Dominaria United Review Continued

This past week I’ve spent a lot of time drafting in preparation for Worlds. I’ll share some more concrete thoughts on the format next week, but this week I want to finish off my Constructed card review. There are still a few cards I wanted to talk about, especially having seen some of them in play. 


Soul of Windgrace



This looks like one of the better-rate cards in the set. It provides value as it enters the battlefield and continues to snowball a mana advantage as the game drags on. Jund is also a deck that happened to win the Crokeyz Standard tournament over the weekend, featuring a few copies of this legendary kitty. This card also has applications outside of just Standard because its ability to return lands gets more exploitable as the lands in the format become more broken. 


It’s a very good card that will surely continue to see play. 


Ertai Resurrected



I love this card. It’s a powerful and versatile card that is being slept on. Magic isn’t a game about min-maxing card advantage anymore, so the drawback of giving the opponent a card is negligible when a card like this can impact the board in such flexible ways. 

Ertai’s legendary status means it’s not a slam dunk four-of in decks that can play it, but it will be quite solid in decks that can cast it, and it’s not a card you build around. 


The Cruelty of Gix



This card is similar to The Eldest Reborn in some ways. The Cruelty of Gix is potentially a little more powerful because it sets up impossible-to-recover-from gamestates at times. Tutoring for your best card, taking a card from their hand, and returning the best card in a graveyard from either player is a great package for midrange grindfests that this card is making waves early. 


As the format develops, this card will see less play if blue decks become prominent because it’s expensive and easily disrupted with any form of counter magic. We’ll have to see how the Standard format develops, but I wouldn’t expect this to see play in many other formats. It’s a solid card that will be great in some metagames and too slow if aggressive decks pop up. 


Herd Migration



This is kind of a cool card that requires a lot of work for a reasonable payout. It’s used both for setting up domain and a payoff, which makes it a card that could see some play in various Domain Builds. It’s not a card I expect to see a lot of, but it has some fringe value. 


Haughty Djinn



Haught Djinn looks great. It has a big butt, so it won’t die to a lot of removal like Lightning Strike, but it can also be sequenced with four mana and something like a Negate, a Disdainful Stroke, or even Essence Scatter with its cost reduction. With a lot of the card filtering in Standard costing two mana, Haught Djinn will let you have big explosive turns carding Thrill of Possibility and Impulse similar to in Limited


I love the card, and I think it may see less play in Standard than formats like Pioneer where the card pool is deeper to support it. 


The Creature Lords 







Let’s talk about Vodalian Hexcatcher, Valiant Veteran, Shadow-Rite Priest, Rundvenlt Hordemaster, and Leaf-Crowned Visionary.


The thing about these lords is they’re all pretty good. They will all see play in respective tribal decks, but I don’t think any of them in any format pushes these archetypes into tier 1 status immediately.


At raw power level, Leaf-Crowned Visionary may be best, as it pairs nicely with other Elves that make tons of mana to keep cards coming. That said, once you’re doing your thing, you’re either dead, have already won a lot of the times, or you’re going to get sweeped the following turns. I don’t think this card’s existence pushes Elves into tier 1, but it will improve the deck marginally. Having to pay a mana to draw a card limits the potential to explode with this creature, unlike a Glimpse of Nature. It still has a high ceiling for an Elf Lord, but it’s too fragile to make Elves tier 1 for any longer than a single tournament, as you’d still attack Elves decks in the exact same ways—tons of cheap removal and sweepers and they will still struggle to get footing. 


Vodalian Hexcatcher is best at solving problems related to typical tribal decks’ weaknesses. Having the ability to play it at instant speed to not develop into a sweeper, but also counter a sweeper so you don’t lose your whole board (maybe just half of it instead) means this card could push Merfolk into a playable deck. 


Roosevelt Hordemaster is in the same category as being helpful against sweepers since you can potentially restock your board if this is in play when a sweeper resolves. The problem is this will usually eat a bolt or something, provide you one look, then the sweeper drops down to wipe up everything left. Again, it’s a card that all Goblin decks will play, especially at two mana, but not one pushes the deck into a new tier. 


As far as Clerics and Soldiers are concerned, I doubt we’ll see much of either. Soldiers’ decks would likely be worse than Humans decks, and Clerics are hard to come by. Shadow-Rite Priest has a powerful ability, but the set-up and fact you have to wait a turn to use it limits its potential. 


Overall, these are cool cards for Constructed as new toys for tribal decks, but they’re not game breaking enough to fix the decks’ issues. Vodalian Hexcatcher is the one I have my eye on since Merfolk plays well in Eternal Formats with more combo-heavy focuses. 


The Elder Dragon War



This card fits perfectly with and against Fable of the Mirror Breaker. It gives you a beefy creature to copy but also provides a clean answer to Fable creatures and leaves value behind. It’s interesting that Fable decks will be countered by other Fable decks playing this card, further homogenizing red as the most powerful color in Standard at the moment. 


Meria, Scholar of Antiquity



Last and maybe least, Meria Scholar of Antiquity is the kind of card that says “break me.”  It’s a fragile body at 3/3 dying to Bolt, which is legal in formats. This would likely have the highest potential the bigger the artifact card pool is, but this card lets you produce tons of mana and also play off the top of your deck as games develop. I love that this card exists for Constructed since it seems like a fun build around and puzzle to solve. 


This card will likely see play in decks that are either not viable for competitive play or competitive decks that are potentially incredibly strong or even broken and format warping to a degree. It’s a weird spot where if the pieces fit together well enough this card could be great, but it won’t be used in fair ways. It’s a card with potential that could be absolutely broken, but usually even when cards like this find a home, they don’t last long since the decks they fit into are easily countered. 


This is a sweet card that’s fun to think about, but in practice the juice is probably not worth the squeeze. 


While there are tons more cards I could discuss, I’ll get to the good stuff and talk about Limited next week. So far I’ve had mixed feelings about the set for Limited because a lot of the Commander and Constructed build arounds have watered down the Limited format where cards with tons of text at rare and mythic rare mostly reads as flavor text in Limited


More on this next week. See you then!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *