Welcome back to Part 2 Electric Boogaloo of my Dominaria Commander Set Review. Last time, I covered the exciting white, blue, black and red cards for EDH! Today I’m wrapping things up with green, multicolored, and colorless. Let’s DOMinate this set review!
It has been preordained that green should have access to a cantrip. I’ve pondered the utility of this card in nonblue Commander decks, but I haven’t brainstormed any good models for inclusion. In the end, I will opt out of playing this spell.
Broken Bond can find a home in places like Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Damia, Sage of Stone. Any decks that make land-based ramp a priority (45+ lands) should see a real impact from this spell since it can cause a huge tempo swing early in the game. With that being said, I wouldn’t rush to include this in many other decks. I suspect we’ll see it over-represented in decks that can’t actually make consistent use of the ramping side effect.
Grunn, the Lonely King
What’s the verdict? Will Grunn be lonely forever? Well, if you want to go bananas with doubling up power and one-shotting people, this King is a fine choice. But I like Rafiq of the Many more because it gives you access to more damage faster. And Thrun, the Last Troll has the benefit of being difficult to remove. With Grunn there are more stats built-in, so it’s all just a matter of gibbon take.
Kamahl’s Druidic Vow
Vow? More like Wow! As in, “wow, I can’t believe they would make such a bad Genesis Wave.” Outside of Captain Sisay, I would say this has no home in the format.
Marwyn, the Nurturer
I will say that I’d prefer straight-up Elvish Archdruid in the command zone to Ezuri, Renegade Leader. But this isn’t the case for Marwyn. She does too little without support from other Elves to be considered truly explosive. One of the biggest draws to your general should be the impact that it has when recast. Unless you have plenty of ways to gas back up, (which can be tough in mono-green) there will be times where you recast her and she won’t have much of a boost at all. While I don’t like her as a commander, she should make an easy addition to any and all Elfball and Elf tribal decks because you’ll have draws where she does crazy powerful things.
Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar
This card is just a big ol’ beatstick. Not the kind of card I want as my general but if you have a ramp deck like Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Omnath, Locus of Mana, or Titania, Protector of Argoth you may be able to slot Multani into the 99. There may be enough incidental landfall triggers that make his graveyard ability pure upside.
Adeliz, the Cinder Wind
A solid addition in Inalla and other wizard tribal decks as a pseudo-combat-trick buff. The issue with this type of card (one that needs spells and creatures to be effective) is that you have to split the potency and can sometimes have inconsistencies with your draws. If you draw too many Wizards but not enough spells to buff them then your army is weak. If you play plenty of Wizards that don’t need a buff to provide value then you don’t necessarily want Adeliz in the first place. And if you draw too many spells you are also spewing with a piddling bonus. It’s a tough balance.
Arvad, the Cursed
Legen… wait for it… dary. Having deathtouch makes this guy a solid rattlesnake and +2/+2 is a solid stat boost. I do wish this were in green-white instead, for use in Captain Sisay. They call him cursed but he’s a blessing to me.
Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
This is a great Knight tribal general. She comes down relatively cheaply, generates value, and provides a solid payoff for the tribe. All of this while being in the best two colors for the tribe means she will be a solid leader for your Knight army.
Between Prossh, Skyraider of Kher and Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund, etc. there is plenty of competition for a Jund Dragon general. Sadly, this reincarnation of the Invasion favorite doesn’t provide much incentive to switch. It beats down at about the same rate as Hellkite Overlord and though it comes in with a built-in way to evade the Commander tax, waiting three turns really makes you pay for it. Perhaps he will find a home in Brawl, where the Jund competition is sparse. I’ll wait for Darigaaz to come back in his next life as something better.
Firesong and Sunspeaker
This general is perfectly suited for Brawl. The effects are just powerful enough and the other options for legendaries just bad enough to justify this duo leading the brigade.
Garna, the Bloodflame
Garna comes equipped with the best aspect of a card like Dragonlord Kolaghan: haste to your team. Additionally, she costs less and has a sweet enters-the-battlefield effect. Further adding to the plus column, Garna can bring back creatures put into your graveyard from anywhere which includes things like dredge, Buried Alive, and even Sire of Insanity. The timing may be hard to nail with this card, but I am still excited to see some brews that stoke the Bloodflame.
Grand Warlord Radha
Unlike the awkward timing restraints of her Planar Chaos counterpart, Grand Warlord Radha has the ability to add absurd amounts of mana. Due to the multiplayer aspect of EDH, it’ll be easy to split your attacks profitably in order to ensure your creatures live while generating it. At 4 mana, she comes down early enough to complement mana dorks/utility creatures and is still easy to recast after a wrath.
