By Niels Viaene

At any given time, there are always people others look to for early deckbuilding insight. That has been Jelle, Thijs, Mats, and a few others in the past. Tom has been part of that group as well and he was kind enough to share some of his early deckbuilding tests with Kaldheim.

Take into account these are all mostly untested builds, that they represent playstyles Tom enjoys, and are focused on using new mechanics as much as possible. Don’t expect a newly optimised control deck here but some fun synergy builds

Mono-Green Fynn

Deck (60)
Fynn, the Fangbearer (KHM) 170
Icehide Troll (KHM) 176
Moss Viper (THB) 179
Tajuru Blightblade (ZNR) 208
Blizzard Brawl (KHM) 162
Heroic Intervention (M21) 188
23 Snow-Covered Forest (MH1) 254
Bala Ged Recovery (ZNR) 180
Thwart the Enemy (IKO) 173
Garruk, Unleashed (M21) 183
Questing Beast (ELD) 171
Primal Might (M21) 197
Snakeskin Veil (KHM) 194
Ram Through (IKO) 170
Sideboard (11)
Ranger’s Guile (M21) 199
Bala Ged Recovery (ZNR) 180
Broken Wings (ZNR) 181
Thwart the Enemy (IKO) 173

When Fynn was leaked I knew he would be looked at for Gentry. A fun and clear build-around-me card that has the needed support and is low mana cost enough to compete. Add 3 toughness to survive sweepers and we have a recipe full of potential.
Tom said that people should definitely also look at the deck Renzo is building, for a two-color approach with Black but said he wanted to try Mono-Green forst to avoid tempo loss from lands that come into play tapped.

Note that this is a strategy that heavily depends on the quality of the cards that surround it, mreaning that even if it turns out to be struggling now, it can suddenly explode when new cards are printed in the future.

The deck plays as an aggro deck, but instead of trying to push through extra damage with pump spells it aim to keep its creatures alive. MAindeck hexproof protection is mostly to make sure Fynn stays around to do his thing.

Blue-Green(-Red) Snow

Deck (60)
Highland Forest (KHM) 261
Snow-Covered Forest (KHM) 284
Icebreaker Kraken (KHM) 63
Sculptor of Winter (KHM) 193
Icehide Troll (KHM) 176
Spirit of the Aldergard (KHM) 195
Rimewood Falls (KHM) 266
Svella, Ice Shaper (KHM) 230
Snow-Covered Mountain (KHM) 282
Moritte of the Frost (KHM) 223
Llanowar Visionary (M21) 193
In Search of Greatness (KHM) 177
Ilysian Caryatid (THB) 174
Koma, Cosmos Serpent (KHM) 221
The Great Henge (ELD) 161
Sarulf’s Packmate (KHM) 192
Snow-Covered Island (KHM) 278
Blizzard Brawl (KHM) 162
Sideboard (15)
Frost Bite (KHM) 138
Negate (ZNR) 71
Broken Wings (ZNR) 181
Scorching Dragonfire (ELD) 139

Everyone knows you should stay away from yellow snow, but they never mentioned the other colors…
Tom build this 3 Color deck taking advantage of creatures that replace themselves, protect themselves or can generate lasting card advantage in the late game. It is very capable of ramping quickly into some big threats and will keep a full hand as it is going.

Deck that aim to interact with this deck through removal are going to find them empty ended while you still have a grip of cards and/or a significant mana advantage, both of which can overpower control builds.
On the creature spectrum, there currently are not really decks that go over the top of this one, Mutate being one that is only rarely played anymore.
Counterspells are the best way to deal with a deck like this, but that is not really where decks aim to be these days, though that may change with the new tools they received as well.

The deck plays as a a card advantage grinding concoction, trying to deplete your resources while keeping its own in hand. It runs the risk of only having acceleration or only drawing slower cards, which can get punished, but that is easily counteracted by smart mulliganing.

Tom also admitted his build is aimed at beating control, with very little removal present, but that can be adressed in the sideboard, or by adjusting the deck to your own liking first.

