Exploring Aggro Decks in Kaldheim Standard

Lee Shi Tian

Lee Shi Tian

Kaldheim is Coming!

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since my last article. It feels like forever since Zendikar Rising. The year’s end normally acts as my slack season from Magic due to my extra workload working as an accountant.

It used to be filled with some team events for me until everything was cancelled due to the pandemic situation. So I simply sank into my work and behaved like an adult in the past few weeks.

However, there is always hope and we are finally here with the full spoiler of Kaldheim!

2 Aggro Decks With Kaldheim

Today I would like to talk about some aggro decks in the format. Aggro does not have many cards in the last couple months on par with cards like 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》, all the adventure creatures or sagas with lots of built-in two-for-one mechanics.

First card I would like to talk about is the new removal!

There are good cards and there are White cards. And here is what we got…

Divine Gambit

Jokes aside, let’s start with something basic: Mono-White Aggro.

Mono-White Aggro

Decklist

You might wonder with all the free dual color flip lands in the format, why just play one color? Here is the reason: 《Faceless Haven》.

Faceless Haven

To support 《Faceless Haven》, we want to play mainly snow lands. The mana generated from 《Faceless Haven》s can activate each other which means we could likely afford to max them without getting punished often. A four power creature-land lets us recover from mass sweeper or fight 《Ugin, the Spirit Dragon》 which shows up from time to time in the previous format.

The best card for White aggressive decks in Kaldheim is probably 《Usher of the Fallen》.

Usher of the Fallen

It attacks for 2 on turn 2 and facing control decks we could just Boast for card advantage. Even if we simply trade one for one by turn 2, we can still get the extra token.

Clarion Spirit

The second card in which I see potential is 《Clarion Spirit》. This card is another token generating source. We can easily get the value right away by turn 3.

Luminarch AspirantSeasoned Hallowblade

The other 2-drops in the deck are 《Luminarch Aspirant》 (a must kill threat by turn 2) and 《Seasoned Hallowblade》 (a threat resistant to removal on turn 2). With this wider range of 2 drops, it is harder for our opponent to play accordingly.

Halvar, God of BattleMaul of the Skyclaves
 

The last new card I would like to try is 《Halvar, God of Battle》. This is also the reason I picked 《Maul of the Skyclaves》 over 《Glorious Anthem》 even with so many token generators. We all know how broken 《Embercleave》 is and turning 《Maul of the Skyclaves》 into 《Embercleave》 is definitely the game ending play we needed for the deck. Curving out Maul into Halvar enables lots of turn 4 kills.

Sword of the Realms

《Sword of the Realms》, the equipment side of Halvar is not exactly blank as well. Equipping on 《Giant Killer》 might let us get extra removals.

Possible Changes

Faerie Guidemother

I can see 《Faerie Guidemother》 sneaking a spot in the deck where it synergizes with both 《Sword of the Realms》 and 《Clarion Spirit》. Yet having a common besides 《Snow-Covered Plains》 in this deck sounds criminal…

Naya Warriors

The next deck I would like to try is Warrior tribal. With 《Resplendent Marshal》 in Kaldheim along with 《Kargan Warleader》 in Zendikar Rising, it seems like we could have a Warrior tribal deck.

Resplendent MarshalKargan Warleader

Speaking of Warriors, we obviously want to include 《Winota, Joiner of Forces》 who can cheat in 《Kargan Warleader》 and 《Maja, Bretagard Protector》 as our payoff.

Winota, Joiner of ForcesMaja, Bretagard Protector

Decklist

We also added a little bit of Elf synergy in the deck. The list is pretty straightforward with good curves with good power to cost ratio along the curve.

Usher of the FallenWildwood Tracker

We’ve got eight 2-power 1-drops in 《Usher of the Fallen》 and 《Wildwood Tracker》.

Kargan IntimidatorTajuru ParagonElvish Warmaster

2-drops are more deeply functional here. The coward-making ability of 《Kargan Intimidator》 can prevent a creature from blocking at all. The kicker ability of 《Tajuru Paragon》 helps us dig for Winota. 《Elvish Warmaster》 can generate additional bodies to trigger Winota. Please note that the first 《Elvish Warmaster》 will be triggered by the second 《Elvish Warmaster》, and then the token will trigger the second 《Elvish Warmaster》 and have us well set up for Winota.

3-drops are simple here: Anthem effects with bodies. At the end we have Winota as our top curve to dig for more anthem effects and finish our opponent the turn she hits play. 《Maja, Bretagard Protector》 is a nice hit target for Winota that is castable with relevant abilities.

Possible Changes

I think the biggest challenge is the mana base with three colors. We do not want tap lands in the first 3 turns. Therefore we have to go for a flip lands and basic mana base with 4 《Fabled Passage》. If the mana base ends up not being smooth enough, I might consider the following:

Replacing Some of the Basics With 《Base Camp》

Base Camp

Unfortunately 《Base Camp》 is not 《Tournament Grounds》. It comes into play tapped which is why it isn’t included in the list in the first place.

Removing the Early Red Mana Requirement (《Kargan Intimidator》)

Kargan Intimidator

《Kargan Intimidator》 is the only card that demands Red mana by turn 2. Both 《Kargan Warleader》 and 《Winota, Joiner of Forces》 are normally the cards we want to deploy last when we have other options. Cutting 《Kargan Intimidator》 will make the mana less demanding.

Adding 《Jaspera Sentinel》, Also Known As 《Loam Dryad》

Jaspera Sentinel

《Jaspera Sentinel》 is an Elf which can get us extra synergy with 《Elvish Warmaster》. It could also enable turn 3 Winota from time to time. Yet I often read the sentence “Friends don’t let friends play 《Loam Dryad》”. So I am very skeptical about this…

Removing Green or Reducing It to a Splash

The last option is cutting the Elves entirely and changing to splashing only 《Maja, Bretagard Protector》 as a payoff. We can add interaction such as 《Bonecrusher Giant》 and 《Skyclave Apparition》.

Bonecrusher GiantSkyclave Apparition

However, that will shrink the Warrior synergy. I believe it will really depend on how important interaction is in the meta game.

Conclusion

So these are the two decks I would like to try out after Kaldheim releases. At this point I think the power level of Kaldheim might not be as high as Throne of Eldraine or even Zendikar Rising. Let’s see how big its impact will be. I hope we can get a refreshment on the format from 《The Great Henge》, 《Yorion, Sky Nomad》, or 《Into the Story》.

See you next time!

Lee Shi Tian (Twitter / Twitch)

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Lee Shi Tian

Lee Shi Tian Lee Shi Tian is a super star from Hong Kong. He has 5 PT top 8s and 10 GP top 8s with 1 trophy and is well known as a Modern specialist. He is an outstanding player but also well known as a great community leader for Asia. Lee and his squad "Team Mint Card" made a lot of excellent results one after another at pro scene. His impressive results and contributions were rewarded and he was elected Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame 2018. Read more articles by Lee Shi Tian