Hey Commander players! Are you excited for Kaldheim? Please don’t bang your head. Today I’m looking at the new set from the perspective of someone who isn’t planning to get any sealed product, and maybe just some singles. Cards are expensive. I could advocate for something like Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider like many content producers will: it’s big, splashy, and will win you games. It will also cost you upwards of $40 or some decent luck in your sealed product, and is not something your friends will look forward to you playing. That can definitely limit how often you play with a card like this. Do you have a deck that you don’t play because everyone hates it? Is there a $40 card sitting in there gathering dust? I personally have a bunch of neglected Eldrazi. That could be you, Vorinclex.
By contrast, a sub $1 card that I want to play with over and over, and that doesn’t invoke the wrath of all my tables, is a big time investment. So I’m covering the bargains that have serious play value and leaving the gushy breakdowns of the splash mythics to the pros. I consider stuff like extra turn spells and tutors to be lazy design that’s never been a positive for the game, so I don’t even want to bother with that crap. Here’s to cheap playables!
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider will be very good, but green cards that win the game for 6-8 mana are becoming all too common. Just like with Doubling Season, Vorinclex ultimates most Planeswalkers when they enter the battlefield for easy wins. Coming from the Command Zone is amazing, but being limited to green Walkers kinda sucks. It’s mostly a win-more. I would not pay money for this card.
Mono green also gets Battle Mammoth which is an attempt to show off the foretell mechanic. The body and mana discount aren’t really scaled for Commander, and there are fewer targeted spells and abilities than in a format like… all the others. This might be a miss in those formats, too. Pass.
The main mythic I’d pay for is Orvar, the All-Form but anything over $5 is probably too much. With all the wacky variants these days, it’s quite possible one stays cheaper than others. Hopefully this won’t make much of a splash in standard and will be a little cheap for a little while. I hope. This card looks like fun, doesn’t seem too broken, and as a changeling, can go in tons of decks. Love it. Hard pass on the other 2 blue mythics.
The white mythics do not inspire. Halvar, God of Battle/Sword of the Realms is decent, but I’d rather have Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist for the Command Zone to get access to any colour that’s not white. In the 99, he’s a good mix of solid creature and solid equipment, but neither side is game changing. He looks especially bad without other cards, and has no native protection like other gods. Pass.
The red mythics have something ok and possibly techie fun in Quakebringer and a pair of broken cards in Goldspan Dragon and Toralf, God of Fury. Both are on the must-kill-on-sight list. The mana potential of the dragon is insane, and plenty of decks are looking to leverage the artifact ETB/sacrifice of the treasure too. Toralf teams up with any deathtouch equipment like Basilisk Collar, a damage doubler like Dictate of the Twin Gods and a single point of excess non-combat damage to an opponent’s creature. Then Toralf kills the rest. How? Well deathtouch means that every damage beyond the first is excess. Toralf allows his own damage to trigger as the non-combat damage, so each time he deals more than 1 damage to a creature, all of the excess spills over to another. He only needs to do 1 excess to any creature, because the damage doubler turns it into 2 each time, which is the lethal 1 plus an excess 1, which turns into 2 the next time. Until all are dead. Viridian Longbow on Toralf can start the chain. Yuck. These would not be popular cards in my groups, and should be expensive. Pass.
Among the black mythics, Haunting Voyage has some potential, but probably gets blown out by Scavenger Grounds anyway. Ever After is a great alternative. Pass on the other 2, especially Eradicator Valkyrie, which seems to require a 6 mana investment and 2 turns to get what will probably amount to little more than a Fleshbag Marauder.
The multicoloured mythics are interesting enough. Valki, God of Lies is definitely the set’s version of Loki. Yup, got there. It will likely be a popular Commander at first, but hand disruption and Planeswalkers seldom stick in Commander. The biggest payoff is Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter‘s Stolen Strategy effect. Having played the crap out of Stolen Strategy, I can tell you it’s fun, but not that powerful. Other people’s random topdecks do not often make a cohesive strategy for you. I’d maybe get one if it ever gets cheap, but I don’t want to pay for this card.
