This week, Magic: The Gathering launched its latest set, Dominaria United, which kicks off a multi-set storyline and returns the action to the original setting of the card game, Doninaria. The set, which begins the celebrations of the game’s 30th anniversary, includes some powerful new cards, to go along with its important expansion of the MTG story, and we got to hands-on with the game just before its launch.
For newcomers, or friends of current MTG players, the most important inclusion are the new 20-card Jumpstart Booster packs, meant to be combined in lots of two into a deck that can be used instantly for play. These decks have themes like ‘Coalition Corps’ for White or ‘Totally Ruthless’ for Black, and all of them form powerful and interesting combos that anyone can use to jump straight into the action.
They’re also where you’ll find some of the more interesting that Dominaria United has to offer. For instance, ‘Pilfer’, a a Black sorcery card, lets you force your opponent to show you their hand, and then allows you to choose one of their non-land cards to discard. That’s just cheeky. Another ability called ‘Enlist’, found on cards like Argivian Cavalier, allows you to tap non-attacking creatures without summoning sickness to add to its own attack strength. It’s an interesting way to help you combine forces, especially utilising comparatively weaker cards on the battlefield in helpful ways. Sagas also return in Dominaria United, but include a new ‘read ahead’ ability, that effectively lets you start your ‘read-through’ of each of the chapters of the saga at any point, allowing you to skip ahead to any more beneficial effects sooner.
There’s also some fancy flourishes on Dominaria United cards, particularly on the stained glass variations of land cards, which are really cool full-card art versions of your standard lands.
The story in Dominaria United focuses on Praetor Sheoldred and the Phyrexian army invading, with the potential to threaten the entire multiverse. Planeswalkers Karn, Jaya Ballard, Ajani Goldman and Liliana Vess all return as well. Seeing as all the action is returning to MTG‘s origins, there’s also ‘Lost Legends’ cards found in Dominaria United collector boosters, essentially reproductions of cards directly from the 1994 Legends set, with over 240 cards of any rarity available.
Dominaria United feels like the start of a much larger plan as it kicks off the 30th anniversary of MTG, but it’s also a useful jumping on point for MTG fans wanting to get their friends involved, with a classic setting and Jumpstart Boosters providing an easy way to get right into the action, without having to worry about all the planning and knowledge that goes into deckbuilding.
Either way, there’s plenty for veterans of the series and newcomers to enjoy in Dominaria United. The set is on sale now via Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, Jumpstart Boosters, Commander Decks and bundles.