While Radha appears easy to build on the surface (hello mana dorks and creatures?), I’m torn on how many mana dorks to include. Ideally, I’d like to make room for some permanent mana producers in the deck so when your team gets wiped out, you have backup stores of mana that can keep the beats rolling in. But too many permanent mana producers and your deck doesn’t have the critical mass to use her ability. Overall, Radha is a very enticing general and build-around card that should have some impact either in Brawl or 1v1 EDH.
Hallar, the Firefletcher
Unlike the previous Gruul goodie, Hallar is a weak build-around card that is simply inserted into the set to crossover themes like kicker matters and legendary matters. No interest here. Kicked to the curb.
Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
Oh Jhoira. Your last iteration could put a deathmark on the head of any EDH player. You think you’re playing a fun game and suspending your Omnisciences. But due to the telegraphed nature of her ability, everyone knew what you were getting and when. You were lucky if you got to untap four turns later at all. What’s wrong with Obliterate and Ulamog coming down in a few turns? Shrugs.
Fast forward to Dominaria, and we have a fresh and exciting Jhoria that does something totally different. Though, perhaps, more broken. Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain already has the cEDH community buzzing with ways to break her. There are storm decks that can make excellent use of her (think cantrip Mox Opals and Lotus Petals!) and she does silly things with Words of Wind. I suspect she will be one of the most powerful, and popular, generals out of Dominaria. She’s a captain worth following.
Jodah, Archmage Eternal
When Dominaria was leaked this was the first general that got my brewing mind abuzz. I just threw something fun and wacky together—big Eldrazi and ramp, and it looked kind of crazy. 5-mana Ulamogs—let’s go!
Jodah is one of the only five-color generals that actually seems powerful on his own and not just a generic card that gives you access to all colors. Funny to note that the easier to cast five-color generals like Jodah and Tazri are the strongest when compared to ones like Child of Alara or Progenitus. Along with the five-color territory, Jodah gives you lots of build options. You can stuff your deck full of big cards like Omnscience and Enter the Infinite for cheesy victories or follow the path toward storm/combo.
Muldrotha, the Gravetide
Oh Kimosabe, big Brawling is my hobby! This is what I’m talking about. Muldrotha is going to be my first real Dominaria project for EDH and Brawl. I can’t wait to write an article on her because there is so much to say. As a Sultai general, she provides you with access to the best colors in the format and, more importantly for her, the most popular graveyard synergies. What she lacks in cost reduction like Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Karador, Ghost Chieftain she makes up for with value and flexibility. If you are flush with mana, you’ll have a hard time losing the game with her in play. Combo, midrange, control, stax, pillow-fort, mill—the list goes on and on for what I want to build with her. Sakura-Tribe Elder, Strip Mine, Nihil Spellbomb, Font of Fortunes—yeah, we’re going to have a good time. Well, I am at least…
Oath of Teferi
Atraxa Super Friends and Oath of Teferi sitting in a tree. D-O-U-B-L-I-N-G. Do keep in mind that this isn’t as powerful as Doubling Season or Deepglow Skate but it should still make its way into most planeswalker EDH decks. You will most likely want 30+ planeswalkers to justify this card’s inclusion.
Primeval’s Glorious Rebirth
Arvad the Cursed, I found your spell! If you play an Arvad deck, here you go. Not much else to see here. 7 mana, conditional casting requirements, eh…
Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage
This card is like a little Shimmer Myr as a legendary creature. I can get behind that. If you had fun with Surrak Dragonclaw and you like cards like Leyline of Anticipation and Vedalken Orrery, Raff Capashen is right for you.
Rona, Disciple of Gix
Rona is an interesting design we haven’t seen before. She plays out a bit like Eternal Witness and Bane Alley Broker. I’m not thrilled to build around her when there are cards like Hanna, Ship’s Navigator, Silas Renn, Seeker Adept, and Muldrotha running around, but I can see her being an interesting value creature in the 99 that brings some spice to your EDH games.
Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy
Limited fodder for the most part. Not excited about playing a Voice of Resurgence token in my 99 or from my command zone.
Slimefoot, the Stowaway
What a little cutie. I can see Slimefoot making waves (spore clouds?) in a Ghave, Guru of Spores or Thelon of Havenwood deck. He works well with Nemata, Grove Guardian and Verdeloth, the Ancient as well. I also refuse to make a “he’s great at parties, I’m sure he’s a fun guy” joke.
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
A sweet landfall trigger I can get behind. Tatyova seems a bit lackluster on the surface, but if you dive deeper you will notice she can do some pretty busted things. One of the biggest issues with decks that draw lots of cards (think Azor or Azami, Lady of Scrolls) is that they are ill-equipped rampers, which makes casting those sweet spells difficult. On the flip-side, decks that can ramp out lots of mana fast (think Azusa or Omnath, Locus of Mana) often run out of steam late game because of their deck’s high land count. Tatyova rewards you in the best way for playing lands (which help you cast more spells) by drawing into more cards. You can even draw into more lands! Kind of like having a Tireless Tracker in your command zone. This gives significant payoff for cards like Burgeoning, Exploration, and Summer Bloom. Being in the two best colors that appreciate both ramp and card draw certainly helps as well.
