Dominaria United Spoilers: Layers of Legends Part 2

Mikeal Basile
September 05, 2022

“Magictating” is defined as getting into the zone with your Magic the Gathering collection--thinking, planning, organizing, reminiscing about past games, and imagining future games. It is a combination of hard thinking about the game and calm meditation, reveling in the joy it brings you.

I ran out of time last week, and I realize as I type this that the set is likely fully spoiled by now. These cards are such an exciting way to revisit Magic's past. I loved the idea of playing on our nostalgia. Seeing cards from three to nearly thirty years old being redone and reimagined is exciting. I love the old cards and still play with them—yes, despite them not being even remotely “playable”. I play them because they bring me joy. Much of that joy is linked with nostalgia. I suspect that many of you have similar “pet” cards, and if not, then you're probably developing them right now. Either way, I'd like to take a minute more to continue walking down nostalgia avenue with these incredibly fun and exciting new cards!


Hazezon, Shaper of Sand


Now this is yet another call back that I was plenty excited to see. Wow, so many cool cards in this set to just ogle. Now, as someone who has played with Hazezon Tamar before EDH even existed, I can attest that making tons of sand warriors is hilarious and fun. It's not as good as you might think with the old Hazezon, as if he died they all died as well. This newer one is much cheaper to cast, has excellent stats, and just fits so nicely as a legendary sand warrior. Considering Desert Nomads had desertwalk, it's nice to see Hazezon get that ability as well. The idea that he shapes the sands is even reinforced with the playing them from your graveyard clause. That's cool stuff when you consider all the cycling and other random abilities you can use off those Amonket deserts. This is a win all around. I loved the original and all of its awesomeness, and I anticipate that I'll love this one as well. It's no coincidence that quite a few of my favorite original legends were all painted by Richard Kane Ferguson, and I guess my only wish is that they would do a secret lair where he revisits these characters with their newer abilities and forms: Sol'kanar the Swamp King, Hazezon Tamar, Ramses Overdark, Dakkon Blackblade, and The Lady of the Mountain.


The Lady of Otaria


This is a call back to The Lady of the Mountain. The original had very similar stats, but was just a vanilla legendary creature. I like to imagine that the flavor text from the original legend has been fulfilled, and so the The Lady of Otaria is actually the person who fulfilled the prophecy by speaking The Lady of the Mountain's name. In turn, she has taken over as avatar of the mountain—thus, becoming, once more, the protector and ally of the dwarven mountain folk. Seriously, this is a cool shout out to the name of a card who most people have probably forgotten. Thankfully, those dwarves finally found someone who was willing to speak the name and resume the mantle of dwarven avatar of awesomeness.


Orca, Siege Demon


Lady Orca is the original, and she shares the exact same mana cost. Most of the remastered legends have seen reduced casting costs, but Orca is the same—similar to the other demon Sol'Kanar the Tainted (originally Sol'kanar the Swamp King). Orca, Siege Demon is actually smaller as Lady Orca was a 7/4 demon and the new one is merely a 5/5. The new Orca grows as people die, and that fits nicely with the idea that Orca is a siege engine of sorts. She wears down the opposition and just gets stronger. Having trample is also nice, but overall, I suspect that this creature will only see limited play. Perhaps a Rakdos, Lord of Riots deck? Otherwise, I'm struggling to see the appeal of running her outside of some dedicated sacrifice build. I wish they'd made her a 7/7. She's probably the one I'm least excited about. Thought it is cool to see a bald bad-ass female demon.


The Ever-Changing ‘Dane

The Ever-Changing 'Dane (DMC)    

Well, good old Halfdane has changed quite a bit. The pun on his name and the use of those flavor quotes to build out the concepts is just good Magic card fun. Halfdane was the commander for Esper before Esper was even a whisper in the development dungeon. The new Dane is going to be fueling some serious shenanigans in aristocratic style decks. So many fun things to do, and so little time to copy it all. The new twisted art really dives into the horror of the sacrificing and replacing, and definitely contrasts with the magical doppleganger style the original displayed. Copying the card is stronger, but this only lets you copy creatures you control; you can't sacrifice creatures you don't control. Temporary theft will be a fun item to use with this, so feel free to dust off that Ray of Command you've been leaving on your dresser for just such an occasion.


