Old School Synergies with Dominaria United
“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’m here today to tell you about some interesting cards that you may or may not know about. These are cards that stem back nearly 30 years at times, but have interesting interactions with new cards. Thanks to the wonders of errata, rulings, and freshly printed cards, we not only get to play with new items, but we get to work on incorporating older cards with the newer stuff. If you’ve read my column for any length of time, then you know this sort of thing is my bread and butter. I love breathing new life into those older cards. When new cards come out I’m immediately going through my mental index of cards to see what old items might be suddenly more powerful when they’re combined with the latest and greatest new printings. I love sharing these items with all of you, and I hope that you find it fun to either discover or rediscover these lost pieces of Magic lore. Afterall, who doesn’t love this game for all of its depth and breadth? For the purposes of this article I’ll be referring to cards that work with, synergize with, or otherwise compliment newer cards, so let’s get to the cards!
Wow, have you seen King Darien or Queen Allenal of Ruadach? Well, they happen to let you make plenty of Soldiers. What are some cards that care about Soldiers or making tokens? I’m sure you’ve heard of those obvious cards like Doubling Season and Divine Visitation, but have you scoped out any of those hidden gems yet?
Catapult Master is a fun one from Onslaught that lets you exile creatures with the might of your Soldiers. Plus, you can actually use this ability twice in a single turn if you happen to have 10 Soldiers in play. Additionally, while you are going wide with all those Soldier tokens don’t forget to get tall with Benalish Commander. This card is superbly powerful in a token generating deck that cares about Soldiers. Additionally, you get to toss in that odd token generator and payoff agent Halo Fountain—alternate win conditions that synergize with a deck really don’t feel that unfair. The goal is to create synergies, right? However, my favorite way to win in a tokens deck is to suddenly go tall rather than go wide. How do we go about doing that? We can go tall in a Soldier deck with a gem from a set that some say is the worst set ever made. Aysen Crusader is a great card for those hero…er…Soldier and Warrior decks. Yes, Aysen Crusader actually has been “fixed” in the rules text to say its power and toughness are equal to 2 plus the number of Soldiers and Warriors you control. This is a huge flavor win, as finally, Soldiers and Warriors are being recognized for what they are: heroes! I love that the Aysen Crusader is a card from Homelands that has been seemingly lost to time, but now it appears once more to be a very serious threat. With enough tokens out it is a likely possibility that you could have a 12/12 hero on your battlefield without much effort at all. Seriously, this is such a cool little flavor win, and a wonderful way to flex your ancient Magic knowledge and skill with a card from the infamous Homelands set. Pick up a copy for yourself and for your friend who plays that annoying Soldier deck.
Lady Caleria was updated to Ohabi Caleria, and now we finally have a Robin Hood Commander. Well, not one that steals from the rich and gives to the poor, but rather a lord for the Archers. It’s nice to see these random lords get printed, and I’ll talk about another one in just a moment. Sure, there’s Greatbow Doyen, but that’s just a lord, and not a Commander! However, first let’s stick with the task of giving you a heads up on some interesting cards to pair with your Archers.
Arcus Acolyte is a fantastic one that allows you to keep pumping up your archers on your turn, and then take advantage of the extra untapping on each other player’s untap step. Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile is a wonderful deterrent for keeping people from attacking you. You can tap her and then tap plenty of mana to generate sweet card advantage. Now, since this is Commander, they don’t even have to be attacking you, so feel free to toss around a little damage to draw a few extra cards. Elvish Hunter is a sneaky little one from Fallen Empires that can “stun” your opponents creatures, and leave them open to the ire of your opponents (or your creatures). Longshot Squad is also a nice one that synergizes well with Arcus Acolyte. Interestingly, I think that some of the most powerful cards to pair with this archer commander are cards that generate mana and ping other creatures. This lets you utilize the untapping to crank out free cards and pick off powerful utility style creatures like Essence Wardens or even opposing 1/1 Soldier creature tokens.
Defiler of Vigor is a powerful card. At this point I’m sure you’ve heard about numerous ways to take advantage of it. However, I think it has tremendous potential not just in Elf themed decks, but in enchantress builds.
Whip Silk is an old enchantress staple from Invasion. It is an aura that costs one G to cast and can be returned to your hand for one G. That means that you can just pay 2 life and however much green mana you have to pile +1/+1 counters all over your creatures. Now, if you happen to have an enchantress in play as well, now you’re just filling your hand with other tons of cards that are also being reduced in cost. This is a grossly satisfying way to pile on the counters while fueling your enchantress deck. Often enchantress style decks suffer from a lack of finishers, but Defiler of Vigor can really help to make any of those smaller threats into game ending ones in short order. Combine this with Archon of Sun's Grace, Celestial Ancient, Historian’s Boon, and the seriously fair Nexus Wardens. Nexus Wardens let you gain back that 2 life every time you cast Whip Silk…which seems wonderfully synergistic, right? Good old commons!
That’s all I have time for now, but I’ll be back again with some more secret synergies. I’m always digging into these and love discovering new and odd ways to build on Magic’s foundation of 20,000+ unique cards. It’s a joy to meld old and new, and I hope that your decks give you a chance to help represent Magic’s grand history and promising future in every deck you build. I hope that your old cards find new life and that both the new and the old cards are ever in your favor!