As many may already know, Dominaria is the next set on the horizon for Magic: The Gathering. This set brings an additional layer of excitement and nostalgia as it returns to the plane where Magic began (yes, you guessed it–-the name of that plane is Dominaria). Typically when a new magic set is announced, Wizards of the Coast might release one card to start the hype, rumors, and general interest in the set. It is not until two or three weeks before the set is released that we actually have an understanding of it's contents: due to spoilers, or simply Wizards showing the public what cards are contained in the set. The entirety of the new set has been spoiled for us to feast on!
Many other sources have already talked about the new mechanics in the set: sagas, legendary sorceries, and other small changes to ability text, etc... In this article, is it my intention to truly give my first thoughts. I'll use a few headings to organize my writing, but overall we'll dive right in and get our hands dirty in some mtg-goodness.
Honestly I'm most excited about Mox Amber overall for the entire set. Most voices in the mtg community are saying that it's the worst moxen of them all, which I wouldn't necessarily agree with. There's nothing about Mox Amber that makes it strictly worse; even Mox Opal in modern has a prerequisite of it's own before use. Since the moment Mox Amber was spoiled (prematurely), I have been eyeing Rhys the Redeemed as a potential partner. On its face, benefits of this pairing would be W and G mana available from Mox Amber on turn 1, which is where the real value comes into play. Even if you just played a Birds of Paradise in Modern on turn one in this situation, it still gives you the possibility for two 1-drops on turn one. When turn two comes around, play a land, and you'll have 4 mana available: two lands + mox + birds. This is one of many possible pairings, but Ryhs seems almost perfect because he is a 1-drop. As many people have said before me: moxen actually get worse as the game progresses, so it is ideal to play them as soon as possible each game.
The Dampest Sphere
If you are at all familiar with the meta in the Modern format of mtg, this card went STRAIGHT to one of the top priorities as a sideboard card. It shines in two match-ups, those being Storm and Tron decks. I wouldn't be surprised if we also saw this sneak into the sideboard of legacy decks from time to time. It would be a real bummer if you'd just invested thousands of dollars on some Mishra's Workshop lands, only to have your opponent plop this bad boy out.
Notable Flying Boi
You'd be crazy to attempt to run these dudes in any deck that isn't mono-blue; not only because of the triple blue mana cost, but because the triggered ability relies on a MONO blue environment. Anyway. Why did I decide to write about this card? I think it's something we haven't seen much of in other sets. A blue creature that scales as the game goes on. This could make mono U control much more viable, as it would have an actual finisher. Currently decks like this use Celestial Colonnade in a WU setup. Will be interesting to see what this brings.
Witness the witness
I see Evra, Halcoyn Witness as being similar to Tempest Djinn. It allows for a late-game finisher in decks like mono-white soul sisters, or WU-control. Obviously, Evra shines more in decks where health is plentiful. It gives you the option to turn your defensive attribute (health) into an offensive attribute (damage). The most important thing to take note of on this card, is that it's ability can be activated as an instant. So, for example: Evra has 4 power, you have 2 health and your opponent casts lightning bolt at you directly for 3 damage— you can respond by activating Evra's ability to switch your health to 4 before you take the 3 damage. This is not the ideal way to handle the situation, but it is an option. Overall, please understand that Evra is an offensive card, dispite the example I just gave describing a defensive scenario.
That is all for now! I plan to write more on Dominaria soon, it is a very diverse set and I think it brings the "feeling" back to magic that many players have been longing for. Thank you for reading!