December 17, 2020

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Daily Dose of Kaldheim #1 – Gods and the Return of Modal Double-Faced Cards

Welcome all to the start of the next Daily Dose season with the Daily Dose of Kaldheim!

It’s Heavy Metal time as Magic heads to the land of Vikings with their new set. There is a ton of excitement revolving around this set and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be amazing. There are a lot of ways to depict the time of Vikings and their setting and I believe Magic is doing it right so far. One of those things is having Legendary creatures that are Gods. That’s right, the return of Gods, but they aren’t quite the way we’ve seen them before. We’ll have a look at that shortly. Another thing returning is Modal Double-Faced Cards that we were introduced to in Zendikar Rising. These have been a fan-favourite design and one I’m glad to see back and am hoping they become evergreen and are in all sets.

Before I look at the new God from Kaldheim, let’s celebrate the completion of the Modal DFC land cycle.


At first, this seems just like the completion of a rare cycle from Zendikar Rising. However, the impact of having these four lands to complete the cycle is especially important. Without the Simic, Azorius, Rakdos, and Golgari Modal DFC lands, decks using just those two colours were at a major disadvantage for their land base compared to the other six two-colour combinations for the Zendikar Rising Standard season. To take it even further, certain three-colour decks were at a major disadvantage. Sultai, Bant, and Abzan were missing two Pathway lands and it made it more difficult to have a strong mana base of lands that didn’t all enter the battlefield tapped. Hopefully, with the completion of this land cycle, it will allow a stronger variation in decks now that all mana bases are at the same playing level.

Now that we’ve seen the new lands, it’s time to talk about the new God. Here is Modal DFC God Halvar, God of Battle // Sword of the Realms.

Halvar, God of Battle / Sword of the Realms

That’s right this Legendary God gives you the choice to cast it as a Legendary Equipment. Gods are back, but there is something you notice right away, and that is that they aren’t Indestructible or shuffle back into your deck like previous Gods we have seen. Does this make them weaker than previous God iterations? I don’t think so. Where the value of these Gods comes from is having a card in your hand that acts as two different spells. All the Modal DFCs in Zendikar Rising were lands on one side, which was great but didn’t improve the spell selection in your hand.  Another thing about having two Legendary spells is that having multiple of the same God in your deck has less of a drawback of drawing more than one into your hand. You can cast Sword of the Realms earlier in the game on turn two and cast another copy as Halvar, God of Battle on turn four.

Now let’s talk about each card itself. Halvar, God of Battle is a solid 4/4 for four mana that gives creatures double strike if they are enchanted or equipped. This makes Auras and Equipment just that more powerful in a deck with this card. If you’ve used an Aura on a smaller creature earlier in the game, you can move it over to Halvar, God of Battle after you cast it during combat or to a larger creature you have on the battlefield. This will help you place Auras on the best creature you have and save on the cost of re-equipping a creature with Equipment.

For Sword of the Realms, you have a solid equipment that provides decent stats in +2/+0 and Vigilance. The power of this equipment comes in the form of its ability to return creatures back to their owner’s hand if they die with Sword of the Realms equipped to it. With the creature having Vigilance, it makes it harder for your opponent to trade with it during either player’s combat as the trade is nullified with the creature going back to your hand. It will be interesting to see if the other Gods in the set are in a similar cycle of a creature on one side and an equipment on the other.

Now that we have the return of Modal DFC’s, I’m glad to see they have expanded the design space around them to not all be lands on one side of the card. This makes them even more powerful and allows you to have more variety in your decks when it comes to spell choices. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Kaldheim. Join me next time as I investigate the return of a Tribal type to Magic for the first time since the Lorwyn block.