Sagas are back once again in upcoming Magic: The Gathering set Dominaria United. A worldbuilding video released on Tuesday showed off a load of card art from the set, including plenty of pieces in the vertical format that’s required for saga cards. There was also some major foreshadowing about the events of Dominaria United, and some scary, scary sleeper agent artwork. If you were concerned that Wizards of the Coast might tone down the darkness of the Phyrexian threat in this set, you can officially put those fears to bed.
The popular saga card type is confirmed for Dominaria United, and we’ve had five saga cards revealed, with gorgeous art pieces portraying the plane’s past, and its perilous present. We’ve only seen artwork and names so far, however, not mechanics, so we won’t be sticking these cards in our Dominaria United spoilers guide just yet.
Let’s quickly go through the new saga cards, most of which, like you’d expect, depict key tales from Dominaria’s history. First up we’ve got the Elder Dragon War. This piece, made through woodburning by artist Filip Burburan, shows the legendary dragon war that led to only seven elder dragons (including Ugin and Nicol Bolas) surviving.
Then we’ve got Urza Assembles the Titans, by Josu Hernaiz, which depicts Urza bringing his team of planeswalkers to invade Phyrexia. And Volkan Baga’s The Cruelty of Gix, showing the Phyrexian demon Gix absolutely bodying the character Xantcha.
Then we have The Weatherseed Treaty, a very pleasant piece by Livia Prima, which shows Multani giving Urza the seed that became the Weatherlight. This card, which portrays two sides shaking hands, is a good representation of a strong theme in Dominaria United – all of the plane’s many cultures joining together in order to fight the Phyrexians.
There’s one saga that seems to be set in the present, or perhaps the recent past: Dominik Mayer’s Braid’s Frightful Return. This piece, with its stylistically scribbly aesthetic that makes it look as though it was drawn by a very disturbed, artistically gifted child, depicts a scene reminiscent of the card Rite of Belzenlok. We can only assume that it will have a similar effect, involving sacrificing creatures to create a big monster. Or perhaps it’ll be a saga creature – those exist now, and flip to become a scary new Braids card.
While we’re covering frightful things, it should be said that alongside the new plethora of sagas, the Dominaria United worldbuilding video gave us a better insight into the Phyrexian plot. There’s new Sheoldred artwork (and her card is worryingly named Sheoldred, The Apocalypse) along with plenty of art showing how the treacherous Phyrexians have been taking control of people and basically running around in skinsuits.
There’s also – shock horror! – a phyrexianised Weatherlight. Phyrexia has a sour history with that ship, so it’s a blow to the Dominarian forces to have lost it to the enemy.