- Best MTG Dominaria United Limited Draft and prerelease archetypes
- Defender splash
- Blue and Red (UR) splash combat tricks and spells matter
- White and Black (WB) token
Image via WotC
Kicking off the 30-year Magic: The Gathering anniversary year-long party is Dominaria United, showcasing one of the most flexible Limited formats Wizards of the Coast has created in the past few years.
WotC chose to return to the beloved plane of Domanaria for a five-set story that showcases a Phyrexian invasion with the goal to take over the entire Magic Multiverse. The tale begins with Dominaria United (DMU), featuring returning mechanics like Kicker and Domain in conjunction with minor ones like Enlist and Read Ahead. There are a total of 10 staple dual-color archetypes within the Standard-legal set, along with additional options for the creative deck builders.
Returning to the Standard format with the release of DMU is the Domain mechanic. Within the Limited format, the Domain mechanic works well within builds that are running three or more colors. Most of the cards that benefit from Domain are in the color Green, making it the ideal color to splash in two-color staple DMU Draft archetypes. In conjunction with ramp in UG, multicolor Domain builds have the potential to become one of the best archetypes within the Dominaria United Limited format.
From Defender and spells to Lifegain and sacrifice, here are the three best Dominara United Limited Draft and Sealed archetypes.
Best MTG Dominaria United Limited Draft and prerelease archetypes
An eleventh archetype was added into DMU by the Magic devs, according to principle game designer Gavin Verhey, built around the Defender keyword. It’s not an archetype that players can force, but rather build around when the opportunity arises. And when the stars align, the Defender archetype can viably compete against the other strongest archetypes within the DMU Limited meta.
Shield Wall Sentinel
There are a total of 10 DMU cards with the Defender keyword, with the strongest slotted into the MTG colors of Black and White. The star of the archetype is Wingmantle Chaplain, a four-drop Uncommon that creates a 1/1 White bird creature token with Flying for each creature that has the Defender keyword on the battlefield.
Playing a Defender deck typically requires three colors or a two-color staple shell that uses Defender as an alternative win condition. When branching into three colors, Green is the optimal splash as the DMU color as it contains the most cards with the returning Domain mechanic.
Blue and Red (UR) splash combat tricks and spells matter
Balmor, Battlemage Captain
Spells matter builds have two solid Uncommon rarity payoffs to pull players into the UR DMU Draft archetype: Electrostatic Infantry and Balmor, Battlemage Captain. And players can even splash Green as a third color when drafting the Rare UG legendary Ivy, Gleeful Spelltheif.
Unlike recent versions of the staple UR archetype, the DMU build allows for flexible gameplay. Multiple copies of Electorstatci iNfantry can lead toward a more aggressive build, relying upon combat tricks to quickly overpower an opponent before their deck can come online. Or players can go the traditional Tempo route, using finishers like Talarian Terror or flyers like Talas Lookout to end a game.
White and Black (WB) token
Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim
Aron, Benalia’s Ruin
Knight of Dawn’s Light
The WB DMU Draft archetype is one of the most flexible and safest builds to draft. Both colors contain strong creatures that have multiple synergies while also having some of the best removal spells in the DMU Limited format.
Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim is the BW signpost that should draw players into the DMU archetype, alongside the bomb Uncommon, Cult Conscript. Sacrifice is a strong theme within BW, with Elas il-Kor playing both sides of the field with drain and gain synergies. And Cult Conscript is the ideal sacrifice target, able to return to hand from the graveyard at a cheap cost and when a creature you control dies.
Tokens are another major theme within the BW archetype, providing sacrificial fodder for cards like Aron, Benalia’s Ruin, and Blibbering Barricade. And able to finish off games is the vampire Sengir Connoisseur, who also synergizes with the sacrifice theme.