The introduction to the Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos D&D expansion states that PCs, who are students at Strixhaven University, start out in their first year in rather drab grey robes. At the end of the first year, they choose one of the five colleges, and receive a set of robes in the college's colors... but as far as I can tell, the colleges' colors are given nowhere!

This picture from the Roll20 marketplace carries the caption "A group of Strixhaven students - each from a different college - descend into the depths below an ancient ruin":

Strixhaven students

Given that the DnD expansion is based on a Magic: The Gathering card game expansion set with five mana colors and that apparently the MtG Strixhaven colleges each are associated with two of these colors, I hypothesize the following college colors for the students in the picture:

  • Lorehold: white and red (student at bottom left)
  • Prismari: blue and red (owlin student at top left)
  • Quandrix: green and blue (student at middle top)
  • Silverquill: white and black (student at bottom right)
  • Witherbloom: green and black (student at top right)

Is there any officially published information that is better than my hypothesis?


3 Answers 3


Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos brings the Strixhaven set of Magic: The Gathering cards to D&D. It seems reasonable to think that the real “official” description of Arcavios is found more in MtG than it is D&D. (The fact that, in porting something from a game in which color is everything, they forgot to actually list the colors, is perhaps telling here—they pretty much assumed everyone would already be familiar with the setting from MtG.)

So this question can, I think, be most clearly answered by going to the MtG authority on the subject, “A Planeswalker’s Guide to Strixhaven,” published on wizards.com. This goes through the colors and their significance at length, but to summarize:

College Color & Significance Color & Significance
Silverquill W White: Inspiration B Black: Harsh truths
Prismari U Blue: Artistic technique R Red: Emotional truth
Witherbloom B Black: Death, decay G Green: Life, growth
Lorehold R Red: Adventure W White: History
Quandrix G Green: Bringing theory to life U Blue: Abstract theory

If you are unfamiliar with Magic: The Gathering, the magic comes from mana and mana comes in five colors (W White, U Blue, B Black, R Red, G Green). Each color of mana has its own strengths and weaknesses, so the colors represent the different types of magic found in the game, and the type of person who excels with that kind of magic. For the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms crossover set of Magic cards, they made a card representing each PHB class, e.g. W cleric, U wizard, B warlock, R barbarian, and G druid, which gives a D&D player a pretty good sense of what each color’s about. The colors are arranged in a ring (in White Blue Black Red Green order, with Green coming back around to be before White), and adjacent colors (e.g. WhiteBlue or WhiteGreen) being considered “allies,” and colors across from one another (e.g. WhiteBlack or WhiteRed) being “enemies.” Strixhaven represents each of the 5 “enemy pairs” of colors, which is why the write-up emphasizes the “dichotomy” of each college. Note that what a color means to a given college is what that college focuses on particularly—you’ll note each color is used by two colleges, that see the color differently.

For the sake of posterity (and backing it up), descriptions of each college’s colors from the “Planeswalker’s Guide.”

The Dichotomy of Silverquill

Silverquill students in their black & white clothes

This section explores the opposing beliefs and magics that make up Silverquill. For any college, a mage can also embody both colors of magic, combining aspects and spells into a unique identity.


The white side of Silverquill is about using the power of language to uplift and inspire their allies and shine light on the evils of society. […]


The black side of Silverquill is about the power of language to point out stinging truths and attack their rivals. […]

The Dichotomy of Prismari

Prismari students in their red & blue clothes


The blue side of Prismari deals with artistic training and study, visualization, precise technique, and artistic theory. […]


As with blue, many red-aligned Prismari mages are some flavor of elementalist. […]

The Dichotomy of Witherbloom

Witherbloom students in their black & green clothes


Black mages of Witherbloom focus on exploiting life energy for their powerful witchcraft. […]


Green mages of Witherbloom focus on encouraging life energy to blossom and grow. […]

The Dichotomy of Lorehold

A Lorehold student in three different red & white outfits


The red mages of Lorehold gravitate toward reckless discovery and the spirit of adventure in their research of the past: the essence and emotion of history over precision or procedure. […]


Antiquarians, truthfinders, and archaeoscribes love to uncover and record the past; they're often surrounded by lengthy scrolls and tomes in which they chronicle historical truths for posterity. […]

The Dichotomy of Quandrix

Quandrix students in their blue & green clothes


The green side of Quandrix is focused on bringing numerical possibilities to life, creating physical reality out of mathematical possibilities. […]


