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Kaldheim Limited Set Review: Black and Red

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Welcome to Day 2 of our Kaldheim Limited Set Review. I am excited to see what Norse flavor Black and Red will bring us today!

This article is the second of four, and in it I will be evaluating every Black and Red card and scoring them on a scale of 1-5. These ratings are purely based on Limited formats and have no bearing on Constructed play. I would also like to note these ratings are based on how I believe the card will perform in an AVERAGE Sealed or Draft deck. Often this means a lower score for cards with great potential in a highly synergistic deck.

Rating - Explanation

1 - Ideally not making the cut in any of my Limited decks.

2 - Not good, but a necessity for curve filling and smoothing out draws.

3 - Value cards I am happy to fill my deck with.

4 - Cards to get excited about and Premium Removal.

5 - Reserved for cards that will win the game if left

Black

Blood on the Snow
Blood on the Snow - 3 - Casting this for 6 mana is a bit expensive for a board clear, but it is flexible and has a huge upside in the snow deck. Most decks are fine with playing this, but I really only want it when I am in the snow business.
Bloodsky Berserker
Bloodsky Berserker - 3 - The card is great! This will become a good threat in any deck. If given the time to build around it with extra card draw and cheap spells it becomes amazing. Excited to play this in any Black deck.
Burning-Rune Demon
Burning-Rune Demon - 4.5 - Cards that offer advantage are always great, and this one just so happens to come attached to a giant flying demon that will kill them. Be careful tossing your best card into the graveyard to get the second best card for free. I like playing this and getting two medium+ power cards. What cards you pick will always be situational.
Crippling Fear
Crippling Fear - 3.5 - This requires a bit of set up to get the most value out of it. At worst, it is a good card that will stop an aggressive deck in its tracks, and at its best it's a one-sided wrath. I am always playing this card - the more creature synergy the better.
Deathknell Berserker
Deathknell Berserker - 2.5 - A slightly better bear. It is not going to always get a bonus token, but when it does it is a really nice bonus. This looks really good in an aggressive White/Black deck with cards like Battershield Warrior and Codespell Cleric.
Demonic Gifts
Demonic Gifts - 2 - Not excited to play this card, but it's fine if you are short on playables. I also might consider boarding this in to protect two or more game winning bombs if my opponent shows a fair amount of removal spells.
Dogged Pursuit
Dogged Pursuit - 2 - People often underrate this type of effect. I gave this card a two because a lot of decks cannot support it by taking the turn needed to cast it, but it is a card that can be great in more aggressive decks. This is by far one of the hardest cards to explain when you should and should not use it.
Draugr Necromancer
Draugr Necromancer - 4.5 - The longer this is left on the field, the more value it will generate. It is also a large body for a good mana cost. There is nothing I don't like about this card. 10/10 and definitely something to consider splashing.
Draugr Recruiter
Draugr Recruiter - 3 - This is a filler card with some solid late game upside. Getting to trade and activate this one time is enough value to make it worth running. Anytime the Boast ability gets activated more than once it is a game changer.
Draugr's Helm
Draugr's Helm - 2.5 - All of the creature equipments are worth playing. Always cast it for the creature cost because the equipment itself is just too expensive for what you get.
Dread Rider
Dread Rider - 2 - This creature is too expensive to get excited about playing. Three damage per creature you can exile is a lot, so if you are short on playables and have no other large creatures you can add this for a little reach.
Dream Devourer
Dream Devourer - 3 - Playable in just about every deck with a ton of upside. The more cards that keep your hand full the better. Making all cards more flexible to cast and help smooth out draws by allowing Foretell with extra mana. There is no reason not to play this card.
Duskwielder
Duskwielder - 1 - The creature itself has a very low impact on the board. It also has a weak Boast ability that is not likely to get activated more than once. With some big Elf payoff cards it might be worth running. MIGHT being the key word.
Elderfang Disciple
Elderfang Disciple - 2.5 - Always happy to have cards like it in the 2-drop slot. They offer an overall card advantage and help stall out against a more aggressive deck if needed. They also make great sacrifice targets if needed.
Eradicator Valkyrie
Eradicator Valkyrie - 4.5 - This is a really big flier for 4 mana. Lifelink also makes it impossible for a deck that goes taller to win in a race. The Boast ability is also really strong in a deck with expendable creatures like Elderfang Disciple.
Feed the Serpent
Feed the Serpent - 4 - This removal is powerful for a common. 4 mana to exile a creature at instant speed is a great rate. The double Black casting cost does mean it is not removal that can be splashed.
Grim Draugr
