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April 4, 2018

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Daily Dose of Dominaria – A Historic set to be for sure

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Dominaria, where today I’m looking at a new mechanic from Dominaria called historic.

I always get excited when a set introduces a new mechanic. It gets my mind racing with all the possibilities of how to use it with the new cards that have it, and with existing cards already in the format. Before I look at some of the cards featuring the historic mechanic, let me breakdown what historic means when it comes to Magic cards.

“(Artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas are historic.)”

A couple things to note is that this includes all Legendary permanents and not just creatures. Legendary enchantments like Search for Azcanta are historic. The new Legendary sorceries like Karn’s Temporal Sundering are historic. All artifacts, whether they are creatures or not, are historic. And, of course, the amazing new Sagas from Dominaria like History of Benalia are also historic. This provides a large pool of cards, especially in Dominaria, for you to choose from if you are looking for spells that work with the new mechanic.

Now that we know which spells are historic, let’s look at some of the new cards from Dominaria that interact with these historic cards. First off, is an artifact (historic card), that helps you with casting any of your future historic spells. Let’s take a look at Jhoira’s Familiar:

Mana reduction on this scale is not something to look at lightly. I like the fact that Jhoira’s Familiar isn’t Legendary so you can have multiple of them on the battlefield to get even more mana reduction. Jhoira’s Familiar could allow you to cast some artifacts for zero mana, and remove most or all the colourless mana costs of all your other historic cards. Each Jhoira’s Familiar you have on the battlefield reduces the cost of the next one you cast. You are also left with a 2/2 Flying creature, which should allow you to get in a little bit of damage through the air as well.

Next, is an artifact creature that could spread across your whole battlefield exponentially. Here is Mishra’s Self-Replicator:

Here comes another Assembly-Worker to add to the collection.

The interesting part about this card is how fast it can get out of control. If you have the one mana to be able to copy it, the number of copies you have on the battlefield will grow exponentially. The first historic spell you cast will leave you with two Mishra’s Self-Replicators. The next one will allow you to have four Mishra’s Self-Replicators on the battlefield. Do you see where I’m going with this?

You’re only restriction is how much mana you have left over after casting a historic spell. Casting cheap artifacts will allow you to grow your army quite large. True they will only be 2/2 creatures, but having eight or more 2/2 creatures will allow you to attack wide against your opponent or use multiple of them to block a large creature. I love the design of this card and hope to open it up during my prerelease.

Have some of your historic cards been placed in the graveyard throughout the game? Don’t worry, Rona, Disciple of Gix is here to help you get them back.

rona

This is one of those creatures where the power and toughness of the card don’t really matter.

Rona, Disciple of Gix is here to gain you one thing, pure value. If you can build your deck with a majority, if not all your cards being historic spells, you will be able to gain value every turn with Rona, Disciple of Gix. The key line of text on this card is “You may cast nonland cards exiled with Rona.”.

Note that it doesn’t use the new wording of “this card” which means cards exiled by a previous Rona, Disciple of Gix can be cast when you have any Rona, Disciple of Gix on the battlefield. This allows you to play multiple Rona, Disciple of Gix in the same deck and not have them lose any value. Rona, Disciple of Gix’s other ability to exile the top card of your library is great. Later in the game, if you exile a land card, that’s great. If you exile a historic spell, you can cast it thanks to Rona, Disciple of Gix.

Finally, I want to talk about a legendary creature that will make sure you have enough fuel to continue casting cards all game long. Here is Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain:

jhoira

Speaking of value, let’s welcome Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain to the battlefield.

I can already picture a lot of players getting ready to pick up this card as their new Commander, whether it’s in normal Commander, or the new Standard-only Brawl format. Like Rona, Disciple of Gix, if you build your deck around this card and historic spells in general, you will make sure that you will have a consistent supply of cards to cast. I do wonder if this card is as good as players think, though.

Let’s have a look at another legendary creature from last year that has a similar, but even better ability in my opinion, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter. This card even allows you a chance to cast the revealed card from the top of your deck. Either way, you get to draw the card if you don’t cast it.

Despite its amazing ability, this card was hardly played at all. Could it be that it was just in the wrong colours and that Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain being in red/blue will help it? One way that Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain has an advantage over Rashmi, Eternities Crafter is that if you can string together multiple historic spells in one turn, you will able to draw multiple cards. This could lead to some sort of combo deck with Paradoxical Outcome where you are able to cast a lot of cheap artifacts and draw tons of cards thanks to Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain.

I’m hoping there is a place for Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain in the Standard format, much like I wanted to see Rashmi, Eternities Crafter succeed as well.

By my estimates, roughly 40% of the cards in Dominaria are historic. This means that most of the time, you will have a historic spell to trigger one of the abilities I talked about on the cards above. Plus, remember that each of pack of Dominaria is guaranteed to contain a Legendary creature. Taking all of this into consideration, I believe that the historic mechanic from Dominaria will have an impact in Limited and in the Standard format.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Dominaria. Join me tomorrow as I investigate some of the new powerful equipment lurking within Dominaria for creatures to use.