Previews for Magic: The Gathering's newest set, Kaldheim, are well underway, and like a thawing glacier, the coolest cards keep flowing! Let's take a peek at what new cards have been revealed in the past few days.
Oh good gravy, this card is strong. Red typically doesn't get countermagic, and only gets to react when things are already on the battlefield. Tibalt's Trickery turns all of that on its head.
Not only does Tibalt's Trickery counter spells unconditionally, but it mills a few cards from the library of the countered spell's controller, which may go a long way in messing with your opponent's plans if they decided to scry for an answer in response to Tibalt's Trickery. And sure, it's possible the opponent will grab a strong card off the top as the final result of this countermagic, but that's often a minor price to pay if the threat being countered was strong enough.
Alternatively, we may soon see Commander combos using Tibalt's Trickery, Underworld Breach, and spells costing zero mana. This card is a strong contender for more competitive Commander pods as well, so expect to see it show up in your upcoming games on any level of competition in the format.
Some may scoff at Divine Gambit and claim it's akin to a controlled Chaos Warp that favors the opposing player. A fair amount of the time this card will prove that to be true, but decks that run this card will find ways to mitigate its downside. Cards like Containment Priest can stop opponents from putting a creature onto the battlefield. Plus, with all of the discard available in formats outside of Standard, Divine Gambit risk can be lessened immensely.
Other than those mitigating factors, however, Divine Gambit is either a trap or a desperate, last-ditch tactic for those running it. We'll see how effectively it plays in the future, but so far, people seem to have less-than-high hopes for this card.
Vraska's Contempt is a neat card, and was a strong choice during Ixalan's time in Standard. At rare, it wasn't terribly accessible as an answer in Limited play and it's quite likely that more people wanted a Limited bomb in that slot than a piece of removal with a minor upside.
Feed the Serpent is Vraska's Contempt minus the 2 points of life gain, but is a common card rather than a rare. This answers a few issues with its predecessor: it is now more accessible in Limited play and it proves that life gain, one of white's major assets, is superfluous to mana cost, and only slightly less-superfluous to rarity. As for whether this card will see play, it'll certainly show up in Limited but might even be playable in Standard. Depending on what else comes out of Kaldheim, Feed the Serpent might be the best spot removal card in the set.
Weathered Runestone is Grafdigger's Cage with "nonland permanent" swapped for "creature," but costs one generic mana more than its predecessor. While this kind of card doesn't make a big difference to competitive players, it matters in Commander because it's colorless. Any Commander, Brawl, or Oathbreaker deck can run Weathered Runestone instead of, or in addition to, Grafdigger's Cage.
Furthermore, Grafdigger's Cage and Weathered Runestone are both artifacts. This gives them staying power in matchups against mono-black Reanimator builds, because mono-black simply cannot deal with artifacts easily. If this card was an enchantment it would be more reasonable, but as a universally playable card that some decks just can't answer, Weathered Runestone poses a potential issue. As a card that hoses a very common archetype within a color that can't deal with it, it's a dangerous piece of hate.
We have more Kaldheim to cover in the coming days, so stick around to find out more about this newest set with us!