Hello everyone.

In our penultimate look at card that have the potential to impact standard, I will look at some of the cards that came out late in preview season.
Also, I want to point out that because of the power level of Throne of Eldraine we might not see many cards from Kaldheim find homes in decks until after rotation this fall. Throne of Eldraine has warped standard significantly over the last year and a half. This will not change with the arrival of Kaldheim because the cards in Eldraine are better than what we have gotten in the sets that followed it.

Ascendant Spirit is a one mana blue snow spirit creature with three abilities. After you cast Ascendant Spirit, you can spend snow mana to improve its stats. Here are the advancements you can pay for.

  • {S}{S}: Ascendant Spirit becomes a Spirit Warrior with base power and toughness 2/3.
  • {S}{S}{S}: If Ascendant Spirit is a Warrior, put a flying counter on it and it becomes a Spirit Warrior Angel with base power and toughness 4/4.
  • {S}{S}{S}{S}: If Ascendant Spirit is an Angel, put two +1/+1 counters on it and it gains “Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, draw a card.

Most of the time blue control decks don’t have much to do on the early turns except wait to counter a spell. If you cast Ascendant Spirit on turn one, then you can spend leftover mana to advance it throughout the game to make it a powerful Warrior Angel if you spend mana three times to improve it.

I can see this in control decks as a creature that you can cast early in the game when you have extra mana available and then grow as the game goes on to become a finisher for the deck. I think it may be usable in other standard decks as well. Plus, it may have uses in Pioneer and Modern Spirit decks.

Moving on, let’s look at Usher of the Fallen. White weenie decks have been looking for more low-cost creatures to add into the deck and Usher of the Fallen might fit the bill. For one white mana you get a 2/1 Spirit Warrior. It also has Boast. For two mana you can create a 1/1 white Human Warrior creature token.

I think that White Weenie and possibly Warrior tribal decks will try Usher of the Fallen. A one mana 2/1 with an ability has seen play in the past, so I think we can expect it to see some play.

Next, we have In Search of Greatness. For two green mana you get an enchantment that has a potentially very broken ability.

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may cast a permanent spell from your hand with converted mana cost equal to 1 plus the highest converted mana cost among other permanents you control without paying its mana cost. If you don’t, scry 1.

In Search of Greatness could give Mono-Green and Gruul decks one more piece to make them very powerful. Getting to play a creature from your hand for no mana cost is very broken. This could further push green in standard and other formats.

A downside to In Search of Greatness is that it happens during your upkeep. This will limit how powerful the effect will be because you will not be able to use it every turn and you will need to setup your battlefield to take advantage of the effect.

Green does have a nice curve of powerful creatures so it should not be out of the question that you get to cast several creatures over the course of the game using In Search of Greatness. Players that can cast a one drop on turn one into In Search of Greatness on turn two that have a two drop in hand will get rewarded on the next upkeep. Then the effect can trigger several more times over the course of the game. When you are unable to get a free creature on turn three you might have problems curving into creatures on the higher end of your curve.

I think that we will see players trying to get In Search of Greatness to work. The two green mana requirement will limit the number of decks that it will fit into, but I think the effect is powerful enough that it will see play.

Mystic Reflection has the chance to be the most power card from Kaldheim. For one and a blue mana you get to copy a nonlegendary creature for the rest of the turn. Mystic Reflection can be foretold for one blue mana, so you can foretell it early in the game and then use it later in the game to cast multiple creatures on one turn.

  • Choose target nonlegendary creature. The next time one or more creatures or planeswalkers enter the battlefield this turn, they enter as copies of the chosen creature instead.
  • Foretell {U} (During your turn, you may pay {2} and exile this card from your hand face down. Cast it on a later turn for its foretell cost.)

The nonlegendary requirement does limit the card some, but in a format that has a bunch of large creatures Mystic Reflection could turn around a game quickly. The important point of the text is that you can make your creatures a copy of any nonlegendary creature. This means that your opponent’s creatures are fair game.

If we continue to see mid-range and aggro decks doing well in standard, I expect that we will see Mystic Reflection played in a variety of decks. It might be best in a low-cost creature deck where you can turn your one and two drops into the best creature that you or your opponent has on the battlefield.

Tundra Fumarole is a three-mana removal spell. It deals three damage to a target creature or planeswalker. Four damage for three mana is OK, but not great when we have other spells that can do four damage for two mana. What I think will make this potentially playable in standard and other formats is that you get one colorless mana for each snow mana used to cast Tundra Fumarole. Any deck that wants removal with upside will want to consider it since using snow mana to cast Tundra Fumarole will be easy.

There are many good red creature spells in standard that only cost one red mana to cast, so after you get your fourth land in play you will be able to cast up to a four mana card as long as you only need one red source. Later in the game it gets better because you will be able to use the mana to cast a large creature.

How playable this is in standard will depend on the number of mid to late game options you have to play that have limited color requirements. I could see this finding a home in an artifact creature deck if one develops, but this has not happened so far despite having a few good artifact creatures in standard.

Our final card for today is Cosima, God of the Voyage and the Omenkeel.

Cosima is a three-mana 2/4 legendary god with the below ability.
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may exile Cosima. If you do, it gains “Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, if Cosima is exiled, you may put a voyage counter on it. If you don’t, return Cosima to the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it and draw X cards, where X is the number of voyage counters on it.

In the right deck this will be very powerful. I expect to see Cosima enter the battlefield on turn three or four and then sit in exile until needed. You would exile Cosima on your next upkeep. Then you return Cosima to play later in the game to get the card advantage and the additional +1/+1 counters that will make Cosima difficult to deal with in the mid to late game. The card advantage along is a great effect, but getting a large body back adds to the value.

The downside of Cosima is that having to survive for a full turn on the battlefield. There are so many ways to remove Cosima before it can be exiled that it might not be good enough. It always feels bad when you play a creature and it gets removed before you can attack or do anything else with it. Given that Cosima is a 2/4 creature is not great, you will need to be able to exile Cosima to get real value.

I’m not quite sure where Cosima fits into standard, but Cosima’s ability is powerful, so I expect someone to find a good home for Cosima.

The back side of Cosima is the Omenkeel. This two-mana legendary vehicle has the power to generate card advantage and provide a quality attacker when playing Cosima is not the best option.

Whenever a Vehicle you control deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles that many cards from the top of their library. You may play lands from among those cards for as long as they remain exiled.
Crew 1

The low crewing cost helps the playability of The Omenkeel. Many times, your one toughness creatures get locked out of the game as advances towards the mid game because your opponent has larger creatures that will kill it when it attacks. Having the ability to use them to crew a 3/3 vehicle gives these creatures more usefulness in the mid to late game. What makes The Omenkeel an interesting option is that you get to draw a card when it does damage to a player. We have had similar effects on enchantments, but not on a vehicle. Getting card advantage for attacking is great value and is especially good against control decks.

Cosima and the Omenkeel will have some role to play in the upcoming Kaldheim standard season. How quick the format is and how much control will have a place in the format will go a long way in determining which side will see play and how relevant Cosima will be.

That’s it for today. I have one more preview article planned, so check back tomorrow to see the card that I think will most impact standard during Kaldheim season and beyond.

Until next time, good luck finding your win condition!