One of our main guiding tenets when creating Kaldheim was to go big! We have more of everything—more places, more epic creatures, and four Planeswalkers! I'm Mike Turian, principal product designer for Magic and lead architect for Kaldheim. I have a first look at just some of the coolest cards in Kaldheim to show you today, so let's get to it!
This article gives you a first look at all the sweet Booster Fun cards in Kaldheim and where you can get them—with even more to show off on January 7. For all the MTG Arena fans out there, we've added information around the treatments and how you can find them on Arena as well!
SHOWCASE VIKING LEGENDS
Kaldheim is a world that has been inspired by Norse legends and mythology. For each Magic set, we try to capture the essence of the world we are building and showcase the cards with both a main set version and an alternate-art custom showcase frame version. For Kaldheim, we knew this meant we would be highlighting the legendary cards in the set with the metal-inspired Viking showcase treatment. Kaldheim is filled with legendary cards, including modal double-faced Gods. I've been excited to share the showcase Viking legends since the moment I first saw them. Let's take a look!
Wow! You will find these showcase frames available for each legendary card in the set. To break it down further, I spoke with James Arnold, senior graphic designer for Magic, and the creator of this showcase frame. He talks of the inspiration that went into their creation: "I went to the National Nordic Museum and spent time looking at incredibly ancient Viking artifacts for inspiration. I remember running my hand along the side of a centuries-old Viking ship and feeling the wood grain worn smooth by lifetimes of adventure; that was the feeling I was looking to capture with this frame.
With the rough, powerful feel of the frames, it only made sense that the artwork would follow suit. Tom Jenkot secured the talents of some truly incredible artists to breathe life (and unlife) into these illustrations."
This, of course, led me to talk with principal art director and lead art director for the showcase cards in Kaldheim. Tom shared, "We worked on the frames first. They came together perfectly thanks to James Arnold. We had some placeholder art in the frame that we thought fit perfectly. Luckily, I convinced that artist, GodMachine, to do a couple pieces for us!
GodMachine couldn't do all the illustrations, so I had to find some others who could do this normally black and white style with some color. We found some of the best out there to lend a hand, and they showed up in a big way. Of note, I was happy to have Ian Miller lend a hand. Ian's been doing Magic art forever. He's also been doing Death Metal style before Death Metal was a thing!"
There are 12 showcase Viking uncommons, 14 rares, and 8 mythic rares. You can find showcase legendary cards in Draft, Set, and Collector Boosters as well as within products that contain those boosters. Additionally, select showcase uncommons can be found within Theme Boosters.
Kaldheim features four mythic rare planeswalkers, including the debut of two new Planeswalkers! With each set, these planeswalker cards are given an alternate-art borderless treatment. This gives us the opportunity to show off more of these fabulous characters.
This isn't all we have to share about planeswalker cards in Kaldheim. Check back when we'll have more to show off on January 7. But, for the record now, you will find borderless planeswalker cards in Draft, Set, and Collector Boosters as well as within products that contain those boosters.
BORDERLESS PATHWAYS AND [REDACTED]
The lands you have been waiting for are finally here! The remaining four rare Pathways are being introduced in Kaldheim. These four Pathway lands are quite striking and show off the backdrop of the new world of Kaldheim.
In addition to the borderless Pathways and planeswalkers, we wanted to show off a cycle of five cards in the set that feature a new mechanic unique to Kaldheim. All these cards—Pathways, planeswalkers, and a cycle of five mythic rares featuring a new mechanic—receive a special art and borderless frame treatment.
We're not quite ready to show you this new mechanic yet, so check back January 7 when we'll bring the tale to you and share what those five cards look like.
You can find these borderless cards in Draft, Set, and Collector Boosters as well as within products that contain those boosters, such as the Kaldheim Bundle. Additionally, Ultimate Edition 2 will have all ten of the Pathways with new borderless art featuring four new Zendikar Rising settings and six new Kaldheim settings. You can read full information on Ultimate Edition 2 here.
Extended art will be on each main set, non-Saga rare and mythic rare card that didn't get one of the treatments listed above. This gives us a chance to show off the entire world of Kaldheim. With Kaldheim having ten realms to represent, we wanted to be able to show off each in their beauty. Let's look at a couple examples.
Extended-art cards are only available to be opened in Collector Boosters. In Kaldheim, there will be 36 extended-art rares and 4 extended-art mythic rares. The Buy-a-Box card for Kaldheim is a foil Realmwalker featuring unique artwork and the extended-art frame. You can get this treatment at select game stores with purchase of a box of Draft, Set, or Collector Boosters (while supplies last).
