Legacy Set Review: Dominaria United

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Legacy Set Review: Dominaria United

04/09/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

Let's take a look at Magic's newest expansion through Legacy's eyes: how will these new cards be received by a card pool that dates back to 1993?

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By Eltinho

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translated by Romeu

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Introduction

Today we will take a break from deck techs to take a look at what Dominaria Unitedlink outside website can bring to Legacy. With a card pool that stretches all the way back to 1993's Alpha, it's a little tricky for new sets to have a big impact on an eternal format like Legacy. Or it was, for since the advent of the F.I.R.E. (Fun, Inviting, Replayable, Exciting) In 2019, the power level of expansions has gone up considerably, and we have an increasingly constant presence (and even some bans) of newer cards in the game. Magic's second most powerful format.

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It's not possible to review everything because many cards are very focused on Limited, but even so, this new set has many things that should see play in Legacy. Let's go then to what, I believe, will have relevance to the format:

White

Anointed Peacekeeper

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Creatures that delay your opponent's game are always a consideration for Aether Vial (Death and Taxes, Humans) white decks. The fact that it comes with a Peek included and affects even in-game permanents like Planeswalkers makes it quite versatile. Unfortunately, this cleric has a few issues: he's not tutorable with Recruiter of the Guard, and Meddling Mage is often more effective in the Human tribal deck.

Danitha, Benalia's Hope

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Recently, the Hammer Time deck (the one that specializes in equipping Colossus Hammer without having to pay its exaggerated equip cost) has begun to transition from Modern to Legacy. Danitha can be an endgame option to recover dead Equipment or speed up some more expensive ones (particularly interesting with Kaldra Compleat) and force the last few points of damage, but 5 mana seems too much for the format.

Leyline Binding

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6 mana for an Oblivion Ring? Let's not forget that this is Legacy, a format where Dual Lands rule. The basic land types present in the most iconic cards in the format reduce the total cost of this enchantment, and it would be nothing out of reality for it to only cost 2 mana from turn 2 onwards. Prismatic Ending is still the main spell for dealing with problematic permanents, but Binding offers an alternative that can hit 4-mana Planeswalkers that the former has a hard time dealing with, in addition to other higher-cost permanents put into play too soon. Ironically, Binding is immune to Prismatic Ending!

Serra Paragon

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The use of Extraction Specialist in Death and Taxes has demonstrated the power of low cost powerful creature recursion. This angel, although more expensive, adds to this mix the possibility of returning Wasteland, Recruiter of the Guard and Flickerwisp. Yes, you have to pay the costs, but this is a deck that specializes in keeping your creatures alive through Mother of Runes and Flickerwisp. Definitely a card to be tested in the archetype.

Temporary Lockdown

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Hidetsugu Consumes All has demonstrated that the massive destruction effects of low-cost permanents are quite strong in the format. Lockdown handles boards with Delver of Secrets, Ledger Shredder, Chalice of the Void, Aether Vial and a multitude of other problematic cards while not touching your own Narset, Parter of Veils or Teferi, Time Raveler. It obviously brings the defects of cards of this kind: vulnerability against enchantments. But that doesn't change that it's a pretty powerful effect added to the arsenal of Azorius-based Control decks — Bant, Jeskai, Miracles, Stoneblade.

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Blue

Aether Channeler

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Since I mentioned Humans, if you don't have a lord, you have a hell of a versatile beast, especially if combined with Aether Vial to access this effect at instant speed. A card that never dies and offers an answer against troublesome permanents.

Founding the Third Path

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It's maybe a bit of a stretch, but with Delirium running high, an enchantment that can go straight to the graveyard, fuels Murktide Regent, flashbacks Expressive Iteration, and can even be played without a Tempo loss might see play. Some possibilities include casting it on 2, skip to the second stage (don't forget, this Saga has Read Ahead), mill 4 cards and thanks to some fetch land (or some spell on turn 1), you can cast Regent at 3, and you can still exile and re-cast a one mana spell. Or that + Brainstorm/Ponder on turn 2, already leaves an unwanted card ready to be milled by the second chapter and has the flashback forwarded to the next turn. And in the late game, a topdecked Path already jumps to the third chapter and recasts something useful.

Vodalian Hexcatcher

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Merfolk is a very traditional deck in Legacy, the classic definition of Aggro-Control. It's a deck that relies on synergies between its various lords to create an unstoppable mass of fishmen and mermaids to trample over the opponent. And now you get this great reinforcement for your arsenal. This card's mana cost is much easier to play with colorless lands like Mutavault, Wasteland and Rishadan Port, its activated ability makes the opponent think twice when trying to resolve key spells, plus the Flash ability allows you to ambush your opponent even without Aether Vial in play. It's a card to definitely improves this archetype.

