Rowan, Scholar of Sparks / Will, Scholar of Frost – Strixhaven
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m a huge, huge fan of the Kenrith twins. They’re knights and they’re planeswalkers and they’re scholars, and if that isn’t awesome, then nothing is awesome.
Their new card is actually very well positioned for Strixhaven‘s environment and places far beyond. Regardless of which side you have in play, you get the cost reduction for instants and sorceries, which is a big deal with all of the magecraft abilities and related things in Strixhaven. Rowan is pleasingly aggressive, with guaranteed damage and the promise of bigger magecraft bonuses; Will is pleasingly tricky, making your creatures and your hand of cards relatively better than your opponents’ and boasting an ultimate that we know by now is more upside than downside (not to mention that its wording can give you up to twenty “free” power on the table). With so many different abilities to choose from, and how good those abilities are in so many game states, I can’t imagine this version of the twins will take long to be adopted in various formats.
I’d make twin jokes, but given that Rowan and Will are fraternal twins, my material doesn’t quite work as well. Either way, they’re back, and their ability is to either come out as the cheaper Rowan (who specializes in chip damage and copying spells) or the pricier Will (whose focus is on incapacitating things). Either way you cast them, you do get the benefit of their passive cost reduction on instants and sorceries, the one ability shared between both sides.
Neither face is amazing on its own, but the two combine for a fairly powerful, aggressive card with lots of flexibility, and you can even use the other side of a second copy in your hand. Being in red/blue is also helpful as the “cast big things” color pairing, though nothing says you can’t use them if you’re in just one color. Will is better able to defend himself (though not amazingly), but both have enough on tap to justify their use in spellslinger-styled decks with feet in their colors.
Constructed: 3.75 (versatile, but I’m unsure of if they’ll be strong enough)
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