Snow returns to MTG Standard in Kaldheim for the first time in over a decade

Snow instants and sorceries enter Magic for the first time.

Image via WOTC

Vikings hail from Scandinavia, an area that receives heavy snowfall. So it’s fitting that Magic’s upcoming Viking-inspired set Kaldheim features the return of Snow as a mechanic in a Standard set for the first time since Coldsnap in 2006.

Snow is a supertype that appears on all types of permanents. A Snow card doesn’t necessarily do anything on its own, but various cards have payoffs for controlling multiple Snow permanents. The most common type of Snow permanent is Snow-Covered lands.

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Kaldheim brings back Snow-Covered basic lands and a cycle of 10 common Snow dual lands. All the lands enter the battlefield tapped and produce mana from their associated color pair.

Image via WOTC

Having another set of common dual lands is great for budget deck builders on Magic Arena looking for cheap options. They’re also an indication that every color will have some support for the Snow mechanic.

Aside from the traditional Snow permanents, Kaldheim is introducing Snow instants and sorceries. Wizards of the Coast previewed the first Snow instant, Frost Bite, during the Kaldheim preview stream today.

Frost Bite

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  • CMC: R
  • Type: Snow instant
  • Rarity: Common
  • First ability: Frost Bite deals two damage to target creature or planeswalker. If you control three or more snow permanents, it deals three damage instead.

Frost Bite will be a decent removal spell in Draft. It’s a slightly underpowered Shock that can scale a bit in the mid-game. This card is more of an example of where Snow instants and sorceries can go. They can provide a powerful effect that gets supercharged if its controller has multiple Snow permanents. If there are worthwhile spells that interact with Snow, it won’t be surprising to see Snow-Covered basic lands replace normal basics in most mana bases for the extra value they provide with no downside.

Snow will fall upon Standard when Kaldheim is released in Magic Arena and Magic Online on Jan. 28. The set’s tabletop release is scheduled for Feb. 5.