MTG Domain: How It Works and What It Does

Domanira United is almost here! And with it comes several brand new mechanics and abilities, as well as some returning mechanics. One of the mechanics making a return in Dominaria United, is Domain.

To prepare you for the upcoming set, in this article I’ll go over everything you need to know about the Domain ability.

Domain is an Ability Word first featured in the Invasion set. Domain gives players various rewards for having multiple basic land types. The more land types, the bigger the reward.

Cards with Domain all reward you for having as many basic land types as possible. With that being said, however, each card has its own unique effect. That gives Domain a lot of variance. Read on for a detailed guide to this awesome mechanic.

What Is Domain?

Domain is an ability word featured on permanents as well as instants and sorceries. As an ability word, Domain doesn’t actually mean anything by itself. Instead, it’s merely a word used to group together a bunch of different similar abilities. The actual ability varies from card to card.

How Does It Work?

Scion of Draco

Domain works in a number of different ways depending on the specific card. What never changes, however, is that Domain always grants some sort of bonus or reward related to how many basic lands types you control.

There are five different basic land types: Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest. At any given time, you can have between zero and five different basic land types in play.

It’s also important to remember that basic land “types” doesn’t just mean “basic lands”. All basic lands do, obviously, count as their respective basic land type. But some non-basic lands also have basic land types. Cards like Overgrown Tomb from the popular shock land cycles, have two different basic land types.

Triome lands like Inditha Triome, on the other hand, have three different. So having just one Triome land in play would automatically give Nishoba Brawler at least three power.

RELATED: Dominaria United: Legends Cards Return


Does Having More Than One of the Same Basic Land Affect Domain?

No, Domain abilities only count how many different basic land types you have. Whether you have six Forests or just one, the “Forest” land type is only counted once. The same is true for all other basic land types.

Does Domain Count Basic Land Types That Are Played Afterwards?

That depends on the particular card. For example, Nishoba Brawler continues to count basic land types as long as it’s on the battlefield. Instant and sorceries on the other hand will only check the number of basic land types once, as they’re being cast.

Dominaria United Domain Cards

Nishoba Brawler

So far, just a handful of cards have been spoiled from Dominaria United. There will be spoilers every day from now until the set is spoiled entirely, though. So be sure to check back soon for updates!

Is Domain Good?

Since Domain isn’t really an ability in and of itself, its power level depends almost entirely on the individual card. The older Domain cards haven’t had a big impact on constructed formats. Territorial Kavu and Scion of Draco have also managed to see some fringe play in Modern.

I think the new Domain cards from Dominaria United stand a decent chance of making an impact in Standard. While their effectiveness in Limited might be a bit more . . . well, limited. This is because building multicolor mana-bases successfully is usually pretty tricky when drafting.

Who knows, though. Maybe the set will give us some good easy mana-fixing, in which case, I could easily see the ability having an impact in Limited and Standard.

RELATED: Dominaria United – Everything We Know So Far

End Step

Domain is a super fun mechanic that rewards player for including as many colors as possible in their decks. I can’t wait to see what new cards get spoiled in the coming weeks.

Dominaria United releases Spetember 9th with pre-release taking place the weekend before. Until that, be sure to check back here frequently for spoilers and updates!

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Joe Doak

I started playing Magic in 2015 after impulsively buying a fat-pack of Khans of Tarkir. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the game, and it's been a big part of my life ever since. Nowadays, I play moslty Modern, Commander, and Limited, but also enjoy keeping up with Standard. Whatever the format, I always find a way to brew up janky decks, convince myself they're great, get proven wrong, and love every second of it.