Grim Draugr - 2.5 - Without snow mana this is going to be cut from most decks, but with even a few snow lands it can be a nice bonus to have a 4/2 menace mid to late game. Generic filler with some upside.
Hailstorm Valkyrie
Hailstorm Valkyrie - 1 / 3.5 - Without having 8+ snow lands this really isn't worth the cost. The stats on its own just don't hold up. The average deck will not want to play this card.
Haunting Voyage
Haunting Voyage - 3 - The creature type overlap in the set is really heavy, so finding two targets for this will not be hard. If the deck has a higher-than-average creature synergy this card becomes nuts when cast for the Foretell cost.
Infernal Pet
Infernal Pet - 3 - I love everything about this card. It is a bit expensive for the base stats, but it grows really fast in any deck. Anything after the 1st trigger is just free value. Also...it is cute.
Jarl of the Forsaken
Jarl of the Forsaken - 3 - Being able to Foretell Jarl means the mana restrictions attached to cards like this are significantly decreased. Definitely a great card to run at common rarity.
Karfell Kennel-Master
Karfell Kennel-Master - 2.5 - I rated this a bit lower than I wanted to because it does have to have creatures on the battlefield to really get value out of it. It is a decent size body on its own - though a bit pricey. This really shines when the deck has 15+ creatures.
Koma's Faithful
Koma's Faithful - 2 - A bit expensive for a 3/1, and I am typically not a huge fan of them to begin with. Lifelink does help trigger a few great cards in White, so it has higher priority when playing Orzhov.
Poison the Cup
Poison the Cup - 4 - Black decks want to play as many of these as they can get. This is 1st pickable removal. I would even splash Poison the Cup considering the Foretell cost removes the double Black requirement.
Priest of the Haunted Edge
Priest of the Haunted Edge - 1 - Even the snow decks would have to be really desperate to run this card.
Raise the Draugr
Raise the Draugr - 3 - With the amount of creature type overlap in this set it will be possible for any deck to get two creatures back with this. Raise the Draugr is just really cheap card advantage. Cheap enough to draw early and strong enough to draw late.
Return Upon the Tide
Return Upon the Tide - 1.5 - 5 mana is far too expensive for what it does. It is also unlikely that an elf will be the ideal target for this card. Elves are often too small for recursion effects.
Rise of the Dread Marn
Rise of the Dread Marn - 4 - Keep in mind this counts an opponent's creatures that are killed as well. The average is good and it had HUGE upside for games with lager boards. I can't wait to get into a big 5v5 combat and cast this!
Rune of Mortality
Rune of Mortality - 2 - All of the runes are playable because they replace themselves. Ideally, I would want some synergy to consider this, but it's fine if you have room for it.
Skemfar Avenger
Skemfar Avenger - 3 - This card is great in any deck. I can't see any deck not having at least 2+ triggers for this, and that is enough to make it worth running. If you have time to build around it this becomes nuts.
Skemfar Shadowsage
Skemfar Shadowsage - 2.5 - It is a decent size body for the cost. I am a bit disappointed that its ability isn't just a drain. That might be too strong in Standard though.
Skull Raid
Skull Raid - 3 - Without Foretell this card would be unplayable at 4 mana, but it gives the flexibility to spend extra mana as a down payment. By allowing you to draw if an opponent cannot discard it is removing a lot of the downside to cards like Mind Rot that end up being such horrible draws mid to late game. It is expensive so I doubt you want more than one.
Tergrid's Shadow
Tergrid's Shadow - 3 - The ceiling on this card is much higher. Setting the board up to get A+ value won't be easy. Aggressive trading and holding back creatures is one way to do it. Another is playing cards like Elderfang Disciple or token generators.
Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire
Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire - 3.5 - A 3-mana 2/3 with Deathtouch is already decent value. The Boast is a bit awkward because the value it brings is based on the value of the cards in the deck. If this is your best card it might not be worth spending turns and mana to not gain a card advantage. This card's value goes up the better the deck is.
Vengeful Reaper
Vengeful Reaper - 3.5 - This is extremely powerful for an uncommon. It has a flexible casting cost and a ton of key words. There is nothing not to love about this card and I am excited to play as many as I can.
Village Rites
Village Rites - 2 - Getting to cast this at instant speed means it has a fair amount of flexibility. It can mitigate removal spells and pairs nicely with smaller creatures like Elderfang Disciple that got most of its value entering the battlefield.
Weigh Down
Weigh Down - 3 - I always love these cheap removal spells. They allow for early removal against more aggressive decks as well the ability to remove blockers and progress the board and become the more aggressive deck. Love the flexibility.
Withercrown
Withercrown - 2 - This removal might be a bit awkward, but it is better than nothing if the deck needs it. If the deck has better options, I would still pick these up for the sideboard to bring in against aggressive decks where cheaper removal will be more impactful.

