Hello happy folks! I hope your day and week and month and year and life are all doing well!
Are you excited about Kaldheim? I am! I have something special for you... I have not looked at any card in the spoiler until the time when I am writing this article, after the update on Thursday, January 14. Why have I held off? Great question!
I want to randomly select ten cards in the spoiler and unpack them at the same time as I read them for the first time...how cool would that be? I did a random top ten from the Commander Legends spoiler twice while they were unpacking it and really enjoyed it, and felt it would be cooler if I could do it with that added tension of not having seen the card before!
Let's get started!
There are 168 cards! I'll use random.org.
What card is that?
#10. Seize the Spoils
Let's get started! Seize the Spoils is a draw variant of the kind Red gets, like Honor the God-Pharaoh, Pirate's Pillage and Thrill of Possibility. This costs three mana and nets you one Treasure token instead of Pirate's Pillage's two, but with an extra mana up front. Seize the Spoils is probably the better card. It's also great for EDH decks looking to cast Dargo, the Shipwrecker for the cheap as it can kill in three hits with its 7/5 trampling body. It gives you an artifact for sacrificing to Goblin Welder or Daretti, Scrap Savant. It's a very synergetic card and it'll serve the role of discarding to the graveyard.
Okay what's next?
#9. Giant's Amulet
Hello, Equipment fans! I hope you are having a rocktastic day today! This bad boy is solid on its own without the pseudo-kicker as you can get hexproof on untapped dorks and a toughness boost for one mana on the front side and two on the equip side, both of which are quick. I could see this as a player in a toughness-matters Commander brew like Arcades, the Strategist. It's great in pro-Wizard and pro-Giant brews that seek to kick it and make a token that fits their theme. It's also a Wizard for your party deck. I also like it in midrange as you get a 4/5 semi-hexproof creature that leaves the Amulet behind. Good stuff folks!
#8. Vega, the Watcher
Vega is a clever Bird. Spirit. Thing. As you can see, this will draw cards as you cast spells from other than your hand. The first place that leaps to mind is the graveyard with cards like flashback and jump-start. Or retrace, which will let you use it more than once per spell. Vega is Wind Drake sized and costed, so you'll get it out early. Note that there are also effects that will cast spells from your exile zone as well, like suspend. You might even find some that will cast effects from your library. Don't sleep on Vega!
#7. Berg Strider
This is our second Giant Wizard. Is that a thing in this set? Are all Giants Wizards? Or vice versa? This is a fat common sitting at 4/4 for 5 mana, larger than our normal Wizards, which is good for a Wizard deck as you'll net better dorks. On arrival to the party, you can tap a dork or artifact easily enough. And if you spent a snow mana on its cost, then it's a slow untap effect not unlike other common effects in the color like Frost Lynx. It's on curve and loves a Snow-Covered Island or Mountain deck. You could toss it into a lot of Wizard decks and just convert the basics to cover snow.
#6. Draugr's Helm
Oh, another uncommon Equipment in what is clearly a cycle! Awesome possum! With this bad boy you are netting a cheaper piece with a great boost to power, toughness, and menace, not my favorite form of evasion but any port in a storm. You can kick it so you get a 4/4 Zombie with menace for five, which isn't the worst thing I've ever seen. You'll want that because the equip cost on this one is a bit wonky. Four mana? But getting the free equip for one less mana on arrival? Feels like a plan. Helm away my friends, Helm away!
Top five time! Next?
#5. Toralf, God of Fury
Ooooh! We got a God! God Spotters Anonymous strikes again. Nice stuff! I like Toralf, God of Fury. He's fun. Note that he turns burn like Lightning Bolt into burn like Arc Lightning. How? Shoot a body with 1 toughness. Now send that extra two damage to a body with 2 toughness and it dies as well. It's great for bigger pingers like Kamahl, Pit Fighter. I like it as a support card in a burn deck, similar to Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. I like it on its own. And oh yes, that Hammer of Delightful Joy? Pretty good right? It'll throw itself at a target for a Lightning Bolt worth of damage and then bounce back to your hand and you can drop the card as the God if you prefer. This duo also works well together!
#4. Hailstorm Valkyrie
Apparently you have Wizards outside of Giants! After White, the color with the most Angels is Black so it's no surprise that there is one here. This is great for Angel or Wizards decks, although snow mana means you cannot just slide into them without some alterations to the mana base. The fact that it has both flying and trample in mono-Black is nasty good on a Frozen Shade pump effect. You can also use it in decks with more than one color since it needs only Snow to pump. It's a strong uncommon for Limited on its own as a result, and I like it.
#3. Snakeskin Veil
I like this card in a few contexts. First, it's a cheap way to protect a key dork from targeted removal on the cheap. Secondly, it's an instant combat trick that can win a key battle and provide card advantage and kill by killing a foe. Finally, it's gives a permanent boost that plays well in +1/+1 counter themes. It's a fun card for Limited and has three valuable uses. That enhances its value as it's less likely to be a dead draw. For example, it's better on an early infect dork than Giant Growth.
#2. Smashing Success
This is a Demolish that encourages you to hit an artifact with the temptation of Treasure coming. But it's there for lands as well. We've already talked of Treasure synergies and they'll count for this instant as well, which is better than Demolish as its instant land destruction. Useful.
And what's my #1?
#47. We had #46 in the list already so that one is...
#1. Dread Rider
Three commons in a row! It's in the right three colors for a Knight build, although most Spirits want to be in Blue and White. You can tap some mana and this big 3/7 for six mana and exile a critter from your graveyard along with life loss. It's slow and expensive and unlike the first two in this sequence, it's not as good here for the cost and size. There are times when it will win you the game and turn dead bodies into a Lightning Bolt to one's face.
So...what did you think of my article? Did you like it? Any thoughts that resonated with yours? Anything I missed? Just let me know!