There’s been a lot of anticipation leading up to the next expansion of Magic the Gathering. Since we are visiting the brand new plane of Kaldheim, it’s always fun to think of some things we want to see incorporated into the new set.
Have we been to Kaldheim before?
Kaldheim was one of the original settings for the digital game ‘Magic Duel of the Planeswalkers’ back in 2014. So while we’ve visited this plane in the virtual world, we have yet to see it in our decks.
Fire will meet ice
I can see Chandra Nalaar being our fiery guide in the cold tundra of Kaldheim. She is already familiar with the plane and since it is the opposite of her personality I see it as the perfect place to deepen Chandra’s character. It would be fun to see this hothead having to keep her cool while traversing the deadly and icy landscape.
The return of Snow Permanents
To me it makes perfect sense that the frozen mountains of Kaldheim would lead to some of our lands and creatures becoming snow permanents. It hasn’t been all that long since we have seen snow permanents in our booster packs with their last appearance in Modern Horizons just over a year ago. But, did you know it’s been 14 years since we’ve had snow permanents in Standard? I would say it’s about time. Doubling down on this prediction I would say Kaldheim’s snow cycle is going to focus on black and white mana. Modern Horizons gave us a few white and black snow related cards. However, I felt they were overshadowed by Arcum’s Astrolabe and Ice-Fang Coatl. It’s tough to beat cards that have so much value.
A real viking
With his recent reintroduction into the magic lore, this would be the perfect plane to showcase Garruk. I could see a Garruk planeswalker that creates beasts that grow based on the number of snow permanents you control. I also think that Garruk could be the first ever snow planeswalker! Even if we drop the snow theme here, Garruk still fits in with the viking aesthetic. Wielding a giant axe and cladded in various pelts, he is a perfect fit for this plane.
The comeback of combat based magic
I don’t want to say that this set will be depowered compared to recent sets, but lately magic has felt less about out playing your opponent and more about drawing a better hand. Cards like Once Upon a Time, Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Uro, titan of Nature’s Wrath in the past have led to games going to the player that was able to draw more broken cards instead of making better attacks and knowing when to commit to the board and when to hold back your bravest blockers. Gone are the days of blowing your opponent out with a well timed combat trick, the closest we get to that now-a-days is Embercleave, and we always see that coming.
We saw a small equipment subtheme in Zendikar Rising but it has been mostly overshadowed by landfall, because of this I see it more as a set up for the real equipment set, Kaldheim, afterall vikings love their axes. To once again double down on this prediction, I am guessing that instead of seeing a Norse pantheon similar to what we have on Amonkhet at Theros, instead we will see a cycle of legendary equipment that reflect whichever deity they were created by. Theros touched on this a little bit but this time I predict they will go all in on Legendary equipment that truly feels godly. Another mechanic introduced in Zendikar Rising was Party. This mechanic gave you a bonus for controlling a Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, and Warrior, and although there were plenty of each of these creature types present in Zendikar, it still feels incomplete.