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10 best Dominaria United cards in Magic: The Gathering’s newest set

Legendaries for everyone.
MTG Dominaria United artwork
Image: Wizards of the Coast/Bram Sels

The best cards in Dominaria United are likely to change depending on whether you’re thinking about Commander, Standard, Modern or any other format. The latest Magic: The Gathering set feels like a powerhouse overall but, with its focus on legendary creatures, it’s hard not to feel like it’s geared for Commander players especially.

Best MTG Dominaria United cards

Watch the trailer for MTG Dominaria United

The good news is that we’ve sifted through all of the top cards in Dominaria United and tried to weigh each of them on a weird metaphorical scale to see which ones we think you should be keeping an eye out for. You’ll likely have fun no matter what cards you end up with, but these are the best cards in Dominaria United in our humble opinion.

Let’s just get this out of the way: Liliana of the Veil has been reprinted. She’s undoubtedly one of the best cards in the set, but also one that you’ll already know and love/loathe depending on your playstyle. We know she’s one of the best Dominaria United cards, but she’s also too obvious a pick to belong here.


1. Silverback Elder

Monkey magic

Silverback Elder has stocky power and toughness, but its the versatility of its abilities that makes it one of the best cards in Dominaria United. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Green sure does get some silly cards. Silverback Elder is a five-mana 5/7 - which is already not terrible - but it also does one of three things every single time you cast a creature spell. You can choose to destroy an artifact or enchantment, put a land into play from the top five cards of your library, or gain four life.

We’d be shocked if the most common choice here isn’t to put a land into play, but all three options will have their moments in most games, making this a very versatile card from Dominaria United.


2. Ajani, Sleeper Agent

Wake up

Everyone's favourite cat warrior is even more formidable in his Dominaria United card. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Poor Ajani. Once the embodiment of justice (and also big cats), he’s been warped into a truly terrifying four-mana planeswalker in Dominaria United. We say four mana, but you can actually pay three mana and two life if you want, which makes him even stronger.

Ajani can let you draw the top card of your deck, give creatures +1/+1 counters and vigilance, or give you an emblem that reads: “Whenever you cast a creature or planeswalker spell, target opponent gets two poison counters.” A player dies if they have ten poison counters, which means if you do manage to get that emblem, you only need to cast five more spells and the game is over.


3. Shivan Devastator

Devastatingly handsome, more like

Simple but effective: Shivan Devastator is buffed by the amount of mana you spend casting it, and comes with flying and haste to boot. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Shivan Devastator isn’t what we’d call a clever card, but it doesn’t really need to be. This dragon hydra costs X and one Red mana, and enters with X +1/+1 counters on it.

That’s not enough to land it on this list of the best Dominaria United cards though. On top of being a very curve-friendly card, because you can play it on nearly any turn in the game with ease, it also has flying and haste. This makes it a game-ending threat that can come out of nowhere.

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4. Karn’s Sylex

What is a sylex anyway?

The activated ability of Karn's Sylex - letting you wipe the board of nonland permanents - makes it one of the most powerful MTG cards in Dominaria United. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Karn’s Sylex is a three-mana artifact that enters the battlefield tapped. While in play, it makes it so that players can’t pay life to cast spells or to activate abilities that aren’t mana abilities - both of which are niche, but useful effects.

The real power is likely to be the card’s activated ability, which costs X to activate and reads: “Exile Karn’s Sylex: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value X or less. Activate only as a sorcery.” While the sorcery speed isn’t ideal, having a board wipe that can be so specific is always powerful in MTG.


5. Plaza of Heroes

A Commander staple

Plaza of Heroes isn't just one of the best cards in Dominaria United; it also looks set to be a Commander staple for a long time to come. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Sometimes a land comes along that you just know you’re going to be seeing in every Commander deck until the end of time, and that’s definitely the case with Plaza of Heroes.

This land card can tap for one colourless mana, tap for one mana of any colour as long as it’s for a legendary spell, and add one mana of any colour among legendary permanents you control. Plus, you can pay three mana and exile it to give a legendary creature hexproof and indestructible until the end of the turn.


6. Weatherlight Compleated

Classic evil airship

With the power to become a creature, scry and draw cards, Weatherlight Compleated certainly isn't full of hot air. Image: Wizards of the Coast

It’s not often you see an evil airship in any game, but it’s hard not to admire it. Weatherlight Compleated is a two-mana 5/5 vehicle that gains a counter whenever a creature you control dies, and then becomes a creature when it has at least four counters on it.

Along with that, whenever you put a counter on Weatherlight Compleated you get to scry 1 - look at the top card of your library, then place it on the top or bottom of the deck - until you have seven or more counters on the card. Once you hit seven, you get to draw a card every time a counter gets put on it.

The Dicebreaker team play MTG Commander for the first time

7. Rundvelt Hordemaster

Goblins, goblins everywhere, but not a drop to drink?

Gobbo fans, rejoice! Rundvelt Hordemaster gives the tribe a universal buff and the chance to fill the board with goblin creatures. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Goblins will outlive all of us, at least in Magic: The Gathering. Roosevelt Hordemaster is a two-mana 1/1 that gives all of your other goblins +1/+1, which is nice.

Not only that, but when it or any other goblin you control dies, you get to exile the top card of your library. You can then cast it until the end of your next turn as long as it’s a goblin creature card. This card is going to be very annoying to play against.


8. Temporary Lockdown

Can you wait five minutes?

A potent board wipe, Temporary Lockdown is offence and defence rolled into one. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Temporary Lockdown is a wonderful little board wipe that can also serve to protect your own permanents if you’re being really clever about it.

This three-mana enchantment exiles each nonland permanent with a mana value of two or less when it enters the battlefield, and they stay exiled until Temporary Lockdown leaves the battlefield. The fact that it hits all nonland permanents makes this very potent.


9. Balmor, Battlemage Captain

Aggro at its finest

Balmor is a fitting captain for your army of creatures thanks to granting a power buff and trample. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Balmor, Battlemage Captain is a two-mana Blue and Red 1/3 that could well be leading the charge in a lot of aggressive spell-slinging decks.

That’s because whenever you cast an instant or a sorcery card, Balmor, Battlemage Captain will grant each of your creatures +1/+0 and trample until the end of the turn. It only takes three creatures and two spells to add six damage to the board suddenly - and that’s going to end a lot of games very quickly.


10. Tear Asunder

Flexibility is thy name

Tear Asunder is one of the best cards in Dominaria United thanks to its flexible exile abilities. Image: Wizards of the Coast

Tear Asunder is a two-mana instant that lets you exile an artifact or enchantment. This is a fairly standard Green card - but wait, there’s more.

You can actually choose to pay the kicker cost of two mana, one of which is Black, to allow you to exile any nonland permanent instead. The versatility here is a huge draw, making Tear Asunder one of the best Dominaria United cards because of how good it is at removing threats efficiently.

About the Author

Jason Coles avatar

Jason Coles

Contributor

Jason spends a lot of time shuffling, sleeving up cards and playing decks that are bad. It's for this reason that he loves card games, even if they don't always love him. His poison of choice is Magic: The Gathering, but he'll play anything really, as it doesn't pay to be picky.

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