It’s beginning to feel a lot like spoiler season. Early spoilers for Kaldheim rolls on with The Week of Metal, a preview event by Wizards of the Coast where metal bands reveal new cards. Angra, Torche, Smoulder, Rhapsody of Fire, Oceans of Slumber, and Amon Amarth revealed the following cards. Official spoiler season starts on Jan. 7.
Here are the cards announced during the second day of The Week of Metal from the upcoming set Kaldheim.
Kaya, the Inexorable
- CMC: 3WB
- Type: Legendary Planeswalker Kaya
- First ability: +1: Put a ghostform counter on up to one target nontoken creature. It gains “When this creature dies or is put into exile, return in to its owner’s hand and create 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying.”
- Second ability: -3: Exile target nonland permanent.
- Third ability: -7: You get an emblem with “At the beginning of your upkeep, you may cast a legendary spell from your hand, from your graveyard, or from among cards you own in exile without paying its mana cost.”
The new Kaya is straight value. The -3 ability to exile a nonland permanent is excellent at hard removing a troublesome permanent. This is especially strong against the Gods from Theros: Beyond Death and Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger. The plus one fuels sacrifice strategies and make the opponent’s removal worse. A fiva mana planeswalker with five loyalty is resilient and should stick around on the board. This could be a crucial piece in Esper Control decks going forward.
Sword of the Realms // Halvar, God of Battle
- CMC: 1W
- Type: Legendary Artifact Equipment
- First ability: Equipped creature gets +2/+0 and has vigilance.
- Second ability: Whenever equipped creature dies, return it to its owner’s hand.
- Third ability: Equip 1W
- CMC: 2WW
- Type: Legendary Creature God
- Stats: 4/4
- First ability: Creatures you control that are enchanted or equipped have double strike.
- Second ability: At the beginning of each combat, you may attach target Aura or Equipment attached to a creature you control to target creature you control.
Modal double-faced equipment cards appear to be the cycle coming into Kaldheim. This is an interesting piece. The equipment side is worthwhile. It gives creatures an aggressive stat boost and incentivizes attacking because if it trades in combat it simply returns to your hand. Halvar has an interesting ability giving creatures double strike and giving the ability to shift equipment and auras around. Without indestructible like other Gods in the format this might get removed too easily. The equipment side feels like a stronger option.
Showdown of the Skalds
- CMC: 2RW
- Type: Enchantment Saga
- First ability: Exile the top four cards from your library. Until the end of your next turn, you may play those cards.
- Second and third ability: Whenever you cast a spell this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.
This is reminiscent of Escape to the Wilds, a recently banned card from Throne of Eldraine. Four-mana draw four is a powerful effect in Boros. The lack of an additional land drop does hurt this card in the comparison with Escape to the Wilds. The second two acts of the saga should be game ending in a Limited context. In constructed play, this card could be super-charged by blink effects from pieces like Yorion, Sky Nomad.
Pyre of Heroes
- CMC: 2
- Type: Artifact
- First ability: Pay two mana, tap, Sacrifice a creature: Search your library for a creature card that shares a creature type with the sacrificed creature and has converted mana cost equal to one plus that creature’s converted mana cost. Put that card onto the battlefield then shuffle your library. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
Wizards prints another Birthing Pod style effect. In recent years there have been attempts to explore design space without creating a card as powerful as Birthing Pod. Pyre of Heroes has a similar effect, but only working within tribal synergies. Kaldheim appears to be a tribal set, so the card fits the broader theme. For Standard and Historic, this will act similar to Neoform by enabling powerful enter the battlefield combos
Magda, Brazen Outlaw
- CMC: 1R
- Type: Legendary Creature Dwarf Berserker
- First ability: Other Dwarves you control get +1/+0
- Second ability: Whenever a Dwarf you control becomes tapped, create a Treasure token.
- Third ability: Sacrifice five Treasures: Search your library for an artifact or Dragon card, put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.
One of the tribes of Kaldheim is Dwarves. Magda is an aggressive lord giving other Dwarf creatures an attack bonus.. The key to this two-mana fragile creature is its activated abilities. Free spells are powerful. There’s a reason a card like Fires of Invention is banned. This effect is more narrow which should balance the power level. The two Dragons that might synergize with Magda currently legal in Standard are Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, and Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge.
- CMC: 2G
- Type: Creature Shapeshifter
- Stats: 2/3 Changeling
- First ability: As Realmwalker enters the battlefield, choose a creature type.
- Second ability: You may look at the top card of your library any time.
- Third ability: You may cast creature spells of the chosen type from the top of your library.
This might end up being a centerpiece in Standard Elves decks when Kaldheim comes out. Elves are particularly good at generating a lot of mana and Realmwalker lets players chain multiple spells together. Dryad of the Ilysian Grove should synergize well with this card by giving extra land drops which limits the possibility of running out of steam. Being a changeling means this can fit in any tribal strategy, but elves appear to be the clearest fit.
Kaldheim releases on Magic Arena and Magic Online on Jan. 28. The full tabletop release is scheduled for Feb. 5.