iteration8
Exhilarating Elocution11
Eureka Moment8
Elemental Summoning8
Elemental Masterpiece8
Elemental Expressionist4
Dramatic Finale3
Double Major13
Dina, Soul Steeper7
Decisive Denial7
Deadly Brew9
Daemogoth Woe-Eater9
Daemogoth Titan12
Culmination of Studies12
Culling Ritual13
Creative Outburst7
Cram Session11
Closing Statement5
Body of Research4
Blot Out the Sky2
Blood Researcher8
Blade Historian4
Biomathematician7
Beledros Witherbloom4
Aether Helix8
Black
Unwilling Ingredient10
Umbral Juke8
Tenured Inkcaster8
Specter of the Fens10
Sedgemoor Witch4
Promising Duskmage11
Professor's Warning11
Professor Onyx1
Poet's Quill4
Plumb the Forbidden11
Oriq Loremage10
Novice Dissector12
Necrotic Fumes7
Mage Hunters' Onslaught6
Mage Hunter8
Leech Fanatic9
Lash of Malice7
Hunt for Specimens8
Go Blank12
Flunk5
Eyetwitch7
Essence Infusion11
Crushing Disappointment10
Confront the Past13
Callous Bloodmage7
Brackish Trudge7
Baleful Mastery5
Arrogant Poet11
Colorless
Zephyr Boots11
Team Pennant9
Strixhaven Stadium12
Spell Satchel14
Reflective Golem11
Letter of Acceptance9
Excavated Wall12
Cogwork Archivist12
Codie, Vociferous Codex7
Campus Guide11
Biblioplex Assistant11
Mascot Exhibition3
Introduction to Prophecy11
Introduction to Annihilation10
Expanded Anatomy9
Environmental Sciences6
Red
Twinscroll Shaman10
Tome Shredder9
Sudden Breakthrough10
Storm-Kiln Artist9
Start from Scratch11
Retriever Phoenix5
Pillardrop Warden8
Pigment Storm8
Mascot Interception13
Illustrious Historian10
Illuminate History13
Igneous Inspiration5
Heated Debate6
Hall Monitor12
Grinning Ignus11
Fuming Effigy11
First Day of Class11
Fervent Mastery14
Explosive Welcome10
Enthusiastic Study9
Efreet Flamepainter4
Dragon's Approach14
Draconic Intervention6
Crackle with Power4
Conspiracy Theorist7
Blood Age General11
Ardent Dustspeaker9
Academic Dispute8
Lands
Witherbloom Campus9
Vineglimmer Snarl10
Silverquill Campus9
Shineshadow Snarl10
Quandrix Campus9
Prismari Campus9
Necroblossom Snarl10
Lorehold Campus9
Hall of Oracles6
Furycalm Snarl10
Frostboil Snarl10
The Biblioplex11
Archway Commons10
Access Tunnel10
Green
Verdant Mastery13
Tangletrap14
Springmane Cervin11
Spined Karok12
Scurrid Colony9
Reckless Amplimancer10
Professor of Zoomancy7
Overgrown Arch8
Master Symmetrist6
Mage Duel7
Leyline Invocation10
Karok Wrangler8
Honor Troll9
Gnarled Professor4
Fortifying Draught9
Field Trip8
Exponential Growth12
Emergent Sequence7
Ecological Appreciation9
Dragonsguard Elite5
Devouring Tendrils7
Containment Breach13
Charge Through11
Bookwurm7
Big Play10
Bayou Groff9
Basic Conjuration9
Accomplished Alchemist7
Mystical Archive
Putrefy6
Lightning Helix6
Growth Spiral9
Electrolyze7
Despark8
Weather the Storm14
Snakeskin Veil9
Regrowth10
Primal Command11
Natural Order7
Krosan Grip14
Harmonize7
Cultivate7
Channel13
Adventurous Impulse13
Abundant Harvest9
Urza's Rage8
Thrill of Possibility11
Stone Rain14
Shock6
Mizzix's Mastery5
Lightning Bolt5
Infuriate11
Increasing Vengeance11
Grapeshot11
Faithless Looting12
Claim the Firstborn14
Chaos Warp12
Village Rites10
Tendrils of Agony14
Tainted Pact14
Sign in Blood9
Inquisition of Kozilek14
Eliminate7
Duress13
Doom Blade6
Demonic Tutor6
Dark Ritual13
Crux of Fate3
Agonizing Remorse9
Whirlwind Denial11
Time Warp6
Tezzeret's Gambit7
Strategic Planning12
Opt10
Negate9
Mind's Desire14
Memory Lapse7
Counterspell7
Compulsive Research7
Brainstorm11
Blue Sun's Zenith10
Teferi's Protection13
Swords to Plowshares4
Revitalize13
Mana Tithe12
Gods Willing9
Gift of Estates13
Ephemerate9
Divine Gambit11
Defiant Strike10
Day of Judgment3
Approach of the Second Sun9
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Drifter

