Kaldheim introduces Foretell keyword mechanic to MTG

Save your spells for a rainy day.

Image via WOTC

Foretell is joining Boast as a new keyword mechanic in the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set, Kaldheim. Foretell allows players to set aside a spell in exile for later use.

Foretell plays on the idea of prophecies and seers in Norse mythology who see the future. Any time during your turn, you can pay two generic mana and exile card with Foretell face down. During a later turn, you can cast the card from exile with its Foretell cost. Players can’t cast the spell on the same turn it’s exiled. Cards also follow their normal casting rules. An instant can be cast from exile at instant speed and a creature can only be cast during your main phase.

There are a couple special rules that apply to face-down mechanics in Magic tabletop play. Cards in exile must be presented clearly on the battlefield. The order of when cards were foretold should be clear as well. At the end of the game, any face-down cards must be revealed to show they’re actually Foretell spells.

This mechanic is interesting. Magic cards do well with having multiple options on how to use them. The cards can be cast from your hand for immediate gain. The power is that Foretell allows a card to be stashed in exile until it’s needed. Foretell costs can be a discount or a spell can have additional power when cast from exile. It also can’t be disrupted as easily as something like Morph.

Wizards of the Coast revealed four Foretell cards during its preview stream today that show multiple ways in which Foretell can impact a game of Magic.

Augury Raven

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  • CMC: 3U
  • Type: Creature Bird
  • Rarity: Common
  • Stats: 3/3 Flying
  • First ability: Foretell 1U

Augury Raven should be a decent creature for Draft. The ideal play pattern might be to Foretell on turn two and cast on turn three. It’s not bad but not the strongest card. The ability to split its mana cost over two turns shows the interesting lines of play that Foretell enables. Another line is to Foretell early, then cast Augury Raven on turn six or seven as a blocker or flood insurance if you have nothing better to do.

Behold the Multiverse

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  • CMC: 3U
  • Type: Instant
  • Rarity: Common
  • First ability: Scry two, then draw two cards
  • Second ability: Foretell 1U

Scry two and draw two is solid. This feels like the ideal candidate for a card to Foretell and cast late into the game. This helps find answers by digging up to four cards deep. Behold the Multiverse is another example of Foretell splitting the card’s cost evenly between two turns. This should see plenty of Limited play and might sneak its way into Standard.

Alrund’s Epiphany

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  • CMC: 5UU
  • Type: Sorcery
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • First ability: Create two 1/1 Bird creature tokens with flying. Take an extra turn after this one. Exile Alrund’s Epiphany.
  • Second ability: Foretell 4UU

Alrund’s Epiphany is an example of the total Foretell mana investment being more than the regular mana cost. The regular spell is seven mana, but Foretell will require an eight mana investment for it to resolve. Alrund’s Epiphany is a strange card. Extra turn spells are fun but don’t win the game on their own. That’s where Foretell could make this card playable. The ability to put it in exile and save it for a critical situation is useful. Spending eight mana, however, is still a lot. It’ll be hard to improve your board state on the turn this resolves. If this card finds a home, it’ll be as a single copy in Temur Ramp. Alrund’s Epiphany is neat but feels like a win-more card.

Sarulf’s Packmate

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  • CMC: 3G
  • Type: Creature Wolf
  • Rarity: Common
  • Stats: 3/3
  • First ability: When Sarulf’s Packmate enters the battlefield, draw a card.
  • Second ability: Foretell 1G

This common wolf is another four CMC spell that’s split evenly between turns through Foretell. A four-mana 3/3 that draws a card is already playable. Reducing its cost through Foretell could allow for a strong two-spell turn in Limited. Wolf also appears to be a relevant creature type in Kaldheim. Expect this card to be a go-to spell in Draft and Sealed.

You’ll get the chance to play with Magic’s new mechanic when Kaldheim is released on Magic Arena and Magic Online on Jan. 28. Its full release is set for Feb. 5.