There are quite a few cards in Dominaria that I think will change the face of Standard, and a handful that I think will see play in eternal formats. There are also many cards in this set that seem good in Commander and in Brawl, so whenever I refer to a card being useful in "singleton formats" I'm referring to both of these formats. As with all of my finance articles, the goal is to help you to make informed decisions as far as which cards to acquire and which to hold off on. For those not interested in finance, I made sure to focus primarily on the strategic applications of each card in my discussions. I've also listed the cost of the mythics upon release.

Mythic Rares

Karn, Scion of Urza ($36)

Karn is certainly powerful and seems great in board stalls, but I think in order to be good enough, the third ability has to be a major part of the equation, which means playing a lot of artifacts, perhaps even all artifacts. Feels too slow for Affinity, but maybe as a sideboard card? It's also possible it can go in a deck that makes Servos and/or Thopters. I imagine it will find a home or two, but I don't see it maintaining chase rare level demand.

Mox Amber ($30)

Certainly makes Isamaru, Hound of Konda look much better. Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter is also a good way to turn this on, although trying to build our own Llanowar Elves seems less good than just playing Llanowar Elves. It turns on Toolcraft Exemplar, although Toolcraft Exemplar does not turn it on. Otherwise that would have been a perfect marriage. You could build your own Chrome Mox with Leyline of Singularity, but that may be too ambitious. Seems reasonable in singleton formats and will likely see some amount of play in Modern and Standard, but likely not enough to maintain chase level demand.

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria ($15)

I'm high on Teferi. I think it is a very powerful card in control and midrange strategies, especially in Approach of the Second Sun decks. It combos really well with Seal Away or Cast Down and its ultimate basically wins the game. It can even function as a five-mana removal spell for any permanent that leaves behind a planeswalker with one loyalty counter. This line will often be used on a planeswalker in grindy matchups. This just seems like an excellent follow-up to Ixalan's Binding. It might even see Modern play, although competing for space with Gideon Jura might be asking too much. I'm buying.

Lyra Dawnbringer ($12)

Functionally equivalent to Baneslayer Angel and perhaps even better if you have any other Angels, I suspect this one has a decent chance of increasing in price. Baneslayer Angel has multiple printings and is still a $7 card, presumably due to its Commander appeal. Lyra can be played alongside Baneslayer Angel, which suggests to me that it will level out around $14 assuming no additional sources of demand. Ravenous Chupacabra makes me less optimistic about its viability in Standard, but maybe in conjunction with some discard spells or protection this could really shine. One way to preemptively protect it is Shalai, Voice of Plenty, which conveniently gets a bonus from Lyra. I see a high floor and enough protentional upside that I'm buying Lyra.

History of Benalia ($10)

I'm not exactly sure how this ended up being mythic, but it did. It's competing for space with Benalish Marshal in most decks that want this effect, but I think it is still good enough to see some amount of play. I suspect tribal Knights is still not good enough for Modern, but we're one step closer now. I like the value that it produces, but I think you really have to be an aggressive deck that can take advantage of the +2/+1 bonus in order for this card to be worth it. I'm not saying you have to be all-in on the Knight theme, but you can't really be a control deck or even a midrange deck for this to be good enough. I'm keeping my own playset close at hand, but I'm not speculating on this one.

Muldrotha, the Gravetide ($8)

The effect is quite powerful, but the mana cost is too prohibitive for this to maintain its current demand. It is three colors and six total mana. It feels like a midrange trump akin to Seasons Past. It feels like a natural fit in a delirium deck, so it may often be the best thing to Reanimate in your Sidisi deck. I'm looking at you, Brian David-Marshall.

