It seems that a major Magic: The Gathering Kaldheim leak made its way online on December 22. Over on the Magic subreddit, a video surfaced of what appears to be a player who opened several Kaldheim cards from a Commander Legends Collector Booster box. One of the cards is a major spoiler for the lore of Kaldheim and the direction Wizards of the Coast is taking for Magic in the near future. It is still unconfirmed, however, so please bear that in mind. It could be a very elaborate hoax.
Major Kaldheim spoiler ahead!
Phyrexia is back and has arrived in Kaldheim with Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. Vorinclex is a beast of a card, packed full of incredibly powerful abilities. As a 6/6 for six mana with trample and haste, it is already a very efficient creature. Its other abilities are what makes it dangerous.
Vorniclex acts as a Doubling Season on a body. When its controller would put counters on a permanent or player, they put twice that number of counters instead. Vorniclex is worded slightly differently than Doubling Season, as the counters it doubles must come from a source its owner controls. Given that it is pretty rare for an opponent to add counters to another player’s creature, it is unlikely to impact the card’s value much. As a Kaldheim spoiler it may be a little too early to say how it will directly impact Magic however.
The other half of this ability is that if an opponent would put a counter on a permanent or player, that number is reduced by half rounded down. This has huge implications on a lot of cards, including anything that adds +1/+1 counters and planeswalkers. A lot of token strategies may not be able to function, though they will have a few turns to establish a board state before Vorniclex can be played.
Planeswalkers become almost unplayable against Vorniclex. In Magic, when a planeswalker enters the battlefield, its loyalty counters are placed on it after it resolves. With Vorniclex out, each planeswalker enters with half the number of counters. As opponents try to use their planeswalker’s abilities, most will not add counters, since Vorniclex rounds down and a majority of abilities only add one loyalty counter at a time.
What does the future of Magic look like if the spoiler is real?
The lore implications for Vorniclex coming to Kaldheim are huge. The last time Phyrexians were in a Standard set was in New Phyrexia in 2011. The Phyrexians live on the plane of New Phyrexia. Though they know other planes exist, they have not been able to leave until now. How they were able to leave is purely speculation at this point. It may have something to do with the Planar Bridge that Tezzeret has now that Nicol Bolas is dead.
Are the Phyrexians going to take over another plane? Wizards of the Coast have already revealed the next few sets in the Magic release so how does this Kaldheim spoiler fit in? How many other Phyrexian cards are in Kaldheim? While there are plenty of questions about the card, players will have to wait until Wizards decides to officially spoil the set.