Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming Strixhaven: School of Mages expansion is basically its own version of Hogwarts, if Hogwarts featured fewer wands and more weaponised math. Following this magical theme, the release will have an emphasis on Instant and Sorcery spells. However, not all of them are brand new. It seems Wizards of the Coast still has plenty of time for the classics, and will be giving a few old favourites fresh art in its new subset: Mystical Archive.
Due out with Strixhaven on April 23, Mystical Archive is a separate subset of cards comprised of 63 reprinted Instant and Sorcery cards selected from throughout Magic’s history. In the game’s lore, the Mystical Archive is a restricted collection of spells kept in the Strixhaven’s Biblioplex, which is a fancy word for library. For players, it’s a chance to revisit some familiar cards with a new lick of paint.
Fortunately, you won’t have to buy separate booster packs to get your hands on these refreshed cards. At least one Mystical Archive card will be included in every Strixhaven draft and set booster, marked with a scroll instead of Strixhaven’s set symbol of a strix. Collector boosters will have at least three Mystical Archive cards, and all boosters will have a chance for an additional one in foil.
Today, Mashable can exclusively reveal one of the cards returning in the Mystical Archive: Stone Rain, a Rare Red Sorcery featuring stunning new artwork by Justin and Alexis Hernandez.
Image: Wizards of the Coast
Stone Rain has a long history, having been included in the first print run of Magic’s first core set way back in 1993. This classic card has been reprinted numerous times in numerous sets since then, offering players significant utility for years.
It’s pretty straightforward. Simply pay three mana, including one Red, and Stone Rain will let you straight up destroy any one land of your choice.
Land is vital in Magic, as it provides the mana required to cast nearly every single spell. It doesn’t matter if you have a big, juicy leviathan in your hand — if you don’t have enough mana to play it, your creature may as well be at the bottom of your deck. Destroying your enemy’s land can thus significantly hinder them, and potentially stop their troops from even entering the battlefield. After all, why kill a monster when you can simply prevent one?
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Mystical Archive’s new printing of Stone Rain benefits from undeniably gorgeous artwork that will definitely improve the aesthetics of your deck. But if that isn’t enough to satisfy your greedy eyes, you can also hunt down Stone Rain’s Japanese art variant. Each card in the Mystical Archive will have an alternate version with art in a traditional Japanese style, and which will only be printed in the Japanese language.
Fortunately, these beautiful Japanese variants will still be included in non-Japanese collector boosters globally. People who can’t read Japanese may have to do some googling to figure out exactly what card they’re holding, but it’s good news for both collectors and anyone who likes to stare at pretty art.
Magic: The Gathering’s Strixhaven: School of Mages Mystical Archive is scheduled for release April 23.