Hello awesome folks! Happiest of Days today to you and yours! Today I am going to look at my options for yet one more Top Ten from the very deep Dominaria United set. We'll look today at the third Top Ten and then my normal three more cards in my Honorable Mention making this usually more of a Top Thirteen, but that's not as catchy. Since this is likely the last Top Ten I am doing with this set, and I want to get to a round number (#40) I am adding another card to make this Fourteen. To make my list you need to be good in kitchen table formats like Commander, Five Color, Type 4, and multiplayer.
Honorable Mention #1 (#40 Overall) - Slimefoot's Survey
Ramp is beloved at the kitchen table, and cards like Explosive Vegetation are still heavily played. They printed a four-mana Cultivate variant that has scry called Peregrination, and it doesn't get played that much, although it still has 1313 decks over at EDHREC.com and is a cheaper quarter here at CoolStuffInc.com where it can make my budget brews over the CCC effects (Commander Classic Cultivate). Kodama's Reach, for example, is a $1.25 here and that's a dollar more, so for my budget decks where my budget is coming in around $32 that's a real thing.
This is a five-mana Explosive Vegetation with a bonus like Peregrination, so it's nice, but folks are just going to usually tend towards the Vegetation rather than this, which is why it hits my 40-spot overall and then also why it should be pretty cheap on the secondary market moving forward. It's four for 0.79 here right now. You can basically scry the top of your library equal to your basic land count, which can be a lot as your color count increases, and then in a Five Color format with at least 300 cards redundant ramp like this which can have added value is not nothing. This is not a bad option to keep in mind moving forward, especially for the budget conscious among us, or for Top of Library brews where you are trying to place a certain card on top of your deck for a big powerhouse, like Draco in a Sorin, Grim Nemesis brew.
Honorable Mention #2 (#39 Overall) - Rivaz of the Claw
This 3/3 for three with menace is on curve and is legendary for Commander. It can tap for two mana in any combo of colors for making Dragons. Once on your turn only, you can cast, for its normal cost, a Dragon from your graveyard (it exiles when it dies) which is nice quality over time, and plays into the same Rakdos Dragon Reanimator as Bladewing the Risen. This is much cheaper, and it can also be played in the 99 of other Commander Dragon decks. I really enjoy its power in that tribe, and Dragons are, according to EDHREC.com the most popular tribe in Commander and I'd argue general kitchen table play as well, so this is very strong supporting multiple brews in multiple formats as well as leading one in Commander. But this doesn't make a brand-new archetype like many of the legendaries in this set, so that's why it's here on my third list in the second-to-last position. But it's not bad at all, and don't sleep on it.
Honorable Mention #3 (#38 Overall) - Llanowar Greenwidow
This is a fun 4/3 Spider with reach and trample, and is the rare Spider with reach that doesn't have a bigger butt like the original Giant Spider. This is very pushed with numbers to abilities to just three splashable mana in cost. Then when this thing is in your graveyard you can spend mana to bring it back tapped but cannot chump block, but you can use end of your foe's turn mana then untap and keep on going and swing. Then it exiles when it leaves the battlefield, even if it would be tucked to your library or bounced to your hand, so this is a one trick pony. Note that activated ability does cost 8 mana, so that's pretty pricey, but that's not an issue in the infinite mana you'll have in Type Four, although a 4/3, with trample and reach is pretty small, even if you do get it twice. The 8 mana is dropped by your basic land count, so in a four or five color brew with those lands out you should be able to get back a 4/3 with reach and trample for 3 or 4 mana, pretty cheap, and that scales up quite ably.
The Spider tribe isn't exactly common, with a Top 45 tribe and just 1,162 decks over at EDHREC.com, but this is an auto-include in that brew. I also like this in self-mill brewers where you can cast it once after milling it, it's a creature for self-mill triggers like Sultai (where this would be a 5-mana return ability) and Golgari that has mill from your library trigger leaders in the Command Zone that would love a self-recursive threat. It also loves decks that reliably have their land types with ramping and a bunch of colors.
