Did you think that Teferi, Hero of Diminaria was truly gone? Despite no longer being in Standard rotation, Dominaria is currently available for Ranked Draft on MTG Arena. Some players may find this event challenging if they didn’t play prior to Throne of Eldraine’s release a few months back. Unlike other sets, Dominaria heavily revolves around legendary creatures and spells. Dubbed “Historic,” this keyword is shorthand for any legendary permanent, saga, or artifact spells.
One of the most important aspects of any draft is to understand the different archetypes within a set. This will not only help you understand how to pilot your deck but give you a much better chance at winning. Dominaria has roughly 5-6 different themes, with a few of them being exceptionally dangerous if you get the right cards.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each archetype you will find in Dominaria.
Perhaps the best archetype in the entire set, Black/Green saprolings is insanely potent due to the sheer amount of support cards available. Sporecrown Thallid pumps up your team and Slimefoot, the Stowaway serves as a fantastic finisher. There are also a number of Saproling token generators that can feed into your sacrifice strategy. Saproling Migration, Deathbloom Thallid, and Spore Swarm can give you a strong bored presence. Not only do these tokens serve as terrific blockers, but they a perfect fodder for cards like Thallid Soothsayer and Thallid Omnivore. It’s truly scary how synergistic this deck is when it gets going.
A tempo-focused strategy, this deck revolves around deploying a variety of wizards and using additional spells to clear the board of threats. While cards like Adeliz, the Cinder Wind and Ghitu Lavarunner are exceptional, the deck is heavily reliant on these types of cards. This makes it a bit unwieldy at times, but also quite strong if you manage to grab certain spells. We recommend only drafting this deck if you get some terrific early game cards, otherwise, it will end up just being inconsistent. In a draft environment where synergy is key, you’ll really need to have some terrific interaction and removal to make any type of tempo strategy viable.
If you’re a fan of legendaries and artifacts than this deck is for you. There are quite a few cards that interact with the Historic mechanic like Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage, Relic Runner, D’Avenant Trapper, and Artificer’s Assistant. For those wanting to draft this deck, focus on picking artifacts that can apply pressure to your opponent’s board. Howling Golem, Guardians of Koilos, and Juggernaut are superb in the mid to late game, especially Guardians of Koilos which can bounce a Historic spell back to your hand. Try to also pick up a few Aesthir Gliders, Sparring Constructs, and Voltaic Servant so you aren’t completely vulnerable in the early game.
Additionally, you can also splash Black if you have some fixing in the deck. There are quite a few great White/Black legendary creatures and spells that can really push the power level of your deck. But this is a risky plan, so it’s imperative that you have additional ways to obtain all your mana colors during a match. The last thing you want is to have cards in your hand that are uncastable.
A classic archetype, Dominaria offers a nice collection of flying threats that can soar over your opponent’s creatures. Unfortunately, this deck archetype is a little unfocused outside of simply stuffing your library full of creatures with flying. You’ll need some extra support via various auras like Arcane Flight and On Serra’s Wings to help bolster your creatures. Additionally, consider grabbing some counterspells and removal, since you will need to protect your army. Consider adding a few artifact or legendary spells as well, since a lot of Dominaria’s fliers synergize with Historic spells.
A slightly weaker, but still decent archetype is Black/Red Sacrifice, which acts largely like the saprolings deck just without the sentient fungus. You’ll end up using a lot of the same sacrifice outlets, but the inclusion of Red gives you access to cards such as Orcish Vandal and Skirk Prospector. There are also some great recursion spells that help you regain your creatures. This makes this deck extremely resilient, especially against control decks that are trying to pick apart your board. Prioritize both Whisper, Blood Liturgist and Garna, the Bloodflame, as they can get cards back into your hand are the best recursion spells in this format. If you do get a few mana fixing cards, then consider splashing Green so you can include some of the token generators.
Finally, the last major archetype is the most aggressive deck in the format. Perfect for those who just want to turn creatures sideways. This deck is all about playing creatures and using spells/abilities to increase their effectiveness in combat. With both tokens and regular creatures, it’s quite easy to overwhelm your foes with raw strength. Gaea’s Protector, Benalish Honor Guard, Kwende, Pride of Femeref, and Territorial Allosaurus are all terrific for pressuring your opponent. Dauntless Bodyguard can save a key creature, while Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy is fantastic if you have a lot of creatures on the field. If you’re new to drafting, this is the deck we recommend trying out since it’s extremely easy to pilot.