Sunday 4 September 2022

Preliminary Review: Dominaria United Part VII


Rulik Mons, Warren Chief 1

Goblins are quite good at getting haste from things and so this card just about stays relevant. Probably more as an interesting value commander option than anything else though. Goblins have far better sources of card advantage than this and the same is true of token generation leaving this as rather the Hill Giant without any jobs it can usefully do. Generally this is the sort of mediocre over cost bulking out card that has no real place in 40 card decks no matter how focused they are. This is a commander card only and so are those cards like it. 

Queen Allenal of Ruadach 2

Quite a fun card that I might play in a token deck but the power level is such that this feels more like deck padding than is does a payoff or enabler. It is sort of threatening and spits out a little bit of conditional value. 

Ratadrabik of Urborg 1

I resent the ward here because without it I wouldn't have wasted my time writing about this much like the potential for haste with Rulik Mons. As it is there is a fraction of a chance this is interesting in a legends deck. Really though, if this is the payoff we are looking at we are in it for fun and not winning so perhaps best this stays in the sphere of commander. 

Karn's Sylex 7.5

Odd card, not sure quite why they slapped on the life payment hate (pacifist Karn flavour?) but it does make an already powerful card more so. This is a potent tutor target and will see a lot of play as a result, all be it mostly from sideboards thanks to Karn the Great Creator. Not only is this a hoser it is also a Pernicious Deed because why not? It is certainly worse than Deed but you should hope so being colourless and not gold. It is worse because it is sorcery speed activation, because you can't take out lands foolishly having other types, and because you have to wait a turn to blow up the world. It is better than Deed in that it is more playable, it can kill planeswalkers, and it has the hose effect which you have control over both keeping in play and indeed deploying in the first place. Overall Deed is a more powerful card but playability is so huge in cube I see this lasting where Deed rather struggles to. This is not mana efficient removal but it is versatile and offers a lot of protection. It is exactly the sort of card to help encourage the likes of a Simic control archetype. I see this taking up the sort of role and potency of Engineered Explosives. Sylex is just a bit bigger and better. And critically again, more playable. 

Timeless Lotus 3

Between Gilded Lotus and Chromatic Orrery lies this Timeless Lotus. Much as this offers the greatest mana output for the cost the coming in tapped really puts a downer on the card for me and makes it unappealing for general and combo use. Gilded Lotus is more mana return for the first two turns while not being a total tempo void on the turn made. Timeless Lotus is big and flashy and fun but it is pretty safe due to coming in tapped. You have to be pretty ahead the turn you make this else risk being critically behind by the time you get to use it. If I am ramping I am doing it with cheaper calmer cards unless I am playing commander in which case I might play this as well as my cheaper calmer ramp cards. This is a card you go even bigger with rather than just going big. 

Vodalian Mindsinger 8

This seems just good. In a world where Brutal Cathar is doing good work this seems a whole lot punchier. This steals a lot of dorks as a three drop and it is fairly easy to kick allowing you the ability to steal most things late. It is one of this nice Lingering Souls style card than you can get away with playing effectively as a mono card on the lightest of fixing support. I can fully see myself playing this in a Dimir deck where my only sources of red or green mana are like a Triome and a Deathrite Shaman or something. Stealing anything on curve with this will be a huge tempo swing if they do not have removal. Stealing anything big late will be game if good removal cannot be quickly found! Sower of Temptation became too risky for cube as removal got more and more heavily played. By being a three drop at the same size or by being rather bigger Mindslinger is a whole lot less risky than Sower. If all I do is trade 1 for 1 with your one or two mana removal spell and in the process effectively Fog down your dork for the turn that trade is pretty equal. By contrast if you Shock my Sower it feels like the game is over! Mindslinger will force a lot of lines and bait out a lot of removal. It will have a fine floor and the exceptional ceiling of winning a bunch of games where the removal check is failed. Much as I do not love removal check dorks as a design type I do quite like blue having a decent one. It is not like you need that removal for many of the other few blue dorks in cube! 

Wingmantle Chaplain 1

Really? I want some birds in my wall deck do I? While not a bad thing to be given it is hardly synergic. Just have walls then get birds. Sure. This is also a defender at a fairly big cost making it less interesting to pair with things like High Alert, or you know, any of the cards that give you a reason to play walls (yes, yes, I mean defenders, I am old, they are all just walls to me). You need to be getting 3+ birds out of this before it is looking like a good mana investment. I probably need a singleton deck built around defenders significantly larger than 40 cards before I am looking to this to help make up numbers. 

Rundvelt Hordemaster 4

Very solid goblin lord at the bargain price of two. Mostly this is just a powerful team buff. The card advantage mode is nice but not really what goblins lack for. It is also on the restrictive side. You want to cast what you want to cast. Goblins are quite precise and have pretty differing effects, you want to play the relevant one, not the random one on the top of your deck. Still very strong, just a bit easy to overrate. What this is is a two mana goblin that is also a Glorious Anthem and that alone is more than enough to make this a premium tribal tool. I imagine this will make the final cut of almost all my many iterations of 40 or more card tribal gobbo decks. Given how powerful and how diverse the goblin tribe is a card that can fit into most builds it pretty impressive. That probably puts it somewhere in the top five goblins in terms of playability (for tribal) of all time alongside Prospector, Warchief/Chieftain and Lackey. 

Lagmost, Hand of Hatred 2

Bleh, lots of power and synergy potential but this needs support to be great making it too narrow. It is also not great enough with the support and so when you do build the decks that it would work for this will not make the cut due to narrower cards with higher ceilings stealing the spots. Or just, you know, more powerful cards period.

Runic Shot 1

Things that kill tapped dorks are painfully unreliable removal. Those that are sorcery speed are even more savage to have to use. This is very cheap and has some tempting scry upside but still no. Aggro decks cannot apply pressure with this and control decks have to wait and get smacked. Yuck. 

Stenn, Paranoid Partisan 2

Interesting card for sure with some combo potential I would imagine. Not doing instant and sorcery simultaneously is likely pretty damning for this in the places you find Baral and Goblin Electromancer rather reducing the potential archetypes for Stenn. Presently helping to ramp out and protect planeswalkers is the best thing I can think to do with this which isn't all that powerful, reliable, or exciting. Never sleep on cost reducers though! 

Serra Paragon 7

Solid source of value. This is a good body with a good ability. This is quite a clunky card and it is very hard to get value with on the turn you make it. It is also a slow threat doing much of its threatening by offering ongoing value rather than overwhelming tempo or inevitability. I will not always play this, control decks want safer cards they can deploy at instant speed or that come with things like ward. Aggro decks often want punchier things that are higher tempo, more threatening, or more resilient. Serra Paragon is pretty midrange but it is also pretty playable. It is like a bigger Lurrus of the Dream Den and that has been a fine card that wins a lot of the games where it goes unanswered for very long. 

1 comment:

  1. I misread Vodalian Mindsinger. I thought it was equal or less power you could steal, just being less powerful dorks that you can steal makes it a whole lot worse, likely only a 6/10 card that will not last in cube.