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What is Kaldheim?

Kaldheim is the 86th Magic expansion, released on February 5, 2021 and containing 285 cards. The set takes place on the titular plane, Kaldheim, a snowy landscape with no summer. The world of Kaldheim is heavily influenced by Nordic mythology, referencing gods like Odin and Loki as well as classical literature like Beowulfe. Additionally, the set, as evidenced by its showcase cards, takes a great deal of influence from hard rock and metal music.

Kaldheim is comprised of 10 realms, each loosely based on a color pair. However, the set does not feature a heavy focus on multicolor themes, compared to a set like Ravnica: City of Guilds.

 

Snow-Covered MountainFrost BiteAlrund's EpiphanyDoomskar

A major mechanic of Kaldheim is the return of snow, last seen in Modern Horizons. Basic lands in boosters are replaced with snow versions, with many cards requiring snow mana to reach their fully potential. Foretell, a mechanic that allows players to exile cards face down for two mana to cast them for a different cost (and sometimes abilities) later, is also a keynote mechanic in the set.

 

Alrund, God of the Cosmos // Hakka, Whispering RavenHalvar, God of Battle // Sword of the RealmsToralf, God of Fury // Toralf's HammerEsika, God of the Tree // The Prismatic Bridge

Modal double faced cards from Zendikar Rising also continued their presence as a mechanic, filling out the rest of the dual lands slot. Additionally, all the gods of Kaldheim are double-faced cards, with their front half being the god itself and the back half being some sort of mystical artifact associated with them.

 

Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic ImpostorTibalt's Trickery

However, the most notable cards to come out of Kaldheim all focus on a character foreign to the plane: Tibalt, who takes the form of Valki, God of Lies. Valki was previously used in conjunction with the cascade mechanic to his flipside, Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor, ahead of schedule. This eventually led to a rules change on cascade that forbid it from casting a spell more than the cascade spell’s cost. Tibalt’s presence was also felt with Tibalt’s Trickery, whose randomness led to decks that were able to randomly cheat out Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and other threats early.

 

Birgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty (Showcase)Reidane, God of the Worthy // Valkmira, Protector's Shield (Showcase)Egon, God of Death // Throne of Death (Showcase)

 

All legendary creatures in the set have a showcase frame version as well, stylized and influenced by metal music. This unique frame was also featured in an associated Secret Lair series.

Kaldheim comes in draft boosters, set boosters and collector’s boosters, like most current sets. The set was also released with two sealed Commander decks based on the set’s mechanics and themes.

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