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Ten New Brews for Dominaria United!

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Warning!

The decks you are about to see are mostly untested first drafts! They were played on Tuesday on stream during the Early Access Event for Dominaria United on MTG Arena and are my first stabs at the new Dominaria United Standard format. Most are brews jam packed with Dominaria United cards, while there are also a few updates to previously established archetypes, but it's important to note that these are the first steps and not finished products! Use them as stepping stones for your own deck brewing process, but play them card for card at your own risk!

Dominaria returns!

It feels awesome to return home to the familiar plane of Dominaria, where the entire plane is once again under siege from those nasty Phyrexians! We've got tons of powerful returning mechanics like Kicker and Domain, as well as a host of new ones to figure out as well, as well as the major fall rotation that removes Strixhaven, Kaldheim, Zendikar Rising, and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms from the format.

This newer, leaner Standard format is only five sets deep and needs to essentially be rebuilt from the ground up, which is awesome because Standard has been great lately after a very rocky period!

Today we are going to go over all ten decks I played as part of my Ten New Brews on YouTube and stream, briefly going over each list and my thoughts on how it was, giving it a letter grade, and talking about what kind of potential it has going forward. I played three games with each deck in best of one so the deck's record will also be included.

Let's go!


Deck's Record: 2-1

Deck's Grade: B+

Deck Potential: Medium to High

Standout Card: Drag to the Bottom

Our first deck dives heavily into the returning domain mechanic, which gets better for each basic land type you have in play.

Ziatora's Proving Ground
Xander's Lounge
Jetmir's Garden

Normally this would feel like a Limited only mechanic, but with the five allied triomes (god what a flavor fail to not call these triomes) from Streets of New Capenna it is comically easy to assemble full domain. Being able to have full domain with only two lands in play allows you to almost always play your payoffs at full potential, while also letting you dip into all five colors for whatever you may need.

Drag to the Bottom
Leyline Binding

The biggest draw here is Drag to the Bottom. Playing taplands as well as setup cards naturally leads you into a spot where you may fall behind, while also leading your opponent into a spot where they want to get aggressive and kill you before you set up. Having a powerful four-mana sweeper is then just exactly what the doctor ordered. Put that alongside Leyline Binding, which is usually just a one mana Vindicate, and you've got a very nice removal package.

Those two are the obvious additions, but there are some more humble domain cards doing a decent amount of the heavy lifting.

Llanowar Greenwidow
Shadow Prophecy
Herd Migration

Llanowar Greenwidow was one of my picks from my set review to make an impact and it's just a super solid card on both offense and defense. You're always happy to trade it off so you can get it back later, and it's super nice getting extra value by milling it from Shigeki, Jukai Visionary or our next card, Shadow Prophecy. While I'm normally not a fan of Read the Bones type effects, digging five cards deep at instant speed while also dumping cards in the graveyard is great. Herd Migration is also another sleeper card that's a great enabler and payoff.

Add in some generically good five color stuff like The Kami War and you've got a very nice looking control/midrange shell!


Deck's Record: 1-2

Deck's Grade: B-

Deck Potential: High

Standout Card: Braids, Arisen Nightmare

Braids, Cabal Minion is a classic Magic card, so it's natural to want to see what she's up to in Dominaria United. She doesn't disappoint!

Braids, Arisen Nightmare
Oni-Cult Anvil
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

Braids slots perfectly into a Rakdos Sacrifice shell, which already excels at putting odd permanent types in play. If you sacrifice a permanent of a type your opponent doesn't have, they don't even get the option - you just draw a card and they lose two life. This makes Braids another awesome engine in a deck full of engines.

Yotia Declares War

The other interesting new card in this deck is Yotia Declares War, which ending up playing out way better than it looked. For two mana you get a piece of material, a potential removal spell, and then either a burst of damage or a very unique type to sacrifice to Braids. You can also use the 4/4 third chapter to sacrifice a blood token or random artifact to Ob Nixilis for some nice value.

The record wasn't great here as the lack of good, hard removal stung us a few times, and The Meathook Massacre is probably too good not to play, but the fact that this deck has too many options is a good thing for its future prospects.


Deck's Record: 1-2

Deck's Grade: C+

Deck Potential: Low to Medium

Standout Card: Llanowar Loamspeaker

What's surprising for this set of brews is how many times Secluded Courtyard shows up!

Secluded Courtyard
Fleetfoot Dancer
Brazen Upstart

Secluded Courtyard is the centerpiece to the mana base of both this deck as well as the next deck, taking advantage of the fact that the two big Cabaretti cards from Streets of New Capenna, Fleetfoot Dancer and Brazen Upstart, are both elves! Having access to an untapped, painless, tricolor land is awesome and goes a long way toward allowing you to curve out.

