Elf planeswalker Tyvar Kell provides utility to tribal MTG strategy

Elves are returning to Standard in full force.

Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Tyvar Kell
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

The backbone of Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming set Kaldheim is the tribal synergies throughout the set. Elves are one of the most well-supported tribes in Magic and they’re returning with a plethora of new toys in Kaldheim.

The leader of the Elves in Kaldheim is a planeswalker named Tyvar Kell. The Kaldheim native has received a mythic rare planeswalker card that’s more utility than game-breaking. Tyvar Kell is one of four planeswalkers in Kaldheim, including fellow newcomer Niko Aris and returning characters Kaya and Tibalt.

Tyvar Kell

Image via WOTC
  • CMC: 2GG
  • Type: Legendary Planeswalker Tyvar
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Starting Loyalty: Three
  • First ability: Elves you control have “tap: add B.”
  • Second ability: +1: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target Elf. Untap it. It gains deathtouch until end of turn.
  • Third ability: 0: Create a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token.
  • Fourth ability: -6: You get an emblem with “Whenever you cast an Elf spell, it gains haste until end of turn and you draw two cards.”

Tyvar Kell appears to be a future staple in any Elf tribal deck in Standard. The mythic rare planeswalker should have no problem entering the battlefield on turn three with how well Elf decks ramp. The +1 ability feels like an ability that won’t be used to send a 2/2 Elf in attacking with deathtouch. That’s a nice bonus, but untapping an Elf for an extra mana with Tyvar Kell’s passive is the most important part of this ability. It will be used much like Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner rather than an aggressive option.

The zero ability is solid, too. It creates a blocker to protect Tyvar Kell, helps expand the board, and helps generate mana. Tyvar Kell is a solid utility planeswalker for Standard Elves. Elves in Pioneer, Historic, and Modern generally already have a tight decklist. Fitting a solid but not great planeswalker into the 75 will be a tough ask for Elf players.

Gather your Elves and prepare for battle when Kaldheim releases on Magic Arena and Magic Online on Jan. 28. The expansion’s full release is set for Feb. 5.