Magic: The Gathering’s Dominaria United Previews – Day Two Highlights

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  • Serra Redeemer
  • Cut Down
  • Chaotic Transformation
  • Defiler of Vigor
  • Golden Argosy

Day two of Magic: The Gathering’s Dominaria United preview season shook things up a bit. Rather than leave them for last as normal, this set decided to reveal its two Commander preconstructed decks ahead of the set itself.

While we’re going to look at the Painbow and Legends’ Legacies decks individually, there were still some really interesting cards from Dominaria United itself to look at. Here’s a few of the best cards shown off on day two.

Serra Redeemer

Three generic, two white creature – Angel Soldier – 2/4:


Whenever another creature with power two or less enters the battlefield under your control, put two +1/+1 counters on that creature.

Dominaria United is debuting an entirely new type of booster pack, with Jumpstart Boosters bringing the ever-popular Jumpstart format into Standard. While most of the packs will be made up of cards found in other boosters, there’s also an exclusive card for each colour to be found in them.

Serra’s Angel is the white Jumpstart exclusive (though still legal in Standard), and it is a powerhouse in any Mono-white Aggro/White Weenie-type deck. White loves to throw out loads of small creatures, and with Serra Redeemer those 2/2 tokens would enter as much scarier 4/4s, while still triggering other Weenie-friendly cards like Mentor of the Meek.

Cut Down

One black instant:

Destroy target creature with total power and toughness five or less.

With Dominaria United’s Standard set rotation, the format is losing some of its best removal spells. With the likes of Bloodchief’s Thirst, Poison the Cup, Vanishing Verse, and Power Word Kill all rotating out, it really needed something like Cut Down to fill the gap.

While requiring a total power and toughness of five or less is a big limitation (even a 3/3 would be too much for it), it’s going to be a great way to stall your opponents or take out key creatures like Reflection of Kiki-Jiki, Bloodthirsty Adversary, Bloodtithe Harvester, and Hopeful Initiate.

It’s also likely to see a lot of play elsewhere, such as in Pioneer. It doesn’t quite have the flexibility of a Fatal Push, but as far as early-game control goes Cut Down is going to do just as good of a job.

Chaotic Transformation

Five generic, one red sorcery:

Exile up to one target artifact, up to one target creature, up to one target enchantment, up to one target planeswalker, and/or up to one target land. For each permanent exiled this way, its controller reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal a card that shares a card type with it, puts that card onto the battlefield, then shuffles.

Shockingly, red is being allowed to deal with enchantments with this incredibly powerful chaos spell. It’s not something red is normally known for, and while you’ll just have another enchantment take its place, it could be good to get an annoying piece out the way. It being able to deal with planeswalkers is interesting too, as they tend to be played in smaller amounts than other permanents, making the risk of your opponent not finding another planeswalker to replace it with much higher.

While using it as removal does run the risk of backfiring and allowing an opponent to put something better into play, nothing on the card says you can’t target your own things. Turning that Goblin into a something like a Lord Xander, Shadow of Mortality, or Hullbreaker Horror does sound incredibly appealing.

Defiler of Vigor

Three generic, two green creature – Phyrexian Wurm – 6/6:


As an additional cost to cast green permanent spells, you may pay two life. Those spells cost one green less to cast if you paid life this way. This effect reduces only the amount of green mana you pay.

Whenever you cast a green permanent spell, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.

It looks like yesterday’s Defiler of Dreams isn’t going to be the only Defiler in the set. Like Dreams, Vigor can let you reduce the coloured cost of a spell if you pay two life, as a call-back to the controversial Phyrexian mana mechanic.

However, Defiler of Vigor probably beats out Defiler of Dreams purely because it’s based in the colour most-associated with permanents. Green is all about the slow growth of a board state through permanents – usually creatures. Being able to not just reduce the cost of those permanents, but also buffing all your creatures whenever you cast one is going to make this a start in Mono-Green Stompy decks.

Golden Argosy

Four generic legendary artifact – Vehicle – 3/6:

Whenever Golden Argosy attacks, exile each creature that crewed it this turn. Return them to the battlefield tapped under their owner’s control at the beginning of the next end step.

Crew: one.

Dominaria United is carrying on Kamigawa and New Capenna’s vehicles subtheme with this powerful flicker outlet.

While flickering things is always good, as it lets you build up the enters-the-battlefield triggers, tying the mechanic to crewing a Vehicle makes it even better. Effectively, it negates the cost of crewing it by returning those creatures to the battlefield untapped in time for them to be blockers on your opponent’s turns.

It’s also worth remembering that Dominaria United is introducing a new mechanic in enlist, that requires a creature to be tapped to add its power to an attacking creature’s. The Golden Argosy doesn’t have enlist, but it does have access to enlist-supporting creatures like Samite Herbalist that give you extra value when they’re tapped for any reason. Using a Samite Herbalist to crew the Argosy will give you one life, let you scry one, and then flicker it, ready to block or support something else on your next turn.

This will also be great in toughness-matters decks, where you’re likely going to be using lots of zero-power creatures. While the crew cost for the Golden Argosy is only one, you could tap any number of zero-power creatures and just one other to crew it, and flicker all of them at the same time. Fancy flickering a Biolume Egg, Dawnhart Mentor, Psionic Snoop, Animus of Night’s reach, or The Dragon-Kami Reborn every single turn?

Whether you’re flickering a big bomb of a creature with a huge enter effect, or something smaller like the Herbalist, Golden Argosy is just nonstop value. Combine that with its meaty toughness to serve as a blocker, and you’ve got one incredible Vehicle in a Standard currently dominated by them.

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