Magic: The Gathering's latest set, Kaldheim, is essentially the next best thing to visiting the North Pole. Players can immerse themselves in the wintertime experience by casting an Elf from a snowy forest, fighting with a Bear, and meeting a Yeti! Even beyond the snowy landscapes, Kaldheim offers plenty of new and exciting cards for the Commander (EDH) format.
There is a lot to like about Kaldheim regarding new mechanics, tribal themes, flavor, and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. Foretell is an exciting way to split a casting cost between turns, and Dwarves received some much-needed new friends.
Unfortunately, the expected value (EV) of opening a Kaldheim booster box is lackluster. Kaldheim feels like mythic or bust. as the most expensive rare hovers around $5. However, with low prices come value-oriented opportunities to pick up playable singles.
There are several cards in Kaldheim with the potential to shine for EDH players, and I believe a few may become format mainstays. The four cards I want to highlight slot into multiple EDH decks with an emphasis on tribal. Also, they can be picked up for less than a Kaldheim booster pack's price. Who wouldn't want to increase the power level of their EDH decks for a few dollars?
Kaldheim puts the pedal to the metal when it comes to tribal synergy cards. One of the noteworthy rares in the set is Maskwood Nexus. As an artifact for four mana, this card is playable in any EDH deck.
At first glance, players may notice similarities between Maskwood Nexus and Arcane Adaptation. Instead of choosing a creature type, Maskwood Nexus gives your creatures all types. As a bonus, Maskwood Nexus produces a 2/2 blue Shapeshifter creature token with every creature type for three mana. This ability works well with commanders like Reaper King, Ayula, Queen Among Bears, and Marwyn, the Nurturer that want to trigger their enter the battlefield abilities. Also, adding tribal tokens to the battlefield helps fuel the commander abilities of Admiral Beckett Bbass, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, and Yuriko, Tiger's Shadow.
However, having creatures of every type can be a downside in limited scenarios. For example, any player running Gor Muldrak, Amphimologist would have protection from your creatures. Thankfully, there are not many cards such as Plague Engineer or Crippling Fear played in EDH. With an average market price of about $3, Maskwood Nexus is a fine choice for many EDH tribal decks.
Realmwalker"|| "Vizier of the Menagerie
Realmwalkeris a Shapeshifter with similar abilities to Vizier of the Menagerie. Both creatures work well in green EDH decks with a high density of creatures. A noticeable difference between the two cards is that Realmwalker only offers its abilities to one creature type. Also, Realmwalker has a smaller body and costs one less mana to cast. So when does it make sense to run Realmwalker instead of Vizier of the Menagerie?
I believe Realmwalker excels over Vizier of the Menagerie in individual tribal decks, especially those that utilize enter the battlefield triggers. Realmwalker is every creature type, thus triggering Reaper King, Ayula, Queen Among Bears, and Rin and Seri, Inseparable. On the other hand, Vizier of the Menagerie helps fix mana for casting creatures, as its creature typing is only Naga and Cleric.
Realmwalker may synergize best in tribal decks featuring the commanders above, along with Elves, Elementals, Hydras, Druids, and Centaurs. Personally, I slotted a copy of Realmwalker into an EDH featuring Gargos, Vicious Watcher. With an average market price of around $2, Realmwalker makes an inexpensive and efficient tribal support creature.
Birgi, God of Storytelling is one of the new double-faced God cards from Kaldheim. The most seductive ability on the front side of Birgi, God of Storytelling is the cast trigger. Whenever you cast a spell, one red mana is added to your mana pool for the rest of the turn. The red mana can be used to cast additional spells, activate abilities, and even create infinite combos.
Spellslinger decks featuring commanders like Mizzix of the Izmagnus can utilize Birgi, God of Storytelling. Stacking experience counters from Mizzix of the Izmagnus, plus additional mana from Birgi, God of Storytelling, can lead to an absolute flurry of spells. Furthermore, casting mana ramp spells like Seething Song or Desperate Ritual will produce one additional red mana thanks to Birgi. The extra mana can help accelerate playing powerful spells such as Etali, Primal Storm, Scourge of the Throne, and Insurrection.
