Most of you have probably never heard my name, so I would like to introduce myself before jumping into the analysis of this new Kaldheim Standard format.
My name is Walter Scuderi and I am an Italian magic player. I have played our beloved game since I was just 11 years old. I managed to play a couple of Pro Tours in the past and I am really excited about the opportunity to get back in the competitive scene.
I hope you all will like what I have to say. I can’t wait for your feedback and I’m hoping you’ll appreciate all the stuff you can find here at 95mtg.com.
Let’s drop all the preambles and get to what really matters: the new Kaldheim Standard! With the release of the new set Kaldheim on February 5th, the Standard format showed a lot of new decks that we can analyze according to the results of the first week of tournaments. This is where players start to try new cards and new interactions to find the best deck that can dominate the metagame.
AGGRO IN KALDHEIM STANDARD
This is one of the best choices for the first week. Gruul had a solid base already in Zendikar Rising: the adventure base formed by Edgewall Innkeeper, Bonecrusher Giant and Lovestruck Beast dominated the metagame in the past year. With the new expansion, we gain one of the best cards of the new set: Goldspan Dragon. This big red dragon is looking to be one of the most played cards of the new Kaldheim Standard metagame. It gives your deck a good solution for the late game and is a hasty flyer. This is really important in a matchup where your opponent can clear the board (cards like Extinction Event and Shadows Verdict are played in multiple copies in all Yorion decks) to restart the race.
Wilt: This is a really good card to have in your sideboard and you will use it often. It’s a good play against Embercleave, and can also destroy The Great Henge and The Akroan War. It’s strong against WR to destroy Glass Casket and Showdown of the Skalds as well. It can also be good against Yorion decks to avoid Binding the Old Gods or to interrupt Kiora Bests the Sea God sheaningans before your opponent taps all of your permanents and steals one.
Soul Sear / Fire Prophecy / Run Afoul / Redcap Melee: In each sideboard you will find this removals for the massive presence of aggressive decks in this meta. Soul Sear is really important especially against WR to kill Seasoned Hallowblade since it would remove its ability to be indestructible.
Ox of Agonas: This is the most played card of the sideboard for players that use red. Drawing three cards against UR can be helpful. It’s also very good against Rogue decks, where you can play it from the graveyard for it’s Escape cost pretty easily and gain some advantage.
Klothys, God of Destiny: This is another card that you will find in every sideboard and is a strong opponent against Yorion decks. This card stacks up well against RB midrange removing cards from any graveyard and avoiding Kroxa from possibly Escaping and hitting the battlefield again. This card is also useful against UR and Rogues as it’s really hard to remove from the battlefield.
Boros comes back to Standard with the addition of another card that you will see played a lot: Showdown of the Skalds. This new Saga is what an aggro deck wants, four cards that you can play until the end of next turn is all that you need. The second and the third parts make our creature bigger, what more can you ask for?
Usher of the Fallen is another good addition because it is an important one mana drop. The interaction between Shepherd of the Flock and the new Saga makes the white creature another 4x to play. Giant Killer is not an aggro card per say, but in a metagame full of big creatures it must be played with multiple copies.
Drannith Magistrate: This is a really great card that you can side against Adventure decks. It also works well against Yorion decks to avoid your opponent from playing Ultimatum combos.
Phoenix of Ash / Outlaws’s Merriment / Reidane, God of the Worthy: These are all good cards against control decks. While Phoenix of Ash can come back after death, Outlaws’ Merriment is a good enchantment to have on the board. Reidane is the most versatile card of the sideboard because it can slow down a control deck by making Snow-Covered lands come into play tapped.
It’s really hard to see a Standard format where Monored is not a good deck and Kaldheim Standard makes no difference. The solid base of last year’s Monored can now benefit of the addition of the Snow-Covered Mountains. This gives access to the one mana removal Frost Bite, which the deck really needed.
Another important improvement is Faceless Heaven, a land that gives a good solution after a board wipe and can be a good mana sink for the late game. Goldspan Dragon is present here too as an additional demonstration that this card will be a Standard staple for sure.
Roiling Vortex: This is a card we see in all monored decks. It is very effective against control decks since it is a clock that your opponent must consider. The most important thing it does against Yorion decks is that it makes the Ultimatums way more complicated to use as they will cost 5 additional life points.
Ox of Agonas: It has the same functions it has in the Gruul deck.
The last aggro deck that you will see around is Monogreen and, just like for Monored, there are the Snow-Covered lands that allow you to cast a strong removal for only one mana, Blizzard Brawl.
This spell will act as a 1 mana removal with a little pump as a small benefit. Old-Growth Troll is another good addition, a 3 mana 4/4 that comes back later as a token is not bad at all!
Chainweb Aracnir: This is the best card that you can play in your sideboard if you think that you will face a lot of Rogues. For them, this card it’s a nightmare. It deals damage to a flying creature when cast and then even more damage when Escaped.
Garruk’s Harbinger: This is the best card against Yorion decks because it has hexproof against black and they have very few ways to deal with it.
Weathered Runestone: Always the same lovely graveyard hate.
My first impression of the new Kaldheim Standard is that it is really good and fresh. We will need some time, of course, to see how the metagame will evolve but I think that with this new set the metagame will allow you to play a lot of different types of decks and all of these will be competitive. If you like the aggro strategy I hope that this article will help you to make a good choice of what deck to play for your next games.
I’ll see you next week with the analysis of other archetypes and my general thoughts on the format!
And welcome again on 95mtg.com!