Honorable Mention #4 (#37 Overall) - Nemata, Primeval Warden
This four-costing 3/4 with reach isn't pushed as much as the previous card. When your foe's creatures die they get exiled, which is a great brake on abuse. You also get a stream of Saprolings, so that means you could make a few Saprolings each turn of rounds in a multiplayer game. Then you can sacrifice a Saproling for one mana to pump up Nemata by +2/+2 or two mana and two sacrifices to draw a card, so you can really draw quite ably off this card. This thing clearly wants to lead a Golgari Saproling-Matters brew, just like previous entries like Thelon of Havenwood. That's pretty popular there are 4,125 decks with those over at EDHREC.com. I also like it in decks with a lot of mass removals like Damnation that should kill most foe's pretty quickly and then sac for all of the cards. I also like this with Sacrifice decks, Aristocrat decks (check out key pen pal Attrition that will turn sacrifices into Murders for triggers).
#10. (#36 Overall) - Vodalian Mindsinger
I jokingly call this Vodalian Battlemage. It's a Wizard, three-cost 2/2 with two different color kickers. You can place a pair of +1/+1 counters onto this for each time it was kicked. On arrival to the battlefield, you'll steal an opposing dork with power less than its power until you lose control of this. That means 1 or 0 base, which is a lot of things naturally like Esper Sentinel, Mother of Runes, Birds of Paradise, Essence Warden, Blood Artist, you get it. Then you can get 3 or smaller with one kicker and up to 5 power with two kickers paid. That's pretty strong, but what keeps it back here is that three-color identity when you are playing Commander pretty often as the default casual format. It's great in other formats where you can just be running Izzet or Simic and then have one kicker possible. It's also nice in decks with "Steal 'N' Sac" brews where you steal something and then sacrifice it (Yesova) or in control brews or big mana or kicker matters or power pumpers from a Glorious Anthem on a stick in the Command Zone.
#9. (#35 Overall) - Temporal Firestorm
Our 35th-hitting card is this fun mono-Red (sorta) sorcery. It's a nice mass removal spell that works quite ably in brews that need to sweep, and then you also get 'walkers unlike normal damage-based sweepers like Burn Down the House or Blasphemous Act. This can be kicked and then phase out a key dork, Commander, or planeswalker to keep them around for another turn and safe from this spell. Sweep and keep. But, again, the two off color kickers drop its playability in Commander, so it's less likely to get played in that format, although if you are running the colors this is a very strong option there, very strong.
#8. (#34 Overall) - Baird, Argivian Recruiter
This is one of the most flexible and interesting and different leaders for Commander out of Boros in a while. In your end step, you make a free 1/1 If you have anything with power more than its printed amount. That's strong in so many places! Boros Auras? Focus on ones that pump power. Boros Equpment? Ditto. Boros Voltron? Double Ditto. When you swing with a souped-up commander that you need to win with you leave yourself open to attack, but now you can make a chump blocker and then leave your defense ready. Boros Tokens? You can pump them with Anthem effects like Glorious Anthem to make them each of your turns. Boros Soldiers? Both are Soldiers, and there are loads of Lords in this color combo that will pump power to make more Soldiers. Boros Superfriends? There are loads of ways to pump power in white 'walkers to make blockers to keep them alive. Boros +1/+1 Counters Matter? One +1/+1 counter will trigger this over and over again. Boros Spellslinger? Power pumping cantrips like Guided Strike will make the tokens and draw the cards. I built a deck around the Spellslinger option which was published this week (You can check it out here).
#7. (#33 Overall) - Urborg Lhurgoyf
Our highest-scoring mono-color card is this two-drop X/1+X, where X is your graveyard creature count, which isn't as strong as all graveyards, hence it hitting my third list and #33 overall. It has two kickers in and these are just one mana each. Each kicker will self-mill 3 cards, and it's in the Sultai color combo for Commander purposes so that's a deck that loves self-milling and self-milling six cards that also can be a bit of a win-con in creature form in those brews makes this essential there. It's also nice outside of Commander in Simic and Golgari self-mill decks. I really like this in Commander with leaders like Muldrotha, the Gravetide that wants to load up the graveyard with goodies for recasting and Sidisi, Brood Tyrant that wants to hit creatures in its self-milling to make Zombies. Don't sleep on giving you fodder for your The Mimeoplasm deck too.
#6. (#32 Overall) - Quirion Beastcaller
This two-drop 2/2 Grizzly Bear gets a +1/+1 counter for each time you cast a dork, so this is clearly resonant of Quirion Dryad, which also netted a counter each time you cast a spell of a color other than Green, and it saw play in multiple Standard brews and kitchen table play for years and was an essential in the early days of Five Color.
