Last updated on July 6, 2021

Writing assistance from Jackson (VladdGG) and Dan Troha

Skybreen - Illustration by Wayne England

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 logo

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!

jimmy wong metal band kaldheim

Oh, this is a “metal” themed set too…

The Basics

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.

2021 set roadmap

Banned Cards

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…

Omnath, Locus of Creation

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?

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 five episodes of the Kaldheim story, and it’s definitely worth reading.

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. We’ve already got the set, but it could be a good idea to keep this here since it’s a great summary of Kaldheim:

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…

Door to Nothingness

Themes and Mechanics

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.

Speaking of Pathways, WotC confirmed we’ll be getting the completion of the “pathway” cycle (ex: Brightclimb Pathway).

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:

“What if each set used MDFCs, but in a slightly different way, using the mechanic to play the theme of the set?”

Mark Rosewater, WotC

Sagas

Sagas have returned 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.

Showdown of the Skalds

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.

Snow

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…

Frost Bite

Cool art…

Is that a new card type too? “Snow Instant”…

Changeling

Realmwalker

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!

Foretell

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.

Boast

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.

Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire

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.

Planeswalkers

Looks like we’ve got four planeswalkers in Kaldheim. Two returning, and two new ones.

Kaya

Illustration by Anna Podedworna

Kaya’s back and it looks like she’s the featured planeswalker of the set, appearing all over the packaging!

Kaya the Inexorable

Tibalt

Our formerly-maligned Tibalt once was known as the worst planewalker ever:

He eventually was upgraded into a playable card…

Tibalt, Rakish Instigator

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…

Tyvar Kell

Tyvar Kell

Tyvar Kell | Illustration by Chris Rallis

  • 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.

Tyvar Kell

Niko Aris

Niko Aris

Niko Aris | Illustration by Winona Nelson

  • 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.

Niko Aris

Official Spoilers

Kaldheim has arrived! Here’s the complete list:

White

Blue

Black

Red

Green

Multicolor

Colorless

Lands

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).

Reprints

Snow basics are back! We’ll be seeing all five of em return in Kaldheim.

Kaldheim Packs, Products, and Promotions

Kaldheim pack

Draft Boosters

KHM Draft Booster Box

Draft boosters 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.

Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Kaldheim (KHM) Magic: The Gathering Draft Booster Packs
  • 36 assorted rare and mythic rare cards per box
  • 15 Magic cards per pack
  • MTG set inspired by Norse Mythology, Vikings, and metal! \m/

Collector Boosters

KHM Collector Booster Box

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
Sale
Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Collector Booster Box | 12 Packs (180 Magic Cards)
  • 15 cards plus 1 foil token per pack
  • Shortcut to the coolest cards in Kaldheim
  • Loaded with rares, foils, special treatments, and more
  • 12 Kaldheim (KHM) Magic: The Gathering Collector Boosters

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:

Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Collector Booster Pack | 15 Magic Cards
  • 15 Kaldheim (KHM) Magic: The Gathering Cards + 1 token
  • Shortcut to the coolest cards in Kaldheim
  • Loaded with rares, foils, special treatments, and more
  • MTG set inspired by Norse Mythology, Vikings, and metal! \m/

Set Boosters

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
KHM Set Booster Box
Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Set Booster Box | 30 Packs (360 Magic Cards)
  • 30 Kaldheim (KHM) Set Booster Packs
  • Best booster for opening packs just to see what you’ll get
  • 12 Magic: The Gathering cards per pack
  • MTG set inspired by Vikings and Norse Mythology

Theme Boosters

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

Bundles

KHM Bundle

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.

Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Bundle | 10 Draft Boosters (150 Magic Cards) + Accessories
  • 10 Kaldheim (KHM) Magic: The Gathering Draft Booster Packs
  • Exclusive foil alternate-art promo card
  • 40 basic land cards (20 foil & 20 non-foil) + life counter and card storage box
  • MTG set inspired by Norse Mythology, Vikings, and metal! \m/

Commander Products

We’ve got two spoiled Commander decks so far. Let’s take a quick look at them, shall we?

Elven Empire deck

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.

Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Commander Deck – Elven Empire | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | Green-Black
  • 100-card ready-to-play KHM Commander deck
  • 1 foil Commander card
  • 8 Viking-inspired Magic cards make their debut
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • Lead an army of elves to absolute victory!
Phantom Premonition deck

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.

Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Commander Deck – Phantom Premonition | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | Blue-White
  • 100-card ready-to-play KHM Commander deck
  • 1 foil Commander card
  • 8 Viking-inspired Magic cards make their debut
  • 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker and deck box
  • Create a horde of spirits to do your bidding!

As usual, it looks like you can probably get a discount if you buy both decks together:

If you want to read a full review of this product, check out our breakdown over here.

New Cards

The Commanders

  • 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.

Where to Buy

Kaldheim is 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 can vary thanks to COVID-19.

Ragnarök

I’m very excited about Kaldheim. We were getting so many Magic products released for a little bit there, that February seemed so far away. It’s 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 couldn’t have come soon enough.

What are you most excited about? Join our Discord and get involved in the conversation.

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4 Comments

  • DemonicOfAngels December 12, 2020 10:13 am

    Huatli and Angrath were yanked back because the Immortal Sun on Ixalon prevented Planeswalkers from leaving.

  • Travis Smith December 13, 2020 4:58 pm

    Theres some toys out there with some Kaldheim names/creatures that you could mention here.

  • rogerman December 30, 2020 9:31 pm

    Great!

  • Joseph Garifollo January 19, 2021 5:19 pm

    Friends,

    Really great job on the site, makes work breaks much more fun. But I beg of you, use a different avatar for Kaldheim draft than “Niko.” He/she/it are, setting aside the aggressive political signaling, very unattractive. He also does not adequately reflect the set, being an outsider from Theros. Surely we can use a Mythic Rare god there instead?

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