Jaya Ballard ($6)

I think Jaya is good enough and will play the centerpiece in a Big Red deck, perhaps splashing a second color. Her ability allows you to cast Sweltering Suns or Abrade immediately. She ticks up fairly quickly to her ultimate and has quite a bit of loyalty. Against a deck with lots of creatures, you burn them all out and then emblem Jaya to seal the game. Against a deck without a lot of creatures, you use her second ability to discard them all away to find new cards. And her first ability also allows you to go over the top with Fireballtype cards, most notably Jaya's Immolating Inferno. I also expect her to be a four-of or at least a three-of in the deck she goes in, which is a boon for her price. Currently hovering around $6, this is my pick for sleeper mythic of the set!

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain ($5)

Seems like a really fun Commander general and may also have some Standard demand, but a multicolor four-drop that dies to Abrade and does not leave behind any residual value unless played beyond turn four just seems too ambitious to me. If she were a 3/4 I might buy, but not as a 3/3.

Phyrexian Scriptures ($5)

The effect is powerful, but the delayed effect is a very steep cost. On the one hand, it's a Fumigate for one less mana that they will see coming and is thereby a reasonable effect, but on the other hand it is a Fumigate that can get countered by Ixalan's Binding. The latter is what will likely keep it from taking off.

Naru Meha, Master Wizard ($4)

In some cases it's Snapcaster Mage, but unfortunately those cases are going to cost a lot of mana. Wizards are a supported tribe and this is one of the payoffs, so I can see there being some amount of demand for this card, but I'm not too optimistic. Did I mention it's a four-drop that dies to Abrade?

Weatherlight ($4)

The effect on this one is fairly powerful, and the body is pretty reasonable considering it has flying, but crew three is a pretty steep cost. Generally the successful vehicles have been the ones that come down on turns two or three, preceding the creature that crews it. The one exception has been Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, but that one had an immediate impact on the game with its damage trigger when it enters. The best the Weatherlight can do the turn it comes down is block. It wouldn't surprise me to see this show up on a few deck lists, but I'm selling.

Demonlord Belzenlok ($4)

Not my cup of tea, but then again I don't even drink tea. I certainly don't look forward to playing against this, especially in Limited. It generates immediate card advantage and has a powerful board presence. It likely won't have more than one home if that, but I think it could see some play.

Darigaaz Reincarnated ($4)

Game-ending creature, but that's about what you would expect from a tri-color seven-drop. If a reanimator deck takes off I'm on board, but if instead we're trying to cast this the hard way, I'll pass.

Verix Bladewing ($3.5)

I actually like this card quite a bit and I think it will see Standard play. It survives Abrade, although it competes for space with Rekindling Phoenix. The latter is probably the biggest hurdle to Overcome. The fact that it doubles for seven mana makes it essentially a mono-color Broodmate Dragon // Thunderbreak Regent split card. Granted the double Dragon side costs one more than Broodmate Dragon, but at $3 I'm buying.

Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar ($3)

In Modern you have fetches to make it grow, but in Modern you also have Knight of the Reliquary for half the cost. In Standard you have Carnage Tyrant, which I can't imagine playing this over. It does have reach, but I suspect if I pull Multani from a booster the only thing I'll be reaching for is the bulk bin.


Shalai, Voice of Plenty

I already mentioned Shalai in conjunction with Lyra, but I think Shalai has many applications aside from her synergy with Lyra. I'm not surprised she is presently the chase non-mythic of the set as I do not see that changing in the near future.

Steel Leaf Champion

Llanowar Elves are the reason this pointy-eared Woolly Thoctar is as hyped as it is. I suspect it will be a four-of in one deck and see no play anywhere else. That one deck has to really be great in order for it to stay at this price. Definitely a strong card, but narrow applications due to its mana cost.

Cabal Stronghold

Only good in mono-black, although I suspect it will be a four-of in that archetype. Much like with Steel Leaf Champion, its price will entirely depend on how good the one deck it fits into is.

Thran Temporal Gateway

Well, this is certainly one way to get Darigaaz onto the board and I suspect this will find a few Commander homes, but I'm not holding my breath on this being the next Aetherworks Marvel. By the way, this just happened:

Gilded Lotus

This is one of the safer long-term pickups, but I suspect it won't have a ton of Standard applications.

