Heidar, Rimewind Master – Coldsnap
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Heidar’s name comes from an Old Norse root that means “bright”, making it kind of ironic that he wanted to prolong the Ice Age. In the end, of course, he failed at that, but his legacy lives on anywhere people play lots of snow lands. I remember Heidar being compared to Tradewind Rider when Coldsnap was new, though on balance, I don’t think he’s quite as strong as his soul-father. For one thing, his ability is only active if you have the right combination of permanents, and though that seems like a battle fit for a child in constructed decks, the most reliable way to get it is lands, which means you might have to ease off on fixing for other colors, creature lands, and the like. For another, four toughness and flying gives the Rider more general uses if the combo side doesn’t work out.
But when Heidar does come online, he can slow a game down to a crawl, and an opponent who’s down to their last threat on the table often can’t beat him. Though he’s not the most reliable way to do so, there is definitely a place for this ability in casual Magic.
Repeatable Boomerang is an interesting effect, and an all-snow mana base means Heidar can get really obnoxious if he’s allowed space to do his thing. A five-mana 3/3 with no abilities is mediocre, but being able to rid the board of annoyances and threats whenever you feel like it is rather nice…especially if you’ve ways to replicate or reuse the effect. He’s in a well-supported tribe, too. The main issue is that he’s slow, and his body is merely okay; the snow limitation is one you can work around, but protecting him long enough is another matter.
Constructed: 1.75 (way too slow for any format, even if snow mana isn’t much of a concern)
Limited: 4 (if you have snow permanents to enable Heidar, this is a massively oppressing card…but you need to be able to meet that threshold, so drafting around it is a must)
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