It’s the start of a new year, and as ever, we’ll be seeing a new batch of Magic sets full of new cards, new art, and new characters.
The year kicks off with Kaldheim: an expansion set in a snowy, mountainous world inspired by Norse mythology. Kaldheim is home to Dwarves, Elves, Angels, and Giants — creatures of fearsome strength wielding powerful weapons.
Kaldheim is available now at Card Kingdom. Check out the Kaldheim teaser trailer below, and get more info after the jump.
Kaldheim features all the same products that players have come to know with Standard-legal sets. It includes Draft Booster, Theme Booster, Collector Booster, and Set Booster packs to give players as many options as possible. To learn more about these different booster packs and find the one that’s right for you, read our Booster Pack Guide.
Like Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim also includes two preconstructed Commander decks. These decks are available at a similar price point to Zendikar Rising and Commander Legends‘ decks, but they include even more new cards — eight each to the other decks’ three. If you bought these decks and are looking for tips on upgrading them, we’ve published upgrade guides for both Elven Empire and Phantom Premonition.
Characters & Story
Each Magic set introduces powerful new planeswalker cards, and we’ve seen four in Kaldheim.
The face of the set is Kaya, who first appeared in Conspiracy: Take the Crown. Kaya is a highly skilled assassin known for her ability to take on ghosts; we last saw her on Ravnica, where she had assumed control of the Orzhov Syndicate.
Kaldheim features three returning game mechanics and two brand-new ones.
Returning Mechanic: Modal Double-Faced Cards
Modal Double-Faced Cards, a new kind of double-sided card introduced in Zendikar Rising, have returned in Kaldheim. Kaldheim includes four new double-faced lands, as well as new takes on the mechanic. Whereas all Zendikar Rising‘s MDFC’s had lands on one side, Kaldheim includes creatures with artifacts, enchantments, and even planeswalkers on their other side.
Returning Mechanic: Changeling
Kaldheim is a tribal-focused set, and Wizards has brought back the Changeling mechanic from Lorwyn block to support the new creature cards. Creatures with changeling have every creature type, so they can fill a hole in your deck whether you’ve playing Elves, Giants, or Angels.
Returning Mechanic: Snow
Our last returning mechanic is snow, which fits the arctic conditions of the set. Snow is a supertype that some permanents have, and many spells care about cards with that supertype. For example, a spell might have different effects if you control a certain number of snow permanents, and some costs can only be paid with mana from snow sources.
Kaldheim sees the return of snow lands in the basic land slot in booster packs. These lands function exactly like other basic lands, but they have the snow supertype. There’s also a cycle of two-color snow lands that have basic land types, so you can search them up with any cards that let you find lands of a certain type in your library.
New Mechanic: Boast
One of Kaldheim‘s new mechanics, boast, rewards you for attacking with creatures. After you attack with a creature with boast, you can pay to activate its boast ability once during your turn. You can do this at any point after the creature has been declared as an attacker — so anytime from the declare attackers step through the end of your turn.
New Mechanic: Foretell
Finally, Kaldheim has introduced another new mechanic that will benefit slower decks. Foretell allows you to pay two mana upfront to exile a spell from your hand, then pay an additional (usually reduced) cost to cast it from exile later. So, if you don’t have many spells to cast in the early turns of the game — or you have just a few lands in play and are trying to keep pace with your opponent — foretell will give you something to do with your mana.
Kaldheim singles are available now at Card Kingdom. Check out some of the most exciting cards from the set below.
Kaldheim rounds out the Pathway land cycle that began in Zendikar Rising. Below are the last four Pathway lands, previewed by Mastodon on December 15th.
A three-mana board wipe is virtually unheard of in Magic, but Doomskar‘s foretell ability makes it possible. Foretell this spell on turn three if your opponent is off to a fast start, or hold onto it until turn five or six to wipe the board and counter your opponent’s next spell.
Speaking of foretelling spells, here’s one that will really swing the game in your favor. Mystic Reflection can create copies of plenty of useful creatures, from Skyclave Apparition and Solemn Simulacrum to tribal-synergy supporters.
Want to get more out of your tribal decks? Changeling can help! Realmwalker can be any creature type you want it to be, and it’ll make it easier for you to fill up your board with creatures.
But even a God is no match for some of Kaldheim‘s largest creatures. Sarulf is best suited for multiplayer games — more creatures dying; more nonland permanents to target — but we’ll be keeping an eye on it for Standard as well.
Have you ever wanted to have a squirrel as a commander? Now you can! Toski may be small for its casting cost, but it provides green with a uniquely on-color source of card advantage.
In introducing Niko Aris, the Magic story team hinted that this new planeswalker would feature a more aggressive take on blue. Niko is certainly more combat-focused than most blue planeswalkers, and they allow for some fun “bounce” synergies that appear to be present in Kaldheim.
