A contentious mechanic makes a return in today’s Magic: The Gathering Kaldheim spoiler. Poison, the alternate win condition that functionally cuts a player’s life total in half is back. It may be limited compared to past iterations of poison counters in Magic, but it still has some fun possibilities. Let’s take a look at the latest Kaldheim spoiler and see how it may impact Magic.
Poison is back in this Kaladesh spoiler
Fynn, the Fangbearer, a two-mana legendary creature heralds poisons return to Magic. Fynn, the Fangbearer’s ability makes it so when a creature with Deathtouch deals combat damage to a player, they also gain two poison counters. Once a player gains ten poison counters, they lose the game. The biggest downside to Fynn, the Fangbearer is that it is a legendary creature. With only one copy in play, players can’t have multiple instances of extra poison counters triggering at once.
In the upcoming Standard season, there will be approximately 28 creatures with Deathtouch. Not all are Standard playable however. The most notable creatures with Deathtouch are Questing Beast and Nighthawk Scavenger. Oakhame Adversary, and Chevill, Bane of Monsters could see a lot of play as well. Potentially the Kaldheim spoiler card Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire could find a home in a potential deck as well.
A history of poison in Magic and the future of this Kaldheim spoiler
Poison counters have been around since the Legends set, first releasing in 1994. Since then, it has popped up in the Future Sight block as the keyword Poisonous. It then changed form a little when it returned in the Scars of Mirrodin block as Infect.
Mark Rosewater, head designer for Magic: The Gathering revealed before the Kaldheim spoiler season started that there will be “a card that allows you to kill someone with poison” in Kaldheim, he said. From Rosewater’s reveal, it seems unlikely that more creatures that give poison counters are unlikely but that doesn’t mean that the next set, Strixhaven: School of Mages, won’t deal with poison counters. Not to mention the Phyrexian Praetor Vorinclex is on Kaldheim. The last time players saw Vorinclex, Infect was rampant in Magic. While Fynn, the Fangbearer and poison counters may not change the face of Standard, it could have some interesting implications to where Magic is headed.