Three Underrated Dominaria Cards

Dominaria is so stuffed with high-profile cards that a few with major potential were bound to slip through the cracks! Gerry Thompson turns his brewer’s eye to three underrated cards that could make waves in Standard!

Every card in Dominaria has been previewed, so it’s time to brew! With the set focusing on entirely new themes, we have quite a bit of ground to cover before the Pro Tour.

Let’s start with some cool stuff!

Gilded Lotus

Gilded Lotus is potentially one of the best, most impactful cards in the set. Normally we get access to one big accelerator and only get to build around that single card, but now we have access to Hour of Promise in addition to Gilded Lotus. There are also things like Powerstone Shard as additional support. If you untap with a Gilded Lotus, you probably won’t lose.

First, we need to figure out what to ramp into (or at least sink our mana into). Gilded Lotus takes you from five mana to nine, so what can we do with nine mana?

Naturally, this list isn’t extensive (and some of these are better than others), but it should provide some inspiration. Gilded Lotus into Zacama, Nicol Bolas, and even using it to fuel bigger Scarab God turns are all tempting.

The obvious home is with Metalwork Colossus.

Maybe this deck needs more interaction. It could easily play Baral’s Expertise or Fatal Push. It shouldn’t be difficult for The Antiquities War or Karn, Scion of Urza to beat up on people with a deck like this. Metalwork Colossus is almost an afterthought. There’s no Vehicle support, so that probably means jumping through hoops to make Metalwork Colossus cost zero isn’t entirely necessary. Maybe all you have to do is buy some time.

Weatherlight seems like it should fit. It’s an artifact that finds other artifacts, plus Vehicles work well with Metalwork Colossus because they reduce its cost and then get crewed by it. Look, Weatherlight has some obvious problems going for it. The four-mana slot has a ton of competition right now, and it only got worse with Karn, Scion of Urza being in the same set.

That said, several successful decks in the past have had multiple four-drops, so it should only be a question of whether your deck wants it. There will be decks where you have legendary creatures but not necessarily enough artifacts to make Karn worth it. Foundry Inspector is another card I want to put into some decks, and that thing crews Weatherlight quite nicely.

The artifact mana affords easy splash options, but I didn’t find anything particularly great that I wanted. If you want to go heavier on Powerstone Shards, you could play Trophy Mages, but I’m not a huge fan of that.

What are we doing with Gilded Lotus, exactly? I imagine the sideboard will contain a copy of Torment of Hailfire to find with Mastermind’s Acquisition. Past that, you could include something like Josu Vess, Lich Knight, but that doesn’t sound great. For the most part, you’re working with Arguel’s Blood Fast, Walking Ballista, and Tetzimoc, Primal Death as mana sinks, which may prove to be enough.

Divest strikes me as a solid option. Harsh Scrutiny was already fringe playable and Divest happens to hit Vehicles (and some other random artifacts) that should make it a dead card far less often. I wouldn’t be surprised if the card sees a lot of play. With Fatal Push already in the mix, black has some nice cheap options that work well with a mana sink like Arguel’s Blood Fast.

Is Cabal Stronghold a better or worse Cabal Coffers? Tapping for colorless in the early game is huge, but you can’t have multiples (except on those turns resembling Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx) and Cabal Stronghold scales more slowly. My take is that it’s worse, but not by a ton in Standard. If Mono-Black is what you want to be doing, it’s reasonable to include some copies over the various utility lands.

If basic Swamps aren’t your thing, you could splash The Scarab God, which would give you arguably the best mana sink in the format. If you don’t want to splash, there’s a whole host of Deserts, Memorials, and Field of Ruins for you to play with.

Using Gilded Lotus to draw some cards is great and everything, but what about using it to actually win the game?

Similar decks have been putting up solid results on Magic Online. I’m skeptical of their viability, but Zacama, Primal Calamity is probably the best win condition and now it’s easier to cast. Seal Away solves some of the early-game issues. Memorial of Unity gives Hour of Promise a sweet way to find you a threat.

Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth

If cast, this is going to end the game nearly every time. There are enough cards like Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh; Torgaar, Famine Incarnate; and Darigaaz Reincarnated that you can put together a lethal combination of damage very easily.

I’m not sure if this deck works, nor am I sure if Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth will end up being a thing. At the end of the day, I mostly doubt it, but it’s worth looking into because it should end the game on the spot.

A Twitter follower of mine pointed out the synergy between Skirk Prospector and Garna, the Bloodflame, which is what prompted me to build this version of the deck. Using cards like Skirk Prospector, Wily Goblin, Captain Lannery Storm, and Chandra, Torch of Defiance to potentially accelerate into the reanimation targets is a sweet backup plan.

One of the things I’ve learned by experimenting with these decks is that Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth might be entirely unnecessary. Skirk Prospector, Wily Goblin, and Captain Lannery Storm accelerating into Garna, the Bloodflame and Torgaar, Famine Incarnate is probably good enough. In fact, I’m more than comfortable having Liliana, Death’s Majesty as a backup plan for those cards

While Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth is flashy and probably wins the game on the spot, building around God-Pharaoh’s Gift will likely prove more lucrative. Still, that stuff will rotate at some point and Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth will be around for a while, so it could pop up later.

