Niambi, Beloved Protector
11, Oct, 22

Missing Dominaria MTG Cards Have Found Their Home

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Article at a Glance

As the start of the Phyrexian invasion of the multiverse, Dominaria United had many MTG players rightfully excited. Fan favorite mechanics and characters were making a return, and the set kickstarted an epic four-part saga. Even if it got off to a somewhat meek start, Dominaria United was undoubtedly one of the most anticipated MTG sets in recent memory. Despite all the hype, enthusiasm, and grandeur, however, Dominaria United wasn’t entirely complete, notwithstanding all the compleation. Notably, Dominaria United was miraculously missing a few core characters from its expansive story. Thankfully, while it has taken some time, these missing MTG characters have finally been given the recognition they deserve. For better or worse, storied MTG characters have found their home as Alchemy: Dominaria United cards

The Weatherlight Crew

As one of the most recognizable Dominaria icons, the Weatherlight and its crew are all immensely important characters in MTG. This made the compleation of the Weatherlight in Dominaria United a truly shocking blow by the Phyrexian forces. The symbol of Dominaria’s hopes and united strength had been turned against the people it once protected. Sensibly, the compleation of the Weatherlight was therefore represented in a card; the aptly named Weatherlight Compleated. Unfortunately, however, not all of its crew received the same honor. Some of the rebuilt Weatherlight’s crew even appeared to be forgotten about entirely!

While the Weatherlight’s new crew might not be as prestigious as the planeswalker-filled old lineup, they’re still all essential characters. Subsequently, you would expect that when these characters are fighting for their homeland, they’d be front and center on the battlefield. In Dominaria United, however, only Shanna Sisay and Rafwyn Capashen could be found leading the fight in their own cards. The adorable and much-beloved Thalid Slimefoot barely made an appearance in Slimefoot’s Survey, and Arvad was only found as a reprint of Arvad the Cursed in Dominaria United Commander. The Weatherlight’s angelic mechanic, Tiana, was miraculously nowhere to be seen at all. 

Thankfully, this injustice has recently been rectified, as the Weatherlight’s missing crew have finally been given the cards they deserve. Unfortunately for Slimefoot, Arvad, and Tiana fans, however, these cards are sequestered away in Alchemy: Dominaria United. This means that paper players can’t get their hands on Arvad, Weatherlight Smuggler, Slimefoot, Thallid Transplant, and Tiana, Angelic Mechanic. Since each of these cards utilize digital-only MTG mechanics such as Spellbooks and Perpetually, there’s also no chance of reprints. 

Alchemy to the Rescue

While these three important Dominaria characters have been sequestered away into an Alchemy set, this isn’t actually a bad thing. Regardless of how it may appear, Alchemy hasn’t deliberately stolen these characters to make itself more important and enticing. Instead, these cards would never have existed without Alchemy: Dominaria United. As a set with immense ground to cover, Dominaria United was absolutely chock-a-block with content. As much as Wizards may have liked to, there simply wasn’t room in the main set for everything to be included. 

According to Reddit user u/EmTeeEm, this has previously been confirmed by Wizards of the Coast themselves. In a past Discord screenshot, WotC_Ian is said to have stated, “I know we didn’t save Legendaries for Alchemy.” Instead, “Alchemy, not going to print, comes last in the timeline of development. Any time Alchemy has a Legendary, it’s because it was otherwise not going to get a card.” EmTeeEm also states that Magic Designer Ethan Fleischer has reiterated this point that “there were too many characters to fit.” Subsequently, when it came time to design Alchemy: Dominaria United, “he selected who were particularly important to this story and/or didn’t have a card in DOM.” 

While Dominaria is particularly crowded with characters, it’s far from the only set suffering from this problem. As Mark Rosewater recently stated, Unfinity was also limited to only featuring 30 legendary creatures. Surprisingly, this limitation wasn’t due to design principles but art budget. “All the legendary creatures in Unfinity have a booster fun art version, and there were thirty budgeted.,” Mark Rosewater explained. Therefore, it’s possible to presume that Dominaria United and its stained glass frames introduced a similar constraint.

MTG Players Praising Alchemy?!

Thanks to this distinction, for once, Alchemy isn’t receiving more than its fair share of hatred. Instead, MTG players are actually fairly understanding of this strength of MTG’s most despised format. “It’s not a matter of getting “forced” into Alchemy, it’s either there or nowhere,” u/wallycaine42 astutely stated. Reiterating this point, u/ShadowsOfSense noted that “Alchemy cards aren’t taking characters away from paper – if they didn’t show up in Alchemy, they wouldn’t have shown up on a card at all.”

Despite this surprising wave of positivity, there were still players upset and frustrated with Alchemy getting cards that paper doesn’t. “The disappointment is that you can’t play with them unless you play Arena. Like, why would you want it if you can’t use it,” u/ChoiceIllustrious143 commented. While it may be better than not that these cards exist, paper players looking to fill out their Thalid or Tiana decks are understandably frustrated that the cards they want are so close to being real.

Thankfully, Dominaria United isn’t the last Magic: the Gathering set of all time. It’s not even the last set in the Phyrexian arc. This means that there’s a strong possibility many of these much-anticipated cards will get their due in later stages. As u/BurstEDO notes, “Not even the OG Weatherlight crew appeared all in one set; they were scattered across everything from Weatherlight through Invasion Block. And even then, various supplemental versions popped up later in supplemental sets.” It’s, therefore, entirely possible that the new Weatherlight crew will get their due in later sets. With Phyrexia: All Will Be One and March of the Machine not due out until 2023, however, we’ll have to wait a while to see if those hopes come to fruition. 

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