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The Most Exciting Cards In Dominaria!

2018.04.10 Christian Calcano

Hello everyone!

Dominaria is fast approaching, and with it comes a lot new and exciting cards that could definitely make a splash in both Standard and Modern. The theme of the set is "Historic", which is any card that is an Artifact, Legendary, or Saga. While Sagas are one of the new card types being introduced in Dominaria, we've had Artifacts and Legendaries throughout the entirety of Magic's history.

Building decks around Artifacts has long been an existing strategy, but now we also get to build decks around Legendaries as well which is new and exciting!

Today I'm going to take a look at some cards that have been spoiled already that I think have potential to be good in Standard or Modern. So without further ado, let's check out some new cards!

《Karn, Scion of Urza》

Karn, Scion of Urza

Why not lead things off with what may very well end up being the best card in the set!

Karn LiberatedUgin, the Spirit Dragon

I think 《Karn》 has potential not only in Standard, but in Modern as well. First of all it's colorless, so it can go into any deck in Standard. There has only ever been 2 colorless planeswalkers before this one, 《Karn Liberated》, and 《Ugin, the Spirit Dragon》. Both of those cards were quite powerful, but cost 7 and 8 to cast respectively.

This new 《Karn》 however only costs 4 mana, so a lot more decks can play it. The fact that it can start on 6 loyalty after you + it the turn it comes into play makes it rather difficult to deal with it through combat, and it will always at a minimum replace itself.

The +1 and -1 abilities will be great for decks in Standard that want a way to pull ahead in the card advantage game, and with Standard currently being mostly midrange decks, I foresee 《Karn》 showing up in all of the top decks in Standard.

Mox OpalSpringleaf Drum

Lets talk about the -2 ability for a second. For Modern, having 1 or 2 Karns to top the curve of a deck like Affinity for example could be very powerful. It can be powered out as early as turn 2 (with multiple 《Mox Opal》/《Springleaf Drum》 draws) and immediately make a huge threat. The best part is that with 《Karn》 starting on 5 loyalty, you can follow up your next turn by making another token (which also get bigger as you play more artifacts) and 《Karn》 still sticks around on 1 loyalty.

While I think it's clear the potential that the -2 ability has in a deck like Affinity in Modern, I think it should be pointed out that it can be quite good in Standard as well. Not only can the token protect 《Karn》, which is one of the traits that all the best planeswalkers have had, but in a format with Vehicles and Treasures, those tokens could end up becoming big threats as well. I'm very excited to play with this card in both formats and I think we'll be seeing a lot of this card when the set is released!

《Goblin Chainwhirler》

Goblin Chainwhirler

After the bannings of 《Rampaging Ferocidon》 and 《Ramunap Ruins》, Mono Red got a lot weaker and 《The Scarab God》 decks essentially took over as the top deck in Standard. But now Mono Red gets another powerful 3 drop to play with in 《Goblin Chainwhirler》.

Glint-Sleeve SiphonerLlanowar Elves

Three mana for a 3/3 with first strike is an incredible rate. On top of that its ability allows you to have better attacks in combat as you can attack more aggressively and finish off their creatures post-combat. It also cleanly deals with 《Glint-Sleeve Siphoner》 which is in all the top decks at the moment, 《Llanowar Elves》 which is a card that may very well be popular shortly after release, and BW Vampires with all their ways to generate 1/1 tokens.

That alone is great enough, but the fact that you can also finish off planeswalkers with it makes this card seem quite powerful. I also like that it can play defense quite well, and allow you to build a more Treasure Red style deck like we've seen in the past. I expect 《Goblin Chainwhirler》 will be a very welcomed addition to Standard and I look forward to playing with it!

《Naban, Dean of Iteration》

Naban, Dean of Iteration

I'll be honest, when Jund rose back to power with the unbanning of 《Bloodbraid Elf》, I thought PT Rivals of Ixalan would be the last time we'd see Humans do well. But the deck just never went away, instead it has put up incredible results in Modern events over the last few weeks both online and at the GP level. It's very clear that it's still one of the top decks in Modern, and 《Naban, Dean of Iteration》 is about to join the team.