Most of my lists thus far might have low numbers of Mox Amber, and while I think Mox Amber is a great card, these aren’t exactly the decks for it. There’s a certain amount of freerolling you can do without potentially have a bunch of dead cards.

What happens when you shove some Baral, Chief of Compliances; Syncopates, and nonsense into B/U Midrange? I’m guessing this sort of deck would crush midrange mirrors, but ultimately, you’re going to need to fight Mono-Red and various white aggressive decks.

Because of that, it wouldn’t surprise me if this deck wanted to be a Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering deck instead. The black legendary sorcery provides a large tempo swing on its own, gives you enough reanimation spells alongside Liliana, Death’s Majesty to build a real deck, and overall wants you to be doing the same stuff as Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth.

We probably need a stronger alternative to reanimate than Noxious Gearhulk, but it’s not the worst thing ever. Maybe we can do better though.

Syncopate is kind of a nice pickup, especially with Baral. Note that as formats go on, the decks become more streamlined, curves get lowered, and cards like Syncopate tend to get worse. For the first couple of weeks, especially as people aren’t used to playing against it, Syncopate could be solid. Toward the end of the format, you likely won’t have any copies in your deck.

Cards like Dive Down (or Blossoming Defense) are probably awesome in these sorts of decks. Your legendary creatures need to stick for your deck to function, so having some ways to protect them could prove valuable.

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle has the potential to be incredibly strong. Obviously, there are some deckbuilding constraints, but that’s part of the fun (and the constraint with new sets). Four-mana 2/2 fliers aren’t blowing anyone away, especially if you need to untap with it to actually get some value. However, Mox Amber and Walking Ballista provide a workaround, and if you draw it later in the game, you probably go off to some degree.

Here are some of the sweeter things to return to the battlefield with Teshar:

Bomat Courier is particularly appealing because it gives you a draw engine.

This deck is great at triggering Teshar but it isn’t great at bringing back powerful things outside of Bomat Courier. Teshar, Mox Amber, and Dauntless Bodyguard are sure to give people fits. Add Walking Ballista to the mix and you have a solid package guaranteed to frustrate your opponents.

Toolcraft Exemplar looks like it fits, but it might not be great unless we’re trying to play Heart of Kiran and Weatherlight. This version is built in a grindier way, so having the random beatdown creature doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

I’m starting with four Mox Ambers, but that number is almost certainly wrong. Yes, it does trigger Teshar, but you won’t always draw Teshar. Your Mox Ambers won’t necessarily be making mana all the time either. There’s just too much that could go wrong. For now, when we’re exploring what’s possible, I’m fine maxing on Moxes for the moment.

Maybe Renegade Rallier will finally find a place in Standard? Renegade Map and Unbridled Growth were always the revolt enablers, but there wasn’t much to do with them. Enabling a Renegade Rallier / Teshar engine means they are worth it now. They also give you a minor card drawing engine with Restoration Specialist.

Walking Ballista might not be enough of a top end, but you have Fairgrounds Warden to interact and a bunch of different engines to keep playing the game. This should be able to compete with current Standard decks.

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle is potentially incredible. There are so many ways to abuse it that I could build 20 different shells. Oketra’s Monument; Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter; Benalish Marshal, Song of Freyalise, Weatherlight, and Oketra the True are all probably cards I should be building with. There are also ways to build the deck that don’t involve strictly green and white mana.

Teshar is going to keep me busy for a while.

Here’s the real decklist for my article, an update to my Top 4 deck from Grand Prix Seattle:

There’s not much to change here since my maindeck was on point, but Karn, Scion of Urza should be a powerhouse. My sideboard changed a bit, as the various spot removal spells typically do a better job than Doomfall, and Magma Spray would have been nice against Mono-Red Aggro and U/R God-Pharaoh’s Gift.

Goblin Chainwhirler is an ambitious addition, but it also could be a complete game-changer. I added some extra red sources, but I may have to go even further than that. If that doesn’t pan out, Phyrexian Scriptures could be what I’m looking for, although that swings the mana in the other direction.

At the Grand Prix, I sideboarded a Canyon Slough as an additional mana source that could also help when flooded, and the new Memorials are basically perfect for that. Memorial of Folly is secretly excellent, but Scavenger Grounds is necessary against God-Pharaoh’s Gift.


So far, I’ve searched Gatherer for legendary cards, Elves, Goblins, Knights, artifacts, cards that cost greater than five, and many more. This set is very, very cool for several reasons and I’m sure it will spark the same kind of interest in many others. The possibilities truly seem endless with this set, so I’ll be scouring the Internet looking for cool ideas.

By next week, hopefully I’ll have a few of these brews fleshed out, but let’s be honest — I’ll probably just have more brews.