Last updated on January 16, 2021
Skybreen | Illustration by Wayne England
We had so much new Magic in 2020. A new Theros set was released, companions and modal double-faced cards (MDFC) were introduced, and more bans than any of us want to see again. But we got through it, and 2021 is starting us off with our first new Magic set of the year. Introducing:
Kaldheim is WotC’s Viking adaptation to the Magic multiverse. This article will be your go-to place on the internet for everything Kaldheim as we move through preview season and set release. As more info becomes available, we’ll keep this article up to date for you. Let’s bundle up and dive in!
Oh, this is a “metal” themed set too…
Paper Magic is unfortunately still hard to come by because of the pandemic. Prereleases will probably be limited to at-home kits and promotions. Arena and MTGO will still be available and allow you to play Kaldheim when it releases, though.
Kaldheim Format Legality
This set is a Standard-legal set. This means its cards will be legal to play in all of Magic’s formats. Kaldheim will remain legal in Standard until it rotates out in Fall of 2022.
If any cards are banned from this set, we’ll update so you can find that info right here. Honestly, we’d better not have to put anything here…
What’s up guys?
Kaldheim’s Flavor and Story
We’ve actually seen Kaldheim before! You don’t remember? Yeah, neither did I. We visited it briefly in the Planechase set from 2009 and only on a single card. The Skybreen plane card featured Kaldheim. Check it out:
Skybreen appears to be a very cold, mountainous region of Kaldheim. It looks harsh and its inhabitants appear aggressive and territorial. But let’s not speculate too much, take a look at how WotC described Skybreen:
Skybreen, a blizzard-wracked mountain range on the plane of Kaldheim, is no place for the meek to visit. The scouring winds tear at gear and skin alike; the frigid temperatures congeal blood and generate a frosty deterrent to magic; ice sheets, as sharp as straight razors, slice up travelers and form blind cliffs in the constant blizzards. The primitive barbarian race that survives here is not known for its hospitality or reasoned discourse; they practice both surgery and diplomacy with axes.Doug Beyer, WotC
Skybreen isn’t the only part of Kaldheim we have insight into. We’ll take a look at what else we’ve seen from Kaldheim in the spoilers section below. But it seems to be a plane with a variety of beautiful landscapes. Who in the Magic multiverse has actually seen Kaldheim?
Radiant Destiny | Illustrated by Emrah Elmasli
A few planeswalkers have visited this realm. In 2018, “Glimpse the Far Side of the Sun” told a story of Huatli and Angrath who at one point glimpsed into the Kaldheim realm, but were “yanked back.” Perhaps because of the “deterrent to magic” mentioned earlier in the description of Skybreen.
Chandra has also visited Kaldheim. In the 2014 Duels of the Planeswalkers, Chandra was manipulated by Ramaz into stealing the dragon scroll, which then lead to the release of the Eldrazi. Chandra tracked Ramaz down on Kaldheim, but he got away after they fought.
Wizards has released the first segment of the Kaldheim web story, so go check it out.
Teasers and Previews
Get yourself pumped by watching the official teaser trailer from WotC below.
On January 7, 2021, Wizards had a premier stream with lots of new info about the set.
Maro’s Kaldheim Teaser
As is the tradition, Magic lead designer Mark Rosewater dropped a boatload of hints on his Tumblr about Kaldheim to whet your appetite for the set. Here’s the full reveal:
First up, here are some things you can expect to see in Kaldheim:
• a five-color legendary enchantment
• 2 for a 6/6 with deathtouch
• a card that allows you to kill someone with poison
• A card with a , activation
• a card that lets you use a creature’s toughness to perform an action normally using a creature’s power
• numerous new noncreature tokens
• a card that can make a token that’s a copy of target permanent for no mana
• a black creature that can copy other creatures
• a card with three activation costs, one that’s only ever used once before and the other two have never been used
Here are some snippets of rules text you’ll see:
• “protection from God creatures”
• “Sacrifice five Treasures:”
• “if three or more creatures died this turn”
• “Choose 1, 2, or 3 at random.”
• “except for Giants, Wizards, and lands”
• “you may search your library and/or graveyard for a Rune card”
• “As long as you control three or more legendary creatures”
• “X is the number of Vehicles you control plus the number of Equipment you control”
• “As long as you have at least 7 life more than your starting life total”
• “create X of those tokens instead”
And finally, here are some creature type lines you’ll see:
• Angel Warrior
• Zombie Rogue
• Dwarf Cleric
• Horse Spirit
• Vampire Dragon
• Legendary Creature – Wolf
• Legendary Creature – Bird Spirit
• Legendary Creature – Giant Wizard
• Legendary Creature – Demon Berserker
• Legendary Creature – Squirrel
Wow. Door to Nothingness, anyone? Ragnarok is coming…
Themes and Mechanics
Pillarverge Pathway | Illustration by Piotr Dura
Modal Double-Faced Cards
Remember the MDFCs from Zendikar Rising? Well, they’re back in Kaldheim — some in the same form, and some quite different.
