Snow is a supertype that first appeared in Magic The Gathering‘s Ice Age set alongside Coldsnap, Future Sight, Commander 2019, Modern Horizons, and most recently, Kaldheim. Snow is a special card type that functionally acts like any other card but has unique payoffs for playing snow cards.
Snow cards appear on all kinds of spells, from permanent to non-permanent. Since they have only appeared in a limited number of sets, the amount of available snow cards is limited. However, the playable snow cards are fantastic, and in the case of Kaldheim-era Standard, meta-defining.
10/10 Frost Bite
Frost Bite saw a ton of play when it was legal in Standard as a powerful removal spell. For just one mana, Frost Bite can hit most relevant early-game creatures to get them off the battlefield. It needs snow permanents to get the maximum payoff, but there is hardly a downside to running snow lands over traditional basics, making it easy to hit the threshold.
Unlike a card like Strangle, which doesn’t need snow permanents, Frost Bite is an instant spell that allows for more versatility and efficiency with mana.
9/10 Snow Dual Lands
While dual snow lands have been around since Coldsnap, Kaldheim made them much more relevant. This is because the dual lands from Kaldheim have basic land types included on them. This allows you to use cards that search out specific land types, such as Nature’s Lore, that care about that.
Snow dual lands offer a nice budget alternative to more expensive dual lands, thanks to how searchable they are. In formats like Pauper, where all dual lands are tapped lands, they are one of the best land cycles in the format, with a whole deck (Skerd) being built around them.
8/10 Blizzard Brawl
Blizzard Brawl is one of the best fight spells out there, and all for just one mana. While it only invokes a fight when you’re without three or more snow permanents, it’s amazing when you meet the threshold. Since it gives your creature indestructible, you can ensure your creature not only lives the fight but can attack your opponents again without having to worry about battle destroying it.
As if that wasn’t good enough, Blizzard Brawl even gives a small attack boost to make the fight easier to win. It decks that want to win as fast as possible, Blizzard Brawl helps accomplish that while acting as a form of removal.
7/10 Blood On The Snow
When it comes to board wipes, the ones that cost more than four generally need a solid ability attached to them. Blood On The Snow is exactly that. It’s rather simple: either destroy all creatures or all planeswalkers, then bring back one of your own cards lost, as long as its mana cost is equal to the amount of snow mana you used to cast the spell.
This allows you to immediately set your board state back up, while your opponents will have to start from zero. Blood On The Snow is easy to cast with six snow mana, ensuring you can get most of your powerful creatures back out after it’s done resolving.
6/10 Svella, Ice Shaper
Svella, Ice Shaper is a snow creature that does everything it wants to be doing without having to rely on outside resources. It can make its own mana rocks by simply tapping and paying three mana that will stay on the battlefield even if Svella ever leaves it. Once you have enough mana, you can use Svella, Ice Shaper’s other ability to play free spells from the top four cards of your deck each turn.
If you have a giant mana sink and ways to untap it, something easy to accomplish in a format like Commander, you can do this multiple times a turn and cast a ton of powerful, high-cost spells for free.
5/10 Jorn, God Of Winter / Kaldring, The Rimestaff
Jorn, God Of Winter is one of the best snow creatures in the game. Whenever Jorn attacks, all snow permanents get untapped. This includes other creatures and even lands, allowing you to play a ton of cards in just one turn. Since you can play any number of snow lands, this makes Jorn that much better if you only play snow lands.
The backside Kaldring, The Rimestaff is just as good, allowing you to play snow permanents out from your graveyard. This lets you recycle snow cards that got discarded or removed and play them for even more value. The only cost is tapping itself, making it that much easier to do so.
4/10 Faceless Haven
Faceless Haven is a solid land card that saw a lot of play in the Standard it was in and still sees play as a tech card in other formats. It’s a simple land, but for three snow mana, it can become a 4/3 creature with all creature types. This is occasionally relevant and allows for tempo decks to push for damage once the board is clear.
It’s a fantastic land to help finish the game, and it’s easy to play snow lands only to ensure you can turn it into a creature. In decks like Mono-Blue Spirit in Pioneer/Explorer, it’s a good way to deal out even more damage if you don’t need to hold mana up anymore.
3/10 Search For Glory
Search For Glory is a phenomenal tutor for specific decks that run either snow, legendary, or saga cards. Though it’s a snow sorcery, it doesn’t need to use snow mana to be good, as its snow bonus only gains you a maximum of three life.
Due to the wide range of cards it can hit, Search For Glory is an amazingly underrated tutor. In a format like Commander that relies on specific cards, you can easily get it to your hand for use if that card is legendary.
2/10 Ascendant Spirit
Ascendant Spirit is a great card that sees play in formats such as Pioneer and Historic in Spirit decks. It requires a snow mana base to work best, something these kinds of decks can do with ease. Ascendant Spirit can grow as the game goes on, turning from a 1/1 and nothing else to a 6/6 with flying that draws you cards.
These boost effects can be done instantly, allowing you to grow Ascendant Spirit during end phases when you no longer need mana up for counterspells.
1/10 Arcum’s Astrolabe
It’s hard to talk about the most powerful snow cards without talking about the only snow card that’s not just banned, but banned in multiple formats (Modern, Legacy, and Pauper). The effects are deceptively simple; it costs one snow mana and draws a card while entering the battlefield. It also can filter a mana by paying one to add a mana of any color.
All of this combined into an amazing card. It’s easy to cast and replaces itself in the hand by drawing. It allows just about any deck to play cards of any color easily without worrying about playing a sub-optimal land base. While other cards can do this, it’s the fact Arcum’s Astrolabe only costs one mana from any snow land to cost that makes it so powerful it had to be banned across multiple formats.