Necrodominance – Modern Horizons III

Date Reviewed:  June 11, 2024

Constructed: 4.50
Casual: 4.25
Limited: 3.37
Multiplayer: 4.00
Commander [EDH]: 4.00

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

Reviews Below: 


You’ve got to give the designers credit for being brave enough to try to iterate on one of the most famously broken cards of all time. And whatever else you may think about Modern Horizons sets, they provide a place to experiment with this which is – not necessarily completely safe, of course, but probably better than trying to play Bloomburrow theme decks in Standard around Necrodominance. Necropotence is so much more powerful than most Magic cards that even a weaker version of it is still extremely strong, and like its famous ancestor, you need to read a little carefully to get the most out of it. For example, your maximum hand size may be five, but if you draw from zero to eight cards at the beginning of your end step and play four instants or similar before you have to discard, you’ll still come out ahead. Locking you out of recursion is a turnoff for some decks, but others won’t really care. I really hope we’ve learned our lesson from the original Necropotence, because this card is easy to miss among some of the more blatant references and similar content in the set, but is also likely one of its best and most dangerous cards.

Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4

 James H. 


In a set filled with homages to powerful cards all around, this might be one of those homages that proves problematic. In years past, Necropotence has proven to be one of the most format-warping cards ever released, and Necrodominance is their latest attempt to “fix” a painfully broken card. I will say that this is largely weaker than its forebear, so they did succeed, but a bad version of a good card has room to be good.

Let’s start from the top. Necrodominance has two main downsides, exiling your graveyard and setting your hand size to 5. The trade-off is that you can pay life at your end step to start digging for cards. This is a single-time trigger, so it can get popped before you get any value, though the timing can be tight. And Necropotence has shown over the years that one turn of drawing lots and lots of cards can push a game out of control.

That said, the downsides are real. No graveyard means Necrodominance is a lot harder to slot into graveyard-focused strategy, and the smaller hand size does count. Keep in mind that the last hand-size modifier to hit play is the one that is in effect, so this will overwrite a “no hand size” effect already on board (and vice versa). Again, though, this is not to say this is bad; you’re still going to have access to a lot of cards through almost every point in the game, and a player playing with these downsides in mind will hardly see these as downsides.

As a final point, I suspect this may actually see a bit more play in Legacy than Modern, and it could well draw a ban there first. When you consider that Dark Ritual is a card there, that may not be too surprising…

Constructed: 4.5 (this feels very prone to abuse)
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 3.25
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4 (I will say that there’s usually less reason to play this over Necropotence if you have a choice, but this also doesn’t get shut down by Pithing Needle and its ilk, so that counts for something)

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