I’ve been excited for Kaldheim as soon as I saw the card, Magda, Brazen Outlaw! I’ve waited for some decent Dwarves to show in MTG for the last two years and, within the 10 realms of Kaldheim, I believe we’ve finally arrived at Dwarf Tribal. (And make sure to hang to the end for a couple of jank possibilities.
But, reading over this card, you realize that it is much more than Dwarf Tribal. Of course, the first line screams it, but, once you read on, you find other trigger themes just as important as ‘Dwarf’. The key words on this card ARE Dwarves, ‘Treasure token’, artifact and Dragon. If you can synch all four of these words in one deck whether it’s standard, commander, historic or any other format, you will have an engine that will be hard to shut down.
Raise the Standard! Raise your AX!!
Obviously, in Standard you will have fewer tools to accomplish this. And, with Dwarves in Kaldheim, you have two color choices: Red and White. Now monored would be a far easier and straightforward approach. Magda herself being red almost dictates this, but I can’t wait to play some mixed decks using this strong dwarf.
If you go monored to tick the Dwarf box, the first dwarf that comes to mind is the ever present Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. This will guarantee that all of those red dwarves are doing an extra 2 damage each attack. If you want to keep ramping their damage, drop in Fiery Emancipation and just triple that damage. Keep adding to the ramp damage with Eldraine’s Seven Dwarves where you can, not only, have seven in your deck but they build power exponentially for each copy present on the battlefield. Rimrock Knight is probably the weakest dwarf especially with all of those strong cards coming in the next set but he does have the adventurer that ramps a creature.
As stated previously, Kaldheim is opening the gate on the dwarves’ stronghold of Axgard. And, according to plan, there are a few cards built to synch with the new future of Dwarf Tribal.
First off, we get two handy sorceries that drop Dwarf Berserker Tokens. Dwarven Reinforcements creates two and can also be brought out earlier using that Fortell cost. Instead of waiting till you have four mana, you can now drop those tokens on turn three, at least. Also Reckless Crew creates as many of those tokens as Vehicles and Equipments you control. I know, it seems as though they are dictating the only route for building this tribe, but actually it’s just Wotc giving us options. You can build it equipment ‘Voltron’ and/or Vehicle heavy. So many options!
Next we have Fearless Liberator that makes good use of that new mechanic: Boast. Upon every attack, you may pay 2/red and drop yet another of those tokens upon the battlefield ready to attack next turn.
Also a new weapon Dwarven Hammer, as it enters the battlefield, allows you to pay 2 for a 2/1 red Dwarf Berserker creature token of which you can attach the hammer to.
If you’re going equipment, Koll, the Forgemaster is there to support. Although you will have to throw a dash of white in the deck, not only does it ramp all of those tokens that you can get equipped (or enchanted-more options), but those nontoken, equipped creatures have protection from death. If they die wielding their weapon, they will not go to the graveyard. Instead, they will return to your hand. Value!
That second key word is Artifact, but for the Dwarves, it screams equipment aka weapons. In monored, you have many choices for equipment in standard. Some of the best are, of course, some of those new weapons that ramp the creature more than the normal artifact. Bearded Axe ramps the equipped creature by Dwarf, Equipment AND Vehicle. So no matter how you build it, you ramp it. But don’t forget, Toralf, God of Fury, may or may not benefit your build, but that Hammer/equipment is a sweet addition to your arsenals. But don’t forget some of those sweet weapons still in standard: Embercleave, Shadowspear, Scavenged Blade, Bronze Sword and Short Sword.
The third keyword for the Magda build is Treasure Tokens. Not since Ixalan and Pirate have we seen so many mentions of these special tokens. Wotc has built in SO many ways to do this. It’s apparent that they learned a great deal from past creations and have nearly mastered giving us options to accomplish our goals. We have a weapon, Goldvein Pick, that creates them with combat damage. We have a Dwarf in Vault Robber. A sorcery, Seize the Spoils, which draws 2, discards one and creates a Treasure Token. Smashing Success, an instant, allows you to destroy an artifact AND create a token.
AND we have two dragons who generate them. And DRAGONS are our fourth Key Word! Goldspan Dragon which creates them every attack or if it’s being targets and Coreset 21’s Gadrak, the Crown-Scourged which has a possibility of creating multiple tokens on your end step.
And don’t forget those cool SAGAs that Kaldheim is pumping out. You will have to build it Boros, but it might be worth it with a few Forging the Tyrite Swords in your deck. Not only do you create 2 treasure tokens, but you go search for an equipment card OR Halvar, God of Battle. You may not want the god card in there, but you will definely want that awesome Sword of the Realms!
Of course, Standard has a few dragons worth building in for Magda’s token cash in.
If you build white/red, you have a few more options for dwarves and equipments to round out a nice ‘Voltron’ deck.
Just a thought: Lithoform Engine! Sure if you have 4 mana handy (and with your deck blowing out those Treasure tokens, you should have), you can make a copy of a permanent. But, for just 2, you can copy Magda’s ability and go search for TWO dragons!
If you want a challenge build it in Mardu. You get the great weapons and creatures from both red and white AND you get removal from the destruction of red and the death cards of black. But, over on top of this, you could play this Enchantment: Offspring’s Revenge and make tokens of the Dwarves in your graveyard!
Oh, there is so many builds to build, my friends! And the fun begins next week. What wild plans do you have for Magda and her merry band of dwarves? Drop them in the comments below, on our social media or, better yet, we will see you and your personal bit of jank on the battlefield in Arena once Kaldheim drops!