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Kaldheim logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Double-headed axe
Design Ethan Fleischer (lead)[1][2]
Mark Globus
Jenna Helland
Noah Millrod
Dave Humpherys
Ari Nieh
Mark Rosewater
Yoni Skolnik
Development Dave Humphries (lead)[3][4]
Corey Bowen
Melissa DeTora
Mark Gottlieb
Bryan Hawley
Michael Majors
Donald Smith
Jenna Helland
Yoni Skolnik
Art direction Cynthia Sheppard
Release date February 5, 2021
Plane Kaldheim
Themes and mechanics Modal double-faced cards, tribal, Sagas, snow
Keywords/​ability words Boast, changeling, foretell
Set size 285 + 120
Expansion code KHM[5]
Development codename Equestrian
Forgotten Realms Standard
Zendikar Rising Kaldheim Strixhaven: School of Mages
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Commander Collection: Green Kaldheim Kaldheim
Commander Decks
For the plane, see Kaldheim (plane).

Kaldheim is the 86th Magic expansion. It is set on the plane of the same name. It was released on February 5, 2021.[6][7]

Set details[ | ]

“  Raise Your Axe  ”
KHM Viking showcase - Magda Brazen Outlaw

Viking showcase treatment.

This set is a top-down Norse mythology-inspired set; Magic's take on what a world inspired by Vikings might look like.[8][9] This set contains 285 regular cards (121 commons, 80 uncommons, 64 rares, 20 mythic rares, 10 basic lands) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards.[10] The number of regular cards include snow basic lands (#276-285). Each type has two different pieces of art. Alternate card frames have another card number than the original version. Borderless planeswalkers are numbered #286-289, borderless pathways are #290-293, borderless Foretell mythics are #294-298, Viking showcase cards are numbered #299-332, the showcase Vorinclex with Phyrexian text is #333 and extended artwork cards are numbered #334-373. Unique cards in Set- and Theme Boosters are numbered #374–393 (15 uncommons, 5 rares).[11] The basic land cards from the Bundle are numbered #394-398. The Buy-a-Box card is #399 and the Bundle promo is #400. The FNM-treatment cards from the Universal promo pack are numbered #401-405. The "Concept Praetor" art of Vorinclex, released with Phyrexia: All Will Be One, is #406.[12]

The Showcase cards are all Legendary Vikings. Their card frame features geometric patterns reminiscent of chiseled stone Viking art with "metal" artwork.[13]

Storyline[ | ]

KHM Bundle

Bundle featuring Kaya key art

The planeswalker Kaya visits a world of prophecy and legend, mortals and monsters.[14] A world of many realms, epic sagas, bound by one truth. Viking or Valkyrie, Elf or Dwarf, all belong to the World Tree, all are supplicant to the gods. Gods who travel between the realms to do their bidding for peace, for bloodshed, or for their own amusement. But what if there was a way to harness this power? A weapon with the ability to protect all. A weapon of pure strength. Forged for a god. Or... in more creative hands, a weapon of unimaginable chaos.

The World Tree is the origin of all life on Kaldheim, and you can see the branches in the sky in all ten realms. However, they look different in each realm. The Ten Realms are constantly shifting and moving around the World Tree and can even collide. Such an epic event is called a "doomskar" and causes earthquakes, destabilization, and total chaos.[15]

The cards that represent the Story Spotlights in Kaldheim are:

Magic Story[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story
Title Author Release Date Setting Featuring
Episode 1: Travelers Roy Graham with contributions by Jenna Helland 2021-01-07 Kaldheim Inga Rune-Eyes, Hras, Asi, Kaya, Toski (mentioned), Sarulf (mentioned), Hakka, Vorinclex, Alrund
Know Which Way the Wind is Blowing Setsu Uzumé 2021-01-08 Kaldheim Niko Aris, Kjell, Egil Seventree, Orhaft, Birgi, Thura, Kinkiller, Threat, Rytva, Avtyr, Fynn
Episode 2: Awaken the Trolls Roy Graham, Jenna Helland 2021-01-13 Kaldheim Kaya, Cosima, Tibalt, Tyvar Kell
Aim Through the Target Setsu Uzumé 2021-01-15 Kaldheim Niko Aris, Vígniút, Thura, Gæller, Aggressor, Avtyr, Evot, Tove, Gisla, Alsig, Rytva, Koma
Episode 3: The Saga of Tibalt Roy Graham 2021-01-20 Kaldheim Tibalt, Vorinclex, Narfi, Koll, Halvar, Harald, Varragoth, Koma
Brokenbrow Roy Graham 2021-01-22 Kaldheim Njala, Alajn, Arni, Hormgart, Tover
Episode 4: Into the Demons' Realm Roy Graham 2021-01-27 Kaldheim Kaya, Tyvar Kell, Varragoth, Tibalt
Direction. Purpose. Honor. Glory. Miguel Lopez 2021-01-29 Kaldheim Ranar, Bjorn, Egon, Firja
Episode 5: The Battle for Kaldheim Roy Graham with contributions by Jenna Helland 2021-02-03 Kaldheim Hakka, Arni, Fynn, Inga Rune-Eyes, Sigrid, Kaya, Tyvar Kell, Alrund, Halvar, Varragoth, Vorinclex, Cosima, Harald, Koma, Niko Aris, Esika
The Saga of Lathril Elsa Sjunneson 2021-02-05 Kaldheim Lathril, Lukya, Sarulf, Yadira, Lyana, Kit

Marketing[ | ]

KHM Collector Booster

Kaldheim Collector Booster with "metal" logo

KHM Set Boosters

Kaldheim Set Boosters packaging

KHM Bundle Dice

Kaldheim Bundle Spindown life counter

Kaldheim is sold in regular 16-card Draft Boosters (one card being a marketing card), Theme Boosters, Collector Boosters, Set Boosters, the Kaldheim Bundle, and two Commander decks.[16][17] For Kaldheim, the production of Welcome Boosters was put on hold for North America and Europe.[6] The Draft Boosters feature artwork from Niko, Kaya, Tibalt and Tyvar. The Theme Boosters feature art from Fynn, The Fangbearer (Vikings), Starnheim Aspirant ({W}), Littjara Kinseekers ({U}), Thornmantle Striker ({B}), Surtland Flinger ({R}), and Canopy Tactician ({G}). The Collector Boosters feature art of Toralf's Hammer. The Set Boosters feature unique art.

The marketing had a "Viking metal" theme, with cards spoiled by Heavy metal bands, and the Collector Booster sporting a metal inspired logo.

With the release of Kaldheim, 48 cards were rotated into The List, many of which were thematically or mechanically linked to the set.[18]

Events[ | ]

Promotional cards[ | ]

Tokens, emblems and markers[ | ]

The sixteenth card in the boosters is a token creature card, an emblem or a marker, with advertisements on the back side. It can also be a helper card with a standard card back. There are a total of 23 tokens and emblems:[20]

