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Here’s an exclusive Magic: The Gathering Kaldheim card reveal and Commander deck build

Introducing Fynn, the Fangbearer.

Magic: The Gathering’s next set is one with an incredibly metal inspiration. Kaldheim is a plane heavily inspired by Norse mythology. That means we’ll be getting a whole new set of legends to incorporate into the game, and new mechanics too.

Kaldheim brings with it new keywords such as Foretell, which allows you to exile cards from your hand to play them later for slightly cheaper, and Boast - which is a lot like the Raid mechanic from Tarkir, but this time around you can use special effects on cards for a different cost. It sees the return of modal double-faced cards, which means more flexibility when building a deck, too. It’s also a chance to revisit some classic mechanics, such as snow permanents. That’s not the only returning mechanic though, and our preview card shows off a gameplay element we’ve not seen in nearly a decade.

Fynn, the Fangbearer is a two-mana Green legendary creature - human warrior. He’s got a power of one, a toughness of three and comes with deathtouch. That doesn’t sound all that remarkable, but the thing that makes him so powerful is the big old paragraph of text that reads: “Whenever a creature you control with deathtouch deals combat damage to a player, that player gets two poison counters.”

Image: Wizards of the Coast

Before we get into things, let’s explain poison for those who’ve not heard of it before. To do so, we first need to explain Infect. Infect is an ability that transforms damage against a player into poison counters. When a person has ten poison counters, they lose the game. Poison is a fixed version of that - because it turned out that it’s very easy to simply buff a single creature and kill people in one hit, often in a mere handful of turns. So poison gives one counter, generally speaking, irrelevant of damage. Fynn here gives two poison counters per hit, which means you only need to hit someone five times to kill them.

A lot of creatures with deathtouch tend to have one power, which means that it effectively quadruples their power if they hit your opponent directly. It makes them all far more dangerous; you can’t simply soak up the damage any more because the threat is so much higher. All you need to do is fill your deck with deathtouch creatures, and suddenly you’ve got a game plan.

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There are a few really interesting creatures in Standard at the moment that have deathtouch, but one of them makes the idea of a deathtouch tribal deck really enticing. Hooded Blightfang is a three-mana Black creature that has deathtouch. It also turns any combat damage a creature with deathtouch does to a planeswalker into lethal damage. That’s not all, though; on top of all of that, it has a bit of text that reads: “Whenever a creature you control with deathtouch attacks, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.” That means that not only are you going to poison your opponent, you’ll also drain them of their life. What more could you possibly want?

We don’t want to just talk about Standard though, as wonderful as it can be. Instead, let’s talk about the one true format in MTG: Commander.

Fynn, the Fangbearer offers some exciting different ways to build a Commander deck. While the most obvious is probably Infect, it’s a little more gratifying to go for the deathtouch element instead. We’ve included a couple of Infect cards purely because they’re obscene, but you can do a fair bit with Fynn, assuming you choose him as the commander. Strictly speaking, he might be better as part of a Green-Black build as part of the deck itself, but we’ll go down the Fynn rabbit hole anyway.

Commander deck build - Fynn, the Fangbearer

Creatures (36)

  • Acidic Slime
  • Ambush Viper
  • Apex Devastator
  • Beast Whisperer
  • Bellowing Tanglewurm
  • Blightsteel Colossus
  • Champion of Lambholt
  • Craterhoof Behemoth
  • Deadly Recluse
  • Elder Gargaroth
  • Eternal Witness
  • Evolution Sage
  • Gnarlwood Dryad
  • Hornet Nest
  • Hornet Queen
  • Karametra's Acolyte
  • Moss Viper
  • Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
  • Narnam Renegade
  • Oakhame Adversary
  • Ohran Frostfang
  • Phyrexian Swarmlord
  • Questing Beast
  • Regal Force
  • Rhonas the Indomitable
  • Sabertooth Cobra
  • Sakura-Tribe Elder
  • Scute Swarm
  • Sedge Scorpion
  • Skullwinder
  • Tajuru Blightblade
  • Vigor
  • Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
  • Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
  • Wasteland Viper
  • Wurmcoil Engine

Enchantments (4)

  • Abundance
  • Asceticism
  • Guardian Project
  • Sylvan Library

Artifacts (15)