Trolls are another creature type we’ll be seeing a bit of on Kaldheim. Old-Growth Troll is an efficiently-costed creature that will help you ramp out even bigger threats after it dies. And like our friend Feasting Troll King from Throne of Eldraine, Old-Growth Troll will keep coming out from under its bridge again and again.
Kaldheim‘s Odin analogue is Alrund, God of the Cosmos and his raven, Hakka. The two sides of this card work beautifully together — Hakka can return to your hand after dealing damage and you can recast the card on the Alrund side.
Meanwhile, the planeswalker Tibalt is clearly playing the part of Loki. On the front side, Valki, God of Lies is a disruptive early play for black decks that can shape-shift later in the game. This is the first modal double-faced card to include a planeswalker on one side, and Wizards still has plenty of cool design space to explore in this realm.
This double-faced card is a mana-fixing God on one side and an unstoppable enchantment on the other. Either way, it’ll be right at home in your five-color Commander deck.
If you’re playing a creature-sacrifice deck, Tergrid will be a truly scary sight to see across the table. Her lantern can also wreak havoc, especially if you have enough mana to untap it indefinitely.
Ever felt bad about sending too many attackers at a planeswalker? Toralf will put that excess damage to good use! His Hammer will also beef up your creatures and deal damage any time you return it to your hand.
A three-mana 6/6 is a big deal, and keeping your graveyard full enough to keep Egon around isn’t too hard to achieve. Throne of Death can help set Egon up for success — if you have a way to return it to your hand — and it can enable all manner of mill strategies.
Skyclave Apparition was one of the most powerful white cards printed last year, and Sigrid is another great variation on the same theme. The combination of first strike and flash makes her a formidable blocker, and her protection from God creatures may save you a lot of damage.
Boast is a new keyword that rewards you for attacking with creatures — regardless of whether they deal damage. Varragoth here will give you a Vampiric Tutor effect any time it hits the red zone, which is a huge effect for various formats.
If you’re into tribal Elf decks, then Elvish Warmaster is for you. This card supports the classic “go-wide” Elves strategy while also turning each elf into a threat.
Snow is back in Kaldheim, and we’ll be seeing some brand-new snow cards — including never-before-seen snow instants. While it’s not quite a Lightning Bolt, Frost Bite may play a key role as creature removal for aggressive decks.
Hey, what are the Phyrexians doing on Kaldheim? Vorinclex isn’t just invading new planes — they’ll bust down the door the moment they hit the battlefield. Vorinclex will also benefit your planeswalkers while putting your opponents’ in jeopardy.
“Time Squawk” — as the Magic comms team has christened it — may be a big deal for controlling blue decks. As we saw with Battle for Zendikar‘s Part the Waterveil, any “extra turn” effect that gives you a creature to attack with is an asset to a “Taking Turns” deck.
Tribal synergies abound in Kaldheim, and this card will help you take advantage of them even more.
We’ve seen no shortage of powerful blue-green cards in the past two years, and Koma, Cosmos Serpent is no exception. This sneaky snake will evade your opponents’ counterspells and give you a formidable board presence — especially in multiplayer games!
The World Tree is the center of Kaldheim, and it can be the centerpiece of your God-themed deck! Ramp up to six lands and you’ll be able to take over the board in no time.
Kaldheim‘s take on the five-mana red dragon is quickly finding homes in a variety of Standard decks, from Gruul Aggro to Big Red to Izzet Tempo. Goldspan Dragon will give you the mana to cast bigger and bigger spells each time it attacks, and your opponents will have to pay a price to remove it, too.
Meanwhile, the Giant tribe has a fearsome five-drop of its own. Quakebringer will deal plenty of damage to your opponents, even if it’s in your graveyard!
The current frontrunner for Cutest Card in Kaldheim, Esika’s Chariot is a must-have for any tribal Cat deck.
You thought you were resolving one spell, but you’re resolving another instead! This distinctly red counterspell will let you unleash chaos in your games.
Many have already noted this card’s synergy with The World Tree, and it’s a slam dunk in a tribal Commander deck.
Our final planeswalker in Kaldheim is Tyvar Kell — an Elf-centric planeswalker card to rival Freyalise. While his starting loyalty may be low, Tyvar has many ways to protect himself and gives Elf decks even more mana to make use of.
Magic has been printing more foils to planeswalkers, and Vorinclex isn’t the only one in Kaldheim. Eradicator Valkyrie is untouchable by planeswalker abilities, and in the right deck, its boast ability will help get ‘walkers off the table.
Foretelling spells has all kinds of benefits, including protection from discard spells and a more manageable mana investment. But some, like Starnheim Unleashed, have even bigger effects when you foretell them. If filling the board with huge flyers is one of your favorite strategies, give this card a try.
Raise Your Axe!
Kaldheim is available now at Card Kingdom, but this year of new Magic sets has only just begun. Follow us on Twitter for the latest Magic news and subscribe to our email list to be notified whenever new Magic sets are available.