I had the pleasure of getting to preview Kardur’s Vicious Return on Twitter yesterday and today I wanted to dive a little deeper into how this powerful Saga can be used.
I've got a nice Kaldheim preview today (thanks to WotC for that!) – it's a vicious one, and Sagas are the best-designed card type in the past 10 years. pic.twitter.com/43ufnvcNb2
— Luis Scott-Vargas (@lsv) January 11, 2021
Kardur’s Vicious Return lives up to its name (in multiple ways), so let’s start by taking a look at what each chapter tells us.
Sacrificing a creature to deal three to anything is powerful, though it does require some effort to make great. In order for this to be awesome, you’ll want a good amount of fodder – cheap creatures that you don’t mind tossing at whatever target strikes your fancy. Three is enough damage to make this well worth it, so let’s see what some good candidates are.
There are more I’m sure, but these are a great start and it’s clear that Kardur has plenty of great options. You don’t have to go nuts to make this mode work, either – as long as you have eight-ish creatures that are good to sacrifice and a bunch more that are just okay, you’ll get good value. For example, a RB aggro deck that has four Fireblade Charger, four Archfiend’s Vessel and a random assortment of cheap creatures will be more than fine.
Both players discarding seems symmetrical, but it isn’t for a few reasons. The first is that you chose to play this card, which means you can time it to either have no cards in hand or nothing you care about discarding. Secondly, you can discard a huge monster in order to bring it back in chapter three, which is a mondo-combo built in to Kardur’s Vicious Return. Plus, some of the cards you naturally want to play anyway are good to discard, like Woe Strider or Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger.
Bringing back a creature with a +1/+1 counter and haste can be a beating. You don’t need to bring back anything huge to get good value, though if you do have something large, the more the better.
There are a couple ways you could approach this chapter, the most natural being to just count on bringing back a creature you’d play normally. For example, that RB aggro deck I mentioned earlier – it wouldn’t jam random six drops to bring back but would be happy with a three or four cost threat.
You could also lean into the reanimator theme and include some higher-cost creatures than normal, though I wouldn’t go nuts here. I’m thinking of things like Goldspan Dragon or Tectonic Giant more than Drakuseth, Maw of Flames or the like. In particular, looking for creatures with good attack triggers that don’t have haste is a great start, with Tectonic Giant being a great example (and there’s even a Giant theme in Kaldheim, so it may get extra value).
Kardur’s Vicious Return is a strong card that has some interesting build-around elements. It’s one of the kinds of cards I love when pulled off correctly, as it’s powerful enough to play in decks that aren’t trying to maximize it while having really sweet dream for decks that are. This is gonna be a good one and I look forward to seeing how it plays out.