Commander Deck Tech: The God of Snow
- Ryan Scicluna
On these cold winter days, you can't help but feel inspired to build a snow deck, and Jorn, God of Winter gave us the perfect commander for such a strategy. The resulting deck generates a lot of mana, casts creatures that scale with the number of snow permanents, and wins out of nowhere with huge X spells.
The release of Kaldheim brought with it a wave of cold, which we also see reflected in our games. Why not have a Commander deck led by the God of Winter himself. Jorn, God of Winter // Kaldring, the Rimestaff is one of the many new double-faced cards. The front cares about untapping snow permanents, while the back is all about playing snow permanents from our graveyard. Both sides offer powerful abilities, and the fact that they start out in our command zone give us a wealth of options for both deck design as well as gameplay.
Winter Is Here
Since our commander is the God of Winter, it would be sacrilegious not to focus on snow. Also thanks to Kaldheim, we are in no short supply of it. Snow permanents and the new snow spells are some of the most flavorful cards ever printed. They also seem to be quite powerful. Cards like Blizzard Brawl and Blessing of Frost are useful utility spells, while Blood on the Snow is a board wipe that will always give us something in return. Draugr Necromancer is a card that lets us cast other player's creatures if they get destroyed.
If we are going all out on snow, we should also consider cards from older sets like Modern Horizons and Coldsnap or the original Ice Age set. Dead of Winter is a board wipe that we can easily cast without affecting our board. Rimewind Cryomancer can let us counter triggered abilities, while Rime Tender and Boreal Druid help us ramp.
Abominable Treefolk, Conifer Wurm, and Rimefeather Owl all grow depending on how many snow permanents we have in play, with Rimefeather Owl also checking for snow permanents controlled by our opponents. Since snow lands have become more easily accessible thanks to Kaldheim, it will not be difficult to find opponents also running them. As a result, our Owl often comes down as a huge threat, and only gets bigger when we use its ability to turn anything into snow as a mana sink in the long game.
Heaps of Snow … Mana
As we can generate a ton of mana when we attack with Jorn, we should find clever ways of not wasting such an opportunity. We can combine mana doublers like Mana Reflection and Nyxbloom Ancient with cards that store our mana such as Omnath, Locus of Mana, Kruphix, God of Horizons, or Horizon Stone. To finish off games then, all we need to do is cast a variety of X spells such as Torment of Hailfire, Exsanguinate, or Villainous Wealth.
Alternatively we can use mana sinks like Avalanche Caller to turn our snow lands into 4/4 creatures, or pump Conifer Wurm into a lethal threat. Remember that, since Jorn's ability to untap our snow permanents triggers on attack, we can pump Conifer Wurm before we attack, while attacking, as well as after Jorn's trigger resolves. This abundance of mana can also make it easy to activate Dark Depths ten times and get ourselves a legendary 20/20 Marit Lage token with flying and indestructible. Similarly, Marit Lage's Slumber will let us scry once each time a snow permanent enters the battlefield under our control and if we control ten or more snow permanents at the beginning of our upkeep, we can create another 20/20 Marit Lage token with flying and indestructible.
The Untouchable God
Speaking of Jorn having to attack to trigger its effect, this means that we have to find ways to protect it during in combat. Prowler's Helm, Darksteel Plate, Whispersilk Cloak, and Rime Transfusion can make sure that Jorn will be protected or unblockable when he attacks. Thassa, God of the Sea not only lets us scry 1 on each of our upkeeps but it can make a whole army unblockable.
Back from the Graveyard
Although we focus mostly on the front part of Jorn, there will be situations where we will need to cast the back part, Kaldring, the Rimestaff. The ability to play any snow permanent from our graveyard gives us a way to recur any piece we might need. This can synergize very well with Seedborn Muse leaving mana for different things on other players' turns, and sometimes we even get to cast an extra Blizzard Strix or Ice-Fang Coatl from our graveyard this way.
Surprisingly this deck is quite powerful. When I played with my friends, everyone was at first dismissive of the snow creatures I summoned, including the seven-mana Rimefeather Owl. However, in practice I managed to win games specifically thanks to those creatures. People tend to underestimate how such creatures snowball out of control. Paired with some evasion or becoming unblockable, my opponents literally did not see the avalanche coming.
What do you think of this deck? Is snow something that you have tried yet after the release of Kaldheim? What other gods from this Norse-inspired plane got you excited to build a new deck? Let us know with a comment!
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