It’s almost time for the Dominaria cube update! While it’s not ready yet, I did have some preliminary thoughts (and associated cards) so share about what’s going on in the set.
Wizards Made Kicker Really Good
We’ve seen kicker before, both in the Invasion era and our trip through Zendikar, but it feels like Wizards totally adjusted their philosophy.
Baloth Gorger is totally fair at four mana. In fact, it’s a competitive rate creature in Pauper cubes at that cost. But for an also fair four more mana we can have a 7/7. That isn’t the largest creature we can must for the cost, but the choice between it’s really nice.
Sergeant-at-Arms is another fair creature. A 2/3 for three mana isn’t anything to be too excited about, it’s big enough to handle blocking (and trading) with plenty of things around that mana cost. For another three mana we kick out two 1/1 Soldier creatures too. Overall it’s less “fair” than Baloth Gorger, but the choice for a deck like red-white token is amazing: If you draw it late you get an effective six-drop rather than a clunker.
I’ll also sheepishly admit I though Untamed Kavu was a common in Dominaria too. (I can dream for a future Masters Edition release!) At least Saproling Migration is a common.
“Functional” Copies Are En Vogue
One of my favorite commons (outside of Rampant Growth) is Into the Roil.
Disperse effects are important for control and tempo decks. The flexibility to return things other than creatures to their owners’ hands gives blue angles no other color enjoys. Adding a cheap, and color-requiring kicker cost to draw a card means whether you’re behind, staying at parity or pulling ahead you get the best choice to use your mana.
They reprinted it in Dominaria but gave it a new name (since “the Roil” is a Zendikar-specific creative feature). Thanks Wizards!
If you blinked and missed it, Ancient Animus is Pounce with “upside” just two sets after we got Pounce. We don’t have (excellent) legendary creatures at common but it’s still another copy of a useful effect. Dominaria has plenty of takes that will add redundancy to the Pauper cube, something I’m excited about.
Dominaria Has Got What You Want
You know what makes aggro decks better than other draft decks (in most formats)? The ability to provide early pressure through a density of one-drop creatures.
Dominaria even has a one-drop that’s probably great even when it gets blocked. It’s upside regardless of what your opponent is doing, and continues the slow march of ensure aggro decks have one-drops even in Pauper cubes.
Enjoy the Dominaria release and Draft Weekend! I can’t wait to see all the powerful new tools make their way into the cube.