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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
May 23 2018 12:00pm
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

> summary <

 It was bound to happen since a long time, but it's fitting that it did in the year Magic: The Gathering celebrates its 25th Anniversary: Dominaria, which marks the debut of the new Three-and-One model (meaning it will be one and done, with no follow-up), is set in the eponymous plane that had been the setting of the game for the first 10 years of its existence (barring some brief excursions on Rath and Mercadia that were still linked to Dominarian events). Since Mirrodin and the dawn of Modern Magic, no set had ever returned to the original plane, with the exception of Time Spiral block, which was however an experimental set with parallel universes, temporal distortions and such, not really about checking in to see what was going on back there. Therefore, Dominaria is really the first time such an ancient setting is finally re-acknowledged and made a focus of the story in a way that feels nostalgic but also structurally different than in the past, when for all intents and purposes Dominaria felt like the home to every protagonist of the story, rather than just one plane among many, and each block would in turn explore a different part of it without directly referring to the whole.

 So now we're back from outer space, quite literally: many decades have passed, and a new generation of heroes has replaced the old one. Except for those who in the meantime have become planeswalkers, like Karn and Teferi, or are essentially deathless, like Multani. But nothing says "we're home" like the sight of the glorious Weatherlight sailing the skies once again, this time with a new captain, or actually the original captain, Jhoira, who essentially became near-immortal because she was too pretty to age. But historical flourishes are all over Dominaria. Many cards reference names of places and people from the past, from cards with attributes like "Benalish", "D'Avenant", "Keldon" or "Llanowar", to other representing the descendants of familiar characters like Sisay, while the old characters themselves are immortalized on the new Saga enchantments, like Triumph of Gerrard or Song of Freyalise. And on top of all of this, the most remarkable return of all: Magic creator Richard Garfield as part of the Dominaria design team!

 As said, Dominaria being the original setting of the game, it doesn't have one specific "planet city" flavor, as it's made by a series of vastly different continents, more or less like real Earth. The quantity of involved tribes is noteworthy, as 60 is akin to reprint set number (for comparison, of the last three large sets, Kaladesh touched upon 47 different types, Amonkhet 38, and the more tribal-oriented Ixalan 29). Indeed Dominaria reprints many more cards than usual (possibly as a consequence of the Three-and-One model), and lacking definite tribal themes (with the possible exception of Fungus), it goes wide with the tribes, featuring large numbers of new additions only for true classics like Human, Warrior and Wizard, plus Knight, which definitely evokes the old times, back when White Knights would go to battle against Black Knights. Other tribes that feel ancient are Cyclops, Homarid, Thrull, Unicorn and especially Kavu, which is indeed a native species of Dominaria.

 The set also sports a newfound focus on legendary cards (not just permanents anymore), with a whopping 44 of the creatures in Dominaria having the legendary supertype (while only 13 have the artifact type), and debuting a new dedicated frame for the occasion.

   

 Before starting to analyse the new creatures and their tribes (as always, the focus is on all the Constructed applications, the tribes are listed alphabetically, and you'll find a hypertextual list at the end), I want to offer a consideration about the Three-and-One model, i.e. the fact that from now on all the sets will be self-contained entities. I immediately supported the change, because all the reasons for it felt strong and sensible. Something that didn't occur to me at first, though, is that in the process we've lost a clear sense of the story. I know most people don't care about that, and I myself don't usually read the storyline material, but that's exactly why I was able to surmise a general idea of the narrative from the cards themselves, and especially from the way the cards would subtly or blatantly change between the opening set and the follow-up (or follow-ups, before Metamorphosis 1.0). I could tell the Phyrexians won the war on Mirrodin and transformed the plane, and I was aware of Sarkhan's time travel routine on Tarkir. But here, I just see what the peoples and leaders of Dominaria look like, I don't have any perception of anything actually happening. And I'm afraid this is something we've irremediably sacrificed with the new model.

 Infodump


Angel: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 143, online: 142

 Related Tribes: Artificer

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: She's back! Baneslayer Angel is in Standard again! Well, maybe not exactly Baneslayer Angel, but Lyra Dawnbringer is close to a functional reprint of the old Walletslayer (although, except for a brief moment after release, she's far from the insane price her former comrade commanded. Different times). Some might even say she's strictly better, considering protection from Demons and Dragons was always very situational (in current Standard she would only have to deal with Glorybringer, at least until October), whereas giving lifelink to other Angels, like, say, Angel of Sanctions, might prove a strong boost. Being legendary is generally a hindrance, because you can't field more copies at once therefore you'd hardly want to run a full playset, but it's now also a way to exploit historical mechanics like Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage's universal flash, and to allow for the casting of legendary nonpermanent spells. All in all, this Reya Dawnbringer's granddaughter is a mainstay in Standard, and a finisher to be at least considered in Modern if historic becomes a thing.

 Shalai, Voice of Plenty actually complements well Lyra, because you want an extra layer of protection on your big lifelinker, and at the same time, Shalai becomes a stronger presence with Lyra's boost. Being legendary is a more of an issue for her, because this way you can't lock the hexproof. But she's useful in superfriends decks, and she comes with a bonus Gavony Township effect for just 1 mana more. Plus, she only costs 4, which is a more than honest price for what she does.

 After all this sensible design, the third legendary Angels of Dominaria (and yeah, of course they're ALL legendary) is the quirky one of the family. Tiana, Ship's Caretaker is a Johnny Angel that wants you to exploit turning all auras and equipments into Rancor-like recursive stuff. How this is done is up to you; playing it straight, as in just waiting for the opponent to try and remove the cards, doesn't seem worth the bother of 5 mana, including red, for an unimpressive body. But I'm sure there's a Tiana deck out there just waiting to come into existence, though it'll probably be just a Johnny marvel of sort.


Ape: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 23, online: 20

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Grunn, the Lonely King is one of many cases in Dominaria where the legendary supertype shows up at uncommon, to sustain the various "legends matter" mechanics from the set. He's also an example of the returning kicker mechanic. And he has a kind of super-exalted that applies to himself only. For 9 mana, you get to attack with a 20/20! But yeah, they're still 9 mana, and it's still a vanilla 20/20, so I'm not enormously impressed.


Archer: +2

 

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 New Tribal Total: 74, online: 69

 Related Tribes: Elf, Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: These two Archers (who are apparently shooting in the exact same direction) care for the two main mechanics of Dominaria: historic and kicked spells, respectively. Hallar, the Firefletcher is the more interesting, though I don't know how many times that ability is expected to trigger, especially in the short term (kicked spells tend to happen later in the game). Still, it's a legendary 3/3 trampler for 3 mana, in Gruul colors; it could make a modicum of sense.


Artificer: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 105, online: 100

 Related Tribes: Angel, Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The Artificer tribe highlight an obvious fact about the new keyword historic: it's going to be mostly about artifacts, because artifacts, and especially cheap artifacts, are more commonly seen on the battlefield than legends, and certainly than sagas, at least so far. In fact, Daring Archaeologist plays well within some kind of affinity deck, where she's bound to become big; too bad she's too expensive to really matter there. Diligent Excavator seems more likely to be included as some wincon in a deck that infinitely (or near-infinitely) recurs artifacts.

 Rona, Disciple of Gix (Gix was a lackey to Yawgmoth that gave his name to several cards like Claws of Gix, Ring of Gix and Priest of Gix, but only appeared in Vanguard) is a good way to immediately brings back that Mox Amber you discarded, but her activated ability appears clunky, even with library manipulation. Jhoira, the poster girl for the entire set (along with her planeswalking buddies Teferi and Karn), used to traffic in suspend cards, back when she was called Jhoira of the Ghitu in Future Sight. But now that she's the captain of the refurbished Weatherlight, as her new card Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain succinctly summarizes, she has become a more straightforward presence on the battlefield, just drawing you cards when you cast historic spells. This of course means she could be crucial in affinity; it remains to be seen if 4 mana of two different colors aren't too much of an issue in those kind of builds. And if you just chose to rely on legendary and saga spells to trigger her, I don't know if she'd be worth it, considering she's just a Hill Giant otherwise.

 Finally, it should be mentioned how the other combo-friendly Artificer, Tiana, Ship's Navigator, is the first Angel with a "class" different from Warrior (most Angels don't need a job, clearly). Also, these five new Artificers are all women, which is cool, but also somehow bizarre.


Assembly-Worker: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 5

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: And this is how the Assembly-Worker tribe got to five members. I still don't understand why this tribe has to exist to begin with (they're just Constructs, for Urza's sake), except as an overextended homage to Mishra's Factory. Something that Mishra's Self-Replicator doesn't even try to hide, giving us the first rare Assembly-Worker, a 2/2 for 5 that might proliferate later if you cast other artifacts and whatnot. I still don't think it's such a meaningful target for Self-Assembler, but it's not like there's that many options.


Avatar: +4

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 72, online: 67

 Related Tribes: Elemental

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: All Avatars in Dominaria are legendary, which is something that plays into the set's theme but also something the tribe delivers effortlessly, because if we're being honest, all Avatars kinda feel like they should be legendaries, even when they're not (this is a big issue even Mark Rosewater has with this supertype, which has been used inconsistently over the years, due to its occasional interference with the game's mechanics and power levels; according to MaRo, it should have been relegated to a merely flavor-based role a long time ago).

 We get another return of an old character in Multani, the wise ally of Gerrard and co. who was absent since the release of Multani, Maro-Sorcerer in Urza's Legacy. Where his previous incarnation's body was as large as every card in every player's hand, Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar's power and toughness, for the same casting cost, are based on his controller's lands (so more like Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer), both on the battlefield and in the graveyard. This means he'll probably be smaller than the older version at first (especially in multiplayer), bigger in the late game. He also acquired trample to better put all that power to use in penetrating the opponent's defenses, while the Maro-Sorcerer could be blocked by anything with no harm done. That one had shroud, though, which felt particularly relevant at the time (it also meant he couldn't gain trample from stuff like Rancor, though he could via universal trample providers like Nylea, God of the Hunt). Sure, Neo Multani has a (very slow) way to come back from the graveyard, but he can still be exiled, in which case, the 6 mana invested would amount to bupkis. I'm not really seeing him as an improvement, or even as finisher that called for mythic status, albeit he's certainly a more contemporary design, what with shroud not being a thing anymore. I'm not sure I grasp the difference between "power and toughness are each equal to the total number of" and "gets +1/+1 for each", which are both state-based wordings still in existence in the Oracle texts.

 The other mythic Avatar, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, feels definitely more of a big deal. It's also 6 mana, but in the three colors of the Sultai combination, which makes it less easy to hardcast. However, its rule text is as simple as it is game-changing, pretty much resulting in a sort of continuous Yawgmoth's Will for permanents. As I said, big deal indeed. Even just allowing one permanent recasting per turn would be enough for Muldrotha's presence on the battlefield to be dangerous, but this way, you can replay a fetch land, then recast the creature that was killed and the aura it was holding, then the artifact you sacced and the planeswalker that perished. Muldrotha might not do much with its own vanilla body (which is large enough, anyway), but hell if the opponent doesn't have to remove it asap or face inevitability pretty soon. It seems particularly good in a reanimator/soft dredge deck that dumps a lot of stuff on the graveyard for Muldrotha to get back.

 Evra, Alcyon Witness is a huge gamble: you wait for it to deal combat damage (or even better, connect), then you do the power switch and if everything goes as planned, you end up with, say, a 20/4 lifelinker and 24 life. If things go south, though, you're pretty much just killed yourself (unless you had another 4 mana to switch it back). It's cute, but it's also a crazy stunt to pull off, and if you ignore that, you're just playing an overcosted 4/4.

 Torgaar, Famine Incarnate also deals with life totals, by turning one of them into half the starting total. Which is tricky, and admittedly stronger in formats where the starting total is higher, like Commander. It's a fixed number too, so in most formats it just means it can set one life total to 10 (I don't know why it specifies "rounded down": are they imagining custom formats where you start with an odd life total?). It's versatile in a way, because you can use it on yourself in conjunction with something like Death's Shadow, or if you've dropped below 10. And you aren't even forced to use it at all, in a pinch. Plus, Torgaar can double as a sacrifice outlet, turning into a beater that costs as little as 2 mana. I have respect for Torgaar's whole deal, he's a cool guy. In the end, these Avatars make the tribe look good in Dominaria.


Beast: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 346, online: 341

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Just run-of-the-mill common kicker. Not terrible, but there's no way you would ever play a 4/4 vanilla Baloth for 4 in any format where Obstinate Baloth is legal.


Bird: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 227, online: 216

 Related Tribes: Cleric, Soldier

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: For some reason, Dominarian Birds are all about historic spells (when they're not just filler). Nothing particularly effective even in historic decks, as Jhoira's Familiar is too expensive for its mana reduction to matter. The rare Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle might be good, but it requires some serious deckbuilding alchemy, because you need a lot of historic spells and a lot of low CMC creatures. So Robots.dek comes to mind, but once again, that archetype would hardly care for a midrange white card. Then again, some combo deck a la Eggs might be in the making here, since it's direct onto-the-battlefield recursion we're talking about after all. At the very least, I see Teshar shows up in a couple Standard decks with Scrap Trawler and Walking Ballista played straight.


Cat: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 163, online: 148

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Hey, this is the first monoblack humanoid Cat that's not undead or demonic since Mirage's Purraj of Urborg (remember that one? No? I didn't think so). I thought they had decided the Catmen were inherently non-black-aligned. This one is riding some sort of pteranodon, sporting a red cape, and doing two random, unrelated things (self-milling and lifegaining) in a not very memorable way, due to its common-obliged casting cost. By the way, I dislike the white common symbol very much. I find it confusing.


Centaur: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 52

 Related Tribes: Druid

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Can it be worth it to include this guy in your deck so you can kick it in late game and gain 10 life for 8 mana? Let me think about it for a second. Okay, I'm going with no.


Cleric: +7

   

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 360, online: 335

 Related Tribes: Bird, Human, Minotaur

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The Minotaur duo Firesong and Sunspeaker is just a more expensive, less effective take on Balefire Liege, but it made the headlines because it's only available as a Buy-a-Box promo, something that WotC used to do back in the time with cards like Nalathni Dragon, Windseeker Centaur or Sewers of Estark (remember that one? No? I didn't think so), and promised never to do again, and with a card that's formally part of a given set no less. This generated some controversy, with WotC promptly promising to reprint it at some point, like it did with cards like Arena, Giant Badger and Mana Crypt (I'm sure you remember that one).

 What of the Clerics that you can actually open in Dominaria boosters, then? Well, there's the potential Egg-combo-enabler Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle, and not much else. Whisper, Blood Liturgist has a powerful effect, as she (I think? Hard to tell for sure, but that looks like a woman's dress to me) can resurrect any creature from the graveyard by just tapping herself; it's a terribly slow and fragile proposition, though. And apparently she grew up in the Sewers of Estark (remember those now?)

 Niambi, Faithful Healer is also only found outside of the regular boosters, in the Teferi-lead planeswalker deck. She's a very specific tutor for Teferi, Timebender, which is not the Teferi you want.


Construct: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 119, online: 118

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: That's a bunch of mostly irrelevant Constructs. Like, Skittering Surveyor is a strictly worse Pilgrim's Eye. And it's hard to find a meaningful interaction for Guardians of Koilos, since it costs 5 and doesn't even have flash. Traxos, Scourge of Kroog is the very first legendary Construct (can you believe it?), and it's one of those creatures that are relatively cheap and big but you need to find a way to untap. The best way is possibly Voltaic Servant, which is actually the only real star here, as it interacts with things way more relevant than Traxos, stuff like Steel Overseer and, you know, Time Vault. It seems like a 2-drop you might want to incude in your Construct deck.


Cyclops: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 20

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: That's very flavorful (did you get it? The Cyclops has one eye, so he struggles to fight with more than one foe at a time), but also pretty stupid to play with. Which is flavorful again, I guess.


Demon: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 93, online: 90

 Related Tribes: Elder

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: So we finally completed the quartet of Demons that Liliana made a deal with. And basically only Griselbrand has got an appropriately scary card incarnation. Both Kothophed, Soul Hoarder and Razaketh, the Foulblooded were disappointing, and now (Demonlord Belzenlok) even more so, considering he's supposed to be the strongest of the four, and he's planning to take over the multiverse, rewriting history with himself in the role of both Yawgmoth and Dakkon Blackblade, and he's the head of such renowned evil places or organizations as the Cabal, the Stronghold, Urborg, and the Ebon Hand. And then on the battlefield all he does is just making a pathetic attempt at a very specific Ad Nauseam? Meh.

 Also, is it me, or each of those Demons except for Griselbrand has a silly-sounding name? (Yeah, this one reminds of Beelzebub, but that's also silly-sounding, to be honest).


Dinosaur: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 83, online: 82

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: It's good to know that Dinosaur is now a supported tribe across the multiverse, rather than being just an Ixalan thing. And this guy is pretty decent, maybe a bit underwhelming for a rare, but playable.


Djinn: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 44, online: 43

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Tempest Djinn (which references Tempest Efreet, of course) is the worst member of the cycle of Dominaria creatures that cost three mana of one single color. It's generally a strong cycle, but our Djinn here has very limited applications, since he's only playable in a monoblue deck with lots of basic Islands, and he drops as a 3/4 flyer on turn 3, which isn't bad, but isn't great, either. Then he grows, but takes a lot of time to become really worrisome. I prefer Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp, a Mahamoti Djinn that can drop on turn 4 if you have an artifact around to tap for him. Which is flavorful, you see: you rub the lamp! Still, I would have liked for them to do something involving wishes, but I guess they had already burned that concept with the disappointing Djinn of Wishes.


Dragon: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 174, online: 167

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Both the (obligatory?) Dragons from Dominaria are references to past cards. The Jund-colored Darigaaz Reincarnated is, as the name plainly states, the reincarnation of Darigaaz, the Igniter from Invasion (also known as Rhammidarigaaz, but maybe only his grandmother calls him that). And he's able to reincarnate again and again, provided he's not exiled, of course, which is something that's likely to happen even in Standard, due to cards like Seal Away and Cast Out. Add the fact that the reincarnation process is pretty slow, and I don't think Rhammi is going to replace Dragonlord Atarka as the best Natural Order and Green Sun's Zenith target in the form of a Dragon. Though he does hit for 7 right away, potentially.

 Verix Bladewing and his token brother Karox Bladewing are Rorix Bladewing's grandchildren or something. Their ancestor would hit harder and faster, but they're versatile enough, one Dragon for 4, two Dragons for 7. The latter cost ends up being more expensive than Broodmate Dragon's, but in only one color, and with the option not to go Double Dragon if you aren't in the condition to wait (poor Karox, though, always the one who's left behind). Plus they're a couple of legendaries, which matters for historic mechanics and legendary nonpermanents. Not an incredibly awesome card, but solid.


Drake: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 78, online: 77

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Oh look, Drake got a meaningless filler. Who would've thunk?


Druid: +4

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 161, online: 157

 Related Tribes: Centaur, Elf, Merfolk

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: The two Elvish Druids are mana producers, as one would expect. Marwyn, the Nurturer is the kind of "reverse lord" a la Champion of the Parish, where she's the one who grows bigger thanks to the fellow tribesmembers, rather than vice versa. But then she also produces more mana in the process, which is a tricky design, because you should want to attack with a big creature but you're pushed into tap her for mana instead. Then again, you get a more tactical creature this way, at the same time beater and ramp. I don't think she can really replace Elvish Archdruid in Elfball builds, but it's probably safe to include one or two copies of her. Also, she's apparently a midwife that becomes stronger the more babies deliver? That's a novelty concept.

 As for kicker enabler Elfhame Druid, I feel she would be truly amazing as a 1-drop, but I imagine they don't want to ever create a strictly better Llanowar Elves (and its various functional reprints). In a kicker deck, if that even exists, it's likely a must-include. Her flavor text tells us that the Kavu are Elves' pets, while making us think they're going to be a big deal in Dominaria, even if they're really not.

 The Merfolk lady Tatyova, Benthic Druid has an extremely powerful ability. I mean, a life and two cards for every fetch land you crack? That's just nuts. And she essentially eliminates all lands from your deck, because they all replace themselves. Of course 5 mana of two colors is not cheap, and she's easily boltable, but it's one of those Simic cards (e.g. Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, Prophet of Kruphix, Progenitor Mimic) whose power level is so insane it outweighs their limitations. Also, Druid is another tribe where all the new additions are represented as female. At this point, it's gotta be deliberate.


Elder: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 17

 Related Tribes: Demon

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Man, Belzenlok is also the only one of the four Liliana Demons that gets the Elder type. Maybe he contributes more to an Elder deck than he does in a Demon deck. At least he's monocolored, so he goes along with (the vastly superior) Tetzimoc, Primal Death.


Elemental: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 381, online: 374

 Related Tribes: Avatar, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Two of the new Elementals are also Avatars (the boundary between the two tribes is always tenuous), with Muldrotha being great and Multani so-so. Gaea's Protector is just good in Limited, though.


Elephant: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 47, online: 46

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Bonus points go to this guy for not being an entirely vanilla kicker. They're not that many bonus points, though.


Elf: +7

   

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 333, online: 318

 Related Tribes: Archer, Druid, Knight, Scout, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: After sitting out both Amonkhet and Ixalan blocks, the Elves see some forward movement in Dominaria. Aside from the kicker helper Elfhame Druid and a few other unremarkable fillers (sorry, (Llanowar Scout), if you're not going to be a 1-drop, you lose to Sakura-Tribe Scout), we have Marwyn, the Nurturer, who certainly present herself as an important addition in the same vein as prototypical ramp enablers like Priest of Titania and Elvish Archdruid. The main problem with Marwyn, though, is that she's a 3-mana card that doesn't do much when she first enters the battlefield. She doesn't just need other Elves, she needs them to drop after her, which makes her less effective. On the other hand, she doubles as a beater later on, so she might find some room in the very crowded lineup of Elf ramp builds, and maybe even more fittingly in Elf aggro.

 What certainly feels like a new, explosive staple of aggro decks, and not just tribal-based (albeit necessarily green-based, like Stompy), is Steel Leaf Champion, the strongest entry in the three-mana cycle, and one of the truly outstanding creatures in the set. It's all achieved through simplicity: the Champion is just a beefy beater for an outrageously low cost (it's the same total body as Stompy star Leatherback Baloth, but more oriented on damage), with the additional, crucial ability of dribbling chump-blockers. A Steel Leaf Champion showing up on turn 3, if not even on turn 2 thanks to Llanowar Elves (as currently seen in Standard), instantly becomes the highest priority headache for the opponent.

 Speaking of Stompy, the archetype gets officially invited to go Gruul in order to play Grand Warlord Radha (the hunkier version of (Rhada, Heir to Keld)). She's surely a great card on paper, swinging with haste and potentially producing a lot of mana to add even more creatures to her side of the battlefield in the postcombat main phase. She definitely has an immediate impact on the board. After trying her out a few times, though, I can say she's less impressive in practice than she looks. She typically joins the party when the cheaper creatures on your hand have already dropped, and being forced to attack to get the mana doesn't guarantee the ramp will happen in every circumstance. She finds herself in a strange grey area: she's too slow for monogreen aggro, which doesn't like the red splash anyway; and she's not consistent enough to be part of more dedicated ramp decks, which either won't have the mass of creatures to trigger Radha for significant amounts, or they'll have mana dorks that don't want to risk an attack. Still, she has haste and a decent body, might prove useful somewhere.


Frog: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 21, online: 20

 Related Tribes: Spirit

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Leave it to Dominaria to introduce the second legendary Frog after The Gitrog Monster (an excellent creature that unfortunately never found a home). Yargle, Glutton of Urborg is a strange vanilla creature with a unique distribution of power and toughness. This fact doesn't make it very attractive, though. Then again, it's a Frog.


Fungus: +6

  

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 40, online: 39

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: Saproling Renaissance! The little suckers and their Fungi procreators are back with a few relevant cards. The monoblack ones are decent but not amazing. The green ones are all helpful, starting from the straightforward lord Sporecrown Thallid, the tribe's Muscle Sliver, capable of making the whole team more threatening very early on. It's faster than Thelonite Hermit, and more inclusive than both him and Thelon of Havenwood. Not to mention, in-tribe, for once.

 Yavimaya Sapherd is a nice two-for-one (all right, un-kicked Saproling Migration does the same for one fewer mana, but the Sapherd is a 2/2). And Slimefoot, the Stowaway is the second, more high-profile lord, creating a Saproling for each 4 generic mana you dump into him, and then acting as the tribe's Blood Artist (except the wording talks of damage rather than loss of life, I wonder why).

 And outside the tribe itself, Dominaria offers more cards for the Fungus enthusiast. For starters, Verdant Force got reprinted with new art (I wish they had found room for Saproling Infestation as well; not that it's a great card or anything, but it'd nicely put together two of the themes of the set). There's the mentioned Saproling Migration, which is a solid spell able to create up to four Saprolings for 6 mana, while Spore Swarm creates three of them for 4 at instant speed, and Fungal Infection grafts one of them to a mini-removal spell. None of those is probably as good as Sprout Swarm, but they're all pretty playable. Even more interesting is Fungal Plots, which tries and improves on both the classic Night Soil and the multicolored Necrogenesis. And I guess it does so, provided one is not interested in having it double as graveyard hate. Also, all these Saproling-related cards have gorgeous art.

   

 Furthermore, this seems like a good occasion to revisit Rivals of Ixalan's Tendershoot Dryad, which makes for one of the best off-tribe lords for the Fungi's offspring, and shares a Standard environment with all of the abovementioned cards now. She's sort of a miniature Verdant Force, but somehow better in a Fungus deck, because she pumps all Saprolings by two, and it's self-evident that obtaining the city's blessing is a piece of cake in Fungus tribal (it takes about two turns just with the Dryad on her own!)


Giant: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 136, online: 129

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: When I read this card's name, I was like, "Wait a minute, isn't Two-Headed Giant the name of a card from Alpha? It's the one who gives the eponymous format its name!" But no, that one's actually called Two-Headed Giant of Foriys. In a case that runs contrary to what usually happens, it took us 25 years to have a creature that actually simplifies that name down to a generic one. It's also a revival of the coin tossing mechanics. At least now both referenced outcomes are positive. In fact, they're both extremely positive for an attacker (of course half the times the toss will come up as neither double heads nor double tails, which results in nothing). Considering this guy is a honest 4/4 for 4, he's not bad. Not consistent enough to be relied upon as a good midrange beater, but not bad.


Goblin: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 309, online: 295

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Three little Goblins in Dominaria. There's the triumphant comeback of Weatherlight's cabin-hand Squee, who now doesn't limit himself to just return to hand from the graveyard, as per Squee, Goblin Nabob; now he's Squee, the Immortal, and can be re-cast again and again no matter where he ends up. It's a different ability, don't know that it's better, since the Nabob was great for paying discard costs like Survival of the Fittest's. The Immortal looks more like a pest, but it's a good way to make sure to always have a creature on the battlefield, though not as easily as in the case of Bloodghast or Gravecrawler.

 Goblin Chainwhirler is a solid member of the Triple Threats, a cheap 3/3 first striker designed for RDW decks that could also wreaks some minor but potentially crucial havoc on the opponent's team. I feel like this one might actually see play. As for Bloodstone Goblin, it's another in several instances of "kicker matters" mechanics where they seem to treat them as something that triggers roughly in the same way as prowess does. But it's a miscalculation, because kicked spells happen in the mid-game at best, and at that point these kinds of fast little creatures won't have many chances to pull their weight anymore.


Golem: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 103

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Nothing to report from the Golem's side of things, if not that Teferi's Sentinel, as its name and mechanic suggest, comes directly from Teferi's planeswalker deck. Or maybe Howling Golem, as a sort of Howling Mine on legs, could actually be useful? I feel like it would be if the effect wasn't linked to the combat phase. The way it is, it's not bound to last long if it's more to the Howling Golem's player's advantage.


Homarid: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 7, online: 4

 Related Tribes: Scout

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Now, that's a veritable blast from the past. Homarid was a small crustacean tribe from Fallen Empires (its most well-known member being Deep Spawn), so we're talking late 1994. It got a new member in Alliances two years later, and then another in Time Spiral, which had "blast from the past" as its entire shtick. And now this one, which is just a forgettable mill effect, so it seems clear they brought the subtype back uniquely for nostalgic reasons. The weird lobster men now amount to a grand total of 7 specimens, all monoblue, but their abilities are all over the place, so it's very hard to understand what they're even supposed to do as a tribe.


Hound: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 66, online: 63

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: This is Chandra's pet (a gift from Jaya Ballard?) from her planeswalker deck. In its rule text, we can note the new use of "this creature" in place of what previously would have been the repetition of the card's name.


Human: +43

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 2076, online: 1888

 Related Tribes: Archer, Artificer, Cleric, Knight, Rogue, Shaman, Soldier, Warrior, Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Irrelevant

 Highlights: The Human overpopulation is particularly rampant on Dominaria, due to many of those historic characters being human beings. There's nothing reinforcing their tribal interactions, at least.


Kavu: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 42

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: So, Elfhame Druid's flavor text talks about the Kavu and their bond with the Elves, and the fact that they're a species that's native of Dominaria (they've only appeared on Invasion block, then had a minor reprise in Time Spiral block), and that they're especially linked to the kicker mechanic (they're apparently able to adapt to the environment), made us expect they'd be a major presence in the set. Or at least, greater than just one meager card. Regardless, Untamed Kavu is a strictly better version of the already sound Kavu Titan, both being Grizzly Bears that can be kicked up to a 5/5 trampler for 5. Untamed Kavu also comes with vigilance, and has trample in its smaller form as well, and its kicker cost is all generic mana. A pretty solid card, even considering creature standards have dramatically increased since Invasion.


Knight: +13

   

   

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 232, online: 215

 Related Tribes: Elf, Human, Vampire, Zombie

 Impact of the New Additions: Severe

 Highlights: I'm featuring all the new Knights from Dominaria (except for the vanilla Knight of New Benalia) because I think it's the most interesting tribe of the set. In fact, none of these are entirely without merit.

 Top dog is Steel Leaf Champion, though a triple green Knight is not easy to accommodate in Knight tribal – and the Knights do enjoy some tribal mechanics, especially in Dominaria. Knight of Grace and Knight of Malice, for instance, play perfectly with each other on the same side of the battlefield, making peace between the historic White Knight and Black Knight from Alpha (and all the following versions). They're only protected against spells and abilities of the opposite color, but with the right setup they're 3/2 first strikers that don't require double colored mana, making for the backbone of a brutal "Orzhov Weenie" deck. And then Kwende, Pride of Femeref turns all that first strike into double strike.

 Aside from Steel Leaf Champion, the Orzhov pair marks the colors of all the Dominarian Knights, as particularly represented by the midrange lord Aryel, Knight of Windgrace, a Knight production factory that then turns all those freshly baked Knights into death for the enemy. Though the process is painfully slow, so don't expect to kill Ghalta, Primal Hunger anytime soon. The other Orzhov Knight, Arvad the Cursed, is a powerful anthem for legendaries, and also comes equipped with a couple of neat combat abilities, but for 5 mana, he's a bit of a latecomer to feel like a real punch. Although in Modern you can build historic decks on the strengths of fast legends like Thalia, Brimaz or Anafenza. And can you imagine a Geist of Saint Traft that is as strong as his Angel?

 Danitha Capashen, Paragon might also especially enjoy Arvad's presence. A descendent of the multiverse famous Gerrard Capashen, Danitha is a combat beast with first strike, vigilance and lifelink, only waiting for something to boost her base power and toughness. And oh look, she helps casting auras and equipments!

 Josu Vess, Lich Knight is possibly the best kicker in the set. A 4/5 with menace for 4 is already alright. But if you'll wait to hit 10 mana, you'll end up with NINE menace creatures, which is very close to good game in most circumstances. And think of the abilities that such a mass of entrants could trigger. Josu is definitely going to become a MBC favorite, and makes for a fun commander as well. And hey, he's Liliana's brother! You know the little Zombie that Liliana, Heretical Healer creates right before her planeswalker spark ignites? That's him! They grow so fast!

 Finally, Dauntless Bodyguard is a good way to protect a creature, though the fact that she needs to, essentially, soulbond with it negates her being a Savannah Lions (or you can look at it as two separate functions in one card). And Benalish Marshal is a Triple Threat (Knight got two of them) that Glorious Anthems your team, himself excluded. He might find a place in the WW curve, boosting that turn-2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (which would have caused Honor of the Pure to cost 3 mana anyway) and making a turn-1 Champion of the Parish even more effective.

 And speaking of Benalia and Knights, the tribe also gets its very own Saga, History of Benalia, which in the span of two turns (between the current and the one after the next) get you two vigilant Knights and a Knight-based, alpha-strike-worthy boost. Feels like a new must-include for Knight decks.


Leviathan: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 19, online: 18

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: This guy should be looked at as being CMC 10, because you really don't want to spend 8 mana for a big vanilla fish. It's interesting that to all the traditional marine megafauna (already referenced as a group in Quest for Ula's Temple and Whelming Wave) this effect also adds Merfolk. I think there's a better chance for Slinn Voda (how weird is it that a Leviathan has a first name and a last name?) to show up in a Merfolk deck than in conjunction with some Octopuses and Serpents. Not a fat chance, but some chance.


Merfolk: +4

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 199, online: 196

 Related Tribes: Druid, Soldier, Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Some new Merfolk come along, but after the high quality of the Ixalan flood, they were bound to feel underwhelming. The (partially) green one, Tatyova, Benthic Druid, is actually very powerful, but at CMC 5 I doubt she's something Merfolk decks will care about. On the other hand, Merfolk Trickster manipulates the battlefield at instant speed, and only costs 2, so it could make the cut. Sentinel of the Pearl Trident is Restoration Angel for historic permanents, if a tad too expensive. And Vodalian Arcanist is the occasional Merfolk mana dork, but being limited to nonpermanents has no bearing on Merfolk tribal, might make some more sense as a Wizard.


Minotaur: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 69, online: 68

 Related Tribes: Cleric

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: So, are these controversial Minotaur siblings a good card, after all? Compared to their inspiration, Balefire Liege, they cost more and require a more specific setup to work. They won't affect whatever you cast, you'll need burn spells and/or healing spells. Your Lightning Bolt becomes Healing Salve, and vice versa (I know this example is incongruous; who the hell plays with Healing Salve anymore? But it's the first thing that came to my mind somehow). It's a cool effect, but 6 mana are way too many to have to cast other spells in order to do something. This said, they nicely reference Hurloon Minotaur. In fact, it's what they are.


Ooze: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 24, online: 23

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: As an Ooze enthusiast, I was excited to hear we would get a new one, but unfortunately Corrosive Ooze is not what I had hoped for. Its only ability is very specific, very situational. Sure, it can destroy some juicy card, but you won't run it in the off-chance you're going to meet a sword or Batterskull, not even as a sideboard option. Plus, the Ooze would probably die in the process. Then again, you can look at it as Grizzly Bears for Ooze tribal. Cold comfort.


Orc: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 50

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Doesn't this ability come a bit out of nowhere? Is there even an artifact theme in the set? (And you're not going to feed this guy Mox Amber, Weatherlight or Damping Sphere). I guess the range of Orc abilities is still limited. Plus, it might just be the set's umpteenth comeback to an old-timey feeling.


Pegasus: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 12

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: I could swear Pegasi already did this very ability, but turns out I was thinking of Drakes and Aerial Guide. The winged horses had Cavalry Pegasus, though, which seems much better than this one. But hey, it can make Carnage Tyrant fly, can it not?


Phoenix: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 17

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: After the self-reviving Rekindling Phoenix, the tribe goes back to having to spend mana to bring back its specimens. Plus attacking with a bunch of creatures. Fair enough, but not one of the top Phoenices.


Rat: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 53, online: 46

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Rat did it one more time: it's Relentless Rats all over again! Or even better, because you don't actually care about the Rats' toughness? Not sure. Plus, these decks don't actually work without Thrumming Stone, do they? So the casting cost of the little suckers might be irrelevant.


Rogue: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 222, online: 208

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Both Rogues in Dominaria have to do with unblockable attackers. In particular, Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive wants to herald a new archetype populated by creatures with high power and minimal toughness. Like, she makes Ball Lightning unblockable. Does Ball Lightning need to be unblockable, though? Or Chandra, Flamecaller's Elementals? By the way, if you know who Toshiro Umezawa and Tetsuo Umezawa are, you don't need that awkward flavor text to spell out the connection with yet another character also called Umezawa. And if you don't know, you won't understand the reference anyway.


Scout: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 128, online: 121

 Related Tribes: Elf, Homarid

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Such terrible Scouts are these. As mentioned, Llanowar Scout would need to be a 1-drop like Sakura-Tribe Scout to be really effective. Shame on you, Elves, you let the Snakes outclass you on land matters?


Shade: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 27, online: 25

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: It's not that Dread Shade is not an effective beater in monoblack. It's that it's just a regular Shade. The only difference with Looming Shade, or even classic Frozen Shade, is that it's purportedly harder to cast (yet it's actually not, since we likely find ourselves within a monoblack deck) so gets higher basic stats. This means that, yeah, for all intents and purposes, it's a strictly better Frozen Shade. All the Triple Threats are just beaters with simple mechanics, but this is just a bit too much unimaginative for my tastes.


Shaman: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 350, online: 344

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Here some more 1-toughness dudes for Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive to turn unblockable. As a rule, the kind of creature that asks for the presence of other cards to even do something needs to carry real consequence when that something is finally accomplished, especially if the creature is otherwise not one you'd want to pay for (like a vanilla 3/2 for 3). Is a 3/1 token per turn, even empowered with haste and trample, enough to make Valduk, Keeper of the Flame desirable? Maybe it is. Maybe I'm looking at him wrong and this red Shaman is just a way to further enhance the impact of an equipment deck that already puts pressure on the opponent. And after all, if you follow up Lightning Greaves with this guy, you'll attack with an expendable, penetrating 3-powered critter on turn 3. Valduk requires a specific type of deck that might not even exist, but within such hypotetical deck (which I'm envisioning in Boros colors), he could be good enough.


Skeleton: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 45, online: 43

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: That's one way to emulate regeneration, isn't it? Including the tapping. Still, 3-mana regeneration, or equivalent thereof, is not really playable competitively.


Soldier: +4

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 604, online: 544

 Related Tribes: Bird, Human, Merfolk

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Nothing to write home about here, Soldiers. Baird, Steward of Argive offers a minor Ghostly Prison effect, and Sergeant-at-Arms can be three little creatures for 6 mana, for the situations when quantity is indeed more important than quality (if you often find yourselves in one of those situations, you might want to look into Spectral Procession or Timely Reinforcements. You'll get a kicker cost discount!)


Specter: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 20, online: 19

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: This is a big bad Hypnotic Specter, complete with random discard, and even adding a positive effect for when you hit an opponent with an empty hand and your proud Specter usually feels bad. The only thing is that you're not likely to invest 6 mana into a flyer with a fragile body and a slow clock. By the time this guy shows up, most opponents will already be without cards in hand, which is where the improved design kicks in, but in that case this is just a flyer who might draw you one card per turn, therefore a severely worse Bloodgift Demon. Nice try updating an old classic, though.


Sphinx: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 44

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Whoa, throwaway filler Sphinx? That's unusual and a bit worrying. Sphinges might not all be good nor playable, but at least they shouldn't feel so utterly irrelevant outside of Limited. They're the blue's honor tribe.


Spider: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 47, online: 46

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: We've come to this: to avoid reprinting Giant Spider, they added +1/+1 to its body and a one mana to its cost and called it a day. I love that it's the same cost and base stats of Ishkanah, Grafwidow, really highlights the chasm between commons and mythics under the New World Order.


Spirit: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 432, online: 427

 Related Tribes: Frog

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Let's see, we have a weird ghostly Frog (wait, is that art a reference to Slimer from Ghostbusters?), and two different ways to exploit historic cards. Lingering Phantom has a way to come back when you cast one (so you can enjoy your overcosted Fire Elemental again); and Sanctum Spirit essentially doubles as a discard outlet for those: was it a little lower on the curve, even at the cost of being smaller, it could have been useful as an enabler in Goryo's Vengeance or Loyal Retainers decks (or maybe not, you typically want your discard outlets to do something useful while they're at it, like drawing cards or killing stuff).


Thrull: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 22, online: 21

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Man, didn't Thrulls use to be small creatures, like Blood Pet or Thrull Surgeon? Yeah, this one is the largest ever, even more than Derelor and (Threasury Thrull). But it's also one of the dullest. And why they keep giving deathtouch to fatties? Was this expressly designed to chump-block Carnage Tyrant?


Turtle: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 11, online: 10

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Turtles have hard carapaces. This is the entirety of this guy's concept. But it could have been worse. It could have had the set of abilities of Horned Turtle.


Unicorn: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 13, online: 10

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Do these Unicorns come from the same place as Mesa Pegasus? Which is the Sacred Mesa, I guess? (They also have Falcons and Enchantresses there). Anyway, 25 years and 12 members since Pearled Unicorn in Alpha, the tribe now has a reduced casting cost and one keyword ability. It's an improvement. Think of where they'll be in another 25 years.


Vampire: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 205, online: 195

 Related Tribes: Knight

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Aside from the reformed, people helper Arvad the Cursed, they obviously jumped at the chance to reference the Sengir brand of Vampires. Yes, they came from Ulgrotha, the one-time setting of Homelands (which doesn't bring back pleasant memories to anybody), but they were on Dominaria, too. Kazarov, Sengir Pureblood came a long way since his simple ancestor Sengir Vampire: he grows by any damage on creatures, inflicted by anyone and anything (which is actually a bit iffy, flavor-wise), and he can even do that himself, with the assistance of some red mana. His casting cost is too steep to make him playable, though, considering his ability is very mana intensive. I can only picture him in casual Commander games, and even there, if you want a Vampire that kills stuff and grows bigger, just go with Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief or Olivia Voldaren. Girls do it better, even when they're undead.


Wall: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 118, online: 97

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: There can't be a callback set without a Wall, especially if it's one made of preposterous materials. I always maintained the existence of Walls as living creatures (a concept that is even contradicted by the specifics of Living Wall) was one of the inherent limitations of the game's mechanics. It makes sense for magic users to be able to conjure a wall to protect themselves, but the game didn't have, and still doesn't have, any tools to create objects that could join combat without being creatures (they could have been artifacts able to temporarily turns into creatures, a la Jade Statue, but it would cause too much text for each wall to bring along, and it would also made them stronger than intended).


Warrior: +15

   

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 624, online: 605

 Related Tribes: Ape, Cat, Elemental, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Human, Orc, Skeleton

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: There are many Warriors in Dominaria, but the only one that stands out is Shanna, Sisay's Legacy, who's Captain Sisay's proud descendant but also seems related to the token from Voice of Resurgence, except slightly harder to kill. Selesnya Aggro has a new friend. Among the others, there's solid stuff like Grand Warlord Radha, and more meh stuff like the Ape Warrior Grunn, the Lonely King, which I realize now might be a reference to Planet of the Apes, somehow. Keldon Warcaller tries to accelerate the Sagas, which I'm not sure it's something really necessary, but it's okay to have a way to do it. Garna, the Bloodflame looks good. She does three different things, two of which are not very common in her colors: surprise blocking through flash; rescuing of the fallen after a mass sweep; universal haste. She might be one mana too expensive to achieve greatness, though, considering she costs the same as Samut, Voice of Dissent, and is much less impactful on the battlefield.


Wizard: +15

   

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 639, online: 616

 Related Tribes: Human, Merfolk

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Wizards are also aplenty in this set, and generally more interesting than their Warrior counterparts. Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage is another of Gerrard's relatives, the new Weatherlight's resident mage, and the younger brother of Danitha; it's going to show up a lot in Standard, because he's one of the key components of the historic deck, making most everything there instant speed, including himself. Another flash wiz for 4 mana is the mythic Naru Meha, Master Wizard, a tribal lord that forks one spell upon arrival. I'm not liking her too much, though, as it seems hard to capitalize on her main ability in early to mid-game, because you need to have four open mana in addition to the cost of the spell you want to copy. Also, the Wizard tribe is not particularly in need of a simple stat boost. Both things aren't unwelcome, of course, especially in late game. But I much prefer Naban, Dean of Iteration (is it me, or does he look a bit like Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange?), who shares Snapcaster Mage's cost and body, and makes Snapcaster Mage trigger twice. Not to mention, anything else. In a deck aptly built, that ability can be brutal, and unlike Naru's, it's active since the early turns.

 There are several tribal synergies at play with these Wizards, anyway. Firefist Adept uses their numbers to kill stuff and Adeliz, the Cinder Wind gives them all prowess (she would be good in a Young Pyromancer deck, except neither Young Pyromancer nor his tokens are Wizards. Maybe in a Blue Moon build with Snapcaster Mage and Vendilion Clique?)

 Finally, Jodah, Archmage Eternal is strictly Johnny material, as he gives the option to make most spells in most decks actually cost more than they usually do. But give him a Cascading Cataracts/Chromatic Lantern shell and he'll cast Omniscience or Eldrazi Titans for 6 mana.

 By the way, one would think that being a (Tolarian Scholar) meant more than just being able to fight like an average bear with your bare hands. Is that what they learn at the Academy (be it the original or the other one)?


Wurm: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 84, online: 80

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: This is another great representation of the common-mythic divide, because this guy certainly is no Carnage Tyrant, despite sharing its cost and base stats. After they were absent from Masters 25, I would have expected something more for the Wurms in Dominaria.


Zombie: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 397, online: 389

 Related Tribes: Knight

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Weirdly enough, the presence of this one Zombie in Dominaria seems entirely incidental, Josu Vess, Lich Knight is, as his very name states, a knight that happens to be a lich, so the Zombie type was just inherent in his character description. It's a pity for such an iconic tribe, but not all the major subtypes could find room in any set, I guess, and it's probably for the better. Plus, Josu is very cool and very powerful.


SUMMARY

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 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here.


BEST IN SHOW
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TRIPLE THREATS
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KUMA'S TRIBAL EVALUATIONS