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Dominaria Standard Set Review: White

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We’ve gone back to Dominaria and man is this set great. Not only is it dripping with flavor, but it’s one of the best sets ever if not the best set ever. The power level of these cards alone is amazing. I expect Dominaria to make some big splashes and changes to Standard. I know what you are here for, so let’s not delay any longer. Before we dive in, let’s go over my grading scale very quickly and how I will be reviewing cards in Dominaria.

I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard. For example, cards like Time of Ice and Gideon's Reproach will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, “This is just a Limited card” repeatedly gets old rather fast. Don’t worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the set. So, if you like a certain rare or mythic, it will be mentioned in the review.

Keep in mind I’m rating all these cards for Standard playability. I will mention Modern applications if I believe the card has some.

Each card will be listed by color, then alphabetically by name.

Each card will given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, it's rating is left off the list.

RATING Explanation Standard Examples

0 Will never see play in this format (0 ratings are not listed).

1 Unlikely to see play. (Dubious Challenge)

2 Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Authority of the Consuls)

3 Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Harnessed Lightning, Cast Down)

4 Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Heart of Kiran, Abrade, Seal Away)

5 Format warping. If you’re in these colors, you play that card. (The Scarab God, Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Let’s begin!

Baird, Steward of Argive
2 — Baird is Ghostly Prison meets creature? Baird seems like a solid card to have in your sideboard if you are expecting tokens to be a thing. Outside of that he's overcosted for his abilities to see any significant Standard play.
Benalish Marshal
2.5 — A Glorious Anthem on a body? That's good! The downside is that you almost certainly need to be playing Mono-White or something very close to it. He is playing tug of war with Oketra's Monument. He won't get the cost reduction, but he will pump all your guys including your tokens. I personally would rather splash Blue in my Oketra's Monument deck, but pumping your entire team can lead to some very explosive starts/kills.
Board the Weatherlight
2 — A two-mana Ancient Stirrings for historic cards. That's pretty good, especially since you can grab a mana source if you play some legendary lands or just Mox Amber in Standard. This card has potential, but it ties up mana. How good it is depends on how fast the format ends up and how good the deck it goes into ends up. That's a lot of "what ifs." Time will tell, but I believe it will just see fringe play.
Call the Cavalry
2 — Competes with Call to the Feast, but Call the Cavalry is only a single color and overall provides an additional power and toughness. The kicker is that they are knights and play well with History of Benalia. Just playing History of Benalia into turn four Call the Cavalry and you're swinging for sixteen damage on turn five just from casting two cards. That's extremely powerful. Benalish Marshal works better in this type of Mono-White deck since you'll most likely be playing the full playset of History of Benalia before any Oketra's Monuments. I'd just have Oketra's Monuments in my Sideboard for grindy matchups.
Danitha Capashen, Paragon
2 — Danitha can combo nicely with Sram, Senior Edificer and Aetherflux Reservoir. Outside of that, she's not that great for a three-mana creature in White. I'd rather be casting Oketra's Monument or History of Benalia.
Daring Archaeologist
1.5 — Cost is too hefty for what this is trying to do. Coming with a 3/3 body is also bad, not to mention that you can't always just jam it on turn four if you're trying to get value from the first ability. I wouldn't play this card even if my friends dared me to.
Dauntless Bodyguard
3 — A very good creature that also has the relevant creature type Knight. Can you guess what this card curves great into? That's right, History of Benalia . . . 
Evra, Halcyon Witness
2 — Outside of some tier two life switch combo, don't play this card or, Serra as my witness, I'll shun you.
Fall of the Thran
2.5Armageddon is back? Well, not quite, but this card is very scary, especially for ramp players. If I'm casting Hour of Promise and my opponent casts this card, I'm going to cry. Heck, even if this resolves late game against a control deck it's going to do work. If you have nine mana, you could combo this with Sylvan Awakening. On the other hand, you can play a gw Ramp deck where you curve The Mending of Dominaria into Fall of the Thran. Is that good enough? Really depends on what you are playing against. At the very least, it’s sweet.