Firesong and Sunspeaker

Multicolor six-drop without any residual value if killed immediately? Too steep a hill for me to climb, but at least the effect is powerful and the six toughness gives it some hope of survival. Could be a cool singleton general.

Traxos, Scourge of Kroog

It's colorless, it's huge, just about any deck will be able to turn it on… but wait, it's an artifact, so it still dies to Abrade. Does anything survive Abrade these days?

Sulfur Falls
Woodland Cemetery
Isolated Chapel
Hinterland Harbor
Clifftop Retreat

This cycle is the safest pickup. They will all be Standard staples for the next two years. Enemy lands seem to be where it's at since we still have the Concealed Courtyard cycle to go alongside them.

Josu Vess, Lich Knight

I'm buying on Josu Vess at $3. Reasonable card for four mana and absolutely bonkers when kicked. You need basically seven Swamps and one Cabal Stronghold or six Swamps and two Cabal Strongholds to cast this with kicker. That doesn't sound that hard.

Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle

I like Teshar except this bird cleric competes for space with Shalai while also dying to Abrade. Casting Mox Amber immediately after casting Teshar seems pretty sweet though.

Goblin Chainwhirler

I could see this as a one-of in Legacy Goblins to find with Goblin Matron. It dies to Lightning Bolt, so it's unlikely good enough for Modern. In Standard it provides value when trading with Abrade, and it's also in the same color as Abrade which means unlike with the other four creatures in the cycle, you can easily play this alongside Abrade. It may very well be the best replacement for Rampaging Ferocidon in red decks. I like it, but I'm not super high on it.

Helm of the Host

Way too much mana investment to get Abraded in response to the activation to equip. Why is this $3? There must be something I'm missing.

Torgaar, Famine Incarnate

If you can produce enough tokens, I could see this being good. I don't know what such a deck would look like, at least in Standard, but perhaps in Modern this can happen?

Naban, Dean of Iteration

I wrote an entire article about Naban last week. Suffice to say I think the card is good enough for Modern, let alone Standard.

Karn's Temporal Sundering

Time Warp is good enough. Paying one extra mana to bounce something seems reasonable. Needing to have a legendary creature or planeswalker may be the requirement that makes the cost too steep though. Having six mana and still not being able to cast your six-mana Time Walk is a very low floor.

Blackblade Reforged

This is no Hero's Blade, nor does it pass the Abrade test.

Benalish Marshal

Sold! Great with Knights, Thopters, Servos, Vampires, Soldiers, or just any old creature Craig Wescoe puts in a deck. Expect to hear more from me about this card in the near future.

Marwyn, the Nurturer

She has upside, but she is the reverse of Elvish Archdruid in the bad way and doesn't even give your other Elves a bonus. Maybe the best way to use her is to independently pump her power by some means other than casting Elves?

The Antiquities War

Not exactly Tezzeret the Seeker and competes for space with Karn at four mana in the artifact deck. I'm guessing this one will not work out.

Dread Shade

Definitely seems reasonable in the mono-black deck.

The Mending of Dominaria

Five mana is too much for this effect.

Lich's Mastery

Is this finally a playable iteration of Lich? Perhaps, but six mana is a lot. Definitely one of the handful of cards in the set with the highest potential to be broken, but I'd have to see it to believe it.

Grand Warlord Radha

Cast, immediately attack with Radha and another creature while producing enough mana to cast Abrade or a pump spell? That sounds powerful. And she passes the Abrade test. I can definitely see this one being a hit.

Fall of the Thran

I suspect the thran will fall all the way into the bulk bin.

Yawgmoth's Vile Offering

This is a powerful effect in that you can use discard to strip a creature or planeswalker out of the opponent's hand and this use this to Reanimate it onto your side while killing another one of their creatures or planeswalkers. It costs five mana, so it may not be a four-of in the decks that want it, but I'm still buying. Cards that begin with "Yawgmoth's" have a track record of being really powerful and this does not look like an exception.

