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Brewing with Dominaria

Written by John Cuvelier on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

Dominaria is here! It’s time to get brewing. This set offers a ton of build arounds as well as some additions to existing archetypes. I’ve got a whopping seven lists to share today, so let’s get to it.

Boros Historic

The first list we have is going hard on the historic theme. Weatherlight is a very powerful card and this deck does its best to support it. Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle I really want to try out. Face value it might be reduced to a sideboard option, but I won’t know that until I get some games in. There are plenty of targets to return and I could see getting some sick and immediate value if you play Teshar and then immediately jam a Mox Amber into play. The big payoff for being an aggressive historic deck is Urza’s Ruinous Blast. This is basically a one sided Oblivion Stone and will undoubtedly prove to be a game changer. The shell of the deck contains the Boros suite of Dwarves that empower vehicles and/or find them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this deck is a power house right out of the gate.


Next up is my initial attempt to a throwback mono black control deck from the yesteryear of Odyssey Block. Cabal Stronghold is the real payoff here so we’re looking to capitalize on that. Dread Shade and Walking Ballista both scale pretty well with the progression of the game and seem like a good place to start. Josu Vess, Lich Knight of course is the biggest payoff of them all, but isn’t all that impressive without the kicker. The removal suite is clean and to the point. Doomfall gives some flexibility so you don’t have so many dead cards for control game one. Fatal Push gives you something to do early and Vraska’s Contempt is just a format all-star. To get ahead in card advantage I went with the new planeswalker Karn, Scion of Urza. Alone that wasn’t quite enough, so I think giving The Immortal Sun and Demonlord, Belzenlok a try is the right decision. Phyrexian Scriptures is the sweeper of choice and man does this card deliver. The fact that is doesn’t hit your Walking Ballista on top of it is just icing on the cake. Finding the right build for this deck is going to be a challenge, but the payoffs are certainly there.

Simic Elf Combo

This is perhaps the most exciting list I’ve come up with thus far. We’re back on the Legendary train, but this time the payoff is Kamahl’s Druidic Vow. Ramping up to make this spell effective we call upon the hyped and well deserved Llanowar Elves. In addition, some other ramp elves include Servant of the Conduit, Druid of the Cowl and Marwyn, the Nurturer. Speaking of ramp, I also fit a couple of Growing Rites of Itlimoc to give the deck even more mana for some more explosive Vows. In addition to Kamahl’s Druidic Vow, the other ramp payoff is Tishana, Voice of Thunder. This is a card that’s been on my radar for some time and I’m hoping this build is where her home is. This deck does offer a combo finish thanks to Rhona’s Monument. Hitting the Monument off of Vow, in addition to all the other hits you can get can offer a huge power spike. The Monument also offers you an aggressive route if you need to take it. Weatherlight and Rashmi, Eternities Crafter gives the deck some card advantage it needs when the Vow isn’t enough. Overall I’m really pumped for this initial draft. There are a few other cards on my radar that I’ll be looking to try out in this deck as well. Those cards include Paradox Engine, Nissa, Steward of Elements and Karn, Scion of Urza.

Bant Walkers

Sticking with the ramp elf theme I’d like to look at a Planeswalker centric deck. We’ve got eight elves and three Oath of Ajani that can help us get our Planeswalkers out ahead of schedule. The addition of Karn, Scion of Urza and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria gives us a critical mass of Planeswalkers. Oath of Teferi is the inspiration for a planeswalker heavy list. Having a ton of Planeswalkers isn’t enough as they still need some protection. Settle the Wreckage and Urza’s Ruinous Blast do the trick nicely. Oath of Teferi is something I’m going to keep my eye on. It’s possible moving to Red over Green and using more spot removal in favor of ramp is the way to go. Red would offer Saheeli Rai, Huatli, Warrior Poet and Chandra, Torch of Defiance for the Planeswalker slot. For removal we have access to things like Abrade or Magma Spray.

Antiquities War

I’ve spent a lot of time going back and forth with this deck. The Antiquities War is a pretty straightforward card and is clearly the build around here. Finding enough playable Artifacts is surprisingly tough. You’ll notice again, that I have Weatherlight in here and is clearly at its best here as it basically cannot ever miss. The goal here is to get a critical mass of Artifacts on the board for when your Antiquities War goes to ultimate. Sorcerous Spyglass seems like a strange card but is actually in a reasonable spot at the moment and gives you some much needed interaction for something like God-Pharaoh’s Gift. Treasure Map is just fantastic for this deck as not only does it help find The Antiquities War, but also provides three artifacts for you. It’s possible that a build with Jhoria, Weatherlight Captain might also be strong but I couldn’t figure it out as I think Weatherlight is a better 4 cmc card and you don’t want your deck to be filled with that cost when you’re trying to flood the board with artifacts.

Boros Auras
3 Valduk, Keeper of the Flame
4 Sram, Senior Artificer
4 Champion of the Flame
4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Dauntless Bodyguard[/Creatures]
4 Cartouche of Ambition
4 Cartouche of Zeal
4 Consuming Fervor
3 Sheltering Light
2 Conviction
2 Giant Spectacle[/Spells]
4 Inspiring Vantage
4 Clifftop Retreat
2 Shefet Dunes
6 Plains
6 Mountain[/Lands][/Deck]

We’ve seen what Azorius Auras can do lately in standard. I’ve went the Boros route thanks to some new additions from Dominaria. Champion of the Flame and Valduk, Keeper of the Flame offers some really powerful effects with Auras. I kept the cost of the Auras down by playing as many powerful yet cheap ones as possible. The Cartouches are auto includes of course. Consuming Fervor gives you some real beef and by the time the negative aspect of the card shows, you’ve all but won. Conviction is really useful in triggering your creatures but gives your opponent respect that they do have ways to interact with you. Speaking of interaction, Sheltering Light is here to protect our guys from spot removal and hopefully buy us enough time to close the door. Originally I had Danitha Capashen, Paragon in the deck but realized there’s no value since almost all your Auras cost one mana. This might be a reasonable sideboard slot just because of its keywords are so strong.


The final deck I have for you today is a pretty straightforward one in Goblins. This isn’t the powerhouse Goblins was in Onslaught block, but it does offer some similar traits. Since its Goblins it’s going to pressure your opponent similarly to how Ramunap Red does. The payoff for being entirely Goblins is Metallic Mimic, Skirk Prospector, Siege-Gang Commander and Vanquisher’s Banner. I think the sleeper card here is the Vanquisher’s Banner. In addition to being an anthem effect, there’s a nice little engine with Skirk Prospector and Squee, the Immortal. You can sacrifice Squee to Prospector netting a red mana, then paying two more mana to recast Squee and draw a card. This will only cost one mana if you have a Goblin Warchief in play. Meaning that for every land you have in play you draw a card. You can imagine how quickly you can run away with a game in this scenario. I’m not quite sure if this is enough to push the deck into a competitive spot in the metagame just yet, but I do suspect this deck is going to get more pieces in the coming sets.

Hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration and perhaps a sense of new things to come. I think what we can take away from this is Weatherlight is looking quite powerful; there might be a new combo deck; and Dominaria offers a foundation to build a lot of new decks. Look for my article next week as I throw even more new decklists at you!

John Cuvelier
Gosu. on MTGO
@JCuvelier on Twitter

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