Snow cards and Sagas stand out in this weekend’s MTG Kaldheim spoilers

Kaldheim spoiler season is rounding into its final week. The upcoming Viking-themed Magic: The Gathering set features the return of Snow and Sagas alongside the debut of Foretell and Boast. The tribal set is focused on each color pair in Magic with various subthemes like counters and Snow. This weekend’s spoilers showcased some quality Saga cards and a legendary Snow creature that will see extensive play in Commander and could be a player in Standard.

The Bloodsky Massacre

Image via WOTC
  • CMC: 1BR
  • Type: Enchantment Saga
  • Rarity: Rare
  • First ability: Create a 3/2 red Demon Berserker creature token with menace.
  • Second ability: Whenever a Berserker attacks this turn, you draw a card and you lose one life.
  • Third ability: Add red mana for each Berserker you control. Until end of turn, you don’t lose this mana as steps and phases end.
Kaldheim is hitting the mark for cheap, playable Sagas. The evasive 2/3 helps you satisfy the attack condition to take advantage of the card draw in the second chapter. Three mana for a useful body and card draw is already a worthwhile card, especially for a Rakdos deck that isn’t looking to win as fast as possible. The third chapter’s effectiveness is up in the air. If this card sees Standard play, Rakdos decks will be searching for a large creature or mana sink for the extra mana. At its floor, the third chapter at least helps facilitate a double-spell turn that is typically good.

Graven Lore

Image via WOTC
  • CMC: 3UU
  • Type: Snow Instant
  • Rarity: Rare
  • First ability: Scry X, where X is the amount of snow mana spent to cast this spell, then draw three cards.
Graven Lore should be looked at like Into the Story—but for Snow decks. Into the Story didn’t see play until Zendikar Rising helped Dimir Rogues become an effective strategy. In a dedicated Snow deck, Graven Lore will scry five cards then draw three cards. That’s a significant amount of card selection and draw at instant speed. This can be held for your opponent’s end step and should find whatever answer you need for a given situation. Five mana shouldn’t be a concern for a reactive, instant speed Snow deck. If Snow lands become a staple in every mana base, this five-mana instant will see some experimentation in other control builds.

Svella, Ice Shaper

Image via WOTC
  • CMC: 1RG
  • Type: Legendary Snow Creature Troll Warrior
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Stats: 2/4
  • First ability: Pay three mana and tap: Create a colorless Snow artifact token named Icy Manalith with “Tap: Add one mana of any color.”
  • Second ability: Pay 6RG and tap: Look at the top four cards of your library. You may cast a spell from among them without paying its mana cost. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
Svella is a great creature in Limited. This card is an effective blocker that provides mana ramp and Snow permanents by creating Icy Manaliths. The expensive second ability is a nice mana sink in exceptionally long games. If you’re creating a Manalith every turn then the ability shouldn’t tax your mana base too hard. In Limited, however, the question is how often is paying eight mana for a spell worth it. Svella might be too slow for Standard, but it has a higher upside. Standard can pack the deck with ramp and expensive spells to support Svella. The activated ability isn’t better than Genesis Ultimatum, but it could play well alongside the powerful seven-mana sorcery.

The Raven’s Warning

Image via WOTC
  • CMC: 1WU
  • Type: Enchantment Saga
  • Rarity: Rare
  • First ability: Create a 1/1 blue Bird creature token with flying. You gain two life.
  • Second ability: Whenever one or more creatures you control with flying deal combat damage to a player this turn, look at that player’s hand and draw a card.
  • Third ability: You may put a card you own from outside the game on top of your library.
The third chapter of The Raven’s Warning will make or break this card. The past year of Standard proved that wish effects are effective. Fae of Wishes and Vivien, Arkbow Ranger were effective cards that could find a silver bullet out of the sideboard which greatly enhances their deck’s game one power. The Raven’s Warning can find any card so it’s more flexible than other options, but it’s delayed for two turns. The first two chapters are solid. The 1/1 creature and a quick hit of life can be relevant. The card draw when a flying creature deals damage can help extend a lead. Those effects aren’t worth the three mana investment, but if the wish effect proves useful, this card will see play. Kaldheim releases digitally on Magic Arena and Magic Online on Jan. 28 with the full tabletop release on Feb. 5.



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