I wish Esika, God of the Tree/The Prismatic Bridge didn’t exist. It’s both powerful and generic. More mana acceleration and free stuff directly from the deck are not what we need. It also helps push the notion that 5 colour Commander decks are mostly green decks, and green is the colour that mostly matters in Commander. I don’t think the designers can help themselves. Pass.
I’m not even bothering with the Planeswalkers, because Planeswalkers in Commander are mostly 3-4 inefficient cards worth of design. Take your typical 5 mana Walker that has a +1 draw card ability, a -2 self protection ability of some kind, and an ultimate. In 60 card formats, you only have to protect it from 1 opponent’s worth of threats and hate, and the -2 will often be enough to delay long enough to tick it up. In Commander, you are likely just paying 5 mana to draw a card or put a chump into play. Even if the -2 is Vindicate or Beast Within, you still overpaid. Because if the Walker is any threat at all, 3 opponents will point their stuff at it until it dies. Ideally before a second activation. Walkers can be attacked directly, and there are a growing number of hate options. The better they get, the bigger the lightning rod they are. The worse they get, well… they become unplayable, and we have the massive backlog of barely played, design-eating Planeswalkers sitting in binders since War of the Spark. Or even earlier. Pass.
Last of the mythics is Koma, Cosmos Serpent. Koma wants you to really consider the difference between snakes and serpents, which is…. Right? This is very very strong, requiring immediate attention before the coils get out of hand. If I see this in a Command Zone, I’m saving my Swords to Plowshares or other exile spell for it. At 7 mana, killing this a couple of times might keep it off the table for good. It is still green, though. I feel like it would be tough to build a deck around this that anyone would want to play against. Pass.
I had a really high opinion of foretell when I mistakenly though the card in exile would be face-up. That joke’s on me. I’d like to be able to pay two mana to threaten to cast Doomskar on any subsequent turn, and have my opponents scramble to play around it, but facedown it’s just a weird way to save a mana on a Day of Judgment. Not being as versatile as recently reprinted all-stars Cleansing Nova and Austere Command hurts a lot, and there are tons of sweeper options with strategic upsides that are better than a weird mana discount. Pass.
As a powerful spell, Glorious Protector probably gets there. It saves the team from a sweeper and/or gets a great big pile of ETB triggers. Will it be cheap? Being in white, it might drop enough for the bargain hunter. Watch this one.
I’d like to pick up a copy of Cosima, God of the Voyage/The Omenkeel. The front side is basically a delayed ‘landfall: draw a card’, which looks like it could be strong if you can play multiple lands in a turn and bring it back right away. Sounds pretty doable. The back side boat looks fun. I don’t think it even comes close to something like Smuggler’s Copter on power level, though. It’s just another cool vehicle for a vehicle deck. While it does sort of ramp, and that applies to all vehicles, any fleet of vehicles requires a fleet of creatures, and playing that same fleet of creatures with something like Coastal Piracy might just be skipping the middle man. It might be interesting for mono-blue vehicle mill as a Commander, too. I hope it gets cheap.
While I would normally think the CMC on a card like Graven Lore is a little high for what it does in a format like Commander, Eligeth, Crossroads Augur would love to use it to draw 8. Instant speed helps. This was compared to Dig Through Time by Jim Davis recently, which is no small thing. Possibly a workhorse with snow manabases.
Blue does have a pair of big time spells at rare in Mystic Reflection and Reflections of Littjara. Reflect much? I feel like the flavour on Reflections of Littjara doesn’t explain enough for the card to have ‘Littjara’ in the title. These are both really great cards that can do work in a lot of decks. I doubt either will be too cheap, but Littjara is the bundle promo, and might be unwanted-foil-promo-cheap. That often works out well. As a card it opens up copying tribal spells like Tarfire and All is Dust (for whatever reason) as well as the ability to have copies of creature spells on the stack. Weird, but potentially awesome, and breakable. I’d grab a couple if I could. Same with Mystic Reflection which is a copy spell that can copy ETB triggers on existing creatures, or act as clever removal. I want it. Both are on my watch list for cheap copies.
