We are going back to the Dominaria plain in the new Dominaria United set for Magic: The Gathering.
As always, standard format is going through some serious meta changes due to the format rotation, and Dominaria United has some amazing new cards that will fill in the empty holes left after.
One of the most interesting new mechanics introduced in this set is Read Ahead, which allows players to skip chapters of the saga enchantments, which can be a great way to boost your game when it’s needed instead of waiting for another turn.
Apart from that there are some returning mechanics from the past, as well as powerful reprints. The best of them are covered in this list of the top 15 MtG cards from Dominaria United.
Liliana of the Veil
This is not the first time that Wizards of the Coast reprint one of the most notable modern staples in standard format.
Liliana of the Veil is undoubtedly a legendary planeswalker, and she will surely find her way into most black decks this season.
Mono-Black Discard players will be especially interested in it, but all the top-tier Grixis, Rakdos, and Esper lists will have at least a couple of copies of Liliana of the Veil as well.
Although some of the more influential angels rotate out of standard, Serra Paragon can stand on its own in a number of non-tribal decks.
Even if it’s going to be used for nothing else but bringing back your lands from the graveyard, then 4 mana is a small price to pay.
It can be equally well played in midrange and control decks of all types that utilize the white color, but there is also a window for some angel-based decks as well.
It looks like Evolved Sleeper can be effectively played only in Mono-Black decks due to the required amount of black mana spent on its abilities, but the trade off is its massive potential impact once it activates the second and third abilities.
However, there might also be a place for it in Orzhov Humans, where it can be used as a removal bait or a source of a never ending card draw. Do take into account that the last ability can be activated as many times as you want within a single turn.
Mono-Green aggro in standard can get a serious boost this time from the Quirion Beastcaller.
It’s like a Walking Ballista, but instead of dealing damage it redistributes its counters on other creatures. Of course, it becomes a massive target for boardwipes, but aggro decks will always live in the shadow of AoE spells no matter what you do.
If you don’t strictly play it in Mono-Green and venture into other color combinations, such as Naya or Selesnya, then you can easily find a way to protect it from getting obliterated.
Dragons with 4/4 stats, flying, and haste that cost 5 mana have always been in high demand in standard. But Shivan Devastator is better than that as it offers high value flexibility.
In the current standard, it has a terrific synergy with Kumano Faces Kakkazan and Thundering Raiju. You can play Shivan Devastator either before or after these cards, and you will always get that nice chunk of extra damage in.
You will definitely see it in plenty of red decks this season!
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse
Sheoldred is not the most powerful Phyrexian Praetor we’ve seen in the last couple of years in standard, but it is still powerful enough to see play in the new post-rotation format.
It is a perfect midrange card with both abilities making an impact on board. The last ability especially sets up a precedent for your opponent to either remove it as soon as possible, otherwise that 2 life clock will keep ticking.
The Elder Dragon War
On their own all three chapters of the new red saga from Dominaria United are quite insiginifcant, but as a combination they work fantasically well.
You can play this against aggro decks and remove all their 2-drops, or play it against control by removing all your hand and drawing the biggest threats and most impactful cards instead, using the Read Ahead mechanic.
The 4/4 dragon at the end is always a nice bonus regardless of your position in the game.
Every standard player knows just how annoying Elite Spellbinder can be once it is played. While Anointed Peacekeeper is not as good due to the necessity of keeping it on board for the tax effect to work, this is still one heck of a hate card.
Since Elite Spellbinder is leaving standard, players will have to fill the niche with something else, and that something will be Anointed Peacekeeper for sure.
King Darien XLVIII
No standard set is complete without a powerful lord card, and in the case of Dominaria United it is King Darien XLVIII.
What makes it great is that it buffs all types of creatures. And that last ability is simply great, as it will also protect your buffed creatures from being immediately destroyed by a board wipe.
Selesnya Humans has performed really well before the rotation, but now it will have an even bigger impact.
This isn’t exactly Fatal Push, which is one of the most used removal spells in the history of Magic, but it has a lot of potential in the current meta since it’s infested with lots of smaller but influential creatures.
Note that Cut Down can’t kill a 3/3 creature, but it will do just well against a 2/3 or 3/2, and there are plenty of those targets in standard right now, including Ledger Shredder, Valki, God of Lies, etc.
The new Mono-Red staple is here!
Some players already call it a better version of Rabbit Battery, which has been destroying standard in various aggro shells. But who said you can’t play both of them in the same deck, which is exactly what will happen this season.
Phoenix Chick also has flying, which is some of the best evasion a card of this type can have.
It is also an uncommon card, which keeps the aggro decks under budget and that’s a huge factor.
If you are not a fan of red decks, but do care about Mono-White Aggro token-based archetype, then Resolute Reinforcements should be an auto-include for you.
Right now there are a couple of highly effective lists, including Azorius Tempo and Selesnya Tokens, which may also benefit from the human creature type synergies.
Overall, it’s another nice budget level card that will have its place in a number of lists this meta for sure.
We’ve seen similar cards many times before in Magic‘s history. However, there is one huge difference this time: Cult Conscript does not have the sorcery speed limit.
This means that you can flash it back from your graveyard to a surprise of your opponent, and do this many times a turn, which is another restriction removed from Cult Conscript.
This is an example of a card from Dominaria United, which will make Mono-Black Aggro lists simply overpowered this fall.
By looking at this card one may think that this is another overpowered 2-drop for Mono-Red Aggro decks. But actually, there is one clause that gives it a different twist, and that is a Wizard creature type.
Taking this into consideration, one will get even more benefit from putting it in the Izzet Aggro lists, where it can both get very aggressive from its counters, as well as from Wizard synergies.
But it will work in Mono-Red lists, too. Fortunately there are no restrictions here.
Here is another important reprint from the old days.
Now control and combo players can swiftly search through their library once again and find that necessary card that will work the best.
The most notable candidate for Impulse would be either Dimir Control or Dimir Tempo lists that are currently gaining lots of traction in the standard meta. But other archetypes could also easily take this little spell into consideration.
Those are the best 15 cards in MtG‘s Dominaria United set. In addition to this list of the best Dominaria United cards for standard, be sure to check out our other MtG guides and card lists here.
Published Aug. 29th 2022