Welcome back everyone! This week I want to go over some of the new Dominaria spoilers that I think have some potential in constructed going forward. In this article I won’t talk about any planeswalkers, but if you’re interested in the three that have been spoiled, check out this article by Jonah Gaynor!

The first card I want to talk about is Llanowar Elves.

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I think this card may be the most exciting preview so far. A few years ago, Wizards claimed that they were done printing one mana accelerants in Standard, but with Dominaria coming out in April, we are going to have this accelerant for two whole years of Standard.

I think Llanowar Elves will be huge in Standard, and it slots cleanly into the current R/G Monsters build, which I think will benefit greatly from its inclusion. I’m also excited to play it alongside the next card I want to talk about.

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Steel Leaf Champion seems like a great card, and I wonder if there is a Mono-Green Stompy deck that we haven’t seen yet in Standard. Llanowar Elves and this alongside Thrashing Brontodon seems like a good start, and if we might even be able to play some red cards. I think the key to playing a deck with Steel Leaf Champion is that you need to have three untapped green on turn 3, so even if we are playing red, I wouldn’t want it to be so heavy that we have to play Mountains in our deck. With that being said, I believe it isn’t that hard to splash cards like Lightning Strike in the deck.

Another card which I think has potential not only in Standard but also in Modern is Broken Bond.

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This is the latest in the variations of Naturalize, and I think it is a damn good one. While being a sorcery is a pretty bad downgrade, I think the fact that you can ramp with this card while also destroying a problem permanent is good enough for it to see play. I think the key here is that you need to have something to destroy on turn two, as that is when ramping is at its best. Because of this, the card will likely not see much play in Standard, as I highly doubt there will be a deck that consistently plays a crucial artifact on two every game.

In Modern however, I could easily see Titanshift decks wanting this for games against Lantern and Affinity, as well as the newly popularized Krark-Clan Ironworks combo decks played by Matt Nass and Sam Pardee at Grand Prix Phoenix.

To take a break from Green cards, I think Wizard’s Lightning and Wizard’s Retort are going to see heavy play in Standard.

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These cards, if we see at least a few powerful cheap Wizards, will define the format. The key here is that neither card is compete garbage if you can’t turn it off. Wizard’s Retort is just Cancel if you can’t turn it on, and three mana counterspells are not unplayable in the Standard. The potential upside if you have a Wizard on the battlefield is huge, and even more so for Wizard’s Lightning, as it provides such a powerful effect for three mana.

Speaking of Wizards, Naru Meha, Master Wizard could do alot for the deck.

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If we do manage to get a Wizard on the board, on turn 5, we can cast Opt or Wizard’s Lightning and copy it with Naru, and also get a 3/3 and potentially alot more power and toughness spread across the board. If there is a Wizard deck out there, I think Naru Meha will be a crucial part in its success.

Now, if you’ll follow me to the “obviously good” cards section, you’ll see that the first card is Phyrexian Scriptures.

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This card will simply be part of the metagame going forward, and of that I have no doubts. If nothing else, Standard U/B Control will jam a few copies of this as a boardwipe, and we’ll call it a day. Boring, next!

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Now this is what I call a Magic card. Whisper, while admittedly not great on the surface, could be the start to an amazing Aristocrats/Reanimator mashup in Standard. From a few of the cards we’ve seen so far, B/G’s role in the set seems to be sacrifice based, and if we can get two tokens out fast and keep Whisper alive for a turn, we should be able to reanimate something awesome. For example:

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This card looks, admittedly, bad on the surface. I think that while Darigaaz is basically unplayable, it could easily be the best reanimator target in Standard. If I’m wrong however, we still have Verdant Force and something like Nezahal, Primal Tide at our disposal. Here are some other cards that could be interesting in our deck:

If you’re interested in this G/B based aristocrats deck, be sure to check back in a couple of weeks when we have the full spoiler, as I’ll certainly be working on it and have a concrete list by then.

The final card I want to talk about today is the only card that I think will be more relevant than Llanowar Elves.

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I think Cast Down is, without a doubt, the best two mana removal spell printed since Doom Blade. Sure, we’re looking at a set with a metric ton of Legendaries, but honestly, only a couple of them will see the light of day. As I see it right now, Cast Down will be at least a three of in any black deck going forward, as it just answers so many of the threats that are good in Standard so well. I think the printing of this card may shift the meta in a more aggressive direction and may bring decks like Mono-Black aggro back into the light.

Dominaria is one of the coolest sets ever printed, and we haven’t even seen the full spoiler yet! This article only covered a few cards I think will be important, but look out for another one in the coming weeks, as there are so many cards that I think are sweet and it’s impossible to fit them into just one article. I hope everyone enjoyed, and have a great weekend!

See you next week,

Riccardo Monico

Interested at seeing Dominaria from a design standpoint? Check out Jonah Gaynor’s article where he goes over what he’s excited for out of Dominaria.

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