We as consumers have gotten wise to Wizards of the Coast's clever use of inter-set synergies in Magic: The Gathering. One excellent example of this was the use of colorless cards and morph/megamorph in Khans of Tarkir block combined with Battle For Zendikar's use of devoid creatures and other Eldrazi. Another major example is the sheer amount of graveyard-based synergies in Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance combined with the escape mechanic in Theros Beyond Death.
The artwork for Skybreen, a Planechase card set on Kaldheim. Illustrated by Wayne England.
It is also clear that Kaldheim, Magic's next upcoming set after Zendikar Rising, will likely also have such inter-set synergies already at its disposal by the time it is released, thanks to the way that Wizards of the Coast plans so far ahead. Being that Kaldheim's themes and aesthetics are probably going to be heavily inspired by Norse mythology and tropes, it stands to reason that snow, ice and frost will be thematic elements in the worldbuilding of the set, and, therefore, some part of the mechanical identity of the world. This is similar to how Zendikar's various sets have had a thematic tie, as well as a mechanical one, to the land.
Why are we talking about Zendikar as a setting here, when Kaldheim is the focus of this article? Well, dear reader, inter-set synergy is expected in most every set and works as a two-way system. Zendikar Rising has quite possibly dropped a large hint, through many of its cards, of what to expect in Kaldheim.
The artwork for Icy Manipulator, an iconic "ice"-themed card. Here, illustrated by Mark Zug.
There have been plenty of snow and ice-themed cards in Magic. An entire block of sets revolved around this theme! Throughout such sets, and even in some more contemporary ones, there have been a few mechanical themes that tie into the flavor of snow:
Of these three, it is quite possible that the second option, lasting tap effects, are going to matter in Kaldheim. Why? Consider the following cards in Zendikar Rising that enter the battlefield tapped or cause permanents to enter the battlefield tapped in some capacity:
Between these cards and a few others which make a bit more sense to cause tapping (two of which are land ramp and one more of which is a nonbasic land with no other downside in Base Camp), there are 39 cards in total that either enter the battlefield tapped or cause something to enter tapped. This seems like a lot of instances of the same downside in one set's design.
While some people would argue that the modal dual-faced cards in Zendikar Rising enter the battlefield tapped because having the other side be a spell is a neutralizing factor, let us take a moment to consider the added downsides. These lands only produce one color of mana under normal circumstances and are limited to four-per-deck in non-Singleton formats. While the spell side of things is definitely an upside, there is not nearly enough land destruction to merit the possibility that these lands will change zones enough to be reused as spells once played as such. So, once you've played your copy of, for example, Pelakka Caverns, that's generally it—you probably won't be using it later as Pelakka Predation.
Furthermore, it is wise to think about why Wizards of the Coast has printed other cards that enter the battlefield tapped, such as Alirios, Enraptured or Silversmote Ghoul.
The artwork for Alirios, Enraptured, another card that enters the battlefield tapped. Illustrated by Kieran Yanner.
All in all, this article is meant to keep you wise to the synergies that keep Magic fresh for players, and perhaps to allow some further discussion on the topic of inter-set synergies. We hope you'll agree that the possibilities can't be written off yet, as far as speculation goes. However, as with all speculative discussions, please take this with a grain of salt. After all, it's not like Wizards of the Coast would reprint Winter Orb in Kaldheim… is it?