|Symbol description||Double-headed axe|
Ethan Fleischer (lead)|
Dave Humphries (lead)|
|Art direction||Cynthia Sheppard|
|Release date||February 5, 2021|
|Themes and mechanics||Modal double-faced cards, tribal, Sagas, snow|
|Keywords/ability words||Boast, changeling, foretell|
|Set size||285 + 120|
|Forgotten Realms Standard|
|Magic: The Gathering Chronology|
- For the plane, see Kaldheim (plane).
|“||Raise Your Axe||”|
This set is a top-down Norse mythology-inspired set; Magic's take on what a world inspired by Vikings might look like. 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. 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). 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 planeswalker Kaya visits a world of prophecy and legend, mortals and monsters. 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.
The cards that represent the Story Spotlights in Kaldheim are:
|Episode 1: Travelers||Roy Graham with contributions by Jenna Helland||2021-01-07||Kaldheim||Kaya, Inga, Alrund|
|Know Which Way the Wind is Blowing||Setsu Uzumé||2021-01-08||Kaldheim||Niko Aris|
|Episode 2: Awaken the Trolls||Roy Graham, Jenna Helland||2021-01-13||Kaldheim||Kaya, Tibalt, Tyvar Kell|
|Aim Through the Target||Setsu Uzumé||2021-01-15||Kaldheim||Niko Aris|
|Episode 3: The Saga of Tibalt||Roy Graham||2021-01-20||Kaldheim||Tibalt|
|Episode 4: Into the Demons' Realm||Roy Graham||2021-01-27||Kaldheim||Kaya, Tibalt, Tyvar Kell|
|Direction. Purpose. Honor. Glory.||Miguel Lopez||2021-01-29||Kaldheim||Ranar, Egon, Firja|
|Episode 5: The Battle for Kaldheim||Roy Graham with contributions by Jenna Helland||2021-02-03||Kaldheim||Kaya, Inga, Vorinclex, Niko Aris, Tibalt, Tyvar Kell|
|The Saga of Lathril||Elsa Sjunneson||2021-02-05||Kaldheim||Lathril, Lukya, Kit, Sarulf|
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. For Kaldheim, the production of Welcome Boosters was put on hold for North America and Europe. The Draft Boosters feature artwork from Niko, Kaya, Tibalt and Tyvar. The Theme Boosters feature art from Fynn, The Fangbearer (Vikings), Starnheim Aspirant (), Littjara Kinseekers (), Thornmantle Striker (), Surtland Flinger (), and Canopy Tactician (). The Collector Boosters feature art of Toralf's Hammer. The Set Boosters feature unique art.
- Magic Online and MTG Arena release: January 28, 2021
- Tabletop Prerelease: January 29–February 4
- Launch party: February 6–February 7
- Friday Night Magic: February 5–April 9
- Commander Nights (a weekly Commander league with rotating rules and achievement-based prizes): February 8–April 15
- Prerelease: a stamped card that can be any rare or mythic rare of Kaldheim.
- Other events: cards from the Kaldheim universal promo pack.
- Buy-a-Box: foil alternate art Realmwalker
- Bundle promo: foil alternate art Reflections of Littjara
- Bring-a-Friend: Reliquary Tower 
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:
- Shard, for Niko Aris.
- 4/4 Angel Warrior creature with flying and vigilance, for Great Hall of Starnheim, Firja's Retribution, Starnheim Unleashed, and Valkyrie's Sword.
- 1/1 Human Warrior creature, for Battle for Bretagard, Beskir Shieldmate, Maja, Bretagard Protector, and Usher of the Fallen.
- 1/1 Spirit creature with flying, for Clarion Spirit, Kaya the Inexorable, and Valor of the Worthy.
- 1/1 Bird creature with flying, for Alrund's Epiphany, Ravenform and The Raven's Warning.
- 4/4 Giant Wizard creature, for Giant's Amulet.
- Koma's Coil, a 3/3 Serpent creature, for Koma, Cosmos Serpent.
- 2/2 Shapeshifter creature with changeling, for Maskwood Nexus and The Bears of Littjara.
- 2/2 Zombie Berserker creature, for Deathknell Berserker, Draugr's Helm, and Rise of the Dread Marn.
- 2/3 Demon Berserker creature with menace, for The Bloodsky Massacre.
- 5/5 Dragon creature with flying, for Dragonkin Berserker.
- 2/1 Dwarf Berserker creature, for Dwarven Hammer, Dwarven Reinforcements, Fearless Liberator, Reckless Crew and Warchanter Skald.
- 2/2 Bear creature, for Path to the World Tree.
- 2/2 Cat creature, for Esika's Chariot.
