Well, it happens as it does in all corners of MTG, a crumb of a tidbit has been spoiled. But it’s still a spoiler, so, if you don’t want to be spoiled, you might want to move along. Otherwise, Vorthos Voyeurs, let’s trek into the dark waters of what’s to come!
Earlier today, one of Wotc’s affiliates in Australia leaked out the titles of the two Commander Decks slated for Kaldheim and, to say the least, it got our blood a bubblin’ and our hopes sky high.
We have already seen the box art featuring Kaya and, in anticipation of her arrival have speculated in an article only a day old of what information from Norse mythology we could glean that would show us what spirits might be like in Kaldheim. And, as many of you, we delight in every tidbit of lore and information we can get our hands on and have in agnosia sat together and delighted in the fair sport of speculation. It is only in the last few months that I have begun to share these thoughts.
Now we’ve talked about the gods, spirits and the nine worlds and their place in both Norse Folklore and Magic the Gathering. But today’s offering brings something new both in news, thoughts and content.
And it’s a simple thing; just a slight tidbit of words. But it speaks volumes. It both encourages me and worries me. It lays out four simple words that may or may not define the direction of Kaldheim itself.
The first title echoes the last speculation I wrote. PHANTOM PREMONITIONS, although slight in definition, says much about, at least, one of the directions Kaldheim might take. The fact that Kaya may be on her way, makes one wonder what spirits she may be after there. It is, after all, what she does best. Whether she’s making good on a contract or simply trying to find out how to save her home plane, she’s there and more than likely going to go toe-to-toe with spirits of some sort.
The first word, PHANTOM, speaks to just this. Strange choice of words; seeing that there are never any usage of the word in Norse Mythology. It’s just one of the many words we use in conjunction with ghosts and spirits. As stated in our last article, the Norse spirit is both a complicated and convoluted thing. It lacks definition and can be one of many things. But this suggestion that ‘phantoms’ are included is expected as the Norse believed that spirits resided in many things and in many ways. They were wisps of the land, protectors of the living and visages of the frozen, angry dead. so, this word showing up as it did caught us by no surprise.
Following phantom was the word PREMONITION. This too was expected and didn’t catch us off guard at all. Premonition brings with it thoughts of divination magic. And if any magic factored prominently in Norse life, it was divination magic. Divination is the magical peering into what is to come. Many of the spirits that the people honored and gave gifts to were active in the fate and hopes of the living. They looked to these spirits for guidance and for luck even.
Odin was not only steeped in it, but lost in the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom and knowledge of the future. In fact, in our article about the gods, we felt that a god card dedicated to Odin must include both blue and scrying. Seidr, the practice of this magic, was a common thread in the old Norse stories. And Odin was personified not only as a god, but as a sorcerer or diviner as well. His crows were created to gather the goings on of the day and report to him. He gave his eye for ‘wisdom’; practically crucified himself for it.
So scrying, I believe, is going to be a big part of the Kaldheim set. And, now, with this ‘spoiled’ title, I think it’s proof positive. Premonition is defined as a strong feeling that something is about to happen, especially something unpleasant. It’s definitely reflecting the power of a good scry as well look forward to what’s coming in our library.
The Kaldheim set may go one step forward and be a great DRAW set also. The power of SIEDR or divination magic is not just in the prediction but it the changing. Why else would one petition an ancestral spirit about the future if not to change it? And the culmination of a good scry is a good draw.
I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this deck. PLEASE, let this spoiler be true!
The second title doesn’t give me goose pimples at all.
What’s the first thing you think of when I say frozen, nordic north? Well, it’s not elves, I can tell you that. All this time of anticipation of a Viking setting and we don’t get a barbarian, bezerker, warrior deck?
Now, I know the two commander decks are not always indicative of the whole set. But they do give us a glimpse of good many of the mechanics and themes. But Zendikar showcased Mill and Landfall with elf spirits and vampire rogues. The Akoria set emphasized counters and Mutate. So chosing Elves, spirits and premonitions could be a bit telling.
Ok, before I start ranting, I have to say that if we’re talking Norse Mythology and the Nine Worlds (Which we did an article about earlier), elves are a natural part of a setting dedicated to it. They have their place in the nine worlds: Aelfheim. But prominent, I think not. But leave it to Wotc to placate what is already one of the biggest tribes in the game.
Honestly, I would have actually expected Dwarves before Elves since they were promised us, hello Mark Rosewater. But Elves? And in an EMPIRE? I liked THE MAGIC HISTORIANS enthusiasm about a hidden forest that held back the snow run by elves, but I’d rather think that they follow the line of Norse legend. And, with that, I think I’ll touch upon it later in its own article.
Let’s just suffice it to say that I’m not happy with another elf deck, but others are; like our man, Panda. so, to them I say, ‘CONGRATS’.
Not much else left to say. With elves you’re dealing with green and, maybe, white. It could be a counters deck or tokens or both. I’ll now more after I do some research but it may be something totally off the Norse themes. I mean, obviously, Wotc IS creating their own plane and not just copying out of what little Norse lore we have. But, hopefully, there’s more to this set (And I believe it its) than elves and divination magic.
It’s all yet to be seen, of course. I still have great hope for this set and expect to see gods, dwarves, giants, giant wolves, world snakes and viking, crazy, bezerker, barbarian warriors. But whatever it is, the tried and true will be there and we will play the hell out of it.
By the end of the week, I will drop a speculation on Elves in Kaldheim cause that’s what I do. SO we’ll see you there, Vorthos Voyeurs!