This is bigger at 2/2 and will grow for dorks not non-Green stuff, so it has synergy in the color in creature heavy brews like Gruul's Nikya of the Old Ways. It also loves +1/+1 counter brews like Simic, and then things dense in dorks like blink and midrange that replace Murder with Ravenous Chupacabra and Lightning Bolt with Flametongue Kavu. It's great in mono-Green aggro as a fast and growing threat. Also, when it dies, you can send it's +1/+1 counters to other creatures you control, so it really likes that deck even more than a base +1/+1 dork making fiend. Nice synergy in multiple brews, right?
#5. (#31 Overall) - Najal, the Storm Runner
This 5-drop comes with a fine-sized 5/4 body that gives your sorcery stuff flash. Nice, right? This also lets you spend two generic mana when it swings (no self-evasion though like flying or menace) to copy your next instant/sorcery you cast this turn, which is definitely worth it. This is a great Spellslinger leader in a beloved archetype that has 30,790 decks and is a Top Ten archetype in EDHREC.com. This loves to cast instants and sorceries for triggers of things like Guttersnipe and Young Pyromancer, and this can play into that quite ably. This is a powerful little uncommon that lets your sorceries trigger your stuff on other turns. Very nice. This also makes copies so that's really good with magecraft triggers that also trigger on copies in this color like Archmage Emeritus and Storm-Kiln Artist. This uncommon is very strong.
#4. (#30 Overall) - Braids, Arisen Nightmare
Our penultimate scoring mono-Black card and hitting at a nice even 30 is this 3/3 legendary dork. At the end of your turn you may sacrifice a permanent and then your foe's must sacrifice a permanent of that type or they lose 2 life and you draw a card. That means you won't want to sacrifice multiple type cards that often like Solemn Simulacrum since your foes can sacrifice either an artifact like a Treasure or a creature like a Mulldrifter. This is legendary so you can build a deck around her quite ably, and the Sacrifice Archetype is also a Top Ten archetype with 26,997 decks registered over at EDHREC.com. It also can trigger your death triggers like Zulaport Cutthroat as well as opposing things to play around with. This is also a good card for the 99 of Rakdos brews with cards like Mayhem Devil or a free form of sacrifice tied to a win-con and card flow in Orzhov or Golgari brews. This card can synergize with the top card as well. It's very strong there.
#3. (#29 Overall) - Shanna, Purifying Blade
Our highest-scoring Blue card, Green card, gold card, and penultimate legendary dork is this three-drop 3/3 with lifelink - on curve. In your end step, you can spend X to draw X cards where X is your life gained (you can also spend less than your life gained). Lifelink is quite powerful here. Clearly, this is all about that life gain and the Life Gain archetype is the most popular after just passing artifacts with 48,027 decks (artifacts has 47,999 just 28 decks fewer). This is a beloved archetype. You are in the colors for Soul Sisters in Selesnya around Soul Warden and friends as well as building up your life building. She already has a massive 338 decks in just a short period of time. But she's a bit one-note and only fits in one archetype, but she does well there.
#2. (#28 Overall) - Danitha, Benalia's Hope
Our second highest-scoring card, top White card and legendary leader is Danitha. This 4/4 has all of the keywords. Then on arrival to the battlefield you can drop an aura or piece of equipment from your hand or graveyard attached to Danitha. That makes this work in multiple brews. I like using it from your graveyard to save the cards in your hand for later. Auras are a top archetype with 23,629 decks registered, and equipment ones are 36,242 decks and are also beloved. You can combine them into a Voltron deck archetype that seeks to pump and win with the Commander as fast as possible. That makes this work well with three major archetypes at the kitchen table, and is good leading or in the 99. She is also abusable with flicker effects, which our own Paige Smith built around here. Welcome to the canon of your three archetypes.
One card left...what is it?
#1. (#27 Overall) - Cult Conscript
Our top-scoring uncommon, Black card, dork, and one-drop is this 2/1 that arrives to the party tapped. You can bring it back for two mana if you lost a non-Skeleton, and it's a Skeleton, so you would have to kill something else. Note that just once will work for the turn, so if you sacrificed a Spirit (like Bloodghast) earlier this turn, you can sacrifice this over and over again until you run out of mana. There are a few key Skeletons in the Aristocrats and Sacrifice brew that this plays into like Gutterbones and Reassembling Skeleton. That means that this could play a backup role in that deck but would need ammunition to get things started. That's why it's on my third list, but it is pretty strong as self-recursive fuel.
And there we go! What did you think of my final list? Anything in here that is missing or that I got in the wrong order? Just let me know!