Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Oct 13 2022 10:12am
0
536 views


DOMINARIA UNITED COMMANDER

> summary <

 Dominaria United found a novel way to directly contribute to Commander, Legacy and Vintage (but especially Commander, as it's often the case with these additional products). Part of the deal comes from the two Commander decks set in the same plane at the same time, and featuring two new planeswalker commanders. Dihada, Binder of Wills marks the return of the ancient demoness Geyadrone Dihada, whose first story appearance dates back to the Dakkon Blackblade comics of the 1990s, and who is now aligned with the Phyrexians. Her deck is a "legendary matters" build. Her counterpart is the "five colors matter" card Jared Carthalion, depicting the contemporary, ascended version of another old comic book character, in turn aligned with the New Coalition.

 

 Concurrently, the 20 special box toppers from Dominaria United all bear the Dominaria United Commander set symbol and are only legal for play in Commander, Vintage and Legacy. They represent the "Legends Retold", reprising and improving on characters from the Legends set. All these call-backs are clearly framed within next year's celebration for the 30 years of the game, referencing various parts of its rich history.

 It's worth noting how two tribes that don't otherwise receive any new member are however gifted with powerful off-tribe leaders – namely Dwarf with The Lady of Otaria and Wurm with Baru, Wurmspeaker. The latter is part of a group of 8 additional cards (6 creatures plus Historian's Boon and The Mana Rig) that aren't part of the "Legends Retold" box toppers nor they appear in the Commander decks; they're only found in Dominaria United Set Boosters and Collector Boosters, but aren't considered part of the main set and share legality with the other Dominaria United Commander cards.

 

 So let's have a look at all these new creatures and their tribes, both from the two Commander decks and from the Legends Retold mini-set. Of course the focus is primarily centered on Commander and Tribal Wars. As always, the tribes are presented alphabetically, and you'll find a hypertextual list at the end.

 NOTE 1: In the reworked totals for each tribe, the cards from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate have now been counted as if all already online.

 NOTE 2: Alchemy cards, Acorn cards, and other non-tournament legal cards aren't counted toward the tribal totals.

 Infodump

  • Cards: 240
  • New cards: 48
  • New creatures: 37
  • Reprinted cards: 192
  • Reprinted creatures: 42
  • New Legendary creatures: 31
  • New Snow creatures: 0
  • New artifact creatures: 2
  • New enchantment creatures: 0
  • Triple-subtype creatures: 0
  • Creature types affected: 31
  • Tribes with more than 2 additions: Human (+16), Warrior (+5), Druid (+3), Wizard (+3)

Archer: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 94, online: 89

 Related Tribes: Elf, Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Severe

 Highlights: Here are two "Legends Retold" with the Archer type. Ohabi Caleria is the reworking of the old Lady Caleria. Let's immediately establish is utterly pointless to compare the new cards with their previous incarnations, because the legendaries from Legends were, in average, freaking terrible; and regardless, the two versions are separated by almost 30 years of both design development and power creep.

 The new Caleria (there's actually a bit of a continuity mess involving the character, who was originally printed as a Human and might or might not have been a completely different person back then) is actually the second Archer lord introduced in the game after Greatbow Doyen from Morningtide. A much cheaper lord at that, dropping at three and giving all our Archers card-drawing potential and the Seedborn Muse untapping – which is just pseudo-vigilance until we find a way to give some of our Archers a "tap to deal damage" ability, which would also synergize with the card-drawing clause. At any rate, it's a perfect fit for the unlikely but kind of viable Archer tribal Commander deck, and excellent in Archer lists in general. It's also worth noting how back when Greatbow Doyen was printed, reach wasn't a necessary fixture of the Archer subtype, the way it is now.

 Tor Wauki the Younger is a descendant of the original Tor Wauki, both linked to the offshot of the Umezawa clan that was exiled from Kamigawa to Dominaria after the Kami War. He's a somewhat too expensive five-drop with a powerful spellslinging trigger that can shock any target while giving us life. It's an effect that works better when blue is also available, though. The black-red setup might have been dictated by the older version – and unfortunately, back in Legends, the color of the legendaries didn't have a strong mechanical underpinning.


Artificer: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 147, online: 143

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Another one of the "Legends Retold". Still part of the Kamigawa enclave created by Toshiro Umezawa's extraplanar exile, the original Ayesha Tanaka was among the worst of the worst legendaries from Legends – a 2/2 requiring four colored mana, with freaking banding and the incredibly narrow ability to tap to tax an artifact ability requiring an activation cost (it's not wonder that card was never brought online). But Tanaka was the celebrated Umezawa armorer, so the new version gives us an attack trigger that finds artifacts and directly puts them onto the battlefield. It's actually a build-around deal, because the "size" of those artifacts is dependent on Tanaka's power, which suggests using Equipment to increase that value. The secondary text that makes her unblockable if the defending opponent controls at least three artifacts is bound to come into play in Commander, so her main ability will trigger more safely. She's not an aggressively costed commander by any means, but a dedicated Ayesha Tanaka, Armorer deck may pull off some nasty tricks, if slowly.


Assassin: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 71, online: 68

 Related Tribes: Human, Insect

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: With both new Assassins, we're still navigating the 20 "Legends Retold" box toppers. The master hitman Ramses Overdark returns as Ramses, Assassin Lord. This time, he doesn't just kill enchanted creatures; in fact, he doesn't kill anything, he just acts as an anthem for his class, then gives us a win condition that only works in multiplayer. Still probably not a super-attractive inclusion in most decks.

 The insectoid Xira Arien is also back in business – but it might just be a different character altogether, a theory the two wildly divergent outfits seem to support. The first Xira, who notably didn't feature the Assassin subtype, was a simple but surprisingly effective card-drawing engine, and is still a viable "good stuff" commander in Jund. Xira, the Golden Sting embarks in a more convoluted yet extremely flavorful way to extract value from opposing creatures by implanting eggs in them. In order to have them hatch into little Insect tokens that draw us a card, we have to find external ways to kill them, which is something of a bummer. The ability remains fun, though, and a 3/3 hasty flyer for four is not the worst investment anyway.


Avatar: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 84, online: 81

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The big fat monster of this whole Commander product, Primeval Spawn comes from the "Painbow" deck headed by Jared Carthalion. It's a gigantic five-color 10/10 that can wreak havoc on the battlefield and create huge life total swings thanks to its combat keywords. What's more important, it replaces itself with an equal amount of spells off the top of our library, no matter how it left the battlefield. The price to get all this bonanza it's to actually pay the ten mana of its cost, no cheats allowed. It's a Timmy/Tammy card if ever there was one, but it's serviceable as curve-topper for ramp decks.

 Back to the "Legends Retold", classic vanilla The Lady of the Mountain gives birth to the new incarnation The Lady of Otaria. So now we know which mountain exactly she was referring to, as she's supposed to be the living manifestation of the whole continent of Otaria, better known as the setting for the Odyssey and Onslaught blocks. She's not an equal-opportunity Avatar, though – despite Otaria being culturally diverse, she only cares about Dwarves. In fact, she's a terrific commander for Dwarf decks, allowing three of them to tap to pay for her mana cost, and then turning every fetchland (or any other sacrificed land) into more free Dwarves. Evidently the former Mountain moniker still holds true.


Cat: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 254, online: 244

 Related Tribes: Mercenary

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Jedit Ojanen was another of the baffling overcosted vanilla dorks from Legends. He already had a better incarnation in Planar Chaos with Jedit Ojanen of Efrava, and Dominaria United features his descendant Zar Ojanen, Scion of Efrava. Now Jedit Ojanen, Mercenary brings everything together for Magic's own tiger man, resuscitating the blue cost from the original while giving him an ability to create 2/2 Cat Warriors with forestwalk like the alternate-universe version used to do. For four mana, we can add a 3/3 and a 2/2 to the battlefield, which isn't a bad deal. It's also a decent ability for a more casual "legendaries matter" Commander deck in Bant colors.


Construct: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 154, online: 153

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: These two Constructs are the only new artifact creatures in this group of Commander-based cards (it's hard to call it a "set" when its components' release is so fragmented). Tiller Engine is from Jared Carthalion's "five colors matter" deck; The Peregrine Dynamo is from Dihada's "Legends' Legacy" deck. They're both fine. The Engine mitigates the use of taplands, though that's something a properly built Commander list shouldn't include in the first place. The Dynamo can duplicate an activated or triggered ability of a legendary we control other than our commander. It may have some use, but it's pretty narrow, hardly a card we would rush to put into our deck. But at least haste allows the copy business to start right away.


Demon: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 145, online: 139

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Yet another useless Legends denizen, the insignificant Lady Orca (which only later was established to be a Demon) is now given a new role, but not a new cost. For seven mana, Orca, Siege Demon is a trampler that grows in size when another creature dies, regardless of who was controlling it. And then she explodes upon death, dealing distributed damage equal to her power. The effect is typically strong, but the package is not very efficient at that cost, even for Commander.


Dragon: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 308, online: 303

 Related Tribes: Skeleton

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Each of the two preconstructed decks for Dominaria United Commander has its own Obligatory Dragon. Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant is from Dihada's "legendary matters" deck, and is part of the Bladewing brood. The Zombie Dragon Bladewing the Risen was a resurrected Rorix Bladewing; I'm not sure if this latest Skeleton version is supposed to be the same individual, just with less remaining flesh on, but he's still working with the graveyard. Only now, instead of reanimating a single Dragon card, he creates 2/2 Zombie Knights upon connection. They're as many as we have creatures in the graveyard, and they also have menace, so it's quite possible for the new Bladewing to generate inevitability in a single swing, if unopposed. He also has haste, like Rorix but unlike the previous undead version – perhaps in light of Skeletons being nimbler than Zombies. The cost is pretty steep, though, so he might only really work in dedicated self-milling strategies that are able to quickly fill the graveyard.

 The non-legendary Two-Headed Hellkite is the top finisher in Jared Carthalion five-color deck, alongside Primeval Spawn. For six mana, the Hellkite immediately swings for five and draw two cards. It's pretty much one of the most effective Dragon ever printed, almost the tribe's Dream Trawler, save for the resilience. Of course its strength is entirely predicated on the access to five colors, which isn't trivial, but it's not even too prohibitive in Commander.

 A third Dragon-based card comes in the form of a planeswalker included among the "Legends Retold" box toppers. It's a new version of Sivitri Scarzam, notorious for being just a strictly worse Craw Wurm in weird colors. They basically took a cue from the original artwork and went full-on with the Dragon theme, so Sivitri, Dragon Master can tutor up Dragons and her ultimate is a sweeper that doesn't touch Dragons. Her colors don't include red, so they aren't ideal for the commander of a Dragon tribal deck, but she can still do a decent job at that, given the available range of Dimir Dragons.


Druid: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 268, online: 264

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Baru, Wurmspeaker is the long-awaited actualization of Baru, Fist of Krosa from Future Sight (in turn a descendant of Kamahl). Released in the group of cards that only appear in Set Boosters and Collector Boosters, it doesn't exactly "close the circuit" by actually printing the future-shifted prediction – but it's adjacent enough. The original was able to create Wurm tokens via grandeur (which is probably the reason why it wasn't directly reprinted, as grandeur is a deprecated mechanic; plus it would be entirely useless in singleton formats). The Wurmspeaker's affiliation goes beyond that, by being a full-blown Wurm lord. Granted, the anthem might just be meant as a way to make his own Wurms larger and more threatening; and after all, most good Wurms don't need neither the bonus nor the trample. In any case, the static ability is there, while the activation is worded in such way as to become of a negligible cost if a Wurm is already on the battlefield. To be honest, Wurm decks can probably make without Baru, but he's a decent token generator all the same.

 The other new Druids include Jenson Carthalion, Jared's young descendant who plays into his ancestor's "five-color matters" strategy by filtering for WUBRG and creating Serra Angels when we cast a WUBRG spell. One of the most tongue-in-cheek among the new cards is Jasmine Boreal of the Seven. See, Jasmine Boreal was just a vanilla 4/5 for five, essentially a harder-to-cast, color-shifted Earth Elemental. So the new Jasmine becomes a veritable champion of the vanilla dorks, helping to cast them and making them difficult to block. It's little more than a curiosity, but it's amusing enough.


Dwarf: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 105, online: 97

 Related Tribes: Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: As his ability gives away, Cadric, Soul Kindler is another addition from the "Legends' Legacy" deck. He's what's defined as an "echomage", capable of making temporary copies of legendary permanents and disregarding the "legend rule" while doing so. It's a very specialized ability that only works within specific builds, and probably doesn't affect Dwarf decks very much.


Elemental: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 502, online: 494

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Dominaria United Set Boosters and Collector Boosters give us a chance to open this new Maro-Sorcerer (which once again embodies a character from semi-obscure ancillary products published in the Nineties). These Elemental creatures are a fixture of Dominaria forests, acting as their protectors. The first of them we got to meet was none other than Force of Nature from Alpha, but the first to have a body linked to the number of lands we control was Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer from Invasion. Greensleves doesn't have trample, but she's much cheaper than Molimo, and creates 3/3 Badger tokens (the first time this token type has been used) every time we drop a land onto the battlefield, which can quickly get out of hand if left unchecked. She also comes with a couple of truly unusual protections that won't matter the vast majority of the times, but sure are flavorful.


Elf: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 509, online: 495

 Related Tribes: Archer, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Alongside the new Caleria, the Dominarian Elves get to improve another terrible legend from Legends, the infamous Marhault Elsdragon. Now a general, and equipped with a more sensible cost/body ratio, Marhault still has an ability akin to his old rampage. In fact, it's basically a super-charged rampage: 3, as it applies to all our creatures and also counts the first blocker – which was the fatal flaw of the old, now abandoned keyword. It's more or less just a way to discourage blocking, but it can be very effective in go-wide strategies, when all our 1/1s require a 4/4 to be traded with – and sooner or later, the opponent will have to stop the assault somehow.


Griffin: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 52, online: 51

 Impact of the New Additions: Severe

 Highlights: Basically out of nowhere, as part of Dihada's Mardu-colored deck, this incredibly powerful Griffin lord shows up. Most Griffins are white, and all of them fly, so Zeriam pretty much doubles our team at every attack, potentially reaching critical mass in very little time. Granted, it doesn't make a monowhite Griffin tribal Commander deck all that more likely to strike anybody's fancy. But maybe just a bit.


Human: +16

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 2948, online: 2742

 Related Tribes: Archer, Artificer, Assassin, Druid, Knight, Mercenary, Pirate, Samurai, Scout, Soldier, Warrior, Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Irrelevant

 Highlights: Alas, a good chunk of the Legends that are Retold were Human to begin with. So, yeah, that's more than half of the new creatures belonging to the usual, annoying super-tribe. Groan indeed.


Insect: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 188, online: 184

 Related Tribes: Assassin

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Both Xira Arien and Xira, the Golden Sting wear fancy dresses, but their styles seem quite different, with the former looking more like a fairytale courtier and the latter like an adventure-seeking socialite from the 18th century. In both cases, the fact that they are humanoid Insects make them even more striking.


Knight: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 352, online: 339

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: From the "legendary matters" deck comes this Knight that grants every other legendary menace and, more importantly, draws us a card every time we cast a legendary spell – but also when we play a legendary land, which isn't usually covered by this type of effect. It encourages the inclusion of as many such lands as we can muster, making Shanid a more interesting candidate for the commander seat than he would otherwise be.


Kobold: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 12

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: The Kobolds keep adding legendaries to their (still minuscule) ranks. There's a whole saga now, with the historical patriarch Rohgahh getting a brand new card, this time granting his conspicuous bonus to all other members of his tribe, not just those named Kobolds of Kher Keep.  Gone is also Rohgahh of Kher Keep's ridiculous upkeep cost that threatened to make all our Kobolds switch sides with the enemy. Instead, Rohgahh, Kher Keep Overlord creates Dragons when we cast Kobolds, and Kobolds when we cast Dragons, suggesting a dual-tribal build that's clearly meant to reference the symbiotic tyranny of Prossh, Skyraider of Kher.

 And while Rohgahh had a feud with his own son Rograkh, previously made into a card in Commander Legends, now we also get to meet (if only in Set Boosters and Collector Boosters) their descendant Rosnakht, another one in a long line of outlandish names, bringing us closer to the minimalist cost the Kobolds are most known for. Rosnakht, Heir of Rohgahh isn't quite a zero-mana spell, but for one mana we the classic 0/1 body, a way to gather more Kobolds via heroic, and then battle cry to capitalize on this go-wide attitude. All these little guys fit together snugly, and might as well translate into some version of a tribal deck that for once is not all about abusing their infinitesimal costs to produce combo shenanigans.


Mercenary: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 43, online: 39

 Related Tribes: Cat, Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: The Mercenary subtype is in itself a blast from the past. Introduced in Ice Age, it had its peak proliferation in Masques block, which still accounts for more than 72% of the tribe. Before this new duo, there were only three Mercenaries first printed in the Modern frame, the most recent being Crown-Hunter Hireling from Conspiracy: Take the Crown, while the last Mercenary from a premier set dates back to Ravnica: City of Guilds in 2005.

 And now we find out Jedit Ojanen was secretly a Mercenary all along, while also getting a Set Boosters/Collector Boosters extra with Robaran Mercenaries – which is not particularly good (I guess figuring out which combination of activated abilities to abuse is a Johnny/Jenny challenge) and somehow was left out of the "legendary matters" deck despite being in the right color and having text that's basically only relevant in that kind of list.

 Thinking of it, it's strange for Mercenary to have been so downplayed over the years, as the term designates a widespread occupation that hardly sounds like the peculiarity of a single plane. Maybe the plan is to bring the Mercenaries back into a string of regular or at least occasional appearances. However, the gritty world of Streets of New Capenna should have been a perfect fit for the tribe, but their presence there didn't materialize.


Merfolk: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 256, online: 252

 Related Tribes: Noble

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: A Merfolk lord that doesn't pump its peers is not going to find room in the already overcrowded Merfolk lists of Legacy and Modern. Steady token-making and especially the Vizier of the Menagerie ability are a good fit for Commander, though. Unfortunately, even in that environment Emperor Mihail II (another Set Booster/Collector Booster exclusive) has to compete with heavy hitters like Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca and Svyelun of Sea and Sky. Being a successful Merfolk is a hard road to walk. Or swim over.


Noble: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 60, online: 59

 Related Tribes: Merfolk

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: Yeah, an Emperor is a Noble. (Honestly, I'm still pissed that King Darien XLVIII was robbed of his natural subtype). By the way, I just realized that the Merfolk of Dominaria are styled as Russians. This guy's full name is Mihail Stovorod. And Tatyova was already leaning in that direction. It is truly bizarre.


Phyrexian: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 249, online: 247

 Related Tribes: Shapeshifter

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Set Boosters and Collector Boosters include this lone Phyrexian addition. It's a black Clone, which isn't something you see every day. But it has to wait for a creature to hit the graveyard before being able to do anything at all. Body Double this ain't.


Pirate: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 119, online: 109

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: Here's another "Legend Retold". This time it's the turn of Ramirez DePietro, finally looking like a proper Pirate man rather than a Takarazuka performer (to be fair, the original flavor text did state he was "flamboyant"). (It never helped that he has two last names, one Spanish the other Italian, and no first name. Boy, it's really not a mystery that the designers of Legends went with the random, improbable names of their D&D campaign. We're lucky we didn't end up with a Willy Whizbang or a Sir Hackalot).

 Now that he adopted the very dry epithet of "pillager", Captain (?) Ramirez has taken the Treasure-making ETB of a real modern Pirate, with ambition of being a true lord to them all, because he gives them a Thief of Sanity ability – well, not one for each, but one that triggers collectively, which is still pretty good. The body of this new version is the same, but he's not a first striker anymore, and that's a pity, because it would make attacking more appealing for a 3-toughness creature. Still a big deal for a Pirate, and essentially costing us only half of turn four.


Samurai: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 62

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Ayesha Tanaka is not the only "Legend Retold" from the Japanese side of Dominaria. The clan champion Tetsuo Umezawa is also back in a newer, better form. To be fair, the original was already a three-mana 3/3, and had a powerful if clunky activation. The reworked incarnation turned into a surprisingly narrower "Equipment matter" card. If Tetsuo is Equipped, he shoots arrows (presumably) to any target or lets us cast a spell for free. The effectiveness of both triggers strictly depend on how expensive is the Equipment we attached to him, and if that doesn't immediately spell "Commander card", nothing does. Chishiro, the Shattered Blade is the only other Samurai that (partially) cares about Equipment, and it's in the wrong colors. Tetsuo really wanted to be Boros, anyway; we can thank the utter randomness of the color distribution of Legends for that.


Scout: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 162, online: 154

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Those first two sentences awkwardly makes Fallaji Wayfarer playable in decks that care about having permanents of many colors yet aren't headlined by a WURBG commander. I'm not sure why it needed to be set up that way, but the somewhat idiosyncratic result is that this is "a green card of all colors". Perhaps the most interesting thing about it, once again playing into the demands of a heavily multicolored build, is the universal convoke to spells of more than one color. Bottom line is that, in the correct build, the Wayfarer is a three-drop mana dork that taps for any color of mana, but also defends well. And the acceleration achieved by curving out with multicolored creatures can also be significant. Not much about all of this, if anything, has to do with Scouts, I'm afraid.


Shapeshifter: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 115, online: 112

 Related Tribes: Phyrexian

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Activated Sleeper was given the Shapeshifter type because it's a clone of dead things. But the real star here is the Legend Retold The Ever-Changing 'Dane. Well, maybe "star" is too much praise; at the end of the day, it's just a Vesuvan Doppelganger that can only copy creatures we control, and it even kills them in the process – something that's only non-terrible if we plan some hijinks that involve a sacrifice outlet and possibly reanimation. But hey, at least it makes for a more interesting ability than the pathetic body-jumping of the original Halfdane.


Skeleton: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 64, online: 61

 Related Tribes: Dragon

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: We already discussed how Bladewing is now a Skeleton, possibly due to the aging of his undead body. Skeleton decks won't ever run a seven-mana Dragon that generates Zombie Knights, anyway.


Soldier: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 770, online: 709

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: We're nearing the end of the "Legends Retold". The shockingly dull Tobias Andrion, who managed to be strictly worse than both Fire Elemental and Earth Elemental at once, is now transformed into Tobias, Doomed Conqueror, who plays as a sort of Azorius Caller of the Claw – he just has to respond to a sweeper rather than follow it.

 Torsten Von Ursus (man, did Masters Edition III seriously reprint the full monty of these useless Legends boneheads?) loses vanilla status to become Torsten, Founder of Benalia, because that's apparently who he actually was all this time. This rediscovered historical importance is reflected by the new card being a seven-drop 7/7 that draws us up to seven cards and is replaced by seven 1/1s when he dies. Not too shabby.


Spirit: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 574, online: 564

 Related Tribes: Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Moira, who's a member of the "Legends' Legacy" lineup, aims to use her saboteur ability to reanimate something we sacrificed during the precombat main phase. It's a neat trick that can easily abuse ETB triggers, but it needs three simultaneal external setups: an efficient, reusable sacrifice outlet; a worthy sacrifice target; and a battlefield clear enough for menace alone to ensure free passage for Moira. Otherwise, well, she has two points of toughness. It's not hard math.


Vampire: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 338, online: 333

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Verrak comes from the "Legends' Legacy" deck and at first glance it appears to be just a glorified Vampire Nighthawk. The only reason to endure the extra color and lower toughness is if we can find some use for its non-keyworded ability. In order to do that, we need an activated ability that's not a mana ability, requires a payment of life, and is duplication-worthy. It turns out there's one that every Commander, Legacy and Vintage deck is bound to use: the sacrifice of a fetchland. There are several others, of course, the juiciest probably being Yawgmoth, Thran Physician's card-drawing cum murder.


Warrior: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 903, online: 880

 Related Tribes: Elf, Human, Kobold

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Kobolds and rampaging Elves apart, the Warriors in this extended tour of Dominaria make us revisit two more "Legends Retold", both token-themed. The old Hazezon Tamar was actually one of the few playable legends from the namesake set, capable of going wide like nobody else in his time. Hazezon, Shaper of Sand takes the more specialized route of being linked to the Desert subtype (he's some sort of Bedouin chief, after all). If desertwalk is essentially flavor text, the deck Hazezon wants to be in runs as many Desert lands as it can (which would be 16 in Naya colors). Under his watch, each Desert can be replayed from the graveyard, which synergizes with half of them having sacrifice-based abilities; every time we do so, we also create two Warrior tokens, complete with the historical Sand subtype, which never really made a lot of sense – it's just an attribute here, it should have been hyphenated, like Assembly-Worker.

 Stangg was also not entirely awful back then, even if a couple of 3/4 bodies isn't worthy six mana anymore. Hence Stangg, Echo Warrior being mostly a retouched version of the old card, now costing just four mana. The "twin" ceases to exist after each combat phase, but it also copies any Aura and Equipment the OG Stangg happens to be carrying, which might not be super-relevant but it's a nice bonus.


Wizard: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 919, online: 895

 Related Tribes: Dwarf, Human, Spirit

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: A "Legendary matters" Dwarf, a reanimating Spirit... this Wizard trio is certainly diverse and unusual. As is the last of the "Legends Retold", Rasputin, the Oneiromancer. In spite of his problematic real-world name, Rasputin Dreamweaver ranked among the very best of the original legends, his insane mana boost alone made him a popular commander. In fact, it's telling that the new version is actually toned down. The mana-producing dream counters aren't seven anymore, they're the number of our opponents, so between one and three in most circumstances. They also have the downside of gifting a 1/1 Goblin to each opponent. Also, Rasputin has to tap to generate mana, which is much clunkier than the original. The only improvements are the reduced casting cost and the option of turning a dream counter into a 2/2 Knight with protection from red, to stop those pesky Goblins in their tracks. All in all, the new Rasputin doesn't measure up to the previous incarnation. It's a testament to the enduring power of certain creatures of old: in early Magic, most of them were terri-bad, especially compared to today's standards; but the few that stood out were really really good.


SUMMARY

> top <

 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here.


KUMA'S TRIBAL EVALUATIONS