Sivitri, Dragon Master

Sivitri, Dragon Master (DMC)    

Wow, oh wow. I never thought that I'd see a childhood wrong fixed so definitively. I have vivid memories of opening Sivitri Scarzam in a pack (a Chronicles pack). The picture looked wild—like a pulp science-fiction/fantasy cover, and the flavor text was terrifying, “Even the brave have cause to tremble at the sight of Sivitri Scarzam. Who else has tamed Scarzam's Dragon?” She's armored and riding a water dragon of some sort. Then I looked at the stats, as there is no text except the flavor, and she's a Craw Wurm. At the time, six mana for a 6/4 was about standard or at least not embarrassing. However, Sivitri was seven mana. She required two colors and was legendary. She was a disappointment to say the least. Now, she's a planeswalker, a premier power level card in today's world. She's got one of the most popular tribes as her tie-in still, and she's doing a bunch of different controlling things. I would've loved to see her make a Scarzam's Dragon token or something, but tutoring dragons, punishing attackers, and destroying non-dragons is still pretty solid for a once seven mana Craw Wurm. Oh, and she's only four mana now. That's the stuff Commander decks can be brewed from. I know I'm not alone is hailing this new and more aptly dressed lady of dragons.


Stangg, Echo Warrior

Stangg, Echo Warrior (DMC)    

Well, Stangg has been upgraded definitively. The new version costs two mana less and copies two more things. I am pleased to see an easy call back like this, and it's going to be an exciting card to build around. I would actually avoid using the original Stangg in this deck though. I you want to know why, then here's the long-winded rules explanation. If they are both out, then your Stangg Twin token will trigger the legendary rule with the other Stangg Twin token. Now, you would obviously wish to keep the one that copied all the cool stuff, but that would involve you having to sacrifice your original Stangg as well. Stangg reads that you have to sacrifice Stangg if the Stangg twin token it created leaves the battlefield. If you kept the original Stangg's copy and let the echo warrior's die, then you would keep the two original Stanggs, and the Stangg, Echo Warrior would also stay. It would grant you the triggers, but obviously you'd lose the attacker. The original Stangg won't be sacrificed if you choose to let the Stangg, Echo Warrior's Twin token die to the legend rule as Stangg didn't create that token. Phew, you're still here? You deserve a cookie…but I'll toss you some draconic info instead.


Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant

Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant (DMC)    

Rorix Bladewing showed up in Onslaught. He was one of five pit-fighter legends that were absolute limited bombs. Opening one of those usually guaranteed you a spot in the finals. Then, in Scourge, we saw Bladewing the Risen show up and people were nuts for the undead dragon reanimation expert. It was, and still is, a very cool card. It's even been recently down-shifted and printed at uncommon. If you don't have one of those call-backs already, then you should pick one up. Likewise, Tarox Bladewing from Future Sight was a cool shout out as well. Dominaria made Verix Bladewing in order to kick up the bladewing dragons yet again. Now, we have Bladewing, Deathless Tyrant to target with our Bladewing the Risen to get some zombie value going. So many Bladewings, and so little time to reanimate them all. Also, definitely throw in your Bladewing's Thrall in order to gain some sick value off a well-timed Victimize!

There's so many more legends left to discuss, and the set is only half spoiled. Granted several of these are from the supplementary Commander decks, but still this is just awesome stuff. The nostalgia is just dripping off these cards. It really is nice to see Magic mining their own intellectual property to develop such fun and interesting cards. I know that people like to throw around angry retorts concerning the universes beyond and secret lairs, but if they're also putting together items like this Dominaria United set, then why are we not happy? Seriously, I'm OK with random sets and random cards that I may not want to buy because they are Fortnite or some other thing I just can't stand. If Magic had shifted into just producing those types of things and abandoned its own creative storylines, then I'd be super sad. I am pleased to report that as of this writing—I'm hyper ecstatic about this upcoming set. I cannot wait to see what else is coming, and I'll be sure to share some nostalgia inspired brews with all of you really soon. Until the set is fully spoiled, may the memories of sets past and the cards be ever in your favor!