With several Elves included in Theme and Set booster exclusives revealed for Kaldheim, Green and Black Elves look like it will be a deck in Kaldheim Standard. What’s better for Tribal decks than Changelings? Somewhat predictably, Kaldheim will feature Shapeshifters, who have the Changeling ability to make them all creature types at once. Perhaps one of the most powerful of these will be Realmwalker.
Of course, Elves are far from the only tribe that exists in Green, even in Standard. But, Realmwalker does what Elf decks want to do, and that’s play as many Elves as you can quickly as possible. When Realmwalker enters the battlefield, you choose a creature type. Not only can you look at the top card of your deck at any time, but you can cast creatures of the chosen deck from the top of your deck.
Unlike many other cards that let you cast cards from the top of your deck, Realmwalker doesn’t require you to reveal that card. Having this information also makes card effects that scry even more powerful, since you know whether you want to keep that card on top or on the bottom before you even choose to scry. Realmwalker also has a decent 2 / 3 body, easily boosted by lord effects like Canopy Tactician, a Kaldheim card exclusive to the aforementioned Theme and Set boosters.
Before the release of Kaldheim, Elves were not a big deal in Standard, with only a few creatures even popping up in competitive Standard lists. One of those is Ayara, First of Locthwain, who’s really purely meant for a Mono-Black deck. Others like Tajuru Paragon and Wildborn Preserver have their uses, but the only truly good Elf in Standard has been Llanowar Visionary, who draws you a card when he enters and can tap for a Green mana.
However, Elves are an extremely powerful deck in Modern, thanks to huge threats like Craterhoof Behemoth. They’re also extremely powerful in Magic Arena’s unique Historic format thanks to the busted one-mana Allosaurus Shepherd. Realmwalker makes Elves in those formats even better. In Pioneer, Elves get Deathrite Shaman, who’s banned in Modern thanks to being stupidly busted with fetch lands in that format. Pioneer Elves are nearly as potent as Historic and Modern Elves, but Realmwalker may get them the tools they need, especially with Canopy Tactician also entering the format to replace the Elvish Archdruid the format lacks.
Kaldheim also offers Elves a new instant-speed creature token generator in Elven Ambush. While it’s a 4-mana card, it creates a 1/1 Elf Warrior token for each Elf you control. That includes Realmwalker. So, you can see how much Elves stand to gain in Kaldheim.
What Other Tribes Benefits from Realmwalker?
With Kaldheim’s apparent focus on the Berserker subtype, it’s possible that Realmwalker will appear in those types of decks, as well. Really, any Tribal deck that includes Green mana will probably benefit from having Realmwalker around. That being said, Elves are decks that make a ton of mana in a hurry, meaning you can play several copies of Realmwalker without them potentially clogging up your hand. Being able to essentially draw an Elf or more right off the top of your deck is great, but it’s one of your least aggressive creatures, too.
In Commander, there are countless decks that would be happy to play Realmwalker. In particular, five color Tribal decks such as Allies, Dragons, Elementals, Humans, and Slivers will likely find a home for a creature who can cast their key creatures right from the top of the deck. More niche Green tribal decks such as Hydras and even Druids like Realmwalker, too. Casting Realmwalker in Gargos, Vicious Watcher, who makes all Hydras cost 4 colorless mana to cast, will only cost you one Green mana when Gargos is in play.
Generally, cards that put cards essentially in your hand from the top of your deck tend to be quite good. While it’s not exactly Oracle of Mul Daya drawing lands into play, it can potentially help you to make some aggressive turns where you cast a bunch of creatures straight off the top.
More to come on Realmwalker and his Changeling friends.
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