This past Tuesday, December 15th, Wizards of the Coast kicked off their three-day "Week of Metal" for the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set, Kaldheim. In addition to showing us the design process for two new Planeswalker characters in the set the day prior, Wizards sponsored a number of videos from prominent metal bands such as Mastodon, Amon Amarth, and others. In these videos, the bands' members showcased some very cool card previews for the new set.
On the 15th via Facebook, Mastodon revealed the remainder of the "Pathway" cycle of cards that originally started in Zendikar Rising. The cycle has been completed with the white-blue, blue-green, black-red, and black-green entries. For those who are not aesthetically satisfied by this cycle being in two different settings, the next Secret Lair Ultimate Edition will contain all five Pathway lands with art from the opposite setting.
Besides those four land cards, bands Angra and Torche revealed a couple of new cards as well, including a new Saga enchantment and a card that launched speculation that Kaldheim will be a tribal-matters set. (This theory was effectively confirmed by previews later in the "Week of Metal.")
December 16th saw the first few showcase cards from the new set. Magda, Brazen Outlaw was revealed by Smoulder, while Oceans of Slumber revealed the planeswalker card Kaya the Inexorable. Kaya in particular looks to be a strong control piece, able to both recur your creatures immediately and remove your opponents'. Being able to remove nonland permanents with no downside besides a minor loyalty counter downtick is very strong, and this card is sure to see Commander play even if the card proves too slow for Standard.
Perhaps the biggest reveal of that day was, however, the unveiling of one of the God creatures from Kaldheim: Halvar, God of Battle, which was revealed by Amon Amarth. This card is likely part of a cycle of Gods from the plane and therefore shows some of the traits that these Gods possess. For one, the Gods can be killed, as they do not have indestructible. This is a flavor win and shows a major difference between the gods of Kaldheim and those of Amonkhet or Theros. Beyond this, the Gods of Kaldheim are modal double-faced cards as well. While we don't know if all of them will be Equipment cards on their alternate face, Halvar, God of Battle becomes Sword of the Realms, a strong Equipment that grants vigilance and a power boost as well as a means for a creature to defy death, so to speak.
On December 17th, a public email from Wizards of the Coast showed one more new card from Kaldheim: Sarulf, Realm Eater. This card, in true Fenrir style, removes cards from the board with relative ease. This card is also a victory for those interested in lore and flavor, in that, like Fenrir, Sarulf needs to grow over time in order to fulfill its role as a world-destroyer. Many comparisons have been made already between Sarulf, Realm Eater and cards like Pernicious Deed or Ratchet Bomb.
Previews will resume in a big way on January 7th, but Wizards of the Coast has one more preview for us on December 24th in the meantime. We will be sure to cover these previews as they occur.