  1. {C} Shard, for Niko Aris.
  2. {W} 4/4 Angel Warrior creature with flying and vigilance, for Great Hall of Starnheim, Firja's Retribution, Starnheim Unleashed, and Valkyrie's Sword.
  3. {W} 1/1 Human Warrior creature, for Battle for Bretagard, Beskir Shieldmate, Maja, Bretagard Protector, and Usher of the Fallen.
  4. {W} 1/1 Spirit creature with flying, for Clarion Spirit, Kaya the Inexorable, and Valor of the Worthy.
  5. {U} 1/1 Bird creature with flying, for Alrund's Epiphany, Ravenform and The Raven's Warning.
  6. {U} 4/4 Giant Wizard creature, for Giant's Amulet.
  7. {U} Koma's Coil, a 3/3 Serpent creature, for Koma, Cosmos Serpent.
  8. {U} 2/2 Shapeshifter creature with changeling, for Maskwood Nexus and The Bears of Littjara.
  9. {B} 2/2 Zombie Berserker creature, for Deathknell Berserker, Draugr's Helm, and Rise of the Dread Marn.
  10. {R} 2/3 Demon Berserker creature with menace, for The Bloodsky Massacre.
  11. {R} 5/5 Dragon creature with flying, for Dragonkin Berserker.
  12. {R} 2/1 Dwarf Berserker creature, for Dwarven Hammer, Dwarven Reinforcements, Fearless Liberator, Reckless Crew and Warchanter Skald.
  13. {G} 2/2 Bear creature, for Path to the World Tree.
  14. {G} 2/2 Cat creature, for Esika's Chariot.
  15. {G} 1/1 Elf Warrior creature, for Battle for Bretagard, Elderleaf Mentor, Elven Ambush, Elven Bow, Elvish Warmaster, Return Upon the Tide, Skemfar Elderhall, and Tyvar Kell.
  16. {G} 4/4 Troll Warrior creature with trample, for Gnottvold Slumbermound, Old-Growth Troll, and Waking the Trolls.
  17. {C} Icy Manalith, a snow artifact with "{T}: Add one mana of any color.", for Svella, Ice Shaper.
  18. {C} Replicated Ring, a snow artifact with "{T}: Add one mana of any color.", for Replicating Ring.
  19. {C} Treasure, for Forging the Tyrite Sword, Goldspan Dragon, Magda, Brazen Outlaw, Seize the Spoils, Smashing Success, and Vault Robber.
  20. Emblem for Kaya the Inexorable.
  21. Emblem for Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor.
  22. Emblem for Tyvar Kell.
  23. Foretell marker.

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Foretell helper card

Foretell helper card

Kaldheim has a typal theme. Each Realm is associated with two colors of magic and one creature type,[15] with a particular strategy associated:

In lieu of the abandoned block model, R&D has found a new way to tie together the three non-core premier sets in a single Magic "year" (aka the fall, winter, and spring sets—using northern hemisphere seasons): they share a common mechanic. For Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim and Strixhaven: School of Mages that is modal double-faced cards.[21][22][23] Modal double-faced cards have two faces, one on each side. When you play a modal double-faced card, you choose the face you're playing. The nonland MDFC's of Kaldheim all feature a legendary God creature on one side and a legendary permanent on the other.

A returning mechanic is changeling, which is used to make a cohesive set (like it was used in Lorwyn and Modern Horizons previously). Changeling is a characteristic-defining ability that grants the object it’s on every creature type. The mechanic is again tied to shapeshifters.

A new mechanic is foretell. During your turn, you may pay {2} and exile a card with foretell from your hand face down. You may cast it on a later turn for its foretell cost.[24] Each card with foretell has a raven watermark, alluding to Hakka.

Another new mechanic is boast. Boast adds a drawback to an activated ability which is referred as the boast ability. The drawback is as follows: a player can only activate the boast ability after the creature with the ability attacks and at most once each turn.

Poison counters appear for the first time since the Scars of Mirrodin block as a one-off, on Fynn, the Fangbearer. Similarly, keyword counters reappear since their introduction in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, specifically flying counters (Ascendant Spirit, Ascent of the Worthy) and indestructible counters (Tyrite Sanctum).

An unnamed mechanic, dubbed "Cremate", uses creature cards in the graveyard as a resource. Another theme is that several cards have triggered abilities that trigger whenever you cast your second spell in a turn.[10]

Card types[ | ]

Kaldheim sees the second return of the Saga enchantment subtype, after appearances in Dominaria and Theros Beyond Death. They are multicolored for the first time.[25][15]

The supertype Snow also returns, and this time on non-permanents.[25] Snow doesn't really do anything by itself, but it can be referred to by other cards in various ways. Snow cards now have their own recognizable snow frame. Each Draft Booster will include a Snow basic land slot and has a chance to be foil. There is a chance for one of the dual snow lands to take the Snow land slot.

