Set releases are the most exciting times in Magic. They create an incredibly fun period of discovery as deck builders figure out how to best use the new cards—often by reexamining existing cards that might work well with them. Kaldheim will join five other sets already in Standard, and potentially turn cards that players didn't used to consider good (or even playable) into staples.

I've looked closely at the set spoiler and the cards already in Standard and identified those cards that could become more important to the metagame. My aim is to get an idea of what's to come and to stimulate deck building ideas, but there's also a financial angle to this exercise. We saw Thieves' Guild Enforcer jump from under $1 to nearly $5 when Rogues emerged as a top Standard deck after Zendikar Rising, and there's a chance we'll see some similarly startling increases from Kaldheim.

Azorius, Rakdos, Golgari, and Simic Color Combinations

Kaldheim completes the cycle of double-faced Pathway dual lands started in Zendikar Rising, so at the most basic level it elevates the four color combinations that lacked a Pathway before—white-blue, red-black, black-green, and blue-green. Lands have always defined what is possible in any format, and it's no coincidence that the two two-color decks on top of Standard right now, Gruul and Dimir, have a Pathway dual land.

It's possible Kaldheim will shake this up and new combinations will rise to the top, and not necessarily because of great new cards besides the land. Rakdos, for example, has been quietly becoming a popular and successful deck in Standard. Gaining Searstep Pathway will be a massive improvement over the enters-the-battlefield tapped Savai Triome it currently uses to fix mana. Rakdos is good now, and it will be better after Kaldheim.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Rakdos Midrange by yoman5

'Rakdos Midrange' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: yoman5

Event:

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $390.33

Cards

Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230467_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/kaldheim/mountain

Heartless Act

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212369_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with no counters on it.
• Remove up to three counters from target creature.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/ikoria-lair-of-behemoths/heartless-act

Hagra Mauling

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222096_200w.jpg

This spell costs {1} less to cast if an opponent controls no basic lands.
Destroy target creature.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/hagra-mauling

Valki, God of Lies

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $22.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230113_200w.jpg

When Valki enters the battlefield, each opponent reveals their hand. For each opponent, exile a creature card they revealed this way until Valki leaves the battlefield.
{X}: Choose a creature card exiled with Valki with converted mana cost X. Valki becomes a copy of that card.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/kaldheim/valki-god-of-lies

Egon, God of Death

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230380_200w.jpg

Deathtouch
At the beginning of your upkeep, exile two cards from your graveyard. If you can't, sacrifice Egon and draw a card.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/kaldheim/egon-god-of-death

Rankle, Master of Pranks

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198584_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever Rankle, Master of Pranks deals combat damage to a player, choose any number —
• Each player discards a card.
• Each player loses 1 life and draws a card.
• Each player sacrifices a creature.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/rankle-master-of-pranks

Tymaret Calls the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206625_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I, II — Mill three cards. Then you may exile a creature or enchantment card from your graveyard. If you do, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
III — You gain X life and scry X, where X is the number of Zombies you control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/theros-beyond-death/tymaret-calls-the-dead

Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/castle-locthwain

Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $23.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206855_200w.jpg

When Kroxa enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless it escaped.
Whenever Kroxa enters the battlefield or attacks, each opponent discards a card, then each opponent who didn't discard a nonland card this way loses 3 life.
Escape—{B}{B}{R}{R}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/theros-beyond-death/kroxa-titan-of-deaths-hunger

Shatterskull Smashing

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $7.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222030_200w.jpg

Shatterskull Smashing deals X damage divided as you choose among up to two target creatures and/or planeswalkers. If X is 6 or more, Shatterskull Smashing deals twice X damage divided as you choose among them instead.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/shatterskull-smashing

Goldspan Dragon

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $19.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230161_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever Goldspan Dragon attacks or becomes the target of a spell, create a Treasure token.
Treasures you control have "{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add two mana of any one color."

