Magic: The Gathering’s Dominaria United Previews – Day Six Highlights
- Serra Paragon
- Anointed Peacekeeper (Translated Name TBA)
- Silver Scrutiny
- Danitha, Benalia’s Hope
- Defiler Of Flesh
- Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief
- Rona, Sheoldred’s Faithful (Translated Name TBA)
We’re entering the home stretch of Magic: The Gathering’s Dominaria United’s preview season now, and the juicy cards have started to flow freely. If you’ve been watching the last few days and wondered where the powerful cards were, surprise: it’s today.
In today’s previews we have one of the most efficient card draw spells ever printed, a new, terrifying Voltron commander, and a blue/black legendary that will love Innistrad’s flashback mechanic. Here are the best cards revealed on day six of Dominaria United’s preview season.
Two generic, two white creature – Angel – 3/4:
Once during each of your turns, you may play a land from your graveyard or cast a permanent spell with mana value three or less from your graveyard. If you do, it gains “when this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, exile it and you gain two life”.
When Kaldheim rotates out with Dominaria United’s launch, it’s likely taking the entire Mono-White Angel deck with it. That means Angels must find a new niche to carve out instead of just crushing you under a flock of Righteous Valkyries, and Serra Paragon appears to be giving them more of a reanimator vibe than expected.
Note that this isn’t a rare example of white ramp – you can still only play one land per turn, Serra Paragon just allows that land to be one in your graveyard, like a fetchland. Being able to cast a permanent from your graveyard each turn is excellent, though, and you don’t need to jump through any hoops to get them back like you do a Sun Titan’s attack trigger.
Anointed Peacekeeper (Translated Name TBA)
Two generic, one white creature – Human Cleric – 3/3:
As Appointed Peacekeeper enters the battlefield, look at an opponent’s hand, then choose any card name.
Spells your opponents cast with the chosen name cost two more to cast.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name cost two more to activate, unless they are mana abilities.
In any other Standard, this would’ve been fantastic. Filling in the void left by Elite Spellbinder’s rotation out of the format, it helps shut down your opponent’s early gameplan or turn off an activated ability they were relying on. You don’t even need to name a card in their hand, which in formats like Pioneer could help avoid things like Companions.
But does Standard need another decent three-drop white Human? Even after rotation we’ll have Adeline, Brutal Cathar, Savior of Ollenbock, and Dauntless Avenger making that mana value a very busy slot to fill. And while Anointed Peacekeeper is good, it’s tough to see people picking it over a Brutal Cathar.
X generic, two blue sorcery:
You may cast Silver Scrutiny as though it had flash if X is three or less.
Draw X cards.
Assuming you’re paying the maximum amount you can to flash it in, Silver Scrutiny is probably one of the best cards in the entire of Dominaria United. Five cards, at instant speed, with no downside or hoops to jump through, for five mana, is almost completely unheard of. The only thing that even comes close to it is Precognitive Perception.
Pay less than three or more than three and the returns on it do drop slightly. For instance, paying three mana to draw one card isn’t as good as Thirst for Discovery, Thirst of Knowledge, or Thirst For Meaning and their graveyard-filling potential.
But if you play it right and spend your mana wisely, Silver Scrutiny is easily one of the most efficient blue card draw spells we’ve ever had.
Danitha, Benalia’s Hope
Four generic, one white legendary creature – Human Knight – 4/4:
First strike, vigilance, lifelink
When Danitha, Benalia’s Hope enters the battlefield, you may put an Aura or Equipment card from your hand or graveyard onto the battlefield attached to Danitha.
We’ve already had one game-bending mono-white Voltron commander this year with Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice, and now Danitha, Benalia’s Hope is here to join the party.
Admittedly it isn’t quite on the same level as Light-Paws, but Danitha is still incredible. Load your graveyard up with Auras and Equipment (particularly Colossus Hammer and something like Lightning Greaves to give it haste), plop a Panharmonicon on the battlefield, and you can hit for massive damage and lifegain right from the get-go.
This is one of those cards that, in Standard, will be completely fine. Maybe it’ll spawn a new deck around it the same way Greasefang has in Pioneer, but it won’t be up to a whole lot. Elsewhere, though, Danitha’s going to be a nightmare.
Defiler Of Flesh
Two generic, two black creature – Phyrexian Horror – 4/4:
As an additional cost to cast black permanent spells, you may pay two life. Those spells cost one black less to cast if you paid life this way. This effect reduces only the amount of black mana you pay.
Whenever you cast a black permanent spell, target creature you control gets +1/+1 and gains menace until end of turn.
As a nice reprieve for white, it’s actually the black member of this cycle that’s the worst of the bunch. Mechanically it’s kind of boring, as paying life to cast spells is already black’s thing, and the payoff for casting permanents isn’t great.
A temporary +1/+1 and menace for a single creature is already worse than every creature getting a +1/+1 counter like Defiler of Vigor. Not to mention with white, green, and blue having token themes in this set it, menace isn’t a particularly big threat.
It’s the cheapest of the Defilers, and a 4/4 with menace for four is pretty decent. But one colour was always going to get the underwhelming member of this cycle and, unfortunately, this time it was black.
Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief
One green, one blue legendary creature – Fairie Rogue – 2/1:
Whenever a player casts a spell that targets only a single creature other than Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief, you may copy that spell. The copy targets Ivy.
Of every card announced in Dominaria United so far, this is the one I’m most excited for. A Simic (blue/green) legendary that copies spells anybody casts is incredibly ripe for abuse.
The first use of it, and the one hinted at on the card, is by playing it as an Enchantress-style Voltron deck and loading a creature up with Aura enchantments. They copy and then apply to Ivy as well, which helps get rid of Voltron’s key weakness of putting all its eggs in one basket.
Ivy will also be a good defence against combat-trick-centered decks, like Feather, the Redeemed in Commander. For every combat trick they cast targeting Feather, you can also apply to Ivy, and with their flying, Ivy could be the perfect foil to Boros (red/white) shenanigans.
But the real reason I’m excited for Ivy is simple: mutate. Ivy isn’t a human, so you can have her as your Commander (or even run her in Pioneer) and, for every mutation you pile onto any of your creatures, the same will happen to Ivy. There’s so much value there, and with mutate being my favourite mechanic of the last few years it’s definitely a deck I want to try out.
Rona, Sheoldred’s Faithful (Translated Name TBA)
One generic, one blue, two black legendary creature – Human Wizard – 3/4:
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, each opponent loses one life.
You may cast Rona, Sheoldred’s Faithful from your graveyard by discarding two cards in addition to paying its other costs.
For an uncommon legendary, Rona, Sheoldred Faithful has a lot going for it.
First, it’s almost impossible to get rid of Rona forever without exiling the graveyard. In Standard this makes self-mill strategies particularly powerful, as you’ll be able to cast your key piece straight from there eventually. In Commander, it also helps to avoid commander tax, forcing your opponents to come up with other ways of getting Rona out of play.
Second, the cost to cast Rona from your graveyard helps speed her up, particularly in Standard where we have numerous flashback spells to work with. If you keep discarding instants and sorceries with flashback (or have Lier, Disciple of the Drowned in play), you can then cast them from your graveyard to ping your opponent out of play.
Of course, flashback is an expensive ability and Rona’s only forcing your opponents to lose one life each time. But over time, if it isn’t dealt with, Sheoldred’s Faithful is a big threat.
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