Have you found yourself wishing that you could Cascade into awesome permanents in Standard? You’ve been longing to bend mana bases to your whim, and cast whatever you want consistently?
I’ve got some great news.
I was honoured to be invited to the Dominaria United Early Access Content Creator Event this past Tuesday (Thanks again, Wizards of the Coast!) If you’re not familiar with this event, many of your favourite content creators are provided with fully stocked Magic the Gathering: Arena accounts just before the official release of a new set, so we can showcase cool new designs, the upcoming draft format, and engage in battle against each other for your entertainment live!
During this event, I played with so many new Dominaria Cards that I’m so excited for you to get your hands on, but I wanted to take some time today to highlight the sweetest deck I had the chance to play – 5c Jodah Legends.
This deck idea started with a list from Josh in their article this week, that looked so much fun I just had to try it out, and I’d recommend you give it a read as well – and I just worked on it live from there. When a card as unique as Jodah, the Unifier is spoiled, most people immediately write it off as a Commander staple: 5 colours, expensive, legendary based. The truth is, however, that Standard already has tons of legendary permanents we want to play:
Standard mainstays such as The Wandering Emperor, Raffine, Scheming Seer, and Kaito Shizuki have been so powerful in existing Esper shells since they have been printed, and the power of new legends from Dominaria United in the same colours such as Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and the returning Liliana of the Veil means that we aren’t giving up any cards we want to play to make our legends matter subtheme work. In fact, by playing all these legends, we now get to make our mana base even better with the best new land in Dominaria United – Plaza of Heroes.
This card does EVERYTHING, and will only get better as time goes on; mostly being kept in check by the need for legends to be at it’s best, but unlike a card like Mox Amber, it’s not blank if you don’t have any to work with. Once we’ve added Plaza of Heroes to improve our fixing, it only makes sense to extend our colours to accommodate the five-colour powerhouse who will win the most midrange mirrors since Niv-Mizzet Reborn – Jodah, the Unifier.
I know he looks like a vanilla 6/6, but Jodah ends games fast. Cascade is one of the most ridiculous mechanics we’ve ever seen in Magic the Gathering, and Jodah gives that ability to every single legendary you cast while he’s in play, and every single legendary then makes all your legendaries +1/+1 bigger – It’s really hard to block that! Once you throw another new legends-matter payoff into the mix in the form of Relic of Legends, suddenly you can almost “Storm Off” and cast 3-4 legends in a turn, and that’s a very hard board to break if Jodah is providing you with a free card for each of those legends!
Of course, the only downside to this is we have to play a real mish-mash of legends to try and prevent Jodah from cascading into something we already have – we can’t really play four-ofs in a deck like this. Is the inconsistency from this worth the power spike that Jodah provides? I’m unsure, in the long time, but good lord is it fun!
I also wanted to take a moment to give a special shoutout to Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. This card overperformed for me massively during Early Access. While she’s not quite Siege Rhino, her text box plays well with several three drops that come down on curve before it, like Kaito Shizuki and Raffine, Scheming Seer – cards that she can cascade into if you cast her while Jodah is in play! The 4/5 statline made her surprisingly hard to handle for a lot of aggro decks, especially when paired with the lifegain she provides. It really wouldn’t shock me is Sheoldred finds a home in some kind of Mono Black Aggro, Mono Black Control, or Esper Midrange.
Dominaria United is a set that has me excited – and looks to be a home run from a flavour and design perspective for most of the Magic community. The majority of games we played during early access were close, interesting, and really let the new cards flex their muscles, which is exactly what I want to see as a new set releases.
Jodah, the Unifier certainly has the power level required to be a standard powerhouse, turning boards with a flick of his hand, and generating more card advantage than I expected in my wildest dreams! Will this Bloodbraid Elf-Style of top end be good enough to make the cut as the metagame settles? I don’t know, but I’m going to be doing it anyway, because it’s really, really fun.
Don’t forget to check out the video game play HERE or in this article above, and let me know what you think! Until next time, stay safe out there!