We're a little over a month away from Dominaria United at the time of this writing. While official news about the set from Wizards has been limited, there are some massive spoilers to discuss.
Of course, the official previews and spoilers are also pretty noteworthy. With Dominaria United marking the start of MTG's 30th anniversary, WotC appears to be pulling out all the stops.
***WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Dominaria United, including credible rumors/leaks not officially announced by WotC. If you wish to avoid spoilers for the set, stop reading here***
Confirmed Dominaria United Spoilers
We're several weeks away from the true start of spoiler season for Dominaria United, which is set to kick off on August 18, 2022. However, a recent preview stream from WotC shed some light on the set with a few preview cards and art. Let's take a look at some features of the set that have been officially confirmed by Wizards.
'Lost Legends' Included in Collector Boosters
Arguably the biggest news surrounding the set doesn't have anything to do with new Dominaria United Cards at all. Rather, it has to do with a bunch of Legends (1994). WotC allegedly "found" a warehouse containing a bunch of sealed vintage Magic cards.
Those are now being included in a small number of collector boosters. Estimates from the community seem to agree that a Legends card will be found in about three percent of collector boosters. It is worth noting that no Legends are included in regular draft or set boosters.
However, the list of "Lost Legends" cards includes several notable hits worth thousands of dollars.
It's worth noting that not all Legends cards will appear in Dominaria United. WotC's Blake Rasmussen chalks it up to "some weird 1994 collation print runs."
However, a separate batch of cards, including Sylvan Library and Nether Void, won't show up due to serious controversy surrounding artist Harold McNeill.
It's important to note that including these cards doesn't impact the Reserved List (which includes all the rares from Legends) since these were pulled from actual Legends packs---not reprinted.
It would be super exciting to pull a high-value Legends card from your Dominaria United pack. But it's probably wise to keep in mind that pulling these cards will be quite rare and chasing a Tabernacle is similar to trying to win the lottery.
Legendary Creature in Every Pack
The original Dominaria was praised for its Limited environment, partially thanks to the legendary-matters theme. WotC is bringing that back for Dominaria United.
Each pack (including draft, set and collector boosters) will include a legendary card. This should make for some interesting drafts while also adding a host of new commanders to the EDH card pool. Whether or not any of these legends are fit to see play in constructed formats outside of Commander remains to be seen.
Return of Kicker (uh, multi-color-multi-kicker?)
While we don't know much about Dominaria United's mechanics yet, one of WotC's early preview cards did give something away.
We can look forward to the return of kicker, for a cycle of rares at the very least.
This flavor of the mechanic is returning for the first time since Apocalypse, as laid out on Temporal Firestorm. The new rules text reads "Kicker 1(W) and/or 1(U)."
This means you can pay the kicker cost up to two times, but could also just do it once if you don't have access to the right colors of mana or enough of it.
It will be interesting to see how deep this mechanic runs in the set as Kicker is a fun mechanic that can certainly be powerful.
Stained Glass Treatment
The stained glass planeswalkers from War of the Spark got mixed reviews. Some players loved them and some thought they were too abstract to be appealing.
Dominaria United brings the treatment back. WotC showed off a series of stained glass full-art basic lands that are absolutely stunning. It's hard to say which of the full-art basics are best from the past few sets. However, these are certainly up there.
WotC also confirmed during a preview stream that the stained glass treatment will also appear on other cards in the set, but we haven't seen them yet.
Dominaria United Confirmed Card Spoilers
As mentioned, Dominaria United spoilers don't officially start until August 18. However, we did get a glimpse at three cards during the WotC kick-off stream this week.
Check them out here:
Jaya, Fiery Negotiator
Jaya is a beloved character from Dominaria and it's great to see her back. It's hard to evaluate this planeswalker due to her mana cost as it relates to her abilities. At face-value, those abilities look incredible. She protects herself with a token on the +1. Can find extra cards with the -1. Clears the board with the -2. And essentially wins the game with her ultimate.
That said, the aggressive, go-wide shell this seems to fit in doesn't usually want four-mana cards. While the cost is a stretch, it's still possible to envision Jaya being decent in constructed formats. There are plenty of ways to cheat her out in the right shell and if she sticks around, opponents will have to find a quick answer.
Phyrexia is back and this corrupted human is proof. This is an interesting one drop that fills the same role as Ascendant Spirit, of course being black rather than blue. You can sink extra mana into it over several turns to grow its size, give it deathtouch, and eventually start drawing cards.
While the first two abilities are underwhelming, being able to repeatedly draw cards with the third makes this card interesting. In post-rotation Standard with its small card pool, this card could definitely see some play. It will also likely be a bomb (and removal magnet) in Limited. Outside these formats, its hard to see Evolved Sleeper having an impact due to its durdly, mana-intensive nature.