The set introduces the Rune and Shard[25] enchantment types.

Additionally, the set introduces the Niko and Tyvar planeswalker types, and the Phyrexian creature type on a surprise appearance of Vorinclex.[25]

Coward finally appears as a creature type on the card, Craven Hulk.

Viking was considered as a creature type, but R&D decided against it.[26][27] Instead, Viking-esque creatures have the creature type Warrior or Berserker. Supporting party from the previous set, classes represented are either Berserker or one of the party, and appear more on usually classless races like Angels, Demons, Zombies and Trolls.

Cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Foretell mythics Starnheim Unleashed Alrund's Epiphany Haunting Voyage Quakebringer Battle Mammoth
Five mythic rare monocolor spells with foretell. Each one has an alternate borderless treatment.
"Snow scalers" Search for Glory Graven Lore Blood on the Snow Tundra Fumarole Blessing of Frost
Five rare snow instants or sorceries that get better the more {S} you pay to cast them.
Clan leaders Sigrid, God-Favored Inga Rune-Eyes Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire Arni Brokenbrow Fynn, the Fangbearer
Five monocolored legends across rarities, each one a leader of one of the five clans of Bretagard.
Tribal equipment Valkyrie’s Sword Giant's Amulet Draugr’s Helm Dwarven Hammer Elven Bow
Five uncommon equipments that, for an additional cost, create a creature token of a relevant type.
Runes Rune of Sustenance Rune of Flight Rune of Mortality Rune of Speed Rune of Might
Five uncommon runes that give an evergreen ability to an enchanted creature, or allows an enchanted equipment to grant the same ability.[28] They all cost {1}M, have the enters the battlefield effect "draw a card", and are illustrated by Yeong-Hao Han.
Theme Booster exclusive rares Valkyrie Harbinger (Kaldheim) Surtland Elementalist (Kaldheim) Cleaving Reaper (Kaldheim) Surtland Flinger (Kaldheim) Canopy Tactician
Five rare creature cards that are exclusive in Theme Boosters.

Modal double-faced cycles[ | ]

Cycle name Side {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Mythic gods {dfc-front} Halvar, God of Battle Alrund, God of the Cosmos Valki, God of Lies Toralf, God of Fury Esika, God of the Tree
{dfc-back} Sword of the Realms Hakka, Whispering Raven Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor ({B/R}) Toralf's Hammer The Prismatic Bridge ({M})
Five mythic rare MDFCs, the front of each being a monocolor God creature and the back a legendary permanent spell. These include two Equipments, a creature, a planeswalker, and an enchantment.
Rare gods {dfc-front} Reidane, God of the Worthy Cosima, God of the Voyage Egon, God of Death Tergrid, God of Fright Birgi, God of Storytelling Kolvori, God of Kinship Jorn, God of Winter
{dfc-back} Valkmira, Protector's Shield The Omenkeel Throne of Death Tergrid's Lantern Harnfel, Horn of Bounty The Ringhart Crest Kaldring, the Rimestaff ({U/B})
Seven rare MDFCs, the front of each being a monocolor God and the back a legendary artifact spell. Odd cycle due to there being 12 gods present on Kaldheim.