As a snow payoff, Blood on the Snow is everything I want. Sweeper plus reanimator is my kind of casual fun. It may jam you into playing lots of snow, and tops out at 6CMC creatures, but that’s not too big a deal to have another black boardwipe option. I expect this is going to be cheap, and when it is, I will grab a copy.
I also love me some zombies, and Draugr Necromancer looks like a must-have. Even if you never cast any of them, exiling opposing creatures instead of them dying is worth the cost. Coming with a 4/4 body and cleric type seems like overkill for 4CMC. Love it!
Speaking of Zombies, the instant speed and low foretold cost of Rise of the Dread Marn make it possibly one of the best token generating spells ever. Ever. Imagine this after any boardwipe. How many 2/2 tokens for B is enough to make that claim? 5? 7? 10? Those aren’t unreasonable numbers for a boardwipe in a 4 player format. The tokens are also not tapped, if you can haste, vehicle or Kyren Negotiations. Love this.
A brief shoutout to Skemfar Avenger, yet another reason to play Golgari or even mono-black elves. Is the D&D set going to be heavy on Drow? My spidey sense is tingling.
Oh hey, we’ve reached the hotly anticipated Tergrid, God of Fright. I read a few other Commander columns and it doesn’t sound like anybody is excited for this. I’m not. I feel like sleeving this up is purposefully wasting the time of people I care about, because if I put this into play and followed it up with Death Cloud or whatever, they’re just going to scoop. I don’t get to play in enough Commander games currently where I want that to be a possibility. Don’t waste your time or your money playing stuff like this. Can anybody even make a case that this was designed for Standard? Apparently the card also has a backside. It’s pointed square at people who dare to play a game for fun.
Cards that hedge against Tergrid include Library of Leng, Rest in Peace, Nephalia Academy, Assault Suit, Sigarda, Host of Herons, and Planar Void. Scavenger Grounds is always good to have around. Keep your Homeward Path ready. The best thing to do is Control Magic as black mages have big issues with enchantments. Good luck.
As much as Tergrid clearly sucks, Birgi, God of Storytelling might be even more toxic. Birgi helps create the same conditions as Tergrid, where one player is in an insurmountable, obnoxious position, but at least Tergrid does it in 1 or 2 definitive spells. Birgi enables long, long, combo turns, where one player plays by themself until they finally declare victory and the others just leave. Ugh. Vintage is going to enjoy this being castable off Black Lotus. If you want to play this card as intended, please make a plan, stick to it, and just get it over with quickly. Please don’t cast Gamble and spend the next 5 minutes looking through your cards. Play the rituals, the 0-cost spells, the haste-enabler and Dragonstorm ftw. GG, thanks for showing me that. Next time can we both play?
Some of the other red rares have some potential. Arni Brokenbow has a good boast ability, but seems small and easy to stop. Calamity Bearer is a good giant, and may help changelings too. Dragonkin Berserker fits well with a lot of what dragons do, and might make some super-cheap tokens. Probably better in 60 card formats, but it’s solid at base and can really help other boast cards a lot. Magda, Brazen Outlaw looks great. I don’t like tutor cards, so I won’t play with it, but it’s a good pickup for a lot of decks. Reckless Crew is the spell I want at the end of a Bonus Round chain. Super janky fun, but actually pretty great if you can get 3 or more tokens from it. Tibalt’s Trickery is a rarity, a hard Counterspell in red, and could be disastrous if cast on an opponent’s spell. But of course you want to be Krark, the Thumbless casting this on your own stuff. Honestly I can’t see myself spending money on any of these. They’re all too niche.
Moving on to green, where I expect to find OPness everywhere, we have probably that. I don’t know what to say about In Search of Greatness. Really? Free spells again? I expect this to be very powerful, and eventually very expensive. Speculators might want to consider this, but it’s likely to be expensive from the get-go. This card pretends that mana acceleration and cheating creatures into play aren’t Magic staples. Combines well with other green cards and other good cards, and anything good that is good when cast. Yuck.
