Hey Everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings! This week we are going to be looking at some of the spoilers coming out of Dominaria!  Specifically we are looking for any cards or set of cards that look viable in Modern.

To “kick” things off lets highlight the mechanics that we know will be in the set:

The Mechanics

Kicker – A historically popular and competitively viable mechanic, Kicker is when a player can pay an additional cost to get an additional effect out of their spell.  Burst Lightning is a good example of a good Kicker card; in the early game it’s a Shock and in the late game its a Lightning Blast.  Sadly though, there aren’t really any Kicker cards being played in Modern at the moment, so the bar is going to be high for these cards.

Saga – This is a new mechanic that is only on enchantments.  The way Saga works is that whenever the enchantment gets a lore counter put on it, some effect happens depending on how many lore counters are on it.  The enchantments get a lore counter on them whenever they enter the battlefield and after your draw step.  Most have three different abilities, one for each lore counter, like the card Phyrexian Scriptures below.

So far I haven’t been too impressed with these enchantments, but there are one or two that look potentially playable.  We’ll get to those in a bit.

Legendary Sorceries – These are normal spells in all regards except that they have the additional casting condition of controlling a legendary creature or planeswalker.  I give this mechanic a 5/5 on flavor but because of the hyper-restrictive nature of the mechanic, it’s unlikely it will see play.  I think that it will take a Cruel Ultimatum

 style spell to justify jumping through all those hoops, just something that generates a crazy amount of value.  It seems there will be at least one of these for each color, and while they will probably be impressive in Standard, so far look lackluster in Modern. If you’re curious here is the white one:

Historic – More of a new term than anything else, Historic is a term that references artifacts, legendaries, and/or sagas.  This is a pretty promising mechanic as I think it has the most interaction potential among older cards.  Obviously anything that references artifacts automatically perks up the ears of most affinity players, but the one that interests me is most is the “legendaries” bit.  I always thought Kamigawa’s “legendaries matter” theme was pretty cool and am glad to see it return.  I think because of Dominaria, we might finally see the emergence of certain powerful, but previously unusable cards like Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper.  I will be paying close attention to all of these cards.

That’s all for the mechanics, let’s get into the spoilers!

The Spoils

First up we have the return of Karn!

I’ll first note that his art is just a mock up since we only have his text.  I’ll admit I have back and forth on this card several times.  My first impression is that as a 4-mana colorless walker, he was insane.  My next thought was that if he was just a 4-mana card draw engine, we have better versions of that in Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Chandra, Torch of Defiance.  My third thought was “oh he could be good in an artifact deck!” but then came to the conclusion that Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas does much of what Karn, Scion of Urza does, but better.  I think that its best home is probably going to be in affinity as a possible replacement for Master of Etherium since, if you just use him for his -2 ability he functions as multiple Masters for the price of one card.  It also might make the deck a little more resistant to opposing Stony Silences and artifact destruction in general as it is can keep generating threats through the hate.

 

Now this is a spicy meatball.  I absolutely love Rude Awakening, but it’s always been too expensive for the Modern format, but at three mana this is just right.  This could be exactly what ramp decks needed to finish off the game.  This card can act as both a fog and a finisher, and can give decks like Valakut an additional way to win the game through Blood Moon, or buy them enough time so they can cast Scapeshift against aggro.  I think this card could be powerful enough that it could spawn its own archetype with Renegade Ralliers and Sakura-Tribe Elders, maybe throwing in a few copies of Khalni Heart Expedition too.  I’m excited for the possibilities.

 

This card is pretty sweet and looks a lot like Eternal Scourge, a card that has probably not coincidentally been seen in mono red Skred decks.  Gemstone Caverns and Serum Powder are both powerful cards that come with powerful downsides, and the more cards we see like Squee, the Immortal, the better cards like these become.  The only problem is that a 2/1 for three mana is not exactly what I’d call a good rate.  Still, it might be worth running to also run Gemstone Caverns.

 

This card will be the most impactful card for Modern in Dominaria by far.  This is probably one the best sideboard cards that’s been printed in a very very long time.  What makes this card so good is that not only does it hate out decks like Storm and Tron, it does so while being colorless.  This means that it can be run in the sideboard of any deck and on top of that, at only two mana, it comes down early enough to stop the decks it wants to hate out.  One of the great things about the way Damping Sphere hates out Tron, is that it does so in a similar way that Blood Moon hates it out without having to actually run Blood Moon.  Randomly, this card also keeps opponents off of four-mana Bloodbraid Elf plays, as they would have to keep a mana open for their cascade.  There are a number of other decks that Damping Sphere also shuts down, like Krark-Clan Ironworks combo, a deck we saw featured at GP Phoenix.

 

Anyway, that’s all for this week guys, hope you enjoyed the article, and don’t forget to tell me what you think about Dominaria so far.  Do you think Damping Sphere is the best card from the set so far?

 

 

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