I could argue that the evasion is better than lifelink.
Not necessarily. Lifelink gets better the bigger the creature is, since it doubles. My problem is, that it's quite a basic boring card, that could just as easily exist in monocolor. I personally really dislike putting boring cards into my multicolor section, unless they really outperform monocolor cards. If the Karok where a 4/4 lifelink it would definitely qualify, but as a 3/3 it's not that great.
Combat Professor - Looks like a white Phantom Monster. Combat Professor is slightly worse at blocking, but better at attacking because you can choose where to apply the buff. I'm not sure if it's really what most people's white sections want, but still seems fine. You get the buff the turn you play it as well.
Eager First-Year - A playable 2 mana value play for the Boros decks, but is outclassed by most good 2 mana value creatures.
Bury in Books - 3 mana is on the expensive side, though 2 mana would be busted. Bricking a draw is fine which means that this can be compared to Temporal Spring. Though being mono-coloured and an instant help set it apart. I think that Bury in Books requires testing because it seems pretty decent in the right deck.
Frost Trickster is good. The only auto-include other than the lands in the set.
Resculpt. There are simply not enough treasure or clue tokens about to Resculpt. Turning a 1/1 into a surprise 4/4 looks like the best use case. Resculpt in response to creature removal is an ok use case. Shrinking opponents threats doesn't seem that likely to be worth it since most creatures aren't that much more threatening than a vanilla 4/4 and you could just play some hard removal in Resulpt's place.
Arrogant Poet - It attacks well. The life loss is steep, but notably optional. 2/1 means this has a weakness to Desert, unlike Fledgling Djinn. Arrogant Poet is certainly cubeable but doesn't stand out in any particular way.
Essence Infusion - Sort of a cheap Mark of the Vampire. Essence Infusion suffers from the same weaknesses as most auras but doesn't have the advantage of Mark of the Vampire of being extremely problematic when it sticks. Still, I could see Essence Infusion being playable in aggro match ups due to the life gain.
Lash of Malice - Comparable to Disfigure, the key difference being you can't shrink a creature in combat and expect your creature to survive as well, and you can pump an attacker in a pinch. Whether you prefer Lash of Malice to Dead Weight and Fungal Infection is up to personal preference. Lash of Malice is easily cubeable, though it is behind the premium Defile in terms of efficiency.
Leech Fanatic - Boot Nipper is just better. Though lifelink attackers are useful in races. The body is nothing special, but shores up the Dersert weakness. Boarderline cubable.
Overall not too much. I'm especailly disappointed by the multicolor cards in this set. Most of them are highly set specific or just outright bad. There were some UC ones, that would have been cool commons, e.g. Decisive Denial or Witherbloom Apprentice. WIll try to Karok for now, but only because BG has such bad option apart from Putrid Leech and Consume Strength. Grisly Salvage might replace the Karok if it doesn't perform.
wouldnt make much of a difference for me. most of my lifegain is in black and green needs it the most. Orzhov is already a pretty strong guild with an identity. that reminds me to bring back Basilica Screecher though.
I've played a bit of Strixhaven now. There weren't many surprises, Frost Trickster is the best common in the set, Lash of Malice is a decent removal, but the one card really stood out to me as above average and I totally looked over it in the spoilers.
It's Quandrix Pledgemage. Basically just a Ug Spellgorger Weird, but I actually really like the Weird and about 95% of the noncreature spells to trigger it are instants and sorceries. I don't know how much the UU hurts, because this is not really a green card, but I could free up a spot in Simic to fit this in. I just really like these cards.
I mentioned before why I dislike stuff like Prowess or Kiln-Fiend-esque cards, since you always need to proactively play your noncreature stuff, either in your precombat mainphase or before damage. The problem is, that it's very risky to tap out before combat damage, since your opponent then knows that they can freely kill the creature. These cards are fine for a dedicated constructed deck, but don't really work well with a majority of noncreature spells in cube.
The Weird and the Pledgemage don't suffer from this problem, because they don't need to be pumped proactively. You can simply attack with them and your opponent can't really block. If your opponent doesn't block there is no need to pump, you can simply say go, wait what your opponent does and eot do what you planned to do. These guys will grow regardless.
"Eot Prowess": Meh, because it requires you to do a bad sequencing of spells.
"Permanent Prowess": Good, because it it doesn't mess up your sequencing and works anyway.
it really depends on the pace of the game whether or not those 2 are better than a real 2/2 unblockable.
3 mana 3/3 is more or less a soft baseline now, so you need the creature and 2 spells cast to push it above curve, which is kinda slow.
I can see the mage accelerate in the right deck, but Im not too hot on it. It would push me back into some kind of spells matter archetype, which i try to avoid due to slot restrictions. (I rather have a etb effect)
The point I'm trying to make is, that you don't need a dedicated "spells matter" deck. Pauper remains the format with the highest discrepancy in power level between creatures and noncreature spells. In my experience the average U deck contains more instant/sorceries than creatures and R non aggro decks also tend to mostly run the red burn over the dudes.
For the weird/Pledgemage you don't need all the cantrips in the world, because you don't need to be proactive with your casting. You simply have to play your deck the way you intended to do anyway and passively you are generating a very big threat of which your opponent rarely knows how big it can become at any given time. You can't really attack with your 2/2 into a freshly played weird and even 1 open mana. It's also very risky to try and Disfigure or Firebolt it.
Yeah, but if you are not running the cantrips and other mv1 spells, its easy to disfigure. Also since most toughness matters deal 3 dmg, its easy to get rid off. I also dont think that stats matter as much nowadays as they did couple years ago.
I only see a mv3 2/2 in them, as thats the floor for a horrible topdeck, especially if you plan to slowroll it.