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
This planeswalker reminds me a lot of Venser, the Sojourner, but not in a good way. Teferi’s +1 has minimal impact and it’s easy to rush him down with his mediocre protection ability. His ultimate is cool, but that’s not much of a metric for me on planeswalkers. I expected more from the Hero of Dominaria, Teferi.
Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker
Tiana gives both Auras and Equipments the “Rancor” treatment, which is incredibly strong even when it’s not built into the card itself. I think the trick here is to not attach things to her (though her keyword abilities do make that a nice fail-safe) to mitigate major blowouts. It’s rare that they will have removal for Tiana and your Aura/Equipment at the same time, so it’s best to spread out your threats. Barring instant-speed interaction, she should make your cards fairly resilient—a true caretaker.
Karn, Scion of Urza
Despite my poor review of Jaya and Teferi from this set, I was hopeful for Karn. Sadly, he doesn’t really do anything in powerful multiplayer games. Being colorless is nice, as is coming into play early, so he may see play occasionally in 1v1 Magic Online Commander. Karn just feels like a Coercive Portal that can be attacked to death.
The flavor text talks about slaying elder Dragons so that must mean this Equipment has a home in our favorite Dragon loving format, right? I appreciate the cheap casting/legendary equip cost, since tempo is still of paramount importance even in the slugfest that is Commander. Make sure to utilize the legendary equip cost often to make this card playable.
Is someone running the table with a broken Gaea’s Cradle? Is someone else casting Dark Ritual into Cabal Ritual into some nonsense? Fear not, Damping Sphere is here! I wouldn’t necessarily throw this into every EDH deck, though. I believe this card will find a home in stax and control decks and at multiplayer tables. It has some serious stopping power to a lot of what goes on in cEDH. Damping Sphere is more of a Modern or Vintage hate piece than anything else, so expect to see it in 60-card formats quite a bit.
Guardians of Koilos
Ancestral Statue this card is not. There still may be a way to fit this into some Animar, Soul of Elements decks to try and infinite combo. Those lists are jam packed and streamlined, though so only time will tell.
Helm of the Host
A little riff on Blade of Selves, Helm of the Host provides quite the powerful bonus if left uninterrupted. It doesn’t go as crazy with ETB effects as Blade of Selves, but keeping the creature around can give you some insane boosts with generals that shouldn’t have multiple copies sticking around. If your deck makes use of Mirror Gallery or Sakashima the Impostor, this Equipment may serve you for some extra shenanigans.
Flavor text is spot-on—epic visions realized here. Another Mox is more than welcome for EDH enthusiasts, myself included. Mox Amber is an easy shoe-in for most artifact-themed decks as well as decks like Captain Sisay or decks with cheap generals like Rhys the Redeemed and Isamaru, Hound of Konda. Not being able to add colorless is a bummer, but I understand they didn’t want it to be too broken (even if it didn’t count itself). I suspect Mox Amber to see play indefinitely, so make sure to pick up a copy at some point.
Thran Temporal Gateway
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog
4-mana 7/7. Much attack, such wow. For real though, I wouldn’t even play this card in Brawl. Sorry about it.
The weather is supposed to be light tomorrow, so let’s rain down some historic spells on our enemies! Captain Sisay is a great place to include this Vehicle since your number of hits will be high. I wish Sisay could crew this herself, but what’s a captain without her crew? Plus, the artwork is amazing. Holy ship!
Hey, hey, another Cabal Coffers-like card is always welcomed. I wasn’t thrilled with Magus of the Coffers, but Cabal Stronghold comes with relatively low downside. Coming into play untapped and adding colorless right off the bat makes it a solid early game play, unlike its predecessor. My biggest gripe with Cabal Stronghold is that it only counts basic lands, so Urborg won’t be of much help. Overall, a solid addition for mono-black decks and an added incentive to add basics Swamps over most other utility lands.
I’m a bit lukewarm on the scry lands from Theros block. Coming into play tapped is a real cost to a mana base, casual or not, and seeing a single card doesn’t compensate enough for this. Zhalfirin Void doesn’t come into play tapped but comes with another issue, the fact that it only adds colorless. Even for decks that can afford the colorless land, there are better utility lands to utilize. Colorless generals should appreciate this, though.
Dominaria has been a super well-received set. There are lots of great cards for casual and competitive Commander alike as well as cards that hopefully revitalize the “Barawal” format. What are some cards that have inspired you to build around? What cards did I miss in my evaluations? Let me know in the comments. Thanks so much for reading and until next time, may all your spells be legen… wait for it… dary.