Healing Grace
2 — I could see Healing Grace in the Sideboard of Standard decks but nothing outside that. It's wonderful way to counter burn like Lightning Strike.
History of Benalia
4 — We've reached the home land! History of Benalia is going to kill a lot of people. Curving History of Benalia from or into anything else that makes Knights is insane. I mean just History of Benalia into History of Benalia is threatening lethal. This saga is great in aggressive decks and token strategies. Just an overall very solid card that we'll see it in Standard repeatedly.
Invoke the Divine
2 — This card is for Sideboards. Decommission saw some play in Sideboard and Invoke the Divine is just strictly better. It even gains you more life than Decommission. Four life is 20% of your starting life total, that's a solid chunk.
Knight of Grace
2Knight of Grace can be nearly impossible for some decks to remove when they lean on Black removal like Moment of Craving and Vraska's Contempt. Okay main deck card and a solid sideboard option, especially if Mono-Black ends up being a deck.
Lyra Dawnbringer
3Baneslayer Angel is back but in legendary form. I believe this makes her worse overall. Not being able to have two on the battlefield is a drawback. In a handful of control matches, sometimes the first Baneslayer Angel just held back creatures by not attacking. Then when you got the second Baneslayer onto the battlefield you'd lock the game. You can't have multiple Lyras out at the same time, but she is still a solid card. I'd want a mix of her and Regal Caracal in my sideboard. As far as main deck goes, Approach of the Second Sun would still be my win condition of choice, especially Game 1s in my White control deck.
Seal Away
4 — Finally, we get a card that resembles Journey to Nowhere! Seal Away is an amazing enchantment and plays so well alongside Settle the Wreckage. If your opponent only attacks with one or two creatures you can just Seal Away and, if they attack with more, you can just get them all with Settle the Wreckage. Playing both in your Approach of the Second Sun deck is going to give opponents a headache. This card will never hit a smart player playing The Scarab God, but Baffling End didn't either. Unlike Baffling End it will hit Hazoret the Fervent, Rekindling Phoenix, and whatever else your opponent decides to attack you with. An A+ removal spell for Standard.
Shalai, Voice of Plenty
2.5 — Shalai wants to be in a deck with tokens so you can really abuse her second ability. Four mana for a 3/4 flyer that protects everything else is great. Shalai passes the Abrade and Lightning Strike test. On top of that, having the ability to grow all your creatures is what makes Shalai a solid choice.
Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle
2.5 — Teshar is going to be good in older formats. I'm sure he'll find a home in some sort of artifact combo deck. In Standard, he could go alongside Sram, Senior Edificer and Danitha Capashen since he can bring them back to the battlefield. Triggering off Mox Amber is another reason he will have a lot of potential in Standard. You'll just need to look at all the creatures that are worthwhile with converted mana cost three or less. He does some combo shenanigans with multiple Rona, Disciple of Gix.
Tragic Poet
2 — I want to play this in my White deck to just bring back History of Benalia. Are you tired of hearing that card's name yet? I hope not, because you're going to face it a lot.
Triumph of Gerrard
2 — This is a nice way to give a big creature without a evasion a way to close out. Cards like Shanna, Sisay's Legacy or construct tokens from Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter are what you'll want to pair this with.
Urza's Ruinous Blast
2.5 — This card would've been unbeatable in a different format. It's still pretty good now but not hitting The Scarab God, Hazoret, and random other creatures like Gonti, Lord of Luxury really hurts. Especially since this set is all about legends and features of ton of them. I would not rely on Urza's Ruinous Blast as a board wipe. I'd rather just play Hour of Reckoning if that's what I wanted to do. It’s more of a sideboard card than a main deck card in this Standard environment.

Top 5 White cards

These are the Top Five cards in White, but we still have some leftover playables. Cards like Shalai, Voice of Plenty could very easily see play. Therefore, Dominaria is going to be a spectacular set for Standard. It’s nice that two of the top five best cards aren’t even rare. Toys for control decks and aggro decks alike. What more could you want?

That’s it for today friends, tune in tomorrow as we go over the Blue cards in Dominiria!

Until then,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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