The blue side of Quandrix attracts those who delve into the abstract realms of theory, conjecture, and possibility. […]

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ A quite impressive answer, definitely helps understanding why exactly these colors and what hey represent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 21:31
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent answer. Minor point which has nothing to do with the setting, but for the sake of MtG accuracy: "the magic comes from mana and mana comes in five colors". Mana can also be colorless. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd love to see image with color circle and lines representing colleges. Maybe I'll be able to whip it up? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 16:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot I mean, it’d just be a five-pointed star. The ally-color pairs form a pentagon, and the enemy-color pairs form a star. Here’s a diagram of MtG color combinations with the “quintessential” faction for each combination—replace “Boros,” “Simic,” “Orzhov,” “Izzet,” and “Golgari” with “Lorehold,” “Quandrix,” “Silverquill,” “Prismari,” and “Witherbloom,” respectively. (The “quintessential” faction for each color pairing in most fans’ minds are the 10 guilds of Ravnica. Strixhaven colleges are unlikely to dislodge them.) \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 16:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot you don't really see that diagram because the color pairs have been associated with the guilds of Ravnica for the past 15 years, and all 10 pairs are in the guilds, not just half of them like Strixhaven. There's a lot of that kind of diagrams for the guilds of ravnica, and for the 3 color combos using the shards of Alara and khanates of Tarkir for the 2 different possible combination sets. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 14:36

Your hypothesis is correct.

Starting with the Owlan and going clockwise, those students are from:

  • Prismari
  • Quandrix
  • Witherbloom
  • Silverquill
  • Lorehold

This is based on matching the uniform colorways to the color themes of the colleges in this illustration from the introduction:

enter image description here

With caption:



Strixhaven is the third Magic: the Gathering setting that has been imported into Dungeons & Dragons (the first being Ravnica and the second being Theros). Color plays a pretty pivotal role in Magic: the Gathering, and some of that importance has come with the three Dungeons and Dragons products based on Magic. These colors have a few pretty consistent meanings in Magic some of which get emphasized more or less based on how they are being used:

  • White represents law, order, peace and healing.
  • Blue represents logic, intelligence, control and skill.
  • Black represents death, selfishness, power, and pain.
  • Red represents passion, destruction, chaos, and impulsiveness.
  • Green represents nature, life, growth and instinct.

For Ravnica you had the 10 guilds, the Azorius Senate ({White}{Blue}), House Dimir ({Blue}{Black}), the Cult of Rakdos ({Black}{Red}), the Gruul Clans ({Red}{Green}), the Selesnya Conclave ({Green}{White}), the Orzhov Syndicate ({White}{Black}), the Izzet League ({Blue}{Red}), the Golgari Swarm ({Black}{Green}), the Boros Legion ({Red}{White}) and the Simic Combine ({Green}{Blue}).

For Theros there were 151 Gods. First 5 major gods each representing one color: Heliod, God of the Sun ({White}), Thassa, God of the Sea ({Blue}), Erebos, God of the Dead ({Black}), Purphoros, God of the Forge ({Red}), and Nylea, God of the Hunt ({Green}). Then there were 101 secondary gods each with a pair of colors: Ephara, God of the Polis ({White}{Blue}), Phenax, God of Deception ({Blue}{Black}), Mogis, God of Slaughter ({Black}{Red}), Klothys, God of Destiny ({Red}{Green}), Karametra, God of Harvests ({Green}{White}), Athreos, God of Passage ({White}{Black}), Keranos, God of Storms ({Blue}{Red}), Pharika, God of Affliction ({Black}{Green}), Iroas, God of Victory ({Red}{White}) and Kruphix, God of Horizons ({Green}{Blue}).

And in Strixhaven you have only 5 colleges, each representing one of the 5 "enemy2" pairs of colors in Magic: Silverquill ({White}{Black}), Prismari ({Blue}{Red}), Witherbloom ({Black}{Green}), Lorehold ({Red}{White}) and Quandrix ({Green}{Blue}).

  1. There were 16 gods lore wise in Theros; the 11th minor god, Xenagos, God of Revels ({Red}{Green}), ascended to godhood and was killed during the storyline in the Magic sets, before the D&D book is set.

  2. Colors are laid out in a wheel in Magic. Clockwise from the top colors are White, Blue, Black, Red and Green. Color pairs that are next to each other in this circle are called allied colors, color pairs that cross the circle (have another color in between them) are called enemy colors.


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