But the fun doesn't stop there! Commanders with mana sink abilities can take advantage of incremental mana generation—casting two spells on any turn produces enough extra mana to activate Grenzo, Dungeon Warden. Additional mana can also be of assistance to Xantcha, Sleeper Agent or Ashling the Pilgrim.
The third use for Birgi, God of Storytelling is with infinite combos. One infinite combo loop is playing Grinning Ignus with Birgi, God of Storytelling on the battlefield. Casting Grinning Ignus creates one red mana, and paying one red mana to return Grinning Ignus to its owner's hand produces three mana. Grinning Ignus can be recast for two mana, leaving one leftover to return Grinning Ignus to its owner's hand. ...And so on.
With Impact Tremors, Cinder Pyromancer, or Purphoros, God of the Forge on the battlefield, this combo deals infinite damage. Also, players may choose to loop Grinning Ignus until they can cast a Grapeshot for lethal damage.
The second ability on Birgi, God of Storytelling is mostly irrelevant due to the lack of Boast cards. Decks with Dragonskin Berserker or Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire could use the Boast mechanic with Birgi, God of Storytelling. While the front side of Birgi, God of Storytelling, is powerful, the flipside has practical uses.
Harnfel, Horn of Bounty synergies well with the Madness mechanic. I particularly like playing it alongside Anje Falkenrath. A free discard outlet with card advantage can prove useful.
Players may want to cast Harnfel, Horn of Bounty alongside Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner. The discard ability of Harnfel, Horn of Bounty works with Subira because it exiles two cards off the top of the library. In the late game of an EDH match, Harnfel, Horn of Bounty may offer additional insurance against weak draws or flooding.
I have only scratched the surface for uses with Birgi, God of Storytelling—there are other commander synergies and combos with Birgi, God Storytelling that players may find useful. With the low average market price of about $2, Birgi, God of Storytelling is an affordable addition to red EDH decks.
Search for Glory is a Snow Sorcery that can find a snow permanent, legendary permanent, and Saga. To run Search for Glory in an EDH deck, you will likely want to take advantage of at least two of the searchable card types. It is also unnecessary to run snow lands to cast Search for Glory, unless you want to take advantage of the incremental life gain.
The ability to search for any snow permanent is unique to Search for Glory. According to Scryfall, Into the North and Spirit of the Aldergard are the only other MTG cards that can tutor a snow card. Keep in mind, there are only 105 cards with the Snow Supertype! This makes the snow permanent search choices somewhat limited.
Some of the more appealing snow cards to find are Adarkar Valkyrie, Ohran Frostfang, and Dark Depths. Search for Glory may slot into an EDH deck looking to pull off the Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage combo. When it comes to white snow commanders, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim or Chulane, Teller of Tales may be a solid choice.
Finding legendary cards is nothing new in EDH. Thalia's Lancers and Time of Need search for various legendary cards, andSearch for Glory pairs well with them as an additional tutor for legendary threats. White creature decks led by Bruna, the Fading Light, Aryel, Knight of Windgrace, and Winota, Joiner of Forces could use Search for Glory. Their inclusion of strong legendary creatures and legendary equipment is appealing. Searching for a Sword of the Animist or Avacyn, Angel of Hope can help players stay in the game.
Searching for Sagas is even more limiting than snow permanents. There are only 44 Sagas in MTG, and even fewer in White! However, some Sagas do see play in EDH. The most noteworthy white Saga is History of Benalia, a former all-star in Standard that still sees play in Knight EDH decks. Song of Freyalise is another acceptable target in Selesnya token or counters decks. The new Saga, Firja's Retribution, is particularly appealing for Angel EDH decks. Sagas may not see a vast amount of play, but they can definitely pack a punch.
With the most expensive Kaldheim rare at an average market price of $5, players have plenty of affordable singles options. The four rare Kaldheim cards highlighted above are a few that stood out the most for EDH. Whether EDH players are interested in more snow cards or new additions to their favorite tribe, Kaldheim offers a multitude of options.