Dominaria will once again take centre stage in Magic: The Gathering’s story and gameplay during an upcoming set. Publisher Wizards of the Coast outlined a fair few details about the batch of cards, including some key dates and what players can expect to see inside of booster packs.
In many ways the aesthetic core of the trading card game, the plane of Dominaria is a high fantasy world full of proper nouns, epic storylines and dire prophecies. Dominaria United will be the first of two back-to-back sets taking place on the plan, following a time-hopping journey to the past with Brothers’ War soon after.
WotC recently gave a bird’s eye view of the set in a blog post to their main MTG site. The set will be the first of four spanning a major, climatic storyline that will draw old characters such as Ajani, Karn and Pia Nalar back to the forefront. The narrative begins spooling out on August 10th, and card previews will begin in earnest two days later on August 18th.
Five rares and mythic cards were shown off to give players a taste of what to expect. While they didn’t contain any new mechanics, one red Mana sorcery called Temporal Firestorm contained a kicker (an additional cost players can pay when casting for extra effect) with a blue and white cost. The art depicts Pia and the time mage Teferi combining their Planeswalker magics to devastating effect, likely hinting at other multicolour team-ups within the set.
Another card preview confirms that Phyrexia, one of the oldest antagonists in the game, have returned (or resurfaced) in a way we haven’t seen in quite some time. Sleeper Agent can eventually earn the Phyrexian creature type, aesthetically closer to the horrific death cult of Dominaria’s past than the metallic regime that has been invading other planes for the last few years.
Players will draft and collect Dominaria United in much the same way as any other core set, with a few wrinkles. Box toppers will reappear in collectors and draft boxes and will contain one foil legendary creature from a pool of 19 (plus one Planeswalker) that have been inspired by cards from the original Legends set. Speaking of, Dicebreaker previously reported on actual Legends cards appearing in collectors boosters for Dominaria United, though the continued preference to lock cool celebrations of MTG’s past behind a premium paywall is disappointing.
Two Commander format decks will accompany the set’s release, and these come in some funky colour combinations. The black-white-red Legends’ Legacy and five-colour Painbow (har har) decks will feature a new version of Dihada and Jared Carthalion, respectively, as face cards. They will also reportedly have “several” new cards not contained in the major set and designed specifically for the multiplayer format, as has become standard for these products.
Dominaria United will also re-introduce the Jumpstart series by releasing set-themed Jumpstart boosters alongside the regular card packs. According to WotC, each pack will contain one of ten random themes - two for each colour - with 20 cards to support it. Players will only need to shuffle two of these together, plus some lands, in order to create a frankensteined deck ready for play. Certain rare cards will be unique to these packs, but the publisher did not provide any information on pricing at this time. Dicebreaker has reached out for more information.
Perhaps one of the most gorgeous features of the upcoming set are the full art stained glass basic lands, a treatment distinctive to Dominaria United that portrays vistas from the plane in vibrant colours and intricate compositions. This showcase treatment will likely extend to other cards in the set, but the lands alone are likely enough to excite anyone looking to doll up their decks.
Dominaria United will host a prerelease weekend beginning on September 2nd, followed by a full release in paper on September 9th. Magic Arena and Magic Online players will get access to the set a little early when the set hits digital platforms on September 1st.