This is the second in a series of profiles of major characters in the story of Ravnica Allegiance. In this article, we’ll take a look at the life and times of Domri Rade, the new leader of the Gruul Clans, and build a deck that tells his story.
Domri is not the kind of person you’d expect to lead the Gruul Clans. For one thing, he’s physically small – so small that none of the clans would accept him for most of his early life. For another, he’s not much of a hunter, so he had no good way to prove himself to clan leaders as a teenager. So Domri spent years living on his own in the Rubblebelt – a region of destroyed buildings on the outskirts of Ravnica – where he spent his days hiding from Orzhov moneylenders and Azorius arresters and making friends with wild beasts.
In fact, Domri found that he could control his animal friends and use his magic to make them stronger. It was this skill that he used to finally prove himself to the Gruul when he summoned a herd of beasts to drive back an Orzhov invasion of the Rubblebelt. After that, Domri began the process of becoming a member of one of the Gruul Clans. But he was unprepared for the Clans’ initiation ritual, which involved being buried alive. While underground, Domri panicked, and his Planeswalker spark ignited, sending him to Naya and then back home to Ravnica.
A Long Way to the Top
To understand how Domri became the leader of the Gruul Clans, it’s helpful to take a step back and look at the Clans’ history. Their original goal was to protect Ravnica’s natural beauty. Now that the city has taken over the entire plane, the Simic Combine and Selesnya Conclave have taken over the Clans’ old responsibilities, leaving Gruul disorganized, angry, and destructive.
Domri grew up alone and on the run, and he became resentful of the city and the guilds that run it. This made him a good fit for the Gruul, but it also brought him to Nicol Bolas’ attention as someone who could sow chaos on Ravnica, improving Bolas’ chances of taking over the plane. Following Bolas’ advice, Domri challenged the Gruul guild leader Borborygmos to a fight and won with the help of his beast magic.
With Domri in charge, the Gruul Clans have begun to attack Ravnican civilization more and more aggressively. Some Gruul shamans believe that his ascent heralds the start of the End-Raze – an apocalypse in which the entire city of Ravnica will be destroyed.
The End-Raze Is Nigh
The following decklist tells the story of Domri learning to control the beasts of the Rubblebelt, and going on to become the leader of the Gruul Clans. Its goal is to cast a lot of creatures with Riot, make them bigger and more powerful using enchantments and Domri’s planeswalker abilities, and smash through your opponent’s defenses.