Good Morning Magic Covers History Of Snow In Magic

Learn all about the history of the snow mechanic in Magic from its odd origin to today’s inclusion in Kaldheim.

Ice-Fang Coatl, illustrated by Filip Burburan

With Kaldheim preview season in full swing, Gavin Verhey used today’s episode of Good Morning Magic to go over the history of the snow mechanic in Magic and how it will work in the new set.

The snow mechanic debuted in Ice Age in 1995, and only 28 of the non-snow-covered land cards in the set referenced snow and half of them were punishing to players that did have snow-covered lands. Snow didn’t come roaring out of the gates and was an example of how adding a mechanic late in the set design process can be a liability. The snow-covered lands did hold a lot of nostalgia for players and many used the lands over normal basics for aesthetic purposes.

Cold Snap Arctic Foxes Sunstone

Coldsnap brought the return of snow, and the snow-covered basics even had a new super type. The super type also showed up on other permanents beyond lands, like creatures and enchantments. The new mana symbol for snow changed things up and the set tuned down the amount of hate for snow lands.

Boreal Centaur Phyrexian Soulgorger Diamond Faerie

Snow came back in Modern Horizons, shifting the landscape of older formats permanently with cards like Arcum’s Astrolabe and Ice-Fang Coatl. The set included no hate on snow lands, making older formats adopt snow lands to be able to bluff snow spells now that many decks played the powerful snow cards.

Arcum's Astrolabe Ice-Fang Coatl Dead of Winter

Snow is finally back in Standard with Kaldheim, along with the snow mana symbol, though they are not making any artifact cards with snow mana in the casting cost. There will also be exactly one hate card for snow-covered lands at rare that Verhey boasts will be enough to keep players from always having snow-covered lands in their decks to bluff due to the risk of being punished by the card.

Verhey said future episodes of Good Morning Magic will cover the concept and design of the new snow border in Kaldheim.