With every set release, I always look forward to analysing new cards and how they work with existing cards, Kaldheim has been no exception.

Let’s dive in:


Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter

As Valki, God of Lies you can take your opponent’s creature and the following turn it can become a copy of what you took. The dream scenario would be to take Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, who has an overloaded attack trigger and trigger it on turn 3.

Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter possesses immense power as 7 mana Planeswalker. Entering with an Emblem and gaining card advantage with its +2 ability, removal for it’s -3 ability and an ultimate that generally ends the game in your favour.

Now, here’s the exciting part. Barring a change in the rules, the Cascade mechanic works beneficially with Valki/Tibalt. If Valki is the card you Cascade into, it’s exiled and you can choose to cast Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter for free. 

This works because Valki is the face-up card with a converted mana cost of 2 and Cascade exiles the spell and gives you the choice to cast the card you exiled for free, allowing you to choose Tibalt.

In Modern, where Bloodbraid Elf is a staple in Jund, you could be seeing a Tibalt as early as Turn 4! Witch’s Cottage (which is in the same cycle as Mystic Sanctuary) could be used to set up the Cascade.

Bring to Light works similarly to Cascade, exiling the card and allowing you to choose which side to cast. So a Bring to Light for 2 can also bring out a Tibalt.

In Pioneer, Niv to Light is a deck that utilises Bring to Light to find Niv-Mizzet Reborn and now has the option to find a Tibalt as well.


Goldspan Dragon

Including Goldspan Dragon, there are currently 38 cards in Magic that make Treasure tokens. With cards like Smothering Tithe, Hullbreacher and Dockside Extortionist potentially creating a large number of Treasure Tokens, the ability to double the mana produced can prove very powerful.

A 5 mana 4/4 flier with Haste is great by itself, but the ability to make 2 mana back right away from attacking and more every time it’s the target of a spell presents you with options. Being the target of a removal spell and generating two mana gives you an opportunity to counter the spell with a Negate.

Goldspan Dragon does include your own spells, so a 1 mana spell targeting it can net you extra mana. With a card that draws, it could be the centrepiece to a combo.


Tibalt’s Trickery

The first 3 words in the text box are unusual for a red spell, countering spells is something a blue spell does not a red one. But the following ability get’s a bit wacky and is potentially powerful. Not ideal for targeting an opponent’s spell, as the spell flipped could be more problematic than the one countered unless you had a Teferi, Time Raveler in play, which would remove the downside.

There has been early speculation of a cheesy deck that uses Tibalt’s Trickery to cheat an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play. The most advanced version that I have seen involves 4 Violent Outbursts, 1 Tibalt’s Trickery, 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and 52 lands that generate red and green mana. The concept is simple, mulligan until you have a Violent Outburst in hand and cast it on turn 3. This will Cascade into Tibalt’s Trickery while Violent Outburst is on the stack, Tibalt’s Trickery will counter the Violent Outburst and flip into Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. There you have a consistent turn 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, but that is all you have.


Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider

The printing of Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider signifies the return of Phyrexians in the story or potentially revisiting the plane of New Phyrexia sometime in the future. Where the Phyrexians go, chaos normally ensues.

Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is a creature that I see being a future powerhouse in Commander. Its ability to double counters that you would put on a permanent or player is reminiscent of Doubling Season. However, this doesn’t have the same downside of inheriting double the amount of -1/-1 counters that may arise with Doubling Season.

Like Doubling Season it doubles the number of Loyalty Counters Planeswalkers enter the battlefield with, letting some Planeswalkers use their ultimate ability the turn it comes into play!

Vorinclex’s other ability to halve the number of counters your opponents would put on permanents or players could potentially hinder various counter-based strategies. To my understanding, this would effectively pause any Sagas your opponent’s control as they are unable to add more Lore Counters which in turn means they cannot activate any more abilities of the Saga.


Fynn, the Fangbearer

Speaking of Phyrexians, this set also sees the return of Poison Counters. A player with 10 Poison Counters loses the game. We last saw the ability to give Poison Counters with Infect creatures from the Scars of Mirrodin Block.

Fynn gives your deathtouch creatures the ability to apply 2 Poison Counters for each one that deals combat damage, this means each successful attack is 20% of the damage required to win the game.

Fynn has lethal synergy with Hornet Queen in Commander. A Hornet Queen followed by Fynn can potentially finish a player in one turn, with Hornet Queen creating 4 other Deathtouch fliers and Fynn applying 2 Poison Counters per insect that connects. If they all connect, 10 poison counters and an opponent is eliminated!


The World Tree

There are currently 35 God cards in Magic, excluding the 12 Gods currently spoiled for Kaldheim. The World Tree could lead to a tribal God Commander deck, led by Karona, the False God (ironic right?) or Morophon, the Boundless.

If all Gods were put into this deck with The World Tree, it would put at least 30 God creatures into play (even the Theros ones as there will be enough Devotion). With Purphoros, God of the Forge being one of the Gods put into play, it will see the other Gods enter the battlefield and deal about 60 damage to each opponent, creating a “God Bomb”. This can also be replicated with a Warstorm Surge ability or granting all your creatures Haste.


Mystic Reflection

Mystic Reflection features the new Foretell mechanic, exiling the spell from your hand for 2 generic mana and casting it for its Foretell cost in a future turn. This can lead to some surprising effects later in the game, like this one. 

Mystic Reflection works on any non-legendary creatures, yours or your opponents. It synergises well with creatures that create tokens like Avenger of Zendikar or Master of Waves.

Here’s how it works: put Avenger of Zendikar into play and before the Plant tokens enter the battlefield, cast Mystic Reflection targeting Avenger of Zendikar. Assuming you have 7 lands, you will put 7 Plant tokens into play which will all become Avengers of Zendikar. Each Avenger of Zendikar will then put 7 Plant tokens into play for a total of 49 Plants and 8 Avengers of Zendikar. A land being put into play afterwards will trigger all 8 Avengers and put 8 +1/+1 counters on each Plant token, creating an army of large plants.

It works similarly with Master of Waves, say you have a 4 devotion to blue (4 blue mana symbols among permanents you control), cast Mystic Reflection targeting Master of Waves before the 4 blue Elemental tokens enter the battlefield, this will create 4 more Master of Waves. Each Master of Waves will now put 8 blue Elemental tokens onto the battlefield as the copies of Master of Waves increases your devotion to blue to 8. This will put 32 blue Elemental tokens onto the battlefield and result in 5 Master of Waves, creating an army of 6/5 blue Elemental tokens.

Mystic Reflection synergies extremely well with token creators and creatures that buff them. I look forward to adding these to my Maelstrom Wanderer deck.


That concludes my initial thoughts for Kaldheim, hopefully, there was a synergy that you can utilise in your deck or look forward to building around!

Kaldheim is shaping up to be an exciting set for both limited and constructed, giving me Dominaria and Theros vibes. I’m certainly looking forward to playing prerelease on the 29th of January!


About the author

Kuang Wu has played Magic since the original Zendikar set. Qualifying for both Player’s Tours in 2020 and finishing 10th at Grand Prix Brisbane in 2017. He primarily plays Modern at Good Games Central and Town Hall.

You can follow him @kuangfupanda on Twitter.