Hello awesome folks! Happiest of Fridays to you and your people! Today I want to take another look at great cards from Dominaria United that are fun for kitchen table formats like Commander specifically, multiplayer generally, and then Type Four, Five Color, and loads more. Two weeks ago I did a top ten with 13 cards from this set and it included cards like a strong removal spell, a powerful Dragon, multiple planeswalkers, and then a mana making artifact.
Today we'll be looking at another 10 cards and three honorable mentions for a total of 13 more cards, so this list is basically #14 - #26.
Honorable Mention #1 (#26 Overall) - The Raven Man
This iconic character in Liliana's backstory is really cool. You get just two mana for a2/1 with a pair of abilities. The triggered one will make a 1/1 flying Bird that cannot block each end step someone discarded a card, so up to four times in a four-player game each round. That includes cycling, channeling, and self-discard drawing like Looting and Rummaging, and many folks run those naturally in their builds. This also loves discard decks where you force foes to discard each of your turns for one trigger. Then you can tap it and four mana to force your foes to each discard a card so it's a discard on a stick in the Command Zone with the trigger as well, and discard is a beloved archetype at the kitchen table ever since Megrim was printed.
Honorable Mention #2 (#25 Overall) - Hurler Cyclops
The 25th overall top card is this five-drop mono-Red uncommon. This is a fat 5/4 for five mana. Then you can spend one mana to sacrifice a dork to deal 1 damage to any target, so this is a Goblin Bombardment on a stick. The card this Cyclops is based on is iconic at the kitchen table, and in two top ten Commander Archetypes according to EDHREC.com, Aristocrats and Self-Sacrifice Matters. In these two brews you sacrifice things like your creatures to trigger things like Blood Artist and Mayhem Devil and then win with the sacrificed damage and triggers. Aristocrats seeks to run recursive engines like Recurring Skeleton that can be sacrificed over and over again.
And next let's turn to a leader that can run an Aristocrats style deck!
Honorable Mention #3 (#24 Overall) - Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim
Check out this 2/2 deathtouch leader that can trade up. This can gain a life when things arrive to your battlefield like a Soul Warden and then when they die your foes lose a life, so it's a Blood Artist combined with a Soul Warden, in the Command Zone, so it's great in life gain builds, going wide brews like Orzhov Tokens, Soul Sisters and then Aristocrats. Love it lots here at the kitchen table!
#10. (#23 Overall) - Sprouting Goblin
This rocks a Gruul color identity, and this Goblin can tap, pay a Red, and sacrifice a land to draw a card, which is great when topdecking or in any deck really looking to ramp. The Green kicker is basically a Lay of the Land, which is land fetching tied to a land sacrifice, so it plays into multiple brews at the kitchen table, and it's quite capable.
#9. (#22 Overall) - Herd Migration
This 7-drop rare sorcery has channel....er....basic landcycling, for 2 mana can really give you two options. It's two mana for a Lay of the Land, and then you can use this early on to fetch the right color of mana from your brew. And then you could...you know...cast this and make a 3/3 Beast for each land type you control so in a three-color Commander that's 3, in a four that's likely 4, and in a 5C Commander brew that could be 15 power and toughness from one card. And then in the Five Color format this is a downright essential.
#8. (#21 Overall) - Karn's Sylex
Our penultimate artifact in today's list is this three-drop. It arrives tapped, forces folks to not pay life to pay for effects. Then you can spend X mana to sweep all nonlands with that mana value or less at sorcery speed, so this is basically a Pernicious Deed or Nevinyrral's Disk on a three drop. Getting colorless mass removal of the Deed sort is quite nice they printed it twice. It's very powerful, but the inability to respond to removal or use it on deployment drops it to my second list overall, but it's still quite strong.
What cards hit my top 20?
#7. (#20 Overall) - Sphinx of Clear Skies
This on-curve 5-drop 5/5 with both flying and ward 2 does! It's really strong. When you punch face, (likely with a flyer) you can trigger his trigger and dig X where that is your basic land count, and then Fact or Fiction that pile for value or for your best one if it's a needed answer like a Swords against a powerful Commander or a Generous Gift for their about-to-kill-you Aggravated Assault combo with Bear Umbra. Like the above domain card this also improves as you run more colors and will be an essential in the Five Color format. But even the card flow in a two-color deck with two land types is pretty good. Also note that this does not draw the cards but put them into your hand from your library for drawing triggers.
