Wallet Warriors: Dominaria Legend Review Part 1

Kilian Johnson
March 29, 2018
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Welcome back Wallet Warriors! I’m here for part one of our two-part Dominaria legend review! There are a ton of legends to get through so in this article we’re going over all the mono color legends that have been spoiled and we’ll go over the multi-colored ones next time around.


Typically I’ll talk a bit about each creature then have my different grades for them based on my set criteria. However because there are so many of them this time around I’m just going to give my thoughts followed by my overall grade.


Just as a reminder my grading is not based on how powerful or competitive the cards are. As this is a budget article series, they will be aimed at the more casual play group. This means the numbers will be very subjective, based on how fun and interesting I predict these creatures to be.


Let’s get right to it with the White creatures!

Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle



We’re starting off strong with a strange but cool card. The first thing many people will say when seeing Teshar is “How do I break him?”. Being able to trigger off casting artifacts opens the door for some interesting combos. The simplest route is using a 0 mana artifact creature, one of the creatures that pulls artifacts out of the grave when it dies and a free sacrifice outlet.


 

With these you can generate an infinite loop and presumably kill everyone at the table. Even ignoring combo potential Teshar generates tons of value.


Teshar could fit into Breya, Etherium Sculptor or Alesha, Who Smiles at Death if built accordingly.


Overall Score: 8.5/10

 

Kwende, Pride of Femeref

 

We’re coming down quite a bit for Kwende. This is a relatively boring ability but can definitely be impactful. If every creature in your deck has first strike then Kwende essentially doubles their power for just four mana. In that sense Kwende can act as a pseudo True Conviction which is an enchantment that typically wins games when it comes down.


Overall Score: 4.5/10

 


Evra, Halcyon Witness



This card is a little crazy. Assuming everyone is at starting life totals, if you attack and are unblocked, you can activate her ability before damage, her power becomes 40, she one-shots whoever you were attacking and you gain the life back because of lifelink.


Having the ability to one-shot anybody without any other cards involved is very powerful but the strategy I just laid out has some serious weak points. If she is taken down in response to the ability you won’t gain the life back. Depending on your playgroup, the player about to take lethal damage could concede before you go to damage also neutering the lifegain.


I’ll have to see her in action before fully understanding the implications of this weird ability. One thing that’s certain is there is a lot of power here.


Overall Score: 7/10

 

Lyra Dawnbringer


Angels have been a huge part of the game since the beginning and yet the options for angel tribal commanders have been pretty unexciting. Previously, the only legendary angel that actually has direct synergy with other angels is Bruna, the Fading Light but she doesn’t really fit any strong themes that angels are traditionally known for.

Lyra is a tremendous addition to the angel tribe. Being only five mana is a huge boon and giving other angels lifelink allows for huge attacks without a lot of fear from the crackback. The +1/+1 ability will be useful but since most angels are already big and attack in the air it’s the least exciting part of the card for me.


Overall Score: 7.5/10

 

Baird, Steward of Argive

 

Baird will be an interesting new option for players that like to build a defensive fort and disincentivize people from coming at them. The steward will most likely be a worse Windborn Muse since they don’t fly and only requires a payment of one mana per attack. That being said, having access to this effect out of the command zone is extremely valuable.



These effects are typically very good in a multiplayer environment because adding a tax to the luxury of attacking you means if your opponents want to curve out they will need to look elsewhere during their combat phase.


Overall Score: 6/10

 

 

Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive

 

Tetsuko is another commander that will please some niche tribe lovers. I’m sure many rogue players will be a bit frustrated that there is no black mana anywhere on the card… actually so will the ninja players. Even still, being able to trigger prowl and ninjutsu consistently while providing evasion to your other small creatures can be effective.

 

Being limited to just blue mana is a shame so I can see Tetsuko being added to the 99 of another rogue/ninja list. Edric, Spymaster of Trest will also be more than happy to harbor the fugitive.


Overall Score: 5/10

 


Naban, Dean of Iteration



Most commander players have felt the pain that is an unchecked Doubling Season or Panharmonicon. Doubling things tends to get out of hand very quickly.

 

Naban is essentially a half-price Panharmonicon that only works for your wizards. They work well as a commander since having access to this effect for so cheap is great. Where I’m more excited to play them is alongside Inalla, Archmage Ritualist. The doubling effect does not trigger Inalla a second time unless she is in play but when Inalla copies a wizard with an enter the battlefield trigger, you will get four instances of that trigger in total.


Overall Score: 8/10

 

Naru Meha, Master Wizard

 

Naru Meha is a very solid wizard lord. It’s a little unfortunate that they can only copy the spells you cast since they already cost four mana meaning you will have to have a lot of mana to be able to do anything too crazy.


Being able to flash in and save a wizard or two in combat or from a toughness based boardwipe such as Toxic Deluge is a nice ability to have access to.



I don’t expect to see the Master Wizard leading the troops but they will slot into tribal wizard builds pretty easily.


Overall Score: 6/10

 

Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp



Zahid has a similar ability to Derevi, Empyrial Tactician since from the command zone you may pay the alternate cost no matter how many times Zahid has been cast.


