It’s that time of the format again! Today, we’ll be looking at the most underrated cards of Dominaria United! The format is starting to settle as players figure out the good card, but there’s still a lot of room to take advantage of some cards that are going a bit too late.
I’m mostly going to be speaking from experience when talking about how well I’ve found a card to perform and how late I see some of these cards in packs, but will also be referencing 17lands.com data to provide a bit of context.
For those not familiar with parsing 17lands data, let me give you a quick run down of some of the numbers we’ll be using today. The metric I’ll mostly be referring to is ATA (average pick taken at).
I’ll also be using aggregate GIH WR (Games in hand win-rate, aka, was this card in my hand at any point in the game) as a metric to contextualize the strength of the cards. While this is often the least biased and more all-encompassing metric we use when looking at cards, I do want to caveat at this is aggregate data amongst all archetypes and filtering cards by color pairs often gives you better insights into where a card shines or underperforms.
GIH WR: 60.8%
Tolarian Geyser is my take for best common in the set and that take is backed up by the data on 17lands.com (a caveat here being that Shield-Wall Sentinel outperforms it, but that’s because you’re searching out mythic uncommon Wingmantle Chaplain so often that it skews the data). Tolarian Geyser is very underrated right now but that’s not a huge surprise to me. Cards that bounce a creature and draw a card always go way later than they should, with today’s card in question wheeling nearly half the time.
If I had to guess, I think these types of cards are overlooked because a lot of players consider them “not real removal” and maybe even liken them to something like an Unsummon. While it’s true that these cards don’t get rid of the creature for good, getting a creature off the battlefield for a turn without going down a card, often at a mana advantage, is a huge deal. So many games of Limited come down to winning a race or being able to spend your mana more efficiently than your opponent and cards like Tolarian Geyser excel in those types of games. I start licking my lips in excitement every time my opponent plays something clunky and expensive like a Linebreaker Baloth when I have a Tolarian Geyser in hand. One last thing to remember, the life gain kicker mode is nice if you have white mana sources in your deck, but that’s just gravy on top of an already great card. I’ll always play as many copies of this card as I can get in any blue deck.