Modal Double-Faced Commanders: Kaldheim changes things

A bit of Viking goodness, brought to you by BDC

Well, spoiler season is upon us and it is METAL! Even without all of the musical interludes, the Kaldheim set is a different breed; bringing the fight to the table and favor from the gods. There are a dozen cards, mechanics and decktecks I could get into right now. But I must focus. (Man, way too much to compute! Burning up my processor!)

One of the nuances that Kaldheim brings to the table is its continuing use of dual modal cards. And I’m not just talking those awesome lands that Zendikar Rising started and we’re continuing in the new set. No, early on, we were introduced to a god of Kaldheim named Halvar, god of battle. Now we had dual modal lands that were creatures before in the Zendikar set last year. BUT none of them were legendary.

Halvar was unique in that he was not only a god card, but he was dual modal (as stated before) and his back side was The Sword of the Realms. So, Wotc is continuing their work on giving us options as not to be stuck with dead cards in our hands. And it seems to be working like a champ! I know I loved having the options in Zendikar to play one land or another or even play an instant, sorcery or creature instead. But creating Halvar changed the game. Kaldheim will be the first set where we can play a dual modal Legendary. And you know what that means? These type of cards can be your commander.

So, if you thought the option to play Halvar or the Sword of the Realms from the command zone is a game changer, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Because today, in the opening twitch stream for spoiler season, two more dual modal legendaries were revealed!’

First off, we got a Tibalt planeswalker as promised, but no one had a clue that he would be dual modal with a god card on the front side. Seems like our little half-devil troublemaker is doing some heavy duty impersonation on Kaldheim! No, not that Tibalt isn’t bad enough. But he’s invading this plane in style; taking the form of their god of lies. And, YES, he can be your commander!

We had a conversation over Twitter with Sheldon Menery of the Comander Rules Committe to get some clarification.

So Tibalt brings the red/black to the commander deck no matter what side you play. But you’re going to still have to be careful. The Commander tax counts it as one card too. Say you play the two drop Valki, god of lies, and it dies. Well, if you want to bring out Tilbalt next, it’s going to cost you a whopping eight! So, although we finally got a usable Tibalt planeswalker card, it’s an expensive one. But I think well worth it. Anyway, if you build your manabase right, you won’t have to worry about the cost so much.

The third dual modal god card brought to us by Wotc’s stream today was one that was spoiled way back in October. Alrund, god of the cosmos, was featured in the figures Wizkids will be bringing us later in the year. Once again, you can play either side from the command zone, but this one has a special caveat that I think we will see on many dual modal cards in the future. If you play the two drop Hakka, Whispering Raven, and deal combat damage to a player, it goes back to your hand. This way, now, you can play Alrund straight out without paying any extra commander taxes.

Once again, once the creature equipped with Sword of the Realms dies, it returns to your hand!

This means Angelic Field Marshal not only can wield the Sword of the Realms and get +2/+0, also gets the +2/+2 bonus and all of your creatures have vigilance! Suddenly the Marshal is a 7/5 with flying and vigilance! That alone is value.

Other cards that would work with the Halvar/Sword of the Realms commander are:

BUT, before you make grand plans to use cards like Trusty Retriever to go after the Sword of the Realms from the graveyard, first you must realize that the artifact equipment is actually on the back side of the card. When dual modal cards are in the graveyard or library, they are officially face up. So the only side you can search for is the front which has the one triangle symbol. Sorry.

But any cards that grab creatures from the graveyard will work on Halvar, Elrund, Hakka, Valki but not on Tibalt.

Despite this, Halvar looks to be a strong commander; ramping creatures in a heavy equipment/enchantment deck. That double strike could end the game quickly. Alrund would work well in a draw deck with maybe foretell, obviously. But that second ability would make the God of the Cosmos powerful in a spells matter deck.

Tibalt’s card has a free ability that allows him to play cards his side of the card exiles, but not the ones that Valki exiles. But it still could be a powerful game changer in the Meta. Still, Valki making copies of your opponent’s creatures and Tibalt exiling about everything and THEN turning around to play them? Might get to be a powerful combo. I’m definitely looking forward to putting Tibalt/Valki in my traitor deck. I mean, who doesn’t love using your opponents permanents against them?

Anyway, so many decks to build; so much to brew. Needless to say, I’m hankering to get started in Kaldheim. And I really look forward to seeing what YOU come up with! Later, fellow players, keep watch here and on The Magic Tavern’s social media for more! We have a giveaway going on our facebook page. See there for details.

One last extra bit for the blue commander Alrund/Hakka, a few commander aids for you:

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