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Top 10 Blue Dominaria United MTG Cards for Commander

It’s Dominaria United Commander set review time, and let’s be real: I’m wordy. I have a lot to say, and I’m fortunate to have this platform, but sometimes when my reviews come around, my articles are a bit of an overload. This time around, I won’t be reviewing every card that piques my interest just a little bit – instead, I’ll be taking a look at each color, plus multicolored cards, colorless nonlands and lands, and reviewing my 10 favorite cards from each of those categories. That way, you can figure out which cards are must-haves for your decks faster without having to sort through a ton of cards you might not care about. Sure, you’ll miss out on my thoughts on niche cards, but let’s be realistic – if you’re super into a particular niche, you’ve already seen and thought about the cards that fit your specific deck but don’t do much elsewhere. 

As a reminder, my focus is on social Commander rather than competitive EDH. These days, I’ve been leaning more toward a desire to play three 40-minute games in lieu of one two-hour slog, but I’ll be talking about cards from the wider social perspective. My goal when playing Commander is for everyone to have fun but also for me to have a good shot at winning the game – or at least doing the thing my deck set out to do – so if that’s your mindset as well, these reviews will probably resonate with you. When you inevitably disagree with a review (or think I skipped something good), please feel free to tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts!

I’ll be reviewing the whole of Dominaria United all at once – the main set plus the supplemental cards from the Commander decks, the Set Booster exclusives and the Legends Retold cards. I’ll be categorizing nonland cards by color identity, so a white card with a black kicker cost will have to compete with all of the other multicolored cards. I’ll also be categorizing cards with domain as multicolored cards, for reasons that should be pretty clear.

 

 

Header - Blue

10. Academy Loremaster

Academy Loremaster

Tenth place is actually a little bit of an indictment here. This initially looks like something for fans of Kami of the Crescent Moon, but this card gives your opponents something you don’t want them to have: options. You’ll often find opponents refusing to play your game and just saying no to the extra card. If you’re displaying significant downsides to that extra draw with something like The Council of Four, Xyris or Nekusar, prepare to look sadly at this card and imagine what your life would be like if your card actually did something. In the best case scenario, your opponents all decline the draw while you accept it – of course, then you should probably avoid playing anything on your own turn. Break out the Vedalken Orreries and Leylines of Anticipation!

9. Cosmic Epiphany

Cosmic Epiphany

Dump a bunch of instants and sorceries into your graveyard with wheels or self-discard effects, then draw even more cards with this! Of course, you could just cast your spells the traditional way – that tends to work just fine. Six mana is a lot, but if you’re building up something you can translate into mana – think Kykar or just Talrand with an Altar – you’ll be easily able to cast this and follow up with some more spells in the same turn. 

8. Combat Research

Combat Research

Any deck looking to pair Slither Blade and Curiosity will likely be interested in Combat Research. Better yet, you can drop this on a commander looking to deal combat damage, like Iymrith, Derevi or Daxos of Meletis and get some extra value out of the legendary clause. This card seems to be most popular with Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief, which doesn’t surprise me too much. After all, creating an army of creatures that give you cards when they get through seems like a great way to have fun in the combat step.

7. Aether Channeler

Aether Channeler

The three-pronged utility here puts this one over the top for Wizard decks and blink decks alike. Each of these modes has its place, with the Bird token likely the most situational, but bouncing something and drawing a card are both great options nearly all of the time. Displacer Kitten loves having this Human-shaped toolbox on the table, as does any repeatable blink engine.

6. Emperor Mihail II

Emperor Mihail II

We’ve seen how powerful playing cards off the top of your library can be, and I think Mihail can show us that power from the command zone or in the 99 for another commander like Kumena. Merfolk usually want more Merfolk to make the system work, and Mihail helps with wrath resilience and recovery by providing an additional token for a pseudo-kicker of just one mana per Merfolk spell you cast. Lullmage Mentor loves the tokens, as do any of the other Atlantean Lords.

5. Haughty Djinn

Haughty Djinn

Unlike Crackling Drake, this only counts your graveyard, but the upside of cost reduction on your instants and sorceries is hard to ignore. It’s not as powerful as something like Archmage Emeritus, but it goes in the same lists and makes the Archmage and its ilk much stronger. This won’t do much for your one-mana cantrips, but cards like Deadly Dispute, Chart a Course and Manamorphose benefit greatly here. I’m unlikely to slot this in over Goblin Electromancer, but I’ll put them side by side if I can.

4. The Phasing of Zhalfir

The Phasing of Zhalfir

Read ahead makes this card a lot better than it would be were it just your everyday Saga. You can choose to save a creature (or two if you’re not at all pressed for time) before unleashing the pseudo-wrath mode, or you can just go straight to the good stuff and replace everyone with Phyrexians right off the bat. Blue does not have access to wrath-like effects most of the time, so I expect this to show up in Simic decks that can go wide but may need to clear out larger creatures.

3. Micromancer

Micromancer

This seems like an instant hit in Displacer Kitten decks, grabbing your various blue cantrips to keep the engine running. I’m sure Demonic Consultation will be a popular option at high-power tables, with cards like High Tide, Swan Song, Swords to Plowshares and many more being applicable here as well. Whether you’re using this to find Green Sun’s Zenith, Energy Tap or anything in between, I’m sure you can imagine an application.

2. Defiler of Dreams

Defiler of Dreams

The “permanents only” restriction here is a bit of a disappointment (or, if you think like me, a relief), but there are plenty of great cards to combine this with. Faerie Seer becomes Serum Visions on a 1/1, but you probably have to have another reason to play Faerie Seer. I’m thinking more along the lines of Mystic Remora or Wizard Class, with the latter being my favorite of the two. The big winner here, though, is Shrieking Drake. Cast it, draw a card, then return it to your hand. Two life = one card! I can’t put too much hate on a two-card Meh-cropotence.

1. Vesuvan Duplimancy

Vesuvan Duplimancy

What a surprise that our preview card would be so high on the list! Seriously, though, I think this card is fantastic – I already wrote a whole article about it, so go ahead and check that out.

 

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