Overall, the green cards seem like a cut above… again. Blessing of Frost looks like a strong, flexible way to draw cards and buff creatures in green for a reasonable cost. All the white mages are drooling, because some throw-away set rare featuring a niche mechanic like this is better than anything white gets. Period. This is in the same set as a counter-doubler, and has so much synergy in green that the very good floor here is probably going to be a long way down. The savvy green mage is going to use this to draw 4 cards, and do some stupid stuff with counters. Then pass to the white mage who gets to count the green mage’s lands and rejoice because their fewer lands means they can put a Plains into their hand from their deck.
The rest of the green rares are all pretty good to excellent. Elvish Warmaster is probably too small for Commander, but if your plan is an early Craterhoof Behemoth this guy helps make it an army. There are plenty of extremely cheap, potent elf decks out there built around Marwyn, the Nurturer or Rishkar, Peema Renegade, and this card works well for them too. Could even be cheap. Esika’s Chariot is somewhat derpy, but copying a token might mean all sorts of things. The upside here is pretty high. Kolvori, God of Kinship is a decent body with a decent card advantage ability, but the real prize on that card is the mana rock on the back. The Ringhart Crest is probably good enough by itself for some decks, and with a creature on the front, is extremely playable. I’d grab the Crest if it’s cheap. Maybe the Chariot.
I had to read Old-Growth Troll a few times. While some hard-to-kill creatures come back in various forms, this one turning into an aura that attaches to a land and ramps is super-spicy. I like this a lot and would like a copy of it for sure. Should be cheap because it’s not obvious.
I’m not high on Toski, Bearer of Secrets. Indestructible is good, but -1/-1 counters eat the poor squirrel right up. I do think it’s totally playable, and shines best with vigilance so it can block too, but it’s really easy to chump and needs help. And 4 CMC green cards are setting a pretty high bar. Not a priority for me. But Realmwalker is. This is immediately one of the best tribal enablers in all of Magic. I’ll be watching very carefully in the hopes that the card will be cheap.
The artifact rares are few in number, but very splashy. Maskwood Nexus is a staple. Grab one. Try and get it cheap. This is unlikely to have any demand at all outside Commander and casual players, but we drive the prices these days. We do move slow, though. Not quite as stapley but still pretty good is Cosmos Elixir. In the right deck, it’s almost a Phyrexian Arena. Those decks are all white decks, and need card draw. I expect this to be a really solid role player.
What I’m not hot on is Pyre of Heroes which reminds me of Birthing Pod, a card whose play patterns offer all the fun of following a recipe over and over, or building a lot of identical furniture from instructions. Crazy, off the hook fun. Groan. I hate this stuff. Why bother shuffling a pile of cards if you’re just going to play the same sequence again and again?
Jumping over to multicoloured cards, we’ve got Jorn, God of Winter. With Kaldring, the Rimestaff on the back, Jorn seems like a strong way to double mana, or play snow lands from the graveyard with the staff. There’s plenty of snow-based Sultai goodstuff, and Jorn is a really solid unifier. Don’t be surprised to see this guy doing some strong work. Playing Jorn on turn 3 after a turn 2 Lightning Greaves (no Christmasland Sol Rings in this example, sorry) is probably going to untap your lands for another 3 CMC play.
I like Sagas in general, but I’m a little Saga-fatigued. I will be grabbing almost any that are cheap, though for future play. They’re fun, and rarely oppressive. Battle for Bretagard has a sweet chapter 3, Battle of Frost and Fire has 3 sweet chapters, and Firja’s Retribution is 3 sweet angel payoffs. All quite playable. Harald Unites the Elves is a little niche for my tastes, but Golgari elf players might like it. King Narfi’s Betrayal has fizzle potential, but a really high upside, and is pretty likely to have a decent target or 2 to reanimate. Showdown of the Skalds seems very strong, even more so because it’s in colours that aren’t. Could be a difference-maker. The first chapter is very very good card advantage. Chapters 2 and 3 aren’t as good, but can be leveraged by a clever player.