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/kaldheim/goldspan-dragon

Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199035_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/bonecrusher-giant

Mire Triton

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215956_200w.jpg

Deathtouch
When Mire Triton enters the battlefield, mill two cards and you gain 2 life.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/jumpstart/mire-triton

Blightstep Pathway

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $3.42

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/229209_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {B}.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/kaldheim/blightstep-pathway

Fabled Passage

Market Price: $7.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/fabled-passage

Kazuul's Fury

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222039_200w.jpg

As an additional cost to cast this spell, sacrifice a creature.
Kazuul's Fury deals damage equal to the sacrificed creature's power to any target.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/kazuuls-fury

Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230466_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/kaldheim/swamp

These new lands improving colors will elevate individual cards; it's not surprising that Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger has been climbing in price this week. I wouldn't be surprised to see more underappreciated cards in the new supported colors become bigger factors in the metagame and the market. One example is Polukranos, Unchained, riding Darkbore Pathway.

We could also see former staples rise to the top once again. Dream Trawler and Azorius Control gain Hengegate Pathway, as well as new tools in the colors like Niko Aris and Doomskar, one of the most important cards in the set for Standard.

I see a ton of potential in various cards from Ikoria, which was laden with gold cards. Chevill, Bane of Monsters and Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy stand out, but so do all of the three-color gold cards and the full cycle of Mythos sorceries, like Mythos of Nethroi, that will now be easier to cast.

Old Cards With New Tribal Support

Every new set affects past sets, but Kaldheim will be particularly good at elevating past cards because of its tribal elements. New tribes being supported requires rallying the existing members of those tribes, much like Zendikar Rising did with Rogues, and Kaldheim has a ton of tribes.

Elves

The most important tribe in Kaldheim is Elves. It's one of the most important in Magic, period, and its new cards live up to that reputation. Some are so good they may even see play in Modern and Legacy, like Elvish Warmaster, so the tribe looks to have all the makings of a competitive tribe for Standard. Standard already has a few Elves that are sure to be part of Elf decks after Kaldheim.

Tajuru Paragon stands out as the most important preexisting Elf in Standard. Its flexibility as an aggressive two-drop or a way to generate card advantage later makes it a great card in general, and it will thrive in a tribal deck that can take full advantage of both modes.

Wildborn Preserver is more one-dimensional, but it's a great aggressive creature that grows better as the game goes on. The card has already seen a bit of Standard play and proved to be a solid card without any tribal synergies. It's going to be even better in a deck that can utilize its Elf status.

Giants

Giants return in Kaldheim, and with plenty of payoffs that make it worth exploring as a dedicated tribal deck. Quakebringer, Calamity Bearer, Invasion of the Giants, and more mean that Giants should be a real Standard deck, but it will rely on a few existing Giants.

Bonecrusher Giant is already the single most played card in Standard, currently in 44% of winning decks, and it's going to be the best card in any Giant tribal deck. Having access to the card is a huge asset for the tribe and will go a long way toward making Giants competitive.

On the other hand, Crystalline Giant has never seen any real play in Standard, but it's a likely staple of any Giant tribal deck. While most tribal strategies are defined by using a swarm of cheap creatures, Giants relies on expensive bruisers, and simply doesn't have one and two-drops. That puts a huge premium on the three-drops it does have, and Crystalline Giant is a powerful and accessible tool.

Kaldheim brings a new element to Giants as a Magic tribe by bringing them to blue, and that brings attention to Thryx, the Sudden Storm. It was a powerful card in Limited with an ability that seemed cool for Commander, but its cost-reducing ability now makes perfect sense as an enabler for the Giant tribe and its expensive creatures.

Now may also be the time for Tectonic Giant, which offers some power and flexibility to the tribe. Whether it's hitting for 6 damage a turn or generating cards, it's something the opponent must deal with or quickly lose to.

Dwarves

Dwarves are back as a tribe in Kaldheim, and Magda, Brazen Outlaw is an exciting new lord.

Standard has a few Dwarves already like Rimrock Knight and Seven Dwarves to help fill a decklist, but the real notable card is Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. Its powerful ability makes this the best Dwarf in Standard and a key card for the tribe.

Angels

Angels aren't typically a Constructed tribe, but Kaldheim could make it happen with plenty of new tools. Firja's Retribution stands out as a powerful incentive.

