Each year, it seems like Universes Beyond crossovers continue to become more and more prevalent in the world of MTG. From a first look at MTG Fallout to news about a partnership with Marvel, it’s clear that Universes Beyond will continue to be a dominant part of our beloved game. While the quick release of sets and constant influx of spoilers may feel overwhelming at times, it does give us a lot of things to look forward to.
One of the more intriguing crossovers coming out soon is definitely MTG Jurassic World. Given the emphasis on huge Dinosaurs in both Jurassic Park and The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, this crossover seems like a slam dunk. There’s even a Dinosaur-themed Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander deck, which is a perfect place to add some upgrades from the Jurassic World crossover.
Speaking of, there were a handful of new Jurassic World spoilers revealed today that look like excellent additions to various Dinosaur-themed Commander decks. Each card is strong when built around, and the flavor is off the charts. Let’s take a look at what these Dinosaur-focused cards have in store for us.
Cresting Mosasaurus is a fantastic addition to a deck built specifically around Dinosaurs. When it enters the battlefield, if you cast it, you get to bounce every non-Dinosaur and crack in for a ton of damage. The only downside is that the card itself costs eight mana. Fortunately, the Emerge ability can greatly reduce this cost if you already have a big board of Creatures.
This card is quite simple in nature, but very effective in what it does. We also recently saw another Jurassic World spoiler that gives your Dinosaurs Prowl 2R, letting you cast your big Dinosaurs for only three mana so long as you connected in combat with a Dinosaur during your turn. That can help ensure your ability to cast Cresting Mosasaurus easily without having to sacrifice another large Dinosaur in the process.
Spitting Dilophosaurus is another Dinosaur that may make it easier to attack unimpeded. This card is much cheaper mana-wise but does take some work to utilize to its full extent.
Right away, just for getting Spitting Dilophosaurus onto the battlefield, you get to put a -1/-1 counter on another Creature. This can be an effective way to pick off small Creatures, such as mana dorks. However, those Creatures also lose the ability to block, making it easier to get your Dinosaurs into the red zone. If Spitting Dilophosaurus goes unchecked, you can also put -1/-1 counters on opposing Creatures when it attacks as well.
This card works quite well alongside ways to put -1/-1 counters on a bunch of Creatures at once. For instance, pairing this Creature with Carnifex Demon or Contagion Engine can allow your squad to attack and go completely unblocked. Black Sun’s Zenith can be cast for X=1, letting Spitting Dilophosaurus survive and make your attacks easy. Assuming your Creatures are larger than those of your opponents (which is a safe assumption in a Dinosaur deck), these effects can be excellent.
If you’re in the market for enormous haymakers, MTG Jurassic World has you covered. Grim Giganotosaurus is a 10/10 right away, but the real prize lies with its activated ability. For 12 mana, you can make Grim Giganotosaurus Monstrous. Not only does this make it a 20/20, but it blows up all Artifacts and other Creatures on board, letting you safely attack for 20 right away. Obviously, this is a ton of mana, but it notably costs one less mana for each Creature your opponents control with power four or greater.
There aren’t too many ways to abuse this ability, since the cost reduction is limited to counting opposing Creatures. However, cards like Coat of Arms that potentially give your opponent’s Creatures a buff as well as your own could help quite a bit. Still, getting to destroy all Artifacts and other Creatures in play can be backbreaking, so it’s no surprise that this ability generally costs a lot of mana to use.
Savage Order is a cool take on one of MTG’s most powerful Creature tutors. Natural Order similarly lets you sacrifice a Creature for four mana to tutor one from your library and put it directly into play. Savage Order is certainly more restrictive but can still be quite powerful in its own right. The big downside is that you have to sacrifice a Creature with power four or greater in order to cast it. This means that simply sacrifice a cheap mana dork is not usually an option.
Fortunately, there are plenty of large Creatures that can be sacrificed in a deck centered around Dinosaurs. All you have to do is have a relatively disposable four-power Creature in play and you get to tutor for any enormous Dinosaurs you want. Importantly, while Natural Order restricts you to sacrificing and searching for green Creatures only, Savage Order allows you to tutor for Dinosaurs of any color.
This opens the door for putting haymakers with great enters-the-battlefield effects, like Etali, Primal Conqueror, into play for cheap. With Maskwood Nexus in play, Savage Order can let you search up cards like Craterhoof Behemoth that otherwise would be unavailable. Savage Order may not be as inherently strong and versatile as Natural Order, but it still does the job in the right deck.
Savage Order should be quite powerful in any Commander deck that can reliably satisfy the cost. While Etali, Primal Conqueror is more than worth the trouble, you can also find the new Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant with Savage Order. Allowing you to dump all the creatures in your hand into play for free, this four-mana combination can be even deadlier than a cost reduced Craterhoof Behemoth.
Henry Wu, InGen Geneticist
Last but not least, we have Henry Wu, Ingen Geneticist. Henry Wu is an interesting and flavorful Commander option. The idea is that each Human Creature you control has the ability to Exploit your Dinosaur Creatures for personal gain. In Magic terms, this means that whenever a Human enters the battlefield, you can sacrifice a non-Human Creature to draw a card. You also get a Treasure token if the Creature had three or greater power.
While Henry Wu is obviously an intriguing choice to command your Dinosaur army, it may actually be best utilized elsewhere. This is because it isn’t always advisable to sacrifice your big Dinosaurs to your smaller Human Creatures for card advantage. Where Henry Wu really shines is when you have lots of expendable non-Human Creatures to sacrifice and a large density of Human Creatures in your deck.
For example, imagine Henry Wu alongside Deep Forest Hermit or Deranged Hermit. Both cards provide a flow of non-Human tokens to sacrifice. With enough token support, every Human you play can draw you cards and potentially generate Treasure as well if you have ways to pump your team. Henry Wu also works well with Creatures that naturally have Exploit, such as Sidisi, Undead Vizier.
This card and the rest of the MTG Jurassic World cards look like solid additions to the Commander format, and it’ll be cool to see the various ways players make use of them.