While The Bears of Littjara references bears, it’s yet another solid tribal enabler for plenty of underserviced tribes like crabs and salamanders. Chapters 1 and 2 are okay. A tribal ETB creature is useful, and a buff to it and any other Shapeshifters you’re playing is also good. Chapter 3 is limited in that it can’t target players, but it’s likely going to be removal. Nothing super splashy here, but it definitely makes the cut for crabs and salamanders. Maybe changelings, too.
I’m fairly iffy on the last 3 sagas. The Bloodsky Massacre loves berserkers, but as a group, there’s not much there yet to enable. It might be worth a look in a changeling build. The Raven’s Warning has a solid couple of chapters, but chapter 3 is almost unusable in the format. You can topdeck your foretold cards, but why? Waking the Trolls destroys land, and that’s almost an automatic pass for me. Sorry trolls. Can’t feed you this time.
I don’t think Immersturm Predator is good. It’s reminiscent of Scavenging Ooze but limited by the tapping clause. Flying and possible indestructible aren’t bad, and instant speed sacrifice is cool, but all that amounts to a medium sized dragon. Not excited. Sarulf, Realm Eater seems pretty interesting, as a sort-of Pernicious Deed attached to a body. The card provides great token control, and adding +1/+1 tokens to the wolf is trivial for higher CMC stuff. I’m not sure where I’d play it, and that’s often a good thing. Another one to watch.
By now, we know the MDFC Lands are solid, if unspectacular. Standard and such will keep prices propped up, so they’re unlikely to be cheap. I expect the same of The World Tree which is like Chromatic Lantern on a land. I wish it didn’t have a tutor option, otherwise I’d want one. Thankfully I get to save the price there. I do want Tyrite Sanctum, which should be cheap. It’s likely just a meme card, but should be lots of fun. Faceless Haven is a probably a pass for me. Having the snow manabase is likely going to come with challenges and adding a mana-intensive colourless land is unlikely to fit. I could be wrong.
Not much in white, surprise, surprise. Battershield Warrior is a solid boast creature, with a big change in combat math available. As a human warrior, it’s off to a good start. It’s no game-breaker but white has to take what it can get. Battleboxes will likely enjoy this guy, too. Clarion Spirit looks quite playable, and as a token generator, jumps into the spirit queue at a high level. It draws comparisons to Young Pyromancer, and may be playable in older formats that sling spells like crazy. Some uncommons do carry a solid price tag, and this has an outside chance at that if it catches on. I’m planning to hunt for a cheap foil, which will likely be available early on.
I’ve seen some reactions to Divine Gambit that consider it a trap card, but there are plenty of effects like that on Containment Priest that can make it a flexible 2 mana unconditional exile spell. The worst thing about it is that it’s a sorcery. Most decks won’t want this, but some might. I’m glad this is a card, and getting a cheap copy should be no problem.
I don’t think any of Shepherd of the Cosmos, Spectral Steel or Usher of the Fallen get there in Commander. All are interesting, though. Spectral Steel as a sort-of uncounterable flashback spell is the most intriguing. It’s just so minimal as an aura. I consider it a fail of design that there’s almost no snow presence in white, which is the accepted colour of snow, and a colour that is dying for a strong mechanic or two.
Moving to blue, we have a solid group of cards built around strong mechanics, sigh. Avalanche Caller protects lands and can do some damage in combat. Even the body is useful on defense at 1/3. Frost Augur looks like a serious source of card advantage, more for 60 card formats, but still. Both of those require heavy snow commitment, but with almost no downside….
I like the power of hexproof on most creatures, and it’s hard to argue with a cheap equip that provides it like Giant’s Amulet. A toughness boost too? And the upside of being able to add a good-sized token with a very good type and an okay type is sweet. Speaking of giants and wizards, Glimpse the Cosmos isn’t good enough as a giant-tribal-flashback filter spell, but Inga Rune-Eyes looks very good. Wizards are going to be hot this year, and this is a pretty good wizard. It sure takes a boardwipe well.