#6. (#19 Overall) - Serra Paragon
This 4-drop 3/4 with flying has a nice little ability attached: on your turn, you can either play a land from your graveyard to the battlefield untapped or cast a permanent spell with a cost of 3 or less from your graveyard, though it will exile after it leaves play.
This is built-in card advantage over time for a color not used to it. I like this in brews with lands meant to come back such as sacrifice or mass recursion land decks, or a discarding land brew. It's great to get just one more crack of a fetch land for one more land, and then you exile it and gain two life. I also love it in decks with low to the ground and cheaper effects already in the color like Sun Titan, as well as getting another sacrifice in artifact brews like Mind Stone.
I also love this in decks that can get around the disadvantage like blinking that can exile the returned dork, and then when it dies later it will just die. It also has a lot of cheaper ETB abilities to bring back and abuse like Reclamation Sage, or Wall of Omens. This is very powerful and on-curve, but as a creature it's easy to answer and thus not as reliable as other options out there. Not bad though, not bad!
#5. (#18 Overall) - The Phasing of Zhalfir
This Saga is our highest-charting in the set. The first and second abilities let you phase out another nonland until this leaves play, and then you can destroy everything everyone controls and leave behind 2/2s. This is pretty powerful slate of abilities, and did you notice the read ahead ability? That makes this play like a 4-mana version of Ixidron. A four-mana wrath on a stick is pretty strong at the kitchen table, as its forebear we looked at was very heavily played in casual formats for years after getting published.
#4. (#17 Overall) - Soul of Windgrace
One of the most beloved Commanders of all time is Lord Windgrace. There are 5297 decks with him as the leader over at EDHREC.com right now. Beloved. And then you get this in honor of him: a 4-drop 5/4 Restore on a stick when it arrives or attacks. Then you can discard a land for three triggers that are all very powerful things! I already built a Commander deck around this over here (Our own Jason Alt writes another deck here). This is very powerful in land restoration, discarding, and loads more. It's going to be a huge hit for casual fans everywhere.
#3. (#16 Overall) - Golden Argosy
Our top-scoring artifact on today's list is this 3/6. When it attacks, blink the crew and then return them in the end step. This is a colorless way to blink a ton of dorks all at once, and I like it in builds heavy with ETB Triggers on dorks like the obvious blink but also midrange with its love of Ravenous Chupacabra, Mulldrifter, Flametongue Kavu, Eternal Witness, Solemn Simulacrum and Karmic Guide. Love this thing a lot there. There are also key times to use this, like right before casting a sweeping effect on your second main phase after the mass flicker such as Wrath of God or Farewell or Blasphemous Act that can take out things en masse, but not your exiled things. Time this right and you could win the game.
#2. (#15 Overall) Anointed Peacekeeper
This 3-drop 3/3 with vigilance is an on-curve Human Cleric. It has a few abilities. You can look at an opponent's hand on arrival to the battlefield, which is normally a Blue ability and gives key info. In a tournament, write down the cards you see. Then you can name any card name you want in the game from Portent to Fissure. And then when that card is cast by any foe, they have to spend two more mana. That means commonly played cards at the kitchen table like Lightning Greaves or Swords to Plowshares are getting taxed.
Then you can force your foes that control the named card to spend two more mana activate it, a big break on planeswalkers. This doesn't work on mana abilities, so if you tap that Academy Ruins for mana, nothing happens, but it's a two-mana tax to tap it for reloading an artifact to your library. In Commander it's even stronger since you can always just name your enemy's Commander if you don't want to stop what they have in their hand, or tax a broken planeswalker in play when this resolves. See how nice this can be?
#1. (#14 Overall) - Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief
This is our top hitting card this week! At the Commander table, Simic is by far the most played two-color combo. Imagine cards like Cultivate, Fact or Fiction, Beast Within, Counterspell and Craterhoof Behemoth for reasons why.
This is a two-cost 2/2 flying that is low in casting cost and inspires a new archetype in a beloved color combo, so you can guess just how big this on curve flyer will grow. Whenever any player casts a spell that targets just one dork not named Ivy, you make a copy targeting Ivy. This will work quite well in Simic Spellslinger brews that will run cantripping bonuses like Aggressive Urge and Twisted Image to draw two cards, one the normal card and one other from your copy. There is also a super-secret archetype this would love...do you see it? Nope! Well, what if I told you that Auras target? You can net two Auras for your mana payment, like Rancor. Nice, right?
And there we go! What did you think of my second list of cards? Anything in here that you are inspired to build around? Just let me know!