Dominaria is right around the corner and I'm really excited to have a new infusion of card to play around with. Here at Jank/Spice we're always on the lookout for the stranger cards that allow us to play Magic a bit differently. Dominaria has delivered to us an incredible bounty of interesting stuff to work with. I wanted to highlight a few of the cards I'm especially excited to brew with and it's honestly been difficult to narrow down the list.
Let's start with the obvious one. This card literally (figuratively) has "jank" written all over it. I'm not even sure what I want to do with an effect like Lich's Mastery. The most obvious combo is to play this with Approach of the Second Sun, which will cause you to immediately draw the Approach back when you cast it. That seems similar to (and probably worse than) the Sunbird's Invocation combo, which never really took off. Another interesting thing about not being able to lose the game, is that you can draw your whole deck without losing. So... that seems like it could be good? Like I said, not really sure what to do with this. But I'm interested.
I'm digging all of the sagas. It's something new to figure out and a lot of them seem really powerful. Fall of the Thran gets the nod here for having the most outrageous line of text. I think a lot of people are going to try to turn this into Armageddon by trying to exile graveyards after destroying the lands. A noble goal, to be sure. And there are certainly ways to do it (cough... Phyrexian Scriptures... cough). But honestly, this card is just good for a deck that wants to slow the game down. Especially against ramp and control decks.
Let's just take a quick moment to appreciate the flavor text on Squee, the Immortal. Definitely up there with the other flavor text all stars, such as Canyon Minotaur and Goblin Test Pilot. This card is special because of something it doesn't do, which is go away. I feel like Magic goes to a lot of pains to make sure that cards go away and can't be used in some weird loop. And this card just breaks all of that. Even Cast Out doesn't stop Squee (although Ixalan's Binding will). Seems like there's some cool things you could do in a discard or sacrifice shell.
On top of being a solid creature with relevant creature types, Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage gives flash to a ridiculously large number of cards that have no business being instant speed. This is another card where I'm just overwhelmed with possibilities. Gearhulks, gods, elder dinosaurs, planeswalkers, any artifact (including vehicles), and so on. Not to mention the new sagas and legendary sorceries. There's going to be decks that just run 4 of these and then do weird stuff.
Rat Colony initially flew under the radar for me. I love cards that break the rules, but filling up a deck with a bunch of the same creature doesn't usually do it for me. However, I saw a few lists that opened my mind to the possibilities. One thing you can do is use Lost Legacy to empty your deck of the rats. This lets you (sort of) trim down your deck to a few key combo pieces. Similarly you can use Secret Salvage to empty the rats out of the deck, except this way they all go to your hand. The rats open up some strange lines of play and I'm intrigued.
If you consider my ongoing obsession with Axis of Mortality, it should be no surprise that Evra, Halcyon Witness caught my eye. Just looking at Evra as a creature, it's going to swing with enough power to put Yargle to shame. And just think how sweet it will be to Fling your life total at some unfortunate soul. Then there's the ability to fiddle with your life total, multiple times at instant speed. There's potential there.
At first I was a bit sad about Gaea's Blessing, since I was thinking about how it hosed mill strategies. It's not as if mill needed any help losing. But really, no one is going to make room in their sideboard for anti-mill cards. After doing some reading, I realized that this opens up options for an even more obnoxious deck archetype... fatigue. With two of these in your deck, you can basically keep cycling them forever and never run out of cards in your library. Combine this with cards like Sanguine Sacrament and fogs and then just wait for your opponent to run out of cards. This is the sort of awful grind out game that I dream of inflicting on my opponents. I look forward to reminding them that they can concede at any time.