Dominaria United Set Review - Artifacts and Lands

Mike Carrozza • September 1, 2022

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands | Allied Colors and Shards | Enemy Colors and Wedges


It's time, yet again, to review new cards for the format we love so much! Taking a look at the colorless, artifact, and land cards in Dominaria United and Dominaria United Commander, there are some really solid contenders and some real duds. Let's dive in.


Karn, Living Legacy

We've got a new Karn planeswalker and he seems...fine? Powerstone tokens bother me a little bit because we had Powerstone Shard, and if those tap for one colorless for each Shard you control, shouldn't a full Powerstone be more powerful? I digress.

The Powerstone tokens are great for decks that love activated abilities, like decks with Zirda, the Dawnwaker as the Companion, or Osgir, the Reconstructor decks that already love the artifact synergies here.

Karn's ultimate is an emblem that doesn't stack but turns your mound of Treasures or Myr tokens into Tims, which is good for controlling the board or closing out a game.

The -1 ability is one I've come around on after sleeping on it. Flash of Insight is instant speed, but the effect is pretty powerful if you're playing a deck that isn't so reactive. For example, if I'm playing my Thalisse, Reverent Medium deck, Karn ticks up nicely to make tokens, which are useful, but there aren't many artifacts or activated abilities that require colorless mana. Enter -1! Use the Powerstones and other mana you have that's kicking around - maybe you're on five mana and only had a four-drop to play this turn, you'll at least be drawing a card. Furthermore, if you've got more than one, you're drawing and picking the best. This ability feels best-suited for non-control decks.

So much of the online chatter is about this being a terrible planeswalker for Standard, and that's fair. That said, a lot of evaluating this card feels like it will be trying it out and seeing it in play. There are strange pieces involved in this card and I'm curious how it will play out.

Karn's Sylex

This is an excellent control piece. I don't really play cEDH, but this feels like a Stax piece players will be testing for their restricting archetype. With the first ability shutting down paying life for spells and non-mana abilities, that turns off fetch lands, some popular commanders like Beledros Witherbloom, and powerful cards like Chainer, Dementia Master.*

And when things really get out of control, this is a sorcery-speed Pernicious Deed that also hits planeswalkers. Losing activation speed is made up by being colorless and introducing a more flexible board wipe to colors like blue for sea monster tribal decks who'd rather pay five mana and wipe everything away to keep their Octavia, Living Thesis and Spawning Krakens instead of packing a Nev's Disk.

*Edited for correction. Thanks for pointing it out, Comments Section.

The Mana Rig

This set booster exclusive is a little weirdo! This goes into Jodah, the Unifier decks and Dihada, Binder of Wills decks thanks to its legendary supertype, but does it get a spot in artifact synergy decks, like Saheeli, the Gifted? In Jodah decks with stuff like Zirda, the Dawnwaker and other legends with activated abilities and multiple colors, I can see The Mana Rig putting in work with the Powerstone tokens. Worst case, the tokens or your mana go into an instant-speed draw two with selection if you have a lot of it. An ability costing {X}{X}{X} is a bit of an eye roll because even just to keep two cards, you're spending six mana, but maybe you've got a glut of Powerstone tokens sitting around doing nothing because you've got no artifacts to cast or abilities to activate. (I don't like the Powerstone tokens, yet!)

Timeless Lotus

When we were promised a new Lotus, some folks began speculating that it would be a zero-mana artifact that sacrifices itself. I knew it was going to be like Gilded Lotus. Ah, damn, it's legendary, too, so it can't easily be cloned a bunch with Echo Storm.

Five mana for an artifact that enters tapped so as to not just pay for itself immediately and taps for WUBRG. This of course means that it can only go into five-color decks, and there are plenty of those out there, but the trouble with five-color decks is that you can take your pick of any card out there. Does this beat out Chromatic Orrery? I think it deserves a shot. Put this in your WUBRG decks with plenty of ways to untap permanents and go nuts. Any deck that has a Fatestitcher somewhere in the 99 that can run this, should.

All that said though, five-color decks aren't for everyone, and even then, they're heavily themed. Go-Shintai of Life's Origin for example, probably does not want this, but this is probably one of Sisay, Weatherlight Captain's new favorite toys.

Weatherlight Compleated

I might faint.

The story implications are devastating, but that textbox is divine. Two mana for a Vehicle that cannot be crewed? Kotori, Pilot Prodigy and Astor, Bearer of Blades make this a Crew-ready Vehicle if that's the route you'd like to go...

But for those of you who've read me before, you know I'm an aristocrats fiend. Slap this in my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch or Thalisse, Reverent Medium or even my new The Ever-Changing 'Dane lists, and the Weatherlight Compleated will be a creature in no time, scrying you to more ways to have your creatures die.

