The release of Dominaria United is still several weeks away. However, there’s already plenty to be excited about. This is especially true for Commander players, who’ve seen no end of tantalizing teases and announcements. Most recently, Magic’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, took to the stage to unveil more teasing details about Dominaria United. In this announcement, Commander players seemed to come out on top once again.
Roll up Roll Up, Come Get Your Commander Staples
While Mark Rosewater’s recent all-encompassing Dominaria United teaser didn’t showcase any actual cards, there’s still plenty to get excited about. It appears, for instance, that Dominaria United will feature several new Commander staples for players to enjoy. Between new Lords, a new Lotus card, and a powerful blue spell that already has me frightened, it seems that Commander is already winning Dominaria United spoilers.
In the teaser post, Rosewater didn’t elaborate precisely on what each of these cards will be or how much they’ll cost, but he has given some clues. In a follow-up Blogatog post, for instance, Rosewater alluded to one of the new Lords being a Goblin. Admittedly, Rosewater only stated that “there are Goblins on Dominaria” however, in the question’s context, this is practically a confirmation. The question itself lamented how Goblins, despite being one of Magic’s main tribes, have gone underappreciated as of late.
Alongside the new Lords, Commander players can also look forward to, presumably, another Mana rock. Arriving as “a new Artifact with Lotus in the name,” this Mana rock could potentially be a staple of Commander. Previous Lotus Artifacts, such as Nyx Lotus and Dominaria’s Gilded Lotus, have typically been relatively expensive. However, they’re nonetheless helpful.
Last, Commander players were also promised a devastating addition; a blue board wipe spell. Previously, blue players have been sorely lacking a “destroy all creatures” spell to keep their color in check. This has forced blue players to splash for blue or black mana for cards like Supreme Verdict. While this is poised to be a potent card, its strength will ultimately be determined by its mana cost. Currently, blue board wipes such as Cyclonic Rift and Inundate don’t come cheap.
Dominaria United has even more up its sleeves for Commander players besides the possibilities of new staples. Primarily, Dominaria United is loaded with Legendary creatures. There are so many Legendary creatures, in fact, that there will be one Legendary creature in every single pack. Following in the footsteps of Dominaria (2018), this move should ensure plenty of new and exciting options for Commanders. While it’s not everyone’s favorite Commander adjacent format, the few existing Brawl players are certainly in for a good time.
Dominaria United also features Legends Retold box toppers alongside an impressive density of Legendary creatures. As we’ve highlighted previously, this box topper series reimagines underpowered Legendary creatures from the Legends set with a new twist. For example, boring ol’ Jasmine Boreal is retold as Jasmine Boreal of the Seven. This far more exciting and unique Jasmine Boreal variant could see play in an exhilaratingly janky Commander deck.
To put them on top once again, Dominaria United Commander players also have a shorter spoiler season to enjoy. Beginning on the 19th of August, with a few revealed during Wizards Presents as well, the Dominaria United Commander previews will be complete in just three days. This means that after August 22nd, Commander players will have a smorgasbord of cards to deck build with preemptively. Meanwhile, Standard and Draft Dominaria United players will have to wait until August 26th to see everything on offer.
Commander Wins Forever
While it may be too early to tell, this Commander focus could signify Magic’s new design philosophy. Dubbed the “eternal world” by Mark Rosewater, this new philosophy better considers Magic’s entire history while designing new sets. “It’s not enough to make something cool in a vacuum,” Mark Rosewater states. “We have to shape it such that it complements what has come before it.”
While the shift to this new philosophy is “the current force most likely to change the immediate future of design,” we may not see its full ramifications for some time. Designing a Magic: the Gathering set, after all, takes a lot of time from start to finish. From the first stages of visual design to the last steps of play design, the entire process is believed to take roughly two years.
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Regardless of when it comes into effect, this new design philosophy should be an excellent boon for Commander players. Whether it sees the introduction of new staples or the balancing of colors and tribes, it should be a change for the better. A change that Commander players should very much enjoy.