- 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.
- 4/4 Troll Warrior creature with trample, for Gnottvold Slumbermound, Old-Growth Troll, and Waking the Trolls.
- Icy Manalith, a snow artifact with ": Add one mana of any color.", for Svella, Ice Shaper.
- Replicated Ring, a snow artifact with ": Add one mana of any color.", for Replicating Ring.
- Treasure, for Forging the Tyrite Sword, Goldspan Dragon, Magda, Brazen Outlaw, Seize the Spoils, Smashing Success, and Vault Robber.
- Emblem for Kaya the Inexorable.
- Emblem for Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor.
- Emblem for Tyvar Kell.
- Foretell marker.
Themes and mechanics
- : Spirits, foretell control
- : Zombies, snow midrange
- : Demons and Berserkers, boast aggro
- : Trolls, ramp
- : Humans, tokens
- : Angels, "pseudo-surge"
- : Giants, "spells matter" and Giant tribal
- : Elves, self-mill and Elf tribal
- : Dwarves, Vehicles and Equipment
- : Shapeshifters, changeling / "choose a creature type" tribal
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. 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 and exile a card with foretell from your hand face down. You may cast it on a later turn for its foretell cost. 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.
The supertype Snow also returns, and this time on non-permanents. 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.
Viking was considered as a creature type, but R&D decided against it. 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.
|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 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. They all cost M, have the enters the battlefield effect "draw a card", and are illustrated by Yeong-Hao Han.|
|Theme Booster exclusive rares||Valkyrie Harbinger||Surtland Elementalist||Cleaving Reaper||Surtland Flinger||Canopy Tactician|
|Five rare creature cards that are exclusive in Theme Boosters.|
Modal double-faced cycles
|Mythic gods||Halvar, God of Battle||Alrund, God of the Cosmos||Valki, God of Lies||Toralf, God of Fury||Esika, God of the Tree|
|Sword of the Realms||Hakka, Whispering Raven||Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor ()||Toralf's Hammer||The Prismatic Bridge ()|
|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||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|
|Valkmira, Protector's Shield||The Omenkeel||Throne of Death||Tergrid's Lantern||Harnfel, Horn of Bounty||The Ringhart Crest||Kaldring, the Rimestaff ()|
|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.|
|Pathways||Hengegate Pathway||—||Blightstep Pathway||—||—||—||—||Darkbore Pathway||—||Barkchannel Pathway|
|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.|
|Giant Ox ()||Colossal Plow ()||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.|
- Annul, first printed in Urza's Saga, last seen in Theros.
- Broken Wings, first printed in Zendikar Rising.
- Disdainful Stroke, first printed in Khans of Tarkir, last seen in Guilds of Ravnica.
- Invoke the Divine, first printed in Dominaria, last seen in Core Set 2019.
- Revitalize, first printed in Core Set 2019, last seen in Core Set 2021.
- Run Amok, first printed in Dominaria, last seen in Mystery Booster.
- Strategic Planning, first printed in Portal Three Kingdoms, last seen in Commander Legends.
- Village Rites, first printed in Core Set 2021.
- The snow basic lands (e.g. Snow-Covered Plains), first printed in Ice Age, last seen in Modern Horizons.
- Elderfang Disciple is a functional reprint of Burglar Rat, except for creature types.
- Grizzled Outrider is a functional reprint of Colossapede, except for creature types.
- Immersturm Raider is a functional reprint of Fissure Wizard, except for creature types.
- Ravenous Lindwurm is a functional reprint of Honey Mammoth, except for creature types.
- Story Seeker is a functional reprint of Bishop's Soldier and Mesa Unicorn, except for creature types.
- Alrund, God of the Cosmos was accidentally printed without the words "revealed this way."
- Rampage of the Valkyries was missing the word "creature" in its first ability.
- Both Valkyrie Harbinger and Rampage of the Valkyries create regular non-Warrior Angel tokens. This was described as an "oversight", but their functionality remains as printed.
Kaldheim features two Commander decks that are released as a regular part of a set's product line.
|Elven Empire||B||G||Lathril, Blade of the Elves|
|Phantom Premonition||W||U||Ranar the Ever-Watchful|
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. 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. Months later, Explorer banned the card within weeks of the format's introduction.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
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- Mark Rosewater (September 4, 2020). "Just want to confirm that this is accurate information?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
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- Kaldheim Fest (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.
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- Mark Rosewater (December 21, 2020). "But.... it is a job title.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
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- Matt Tabak (February 2, 2021). "Kaldheim Oracle Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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- Ian Duke & Jay Parker (January 25, 2022). "January 25, 2022 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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