Since Zendikar Rising was a lands-matter set, it had MDFCs with spells and lands. Kaldheim will use this mechanic but in a slightly different way, on nonland cards too.
Remember, you can chose the “mode”/side of the card you want to use when initially playing it for as long as it’s on the battlefield. In any other zone, it is only the “front” type of card.
In fact, any non-Pathway MDFC in Kaldheim will follow the template above – god creature on one side, some other spell on the other side.
Finally, Wizards also implied that we’ll see MDFCs in the next two sets, but maybe in a different way that’s more specific to the set it’s in:
Sagas are returning in Kaldheim! Sagas are, of course, famously associated with viking history. This card type was originally premiered in Dominaria and was used as recently as Theros Beyond Death.
Sagas are meant to tell a multi-act story through a card. The first chapter gets triggered as soon as the enchantment enters the battlefield, then the subsequent chapters each trigger after your draw step on later turns. Afterwards, the card is sacrificed.
Speaking of cool returning mechanics, what would a plane set in the frozen reaches be without snow? We’ve seen the snow mechanic recently-ish in Modern Horizons and, of course, in Coldsnap and Ice Age.
Snow is simply a special property of mana, represented with a distinctive snowflake symbol. If you tap a Snow-Covered Mountain, you’ll get one mana that is both red and snow.
Some cards will care about this…
Is that a new card type too? “Snow Instant”…
Changeling is a mechanic that really ties your tribal decks together. We’ll see how many changelings we get in Kaldheim (the concept is simple but the mechanic is a little complicated)… but definitely remember that anything that mentions a specific creature type will apply to all your changelings too!
OK, now the fun stuff you’ve been waiting for. Let’s take a look at the new mechanics in Kaldheim. First off we have foretell. It reminds me a little of morph in that it allows you to space out your payments on a card over the course of multiple turns. And it also has some really cool “hidden information” gameplay implications.
On your turn, foretell allows you to pay and exile a card face down. Then on a different turn, you can play it from exile for its foretell cost.
What do you have under there? A creature? A harmless draw spell?
Remember that you have to play foretell spells whenever you would be able to cast the spell normally (so you can only play the raven for its foretell cost on your turn).
I love it, and it’s clear that this is going to be one of the defining gameplay elements of the set.
This one’s a little less interesting, in my opinion. Boast simply means “if you attacked with this creature this turn, you get to activate this ability.” We’ve seen a lot of attacking-is-incentivized mechanics throughout the years, like raid and exert, for example.
Don’t forget that you can play the boast ability as an instant, so you can do it immediately after you declare the creature as an attacker. You can even suicide the creature into your opponent’s blockers just to activate the boast ability.
Quiet Speculation | Illustration by John Avon
In the Skybreen description, barbarians were mentioned as something we might see.
Barbarians in Kaldheim could have a couple implications. They’re known for their weaponry, which means maybe Kaldheim could continue the equipment sub-theme that Zendikar Rising had. Maul of the Skyclaves, for example. These equipment cards that attach to a creature upon entering the battlefield was a new phenomenon introduced with Zendikar Rising.
Also, there was a barbarian that decreased the cost of dragon spells in the Jumpstart set. Will we see dragons in Kaldheim? I don’t think there’s a lot to suggest that, but maybe Dragonspeaker Shaman is hinting otherwise. Besides that card, we haven’t seen new barbarians in Magic since the Cold Snap set in 2006.
Balduvian Horde | Illustration by Daarken
We had a couple other predictions in this article that snow and gods would be in the set and it looks like those were correct! Score one for the good guys.
Looks like we’ll be getting four Planeswalkers in Kaldheim. Two returning, and two new ones.
Kaya’s back and it looks like she’s the featured planeswalker of the set, appearing all over the packaging!
Our formerly-maligned Tibalt once was known as the worst planewalker ever:
He eventually was upgraded into a playable card…
What’s next for our mischievous friend? An overpowered mythic?
It looks like Tibalt is taking a turn as Loki the Trickster perhaps?
OK, now let’s take a look at the new characters…
- An elf from Kaldheim
- Will be an “elf-tribal” planeswalker
- Most like a wood-elf in stature and muscularity
- Younger brother of King Harald
- Charismatic character who’s out to prove something
- Cheerful and likes to drink
- Can transmute his body and the environment around him
- Shares “buffs” (haha, get it?) with his allies
- Does not own shirts, akin Oko, Thief of Crowns
Read all about him here.
