Mark Rosewater has posted a Dominaria United teaser. The Head Designer of Magic: The Gathering has made a habit of enticing hardcore fans with what kind of new cards and mechanics are contained within the latest sets, usually just before its official release. He has highlighted both the D&D crossover set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the vampire-themed Innistrad: Crimson Vow, and the demon gangster set Streets of New Capenna. But Dominaria United is strongly tied to Magic's long history, which means this tease will contain some deep cuts for longtime fans, though warning there are a couple of spoilers from the Dominaria United stories posted on the Wizard's website.
What was revealed in the Dominaria United teaser?
Much like so many other peeks behind the curtain, Rosewater's Dominaria United teaser was posted on his Tumblr page. The first bits of information are as follows:
- a new evergreen counter
- a popular planeswalker card gets a reprint
- a blue card with “destroy all creatures”
- a five mana value creature that can be a 10/10
- three original Weatherlight crew members are in the set
- an ability word that didn’t start as an ability word returns
- rare cycle of +1/+1 granting lords
- a card that grants poison
- a new artifact with Lotus in the name
- a character players have been requesting get a card for years finally gets one
First, there is the mention of the Weatherlight crew. There's a good chance these returning characters will include main hero Karn, fan-favorite Squee, and Ertal, given his recent corruption by the Phyrexians. Then again, Phyrexians are capable of raising the dead, so there are other possibilities, with the most likely being Multani who is still alive although has not featured in any of the stories unlike the other three. As for new evergreen counters, that is a big deal. Evergreen mechanics in Magic: The Gathering are those that pop up in almost every single set in the game. For evergreen counters, the only two that come to mind currently are the stat-boosting +1/+1 counters and Loyalty counters. Rosewater also confirmed that the new evergreen counter is not an old returning counter but a brand new one.
As for the phrase "an ability word that didn't start as one" this is most likely Domain since it was introduced back during Invasion. This would be thematically appropriate given that set was about the Phyrexian invasion of Dominaria, much like what is happening again. A new "Lotus" artifact is clearly meant to reference and homage the Black Lotus card, which will most likely generate 3 mana in some way, and with some restrictions. Then there is a card that "grants poison," this is a curious addition since a poison mechanic isn't regularly used in Magic, the closest being Infect from Scars of Mirrodin. The wording here is unlikely to be the return of Infect, somewhat that Rosewater has said has balance concerns, and also runs into the fact that current R&D is not a fan of -1/-1 counters.
Next in the Dominaria United teaser by Rosewater were some carefully selected bits of rule text. That information is as follows:
- “As long as enchanted creature is legendary”
- “You may exile an instant or sorcery card with mana value X or less from among them.”
- “exile each nonland permanent with mana value 2 or less”
- “Enchantment creatures you control have”
- “if X is 3 or less”
- “For each opponent who doesn’t, that player loses 2 life and you draw a card.”
- “instant or sorcery card with mana value 1 or 2”
- “Pay any amount of mana.”
- “Vehicles you control have crew 1.”
- “where X is the number of legendary creatures you control.”
As for what this text could mean, there isn't much to go on. Vehicles don't appear in every set, but with their high level of focus in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty we may expect more cards interacting with them over the next year and a half. The famed Weatherlight is also a vehicle, and vehicles are weapons of war that could be used by or against the Phyrexians.
Finally, Rosewater's Dominaria United teaser included new creature types. That information is as follows:
- Creature – Dryad Warrior
- Creature – Phyrexian Horse
- Creature – Elf Archer (in red)
- Creature – Lhurgoyf
- Creature – Human Kor Soldier
- Legendary Creature – Elemental Demon
- Legendary Creature – Frog Beast
- Legendary Creature – Elf Artificer
- Legendary Creature – Viashino Warlock
- Legendary Creature – Phyrexian Merfolk Wizard
When it comes to legendary creatures, the Elf Artificer sticks out. While there have been Elf Artificers in the game before, Dominaria United will contain the first Legendary one. As for distinct races, a few stick out. The Human Kor Soldier is intriguing since both humans and kor are two distinct races. This could mean the card depicts a duo working together or perhaps a new half-race character. Given that kor are humanoid themselves with blue or gray skin, it is not outside the realms of possibility. As for the Lhurgoyf, they are a race of reptillian creatures with elongated limbs and giant mouths. They are also a beloved creature type by players since there have been ones of all colors, and they always reference the contents of graveyards. There have only been 11 of these kinds of cards in the game, so a new one in this set is a big deal.
Dominaria United will release worldwide on September 9.