January 7, 2021

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Daily Dose of Kaldheim #3 – Half God, Half Planeswalker!

Welcome back to the Daily Dose of Kaldheim. After a little break, we are full steam ahead on all news related to Kaldheim. The metal set is in full song and cards are coming at us fast and furiously. There are new mechanics and some changes to some card types we haven’t seen before, but today I want to talk about two new planeswalkers, including ones we haven’t seen before! Planeswalkers are often the centerpiece of a set and are showcases for what a set’s all about. In this set, we have a new planeswalker called Niko Aris and the return of the bad guy of Magic, Tibalt. As you will see later in this article though, Tibalt likes to disguise himself as a God. More to come on that shortly!

One thing I love doing is drawing cards, and do you know what, so does the brand new Niko Aris.

Niko Aris

This Sphinx’s Revelation in planeswalker form gives you a chance to make this card more valuable, the later in the game you play it. Having X in a casting cost is always nice and gives you the flexibility to play it anywhere from turn 3 onwards. Let’s break down this planeswalker's abilities.

When Niko Aris enters the battlefield, create X Shard tokens. (They're enchantments with "2, Sacrifice this enchantment: Scry 1, then draw a card.") – Shards are the new and improved Clue Token everyone. Not only do you get to draw a card but get to Scry 1 first for better card selection. You can save the Shards for later in the game when you have the mana to crack them. Imagine having Archon of Sun’s Grace in play, this means you create X Shards and X 2/2 Pegasus Tokens as well. How about playing it with Setessan Champion on the battlefield. You will get to immediately draw X Cards and have X +1/+1 counters placed on Setessan Champion. A few great synergies are available with this on top of the ability to already draw cards from the Shards themselves.

[+1]: Up to one target creature you control can't be blocked this turn. Whenever that creature deals damage this turn, return it to its owner's hand. – This allows you to both get in an unblocked attack but works amazingly well with creatures you have with enter the battlefield abilities. How about using it with Barrin, Tolarian Archmage for some crazy value. Using it with Charming Prince leads to more value and is cheap to recast. Using it with Gadwick, the Wizened will provide you with a chance to draw more cards when you recast it. Imagine getting even more value with your Yorion, Sky Nomad. It already gets so much value!!

[-1]: Niko Aris deals 2 damage to target tapped creature for each card you've drawn this turn. – This is a mediocre removal ability, which in some circumstances will not be able to be used to protect itself. In turns after you cast it, you will often be able to deal 4 damage or more to one creature by sacrificing some Shard Tokens for extra card draw.

[-1]: Create a Shard token. – This leads to more future cards drawn, and more enchantments on the battlefield for any synergies. A solid way to get more value out of the card over a couple of turns. Basically, two mana gets you a Scry and a card, not bad at all.

Now that we’ve made a ton of enchantments and drawn a ton of cards, it’s time for the Metal planeswalker themselves, Tibalt. This time though, Tibalt is part of a Modal Double-Faced Card, with Tibalt on the backside and a new God on the front side. Here is Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor.

Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter

You can look at his card as a God with a bonus chance to cast it as a planeswalker, or a planeswalker with a bonus chance to cast it as a God. Either way having that option is great. With Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor being 7 mana to cast it, it’s nice to have an early game option for two mana with Valki, God of Lies. For two mana you get a 2/1 creature that has the chance to grow larger and better as it impersonates another creature thanks to its ability. You also get to remove a creature card from your opponents’ hand temporarily for as long as you can keep Valki, God of Lies on the battlefield. Not overly powerful, but a nice option for a two-mana creature. Let’s break down this planeswalker's abilities.

As Tibalt enters the battlefield, you get an emblem with “You may play cards exiled with Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast those spells.” – This is one sweet emblem, and you don’t even need to use a loyalty ability to get it. This means you will get at minimum one card to play just by having Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor enter the battlefield. It’s nice that this works for future Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor’s cast later in the game as well.

[+2]: Exile the top card of each player’s library. – This both exiles a card from your opponents’ library (yours as well) but gives you two cards that can be played. It also puts Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor up to 7 loyalty making it harder to kill with damage. It only takes two turns after using this ability to get to Tibalt’s ultimate ability which might be too much for your opponent to overcome.

[-3]: Exile target artifact or creature. – This 2-for-1 ability both acts as removal and a future permanent for yourself. It does bring Tibalt down to 2 loyalty on its first turn, but this 2-for-1 value might be enough to make it worthwhile. This ability also helps protect itself from dying with only 2 loyalty left as well.

[-8]: Exile all cards from all graveyards. Add RRR. – This plus Tibalt’s emblem means you will have cards to play for the rest of the game. It even gives you 3 mana to use to help cast some of these newly acquired exiles cards. With the top +2 loyalty ability, it only takes 2 additional turns to be able to use this ability and start taking over the game.

There you have it folks, two powerful new planeswalkers as well as a God to boot. I think because of the God half of the card that both will be playable in Standard as you aren’t waiting around to cast a 7-mana spell. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Kaldheim. Join me again tomorrow as I talk more about the assault on the senses that is Heavy Metal Kaldheim!