I know of a Vorthos or two with a Atraxa, Praetors' Voice deck themed around the Phyrexian Praetors, and they'd be hard pressed to find a reason not to include this. Proliferate gets out of hand, and before you know it, you've got a flying 5/5 beating face while drawing you cards for every creature you sacrifice to Phyrexia's lords!


Gerrard's Hourglass Pendant

Got an extra turn player to hose in your playgroup? Well, for one mana, you can ruin their day at instant speed!

I welcome a Faith's Reward in any color - minus the planeswalkers, unfortunately - but it'll keep bringing your permanents back. Cosmic Intervention is one of my favorite cards from Kaldheim, and I still prefer it to Gerrard's Hourglass Pendant, but I definitely love that I can run this in my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deck, sacrifice everything and bring them back for five mana as a surprise. I can even keep this on the field and threaten its activation. A new twist on something we've seen before, a nod to Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero, and colorless. I like this one quite a bit.

Golden Argosy

I'm a big fan of ways to bounce creatures you control. This one has some hoops to jump through to get going; it's no Eerie Interlude, but similarly to the Interlude it lets you choose which to blink unlike something like Ghostway. The upside to the Golden Argosy is that you get to swing with a big butt boat? It's not phenomenal, but Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper or Arcades, the Strategist decks could make use of this ship.

Obsidian Obelisk

We're in a weird place with mana rocks. Wizards of the Coast have been up front in saying that Arcane Signet was a mistake. Two-mana rocks are powerful. It's a slot that we have Signets in, Fellwar Stone and as mentioned, the ubiquitous Arcane Signet. Three-mana rocks have gotten interesting with stuff like The Celestus, Lantern of Revealing, Network Terminal, Replicating Ring, Skyclave Relic, Strixhaven Stadium, and Vexing Puzzlebox. The idea is that two-mana rocks have gotten too powerful and we need to pare them down and three-mana rocks have to have more going on to make them stand out.

Obsidian Obelisk falls under the paring down of two-mana rocks side of the discussion. Having a two-mana rock that only taps for colored mana under specific conditions might have been enough to keep this from being too broken, but would have been good for late game utility. This entering tapped and only giving colored mana for multicolored* spells means I'd probably run Commander's Sphere or Chromatic Lantern over this. If you're hoping to stick to theme, I'd pop this in your multicolored* spells matter deck, but otherwise unfortunately, this is a miss for me.

*Edited for correction. Thanks for pointing it out, Comments Section. Check out the discussion below for more.

The Peregrine Dynamo

Wow. I don't know how we break this, but when this was previewed, Twitter was abuzz with "not if, but when" we crack the code.

Three mana for a hasty 1/5 that can copy triggered and activated abilities of legendary sources (as long as it's not a commander). It's important to note that mana abilities do not use the stack so they cannot be targeted, so fellow Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx-lovers, don't get too excited.

There are so many legendary permanents in Magic that have amazing abilities that can squeeze into the 99. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death can recur two creatures instead of one. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker can make two copies of your sweet Tyrant of Discord. Copy Ratadrabik of Urborg's* trigger and get two tokens for the price of one and a tap.

And of course, planeswalkers are legendary! My Aminatou, the Fateshifter Superfriends deck is staring at PerDy and freaking out at the possibilities! Time to double The Chain Veil's ability!

As a commander, The Peregrine Dynamo, pickings are slim if you're trying to play a nice deck. I know Mindlaver is legendary and the Eldrazi Titans have a beefy Annihilator trigger to double, if that's your thing, but I have no idea how I'd try building this bad boy without access to cool colored legends. There are cool things like Thran Temporal Gateway to sneak in two Historic spells (any artifact is Historic, mind you) and Throne of the God-Pharoah can be downright nasty if you're going with a token swarm deck.*

*Edited for suggestion. Thanks for pointing it out, Comments Section.

Plaza of Heroes

This card is incredible and I love it the same way I wish it didn't exist.

It always taps for mana, at least colorless. It can tap for a colored mana of a legendary permanent you control or to cast legendary spells. So far, better than Mox Amber and it should be, it cost you a land drop.

Then there's the activated ability to save a legendary creature. Any legendary creature can be granted indestructible and hexproof, essentially saving it from everything but the likes of Toxic Deluge and Farewell. This card is busted and is an instant inclusion in any deck where a commander creature is important to the deck or where there's a lot of legends in the 99 or multi-colored decks with a commander whose color identity matches its cost (sorry, Kenrith, the Returned King). Here's some advice: pick up your copies while they're cheap!

