Tuesday 6 September 2022

Preliminary Review: Dominaria United Part VIII


Haughty Djinn 6

This looks like a build around but it also looks like it is probably just powerful enough to see play. It is rare this will not have relevant power, certainly the average power it will have over the course of average games will be pretty high. Turn three it comes down as a fairly hefty dork with some power and then it sits around getting bigger and powering out your various spells. This on turn four with some kind of 1U counterspell to back it up sounds like a really swingy turn. Haughty Djinn looks like it does a great job of protecting you and your tempo in the early game and going on to help power out a mid and late game where it increasingly becomes a scary threat. The only things worrying me about this are the increasing numbers of playable graveyard hate cards found in cube alongside the many potent blue cards than want you to use the cards you have in your bin, all of which will help keep this guy small. Overall I think this is going to be pretty good but I fear it will have annoyingly polar performances leading to me wanting to cut it. It is also just a bit of a dork. Blue is more OK with that than most when the dork is big enough at least which this usually will be. 

Defiler of Flesh 2

While the body here isn't great and the trigger is also fairly tame we do still have a cost reduction card and as is becoming somewhat of a mantra in this review - never overlook a cost reducer! Ones that reduce coloured mana none the less - the most dangerous sort... So many infinite Gravecrawler loops. Fun times with Blood Pet. This card has things going for it. None of them in cube draft however.

Rona, Sheoldred's Faithful 1

No thanks, not the recursion we are looking for. This just isn't worth one card and four mana, it certainly isn't worth two cards and four mana. Not terrible but a long way off the mark. 

Quirion Beastcaller 5

A little easily countered, linear, and low powered late. I would usually be a bit more into a scaling threat at two mana that dies into some kind of value/tempo. This however needs support to scale and can so easily die before any bonus value can be added to the on death trigger. Green wants more rounded cards and this is vey linear. I'll play it in Hardened Scales deck all day though.

Battlewing Mystic 2

The floor here is not enough making this a gold card than you need to be near hellbent to use which in turn makes this very much not worth running. Nearly good. 

Hurloon Battle Hymn 1

I can do five damage for this cost and so I will not be playing this. Life is cute and all but we want function first with our removal, frills come after. 

Anointed Peacekeeper 6

I like this a lot in principle but it is quite expensive to deploy, fairly unimpressive as a body, and fails to disrupt once is it dead. This is no Elite Spellbinder although I do like how it does abilities as well. This will properly wreck some cards like Skullclamp while in play. It is cool that it doesn't need to hit a card in hand either, it can just have a little look and then deal with something in play without having to have proactively hit it. You miss the cast tax but for some things it will be more about the activations any way, this will certainly be annoying on planeswalkers. This does need testing as it adds up to reasonable package and I need to see why I am so unimpressed by it. Like, if they pay the tax you paid one mana for a 3/3 vigilance which is good tempo. If they use removal to avoid the tax you disrupted them and forced out removal. Nothing great but certainly not bad. I guess I just don't like how much control this gives to the opponent and how bland and do nothingy it is once in play. You get like one choice when you make it and then it is dull. 

Drag Below 6

I like this more than both Mutilate and Languish. It is probably just better than the former in cube these days, I certainly see way more multicolour black decks able to support BB costs than I do mono black decks, and even less of those that want a Wrath. While this is way quicker scaling than Mutilate it does cap out and it does require support. Worth a test I think but potentially too narrow. 

Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief 2

Cute effect for something like a Feather the Redeemed deck but all the wrong colours. It is also just extra fluff for that archetype rather than direct meat and so even if the colours were not an issue this likely isn't getting much action, even with the reasonable power level it should have when properly supported. 

Silver Scrutiny 3

As far as draw X spells go this is one of my favourite. One of the best at low values of X and given that X spells tend to scale well going up the curve that is a great starting point. Even so, little call for cards like this anymore so better than alternatives is not a great accolade. 

Danitha, Benalia's Hope 1

Well Benalia is fucked then 'cause this is 5 mana and no one should rest their hopes on a five drop. Much as I like what commander has done for magic overall I do dislike how so many of these support and synergy cards are unplayable because support cards need to cost in the 1-3 range for most other formats.  


King Darien XLVII 7.5

This is just good. I am probably into this just with the Anthem effect so the other two abilities are just bonus. Five mana is a lot but as mana sinks go this is fairly direct. The sac ability is decent in cube as well with plenty of token producers, with plenty of those doing large tokens as well. This is less narrow than Benalish Marshall, although arguably less on theme as the mono white deck is an aggro deck while the Selesnya decks are rather more varied. Even so, this is the kind of gold card I am into. Decent power level, lots going on, and a decent floor. Also very well suited to cube for each aspect of this card. I cannot imagine a drafted green white cube deck in which I wouldn't play this. I can also imagine lots of multicoloured decks containing green and white that would also be keen on this. 

Spouting Goblin 5

While this is fine as a mono red card it is not cube fine, you need the kicker to make this interesting and then it is a little too gold. A Civic Wayfinder goblin with a relevant late game ability would be enough for many red deck and many goblin decks but needing to be Gruul renders this rather less playable. 

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