Whether you are a new player or a hardened Magic: The Gathering veteran, the school of Strixhaven will have a lesson to teach you. And the perfect place to begin your education is by picking up one or more of the five preconstructed decks from Commander Edition 2021.
With the red and white Lorehold Legacies deck and the giant articifer Osgir, The Reconstructor as your commander, artifacts matter in new and exciting ways. You get to play with treasures, sacrifice artifacts, and recur them from your graveyard for even more fun. Take for examples Monologue Tax, which has garnered a lot of initial interest as yet another white ramp enchantment and Secret Rendezvous, which will surely make for some interesting negotiations around commander tables of the world. The latter card is simultaneously released in the Strixhaven: School of Mages standard boosters. One notable reprint is Hellkite Tyrant which had been steadily climbing up in price since its last printing in Commander 2016.
Directing the ensemble of Prismari Performance, you find Zaffai, Thunder Conductor (and thunder collector according to the card's text box). The strategy of this blue and red deck is centered around casting and copying instants before finishing your opponents with attacking creatures. To make the most of it, you might want to try out the alternative commander for the deck, Veyran, Voice of Duality. This legendary 2/2 efreet gets +1/+1 twice for each spell cast or copied and is bound to make for some rollicking finales along, for example, the new storm card Fiery Encore. Judging from pre-release prices, Muse Vortex could be the most sought-after card from this deck. Other notable new cards include Commander's Insight, Creative Technique, and Inspiring Refrain.
The Quantum Quandrix deck also demonstrates that basic arithmetic is not below them either. Placing Adrix and Nev, Twincasters in your command zone, you're in for a game of creating loads of creature tokens of all types and sizes and then growing them by adding +1/+1 counters on them.
The black and white deck Silverquill Statement and commander Breena, the Demagogue might be the most Machiavellian commander precon ever. The main theme of this highly political deck is to discourage your opponent from attacking you by taxing with cards such as Cunning Rhetoric and the reprinted Ghostly Prison. On top of that, both the commander and, for example, the cleverly designed Nils combine manipulating other players into attacking each other with the deck's subtheme of +1/+1 counters.
Last but not least, Willowdusk, Essence Seer and the Witherbloom Witchcraft deck is a black and green lifegain matters deck. The green cards deliver a host of ways to gain life and, not surprisingly, black offers you various advantages in return for life payments. Graveyard recursion is a subtheme of the deck with new cards including Sproutback Trudge, Revival Experiment, and Healing Technique.
While the ability to counter spells and abilities unless an additional cost is paid is technically not new, summarizing it in the keyword Ward is a new thing. Ward will be an evergreen keyword going forward. Not evergreen but also found both in Strixhaven: School of Mages and Commander: Strixhaven, Magecraft is an ability word for effects triggered whenever a player controlling the card casts an instant or sorcery spell.
The keyword Demonstrate allows the caster of a spell to copy it on the condition that an opponent gets to copy it too. Demonstrate is a promising mechanic for those who wish to add more politics and bartering to their commander games. Demonstrate is unique to Commander Edition 2021 and a single card with the keyword is found in each of the five decks.
For the few players who actually found use for oversized commander cards, Commander: Strixhaven marks the end of an era. Because from this set onwards, Wizards of the Coast has decided to do away with the rarely played giant cards. Instead, each of the decks will come with one foil-etched display commander printed on extra thick cardboard but in a size that fits in a normal deck box. One gimmick replacing another aside, this means that there will be an option to buy the decks in a smaller package which makes for easier shipping.
Each of these five preconstructed decks will supply you with everything you need to enroll at the nearest commander table for hours of multiplayer fun beginning 23 April 2021.