Last weekend marked Dominaria's first week of Constructed legality. There was a team Open, a Standard Classic, and a Standard PTQ on Magic Online—between those three events there were plenty of Dominaria cards flying around on camera. Let's dive in.
Tendershoot Dryad is great (or terrible, depending on your perspective) because it's an obvious play on Verdant Force and a much better version of the card. And then they reprinted Verdant Force! If you really want to go hard in the paint on Saprolings, between Verdant Force, Tendershoot Dryad, and Sporecrown Thallid, Standard's got the tools.
I was wondering when Llanowar Elves was going to hit the Top 10. SPOILER ALERT: This card is never going to leave the Top 10, forcing me to think about new crap to say about this obviously great card every Monday morning for the rest of eternity. I'm not looking forward to it.
Thankfully, there is an answer to Llanowar Elves: Goblin Chainwhirler. Unfortunately, Goblin Chainwhirler doesn't really address any of the creatures Llanowar Elves powers out, and by the time Goblin Chainwhirler comes down, Llanowar Elves has already powered out some large doofus creature. Chainwhirler's probably great against the Sram's Expertise go-wide decks, though!
Sagas are still tough to evaluate. They can be clunky, and mostly require a fair bit of setup. The Spark Notes method of evaluating them is figuring out what you need on the battlefield with them during chapter two to make them good, and how likely that battlefield is to materialize. This equation sounds complicated on the page, so I'll give an example: Song of Freyalise needs a good amount of green creatures on the battlefield to get the most out of its chapter two ability. Since this is typically what a green deck wants to do—deploy creatures—Song of Freyalise doesn't require you to drastically change the design of your deck (however, you could, and Song of Freyalise would probably be awesome). So what you'd need on the battlefield with Song of Freyalise is a bunch of creatures. No problem—that was what we wanted to do anyway. That means that the likelihood of that battlefield coming together in a green deck is high. So, yeah, I like Song of Freyalise. I also think the card has much more potential than "make your creatures good for a turn" as a build-around. We'll see. The Standard season is young.
Cast Down's another Dominaria uncommon that didn't get much love this weekend. It's a cheap removal spell, but its drawback is going to be substantial in an environment where all the best endgame threats are all legends.
Last weekend, Merfolk Trickster found a home in a bizarre "flash" deck that took advantage of Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage to play all its spells at instant speed. Merfolk Trickster was right at home here, and its wizard subtype gave it added value alongside Wizard's Retort.
When I pulled up this week's sales spreadsheet and saw Lich's Mastery in the Top 10, I was PUMPED. Finally, I thought, these cowards are willing to game with REAL power. Then I looked up what decks it showed up in this weekend: zero. It's still a sweet card, though, and at a market price of one dollar, now's probably as good a time as any to pick them up.
Benalish Marshal is sweet. I built a deck around it because I thought it would've been sweet in a deck I used to play in Junior Super Series qualifiers back in 2004. I even made a video about it:
Time to make up some boilerplate for Rat Colony, because it's going to sell well for a very long time:
Cards like Relentless Rats and Rat Colony sell well for two reasons. Reason One: Casual players love them, and casual players make up the vast majority of people that buy Magic cards. Reason Two: The nature of them—you can play as many in a deck as you want and multiple copies make each other better—means that each order that contains them will probably have way more than four copies in that order.
See you next week.