Aryel, Knight of Windgrace

I highly doubt you'll see this played in any competitive REL events.

Rite of Belzenlok

This is actually pretty cool. It combos with Famine Incarnate" href=", Famine Incarnate&ref=storehover">Torgaar, Famine Incarnate and is basically a delayed Lord of the Pit for four mana. I don't know if it's cool enough to see play, but cool nonetheless.

Squee, the Immortal

Not the easiest creature to deal with, but also pretty low impact as a vanilla 2/1 for 1RR. Until I see a good use for Squee, I'm selling.

Jodah, Archmage Eternal

Fist of the Suns meets Lightning Angel? Not exactly, but that dance club he's at looks fire.

Sylvan Awakening

It's a much politer form of Rude Awakening. Without being able to untap the lands used to cast the spell, however, I'll be hitting the snooze button on this one.

Precognition Field

Maybe there is an Izzet deck with this and Jaya Ballard?

Kamahl's Druidic Vow

Reasonably powerful effect, but not exactly Genesis Wave.

Oath of Teferi

This is actually a really cool effect. Not sure it will see play over Teferi in Standard, but this effect is too unique and strong not to find its way into someone's deck somewhere. Activating planeswalkers multiple times a turn sounds really good. This one could be a sleeper.

The Mirari Conjecture

That's a whole lot of setup. Hopefully we're not dead by the time it happens.

Urza's Ruinous Blast

It exiles, which is promising, but it doesn't hit The Scarab God. It is one-sided though, which means you can play all legends and planeswalkers and just use it to wreck your opponent's board. I'm buying this one at $1 as a potential sleeper.

Territorial Allosaurus

Juzam Djinn just ain't what he used to be, but this time if we have seven mana he fights something. I'm more excited about Verix Bladewing, but I wouldn't be too surprised if this sees play. My guess is that Ripjaw Raptor is better, but perhaps both can see play together in a Dino deck?

Tempest Djinn

Ok, I'm buying on this one. It seems everyone believes this is the worst of the cycle, and it may very well be, but it's an improved version of Serendib Efreet if you are mono-blue. Casting this on turn three and then Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp on turn four seems really powerful. Could this be the return of mono-blue? I'm willing to invest $8 in a playset of each before it's too late.

Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp

See Tempest Djinn.

Primevals' Glorious Rebirth

Seven is a lot of mana, but if you can pull it off, this is game-ending caliber power.

Siege-Gang Commander

First we get a (mono-green) Woolly Thoctar, and now we get Siege-Gang Commander. Is this set designed to get Brian Kowal back to the grind? I hope so. It may be time for a boat brew 2.0.

Evra, Halcyon Witness

I do not expect this to evra see play.

Jaya's Immolating Inferno

I'm buying as I think this is going to be great with Jaya Ballard, which I am also buying.

Daring Archaeologist

Is it time to dust off the old Inventor's Goggles? I sure hope so!

Forebear's Blade

I really hope to someday see a card printed in a future un-set named "Four Bear's Blade" that involves four bears ice skating.

The First Eruption

Probably overshadowed by Goblin Chainwhirler, but I believe this is actually a pretty reasonable sideboard card if you can utilize the mana ramp.

Haphazard Bombardment

Too much mana for something uncertain.

Kazarov, Sengir Pureblood

Pureblood? More like pure garbage.

Two-Headed Giant

I'm happy this card exists, but I wish it were a little more powerful.

Verdant Force

Likely not as good as it was back when we had Survival of the Fittest and Recurring Nightmare to get it onto the battlefield, but it's a nice piece of nostalgia nonetheless.

Mishra's Self-Replicator

Do you score extra points if you fail both sides of the Abrade test?

Sleeper Recap

Mythic Sleeper: Jaya Ballard

Non-Mythic Sleepers:

Jaya's Immolating Inferno
Oath of Teferi
Tempest Djinn
Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp
Urza's Ruinous Blast

Happy Investing!

Craig Wescoe