Magic: The Gathering – The 6 Best Dominaria United Cards For Standard
The Standard meta has been burnt down thanks to rotation, and Dominaria United is here to claim what it can from the ashes. If you've been playing Magic: The Gathering Arena at all, chances are you've run across the endless iterations of Mono-Black Midrange decks that have already taken the ladder by storm.
These decks use black's impressive suite of removal alongside the introduction of powerful cards to grind opponents out of any threats. While this early-format deck likely won't survive as the meta evolves, here are some of the cards to keep an eye on as you seek to build your own brews and challenge players on the ladder both online and in-store.
6 Shivan Devastator
Shivan Devastator has seen a lot of naysayers since it was previewed during spoiler season, but this Dragon has what it takes to deliver the goods in the right deck. Despite having flying and haste, it's not the best rate for a creature as its power and toughness will always be one less than the total mana you pay. In other words, a four mana three-power, three-toughness flyer isn't really good enough for Standard.
That being said, Shivan Devastator is not a three-power, three-toughness flyer. It's the flexibility and exploitability of Shivan Devastator's variable mana cost that makes it a card to contend with. In decks that go big on mana, Devastator offers a game-ending threat once the game has gone late enough. In aggressive decks, Devastator acts as a great finisher, synergizes with modified-matters cards like Thundering Raiju and Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei, and provides some insurance against mana flood. You might have to see it to believe it, but Shivan Devastator will earn its keep.
5 Defiler Of Vigor
Defiler of Vigor might not appear all that impressive at first glance, and you'd be right. After all, it's the other cards available in the Standard format that stand to make this Wurm pose such a serious threat. The Phyrexian mana made available by every card in the Defiler cycle can be difficult to take advantage of, due to the cumulative life loss adding up, but Defiler of Vigor provides us a mana discount on creatures that can offset the life loss.
Titan of Industry, Workshop Warchief, and the newly printed Silverback Elder all provide reliable life gain that will make up for the life cost of using Phyrexian mana. Furthermore, Defiler of Vigor makes Tail Swipe only cost two life to cast. Thanks to its instant speed and the mana-advantage threat that Defiler of Vigor poses, you can wait for opponents to try and remove Defiler of Vigor before using Tail Swipe on it, bringing a creature down as it leaves the battlefield.
4 Serra Paragon
This bountiful Angel might cost four mana, but you'll find that it's a lot better to cast on turn six or seven. Serra Paragon is a great threat in her own right, thanks to being a three-power, four-toughness flying creature. Beyond that though, her ability to let you play lands or permanent spells from your graveyard with a mana value of three or less is simply absurd.
The card advantage that Serra Paragon provides is even better than your usual draw spells, due to the fact that you get to choose what you want to cast from your graveyard. Furthermore, chances are good that by the time you want to cast Serra Paragon, you've racked up some of the best possible targets in your deck into your graveyard already. As if all of this wasn't enough, Serra Paragon also brings back permanents with additional text that provides you with two life whenever they leave the battlefield and go into exile.
3 Sheoldred, The Apocalypse
There's not much to be said about Sheoldred that hasn't already been said. Sheoldred has great statistics for her mana cost, comes with a notable keyword in the form of deathtouch, gives you reliable life gain in the face of aggressive decks, and provides an eventual win condition in the form of recurring life loss.
Simply put, this card is an absolute house. There's a reason that Mono-Black Midrange decks are gumming up the Magic Arena ladder right now, and you're pretty much looking at it. If you're having doubts about what cards to spend your wildcards or money on, Sheoldred won't disappoint — no matter where she eventually ends up.
2 Plaza Of Heroes
Just when you thought all of the lands leaving Standard with rotation would prevent three-color decks from posing a significant threat, Plaza of Heroes has come to prove you completely wrong. There are a ton of powerful legendary spells in Standard at the moment including Thalia, Guardian of Thraben; Adeline, Resplendent Cathar; Raffine, Scheming Seer; The Wandering Emperor; and Ertai Resurrected.
These are all cards being played in the current iterations of an up-and-coming Esper Legends deck, one that has a good chance of taking a place atop the new Standard metagame. This deck only works thanks to Plaza of Heroes providing great mana fixing, and there's no doubt that Plaza of Heroes will be able to provide similar fixing for legendary cards in other colors.
1 Liliana Of The Veil
How could we ever talk about new Standard without mentioning the re-introduction of Liliana of the Veil? Even more so than Sheoldred, this is a card that has been talked to death already, as it has been around since it was printed in the original Innistrad block.
Nevertheless, Liliana of the Veil is one of the most powerful planeswalkers ever printed, and some would argue that she is, in fact, the best planeswalker card ever made. Her +1 loyalty ability will empty the hands of most opponents in no time, her -2 loyalty ability provides supremely reliable removal, and her ultimate will win you the game on the spot 99 percent of the time it goes off. Liliana of the Veil still sees play in Modern, so you can bet your fetchlands that she'll be an absolute house in Standard. All hail the once and returned queen of Standard.
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