In my last article on Kaldheim Limited, I talked about how I was loving drafting the set so far. I had gotten 30 drafts under my belt and I felt confident enough to share my thoughts on the format. I hope my initial experiences with Kaldheim helped readers find their footing in what has turned out to be a really complex and rewarding Limited environment!
Since then, I’ve racked up around 60 drafts, trying different things and updating my first impressions on cards. I also did a lot work improving my Sealed game and learning this format in time for the recent Magic Arena Open. Fortunately, my hours grinding Sealed on Arena and Magic: The Gathering Online paid off and I took home $1000! Is there a more rewarding experience in MTG than putting in the work to learn something new and reaping the fruits of your labor?
In this article, I’ll go over some of the combos and interactions in Kaldheim that have helped me get an edge over my opponents. I think Wizards of the Coast did a good job packing the set with a ton of build around cards. If you know which cards, especially commons and uncommons, work together well in a color and build around those pockets of synergies, I know you’ll be able to get more out of each event you enter.
Changeling Creatures + Tribal Payoffs
There is a light tribal theme in Kaldheim, but apart from Giants and Elves it can be hard building a deck that truly takes advantage of tribal synergies. That’s why Changelings are such an important part of the Kaldheim Limited environment. They fill the gaps where 2/2 Elves and 2/1 Berserkers just don’t make the cut. These Blue, Green, and in the case of Bloodline Protector colorless creatures are also good cards in their own right, with decent stats and relevant abilities like Masked Vandal’s Naturalize effect. Mistwalker, the Blue 1/4 Changeling with Flying, is probably the best common Giant available for the Blue-Red archetype. It even powers up Squash and Glimpse the Cosmos in decks without that many Giants.
Having some Changelings in your deck can power up any tribal payoffs you might have picked up without forcing you to go all in on Wizards or Berserkers. They are particularly awesome with cards that scale with the number of creatures you have of a certain type, like Basalt Ravager or Skemfar Shadowsage.
It might surprise you how many cards care about having certain creature types in Kaldheim. If you’re unsure what to take out of a pack, you probably can’t go wrong picking up a Changeling.
Deathknell Berserker + Demonic Gifts
I wrote in my last article that Black is likely the weakest color in Kaldheim, and many more hours playing the set later, I haven’t changed my mind. Black’s cards simply aren’t as good as similarly costed cards in other colors, and you either have to draft a million Feed the Serpents or get creative when you’re stuck at a table where Black is the open color.
By getting creative, I mean combining two bad cards to get a mediocre but aggressive payoff. If you attack with your Berserker and your opponent blocks with a 3/3, you can trade their creature with your Demonic Gifts and get a free 2/2 Zombie token for your trouble.
That’s nothing to write home about, but one way to win with Black in this format is to pack your deck with two drops, removal, and tricks like this that help you gain value while maintaining your board position.
It shouldn’t be hard to pick up either half of this “combo” if Black is open. If you don’t see any Gifts, Jarl of the Forsaken does a decent impression by helping your smaller creatures trade up.
King Harald’s Revenge + Kaya’s Onslaught
There are several good aggressive strategies in Kaldheim, mostly centered around Red and White. While a combination of cheap creatures and removal will often get the job done against the Snow decks of the format, sometimes you need something more to push the last few points of damage through. Just like getting creative with Deathknell Berserker and Demonic Gifts, you can find ways to win even with less than stellar Magic cards.
If you find yourself playing a go-wide Selesnya deck, the combo of King Harald’s Revenge and Kaya’s Onslaught can be surprisingly effective at closing out the game. Onslaught is a good card in its own right and will often end the game without any help. Meanwhile, Revenge is pretty situational, and I wouldn’t advise playing it in the main deck unless you go pretty wide. But if you find room for these two pump spells, you can use them together to catch your opponent off guard and win on the spot.
If you’re playing Red-White instead, Run Amok is a much more consistent trick than Revenge.
We’ve got several weeks to go on Kaldheim before Strixhaven: School of Mages comes out. Until then, I’m going to be trying to get my opponents with this janky Temur Battle Rage-Death’s Shadow impression.
Frost Augur + Horizon Seeker
Combos in Magic don’t necessarily have to win the game or get a huge amount of value to be worth knowing about. This interesting interaction is a good example of synergy that won’t slam the door in your opponent’s face, but instead will help you eke out a few percentage points every few games.
How does it work? If you have a Frost Augur and a Horizon Seeker in play, you can activate the 1/2’s ability to look at the top card of your library. If it’s a non-Snow card you don’t want to draw, you can feel free to activate the Seeker’s Boast when you attack. If it will help next turn, then you can simply choose not to trade the 3/2 off or activate it. By timing the activation of two abilities you want to use anyway, you can basically get an extra Scry-like effect every turn.
You definitely shouldn’t look to draft around this interaction, but since Frost Augur and Horizon Seeker are good cards on their own, you’ll play both cards in your Snow decks often enough to get some value from it.
Priest of the Haunted Edge + Draugr Recruiter
Priest of the Haunted Edge is already a good card in any deck with a few Snow lands. It will often activate to trade with a creature that costs more mana than the Priest. If you combine it with Draugr Recruiter, you can rebuy your 0/4 every turn and whittle your opponent’s board down to nothing.
This combo is pretty amazing when it gets going. I would look to draft Priests early in my Snow decks because they’re just good. If I see a Recruiter and I already have a Priest or two, then I’ll be really happy to add the combo to my deck if my mana supports it. Even if you don’t find the 3/3 Zombie, the spell Raise the Draugr stands in for it effectively.
Hagi Mob + Rune of Mortality
Speaking of killing a creature every turn, here’s another two-card combo that will leave your opponents without any blockers and probably without a positive life total, too.
Rune of Mortality is Aura from the Rune cycle that gives the enchanted creature Deathtouch. If you can, you’d much rather enchant an Equipment so you can move it around if your first Deathtoucher dies. Either way, if you get the Rune to bestow its blessing on the Hagi Mob, the 5/4 can use its Boast ability to clear out the best defending creature.
This combo is a pretty good one because if you’re playing Red-Black, you want copies of both your cards in your deck anyway. Hagi Mob is a good finisher in any Red deck that also doesn’t need much help killing small creatures. If you’re playing a non-Black deck but manage to find a Runed Crown, you might consider playing an off-color Rune of Mortality and try to live the “Splinter Twin” dream with Hagi Mob.
Sculptor of Winter + Glittering Frost
I’m ranking the combo of Sculptor of Winter and Glittering Frost at the top of the list because Green is one of the best colors in Kaldheim and because both cards are commons. Having copies of both cards in your Snow deck already boosts your consistency and lets you splash powerful cards. But having both in play really lets you pop off with double off-color splashes.
How this combo works is you enchant a preferably non-Snow land with Glittering Frost to make a land that taps for two mana. If you untap it with Sculptor’s ability, you get four mana from just one land. Think of the possibilities! You can splash a bomb like Burning-Rune Demon or removal like Feed the Serpent in your Blue-Green deck, or play a Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter in your Selesnya Snow pile.
There’s no deck like Snow in Kaldheim Limited, and trying to draft these two cards together is a sure way to plow through your opponents in your next draft.
What’s your favorite combo or interaction in this set. Let us know!