Saturday 14 April 2018

Final Dominaria Additions and Thoughts

Well that all turned out rather unexpectedly. After the first reveal Dominaria looked to be another Rivals of Ixalan for cube offering little to change anything or do anything all that interesting. With the full set out I am prepared to call this a big win. It isn't huge for cube additions with nothing at the top end of the spectrum for power level but we do have some nice interesting things as well as some useful core cards. It was quite interesting reviewing the cards twice in many cases without playing them as it highlighted bias. I easily wrote off loads of cards from the first spoil that I spent longer thinking about when I saw the real card with art. I found that cards I liked the look and feel of I wanted to be good and spent time looking hard to find the way in which they might be good. While I found reviewing cards from just text to be harder I think it removed bias effectively. I also appear to have some kind of normal baseline target of cards I expect to add to cube with is another weird kind of self constructed bias. I seem to want to add about X new cards to the cube and so for sets offering less than X I start to overrate things a bit to mentally bump up the sets power level. Equally really potent sets with more than X to offer I will start to underrate and overlook things, in both Khans and Origins I undervalued a bunch of cards just because the sets were so potent and I was over loaded with good stuff! I wasn't even aware of this bias until this odd set review exposed it to me. While understanding my bias isn't a great help for the reader I am talking about it because the process of understanding ones own bias and how to compensate for it are critical skills in the playing of magic.

Given how stacked cube now is I am totally fine with the level of offerings Dominaria has for it. Especially when in every other way the set seems great. I love the flavour, the art and the design. I have never read up on MtG lore before, I have never read every detail on the flavour text for the whole set before either. Dominaria captured my interests and nostalgia and in that regard I have to rank it as one of the best sets.

The other aspect of Dominaria I love is the quality to be found in the commons and lower rarity cards. For a long while now most cube additions I have made have been mythic or rare. While there is nothing that would be considered powerful by cube standards Dominaria is actually one of the most power crept sets I have seen. It has been done in the right way, the bottom has been brought up closer to the top rather than keeping the bottom fixed and raising the bar. This should make the set a far better drafting experience. Across all the cards and rarities Dominaria has a very high average power level . Below is now a complete list of the cards from Dominaria I plan to get for cube including those from the initially spoiled cards and those from the final spoiling. The new additions to this list are at the top of each section.

To Add

Cast Down

The Flame of Keld
Dauntless Bodygaurd
Wizard's Lightning
Ghitu Lavamancer
Benalish Marshal

To Test

Saproling Migration
Zhalfirin Void
Board the Weatherlight
Yawgmoth's Vile Offering
Shalai, Voice of Plenty
Adventurous Impulse
Rite of Belzenlok
Josu Vess, Lick Knight
Vodalian Arcanist

Lyra, Dawnbringer
Merfolk Trickster
Goblin Chainwhirler
Karn, Scion of Urza
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Tetsuko Umezwa, Fugitive
Squee, the Immortal
Fungal Infection
Demonlord Belzenlok
History of Benalia
Seal Away
Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
Verix Bladewing
Grand Warlord Radha

Exotic Reserves

Memorial Lands
Dread Shade
Orcish Vandal
The Mending of Dominaria
Thran, Temporal Gateway
Swarm of Spores
Fungal Plots
Yavimaya Shepherd
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog

Mox Amber
Damping Sphere
Sparring Construct
Voltaic Servant
Navigator's Compass
Warlord's Fury
Naban, Dean of Iteration
Song of Freyalise
Tempest Djinn
Urza's Ruinous Blast
Jaya Ballard
Precognition Field
Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar
Sporecrown Thallid
Slimefoot the Stowaway
Neru Meha, Master Wizard
Torgaar, Famine Incarnate
Fall of Thran
Healing Grace
Adeliz, the Cinder Wind
Oath of Teferi
Shanna, Sisay's Legacy

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