Top 3 Black Commons:

  1. Feed the Serpent
  2. Weigh Down
  3. Infernal Pet

Red

Arni Brokenbrow
Arni Brokenbrow - 3.5 - Playing Arni is always fine. He is a 3-mana 3/3 haste and that is definitely worth playing. With extra mana he becomes a 4/3 using his own power, and there is even more upside if you happen to have larger creatures on the board. Not a bomb rare, but solid in any Red deck.
Axgard Cavalry
Axgard Cavalry - 2.5 - This is a bear with a decent amount of upside. Normally I am not a fan of this type of ability because it is attached to a small or overpriced creature, but this literally has no downside. This is a 2-drop I am happy to play.
Basalt Ravager
Basalt Ravager - 3 - With all of the creature type overlap in the format this is easily going to get 2-3 damage. I also love that this is a cheaper Giant to help trigger cards like Squash. The value of this goes up the more creatures you have that share a type.
Breakneck Berserker
Breakneck Berserker - 2.5 - This is fine. The format does have a lot of strong 2-drops, so it is likely to trade down, but I am still playing this in any aggressive deck.
Calamity Bearer
Calamity Bearer - 3.5 - Getting a 6/4 for 4 mana is a good deal on its own. The more Giants the deck as the better this gets. It is also a cheap Giant to cast Squash! This can easily become a 4.5 in the right deck.
Cinderheart Giant
Cinderheart Giant - 2 - A bit expensive in a format with so much aggressive synergy. If you are light on playables or need Giants, it's a fine filler card.
Craven Hulk
Craven Hulk - 3 - Great stats for the mana cost. This is an ideal card for any aggressive deck, but it is getting played in any Red deck. It actually blocks really well with a friend and without it I would just try to race them - This is big for 4 mana.
Crush the Weak
Crush the Weak - 2 - These cards are always fine. Only being able to cast this at sorcery speed means it is far less flexible than I would like. This is likely to be a sideboard card in most of my decks unless all my creatures are X/3s.
Demon Bolt
Demon Bolt - 4 - Top tier removal. Getting to foretell it adds flexibility to an already powerful card. I am excited to draft as many of these as I can.
Doomskar Titan
Doomskar Titan - 3 - A fine creature in any Red deck, but it really shines in decks with 15+ creatures. Keep in mind that he counts himself, so with 2 other creatures on the field it is an added 7 damage coming that an opponent was not expecting.
Dragonkin Berserker
Dragonkin Berserker - 4 - 2-drops that have late game options are always amazing. It fills out a curve and creates huge threats. I want to live in a world where I activate this more than once - Rune of Flight?
Dual Strike
Dual Strike - 1.5 - These cards always seem fun to play, but they never provide enough value to justify it. A deck needs 5+ cheap premium spells to justify it and if the deck has that, you don't need this. Better off adding a threat.
Dwarven Hammer
Dwarven Hammer - 2.5 - Always creating a creature with these spells but happy to play them. They offer a slightly overpriced creature that leaves decent value on the board for later in the game.
Dwarven Reinforcements
Dwarven Reinforcements - 2 - Not excited to run this at sorcery speed. Filler at best if the deck is short on playables. Likely to make the cut in Sealed but not Draft.
Fearless Liberator
Fearless Liberator - 2.5 - If this trades when creating the extra token it is getting a fair amount of value. Its score goes up with creature type synergies and with cards that increase how many times he is likely to Boast.
Fearless Pup
Fearless Pup - 1.5 - Extremely aggressive. Not quite impactful enough to make it into most decks. The Boast ability is just too expensive.
Frenzied Raider
Frenzied Raider - 3 - This card seems great if you can build around it. Every deck is likely to have some Boast so it is worth playing, but it has a ton of upside. In the right deck, this will become a huge threat really quickly.
Frost Bit
Frost Bite - 3.5 - At its worst it's a Shock. Shock is a 2-3 based on the set. The snow deck makes this a Lightning Bolt... Yes please.
Goldspan Dragon
Goldspan Dragon - 4.5 - This is a Limited bomb that will end games quickly if left unanswered. We also see an option for Red to splash, so picking this early means you can look for cards like Vault Robber and splash all the goodies.
Hagi Mob
Hagi Mob - 3 - This is a great curve topper for a common. Is a decent body for the cost and provides a bit of reach when needed. With 4 toughness it is not unlikely to get to Boast this multiple times.
Immersturm Raider
