Don’t Ignore These Budget, Underrated Cards From Dominaria United

Dominaria United most underrated power cards that are cheap to get

Don’t Ignore These Budget, Underrated Cards From Dominaria United

Dominaria United prerelease is only a few days away, and whether you’re winning or losing in the Sealed pool, keep in mind the many uses that your cards will have in other formats like Standard, Pioneer, and especially Commander. Some of these cards may be underrated in your Sealed deck because it is not on theme, but they can be absolute bombs in the above mentioned formats.

Not only do these cards have potential, they are also expected to cheap to buy as singles, simply because:

1) We excluded Mythic Rare cards from this list (granted some Mythics become very cheap).

2) Rares will likely fall under the category of “bulk” that players don’t want.

3) They are Uncommons that should be easy to obtain.

Dominaria United has several themes in the set, so we picked up the best of each cycle that can have an impact in multiple formats:

Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim – Easy Drain Life

This Kor Cleric has pain written all over his face, and it’s going to dish out lots of life loss since for every of your Creature that dies, Elas il-Kor will ping each opponent for 1. The “each” clause here is important since you want to deal maximum damage in a Commander game. This ability is exactly the same as the also-underrated Cruel Celebrant that was released a few years ago, but Elas il-Kor has got some added benefits.

Not exactly underrated, but many will overlook this card from Dominaria United.

Firstly, Elas il-Kor is a Legendary Creature, so he can be quickly accessible as your Commander. With only 2 Mana to cast, he can be out early and start dealing all that life loss through sacrifice abilities and death triggers.

His other ability is a weaker copy of Soul Warden since it only triggers for your own Creatures, but it’s a nice bonus because you can start take advantage of life gain triggers in your deck as well. Serra’s Ascendant is a must-have if you can afford it, but even cards like Ajani’s Pridemate and Voice of the Blessed will all sync nicely with Elas il-Kor.

Once you’ve gained a lot of life, finish the game off with Aetherflux Reservoir or Test of Endurance!

Defiler of Dreams – Easy Card Draw

Defiler of Dreams is part of the “life for Mana” cycle that is newly introduced in Dominaria United. Whenever you cast a blue Permanent, you can choose to pay 2 life instead of 1 blue Mana, and you get to draw a card. Both abilities are intriguing and work well on their own, but together they could make a powerful combo.

Defiler of Dreams may not be underrated, but it should be cheap to pick up.

In blue, there are 366 cheap 1-Mana spells either in the form of Creatures or Instants and Sorceries. Cards such as Aegis Turtle, Curious Obsession, Consider and Brainstorm can all be cast for free if you use life points instead. While that may not sound like a smart move, in Commander you start with 40 life, and some of it can be used to get ahead.

Even in a constructed format with 20 life, having that option to cast more spells at the expense of life can also save you a loss or even result in a win. The nicest part of Defiler of Dreams is that you don’t need to pay life to trigger the card draw ability. Hence if Mana is not a problem, then you can be drawing lots of cards if you’re playing lots of blue Permanents.

Rundvelt Hordemaster – Red Insurance

There is an entire cycle of new lords in Dominaria United, and none of them are slouches. Apart from giving their tribes, +1/+1, the green Leaf-Crowned Visionary lets you draw a card if you pay a green Mana whenever an Elf is cast. That’s strong.

However, the most underrated (and thus cheapest) of the lot belongs to Rundvelt Hordemaster, a lord for Goblins that acts as an insurance against big board wipes. Goblin decks often build up a big army of Creatures, but are especially vulnerable to mass removal. With Hordemaster, you’ll have a chance to replenish the Battlefield with more.

There are some downsides, namely only Goblin cards can be cast, and that window is only open till the end of your next turn. Nevertheless, it is a strong addition for Goblin or mono-red decks in Commander and Pioneer, and might be an even better alternative to Anax, Hardened in the Forge.

Battlewing Mystic

The interesting Kicker ability on Battlewing Mystic makes it a card to look out for, especially since it fits nicely in blue-red colours. Being able to discard your hand and draw 2 cards can either be a nice way to instantly fill your Graveyard, or as a free Divination when your hand is empty.

Some blue decks use Delve to lower the casting cost of cards, and Battlewing Mystic can be a good way to just shove a bunch of cards into the Graveyard. For example, Arclight Phoenix is best used from the Graveyard, but the tricky part is also making sure you’re not discarding too many other useful cards.

The better use for the Bird Wizard would be to cast and kick this when your hand is empty and needs replenishing. Blue-red spell slinging decks run out of gas fast and having Battlewing Mystic come in as a 2/1 Flyer and a free Divination effect for 3 Mana is a great deal. As an uncommon, this should be easy to obtain early in the set release but its price could rise if it starts becoming a staple in multiple formats.

The Elder Dragon War

The Elder Dragon War might be the most controversial pick as a “powerful” card among the new Sagas of Dominaria United. The black Saga The Cruelty of Gix also has some amazing effects for each of its chapters, while white’s Urza Assembles the Titans fits very well in any Planeswalker-themed deck.

The Elder Dragon War does a whole list of different things, first it clears small Creatures on the board and also can deal 2 damage directly to the opponent. For non-aggro red decks, this can be useful even if the 2 damage is on the low end. The 2nd chapter makes up for this, by being able to discard any number of cards and replace them with new ones. This can be a critical play as you might be looking for the right cards that can keep you in the game. The fact that you can go straight to chapter 2 with the Read Ahead mechanic makes this card even better.

The last ability serves as a good attacking and blocking option as a 4/4 Flying dragon. It’s not a bad payoff, though not overtly powerful either. However, all these effects combined make this a great value card for just 4 Mana. The Elder Dragon War will likely not catch players’ attention at release, but could potentially see a lot of use in other formats.

End Step

It’s hard for any player, even the pros, to figure out which cards become popular and competitive before a set is even released. Often, the scene shifts in ways we don’t expect, and certain cards rise to the forefront to everyone’s surprise (hey Ledger Shredder). We hope these 5 cards will make some kind of impact, but if not, pick them up yourself and see if they can do a good job in your deck.

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After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.

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