I’m unimpressed with the black cards, unfortunately. Draugr’s Helm makes a zombie token but the equip cost is painful. Return Upon the Tide seems okay for dark elves, but that pool is getting deeper and deeper. Skemfar Shadowsage has strange stats at 2/5, and an intriguing ETB ability. A possible finisher for dark elves or clerics. Tergrid’s Shadow isn’t too bad, but probably won’t kill what you need it to enough of the time. Instant speed helps. It would be best in a shell that just wants creatures to die, and doesn’t care which ones so much. Breaking the symmetry by leveraging the sacrifice yourself is the key to making this card great.
For red, Basalt Ravager is a HUGE sleeper. A scalable ETB trigger that goes to the face and is a wizard is considerable. This might be a player in Standard too, and fit in with all sorts of wizard based strategies. Imagine this in an Inalla, Archmage Ritualist deck with a bunch of trigger doublers and blinking. Cards like this guy will also raise the bar for giants. Great stuff. I want a cheap foil, and will likely get one.
I’m not big on foretell, but Dual Strike is a terrific use of cost reduction. 1 mana is what you want to pay for a card like this on a turn you’re going to sling spells. Provoke the Trolls has some weird applications with dinosaurs with enrage, and stuff like Stuffy Doll or Brash Taunter.
On to green, and I expect the cards to be a cut above. Are they? Blizzard Brawl looks like an upgrade on Prey Upon, a very playable spell, with indestructible upside. Boreal Outrider has useful types and despite the convoluted text, puts a +1/+1 counter on your creatures as long as you pay some of their coloured-mana cost with snow mana. Budget elf and warrior builds might get some use out of this. Fynn, the Fangbearer brings poison back to Standard, and makes mono-green deathtouch-poison a viable archetype. But historically, poison is super-unpopular to play against. That’s unlikely to change, but this is a new, flavourful angle. Last but not least, Littjara Glade-Warden is one of many new changelings that can fit in to all sorts of decks. It’s not amazing, but changelings in general aren’t amazing outside of their omni-type, and green ones are some of the derpiest. It’s solid.
Among the artifacts, we have some really interesting cards. Bloodline Pretender is a must-have. If you can get a cheap one in foil, do it. This is one of the better changelings going, and goes in all sorts of decks. Is Replicating Ring a Channukah card? 8 nights? Maybe it’s non-thumb fingers. Either way it’s kinda cool, and would really hum in proliferate decks, or those that want to spam artifacts or tokens. Speaking of weird, mana-producing artifacts, we have Colossal Plow. It this finally white’s answer to mana ramp? Doubtful, but it nets mana with Peacewalker Colossus. Maybe someday. Weathered Runestone is probably a meta-call, but you never know.
Holy cow, there’s another cycle of two-colour sagas at uncommon? Okay then. Arni Slays the Troll sounds like a headline from when Shwarzenegger took on the internet. Chapter 3 is kind of a shrug, but the other 2 are pretty good. Ascent of the Worthy is a really cheap reanimation spell that you have to wait for. Figuring out how to use the first 2 chapters is the trick, and it’s Stuffy Doll to the rescue again. Binding the Old Gods seems really strong all around, with ramp, removal and a techie payoff at 3. Fall of the Imposter seems a little weak, and doesn’t address the most dangerous threat, only the most powerful. Forging the Tyrite Sword is double ramp plus a tutor for either a god/equipment card or any other equipment. It will probably see tons of play. Invasion of the Giants underwhelms, unfortunately. Kardur’s Vicious Return is also cheap reanimation if you wait, but I’d rather have a straight reanimator spell that happens now than this one after a couple of mediocre chapters. Niko Defies Destiny is really foretell specific, and pretty blah even then. Pass. The Three Seasons is probably better for standard, but might be useful in self-mill or snow-heavy decks as a flexible utility piece. Finally, The Trickster God’s Heist is more of a couple of swaps. The last few, starting with Fall of the Imposter, don’t inspire.
