Magic: The Gathering's Dominaria Set Brings Powerful New Cards and Plenty of Nostalgia

Dominaria's Karn seems conflicted as he stands among a colorful landscape.

Wizards of the Coast takes us back to MTG's home plane, and with a new set comes new speculation, new brews, and new ponderings on the state of Standard Constructed.

Dominaria's Prerelease is this weekend, and the release of the set is just a week away. Players, collectors, and traders have been wondering for weeks now how the new set will impact Magic: The Gathering's various formats. Especially because Dominaria's spoiler season was slightly different than spoilers of past sets, because almost the entire set was leaked prematurely. As a result, players have had even more time to sift through Dominaria's new cards, features, and abilities.

Personally, I've been combing through Dominaria's cards for several reasons. Primarily because I've been looking for new cards to plug-and-play into existing decklists of mine, in an attempt to strengthen my Standard decks, and increase their consistency.

For example, one of the weakest elements of my Jeskai Locust God control deck has been powerful spot removal in the early game. Especially when taking into consideration that some of Standard's most powerful creatures right now are indestructible or recursable. But once I discovered the card Seal Away from Dominaria, I knew it was the perfect answer to patch up this weakness of the deck. I'm super looking forward to pairing Seal Away with Censor in the early game and seeing how this new addition from Dominaria helps my deck.

This particular deck list seems to have an adequate amount of counterspells within its suite of Censors, Essence Scatters, Negates, Disallows, Supreme Wills, etc., but was having trouble dealing with resolved creatures, as Cast Out was my only viable answer there. (The deck has a heavy emphasis on cycling, and really prefers to play cards that can cycle.)

MTG art from Seal Away, a new card from Magic: The Gathering's upcoming set, Dominaria.

Image: Seal Away - Joseph Seehan/Wizards of the Coast

(I might even test with Syncopate, because I vividly remember the impact Clash of Wills had when it was in Standard, and Syncopate's exile effect might be too good to pass on.)

Other than Seal Away, my Dominaria orders thus far consist of play sets of 2 out of 5 Dominaria dual lands, and a play set of Llanowar Elves, because you know that's a must have, and I'm hoping to build a strong Abzan creature-based deck with Llanowar Elves as its ideal turn-one play.

That said, I'm sure I'll be obtaining many more Dominaria cards in the weeks to come, especially after the set's first formal large-scale tournament is complete, and new winning cards or card combinations have emerged.

It's funny how granular competitive magic can be when compared to casual play, but in an environment where one card or one misplay can mean the difference between winning and losing, it's important to have a solid game plan, down to the moment when you start brewing a build. Dominaria's new additions might equate to just a few new cards getting slotted into existing tier-one decks, or, completely new deck lists with very different looks and feels compared to the most prominent deck lists from the previous Standard seasons of Kaladesh, Amonkhet, and Ixalan.

I can only imagine how much nostalgic weight this set carries for long-time fans of Magic: The Gathering. I played magic for several years in the late 90's, but didn't return to the game until about 2014. If I really had to pick, I'd say Khans of Tarkir has been my favorite set since my return, but from the looks of it, Dominaria seems to be combining enough of the old, enough of the new, and some beautiful MTG art, to make most Magic: The Gathering fans consider this set a winner.

The hype is up, but we'll have to hang tight to see how things pan out over the course of the next several weeks and months, because you never know when another cat-combo is lurking around the corner, ready to pounce. Lawlz.


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