'Magic: The Gathering': Our 'Dominaria' wishlist

Artwork from the Magic: The Gathering card Disrupt. Artwork from the Magic: The Gathering card Disrupt. WOTC / PAOLO PARENTE

Magic: The Gathering's Dominaria was announced a little earlier this year.  When it comes out in late April of 2018, it will mark the first time a full set has taken place in the game's home plane since the Time Spiral block in 2006.  And no, 2015's Magic Origins doesn't count as only part of that set took place there.

As for the plane of Dominaria's importance to the game of Magic, it was the setting for many of the game's early sets including every set from the very first (Alpha/Beta) in 1993 through to Weatherlight, returning here and there until the game took players to Mirrodin.  Once that happened, it's like WotC left and almost never looked back.  In a way, it's a shame that the game has only returned to Dominaria once since 2003 because there is just so much of the game's lore that's rooted there.  Thankfully, the game is soon to return home.

Even though Dominaria doesn't come out until next April, that's not stopping us from making our own wish list for the set.  So, if we had it our way the set will include:

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage / WOTC


Specifically, we mean Teferi and Jaya Ballard.  Both come from far back in pre-mending Magic lore with Jaya having an integral role in the Ice Age story and Teferi in both Mirage and Time Spiral.  Jaya has seen print as a legendary creature in Time Spiral as Jaya Ballard, Task Mage.  In a way, her one and only card serves as a template of sorts for the Planeswalker cards that would appear only a few sets later.  Jaya is a well loved character and the demand to finally see her printed as a modern Planeswalker is there.  After all, they did it with Teferi with the Commander 2014 card Teferi, Temporal Archmage after printing Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir in Time Spiral.  Of course, Teferi lost his spark in the Time Spiral block so we'll probably have to settle for a non-walker instead.  And that's okay.  Then again, a Standard-legal printing of both would give players a break from Gatewatch members Jace and Chandra for a bit -- something many players would probably appreciate at this point.

Bonus trivia:  Teferi's first printing ever was technically in Urza's Saga as the time mage is depicted as a youth on the card Disruptive Student both in the artwork and in the flavor text.

Jodah, Archmage Eternal

Contemporary Magic players might only know Jodah from the Time Spiral card Jodah's Avenger, but the character well predates it by a whopping seven years having been the main protagonist in one of the best Magic: The Gathering novels ever printed -- "The Gathering Dark" by Jeff Grubb.  He also was the main character in the books of the Ice Age block, befriending Jaya Ballard and collaborating with the Planeswalker Freyalise in defeating the powerful necromancer Lim-Dûl and bringing upon the thaw that would end the seemingly eternal ice.  Oh, and he united the kingdom of Kjeldor and the barbarians of Balduvia, thus marking the beginnings of New Argive.

Jodah all but disappeared after this until the events of Time Spiral where the character, who now donned the title of Archmage Eternal due to his near-immortality brought upon by his exposure to a certain enchanted fountain as a youth, assists Teferi and the artificer Jhoira in sealing the multiverse-threatening time rifts scattered across the plane.  At the end of the story, Jodah disappeared with Jhoria searching after him.  Perhaps by now she's located him, allowing WotC to finally give him a printed card after all these years.

Bonus trivia: In "The Gathering Dark", Jodah freed Lord Ith from Mairsil, The Pretender who had imprisoned the arcanist in Barl's Cage.

Urza and Mishra

Well, not the characters themselves.  Rather, homages of some sort to them.  Beyond the two artificers (only one of which actually has a card, by the way) themselves, there has been a variety of cards (mostly artifacts) that take their namesakes from the duo.  Now that the game is returning to Dominaria after such a long hiatus, there is no reason why there can't be at least a card or two that beckons to the past and the contributions... err... devastation that the warring brothers left the plane.  A reprint is probably unlikely as Urza probably doesn't feel as guilty these days now that he's dead and Mishra's Groundbreaker is probably in dire need of repair by now, so we'd probably be looking at something new.  With Richard Garfield, the man who invented the game and designed many of its early sets, having his hands on Dominaria, this very well could happen and whatever Urza/Mishra cards might be printed should be interesting.

Bonus trivia: Many of the Urza/Mishra cards actually predate the brothers as they didn't officially become actual characters until 1994's Antiquities, while cards such as Glasses of Urza and Ankh of Mishra saw their debut in Alpha/Beta the previous year.

Phelddagrif / WOTCLegendary Masterpieces

We know that WotC is scaling back their premium Masterpiece cards to NOT every block (which is a very good idea in our view).  With the next block, Ixalan, lacking them that means that Dominaria could have them.  If it were up to us, the set's Masterpiece cards will contain cards that are iconic to the sets that took place on the plane from pre-mending times (in addition, of course, to some Masterpiece variants of a few key cards from the set itself).  Battle for Zendikar, a "land matters" block, contained lands from throughout Magic's history.  The Kaladesh block had artifacts.  Amonkhet, iconic spells.  WotC should focus Dominaria's Masterpieces around legendary creatures.

So many locations and characters iconic to the game are found on the plane, so highlighting a handful of them as Masterpiece cards only makes sense.  WotC could run the gambit here, pulling characters from across the game's timeline.  Beginning old school, legendaries such as Elder Dragon Legend Nicol Bolas, Phage the Untouchable, or members of the Weatherlight crew could see special reprints, as could infamous ones like Alliances' Phelddagrif (were it not on the reserve list) or Time Spiral's Norin the Wary.  Whatever cards they choose to include, we just hope they use something inspired by the the pre-8th Edition card frames.

Bonus trivia: The legendary Invasion card Blind Seer is actually the legendary Planeswalker Urza in disguise, making it the only Urza card to have ever seen print.

Respect for Dominaria's history

Unlike most planes in Magic, Dominaria is not a one-trick pony.  Whereas Kaladesh is the steampunk-artifact plane and Kamigawa is the Japanese mythology plane, Dominaria is a plane that is host to a wide variety of cultures, influences, and lore.  It's a melting pot where the tone, setting, and core elements change depending on where on the map you are.  Jamuraa, which lay to the southwest of Shiv, is African inspired played host to the events of MirageVisions, and Prophecy.  Aerona, meanwhile, is far on the other side of the map from Jamuraa and was the setting for many other Magic sets and contains locations such as the Arthurian-inspired Benalia, the iconic elvish land of Llanowar, and the barbarian-controlled land of Keld.  At the same time, the centrally-located continent of Terisiare holds the histories of the iconic Brothers War and was also the setting for The Dark and the Ice Age block.

All of Dominaria's locations could easily be their own planes.  But that's where much of the charm of the plane comes from.  It's relatable to our own planet.  The Earth is very much like Dominaria with its vast array of cultures, creatures, histories, and creeds. Dominaria is the single most iconic and important location in all of Magic, and it deserves due respect from those making the set that will share its namesake.

Bonus trivia: The second through fourth Magic: The Gathering novels took place on the continent of Aerona and featured Greensleeves, an archdruid who would become a Planeswalker.

If you're excited about Dominaria (and what Magic player wouldn't be), you have some time to wait.  The set isn't expected to release until Apr. 27, 2018.  In the meantime, WotC will be releasing the Ixalan block with the titular set coming out Sept. 29 and its follow-up, Rivals of Ixalan, due out one Jan. 19.

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