Alongside the saga cycle is a cycle of legendary creatures. Most if not all of these would be decent budget Commanders. All of Aegar, the Freezing Flame, Firja, Judge of Valor, Harald, King of Skemfar, Kardur, Doomscourge and Vega, the Watcher are solid if unspectacular options. Koll, the Forgemaster looks very good, and Maja, Bretagard Protector is a landfall creature, and that’s often enough. Svella, Ice Shaper seems techie and fun, and plays with snow in red. Moritte of the Frost and Narfi, Betrayer King are both exceptional. Must-haves for me.
If a saga cycle and legend cycle weren’t enough, we have a cycle of lands, too! Is this Ravnica? Sooo much design density at uncommon. The best of the bunch are Littjara Mirrorlake and Port of Karfell. Not the white ones? Tutor enthusiasts will like Axgard Armory. The rest are solid, and all of them are playable considering the only downside is coming into play tapped. Lands are hard to stop, and their abilities are even harder. Even the derpiest of these is a low-opportunity cost gem.
Commons! Fewer words per sentence! That’s the way it is. Shorter paragraphs too.
Cards like Beskir Shieldmate can fill out a cheap sacrifice deck. Giant Ox crews the Colossal Plow, so watch out green ramp. Starnheim Courser is white’s best ramp effort for the set. Could be worse…?
I’m not sold on the card, but it sure is fun to say Berg Strider. Bind the Monster might be seriously good in 60 card formats, but tapdown probably isn’t enough for Commander. Karfell Harbinger isn’t unreasonable as ramp in mono-blue or blue with white or red spellslinger decks. Littjara Kinseekers and Mistwalker are both good changelings, and should be great for Commander. As a flying changeling, Mistwalker is especially useful. In a snow deck, Pilfering Hawk is a solid combo of a flying chump and enabling looter to be worth a look. Last but not least, Ravenform kinda suffers for being a sorcery, but at least you can foretell it. It’s close enough to all-star Beast Within to be playable.
Black has a few gems. We’ve seen cards similar to Demonic Gifts before, and I’m a fan. Giving your dying creatures a comeback chance is great if they’re big targets or have ETB abilities or both. Dogged Pursuit is slow, but some cards want an end of turn gain or drain trigger, and this doesn’t die to boardwipes. Jarl of the Forsaken seems terrific. Cheap removal that leaves a zombie cleric body behind is pretty good, even if the removal is conditional. Koma’s Faithful has some fun stats, types and abilities, and the mill-all has several useful applications. Village Rites gets a reprint. Good card.
In green, Guardian Gladewalker isn’t the worst changeling, but we’re starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Masked Vandal is actually fairly strong as a changeling enchantment/artifact exiler, despite the cost. Sculptor of Winter is so far away from Alpha Grizzly Bears that it’s hard to imagine a time when 1G only got you a 2/2 bear.
For artifacts, Goldvein Pick is probably an upgrade on Prying Blade, which is actually quite playable in equipment decks. Raiders’ Karve is a solid enough card to make some vehicle decks as a pseudo-ramper. Raven Wings joins a small and plucky group of equips that grant flying. Bird type might be the upside that makes it playable. Finally there’s that sneaky free trigger for Reaper King in Scorn Effigy.
Snow duals, too. And snow lands. The duals even have the basic types. I’m curious if Modern Horizons 2 will turn up the heat on snow with a few hosers. In the meantime, we have Avalanche, Barbarian Guides, Cold Snap, Freyalise’s Radiance, Icequake, Legions of Lim-Dul, Melting, Rime Dryad, Rimefeather Owl, Ronom Hulk, Thermal Flux, Winter’s Night and Zombie Musher. If you think these so-called hosers are a bunch of laughable crap, you’re right, but they’re the best we’ve got. Snow’s very strong, and in every colour really but white. Sounds a bit like forest for the trees.
That’s all the cards! Well, except for the new Commander cards, but I haven’t seen any must-haves in the bunch. Thanks for following me down the snowy rabbit hole to the dregs of Kaldheim. As always, each Magic set contains plenty of gems and cheap, powerful cards. I hope you found some here. Thanks for reading! Your life matters! Black Lives Matter!