Hello, my friends. Derrick "BadMoonMTG" York here again for Cardsphere. Now that the Kaldheim previews have all been revealed, I'd like to take a look at what we've got to work with in Standard. I'm going to go color-by-color with an eye toward brewing new decks, rather than updating current lists. Let's see what I've found.
When I look through what White is getting in this set, I'm a little disappointed. I don't see any of the good removal I was hoping for. What I do see is
Righteous Valkyrie and the potential it offers. For 2W we get a 2/4 Flying Angel Cleric. Those are decent stats for a 3-drop. The real fun starts when you look at the two abilities the Valkyrie brings to the table.
First, if another Angel or Cleric enters the battlefield under your control, you gain life equal to that creature's toughness. Lifegain is not my favorite payoff, on its own, so it's a good thing it has company this time.
Righteous Valkyrie also gives +2/+2 to your whole team, if you have at least 7 more life than your starting total. That's the kind of payoff that I'm looking for.
Righteous Valkyrie could work as the lynchpin of a tribal strategy. We have some interesting Angels in the upcoming Standard environment.
Youthful Valkyrie and
Bloodline Pretender can fill in the low end of the curve. We have access to
Legion Angel which finds more of itself. At the top of the curve, we have
Baneslayer Angel and
Angel of Destiny. If Righteous Valkyrie and Angel of Destiny are both on the field, we aren't going to have any trouble getting to 35 life to trigger Angel of Destiny's ability to make our opponent lose the game.
I think this is a potentially viable deck in mono-White, but I am more comfortable with this being a White/Black deck to ensure access to better removal options.
For our Blue card, we're going to look at
Cosima, God of the Voyage // The Omenkeel. On the front side, Cosima has the ability to exile themself on your upkeep. As long as they are exiled, you may put a voyage counter on them every time you play a land. If you choose not to put a counter on them, they instead return from exile with +1/+1 counters equal to the number of voyage counters on them. You also draw that many cards. Cosima starts as a 2/4, so a few turns in exile can make them a decent threat, as well as drawing more fuel for you.
On the other side of Cosima is The Omenkeel, a 3/3 Vehicle with Crew 1. That is already good enough to play in most situations. The Omenkeel also says whenever a Vehicle you control deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles that many cards from the top of their deck. While those cards are exiled, you may play lands from among them.
Of the two, I think I prefer the Omenkeel side of the card. It's incredibly aggressive, provides lands so you are less likely to miss a land drop, and it doesn't take much to get it working. What a deck built around this card looks like is less clear than it was with
Righteous Valkyrie. Perhaps it could feature in a Landfall build with
Maja, Bretagard Protector, who makes tokens whenever you play a land. There are some synergies there.
Let's talk about
Draugr Necromancer. A 4/4 Zombie Cleric for 3B, this Draugr wants our opponents creatures to die. If a nontoken creature an opponent controls would die, exile that card with an ice counter on it instead. This is a great ability to have in the same Standard as the Escape mechanic. It gets even better, though.
Draugr Necromancer says you may cast spells from among cards in exile your opponents own with ice counters on them, and you may spend mana from snow sources as though it were mana of any color to cast those spells.
So how do we best leverage this ability? We need a way to kill lots of our opponent's creatures without losing the Draugr, so traditional board wipes won't work. Thankfully,
Blood on the Snow can wipe the board and then reanimate
Draugr Necromancer, which is a great plan. We also have access to
Crippling Fear, which gives -3/-3 to all creatures except the type of our choice. We can choose either Zombies or Clerics to spare the Necromancer, and hopefully make all of our opponent's current threats into our future threats.
Another card to consider, if we're already planning to wipe the board, is
Rise of the Dread Marn. If we can play this Instant we replace all the non-token creatures that died this turn with 2/2 Zombie tokens. This could end the game on the spot.
I see this as a Zombie tribal deck in either Mono-Black or Black/Blue. If you're going to play
Crippling Fear, then you definitely need to stick to a single tribe.
We've talked about a few tribal strategies so far, so how about two tribes for the price of one? Enter
Magda, Brazen Outlaw, hero of Dwarves and summoner of Dragons. Let's break down the abilities that Magda is packing.
Magda helps out our other Dwarves by giving them each +1/+0. This boost to power makes it more likely that our Dwarves can attack profitably. This is exactly what we want, because Magda creates a Treasure token whenever a Dwarf we control becomes tapped.
Now that we are generating Treasure, what are we planning to do with it? Well, the easiest way is to crack them for mana and play larger threats. We could cast
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell or
Goldspan Dragon for lots of value. Alternatively,
Magda, Brazen Outlaw can search up an Artifact or Dragon from our deck and put it on the battlefield, all for the low price of 5 Treasures.
Imagine amassing an army of
Axgard Cavalry, and
Rimrock Knight // Boulder Rush, then attacking with them and creating enough Treasure tokens for Magda to summon a
Terror of Mount Velus and giving your whole team Double Strike at Instant-speed.
Mono-Red is going to have everything this deck needs, so I don't believe a second color will be necessary.
There are a lot of cards in Green worthy of a spot in this article but, of all the options,
Fynn, the Fangbearer is the one that puts the biggest smile on my face. Fynn is a 1/3 with Deathtouch, which doesn't seem like much. However, he says that whenever a creature we control with Deathtouch deals combat damage to a player, that player gets 2 Poison counters. It doesn't matter if you only do a single point of damage, and if a player gets to 10 Poison, it's game over.
So let's see what a Deathtouch "tribal" deck would look like. Looking over the list of Deathtouch creatures in Kaldheim Standard, there's some really good news. There are a large number of creatures that cost 3 or less mana, which means this can be a very aggressive deck. We are going to need to be in Green/Black for all the best options, but that isn't too big of a problem.
The most notable cards to go in the deck with
Fynn, the Fangbearer include
Nighthawk Scavenger, and
Questing Beast. These can help close out the game in short order. You could also look at adding
Chevill, Bane of Monsters for potential card draw and
Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire to search up useful cards with their Boast ability.
For my multicolor offering, we're looking at Red/Black.
Kardur's Vicious Return is a Saga for 2BR. When it enters the battlefield you may sacrifice a creature to deal 3 damage to any target. That's good removal, if you need it, or just 3 damage to your opponent. On your next turn, it makes each player discard a card. The turn after that, you get to return a creature from your graveyard to the battlefield. That creature gets a +1/+1 counter and Haste.
This is an entire reanimation combo on a single card. You get that little value on turn 1, fill your graveyard on turn 2, and on turn 3 you get to reanimate the best creature in your graveyard. Add in some self-mill from cards like
Eye Collector and
Mire Triton to fuel the strategy. If you do it right, you could end up with
Moraug, Fury of Akoum,
Demon of Loathing, or
Terror of Mount Velus on the battlefield for a small setup cost.
Of course, nothing says you have to stay in 2 colors. Adding in a little Green gives you the ability to Cycle
Titanoth Rex to easily get it into the graveyard. Who doesn't want a 12/12 with Trample and Haste?
That's all I have room for, but there are a ton of cards in Kaldheim that have the potential to anchor a Standard deck. What card in the set has you brewing? Let me know, and join me next time when I will be dropping a fully functional brew in Kaldheim Standard.