Immersturm Raider - 2.5 - I actually like these types of cards a fair amount. It is a 2-drop with a relevant creature type. It also has a decent perk when drawn late. This negates the downside of drawing 2-drops later in the game - it is now a body that redraws a land.
Magda, Brazen Outlaw
Magda, Brazen Outlaw - 3 - On her own she doesn't do much, but it won't take a lot to get great value out of her. She helps aggressive decks while ramping and fixing mana. Even without many Dwarves she is worth running.
Open the Omenpaths
Open the Omenpaths - 1 - This card is flexible, but it doesn't do anything well enough to make it worth playing. There is no deck that wants to play this card.
Provoke the Trolls
Provoke the Trolls - 3 - A bit expensive for 3 damage, but it is instant speed removal. It is also a bit flexible and can be used as a pump spell on bigger creatures. It won't happen often, but I've seen it happen with cards like Auger Spree a fair amount. Make sure you cast it after blocks and not into open mana!
Quakebringer
Quakebringer - 4.5 - The graveyard ability makes me really high on this card. It turns all Giants into threats that must be answered. There are enough cheap Giants in the format to make it extremely hard to deal with even after the original threat is dealt with.
Reckless Crew
Reckless Crew - 1 - There just aren't enough Vehicles worth playing in the set to make this a playable card. It is an interesting card, but it just isn't Limited playable.
Run Amok
Run Amok - 3 - Run Amok is a combat trick I am always happy to play in any creature based deck. It is a hard combat trick to play around and can close out games quickly. There is some risk, but it is a risk any aggressive deck is happy to take.
Rune of Speed
Rune of Speed - 2 - I think this is my least favorite of the Rune cycle. It replaces itself, so it isn't bad, but it isn't exactly impactful either. Tormentor's Helm might make this a fun card to run because the equip cost is so cheap. Ideally this won't make the cut.
Seize the Spoils
Seize the Spoils - 2 - This is always a fine card that gets cut in about half of decks. I do like that it can help fix if you have something worth splashing. Most decks that run this want to pitch lands to refill their hand, so I wouldn't consider this a ramp spell.
Shackles of Treachery
Shackles of Treachery - 2 - Likely this is just a normal Act of Treason. It is unlikely to get any additional value out of its second condition, but it doesn't hurt to have it! I am still only running this in a deck that has sacrifice outlets or is extremely aggressive.
Smashing Success
Smashing Success - 1 - Never playing this in my starting 40. Very few artifacts and will demand answers, but I am still looking to pick these up for the sideboard to destroy utility lands.
Squash
Squash - 4 - We see five-mana Red removal a lot with cards like Turn to Slag and they are always fine. This one is significantly better because it is easier to cast even without Giants and is instant speed. It kills everything at instant speed for two or 5 mana.
Tibalt's Trickery
Tibalt's Trickery - 1 - I am sure this will have some silly build around in Constructed, but it is not playable in Limited.
Tormentor's Helm
Tormentor's Helm - 1 / 3 - The equip cost is low enough that an aggressive deck will be able to get a lot of value out of this. It makes creatures a bit harder to deal with and puts an opponent on a clock in any go wide deck. I am only playing this in decks with 16+ creatures and token generators.
Tundra Fumarole
Tundra Fumarole - 3.5 - This is a great spell with or without the bonus snow ability. It is an efficient removal spell that lost a bit of rating for being sorcery speed. I still plan to play it in any Red deck I can.
Tuskeri Firewalker
Tuskeri Firewalker - 3 - The Boast is cheap enough that it is not likely to affect your ability to play the exiled card. Do not be afraid to attack in and trade and use Boast - that is still great card advantage in an aggressive deck.
Vault Robber
Vault Robber - 2.5 - Filler stats if the deck needs 2-drops. Vault Robber isn't early game ramp because it takes a few turns to get creatures into the graveyard, it does however, help Red color fix... so the value goes way up if you have things worth splashing.

Top 3 Red Commons:

  1. Demon Bolt
  2. Squash
  3. Frost Bite

These articles are used for draft ratings on Untapped.gg, and because of this we will be updating them periodically with new information and insight. Comments and discussions help me improve the articles and provide the best information for both other readers and Untapped.gg. So please feel free to comment below and give me your thoughts.

See you tomorrow for Green, Lands and Artifacts!

Twitter: @MTGNerdGirl

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