MTG Domain – Rules and Interactions Explained

Domain is an MTG ability word introduced in Invasion, and recently returned with Dominaria United. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about it, like:

  • How does domain work?
  • How to best use domain cards?
  • And more!

Let’s get right to it!

How Does Domain Work?

Domain is an ability word, which appears on cards that care about the number of different basic land types a player controls. The higher that number is, the better cards with domain will perform.

There are five different basic land types (Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest), which means that the number for domain is always between zero and five.


Here’s Nishoba Brawler, a simple uncommon creature from Dominaria United.

Nishoba Brawler

Domain reminds you that you’ll have to check how many different basic land types you control. Nishoba’s power will be equal to that number. So potentially, it could be a 5/3 trampler, that you only paid two mana for.

Here’s another example, Drag to the Bottom – a rare mass removal spell.

Drag to the Bottom

The card has domain, so we’re once again counting the number of different basic land types. Creatures will get -X/-X, where X is the “domain number”. Here’s the interesting thing – you won’t necessarily always want this number to be the biggest it can be. If you have creatures with toughness 4, and your opponents has creatures with toughness 3, you’ll want to have exactly three different basic land types.

As you can see, domain cards really work in different ways. The only thing that they have in common is caring about the number of different basic land types.

MTG Domain – FAQ

Here are some common questions that MTG players have about domain. If you have a question that we didn’t answer, you can leave a comment at the end of the article, and we’ll get back to you with the answer.

Do Wastes count for domain?

No, they don’t. Wastes are a basic land without a land type. Domain only cares about basic land types, and not names.

If I control both a Forest and a Snow-Covered Forest do they count as two land types for domain?

No, they don’t. They both have the basic land type Forest, so they only count as one. The same is true for other snow-covered lands with the same type.

Do multiples of the same basic land count for domain?

No, they don’t.


In this section, we like to talk about how the mechanic fits in the flavor sense.

So, a definition of domain is: “an area of territory owned or controlled by a particular ruler or government.” As we can see, this fits the mechanic very well. You want to have multiple different basic land types, which actually do represent an area of territory. Plus, they’re owned by a particular ruler – you!

This makes domain a mechanic with a perfect flavor – 10/10.

MTG Domain – Interactions

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll explore various interactions with domain.

Multiple Basic Land Types

One important thing to remember with domain is that it cares about basic land types, and not names. So you can work towards domain even without basic lands themselves.

Raugrin Triome MTG Domain Rules

Some lands even have multiple basic land types, for example:

This means that you could play a turn one Raugrin Triome, followed by Overgrown Tomb next turn. This would give you all five different basic land types on turn two.

Five for One

There are other ways to quickly get the full domain.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove MTG Domain Rules Interactions

Any of the following cards can help you do so:

Omen and Dryad give all of your lands all basic land types, while Presence only affects a single land. However, as far as domain is concerned, you’ve got five different land types. This way, you’ll get a full effect from your domain cards.


That’s all about domain. You should now know how it works, and therefore you’ll be able to use it to your advantage. If you want to try to open some boosters with new domain cards, you can buy a Dominaria United Set booster box.

Dominaria United Set Booster Box

Furthermore, if you’re looking for more MTG content, you might enjoy some of the following articles:

Until next time, have fun and may you always be able to cast your spells, even when you’re playing a 5-color domain deck.

2 thoughts on “MTG Domain – Rules and Interactions Explained”

  1. Do triomes really work with that? I was sure that you have to play a common land to make use of it, but if not then its much easier to trigger. Thanks for the tip.


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