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Kaldheim Preview Highlight: The Return of Snow Lands

It’s been 15 years since Snow Lands were last legal in Standard, but with the release of Kaldheim, basics are getting an upgrade once more!

What does this mean? It means that you’ll be able to add any amount of snow-covered lands in your Standard decks. In Limited however, you’ll still be limited to the ones you draft, in the same way Modern Horizons worked.

Snow-covered lands are heavily played in Legacy and it’s basically always correct to play them over regular basics, even if you don’t have anything Snow related. Just pretending that you’re some sort of snow control deck makes them worth it.

I’m actively looking forward to an effect that punishes a player who’s choosing to play Snow-Covered Lands without adding any benefit to the deck’s strategy. I’d hate to make all my fancy basic lands obsolete in every format just because it adds a minimal advantage.

However, they didn’t stop at snow-covered basic lands, they went all the way with snow dual lands!

This is actually a breaking news for Pauper for a number of reasons:

  1. Skred decks in Pauper will get to play a dual land finally instead of Evolving Wilds. They’ll also have a smoother mana base and can look forward to hitting land drops that are snow-covered.
  2. Your Ice Tunnel will now be able to let you play Snuff Out for free (well, for four life), which you weren’t able to do previously with Dismal Backwater or similar lands.
  3. Farseek and other tutor effects will now be able to fix your mana base of multiple colors.

Outside of Pauper, having snow duals means a number of potential changes to other formats too:

  1. You can fetch an Ice Tunnel with a Polluted Delta. Previously, there were no budget duals that could be fetched, and at common, these certainly fit the bill. This also mean that you have an additional Watery Grave in your Dimir Commander deck.
  2. If you’re playing a Snow deck in Modern, you might want to replace a copy of Breeding Pool with Rimewood Falls to raise the snow count for your Ice-Fang Coatl. Remember: you’re able to fetch for these lands, although they’ll fight for the same slots as triomes and shocklands in older formats.

 

We’re only at the beginning of the spoiler season and Frost Bite is the only snow spell revealed so far. It’s a good replacement for Shock in snow-based control decks that want to aim it at creatures and planeswalkers rather than the opponent’s face. It’s not the most exciting spell but it’s certainly a sweet start for Kaldheim!

 

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