Thran Portal

A new Gate, a fast land, and a pain land all wrapped into one! I believe this will mainly see play in Maze's End decks or life swap decks, like Selenia, Dark Angel, who want their life totals low. This land ultimately only taps for one color, but the flexibility of choosing what color that is good. Its utility drops off significantly if it has to enter tapped. Also, don't forget, it's all mana abilities on Thran Portal that cost an additional 1 life. This means that if Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is out and makes this a Swamp in addition to its other types, tapping Thran Portal for black will still cost a life. Same for Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth. All in all, I am not high on this card, but Nine-Fingers Keene is happy to get more Gates. (RIP Golos, Tireless Pilgrim)

Tiller Engine

This is a very interesting card whose closest analogue is Amulet of Vigor, which is known for being pretty busted in the right shell. Gone are the days of debating whether you want your shock lands to enter untapped or not! You can run bounce lands and have them tap for two mana before sending them back to your hand to keep the value train going. Rampant Growth can basically cost you just one mana. Your Triomes become better than OG dual lands. Scapeshift lets you go off even harder with Tiller Engine. Do you need big mana or do you want to tap your opponents' things down for that final blow? Land decks, like Omnath, Locus of Rage, Omnath, Locus of the Roil, or Omnath, Locus of Creation - and even all future Omnaths, I'm sure - will love this.

Uncommons & Commons

Common Tapped Dual Lands

A list of ten common tap lands with basic land types is the draft fixing for the Domain mechanic, and I love it. We're going to have to find a way to remember all of these nutso names, but cracking a fetchland and getting a Sunlit Marsh or starting the game off with one of these is fantastic. I'm probably never going to own the OG duals again (I had a few when my cousin gave me his collection when I was 13 and sold them...), but I will run these especially in the colors that can use the help. I've already been a big fan of the Kaldheim snow-dual tap lands, I can't wait to slap some more into decks.

Crystal Grotto

A better Zhalfirin Void for whoever wants an upgrade or similar effect - I'm looking at you Eligeth, Crossroads Augur decks. The filtering is nice when needed, colorless mana for those pesky Eldrazi Displacer activations. Scry one off a land drop, that ain't half bad!

Inscribed Tablet

This is no Expedition Map, that's for sure. Revealing the top five cards means that maybe you flip five lands and take your pick of the best or just have to settle for a basic land, but if no lands are revealed, there's an extra little mini-game where you get to make a little bet with yourself - "Will I draw a land or not?" That's the part that makes me smile about this card. Unless your deck is filled with nonbasic lands, I'd slot in Wayfarer's Bauble instead. However, land decks, like Omnath, Locus of Creation, might look at this as a way to pay very little for your pick of best land in the top five from your library. With all the utility lands that are in a land deck, that's where I reckon we'll see this most.

Jodah's Codex

You'll only want this in decks that can guarantee this won't just be an expensive Arcane Encyclopedia. The Domain rider here makes the case for this to only be included in four- or five-color decks. At its best, Jodah's Codex is a cheaper Urza's Blueprints without Echo. I searched for artifacts that tap to draw a card and there are so many conditions to simply tapping to draw a card. Once you have Domain, that's it, every untap is an extra card with this out.

But even then, five mana for your first card is steep, and that's best case scenario. There are way more ways to draw cards that even tie into deck theme, like Grim Haruspex or Idol of Oblivion. I expect this card to be in Jodah decks for flavor purposes only.

Relic of Legends

As a big fan of Honor-Worn Shaku, I was bummed to note that this only untaps with legendary creatures. No, wait a second. The Relic itself taps down the legendary creatures to make the mana of any color and taps for any color itself. Okay, that's pretty fun. Ostensibly, this is a three-mana rock that any deck with a creature for a commander will consider at the very least. No haste required, your leader is now a mana dork. King Macar, the Gold-Cursed is ecstatic about this printing as it's another way to tap him down at instant speed without combat. Archelos, Lagoon Mystic gets a little bit more control over whose permanents enter tapped. Commanders who don't want to attack and get goaded, like Meren of Clan Nel Toth, get to laugh off the taunting and hang back. This is my pick for best uncommon in the set and I think we'll be seeing a lot of it.

Shield-Wall Sentinel

Arcades, the Strategist is spoiled this set with a bunch of unexpected but welcome new defender creatures. Not only is this Sentinel a defender, but it tutors one up for you to follow up with. It is a four-mana tutor, but with niche applications.

Walking Bulwark

Is this good? No, but it costs one generic mana and has defender, meaning that Arcades, the Strategist can draw a card cheap for a situational 3/3. Is Pramikon, Sky Rampart also a popular Wall commander? Either way, enjoy, Wall decks!


Overall, artifacts have a balanced showing upon our return to Dominaria. With cards like Karn's Sylex and Weatherlight Compleated from the main set and The Peregrine Dynamo and Tiller Engine in the Commander supplement, we have our hands full of colorless options to include in our decks. Which of these sweet new cards is going to find a home in your decks? How many? All of them? That's wild! Let us know in the comments!

Mike Carrozza is a stand-up comedian from Montreal who’s done a lot of cool things like put out an album called Cherubic and worked with Tig Notaro, Kyle Kinane, and more people to brag about. He’s also been an avid EDH player who loves making silly stuff happen. @mikecarrozza on platforms