Double cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W/U} {U/B} {B/R} {R/G} {G/W} {W/B} {U/R} {B/G} {R/W} {G/U}
Rare Sagas The Raven's Warning King Narfi's Betrayal The Bloodsky Massacre Waking the Trolls Battle for Bretagard Firja's Retribution Battle of Frost and Fire Harald Unites the Elves Showdown of the Skalds The Bears of Littjara
Ten rare dual-colored Sagas.
Uncommon Sagas Niko Defies Destiny The Trickster-God's Heist Kardur's Vicious Return Arni Slays the Troll Fall of the Impostor Ascent of the Worthy Invasion of the Giants Binding the Old Gods Forging the Tyrite Sword The Three Seasons
Ten uncommon dual-colored Sagas.
Draft legends Vega, the Watcher Narfi, Betrayer King Kardur, Doomscourge Svella, Ice Shaper Maja, Bretagard Protector Firja, Judge of Valor Aegar, the Freezing Flame Harald, King of Skemfar Koll, the Forgemaster Moritte of the Frost
Ten uncommon legendary creatures, each loosely supporting a draft archetype and hailing from the realm associated with their color pair.
Realm locales Gates of Istfell ({W}) Port of Karfell ({U}) Immersturm Skullcairn ({B}) Gnottvold Slumbermound ({R}) Bretagard Stronghold ({G}) Great Hall of Starnheim ({B}) Surtland Frostpyre ({R}) Skemfar Elderhall ({G}) Axgard Armory ({W}) Littjara Mirrorlake ({U})
Ten uncommon taplands that each tap for M and have a powerful onetime effect that costs XMNN. There is one for each of Kaldheim's ten realms. M is the realm's primary color, while N is the secondary color.[15]
Snow duals Glacial Floodplain Ice Tunnel Sulfurous Mire Highland Forest Arctic Treeline Snowfield Sinkhole Volatile Fjord Woodland Chasm Alpine Meadow Rimewood Falls
Ten common snow taplands with basic land subtypes.[29]

Mega cycles[ | ]

Cycle name Side {W/U} {U/B} {B/R} {R/G} {G/W} {W/B} {U/R} {B/G} {R/W} {G/U}
Pathways {dfc-front} Hengegate Pathway Blightstep Pathway Darkbore Pathway Barkchannel Pathway
{dfc-back} Mistgate Pathway Searstep Pathway Slitherbore Pathway Tidechannel Pathway
Four rare modal double-faced lands, each side of which enters untapped and taps for a single color of mana. The other six were featured in Zendikar Rising.[21][30]

Pairs[ | ]

Functional pair Description
Giant Ox ({W}) Colossal Plow ({C}) A creature with a crew value of 6 and a vehicle with crew 6, representing giant variations of entities that work in concert on farms in real life.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Functional reprints[ | ]

Misprints[ | ]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Kaldheim features two Commander decks that are released as a regular part of a set's product line.

deck name
Color Identity Commander
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Elven Empire B G Lathril, Blade of the Elves
Phantom Premonition W U Ranar the Ever-Watchful

Notable cards[ | ]

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Tibalt's Trickery, while intended as a high-risk high-reward counterspell for red, proved highly exploitable — players would counter their own spells in order to cheat expensive cards into play. Modern was the most vulnerable format for this exploit, thanks to cascade guaranteeing a hit, and thus a ban quickly ensued.[33] The impact on Historic was minimal at first, but with the introduction of cascade to Arena via Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, Tibalt's Trickery decks came to dominate the Historic metagame. After several months, the card was banned from Historic.[34] Months later, Explorer banned the card within weeks of the format's introduction;[35] it proved powerful enough that Timeless restricted the card from the very start of the format.[36]
  • Alrund's Epiphany is similar to Nexus of Fate as an extra-turn spell that impacted Standard. It released to moderate success, due to the highly aggressive, tempo-based meta of the time that made a 6-7 mana spell a risky investment. This changed with the fall 2021 rotation knocking the tempo decks out of the meta, followed by the release of Galvanic Iteration in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. The second half of 2021 saw a large share of blue/red control decks that sought to outlast the opponent long enough to cast and copy many Epiphanies, then kill them with the bird tokens. Despite similar decks comprising a majority of contenders at the 2021 World Championship, Wizards of the Coast declined to take action to diversify the metagame, stating that they would wait to see Innistrad: Crimson Vow's impact on the meta.[37] Unfortunately, Crimson Vow only made things worse, augmenting extra-turns decks with Alchemist's Gambit and Hullbreaker Horror. With the creation of Alchemy, the card was nerfed in that format to A-Alrund's Epiphany, but the original card's tyranny over Standard remained until its ban on January 25, 2022.[38]
  • Faceless Haven was well-received for the first half of Kaldheim's lifetime in Standard. In the Standard 2022 preview queue, it combined with The Book of Exalted Deeds to allow players to control a land that prevented them from losing, resulting in that card's temporary ban until rotation. As Alrund's Epiphany decks came to dominate the meta, monocolored aggro decks rose to oppose them, decks in which Faceless Haven proved problematic as a creature resistant to removal with a low opportunity cost. Faceless Haven was banned alongside Alrund's Epiphany in January 2022.