White-Black Clerics

Deck (60)
Orah, Skyclave Hierophant (ZNR) 233
Story Seeker (KHM) 34
Doomskar Oracle (KHM) 10
Cleric of Life’s Bond (ZNR) 222
Relic Vial (ZNR) 250
Kor Celebrant (ZNR) 22
Skemfar Shadowsage (KHM) 110
Priest of the Haunted Edge (KHM) 104
Marauding Blight-Priest (ZNR) 112
Taborax, Hope’s Demise (ZNR) 129
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose (M21) 127
Pyre of Heroes (KHM) 241
Snow-Covered Plains (KHM) 276
Snow-Covered Swamp (KHM) 281
Snowfield Sinkhole (KHM) 269
Shimmerdrift Vale (KHM) 267
Raise the Draugr (KHM) 105
Bastion of Remembrance (IKO) 73
Sideboard (15)
Duress (M19) 94
Feed the Swarm (ZNR) 102
Revoke Existence (THB) 34
Feat of Resistance (M21) 19

Clerics got a bunch of extra options added in, especially in the early drops. Doomskar Oracle in particular offers curve flexibility and another effect to gain life off and combo with Marauding Blight-Priest which is now easier to find through Pyre of Heroes.

Against any deck that is aiming to do a damage race this deck will be a breeze to play and it has some hidden long-term synergies hidden in it that can flesh out a long game just as well with Relic Vial

White-Red Boosts

Deck (60)
Wind-Scarred Crag (IKO) 258
Mountain (SLD) 106
Maul of the Skyclaves (ZNR) 27
Rune of Sustenance (KHM) 25
Spectral Steel (KHM) 30
Rune of Speed (KHM) 148
11 Plains (SLD) 101
Dwarven Hammer (KHM) 133
Akiri, Fearless Voyager (ZNR) 220
Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients (ZNR) 230
Runed Crown (KHM) 245
Raven Wings (KHM) 243
Koll, the Forgemaster (KHM) 220
Usher of the Fallen (KHM) 35
Kargan Warleader (ZNR) 224
Beskir Shieldmate (KHM) 4
Kor Blademaster (ZNR) 21
Stonework Packbeast (ZNR) 255
Runeforge Champion (KHM) 26
Sentinel’s Eyes (THB) 36
Axgard Armory (KHM) 250
Run Amok (KHM) 147
Iroas’s Blessing (THB) 142
Aspect of Manticore (THB) 127
Sideboard (15)
Revoke Existence (THB) 34
Scorching Dragonfire (ELD) 139
Bound in Gold (KHM) 5
Feat of Resistance (M21) 19

Between Koll, the Forgemaster and Kor Blademaster there are plenty of reasons to equip and/or enchant some of your creatures. Add in some resilient and self replacing creatures and you have a plan. There seem to be a lot of little things going on in this deck and I really miss Seasoned Hallowblade in there, but the deck is strained for uncommons and probably had a hard time fitting that in with the rest.

A very straightforward aggro deck, with very limited options to rebuild but a very strong upward trajectory if left unchecked. People that let you do your thing, hoping to overwhelm you in the mid game are going to come out on the wrong end of the stick, but those that keep interacting with you as you try to get your synergies up and running can make a deck like this feel underpowered.
That said, the archetype has a lot of options right now, and finding the correct cocktail of aggression and protection could push a deck like this firmly into the foreground.

Conclusion

This wraps up our foray into the mind of Tom. He tried and has dismissed a few other things already and probably has thought of some more things to test in the meantime, so don’t expect not to be surprised of what he brings from now on.

Gentry season XII – Kaldheim split has begun, next Tuesday we have ourr first episode, and thise of you that have gone looking at the events on MTGMelee will know there is a bit of a curveball this season.

Happy brewing and see you soon!
Niels

Niels Viaene came into contact with Magic first through the Kazz & Zakk starter set in 1996, but it wouldn’t be until 2000, around the time Prophecy came out that he actually started playing magic thanks to his nephew. Niels’ Magic career has been a roller coaster up to now, including Grand Prix Paris 2009 top 8, Pro Tour San Diego 2010 top 8, becoming a L3 Magic Judge in 2015 and managing the community effort that is the League of New and Beginning Magic: the Gathering Players, the birthing ground for Gentry since 2012. All this comes from a deep love for the game that is far from diminishing.

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