However the djinn is much less impactful and has a much lower build around potential than Derevi. He could find his way into existing artifact decks but I don’t think he will likely be getting cast from the command zone too often.


Overall Score: 4/10

 

Kazarov, Sengir Pureblood



Kazarov is a cool callback to the Sengir vampire bloodline but unfortunately that’s about all that’s cool about him. Vampires have skyrocketed to one of the most popular tribes in commander in the past year due to the addition of so many powerful vampires at most points on the curve. The competition is a little too strong these days for Kazarov to make a splash considering how expensive he is to cast and to activate his ability.


Overall Score: 3/10

 

Urgoros, the Empty One



Urgoros is another callback, this time to the traditional specter ability of forcing opponents to discard when they get hit. Urgoros is a bit more exciting than Kazarov even though they are very similar in the sense that they are both mana intensive for what they provide. I could see some players dust off their Hypnotic Specters and build a very casual tribal deck around the Empty One.




Overall Score: 4/10

 

 

Whisper, Blood Liturgist

This is a card where on first glance you have to double check for all the limiting phrases like “non-token” or timing restrictions such as “only on your upkeep”/”only at sorcery speed”.


The Blood Liturgist has none of these.


This almost guarantees Whisper to be a mainstay in any black deck interested in sacrificing it’s creatures for value or bringing back giant creatures that were discarded on an earlier turn. Whisper also fits into the command zone quite nicely.


Overall Score: 7.5/10

 

Demonlord Belzenlok


One of my favorite aspects of black is drawing cards at the cost of life. Belzenlok has a very high ceiling of power depending on how your deck is constructed. Sure, you could use the demon as a big flyer that replaces itself but the true black mages will be looking to draw as many cards as possible. Using cards with “fake” high cmc is a great starting point. Delve, Undaunted, and cards like Avatar of Woe come to mind.

Remember though, when you cast Belzenlok, you are signing a pact and cannot back out until the ability resolves. Greatness at any cost as they say.


Overall Score: 6.5/10

 

 

Torgaar, Famine Incarnate


Torgaar almost feels like he was designed for a commander product. His cost reduction ability means if you have enough creatures to sacrifice he will always be two black mana even taking commander tax into account.


If this card was printed back when we were originally in Dominaria it would likely read “Set target players life total to 10” however Wizards’ now have plenty of formats to consider when designing cards.


Torgaar is great as a commander since he can be built around and has the all-important seven points of power for an easy three swing lethal with commander damage.


Overall Score: 7.5/10

 

Squee, the Immortal

Squee’s back! And he’s sticking around… forever. This card is really neat and has some interesting applications in existing strategies. Squee joins Misthollow Griffin and Eternal Scourge as cards that can generate infinite mana when combined with Food Chain.



This is a powerful competitive combo so it’s something casual players shouldn’t have to worry too much about. Something more casual that I’m personally excited for is that Squee is another nontoken creature that can be repeatedly sacrificed for Sek’Kuar Deathkeeper!


Overall Score: 5/10

 

Valduk, Keeper of the Flame


Valduk combines two aspects of red that have typically been separate. Equipment/auras and tokens. Valduk lets you attack on multiple axes since you are building him up while attacking with a bunch of small creatures. He doesn’t seem too exciting on first look since he has no built in evasion and requires quite a few pairs of pants equipped to be threatening but I can see him pulling his weight in the right deck. From the command zone you can build around the token sub-theme but he works well alongside commanders with access to white or green as well.


Overall Score: 5/10

 

Verix Bladewing

Verix is a relatively cheap dragon to cast with a low impact on the game. This makes him less exciting as the leader of his own deck but I think he will find a nice spot with his dragon buddies in an Ur-Dragon deck.

 

With The Ur-Dragon’s eminence ability Verix will only cost three mana for the top half which is a great early play when building up your flying hoard.


Overall Score: 4.5/10

 


Marwyn, the Nurturer


Marwyn is another addition to the long line of great elves. She’s a great mana generator in any existing elf deck but she’s also got what it takes to lead her own army. Three mana is a crucial spot on the elf curve since ideally you want to lead with a mana elf on turn one then follow it up with a three mana play on turn two.


Marwyn allows for some insane starts and helps the consistency of an elf deck tremendously when in the command zone. She will definitely see play in casual elf decks as well as competitive ones most likely.


Overall Score: 8.5/10

 

Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar

 

 

Multani’s new form is a great card for super casual play. It’s the kind of card you open in your first few packs starting out in the game and instantly fall in love with because of its potential. I don’t think many people reading this article will be too interested since you already have to be pretty entrenched in the format to go looking for content. However, I’m glad we get another version of this effect in a set that will likely be the stepping stone for many players into our format.


Overall Score: 6.5/10

 

Gruun, the Lonely King


Gruun is another card for the super casual player. He can get pretty big but needs some help to trample over enemy blockers. Gruun will probably find his way into some decks just jamming in as many ramp spells and giant monsters as possible even though there are definitely better options out there.


Overall Score: 3.5/10

 

Wrap Up


Well that’s it for the mono colored legends. There were some high highs and low lows but all in all I’m really excited to get my hands on some of these.


I’ll be going over the multi-colored legends next time so stay tuned!


Cheers!

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