Domri, Chaos Bringer
– Ravnica Allegiance
March 12, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I like Gruul, and I especially like the emphasis on boars in their folklore that we’ve seen in recent sets. Not only does it remind me of Freyr and his friend Gullinbursti, but there is an amusing Dilbert exchange about the entire sales force being eaten by wild pigs and the upside that pigs are cute.
Domri’s newest card seems to be made more explicitly for the long game than his incarnation in Gatecrash. While that older card was kept relevant after a couple of turns in play with by fight ability and its limited card-drawing ability, this new one is probably more effective at drawing extra creatures just because it looks deeper. Riot is also a deceptively strong ability when you add it to creatures that it wasn’t intended to be printed on – imagine a rioting Carnage Tyrant or Ghalta. There are some matchups and game states where you might just try and get to his ultimate and ride that to victory. There’s no way a removal-heavy deck can keep up with two 4/4s every turn cycle, and counterspells obviously won’t help them if they previously failed to use one on Domri himself.
Now we’re talking. Domri, Chaos Bringer is a pretty big threat, allowing you to cast creature spells as though they had riot or get more creatures to cast with his +1 ability. Curving Domri into a Carnage Tyrant is a pretty good feeling, especially when you can give the implacable death lizard haste, and you can use his -3 to dig down to look for creatures to power out.
Note that riot is a keyword that stacks with itself; while no creature has more than one instance on its own, a creature with riot already will get a second instance of it, which means you can give it two +1/+1 counters, a +1/+1 counter and haste, or two instances of haste because reasons. This gives Domri a fair amount of synergy with Gruul’s cards in the set (and, to a much lesser degree, in the cross-over with Simic).
As a four-mana planeswalker with 5 starting loyalty, Domri 2.0 is a threat. His ultimate is a nice way to ensure you leave your opponents underfoot, but you should be able to get there off of his +1 and his -3 alone. And that starting loyalty is a good way to protect Domri, in case opponents get any funny ideas about him. That said, he’s pretty poor at digging you out of a bad board state…but four mana for getting two creature cards to your hand is an okay use of his abilities.
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