- Athlete planewalker from Theros
- Looking to become a “true hero”
- Spark ignited after tussle with the god Klothys’s agents
- Can conjure shards of mirrorlike magical energy and turn them into daggers/spears (pictured)
- Traps “targets for a short time”
- Creative, nimble, and tactical thinker
- Will be blue
- Tells a story to “express the shared experience of non-binary people”
Find out more about Niko here.
Spoiler season is now underway. Check back daily as we will be constantly updating new spoilers on this page.
December 15, 2020
And just like that we’ve got the rest of the Pathways, our first official cards spoiled. Here they are:
- Hengegate Pathway
- Darkbore Pathway
- Blightstep Pathway
- Barkchannel Pathway
- Showdown of the Skalds
December 16, 2020
- Pyre of Heroes
- Magda, Brazen Outlaw
- Kaya the inexorable
- Halvar, God of Battle
December 17, 2020
- Sarulf, Realm Eater
December 24, 2020
January 6, 2021
January 7, 2021
January 8, 2021
January 9, 2021
January 10, 2021
- Hagi Mob
January 11, 2021
- BloodSky Berserker
- Boreal Outrider
- Death Knell Berserker
- Divine Gambit
- Dogged Pursuit
- Fall of the Imposter
- Kardur, Doomskar-Krieger
- Open the Omenpaths
- Revive the Draugr
- Run Ashore
- Rune of Aviation
- Tergrid’s Shadow
- Tibalt’s Trickery
- Toralf, God of Fury/Toralf’s Hammer
- Egon, God of Death/Throne of Death
- Elderfang Disciple
- Feed the Serpent
- Rise of the Dread Marn
- Harald, King of Skemfar
- Harald Unites the Elves
- Immobilize with Gold
- Axgard Cavalry
- Roots of Wisdom
- Kardur’s Vicious Return
- Jorn, God of Winter/Kaldring, the Rimestaff
January 12, 2021
- Burning Rune Demon
- Codespell Cleric
- Crush the Weak
- Demonic Lightning
- Dual Strike
- Mammoth Growth
- Raider’s Karve
- Run Amok
- Starnhiem Unleashed
January 13, 2021
- Avalanche caller
- Basalt Ravager
- Battle of Frost and Fire
- Boreal Wanderer
- Cinderheart Giant
- Cyclone Summoner
- Draugr’s Helm
- Frostpyre Arcanist
- Hellish Pet
- Jasper Sentinel
- Karfell Forerunner
- King Harald’s Revenge
- Matangia Mentor
- Poacher’s Falcon
- Smashing Success
- Terrifying Rider
- Weathered Runestone
January 14, 2021
- Aegar, the Freezing Flame
- Ascendant Spirit
- Axgard Armory
- Battle for Bretagard
- Bears of Littjara
- Breakneck Berserker
- Clarion Spirit
- Dragur Mind Thief
- Firja’s Punishment
- Frostpeak Yet
- Funeral Longboat
- Gnottvold Recluse
- Goldvein Pick
- Icehide Troll
- In Search of Greatness
- Jarl of the Abandoned
- Karfell Kennel-Master
- Karfell Port
- Mystical Reflection
- Narfi, Betrayer King
- Poison the Cup
- Reidane, God of Justice / Reidane’s Shield
- Resolute Valkyrie
- Runed Crown
- Strategic Planning
- Surtland Frozen Flame
- Taunt the Trolls
- Usher of the Fallen
- Wings of the Cosmos
January 15, 2021
- Arni Slays the Troll
- Axgard Braggart
- Dwarven Reinforcements
- Contagious Fear
- Dwarven Hammer
- Cosima, God of the Voyage / The Omenkeel
- Fearless Liberator
- Fynn, the Fangbearer
- Gates of Istfell
- Glorious Guardian
- Gnottvold Slumbermound
- Goldmaw Champion
- Grizzled Outrider
- Niko Defies Destiny
- Ravenous Lindwurm
- Return Upon the Tide
- Scorn Effigy
- Skemfar Avenger
- Skemfar Elderhall
- Tundra Fumarole
- Tuskeri Firewalker
- Battle Mammoth
- Beskir Shieldmate
- Valkyrie’s Sword
- Littjara Mirrorlake
- Master Skald
- Vault Robber
January 16, 2021
- Arni Brokenbow
- Battershield Warrior
- Battlefield Raptor
- Blood on the Snow
- Colossal Plow
- Disdainful Stroke
- Doomskar Titan
- Frost Augur
- Littjara Glade-Warden
- Maja, Bretagard Protector
- Raven Wings
- Rootless Yew
- Story Seeker
- Struggle for Skemfar
- Valley of Wandering Glow
- War Horn’s Blare
- Ascent of the Worthy
Unofficial Spoilers and Leaks
Please don’t click the below links if you don’t want to see possible unofficial spoilers of Kaldheim. Clicking them will reveal possible spoiling contents. You’ve been warned.