I’ve been enthralled by Limited ever since I began playing in New Phyrexia. With a particular fondness for flashback and cube drafts, I’ve drafted more sets than I can count on every platform through wildly different eras. On Arena I draft infinitely, having profited 30k or so gems from it at this point, and have made top 50 mythic several times. Self-reflection and forming good habits are paramount to Limited improvement, and those themes feature in many of my articles and in each session of the Limited coaching service I provide. Consider booking a session today if you’d like specific feedback tailored to you!

Check out my articles or follow me on Twitter for regular updates/to ask about coaching!

Limited Set Reviews

This tier list is derived from our in-depth limited set reviews and should be accompanied together along with their explanations for each card.

Splashing

Splashing is when you play cards outside your main colours, and adjust your mana base to account for them – such as playing two red cards in your Blue-Green deck. Should I splash? The two cardinal rules:

  • Is my fixing good enough? The better your fixing, the more you can splash – if you can splash two colours relatively freely, then go nuts – this usually means three or four sources for 1-2 cards; four is better if your main sources aren’t that demanding but you can get away with three. If you have as many as 5 or 6 sources, you can even splash earlier game cards i.e. I would not splash Lightning Strike often on three sources but I would on five. If your mana base is better, then the risk is lesser so you can afford to do greedier things (but remember that playing too many taplands has its own costs, especially for more tempo-oriented decks…). You can only really splash cards with a single cost outside your main colours e.g. it’s impossible to splash 3BB in a Simic deck, but you can splash 3BG, because needing two sources of mana at the same time is incredibly hard while splashing – the number of sources you need on average soars from 3-4 to 6-7 (7-8 in Draft, but Sealed is slower so you can incorporate a little more risk).
  • Is the card actually worth splashing? Remember that cards you splash likely won’t be played on curve, so they need to be good in the late game and they need to be good enough to incur some risk to your mana base. Is the card you’re splashing significantly better than the card you would be putting in instead? It needs to be, or it needs to fill a hole in your deck i.e. if your Simic deck isn’t good at removing stuff, that makes splashing Secure the Scene, usually just an okay card, a lot more appealing.

Sideboarding

Generally, if you’re playing best-of-three, you should take sideboard cards over D-tier cards, assuming their good case is pretty common and you’re not low on playables. Sideboard cards tend to get worse in multiples, unless the “good case” for them is quite common. You might be surprised at how much can constitute a sideboard card – a 1/3 can be a useful sideboard card against a deck full of 2/1s, for example. Remember that after each game, you can click the top right button to view the board again, and check their graveyard and field for what cards they’ve played.

Drifter has written a whole article on this subject, so for more details or to check out his Limited Spotlight series, click this link!

Changelog

The changelog will be added to when written updates are posted!

Drifter

Drifter is a draft and strategy specialist, with hundreds of articles under his belt! Of special mention are his Limited Reviews and draft coaching service.

7 Responses

  1. Luca says:

    Great job.

    Great resources, definetly a Mythic level guide

    Very well organized

  2. theofaber says:

    Thanks for the tier list. Great! (But wouldn’t it be better to sort the multicolored by college – because there are a lot …

  3. sim says:

    Isn’t Twinscroll Shaman way too high on the list at C?

    • Drifter says:

      I’ve actually been quite happy with Twinscroll Shaman in Lorehold specifically. It’s very good with Combat Professor, with buffs, and with cards like Enthusiastic Study, and the good Lorehold decks in the set are very beatdowny.

  4. Endaarr says:

    Stonebound Mentor is listed as C- where it was rated as C+ in your indepth article, mistake or updated rating?

    Also big big thank you for doing all this, love it and can’t thank you enough.

    • Drifter says:

      Updated rating – I keep things updated by making small changes every so often. I’ve found that the format doesn’t really care about 3/3s for 3 that much, and it doesn’t fit the Lorehold or Prismari decks very well. The Lorehold decks have a ton of better 3s, and Prismari often doesn’t want to be tapping out for random medium creatures on 3. This is a go-big format and it’s often hard to trigger the ability. Still, I think C- was a bit overzealous, I’ve changed it to C since then.

      Thanks for the kind words! My full written update will be coming out on Saturday to coincide with the draft challenge, enjoy that!