Dominaria is here, and its cards are filling Standard decks and have even reached Modern. Its highest-profile cards, including Karn, Scion of Urza and Lyra Dawnbringer, have made the biggest impact, but there are a bunch of cards below the radar that are seeing play in successful lists. Today I’m going to look past the obvious cards to those that aren’t receiving a lot of attention but are quietly putting up results, and are likely undervalued compared to their potential.
The Dominaria card that has performed the best relative to expectation seems to be Shalai, Voice of Plenty, which has already become something of a Modern staple, being played in Chord of Calling and Eldritch Evolution decks, even in Death and Taxes. In Standard, it’s also being used in multiple archetypes, including the White-Green Midrange deck that won the first MTGO PTQ with Dominaria, and in White-Green Tokens decks. Its price has been in decline since preorders, now nearly down to $5 from more than $10, and it probably has more room to fall, but I’d look to start acquiring them once the price bottoms out and starts to rise.
Another card that’s performing in Modern, as well as Standard, is The Antiquities War. It’s showing up in some Affinity decklists, and its card advantage combined with a game-winning ultimate ability mean it might be even better than Karn, Scion of Urza, which is also showing up in Affinity. Some lists are playing The Antiquities War in the main deck, while some use it in the sideboard as a way to beat removal and hosers, but it’s shaping up to at the very least be a playable card in the archetype. This Modern play makes me interested in foil copies, which are currently at $6 for English, since these days it seems like any card that becomes a Modern staple, even brand-new ones, sees its foil version increase in price.
The Antiquities War is putting up surprising results in artifact decks in Standard, and it has posted some 5-0 league finishes in a Constructed Tribal deck and in a Grixis Improvise deck. Artifact decks look to be going through a renaissance in Standard, and The Antiquities War is playing a big part in that. If one of these decks break out to the top of the metagame, then it becomes a staple that will demand more than its current price under $2.
One of the best bargains in Dominaria may be Tempest Djinn, which at $0.80 is the cheapest card in its cycle – a cycle that has Goblin Chainwhirler and Steel Leaf Champion selling just shy of $5, Benalish Marshall for $3, and even Dread Shade at $1. Tempest Djinn has posted 5-0 finishes in multiple decks, in an exciting Mono-Blue Control deck alongside a set of Torrential Gearhulk and in a midrange deck with more creatures. Time will tell just how good these decks are, but there is some strong evidence that Tempest Djinn is the real deal and worth building around, and if it catches on, I see plenty of upside in the price.
Rekindling Phoenix is steep competition for Verix Bladewing, but we’re now seeing the cards being played side-by-side in Red-Green Monsters, which uses its mana acceleration to pay for its kicker cost. It’s an indication that Verix Bladewing has a place at the table, and as a mythic rare, that gives it a lot of upside. It has been in steady decline since preorder around $6 and is nearly down to $3, but it will be a good buy if Red-Green Monsters gains in popularity.
Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle has an ability that is clearly very powerful, but also one that requires being carefully built around. It was hyped before release, but enthusiasm and discussion around it have waned, and now the burden of proof is on it to prove it’s broken or become another cool but unplayable legendary. Pro Tour Dominaria is in a few weeks, and this is the sort of card that I know the pros are working hard on trying to break, so that event will be its make-or-break moment.
It could once be had as low as $1.50, grew to $4 by the time it was released, and is now down to $2.50 and falling, but showing up at the Pro Tour as a four-of in a deck built around it would have to send the price upwards. There’s now some indication that the card is playable, and has put up a couple league 5-0 finishes alongside Scrapheap Trawler, which is currently breaking Modern in Ironworks Combo, so I’m hopeful the card is going to prove itself as one of Standard’s best engines.
Under $1, Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp is one of the cheapest rares in Dominaria, and that gives it a lot of upside potential if it emerges as a Standard staple. It now has a few league 5-0 finishes posted, and in a variety of decks, including Grixis Improvise, Jeskai Vehicles, and Mono-Blue, and it would only take one deck becoming a metagame fixture for Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp to rise.
An uncommon not to discount is Merfolk Trickster, which is being used in the White-Blue Flash deck build around Raff Capashen that is the breakout deck from Dominaria. It has also added a great playable to Standard Merfolk, which might now finally be viable.
It can be had for about $0.50, but it seems it could be worth $1 or more in the future. Merfolk Trickster could be good enough for Modern Merfolk, where it has shown up as a maindeck four-of in a 5-0 list, and I imagine it’s now a staple in Commander Merfolk decks. The foil copies are already selling for $10, which doesn’t seem to offer a whole lot of upside, but I like its long-term prospects. If anything, be on the lookout for foil copies in Limited chaff and foil bulk, because I doubt most people realize it’s so valuable.