Talking with Cynthia Sheppard, senior art director for Magic and lead art director for Kaldheim, she spoke on Sagas. "We continued Magic's tradition of Sagas as in-world stories from the perspective of the denizens of the plane. All are rich visual tapestries depicting unique moments from Kaldheim's history. Notably, two of the artists chose to carve their sagas from actual wood, using tools and techniques inspired by Norse woodcarving!"
Sagas already have a custom vertical frame and art and therefore won't be available in the extended-art treatment. All Sagas in Kaldheim will be available in Draft, Set, and Collector Boosters. In Collector Boosters, there is a dedicated slot to getting a non-foil card: either a rare Saga from the Kaldheim main set, one of five thematic Kaldheim rares that aren't found in Draft Boosters, or one of the Kaldheim Commander Deck rares or mythic rares. This means there is one additional rare/mythic rare you will find in each Collector Booster for a combined total of five when comparing the Kaldheim Collector Booster to Zendikar Rising, which had a combined total of four rares/mythic rares.
COLLECTOR BOOSTER CONTENTS
The Kaldheim Collector Booster features 11 traditional foil cards (plus a double-sided foil token in addition), 5 special alternate-frame cards, and a combination of 5 rares/mythic rares. While we'll have even more details on January 7, let's take a closer look at the breakdown of Collector Booster card slots in addition to the 5 foil commons and 2 foil uncommons found inside.
1 Rare Saga – A thematic Kaldheim rare that isn't found in Draft Boosters, or one of the Kaldheim Commander Deck rares or mythic rares—see the section on Sagas above for more about this slot.
1 Foil card – It's not a mystery! Each Collector Booster has a slot for a foil card that we're not ready to share more about today. You can look forward to learning about it on January 7.
1 Extended-art card – One of 36 extended-art rares or 4 extended-art mythic rares. Each rare shows up twice as often as each mythic rare.
1 Foil rare or mythic rare – This slot features the 64 rares and 20 mythic rares that you can find in the main set of Kaldheim (so you won't find Commander cards or the thematic Kaldheim rare cards here).
1 Non-foil and 1 foil showcase uncommon – These can be 12 different legendary cards, each featuring the showcase Viking frame.
1 Rare or mythic rare with a showcase or borderless frame and alternate art – In addition to having a cool new frame, each showcase and borderless card shows off a new piece of art that is custom designed to show off Kaldheim and pair with the showcase/borderless styles. There are 18 rares and 16 mythic rares. Two of the mythic rares in Kaldheim have both a showcase and a second Booster Fun variant frame. These cards' two treatments, combined, show up as frequently as other mythic rares in the set.
1 Foil rare or mythic rare with a showcase, borderless, or extended-art frame – The best way to finish off your Collector Booster experience is with the best of the best. Here you will find a Booster Fun treatment that captures all the awesomeness of Kaldheim in traditional foil! There are 54 rares and 20 mythic rares available in this slot. One of these cards has a showcase treatment that I can't show you just yet!
BOOSTER FUN ON MTG ARENA
MTG Arena has brought in many of these treatments into their digital game as well. Here is an overview of the treatments available within MTG Arena.
Borderless planeswalkers, borderless Pathways, and borderless versions of five of the new mechanic cards—each of these will have their own treatment bundle in the MTG Arena store.
Buy-a-Box card and style for Realmwalker—when you buy the 45-count pack bundle you will get a Realmwalker card and its card style. The 90-count pack bundle gets you the card style and two copies of Realmwalker.
Showcase Viking styles will be available in a variety of ways. MTG Arena will be having a Kaldheim Festival that will be making some of the card styles available. Others will be made available via bundles in the MTG Arena store.
There is one more treatment that hasn't been shown off. Once it has been, you will be able to get it via entry into an upcoming Arena Open event.
Plus, there's one more thing we're bringing to Kaldheim players on MTG Arena that you can come back on—wait for it—January 7 to see.
I hope you enjoyed taking an early look at the treatments and art of Kaldheim and where you can find them. On January 7, we'll be refreshing this article with an updated version showing off all the details we didn't share today about the look and feel of cards in the set—check back then!
I'm excited to see what you're looking forward to in Kaldheim—you can find me on Twitter as @mturian. Have a happy New Year and a great time experiencing all that Kaldheim has to offer!