  • Bow of Nylea
  • Contagion Clasp
  • Contagion Engine
  • Decimator Web
  • Emerald Medallion
  • Lifecrafter's Bestiary
  • Quietus Spike
  • Scythe of the Wretched
  • Sol Ring
  • Sword of Vengeance
  • The Great Henge
  • Thornbite Staff
  • Trailblazer's Boots
  • Viridian Longbow
  • Whispersilk Cloak

Instants and Sorceries (8)

  • Beast Within
  • Cultivate
  • Heroic Intervention
  • Kodama's Reach
  • Pistus Strike
  • Praetor's Counsel
  • Triumph of the Hordes
  • Veil of Summer

Planeswalkers (1)

  • Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Lands (35)

  • Forest (x28)
  • Blighted Woodland
  • Castle Garenbrig
  • Inkmoth Nexus
  • Karn's Bastion
  • Mosswort Bridge
  • Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
  • Rogue's Passage

There’s no way to comfortably go through every card choice, so we’ll talk about the big notable cards here and some general themes in each section. While we do recommend using this list, it’s always a good idea to mess around with it and test it out for yourself. See which cards work for you and which cards you feel underperform. That way you can perfect your own variant.

Nissa, Who Shakes the World is in the deck because it’s a Green deck. There’s no deeper meaning to her inclusion here, she’s just really good if you’re playing a lot of Forests - and we’re using 28 of them, so you know you’re going to get a lot of mana if she sticks the landing.

In terms of nonbasic Lands, we’ve got a couple of utility lands worth noting. Castle Garenbrig and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx are excellent mana ramp lands that’ll let you pump out creatures early and keep that pace up as you keep drawing cards. It’s also worth talking about Karn’s Bastion because you can pay to proliferate. Proliferate allows you to choose any number of counters on any number of things and add another one. This means you can add effectively another poison counter to your opponent, but you can also add another loyalty counter to Nissa.

Image: Wizards of the Coast

There aren’t many instants and sorceries, because it’s a Green deck. Aside from a couple of bits of removal and some ramp, the main ones of note are Praetor’s Counsel and Triumph of the Hordes. The former lets you put your entire graveyard back into your hand and removes the card limit of your hand. Triumph of the Hordes, meanwhile, is a spell you use when you want to end the game. It gives all of your creatures +1/+1, Trample and Infect. We didn’t put many Infect cards in this deck, but the ones we did use are absurdly potent.

Our artifacts comprise bits of ramp, some equipment cards that’ll stop your creatures being blocked and a couple of cards that turn your creatures into turrets. The best of those is Thornbite Staff, which for the low price of two mana allows your creature to hit something for one damage. If your creature has deathtouch, this is enough to kill them - and you can then untap your creature. It means you can kill creatures as long as you have mana. This is a Green deck, so you should always be good for mana.

Enchantments in this deck are mostly here to allow you to draw more cards. Asceticism is an exception, because it avoids your creature being targeted by an opponent’s spells and abilities. You can also pay two mana to regenerate your creatures and save them from death. Abundance isn’t technically a card draw enchantment, but does allow you to choose if you want a land or a non-land card - that’s useful at basically every stage of the game.

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Finally, we have the creature suite. There are a fair few deathtouch creatures here, alongside cards such as Elder Gargaropth and Eternal Witness who are included for pure value. Mwonvuli Beast Tracker is a good one because it lets you grab a creature with deathtouch from your deck, which is useful in a pinch. There are a bunch of ramp and card draw creatures, too. Green has good creature cards, so it makes sense to lean into that.

Ohran Frostfang is a lot of fun because it gives all of your attacking creatures deathtouch, which can turn an attack fatal very easily if Fynn is out. Vorinclax, Monstrous Raider is another Kaldheim card, and it lets you double the number of counters you put on things, which makes that poison victory even easier. Finally, we’ve got Craterhoof Behemoth, which is a classic finisher in Green, and Blightsteel Colossus, which is an 11/11 that has Trample, Infect and Indestructible. Plus, it should protect you from mill strategies. Honestly though, it’s mostly there because it’s massive.

If you’re excited to try this out for yourself, Kaldheim is coming to MTG Arena (which can soon be found on Android phones as well as PC) on January 28th, followed by its tabletop release date on February 5th. To try out our deck you’ll need to play it in paper or on MTG Online, as Arena still doesn’t support Commander. That being said, we reckon you could fashion Fynn, the Fangbearer into an excellent Brawl commander too.

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