Hello everyone! With the full spoiler for Dominaria United live, we can finally get into breaking down the cards with constructed applications!
Since I did individual card reviews already, rather than repeat myself, I’ll link the article, but still give the verdict and decklist if that’s what you’re more interested in. For this, I’m going to cover every Mythic, every Rare, and then choice uncommons and commons that have potential. Let’s get into it!
As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications.
- 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
- 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
- 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
- 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
- 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
- 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.
Sphinx of Clear Skies
Another Fact or Fiction Sphinx!
While this card is certainly flashy, it’s going to be hard to play this in a deck that can make really good use of the Domain ability. However, if you’re two color or even mono colored, this can just be a five mana 5/5 Flying, Ward 2, when it connects draw a card. While that seems powerful, I learned my lesson from Iymrith, Desert Doom, who in my opinion, is much better than this card and saw pretty much no play. If my rating is off, it’s going to be because this maybe can slot into a Domain deck, but I don’t like the odds.
Now this is a weird card! I love funny payoffs like this as this is a Johnnies dream to make something like this work as when it does work, it’s going to work big. That being said, we have a somewhat similar card already in Necroduality which requires a lot less work for a payoff and that has seen literally zero play. While this card is cool, spending four mana for a card that can’t do anything by itself is generally not it. However, this is definitely a super fun Commander card.
This card is this close to being good, but just barely misses the mark. For me, the fact that it has to take something that has strictly less power than itself versus less than or equal to is what kills this card. A three drop that can only take one power creatures or a five drop that can only take three power creatures is just not good enough on rate for me. Compare this to Mind Flayer, which saw next to no play, to see the issue.
I will say though, the one shot this card has is as a board card if there’s a deck that happens to play an inordinate amount of 1/xs. Until then though, this card ain’t it.
Defiler of Dreams
I cover this card in more detail in its dedicated article:
I cover this card in more detail in its dedicated article:
The Phasing of Zhalfir
This is a cool card, not a good card. Wrath effects that give your opponents creatures anyway is not at all what you want from a wrath. Furthermore, there are next to zero scenarios where I can see spending four mana to lose a permanent, even if it’s temporary.
Finally we have a nifty card that’s actually playable! While you need a pretty specific deck to make this work, playing this in a deck where you can constantly leave mana open and play on the opponents turn just makes this a Phyrexian Arena stapled to a creature. Again, this is going to be situational and more likely a board card as it gets nabbed by most common removal spells, but it has potential.
This card is just utility on a stick. So we have Sandsteppe Outcast, Aether Adept, or a Merchant of Secrets to choose from, and while none of these are particularly spectacular cards, choosing which one to get makes this way more enticing.
While it’s probably going to be pretty mediocre in Standard, this could work well in Humans decks in older formats. I might be overrating it slightly because I love utility creatures and the most recent analog of Callous Bloodmage didn’t see any play, the tribal element is what pushes it over the edge for me and the abilities here are just better all around.
I’ve seen a lot of praise for this card, but this isn’t 2010, Jace's Ingenuity and Inspiration are not playable cards anymore. Sure you have the utility of drawing a million cards later in the game, but on average you’re casting a spell that’s way worse than Memory Deluge. Will people play this as a one of in their slow Blue decks? Yes. Would I? Also yes, I’m not above the dream of top decking it in the late game. Is it good? Not really.
Enigma Drake was a playable card, and this card is pretty much just better. Double Blue may be harder to cast in some decks versus Blue and Red, but getting a discount on your spells is pretty nice. Realistically, you want to play as many one mana spells with this as possible, but this definitely has legs (even if we can’t see them in the art).
Yes this is pretty much just Unsummon with the added bonus of tagging planeswalkers, but if you’re playing Dimir and for some reason want an Unsummon, this can be a four mana Hero's Downfall as well. I doubt this will ever see play, but it’s actually a pretty strong card.
While people are excited for this card, this is very far from Growth Spiral. Two mana scry 2, draw one card is not a particularly good rate, and 3 mana to do the same, but being able to deploy a land is too expensive for that effect. I’m sure people will try this anyway, but I really think it’s not strong enough in a deck that would want this effect. Just play The Celestus if you need ramp on three.
I’m rarely a fan of Cancel variants, but once that can reasonably be cost reduced to Counterspell is a bit more interesting. This probably gets the nod over Wash Away and Dissipate as cost reduction is a big deal. Now I don’t want to say that Cancel variants are really ever that great, but this is alright.
While this card isn’t traditionally good, there is an argument to be made that it’s decent in Historic in conjunction with Ephemerate. I have no clue if that’s good enough, but it is interesting!
This doesn’t look like a particularly good card, but Cryptic Serpent was close to playable in Standard and this is leagues better. Trading in a power for something that can be a mana cheaper and gaining Ward 2 is a trade I’m willing to make. This card may still be too cute, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a decent deck with this in it.
Now this is a very tough one. Impulse has not been in Standard in a very long time so this is a bit uncharted territory. While Anticipate is obviously the closest analog, seeing four cards instead of three is a rather big difference. That said, I feel like this card has its spot, but will be played in a lot of decks it probably shouldn’t be in. This seems at its best in combo decks or decks that are specifically digging for particular cards rather than any Blue deck with instants, but it may still be good there. Overall, seems like a fine card, but not incredible.
It’s Negate. This effect is and always should be in Standard.
While the Blue mythics and rares leave a lot to be desired, the uncommons and commons brought the heat this set! I’ll be interested to see which ones can break into the new Standard!
Thank you for reading!