When a new set drops we're pretty busy at Cardsphere. We've got to collect ratings and design bot synergy rules for the draft simulator, get all the new cards into the system, and get some content out for everyone, too. Luckily, we're fortunate enough to work with a great team of creators and have an incredible user community, so when a new set drops, we have lots of opinions to rely upon.
When we do those picks, we ask people to choose the cards on whatever basis they want. Maybe it's power level in Commander, maybe it's a new keystone card for their cube, or maybe they just really love the art.
Even though I don't get to play much Pauper these days, I always keep an eye out for interesting commons for brewing.
Giant Ox makes me want to brew up a vehicles deck for my battle box. Whether or not anyone will find a Standard deck with
Colossal Plow remains to be seen. I'm rooting for it, because it's got to be one of the most unexpected things for a planeswalker to do in all of Magic. Opponent has fireballs, lightning bolts, and goblins. Me? I'm bringing big ass farming equipment to the fight.
I've always been a big fan of Changeling. I like the versatility in that it's often a means to extend a tribal deck beyond what's ordinarily available. Across formats,
Realmwalker slots in well to many Green tribal decks, whether they are old classics like Elves or Treefolk, or up-and-comers like Hydras and Oozes. In that Green's often got buckets of mana to spend, playing creatures off the top of your library yields significant advantages.
I always try and include one pick for flavor, and in Kaldheim, I've got to give it to
Scorn Effigy. Wayne Reynolds' art is fantastic, and the flavor text gives me chills. I am deathly afraid of mindless automotons, even if they are made from twigs and twine. I'm not sure how it fits in with the Norse flavor, but I like it so much, that's very easy to forgive. I'm also in the Foretell-positive camp, as I'm keen to see how these cards affect opponent choice in Limited play.
Kaldhiem has got me ready to jump back on Arena to play Standard, and of course as a Commander player to see what new staples this set brings to the forefront. Really excited about a lot of the mono black cards to either build a new Commander or jam them in my 99.
Tergrid, God of Fright
Tergrid, God of Fright // Tergrid's Lantern gets me excited. Many decks love to sacrifice permanents, and taking advantage of that by getting them under my control makes me happy. I’m probably building her as a commander and putting her in
Syr Konrad, the Grim in the 99. With Syr Konrad I love to make opponents sacrifice or mill, and getting all those cards under my control is straight value. When I build her as a commander I’ll focus on discarding and sacrificing to get that value.
Egon, God of Death
Modular dual face cards like
Egon, God of Death // Throne of Death are so good to help you have options, depending on what you need in that moment. This card is going to go in my Syr Konrad and/or Moldratha. Both of those commanders love to mill and get value off of that. My Syr Konrad uses
Mindcrank to trigger his ability and do one damage to each opponent. Having Thorn of Death to help mill at my upkeep increases the chances of hitting a creature card to trigger him. Then being able to exile milled cards I don’t need to help me find answers is great. Plus, if it’s a creature card leaving my graveyard it will also trigger Konrad. Egon being a big 6/6 deathtouch to help block threats is nice, and if I can’t exile two cards and have to sacrifice Egon, it’ll trigger Konrad and get me that card draw I usually need in mono black.
In Search of Greatness
In Search of Greatness is gonna be fun in Standard and Commander. Getting free permanents into play at your upkeep is always great value. If you can’t you get to scry 1. I only see the upsides to this card in any green deck
Kaldheim might make me build a Standard deck! I’m super excited about this set and with the return of snow permanents, tribal decks, poison counters, and my favorite creature type: Angels! What’s not to love? My Kaalia (Oops! All Angels) deck is gonna have a good time and Fynn has got me brewing up a nasty infect/deathtouch deck!
Fynn, the Fangbearer
Fynn, the Fangbearer is one of my favorite cards from the new set. I love my creature decks and killing my opponents with infect is even better. Fang makes it so that I only need to connect with five creatures with deathtouch in order to take my opponent out! He also only costs two mana so if he gets removed, I should be able to easily cast him again. The fact that he’s one colorless and one green means he’s easily splashed into my Samut deck for extra pain. That deck focuses on swinging big creatures that sometimes have deathtouch. Fynn would be a great addition to that deck because it just means I can focus my attacks more spread out to the Commander table.
Koll, the Forgemaster
Koll, the Forgemaster is an auto include in any equipment deck. Fortunately for me I have an
Akiri, Fearless Voyager deck that he will go right in. Boros is always lacking in the recursion department, especially when it comes to creatures. If we get board wiped it’s usually pretty devastating. Koll makes it so that we can at least keep those creatures to come back again for a Voltron beatdown!
Lastly, I can’t wait to put all of these angels in my
Kaalia of the Vast deck but the one I’m most excited for is
Righteous Valkyrie. I’m already a fan of life gain, I mean c’mon who isn’t? With my Kaalia deck I’m constantly dropping angels, and with her passive ability my creatures should be swinging each turn for a ton of damage. Paired with certain angels like Aurelia, Gisela, and
Archangel of Thune I could potentially one-shot my opponent and late game take out two or more players! Plus, I feel like angel tribal is gonna be a thing in Standard and I’m here for it!
Vega, The Watcher
Vega, the Watcher checks both boxes for a card I love: gorgeous art (especially that showcase frame), and a simple yet unique effect. Being "anywhere except from the hand" means I'm not stuck with putting every on-color foretell card in a deck with them, but I can mix and match the best of foretell, flashback, retrace, rebound, et al.
Oh, and I just love birds.
Possibly a slightly mundane pick. I can see this doing solid work in Limited but not much else -- but I'm also a sucker for the goofier flavoured cards. This set's great for them -
Battlefield Raptor (cool birds don't look at explosions), Toski (even if Ratatoskr is a real creature from Norse mythology!) - but
Infernal Pet is too cute to pass up. Such an adorable butterfly-eating goat..imp...thing.
First off, non-binary representation in one of the face cards of the set is absolutely wonderful! I don't think anyone expected their card to look quite like it does, but I think Niko could be the cornerstone of a really cool deck.
A Standard Jeskai Xerox deck with
Sea Gate Stormcaller, Bonecrusher Giant, and Niko could be good fun to play if it comes together. Sadly there's nothing much in the set for my pet deck (Modern Jeskai Draw-Go) but I'm known for trying odd fun-ofs, and going heavier on
Restoration Angel with Niko in Modern is on my mind too, when we can finally play paper magic again.