Dominaria United Early Reveals
Hello everyone and welcome to standard weekly.
The purpose of this series is to inform standard Magic the Gathering players of the current state of the format, what to look for in the future as new sets are released, and how standard is affected by the annual fall rotation. Today’s article focuses on what we know about Dominaria United as of July 15, 2022. (Note: Wizards released information about Dominaria United after the writing of this article. An update based on this information appears after the original article.)
Dominaria is the plane at the center of the Magic the Gathering universe. Most of Magic’s early sets occur on Dominaria. When Magic returned to Dominaria in 2018, this was the first time in over a decade a set takes place on Magic’s home plane. Dominaria United brings us back.
With the release of Dominaria United on September 9, 2022, rotation will occur. This means that the sets Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim, Strixhaven: School of Mages, and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms will leave standard taking with them some of the most powerful cards in standard. This will shake up standard and give players the opportunity to explore new decks and archetypes.
What We Know So Far
While very little is known about Dominaria United, there are a few pieces of information that come from the set’s packaging that give details about what to expect from the set. First, there will be a legendary card in each draft booster pack of Dominaria United, so one of the set themes is legendary matters. This is a repeat from the Dominaria set from 2018. It is safe to expect many legendary creatures plus possibly the return of sagas and legendary sorceries.
The second piece of information is the return of the Weatherlight. The Weatherlight is a legendary skyship that premiered early in the history of Magic. The draft booster display shows returning characters Karn, Jodah, and Shanna with the Weatherlight in the background. We can expect the Weatherlight’s crew from the previous Dominaria set to return as the Weatherlight heads into battle.
The set booster display features Liliana and Ajani fighting together in defense of Dominaria. Their presence on the box with that of Karn on the draft display means that we will see planeswalker cards for Ajani, Karn, and Liliana. Other members of the Gatewatch could also appear, but we have not seen more than three or four planeswalkers in a set since War of the Spark.
Historically, Ajani, Karn, and Liliana have playable cards that sometimes star in standard and other formats. Each card’s power level will dictate its playability, but you should expect at least two of the three to see significant play in standard. Black decks need to replace Lolth, Spider Queen after rotation. Liliana’s new card could be an ideal replacement.
After I wrote this article, Wizards release more information about Dominaria United. This included the first previews from the set.
Llanowar Loamspeaker is one of the most flexible cards I have seen printed. A green two mana creature is nothing special but also has the ability to either provide an extra mana or turn a land into a 3/3 Elemental creature. Turning a land into an Elemental creature provides a unique ability that usually is limited to planeswalkers.
Shivan Devastator gives red decks a flexible creature that can enter play early in the game as a small creature or late as a giant threat. Flying and haste make Shivan Devastator an evasive threat that can finish games.
Evolved Sleeper confirms that Phyrexians will return in the set. This is a good way to use unspent mana to grow a creature into a larger and larger threat.
When I originally wrote the article, I speculated that we might see more members of the Gatewatch. Now we know that more than three planeswalkers will appear in the set. Jaya Ballard is a classic Magic planeswalker from Dominaria. Her card looks playable because of her flexible abilities.
Temporal Firestorm gives red a potential board wipe card with the flexibility to protect your own creatures or planeswalkers through its kicker ability.
We also learned that more than 40 legendary creatures appear in the set with Legends retold box toppers available with the purchase of a box or in Dominaria United Collector Boosters. Below are three of the 19 legendary creatures appearing in the box topper set. Each card represents a new version of a creature originally in Legends.
In addition to the new cards, Dominaria United Collector Boosters feature cards from physical Legends boosters printed in 1994. To find out more, you can read Wizards article about which cards will appear. Lost Legends | MAGIC: THE GATHERING (wizards.com)
For those of you who enjoy Magic lore, the Dominaria United story premieres on August 10. This link will take you to the Magic story home page. MAGIC STORY | MAGIC: THE GATHERING (wizards.com)
Or you can visit DailyMTG( https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles) starting on August 10 to read the story that begins a four-set story arc.
That is what we know so far about Dominaria United. Card previews will begin on August 18 with the Wizards Presents event. Once we see more previews, we will have a better idea about what the set will offer to standard.
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