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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Jun 20 2018 11:00am
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Man, I loved Dominaria. I said it just about every week in this column, but looking back, it is definitely going to go down as one of my favourite limited formats of all time. Every colour pair was playable and the format so deep that I am still itching to play it more. The same can't be said of many formats in recent times.

Normally, I play about 20-30 limited events for each format (sometimes less if I dislike the format, like Ixalan, for instance). I would play more, but time and money constraints play a part. However, for Dominaria, I played over 50 limited events. I actually skipped doing things like watching my favourite TV shows in favour of it (and man, I have some shows to catch up on!)

With Core Set 2019 spoilers now coming out, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at Dominaria and go over what I liked, what I disliked, and generally review this fantastic set.

What Did I Like Most About The Format?

I touched on this above, but it was the fact that there was so much depth and that every colour pair was playable. There were aggro decks, midrange decks and control decks; build around cards that sometimes got there and sometimes didn't; and generally just something for everyone.

What Did I Dislike Most About The Format?

To be honest, there isn't much. The one thing I could lament was how shallow of a colour red was at common; this made it one of the weakest colours by a fair margin, though red decks could still be good if no one else was drafting it.

What Were The Colour Pairs I Drafted The Most?

  1. Black/Green
  2. White/Blue
  3. Blue/Black

Black/Green wins this by quite a margin: I played with this colour pair 15 times. Many of the pros had either this or Blue/Red as the best colour pair, and early in the format I thought they were right; many of the times I had decks of these colours was early on. 

However, toward the end of the format I had a lot of success with White/Blue flyers and then gravitated towards that deck. In fact, White/Blue was my most successful colour pair, with a 69.6% win ratio. By the end of the format, I had it as the best colour pair - at least for me, anyway. Black/Green wasn't far behind it, with a 64.1% win ratio. 

Blue/Green was the colour pair I drafted the least, only having it one event and going 1-2 with it.

What Colours Did I Draft The Most?

  1. Black
  2. Blue
  3. Green
  4. White
  5. Red

This list is probably not all that surprising. The Sultai colours were the best colours in the set and are the top three drafted colours here. I had the most success when playing green, and the least when playing red.

What Ended Up Being The Best Commons Of Each Colour?

This is an important question, as when we look back on Dominaria when it comes back for flashback drafts, we will want to know what the best commons were. Here is my top three commons of each colour.

White: Pegasus Courser, Blessed Light, Gideon's Reproach

Blue: Cloudreader Sphinx, Blink of an Eye, Divination

Black: Eviscerate, Vicious Offering, Windgrace Acolyte

Red: Shivan Fire, Ghitu Chronicler, Fiery Intervention

Green: Grow from the Ashes, Llanowar Elves, Saproling Migration

Colourless: Skittering Surveyor, Jousting Lance, Bloodtallow Candle

This is a useful "commons only" pick order for the set. Seeing some of these cards coming late was a good indication that the colour was open and you should probably be moving in on it.

What Cards Will I Miss Playing With The Most?

  1. Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage
  2. The Eldest Reborn
  3. Slimefoot, the Stowaway

Let's briefly talk about each of these cards. Raff Capashen was such a fun card to play against. While it was in play, your opponent had no idea what to expect. You could flash in an Icy Manipulator then tap a creature end of turn to set up an alpha strike; do the same with any legend to suddenly have a blocker; and so much more. With a Raff in play, it was extremely difficult for your opponent to attack.

You could even flash in cards like The Eldest Reborn. I loved this card from the start. There was nothing more satisfying than playing a removal heavy black deck, killing your opponents bomb then getting it under your control with this card. I was even able to live the dream of resetting it with the chapter three trigger on the stack via a Sentinel of the Pearl Trident.

Now we come to Slimefoot. If you like long, grindy games, Slimefoot's your guy. He is just pure value, and with other Saproling makers he was fantastic.

What Cards Won't I Miss

  1. Icy Manipulator
  2. Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar
  3. Cold-Water Snapper

These three are probably somewhat self-explanatory. Icy Manipulator was just a card that every deck wanted, and that was going to be the pick 1 pack 1 95% of the time. It was just one of those cards that took no brains to know was good, and it was very annoying to play against.

Multani is the same, as is probably the best card in the set. It's just impossible to deal with outside of exile effects and, while there were certainly some of these in the set, I never seemed to have them in my deck when my opponent had Multani. It was almost impossible to beat.

Cold-Water Snapper is a similar card; I really dislike hexproof on big creatures as, again, it makes them almost impossible to deal with outside of combat. I never lost a game in which I cast On Serra's Wings onto the turtle, and I did it many, many times.

What Were My Most Drafted Cards?

  1. Vodalian Arcanist
  2. Tolarian Scholar
  3. Aesthir Glider

A lot of the time, the most drafted cards from a set are the dregs that no one wants. For Dominaria, these are all somewhat playable cards. I valued Vodalian Arcanist highly from the start, so I am not surprised it ended up my number one card. It is a card that went up in people's rankings as the format went on and ended up being a solid playable.

Tolarian Scholar was a card I got a lot of late, but was actually playable in Wizards decks. As for Aesthir Glider, I overvalued that card by a lot at the start of the format; I correctly surmised that evasion was important in Dominaria, but this was not the right card for the job.

What Cards Do I Regret Not Getting To Play With?

There is actually not a lot; I played so many events I got to try most of the cards I would want to. I never opened a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria or Karn, Scion of Urza, so I would probably say those two.

Actually, there is one card I would have liked to try to build a deck around but never found the courage to: Lich's Mastery. I had it many, many times, but never summoned the courage to build around it.

Finally, What Would I Rate The Set Out Of 10?

9.5. Yes, the set really is that good. I have enjoyed Dominaria a lot; almost as much as I enjoy Vintage Cube, and that's saying a lot as I think Vintage Cube is the best draft format period. I'm going to have fond memories of this set and wish it was going to be around for another month or two, as I still think I would be happily drafting it then.


 

That's going to do it for this week. I hope you enjoyed this look back at Dominaria. Next time, we will start having a look at Core Set 2019!