March 30, 2018

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Daily Dose of Dominaria – Knights of the round table rejoice

Welcome all to Friday here on the Daily Dose of Dominaria. Yesterday, I talked about all the wonderful Wizards of from Dominaria. Today I move on to a new creature type, Knights.

The Knight creature has been around for a long time in Magic, dating back to the original sets. Knights are often portrayed as creatures that help other creatures on the battlefield, whether by giving them Exalted like Rafiq of the Many, or by pumping up your other Knights like Knight Exemplar.

Currently in Standard, most of the Knights we have come from the Ixalan block and are associated with Vampires. Cards such as Elenda, the Dusk Rose and Legion Lieutenant are prime examples. Now, while most of the Knights coming in Dominaria are humans, there is one I mentioned earlier in the week that keeps up the Vampire theme. Let’s revisit Arvad the Cursed:

arvad

Arvad the Cursed will help you build a new Vampire Knight deck by pumping up creatures like Elenda, the Dusk Rose and Vona, Butcher of Megan. Other than that, there are few Knights that help Vampires coming in Dominaria. You will still be able to make a great white/black Knight deck though, thanks to the cards I’m about to talk about.

Another aspect of Knights in the history of Magic is that there have been pairs of Knight creatures that have fought against each other, often with protection against the other colour. We saw this first with White Knight and Black Knight, and most recently with Knight of Infamy and Knight of Glory. These have all been pairs of creatures that are identical other than switching the words black and white on their cards. This theme continues in Dominaria with a new pair of Knights, Knight of Malice and Knight of Grace:

knightmalice
knightofgrace2

One change between these two and previous Knight pairs are that instead of having protection from their opposing colour, they have hexproof from it. So while they can’t be the target of spells in their opposing colours, these two can actually damage each other.

Next up is a Legendary Knight that really wants you to get in for more damage. Here is Kwende, Pride of Femeref:

This is a very narrow ability for a creature that has the potential to be great. The key is to see how many creatures in Standard have first strike. Currently, there are only five.

 

 

 

Other than Toolcraft Exemplar, none of these really jump out as spectacular, and even then Toolcraft Exemplar is the hardest of the five to get first strike. Maybe Dominaria will bring us some more first strike creatures. Knight of Grace  is a good target, and the amazing new Legendary creature Lyra Dawnbringer is a 5/5 flying, lifelink, first strike Angel who would very much benefit from having double strike. There is also a new Legendary Knight creature that has first strike as well. Here is Danitha Capashen, Paragon:

danithacapashenparagon1

You can play this card the turn before you cast Kwende, Pride of Femeref and be able to attack with a 2/2 double strike, vigilance, lifelink creature. There are also a few enchantments that will give creatures first strike, like Cartouche of Solidarity and the new enchantment from Dominaria, Dub.

A couple weeks ago, I talked about Sagas and the impact that they will have in Magic. There is one Saga that I didn’t talk about at that time, as I wanted to save it for when I talked about Knights in Dominaria. You will see why I chose to do that. Here is History of Benalia:

historyofbenalia

This Saga is what you want to finish off your opponent. To start off, you get two additional 2/2 Knight creatures to add to your battlefield. To top that off, two turns after you play History of Benalia, all your Knights, including the two created from History of Benalia will get +2/+1, allowing you to get in for one large attack against your opponent.

What I like about this and other Sagas is that they aren’t Legendary. You could play four of these in your deck to make sure your battlefield is full of Knights and having multiple turns to threaten an all-out attack. I am a little surprised that it is Mythic though, but I’m sure once players start casting this card they will see the power it can wield in the game.

For the last Knight I’m going to talk about today, I saved the creature that needs all the other Knights to revolt against the evil. Here is Aryel, Knight of Windgrace:

Now this is a Knight I can get behind. To start off, you get a 4/4 Vigilance creature for four mana. Vigilance on Aryel, Knight of Windgrace is very important because of its two abilities. It allows you to attack and keep it on defense, ready to use its abilities at a moment’s notice.

Let me start off with the first ability. Each turn you can make a 2/2 Knight with vigilance. Not only will this keep adding power to the battlefield, but it will help with Aryel, Knight of Windgrace’s second ability. I can see this second ability being used to lock your opponent out of any creatures. A lot of the Knights seem to have vigilance, meaning you can attack with them and still have them untapped to use this ability to start killing off creatures.

Aryel, in combination with all the other Knights we talked about, leads me to believe that a Standard Knight deck will be seeing play come April time.

And there you have it, enough Knights to form a round table and destroy your opponent! I don’t believe that Knights in general are as powerful as Wizards, but there is something there to work with.

Thanks again for joining me on another week of the Daily Dose of Dominaria. We are only four weeks away from the release of Dominaria and only three weeks from prerelease. I am so excited to get my hands on this set, and I hope you are too. Join me again next week as I continue the conversation on Dominaria.