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (September 17, 2020). "Who were the lead designers of Kaldheim, Strixhaven and Forgotten Realms". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Wizards of the Coast. "Kaldheim Credits".
  3. Melissa DeTora (January 14, 2021). "Kaldheim Limited Preview". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Dave Humpherys (January 19, 2021). "Leading Kaldheim Set Design". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast. "Standings 2020-21".
  6. a b c WPN (October 29, 2020). "Kaldheim: All the Dates & Scheduling Info You Need". Wizards Play Network.
  7. Wizards of the Coast (December 14, 2020). "Welcome to the Face-Melting World of Kaldheim". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Blake Rasmussen (September 1, 2020). "Zendikar Debut and Announcement Day Recap". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (September 8, 2020). "Is Kaldheim a top-down Norse Mythology inspired plane?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  10. a b Matt Tabak (January 22, 2021). "Kaldheim Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Blake Rasmussen (December 16, 2020). "Set and Theme Booster Additions". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Clayton Kroh and Adam Styborski (December 13, 2022). "A First Look at Phyrexia: All Will Be One". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Mike Turian (December 17, 2020). "Collecting Kaldheim". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Procoretech (November 12, 2020). "Bored so enhancing bad photos of rubbish seems fine.. oh and, Bearded Axe". Reddit.
  15. a b c d Mark Rosewater (January 11, 2021). "Norsing Around, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. WPN (December 17, 2020). "First Kaldheim Previews: Buy-a-Box, Packaging, Product Mix & More". Wizards Play Network.
  17. Ari Zirulnik (January 7, 2021). "Kaldheim Product Overview". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Wizards of the Coast (December 16, 2020). "Updating The List for Kaldheim". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Gavin Verhey (January 26, 2021). "Kaldheim Prerelease Trailer". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Kendall Pepple (January 20, 2021). "The Tokens of Kaldheim". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. a b Mark Rosewater (September 7, 2020). "Zendikar Rising to the Challenge, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Amanda Yeo (September 4, 2020). "New 'Magic: The Gathering' Zendikar Rising card makes rocks fall, everyone dies".
  23. Mark Rosewater (September 4, 2020). "Just want to confirm that this is accurate information?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  24. Matt Tabak (December 7, 2020). "Kaldheim Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. a b c d Kaldheim Fest (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.
  26. Mark Rosewater (December 20, 2020). "Was viking too real world to be a creature type?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  27. Mark Rosewater (December 21, 2020). "But.... it is a job title.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  28. Mark Rosewater (January 18, 2021). "Norsing Around, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Mark Rosewater (January 25, 2021). "Kaldheim Storytime, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Mark Rosewater (September 11, 2020). "Will they still be "X Pathway // Y Pathway"?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  31. Matt Tabak (February 2, 2021). "Kaldheim Oracle Changes". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Mark Rosewater (March 6, 2021). "Four cards in Kaldheim create Angel Warrior tokens, but two cards create otherwise identical Angel tokens that aren't Warriors.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  33. Ian Duke (February 15, 2021). "February 15, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Wizards of the Coast (October 13, 2021). "October 13, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Wizards of the Coast (May 11, 2022). "May 11, 2022 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Dave Finseth (December 4, 2023). "Introducing Timeless, a new MTG Arena format". Wizards of the Coast.
  37. Jay Parker & Donald Smith (October 13, 2021). "October 13, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Ian Duke & Jay Parker (January 25, 2022). "January 25, 2022 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]