Black

Cut Down

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This card has been compared to Fatal Push, the main one mana black instant removal. On the one hand, Cut Down always works the same way, it doesn't depend on Revolt to activate. On the other hand, with the presence of fetch lands, activating Revolt in cases where the basic Fatal Push mode is not enough is usually trivial. At the moment, there isn't a prevalence of creatures that make this card the best option, but it's always good to keep an eye out.

Red

Keldon Flamesage

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Dreadhorde Arcanist was a busted card. This is the "fixed" version of it. It's pretty powerful, especially with effects like Brainstorm and Ponder, but the difference of 2 to 3 mana is huge in Legacy. Maybe it'll see some play, but I wouldn't put high expectations on it.

Rundvelt Hordemaster

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If Merfolk is a traditional tribe, then what about the one that won the first GP Legacy in history? Over the years, Goblins have adapted and managed to remain a relevant force in the format. Even the option to switch gears from Aggro to Combo is a possibility for the deck these days with the combination of Conspicuous Snoop, Boggart Harbinger and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.

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But coming back to the new card, our dear goblins are not only graced with an unprecedented 2 mana lord, the ability to access extra cards is extremely useful (not paying Mogg War Marshal's Echo cost is profit!) and you might even see Skirk Prospector appear more often in the lists to create a pseudo-value engine. It's the kind of card that the deck will look for about 4 slots to fit.

Smash to Dust

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Abrade is a valid option for sideboards, End the Festivities is a decent option for sideboards, Tunnel is a bad old card. Okay, let's just stick with the first two options, and Smash to Dust is a card to consider on sideboards.

Squee, Dubious Monarch

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Red Stompy has positioned itself as one of the most relevant decks in Legacy and nowadays has so many 3-drop options at its disposal, it's almost a tribal deck of 3-cost cards! Squee is another addition to the deck's vast hall of creatures that meets all the requirements to play for the team: ideal cost to be cast by Sol Lands (Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors), creates pressure on the turn that is played, generates resources even if removed after having attacked and its great addition to the deck is to add an element of recursion that the deck never had, turning your graveyard, once an unused resource, into extra value, a not uncommon occurrence when the deck tends to tighten the locks in the game and both players get into a topdeck war.

Green

Leaf-Crowned Visionary

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Closing the lords cycle that should impact Legacy, we have this one for Elves. With an effect that harks back to the deck's key card, Glimpse of Nature, and which can be tutored with Green Sun's Zenith, this elf is a sure addition to the deck, offering a resupply alternative and helping to carry out plan B when necessary: to attack with an army.

Threats Undetected

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Gifts Ungiven-style cards are a big deal for combo decks. The legendary Frank Karsten suggested the stack of Imperial Recruiter, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Restoration Angel and Sidisi, Undead Vizier, for example. Surely, some other idea might emerge from this spell, so the potential exists!

Multicolored

Astor, Bearer of Blades

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This card is for us to get a sense of how much Stoneforge Mystic is a broken card. Still, it's not good to underestimate the cost reduction of equipping a Colossus Hammer without any other conditions included (except, of course, using a 4 mana 4/4 in Legacy).

Balmor, Battlemage Captain

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Someone will someday lose abruptly to a horde of Monastery Mentor tokens with trample. This fellow has the potential to make the not-so-wide boards grow very, very fast, so it's no good ignoring the threat.

Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim

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This one I will mention in honor of the excellent Maykon Jonhattan, who, in tournament after tournament, brings his Orzhov Zombies to the Legacy Championships in Brasília, always being a constant presence in the top 8s of the circuit.

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And if Wayward Servant is good enough to play there, that Cleric should be too.

Ertai Resurrected

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The most pretentious mage Dominaria has ever seen is back! In his new version, Ertai is very reminiscent of Venser, Shaper Savant, a card that shows up occasionally. Ertai definitely deals with problematic cards, unlike the blue mage, which, I believe, can be a differential in his favor.

Meria, Scholar of Antiquity

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The Urza, Lord High Artificer we have at home.

Pros:

It costs less to play, easier to activate the ability to draw cards.

Cons:

complicated color combination, you have to pay the cost of the revealed card. Meria is promising, but I don't know if there's a home for her at the moment. She is particularly evil with Winter Orb (by tapping it at the end of the opponent's turn to untap all of your lands, leaves them only untapping one land per turn).

Artifacts

Karn's Sylex

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A mix of Blood Sun and Nevinyrral's Disk, Sylex has tons of targets in Legacy: Fetch Lands, Force of Will, Mana Confluence, Phyrexian Mana. A deck like Black Curses, which lacks Prison among its elements and has no land-affecting effects, can make good use of this artifact. Its board wipe function might make some difference, albeit being too slow.

Conclusion

Those are the cards I think will have the most impact on Legacy! Don't hesitate to leave your comments on other cards that you believe I may have missed.
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Eltinho

Two-time Brazilian Magic runner-up, World Top 4 by teams in 2006, Red Prison enthusiast in Legacy and "Tip the Scales" in Hearthstone.

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