You know nothing, Jorn Snow.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, here’s the deck I built to justify that line. Kaldheim may give us what we need in order to make a real, thematic snow deck. Of course, I couldn’t just content myself with something like that, so I’ll be giving this one a weird twist. Let’s talk about Jorn, God of Winter and his other, potentially better half.
Jorn isn’t too complicated – he untaps all snow permanents when he attacks. That means all snow creatures will have pseudo-vigilance, but more importantly, that means he’s untapping the lion’s share of your lands. Sure, you could just enjoy the feast, even without the famine or the sword itself, but you know me – I can’t possibly be bothered to do something if I can’t do it weird. That means it’s time to find the untapped potential in some silly cards.
What would any financially responsible winter god do with his mana? Store it up, of course, just like a squirrel hoarding nuts for… oh. It’s already winter in this metaphor, isn’t it? Well, regardless, I saw this as a prime opportunity to actually do something with Horizon Stone and its two predecessors, Kruphix and Upwelling. Tap those lands, put the mana away for a rainy day, then untap them and continue the process. What can you do with all this mana though?
Yes, soon Jorn will be rolling in Villainous Wealth! This is my favorite spell to cast, and while it’s a little disappointing not to be able to cast this in any reasonable way via webcam, I’ll be quite happy to break this card (and deck) out sometime in the future. For now, you can replace it with another X spell, since that’s how I’m intending to spend the mana from this deck. Here are some of the other selections:
So that’s a pretty wide range of X spells, some with more offensive applications like Walking Ballista and some more utilitarian such as Erebos’s Intervention. Obviously, you should feel free to sub in your favorite X spells at your leisure if you end up going with a build like this one.
All of the big spells are powered by the Jorn engine, and when things are going great, that’s nice, but it seems pretty easy to kill a 3/3 in combat. It turns out I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve to keep Jorn safe and sound.
Of these three, only Whispersilk Cloak will stop removal, but all three will get Jorn through combat safely. There’s something very entertaining about Jorn carrying hot soup through enemy lines in winter, but the flavor justifications wear thin pretty quickly after that.
If it seems like I’ve only built half a deck, and that’s sort of right because I’ve only explored half of the commander. The other half is Kaldring, which helps with some recursion if any important snow permanents end up in the graveyard. What important snow permanents, you ask? Well, let’s start with some of the newer ones!
These are some of the new snow creatures from Kaldheim which are sort of all over the place. That’s kind of what the creature base is like in snow decks, and unless quite a few more are printed in Kaldheim, that’s how it’s going to be until there are one or two more snow sets. That said, some of these are quite delightful. Draugr Necromancer is a fantastic card that lets you use other peoples’ resources and Spirit of the Aldergard does a little snow ramping while also getting power from our mana base. Don’t worry, I’ve also thrown in some old classics, like Ice-Fang Coatl, Ohran Viper, Rimefeather Owl and even the honorary snow permanent Heidar, Rimewind Master – you’ll see all the hits in the deck list.
Oh, but I couldn’t forget about one of the most fantastic snow permanents of all:
Imagine making Marit Lage and then having that token befall some terrible tragedy. Well, worry no more, because Kaldring makes it easier than ever to bring back Marit Lage’s Slumber and try again.
Of course, using this staff just once a turn is barely fun, so I’ll be doing a little untapping as follows:
These don’t just untap Kaldring – they also untap cards like Doubling Cube as well as acting as secondary mana rocks.
Minamo only untaps Kaldring, but still, good enough.
It might be more exciting to use Kaldring on opponents’ turns, but it doesn’t let you violate the timing restrictions, right? Well, that’s what these are for.
Sure, these cards aren’t always the most fun, but when you’re restricted to a weird theme and using a bunch of mana that’s stuck to fragile permanents like Horizon Stone to fuel your engine, I relax my restrictions on things like this. I even had Demonic Tutor in this list at one point. Demonic Tutor! In a RagingLevine list!
Kaldring will mostly be used to pick up things that die naturally, but the deck could do a little bit of work to put things in the graveyard, right? Well, I’m not going to go too hard on the sacrifice engines, but here’s a pair of cards that might help Kaldring be more powerful.
I stopped short of going full Zuran Orb / Retreat to Coralhelm / Animate Artifact on Kaldring, but now that I type it all down at once instead of holding it in my head, that sounds like an acceptably precarious combo for the games I like to play. I suppose it would also work with the Retreat untapping something like Kiora’s Follower, which as I’ve mentioned, I’m already packing. Nevertheless, I like using Kaldring to do something mildly degenerate, so I threw in Dust Bowl and Sunstone to allow lands to be recycled for nefarious purposes. It’s possible Sunstone might be terribly unfun if your friends aren’t good at destroying artifacts, so fog responsibly please.
At this point, I really feel like I’ve built half of two decks and shoved them together, but honestly, the glue is the Upwelling effects. They hold everything together, and that’s kind of a fun, if fragile, way to build a deck around a commander that contains two fairly discrete cards. Enough from me, though – I’ll leave you with the deck list. See you next time!
1 Jorn, God of Winter/Kaldring, the Rimestaff 1 Abominable Treefolk 1 Altered Ego 1 Boreal Druid 1 Boreal Outrider 1 Burnished Hart 1 Draugr Necromancer 1 Fatestitcher 1 Genesis Hydra 1 Hailstorm Valkyrie 1 Hangarback Walker 1 Heidar, Rimewind Master 1 Hydroid Krasis 1 Ice-Fang Coatl 1 Kiora's Follower 1 Kruphix, God of Horizons 1 Moritte of the Frost 1 Ohran Frostfang 1 Ohran Viper 1 Rimefeather Owl 1 Rimewind Taskmage 1 Sculptor of Winter 1 Spirit of the Aldergard 1 Vizier of Tumbling Sands 1 Walking Ballista 1 Amulet of Vigor 1 Arcane Signet 1 Coldsteel Heart 1 Doubling Cube 1 Horizon Stone 1 Hot Soup 1 Nihil Spellbomb 1 Replicating Ring 1 Sol Ring 1 Solemn Simulacrum 1 Soul-Guide Lantern 1 Sunstone 1 Trailblazer's Boots 1 Vedalken Orrery 1 Whispersilk Cloak 1 Assassin's Trophy 1 Erebos's Intervention 1 Putrefy 1 Stroke of Genius 1 Windgrace's Judgment 1 Dead of Winter 1 Dregs of Sorrow 1 Farseek 1 Finale of Devastation 1 Finale of Eternity 1 Finale of Revelation 1 Into the North 1 Maelstrom Pulse 1 Mass Manipulation 1 Rampant Growth 1 Three Visits 1 Villainous Wealth 1 Wildest Dreams 1 Dust Bowl 1 Frost Marsh 1 Ice Tunnel 1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge 1 Rimewood Falls 1 Sanctum of Eternity 1 Scrying Sheets 17 Snow-Covered Forest (284) 9 Snow-Covered Island (278) 4 Snow-Covered Swamp (280) 1 Woodland Chasm 1 Leyline of Anticipation 1 Marit Lage's Slumber 1 Upwelling 1 Nissa, Steward of Elements