Champion of the ParishThalia's Lieutenant

《Naban》 alone triggers 《Champion of the Parish》 and 《Thalia's Lieutenant》 twice when he enters the battlefield, which I feel already earns him a spot in the deck as a 1 or 2 of. But if we take a look at the creatures in Humans, you also have 《Meddling Mage》, 《Reflector Mage》, and even 《Dark Confidant》 as additional Wizards in the deck.

Meddling MageReflector MageDark Confidant

Will definitely be interesting to see how much better the deck will be going forward, but you can't deny the potential for 《Naban》 to make Humans that much more explosive. I'd also keep an eye out for any new Human Wizards that may be spoiled later on as this card has made that 2nd creature type incredibly relevant.

《Weatherlight》

Weatherlight

I absolutely love this card! Looking at the spoiler so far, I think this is the one of the cards that could challenge 《Karn, Scion of Urza》 as being the best card in the set! Ever since 《Gideon, Ally of Zendikar》 rotated out, Mardu Vehicles was missing a powerful card on 4. While 《Hazoret the Fervent》 is clearly a great card, I never felt like it was at its best in Mardu. 《Weatherlight》 however fits perfectly into the deck.

Scrapheap ScroungerHeart of KiranChandra, Torch of Defiance

You have plenty of cards to find of its ability like 《Scrapheap Scrounger》, 《Heart of Kiran》, 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》, and we could even see the return of 《Depala, Pilot Exemplar》. But Mardu isn't the only deck this card could go in.

Search for AzcantaArguel's Blood FastTorrential Gearhulk
Gonti, Lord of LuxuryThe Scarab God

We could see this card make its way even into 《The Scarab God》 decks. There are plenty of strong targets in the UB decks such as 《Search for Azcanta》, 《Arguel's Blood Fast》, 《Torrential Gearhulk》, 《Gonti, Lord of Luxury》, 《The Scarab God》, etc.

Of course, decks like that would have to be built a bit differently if it wanted to play this card as you do need ways to crew it, but I feel that a card like this gives you a lot of new possibilities in how to build your deck in Standard. I think it may very well end up being a Standard powerhouse.

《Teferi, Hero of Dominaria》

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

It may not be 《Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir》, one of my absolute favorite magic cards of all time, but nonetheless I'm very excited to see 《Teferi》 back in Standard! This is the first time we get a 《Teferi》 planeswalker in Standard and I've been waiting a long time for this card. I played a lot of control decks back in the day, and his +1 ability is exactly what a Control deck wants.

Seal AwayCast Down
AbradeHarnessed LightningEssence Scatter

You get to play a threat in 《Teferi》, draw a card, and have 2 mana up to counter a spell or even cast a removal spell like 《Seal Away》 or 《Cast Down》 which are certainly cards that will likely see play. Also lets not forget you also have 《Abrade》, 《Harnessed Lightning》, and 《Essence Scatter》, so there are a lot of 2 mana removal spells/counters that allow you to protect 《Teferi》 the turn you cast him.

The -3 ability is solid as it also helps protect him and deal with problematic cards for at least a few turns. The only thing is that it brings him down to 1 loyalty which is a bit rough but still a powerful ability.

Path to ExileCondemn

The -8 ability is basically game over everytime which makes this card essentially a 4 turn clock as soon as it enters the battlefield. I hope that a card like this could help make true Control one of the top decks in Standard again, and I wouldn't be too surprised to see 《Teferi》 find his way into some Modern UW Control decks as well. The +1 ability is even better there as you have 1 mana ways to interact such as 《Path to Exile》 and 《Condemn》. So we'll see how good this card turns out, but I'll certainly be trying out a few decks with it for sure!

Well those are the cards that I'm most excited for in Dominaria! Looking at the spoiler thus far I'm quite impressed with the number of cards that could see play in both formats. New sets don't generally impact Modern as much as they do Standard, but this set may very well be an exception. I hope you enjoyed the article and are excited to play with the new cards as well!

Thanks for reading,

Christian Calcano

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