Dovin, Grand Arbiter
Dovin, Grand Arbiter

Dovin, Grand Arbiter
– Ravnica Allegiance

Date Reviewed: 
February 22, 2019

Constructed: 3.25
Casual: 3.25
Limited: 3.13
Multiplayer: 3.13
Commander [EDH]: 3.38

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 

David's Avatar

I actually didn’t follow the story of the Kaladesh block as closely as I might have, but I definitely would have picked Dovin as the most likely new character from there to show up later as a servant of Bolas. His Ravnica Allegiance incarnation is even doing the finger pyramid of evil contemplation. It definitely takes a lot of planning and contemplation, evil or otherwise, to use him – while a lot of the other Azorius cards in this set are set up for control-style decks, Dovin wants to use a lot of creatures. And yet his ultimate is a sort of super-Impulse that would go great in control and combo decks. Merfolk certainly spring to mind in larger formats, with their evasive abilities being a solid way to get lots of loyalty counters on him, though if the payoff is just more evasive creatures, that might seem a little underwhelming. I actually think some decks will get surprisingly much mileage out of his -1 ability. One extra life point is not generally going to be game-winning, but I’ve played with Soul Warden in enough non-combo decks to know that it can be annoying and add up over time. Plus, the Thopter token can suicide-block reasonably well (and, to be fair, it generates a target for his +1 as well).

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
EDH/Commander: 3/5

 James H. 


Dovin 2.0 is…weird. He’s a very unusual planeswalker, seemingly in a direction different from what Azorius usually wants to do (read: Nothing). He’s certainly powerful in distinctive ways, but he’s definitely not a “win the game on the spot”-type walker.

Let’s start with his +1 and his -1. +1 gives Dovin additional loyalty when your creatures do combat damage…which pairs well with white going wide (and Boros/Selesnya), but feels somewhat out of place in Azorius, which would usually rather sit back and react. That said, it pairs well enough with his -1, which makes an evasive Thopter to thop the crap out of your opponents (and gives you a bit of life with it). The idea, of course, is that you can use his -1 to make a Thopter and then start using his +1 to build up his loyalty to his ultimate.

Dovin’s power is definitely in his ultimate: pick 3 out of the top 10 cards of your library. And it can go off the turn after he drops, if you use his +1 and get a bunch of little creatures in. This isn’t a conspicuously powerful ultimate…but it’s a powerful draw and filter effect in one go, and it’s also possible to set it up so Dovin can start ticking back up to do it all again in a few turns.

There are shells where Dovin can work, like white-heavy token strategies. He feels a bit weird for Azorius specifically, and he’s not gamebreaking. But he can be a subtly powerful bit of card advantage that strikes out of nowhere, and that’s sometimes all you need.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.25
Multiplayer: 3.25
Commander: 3.75

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