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!
- 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)
- 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!
|Show of Confidence||10|
|Reduce to Memory||10|
|Professor of Symbology||6|
|Pilgrim of the Ages||8|
|Mavinda, Students' Advocate||4|
|Defend the Campus||10|
|Valentin, Dean of the Vein||3|
|Uvilda, Dean of Perfection||3|
|Shaile, Dean of Radiance||4|
|Rowan, Scholar of Sparks||3|
|Plargg, Dean of Chaos||3|
|Mila, Crafty Companion||4|
|Kianne, Dean of Substance||5|
|Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios||8|
|Extus, Oriq Overlord||2|
|Blex, Vexing Pest||6|
|Test of Talents||8|
|Tempted by the Oriq||5|
|Teachings of the Archaics||13|
|Solve the Equation||13|
|Divide by Zero||8|
|Bury in Books||7|
|Zimone, Quandrix Prodigy||5|
|Tend the Pests||11|
|Teach by Example||12|
|Rootha, Mercurial Artist||4|
|Rise of Extus||7|
|Quintorius, Field Historian||6|
|Make Your Mark||11|
|Killian, Ink Duelist||6|
|Kasmina, Enigma Sage||4|
|Infuse with Vitality||9|
|Dina, Soul Steeper||7|
|Culmination of Studies||12|
|Body of Research||4|
|Blot Out the Sky||2|
|Specter of the Fens||10|
|Plumb the Forbidden||11|
|Mage Hunters' Onslaught||6|
|Lash of Malice||7|
|Hunt for Specimens||8|
|Confront the Past||13|
|Letter of Acceptance||9|
|Codie, Vociferous Codex||7|
|Introduction to Prophecy||11|
|Introduction to Annihilation||10|
|Start from Scratch||11|
|First Day of Class||11|
|Crackle with Power||4|
|Blood Age General||11|
|Hall of Oracles||6|
|Professor of Zoomancy||7|
|Weather the Storm||14|
|Thrill of Possibility||11|
|Claim the Firstborn||14|
|Tendrils of Agony||14|
|Sign in Blood||9|
|Inquisition of Kozilek||14|
|Crux of Fate||3|
|Blue Sun's Zenith||10|
|Swords to Plowshares||4|
|Gift of Estates||13|
|Day of Judgment||3|
|Approach of the Second Sun||9|
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 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.
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!
The changelog will be added to when written updates are posted!
- May 22, 2021: Prepare for the Strixhaven Draft Challenge: Drifter’s Format Analysis and Tier List Update
- April 16, 2021: First version posted, on the release day of Strixhaven.