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.
Now that is a lot of text. So first we have a five mana 5/7 which is a huge stat line, even by five drop standards. Then with each creature cast you get a Naturalize, an Elvish Rejuvenator trigger, or 4 life. This has a lot of utility, but my main issue with this is two fold.
One, you’re likely not going to have that many creatures to cast after dropping a five drop, but I think that’s not even a big deal. My real issue with this card is that it does do a lot, it doesn’t press any particular advantage if it lives for awhile. If you’re facing a deck with a lot of artifacts and enchantments, that’s a different story, but doing some ramping/deck thinning or gaining a lot of life is nice, but not game winning. Nowadays, if a five drop lives for multiple turns, you should probably win the game off of it. I’m skeptical that Silverback Elder can close games that easily as it seems like a value card rather than a win condition.
While this is a cool card and could definitely have it’s spots, this feels like much more a slam dunk for Commander than it is for Standard.
The World Spell
Affectionately nicknamed Tooth and Snail after Tooth and Nail, this card is definitely a fun one. Being able to find some threats and then drop them in a few turns is a super card to work with. Better yet, if you have two threats in hand, you can drop them both immediately! Talk about powerful, right? Eh, not exactly.
While this card is yet another fun one for Commander, I’m not seeing the Standard applications. Is there really a world where you can drop this on turn seven and not immediately Read Ahead to chapter three? If you don’t, you spent seven mana for a big restrictive Impulse. Sure you’ll pop off in two turns, but if I’m slamming seven drops, the game should be over in a turn or two, not two turns from now this might do something. Furthermore, even if you can Read Ahead, you likely could’ve just played the threat you’re “cheating” in. Maybe if Eldrazi come back I can see this being a more viable option, but considering all the Ramp payoffs right now are around seven mana, this seems unnecessary.
This is a very narrow card, but it does work well in the Golgari Graveyard Aggro deck I’ve constantly tried to make work! This seems like a nearly identical card to Old Stickfingers except you can’t invest as much mana into it. To be honest I’m not even sure that Old Stickfingers is that good, but I feel like both this and Sticky are reasonable if you build around them.
Defiler of Vigor
I cover this card in more detail in its dedicated article:
I cover this card in more detail in its dedicated article:
Was this card made for me? A Green two drop that grows and gets value on death is exactly what the doctor ordered and is pretty reminiscent of Werewolf Pack Leader as most of the time it’s a three power attacker on turn three. Then being able to move some counters around on death makes it hard for you to lose value on the mana invested into this making this even spicier. Great card, I imagine seeing a lot of this in the future.
On stats alone, this card is reasonable. A three mana 4/3 with Reach and Trample is pretty good considering Old-Growth Troll was the gold standard of three drops last season. However, having 3 toughness in a format with Lightning Strike is definitely a bit of a liability.
If that’s all the card did, it would be very mediocre, but being able to recur it with Domain makes this more interesting. If you have all five basic land types, you get to recast this from your graveyard at the same cost at instant speed so you get two uses out of this. This gives the card utility whether you’re looking to be an aggressive deck (if there aren’t better options, but there probably are) or as an early to mid game tool for the multicolor decks. Finding the proper home for it may not be the easiest, but this definitely has a spot.
What a call back! Gifts Ungiven is a classic card and having one exclusively for creatures is a fun one. Once again, Commander staple, but I do see some combo potential for this as well in theory. Not putting the other choices in the graveyard makes it much tougher to combo off with it, but not impossible. Realistically, I don’t think this is a competitive card, but maybe someone can make something of this.
This card is confusing for me. So if you build around it, it’s a seven mana create five 3/3s which is pretty solid, but the activated ability can only find basic lands. Realistically, if you build around this, you are playing maybe one if any basics making this line of text not particularly helpful. Furthermore, while five 3/3s can be strong, I feel that’s a lot of work to get this effect when you could just play a Titan of Industry.
Nevertheless, being able to split power amongst a lot of bodies can be helpful in particular matchups so I think this card does have some utility, but it’s pretty narrow.
Mana dorks generally have the same problem, they’re bad late game top decks. While Llanowar Loamspeaker doesn’t completely solve that problem, it at least works towards it. Being able to animate lands in the late game as additional attackers is a solid ability for a dork and lets you do something if you’re playing really off curve as well.
The three toughness is also nice since it can dodge Play with Fire so you don’t get blown out on your turn two. Very solid mana dork.
Unfortunately this is just a 3/2 and thus susceptible to Shock, but if you kick it, it is a 4/3 with Haste for a turn which is nice. It is funny how an uncommon that’s a weaker version than another uncommon printed ten years ago is still playable, but I’m more than happy to see this callback.
This card is weird. So you get Naturalize or a Golgari Utter End? Strange, but I’ll take it! I’m not sure Utter End is much of a playable card anymore, but being able to moonlight as a Naturalize may make it have enough utility to see main deck play.
This is a simple one. Primal Might is the best fight spell printed thus far, Blizzard Brawl is second, this is a close third. Being able to fight instant speed lets you dodge the main issue of fight spells which is getting blown out by removal, and if you want to fight on your turn, you even get rewarded with +1/+1 for the turn. Great card.
Domain Zoo here we come! Unfortunately, I don’t see this card seeing play in an Arena format, but this could slot into the old Domain Zoo archetype from Modern where you get fetchlands, shocklands, and Tribal Flames. This is too much work for Standard, is supplanted by Territorial Kavu in Historic, and it’s not 2014 so it reviving Domain Zoo seems unlikely, but this card is so cool and is quite strong!
Out of all the single colors, I believe Green has the highest average quality of cards and have great cards at every rarity!
Thank you for reading!