Spoiled Commanders for Kaldheim?

Man, pre-Spoiler Season spoilers are on. So, if you can’t take a hint, if you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t go any further.

SKYBREEND by Wayne England

This time last week, we reported spoiled titles for the Kaldheim Commander to be Elven Empire and Phantom Premonition. We speculated what that might be and even dropped an article this weekend about what elves we might see. Well, if this unofficial release is to be believed, we know a great deal more about what’s to come.

Now, before I go any further, as with all unofficial spoilers, I must say that all of what comes next is not for sure. And, even with the above pics expanded, there are still details that we are not sure of. So take all of this with a grain of salt, but we’re going to give you as much as we have.

PHANTOM PREMONITIONS

The first set, Phantom Premonitions, is definitely an Azorius set. The commander, Ranar, the Ever-Watchful, is a 2/3 with a cost of 2 WU.

The first thing I notice is that he is a SPIRIT WARRIOR. The image, as best we can see, is a bearded nordic warrior much like the one on the cover next to it. He’s carrying a long handled deep bearded ax.

This set is sure to add to a great spirit tribal as well as a warrior tribal in the long run.

Let’s talk about that text, because you can’t really read everything clearly and I’m having to rely on those with better res computers here. The text as given by Mitch from COMMANDER’S QUARTERS reads thusly:

“Ranar the Ever-Watchful 2WU

Legendary Creature-Spirit Warrior

Flying, Vigilance

The first card you FORETELL each turn costs [snow symbol?] to fortell.

Whenever you exile one or more cards from your hand, and/or permanents from the battlefield, create a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying.

2/3

The card not only brings flying and vigilance to the table, but tokens as well. On top of this, we have two other words of note including a new mechanic possibly (?) as well as an old one that EVERYBODY has been anticipating.

WHAT IS FORETELL?

The first word to catch my attention on the card is Foretell. At first, I though it may be FORCAST which is already a keyword mechanic in the game, but the word seems to have two Ls at the end. Whatever the word is, it seems so out of place that it absolutely screams KEYWORD.

I think the emphasis on EXILE in the next bit of text may be a telling sign. Does [INSERT KEYWORD HERE] have exile as part of its mechanic? It would make sense. Therefore, by exercising FORETELL or whatever that word is, you feed the second part of the cards text. In this instant, you’re making 1/1 spirit tokens with flying.

FORCAST: A keyword ability that allows an activated ability to be activated from a player’s hand. 

If it’s FORCAST (although doubtful), then we get back this mechanic where we pay specific costs to activate abilities from cards in my hand without expending them. And, when I do this, I’m also making tokens. The cool thing to this would be to keep playing cards from your hand as FORCAST abilities as much as you wanted (although once a turn per card). This also follows the idea of Seidr or Norse Soothsaying magic that could see the future since you see a card in my hand that I may play on this turn or one of my next.

But, if it isn’t FORCAST, and instead FORETELL, that leaves us with more mystery wondering what this mechanic may be. In speculation, as I said above, Foretell may have EXILE as a part of its working. In this instance, it may be a way of exiling a card for an alternate result. Some have speculated that it may be a new sort of SUSPEND like mechanic. It would be interesting that with TIME SPIRAL returning next year with a REMASTERED set that we would be discussing the possibility of making TIME a resource again.

SUSPEND: allowing a player to exile a card with suspend from their hand and put a number of time counters on it. In each of that player’s upkeep steps, a time counter is removed. When all counters are removed, the spell is cast, and if it’s a creature, with Haste.

Possibly, it’s like SUSPEND with a more direct act. Either way, it probably involves you revealing the card to your opponent, therefore giving them a glimpse into the future. AND, whether the new mechanic involves exile or not, the card will definitely benefit from cards that exile themselves or other permanents and bring them back like Charming Prince, Emiel the blessed or Ephimarate. Looks like I might get that commander for that Exile deck I’ve been trying to build.

Before I forget, that symbol or number after ‘each turn costs’ has caused a bit of a stir. It may be a number cost to help with Fortell or Forcast or whatever the Keyword is. But, unless it’s just a moment where we see what we want to see, it looks like it may be a snow symbol. And snow permanents are one of the main types on MTG players Christmas list!

ELVEN EMPIRE

In the past week, I’ve done more speculation about elves in Kaldheim that anything else. And, I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. So to all of you screaming for Golgari Elves in Kaldheim, you have gotten your wish (Or so it would seem).

I’m not sure why everyone was calling for red in their elves, but you were wrong on that point. But despite the blurry text, one thing we can safely say, if this pic is to be believed, ELVEN EMPIRE is definitely BG.

Not only that, but we have another token heavy deck coming from Kaldheim. But, before we get any farther, let’s look at the speculated text for this commander.

The text as given by Mitch from COMMANDER’S QUARTERS reads thusly:

LARHRIL, BLADE OF THE ELVES 2BG

Legendary Creature-Elf Noble

Menace

Whenever Larhril, Blade of the Elves deals combat damage to a player, create that many 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature tokens.

{tap} Tap 5 (or 10?) elves you control: Each opponent loses 10 life and you gain 10 life.

2/3

Once again we get a creature that only does things if it makes combat contact, but the MENACE makes it harder to block, obviously. This seems to be more and more a way of offering advantage while balancing things as we have seen recently with cards like Angel of Destiny, Bladegriff Prototype and Shadow Stinger. But these won’t help here, of course.

So, any card you can add to this to make it more and more difficult to block will ramp this deck even more. Mitch from COMMANDER’S QUARTERS suggested Vorrac Battlehorns that makes the equipped unable to be blocked by two or more creatures; therefore making it virtually unblockable. Familiar Grounds and Alpha Authority does the same.

Also, obviously, any card that can make your commander unblockable like ROGUE’S PASSAGE is handy. But getting those in black and green is a bit more difficult than, say, blue without including FEAR and INTIMIDATE which are limited in their scope but adequate. I almost expect to see a card or cards like Rime Transfusion that can only be blocked by snow creatures. But that doesn’t help this commander unless they surprise us with an enchantment that does the same.

Doubling down on tokens is also another way of ramping the Wincon. Cards like Parallel Lives, Primal Vigor and Doubling Season can quicken the token ramp and rush to a win.

That last caveat got my attention. Have you noticed that BLACK has been more of the bastion of lifegain than WHITE lately? And this one is Golgari! Of course, this deck is less about lifegain and more about the wincon. It does have that you lose, I gain motif that’s been popular with B and BW. I mean in Zendikar Rising alone, there were four: Malakir Blood-Priest, Marauding Blight-Priest, Mind Drain and Zof Consumption.

Add elf to the mix and two cards jump out:

Nadier’s Nightblade only works with the death or sacrifice of said tokens.

Deathrite Shaman is Golgari and can ramp mana, hit each opponent with 2 lost life or ramp you 2 life. The only problem is it depends on having a great deal of differnt cards in your graveyard.

Elves have their own engines for ramping mana and generating tokens so there’s no need for me to try and cover that here. Also I’d suggest you go checkout Mitch’s video over at Commander’s Quarters. He always has some great ideas for building Commander decks, especially on a budget. You can also see his mockups also.

ONCE AGAIN, there’s a lot of ‘blurred lines’ here, so take this with the amount of speculation you would give any unofficial spoiler. We’re excited for these and hope you are too. Let us know in the comments what you think about what was spoiled and how you would build this!

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