Emeria's Call producing Angels and doubling as a land make this a strong candidate for any Angel deck.

Legion Angel hasn't really cracked into Constructed yet, but its inherent card advantage could be just what an Angel tribal deck wants.

Old Tribes with New Members

Kaldheim has also continued support for tribes already in Standard.

Clerics

The biggest beneficiary is Clerics, which is a creature type shared by many of the Angels in Kaldheim. These tie into the tribe's life gain theme, and could turn some old cards into staples.

A prime example is Speaker of the Heavens. Not only is it a Cleric that benefits from new life gain, but it can produce Angels to further synergize with the tribe. The card got a whole lot better, and gives me some real Thieves' Guild Enforcer vibes as an efficient role player for the tribe.

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose is another Cleric that plays very well with Kaldheim's Angels. It will end games quickly paired with Righteous Valkyrie.

With some strong new Angel Clerics to return and the tribe in general getting better, Orah, Skyclave Hierophant and its powerful reanimation ability could enter the Constructed picture.

Warriors

Kaldheim also brings some new Warriors, with Usher of the Fallen as an appealing threat and Koll, the Forgemaster as a potential build-around with Equipment—and maybe Runeforge Champion and Runes.

Any Warrior tribal deck will want Kargan Intimidator, already a staple in Mono-Red, and a powerful and efficient threat in any aggressive strategy.

Akiri, Fearless Voyager will play well in any Equipment-focused Warrior deck with Koll, the Forgemaster.

A renewed focus on Equipment elevates the Equipment already in Standard, and Maul of the Skyclaves and Shadowspear stand out as the best options.

Unloved Build-Arounds

Every new set adds potential synergies. This really impacts build-around cards that need specific things to work, which could go from non-factors to a real strategy once they hit a critical mass of cards to work with.

A good example is Song of Creation, clearly a very powerful card in the right context, but one that hasn't been a real factor in Standard. It has been noted that it plays very well with foretell cards like Scorn Effigy, because it allows for them to be safely stowed away and not discarded at the end of turn.

Setessan Champion has always been a clearly powerful card, but without the right cards to combine with, it has never found a home in Standard. Kaldheim could be exactly what it needs, with the Runes being a perfect way to enable it. They are joined by Spectral Steel, another great way to fuel Setessan Champion while building a game-winning threat.

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King went from a staple in Jund Sacrifice before Zendikar Rising to a non-factor after rotation, which dramatically cut down the card pool and destroyed the synergies of this build-around. As the size of the card pool slowly rebuilds it could come back into the picture, and Immersturm Predator is a perfect step. The spiritual successor to Falkenrath Aristocrat, it's a high-quality tool for sacrifice decks, and will be incredible with Korvold in play.

It could be a similar story with Winota, Joiner of Forces, a pillar of Standard last year that became a non-factor after rotation. I've seen it back in discussion as Kaldheim added some nice tools like Usher of the Fallen and Clarion Spirit as cheap enablers.

Old Hosers for New Strategies

Kaldheim doesn't just create new synergies with old cards—it also brings attention to cards that can break these up synergies.

A perfect example is Drannith Magistrate, which is now useful for hosing the foretell ability, preventing the card from being cast from exile. It was already effective at stopping adventure and escape, but this new utility could push it over the top into a real staple.

With tribal strategies potentially becoming a defining aspect of the Standard metagame, Witch's Vengeance could become one of its best sweepers. -3/-3 might not work well against Giants, but it's plenty against tribes full of small creatures like Elves or Dwarves, and at just three mana it's very efficient. It could be especially dangerous out of other tribal decks, like Rogues, which could sweep the opponent's board while leaving their own side intact.

The Kaldheim Effect

Kaldheim is an exciting set jammed full of fun, interesting, and powerful cards, but without anything obviously broken. It's going to be awesome to see how it all comes together. It could shift the balance away from the overpowered Throne of Eldraine cards that mostly dominate the metagame, but without breaking the metagame itself. This is going to be a great time to play Standard, and it's sure to be full of surprises.