Red's new five-mana, deal-five to everything spell comes with a twist this time. As mentioned, it features the new and/or Kicker cost. This allows you to phase out one of your permanents for each time you pay the cost, thus saving it from the wipe.
This is an interesting angle, but it's difficult to see this card being valuable with the likes of Burn Down the House still in Standard. Yes, saving your best card is good. However, a seven-mana board wipe usually needs to be more impactful. This doesn't even guarantee that everything dies if you're facing down big creatures of high-loyalty planeswalkers.
Of the previews we've seen so far, this one is the least exciting.
The best mana dorks in Standard will be rotating out this fall, including Prosperous Innkeeper, Jaspera Sentinel, and Sculptor of Winter. Llanowar Loamspeaker is poised to fill that gap.
Though it isn't overly powerful, it offers a nice blocking body alongside its mana ability. The second ability is interesting given that the creature lands are also rotating. Turning a land into a creature just by tapping means Loamspeaker isn't dead in the late game and you won't need to tap your mana for an extra body.
This new dragon hydra doesn't look like it will be outstanding at any point in the curve. However, it offers tremendous flexibility and can serve as an early evasive threat or a massive finisher in the air.
It will be interesting to see how players utilize this card. In Limited, expect it to be an all-star. Shivan Devastator could certainly have an impact in constructed as well if players find the right shell to slot it into.
One other note is the flavor text on this card. It references Shelodred, one of the Phyrexian praetors whose status was unknown. Now, it appears, we know Shelodred is very much alive.
Dominaria United Story Notes
While the cards of Dominaria promise to be flavorful, the story is shaping up to be even better. We've been waiting for the climax of the Phyrexian story arc since Vorinclex reared his head on Kaldheim.
It appears that story will now be coming to a point thanks to confirmed bits by WotC and some seriously credible leaks.
We are also getting the return of many favorite planewalkers as they head back to Dominaria to take on the multi-planar threat of Phyrexia.
According to a WotC preview article, Dominiara United kicks off a "story unfolding over four sets." Though we don't know the names of the final two chapters, this means The Brothers' War will also be included in the arc.
This has been speculated for several months, with many players guessing that Karn would be going back in time to try and fix the present. Indeed WotC teased that Karn will be a major part of the story as he "looks back on Dominaria's past to prepare for its future."
So far we have a long list of planeswalkers set to show up in Dominaria United based on art, spoilers, and packaging design.
Expect to see:
and likely more...
Dominaria United Story Leaks
A Reddit user shared an Amazon listing this week that appears to contain some major spoilers for Dominaria United's story. "Magic The Gathering The Visual Guide" by Jay Annelli isn't due out until December 2022. This is well after Dominaria is out so technically the content wouldn't be spoiling anything when it officially comes out. However, the previews are here well before the set.
Annelli's book contains several preview images of full pages that betray important details about the upcoming set.
For instance, on the Chandra page, it says, "...with her mentor Jaya slain by her friend Ajani--who himself was turned into a Phyrexian--Chandra is ready to burn New Phyrexia to the ground."
This is huge news as Ajani is a fairly popular planeswalker, and the second to be compleated by the Phyrexians after Tamiyo suffered the same fate in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. It's likely that Ajani gets compleated by Shelodred given the mention on Shivan Devastator. With Elspeth coming back into the mix as well, it will be extremely interesting to see her response. Expect it to be a passionate one.
Meanwhile, Liliana is getting some new drama of her own. On her page, it says, "When she returned to Dominaria during New Phyrexia's invasion, she discovered the Raven Man's real identity---he was the ancient necromancer Lim-Dul."
He played a major role in the events surrounding Ice Age and was instrumental in Liliana obtaining The Chain Veil. We have no idea how or why Lim-Dul is revealed to Liliana on Dominaria, but is promises to be an entertaining part of the story.
Meanwhile, the preview page shows an entire section dedicated to New Phyrexia. While most of the info there is old news, there are two noteworthy tidbits. For one, it references "Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines."
This name was also used in a previous story and could very well be the name of Elesh Norn's next card. We may or may not see it in Dominaria United, but its almost certain to appear somewhere in the four-story arc.
The book also mentions "Realmbreaker" the "New Phyrexian Invasion Tree."
This appears to be a callback to the events of Kaldheim and Vorinclex's exploits with the plane's World Tree and cosmos elixir.
That's it for now. What are you most looking forward to from Dominaria United? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!
Bolt the Bird features unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Our content is not approved/endorsed by Wizards of the Coast. Images and portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC