Let’s look at Runeforged Champion from Kaldheim:
Runeforge Champion is 2/3 for 2W. Now 2/3 for three mana is not breaking any long-standing records on rate. Black Knight and Siege Rhino are both safe on that front.
So obviously we have seen some amazing 2/3 creatures for three mana in the past… But they usually had a nice stack of abilities. Vampire Nighthawk, for instance had all of flying, deathtouch, and lifelink for its three mana.
Now Runeforge Champion isn’t a vanilla 2/3 for three mana or anything. Its ability to get a Rune from either your deck or graveyard makes this card positively viable.
Mike’s favorite Rune is the white one… But the others have some nice benefits; primarily red and black.
Rune of Sustenance seems to have the widest applications among Runes
This is a great card to find with your Runeforge Champion. In fact, unlike many of the other Runes, it is one that you might just want to play in the abstract.
Applications-wise, we envision Rune of Sustenance being a sideboard card to help you win attrition battles… Or low-count (probably one-of) in the main deck of a Runeforge Champion deck.
Rune of Speed is Very Serviceable on the Merits
The red representative of the Runes cycle has the benefit of being red. After all, Runeforge Champion — as a Dwarf Warrior — is probably Boros-aligned to start.
Like all the Runes, Rune of Speed draws a card when it comes into play. But +1/+0 is a great pairing to haste; and conveniently colored.
It’s easy to see how good Rune of Sustenance can be… Even in decks that don’t play Runeforge Champion. Lifelink is good for grinding, right?
What about Rune of Mortality, though?
One application is to upgrade small creatures to punch above weight against high quality creatures.
… But come on!
The real use case is in a deck with some kind of pingers. Runeforge Champion can turn whatever Izzet Staticaster is legal into quite the assassin with a singleton Rune of Mortality.
But Wait! There’s More!
- More Tibalt’s Trickery applications (and format-breaking nonsense)
- A Vampire Dragon that might be Top 5 in the set
- The Stoneforge Mystic that is also a Seething Song
- The problem with having “no economical Stone Rains” in Standard