Set and Theme Booster Exclusives
Here we go again – we’ve got some Standard legal cards being printed outside of “regular” circulation. This time, we’re not talking about the irrelevant planeswalker deck exclusives. The cards below will be found in Theme Boosters and Set Boosters (described in the products section below).
Snow basics are back! We’ll be seeing all five of em return in Kaldheim.
Shrine of the Forsaken Gods | Illustration by Daniel Ljunggren
Kaldheim Packs, Products, and Promotions
Draft boosters are likely to have the typical 15 card composition (1 rare/mythic, 3 uncommon, 10 common, 1 land) with a token. They’re perfect for getting a bunch of Standard legal cards or doing a draft with your friends.
Collector boosters are perfect if you love to get premium, high end versions of cards. Bling to the max. These typically include:
- 12 packs (15 high-end cards in each)
- A couple premium box-toppers
- Around 48 rares, 132 foils, and 72 alternate art cards
- Unique card styles that are not found anywhere else
If an entire box of these bad boys is too expensive for you, you can treat yourself to a single pack at a more affordable price point:
Set booster boxes are all about the experience of opening them and discovering what’s inside. They’re just fun to crack. They usually have:
- 30 packs in one box
- A box topper with a premium rare card
- A foil in every pack
- Special art cards with beautiful new art from the set
- Unique, special release cards not found in the normal set
Theme boosters give you a little more direction while you’re trying to collect a set. They all revolve around one particular color or theme. For example in Kaldheim, you might get one centered around green cards, or you could get one with a bunch of Vikings.
The packs contain:
- 33-34 commons and uncommons
- 1-2 rares
- And if you’re lucky, you will see some uncommon showcase cards
The Kaldheim bundle is a great way to get an infusion of new cards and immerse yourself in the new world of Kaldheim. Bundles typically come with:
- 10 draft boosters (see description above)
- Lands (Zendikar Rising bundles came with 20 foil and 20 non-foil lands)
- 1 alternate art promo coard
- An oversized spindown life counter
- Reference cards
That’s almost 200 cards in a nice, collectible bundle.
We’ve got two spoiled Commander decks so far. Let’s take a quick look at them, shall we?
First up is Elven Empire, a black/green deck led by Lathril, Blade of the Elves. Clear elf tribal going on here. Golgari is usually a mix of black’s deathtouch and green’s counters to boost creatures, and there’s no doubt that this deck will probably focus on boosting elves on the board.
- 100-card ready-to-play KHM Commander deck
- 1 foil Commander card
- 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
- MTG set inspired by Norse Mythology, Vikings, and metal! \m/
Next is the white/blue Phantom Premonition, commanded by Ranar the Ever-Watchful. Similarly to our Empire up there, this deck seems like it’ll focus on spirits. Likely lots of fliers in here, even if they’re of a different creature type.
- 100-card ready-to-play KHM Commander deck
- 1 foil Commander card
- 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
- MTG set inspired by Norse Mythology, Vikings, and metal! \m/
As usual, it looks like you can probably get a discount if you buy both decks together:
- Vikings. Gods. Myths. Legends. So many beards. Kaldheim is here!
- Each deck has 100 cards, 10 double-side tokens, 1 insert, 1 life tracker, 1 deck box. This listing includes both decks.
- Release Date: February 05, 2021
- Ranar the Ever-Watchful
- Lathril, Blade of the Elves
Other New Cards
Others confirmed so far are Canopy Tactician, Elderfang Ritualist, Elven Ambush, and Surtland Elementalist (already spoiled above in the Set/Theme Booster cards).
Where to Buy
Kaldheim will be available among you typical sellers: Card Kingdom, TCGPlayer, Amazon, eBay, Star City Games, etc. There haven’t been any production issues talked about as of yet, but the amount that each vendor receives could be affected by COVID-19.
Armageddon | Illustration by Chris Rahn
I’m very excited about Kaldheim. We were getting so many Magic products released for a little bit there, that February seems so far away. It’ll be nice to have the rest of the “pathway” cycle in Standard, I think that will help the colors that don’t currently have access to them in Standard. And I want to draft a new set, so Kaldheim can’t come soon enough.
What are you most excited about? Join our Discord and get involved in the conversation.
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