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Rona's Vortex Art by Dominik Mayer - Dominaria United

Dominaria United Limited Instants, Tricks, and Flash Guide

A reference guide, including advice, tells and general strategy for the Instants, Tricks, and Flash cards in Dominaria United Limited that you should be looking out for when your opponent has open mana!

Hey everyone! I know you are all insanely excited to be jamming those Dominaria United drafts, but I wanted to get this instants and tricks guide out to give you an advantage over the competition. Just have this article bookmarked and pull it up when you’re in game to be able to check out what your opponent could have. For best results, pair this guide with Sierkovitz’s Removal Guide on the format:

I’ll also give you a bit of advice on each group regarding some Arena tells and general strategy. You didn’t really think I was going to leave you empty handed, did you?


If your opponent has priority with no mana open they either have an onboard effect or they are playing in full control. If they are playing in full control, keep that in mind so you don’t put them on a trick based off of priority instead of play patterns.


We’ll start out with the Izzet one drops since there’s a whole archetype built around it. Determining whether they have Shore Up or Timely Interference can be the difference between winning or losing the game. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to differentiate between the two outside of doing the soul read on your opponent until they pass up an obvious opportunity to wreck you with Timely Interference. Either way, it’s not a good idea to attempt a straight up trade with a blue deck.

While Rona's Vortex technically costs only one mana, as long as you’re not going down a card you can consider it a small win if they use that mode rather than the kicked one.

Speaking of it being an absolute win if you get them to use the unkicked version, we have Strength of the Coalition. One of the important points of that card is that it only has one target so if you remove it in response, they don’t get the +1+1 counters.


There are a ton of two casting costs instants in Dominaria United and starting with white we come to one of the biggest ones to try to avoid, Take Up the Shield. It can be such a game swinging effect if you let them get it off. This is one of the cases where you pass priority for the trade to try to bait it out to blow them out in response.

The other big one to watch out for is Resolute Reinforcements because two blockers can be a huge difference in how combat shakes out. If you put them on this, be careful about attacking with x/1s.

The number one thing to notice about blue is that there are a ton of two mana counter spells. Essence Scatter is the most common one that you’ll run into so try to bait that out with something you’re ok with having countered if they keep holding it up.

The best thing about Impulse is the instant speed because it allows you to hold up counters and still have a play on opponents end step. Just because they follow this pattern, don’t assume that means they didn’t have the counter.

While the blessing can be a pretty big blowout under the right circumstances, I haven’t seen it getting much play so I wouldn’t be too worried about it unless it’s obviously what they have.

Don’t forget that Tribute to Urborg can be used as a combat trick to shrink your creature. It is also basically hard removal kicked in the late game.

Always keep Lightning Strike in mind against red both in avoiding getting blown out and in keeping your life total out of the danger zone. Twinferno can also be a problem with a surprise lethal out of nowhere.

Furious Bellow is seeing some play in the Izzet decks so consider that yet another reason to not block into open mana.

The most important green two mana instant to watch out for is Bite Down as an instant speed bite spell can wreak havoc on your plans in combat. Of course always keep Colossal Growth in mind because of the possibility of adding trample.

While Tear Asunder is listed here because they could technically hit some of your enchantment removal, it is almost always going to be cast with kicker.


The biggest “Ohhhh noooo” is walking into a Cleaving Skyrider that kills you. Consider holding back some of your excess attackers if it’s a situation where you can afford to do so if it might save your life.

The main concern with Stall for Time is leaving yourself open to a lethal swing back, but it is complicated to hold back more than two extra blockers while still presenting a relevant clock.

Join Forces is usually signaled by your opponent making a subpar attack with two creatures.

Warhost's Frenzy can be pretty obvious when they run their entire team of weenies into a group of larger creatures. Luckily doing the math for it is similar to Heroic Charge.


Heroic Charge is the big one to pay attention to. While it’s often obvious that it’s about to happen, a lot of times there’s not much you can do about it. Just try to line up your blocks with it in mind so that you manage to both live and keep some of your side alive.

Ertai Resurrected can be a wrecking ball by killing your best creature and presenting an additional blocker. It’s a rare though so hard to ever put them on this game one.

Wrap Up

Thanks for Reading! I hope this guide gets you out of many jams during your adventures in Dominaria United.

Keep checking back because I’ll have pounding out even more Dominaria United Limited content in between drafts!

I’m always open to feedback, let me know what you loved, what you hated, or just send dog pics. You can contact at:

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Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

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