Leaf-Crowned Visionary
Yavimaya Iconoclast
Llanowar Loamspeaker

The new Leaf-Crowned Visionary gives you additional incentive to be elves, providing a lord effect to go along with a card draw effect, while other new cards like Yavimaya Iconoclast and Llanowar Loamspeaker provide the beats and mana acceleration respectively.

This deck struggled a bit at dealing with larger creatures (a theme across almost all of these brews), and the worry is that it's not aggressive enough to get under some of the bigger things happening in the format. Still, it's a nice potential starting point.


Deck's Record: 3-0

Deck's Grade: A

Deck Potential: High

Standout Card: Jodah, the Unifier

Whenever they print a five-color card, the immediate thought is that it's just a meme and not really suited for competitive Constructed play.

Jodah, the Unifier bucks this trend hard.

Jodah, the Unifier

Holy cow is Jodah a ridiculous Magic card. Casting Jodah is relatively easy (more on that in a second) and what you're getting for five mana is ludacris. Jodah counts itself for his ability, meaning the absolute floor is a 6/6 for five mana, but providing a Coat of Arms effect to all of your legends makes them massive, while the cascade ability it grants your legends turns every card in your deck in to a Bloodbraid Elf.

This massive payoff of course wouldn't mean anything without cards to both support it as well as actually cast it, but those both exist!

Secluded Courtyard
Plaza of Heroes
Katilda, Dawnhart Prime

As long as you're willing to play almost entirely humans, as well as almost entirely legends, both Secluded Courtyard as well as Plaza of Heroes end up being untapped, pain-free, five color lands which is incredible. Throw in some Triomes and you've got a dreamy mana base to cast basically anything, and Katilda, Dawnheart Prime also does a lot of work both ramping and mana fixing.

Halana and Alena, Partners
Lagrella, the Magpie
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

With the setup and the payoff in place, all that's left is to fill the deck with the best legendary humans available across all colors, and there are a lot of them! Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is the perfect 2-drop for a deck that's almost entirely creatures, while cards like Lagrella, the Magpie and Halana and Alena, Parters are just good Magic cards.

Leyline Binding

Top it all off with one of the best cards in the set in Leyline Binding and we've got a real winner here. There's probably a lot of work to be done as far as figuring out exactly what cards you want to play and what the mana base should look like, but this deck was very impressive.


Deck's Record: 2-1

Deck's Grade: C-

Deck Potential: Medium to High

Standout Card: Haughty Djinn

This is the perfect example of what you want from a "first draft" brew.

Smoldering Egg // Ashmouth Dragon

This deck is not great as built and I would not recommend playing it as is. The idea was to try and utilize Smoldering Egg // Ashmouth Dragon in a control shell, but the Red removal just isn't really flexible enough to handler larger threats while the Eggs themselves kept running into our opponent's removal. However, while the deck itself failed, the information gained was invaluable.

Haughty Djinn
Silver Scrutiny
Syncopate

Haughty Djinn is naughty!

Haughty Djinn was immensely impressive, being hard to kill, turning the corner quickly, and most importantly reducing the cost of many of the control cards from "slightly overcosted" to "Counterspell and Fact or Fiction." That's a ton of value for a three-mana creature that isn't easy to kill! Silver Scrutiny was also solid by itself and excellent with Haughty Djinn, as was Syncopate which always seems to cost one mana too many in the past.

It does feel like there's a real control deck out there, and, if so, it probably starts and ends with Haughty Djinn.


Deck's Record: 2-1

Deck's Grade: B

Deck Potential: Medium

Standout Card: Shadow-Rite Priest

Of all the five tribal lords in Dominaria United, Shadow-Rite Priest is the one with perhaps the most jaw-dropping ability that isn't really tied to going full tribal.

Shadow-Rite Priest
Toxrill, the Corrosive

All Shadow-Rite Priest needs is a single other cleric and five mana to go get the biggest and baddest Black creature in your entire deck. In older formats that might end up being Griselbrand or Archon of Cruelty, but in Standard it's the legendary slug Toxrill, the Corrosive. That's pretty good for a card with decent stats and the other ability of just being a solid 2 mana lord!

Voice of the Blessed
Lunarch Veteran // Luminous Phantom
Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim

This deck is a pretty classic tribal deck with a lifegain subtheme, as Voice of the Blessed is still the best Ajani's Pridemate ever printed and there's plenty of lifegain triggers to go around from Lunarch Veteran // Luminous Phantom to the new and pretty exciting Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim.

There's a chance that clerics just aren't quite good enough, but this deck does look like a very complete package of curve, synergy, removal, and top end.


Deck's Record: 3-0

Deck's Grade: B+

Deck Potential: Surprisingly High?

Standout Card: Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart

There's always one big surprise in each Ten New Brews and you're looking at it!

Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart
Protect the Negotiators
Resolute Reinforcements

Dominaria United provides an interest mixture of Blue and White cards that play in the flash / counterspell / card draw realm of things. Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart is an awkward but powerful card draw engine that turns creatures into cards, while Protect the Negotiators is a counterspell plus token maker that fits right in. In an amusing twist, Resolute Reinforcements is a better card in a vacuum that Raise the Alarm, but Raise the Alarm would be better in this deck as an instant or sorcery, but the card still fits them theme perfectly.

Overcharged Amalgam
Make Disappear
A Little Chat

These cards join up with a number of cards already in Standard that just weren't quite there to make an intriguing mix-up. Overcharged Amalgam was one of the most hyped cards for Innistrad, but just never had the support to work, while the casualty duo of Make Disappear and A Little Chat also just didn't quite make it in Streets of New Capenna. Now with these new token makers, all three cards look excellent.

The Wandering Emperor
Wedding Announcement // Wedding Festivity

Throw in one of the best planeswalkers in the format that plays perfectly with the flash theme, as well as a Bitterblossom type card that also slots in perfectly, and you've got a really exciting deck that did quite well. This is one to watch and perhaps my favorite of the bunch!


Deck's Record: 1-2

Deck's Grade: B-

Deck Potential: Medium to High

Standout Card: The Cruelty of Gix

There's no two ways about it, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki is still one of the best cards in the format, and when you slot it alongside a multitude of five-mana reanimation spells it's not hard to get Titan of Industry into play on turn four.

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki
The Cruelty of Gix
Titan of Industry

The Cruelty of Gix is definitely a card that is being underrated because of how many words it has on it. Yes, it feels like a slower, more awkward The Eldest Reborn, but because you can read ahead to the last chapter it's more of a five-mana reanimation spell that has some extra modes if you need them. Titan of Industry remains one of the best big things you can do in the format, so planning to just Titan your opponent over and over again is a good plan.

Liliana of the Veil
The Raven Man
Containment Construct

This deck also tried to get some extra use out of Liliana of the Veil, not only using her as a removal spell and discard outlet for huge creatures, but also using some discard synergy cards like The Raven Man and Containment Construct to try and get some more value with her as well as the other discard effects. This was probably a bit too cute.

This deck was felled by not having good hard removal for large creatures once again, which has was a recurring theme all day. You need to have ways to kill big 5-toughness creatures like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Rith, Liberated Primeval or they will take you out, as just Cut Down and Voltage Surge aren't enough. Still, some sort of reanimation deck will likely be good in this Standard format.


Deck's Record: 2-1

Deck's Grade: B-

Deck Potential: Mediumish

Standout Card: Haughty Djinn

Haughty Djinn rides again!

Haughty Djinn
Electrostatic Infantry
Balmor, Battlemage Captain

Izzet Prowess is often a deck that looks good but ends up being bad, but once again we see Haughty Djinn leading the charge. Naughty Haughty is joined by the new Electrostatic Infantry and Balmor, Battlemage Captain, both quality 2-drop "prowess" threats that grow pretty well and provide evasion too. Of course, Ledger Shredder is also great. The issue is that two mana is a lot more than one, so no 1-drops is kinda a tough sell.

Lightning Strike
Ancestral Anger
Reckless Impulse

Still, the reintroduction of Lightning Strike to the format, joining Play with Fire, does make for some nice removal and reach, and there are a number of good cheap spells like Ancestral Anger, Consider, and the surprisingly good Reckless Impulse to fill out the deck.

This deck plays out like an underpowered Modern deck, but if there's a need to get under all the five-color big stuff decks this deck could have a place.


Deck's Record: 3-0

Deck's Grade: B-

Deck Potential: Low to Medium

Standout Card: Llanowar Loamspeaker

The last deck from this set of Ten New Brews is a silly one, based around untapping Timeless Lotus with Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset.

Timeless Lotus
Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset

Teferi is already a reasonable card, albeit one that very much wants to play alongside both artifact and creature-based mana, so it's not that much of a stretch to add Timeless Lotus to the equation. The problem was that, while we got Teferi and Timeless Lotus in play a number of times, we didn't always have a good mana sink for all the mana. This is a bit of a deck-building flaw but it's not clear what the mana sink should be.

Shigeki, Jukai Visionary
Leyline Binding
The Kami War // O-Kagachi Made Manifest

However, we still went 3-0, which was a definite indication of the power level of "five color stuff." Leyline Binding is great, The Kami War // O-Kagachi Made Manifest is an awesome top end payoff, and Shigeki, Jukai Visionary continues to impress me in both the early and the late game.

There's no doubt that five-color stuff is definitely a doable thing in Standard going forward, even if this isn't the best way to do it.

Worlds!

This Standard is already looking like a lot of fun and is an extremely important one for me as it will be one of the formats I am playing at the 32 player World Championship in October! As such, I can't wait to dive in deeper after a very fun start.

We've got two months to go, so let's break it!

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