Howdy Freelancers! With the Cataclysm firmly on its way I thought I’d explore a little of what we’ll be seeing in it. As those of you in the PTS will know, Vara is the big boss of the Cataclysm, but who is she and who are the Dominion faction she commands? Beware, spoilers ahead.

Vara was the second in command to The Monitor, the big bad of Anthem’s campaign. When The Monitor is defeated, The Dominion keep it a secret, as much as they can. In fact what they try to do is keep the information from spreading too far, and the core reason behind this is Vara.

Who is Vara?

Vara is evil, and much more unhinged that The Monitor. Where he had ideals and a vision for the future, she simply wants to create chaos, as much as possible.

Even The Dominion have feared Vara’s rise to power, and now that it’s finally here I imagine that a lot of Dominion soldiers are following her more out of fear for their lives than anything else.

When news of The Monitor’s defeat reaches the north, and Vara, she rises to take the reins of The Paladins of Stral, which are one of the groups which the Legion of Dawn split into, alongside The Dominion, and Freelancers. At least, The Paladins are the original group, though now it seems as though they’ve morphed into The Dominion under The Monitor’s rule.

Stral was the man who activated the Heart of Rage during the Battle of Freemark. He still has loyal followers within The Paladins of Stral, though they’ve obviously failed to stop Vara so far.

The Cataclysm

Bioware has told us that Vara and her faction of Dominion started this Cataclysm in an effort to gain power and understanding of Shaper Relics. However, it all appears to have gone terribly wrong, particularly since Vara is located at the centre of the Cataclysm and has powers that have never been seen before.

As part of the Cataclysm event Freelancers are going to travel north to where The Dominion are based. I believe that this is where the Cataclysm is located also, but I might be wrong.

The Paladins of Stral

As far as I know this is what the faction we’re fighting are truly known as, though I think we’ll just be seeing them as The Dominion. In the latest crystal World Events and accidental pre-Cataclysm content that dropped in Anthem recently we saw this new faction.

These Dominion soldiers had different gear, with an almost Tron aesthetic. I think this new outfit is part of their equipment to survive in the Cataclsym, because we know it actively damages anyone outside of the safe zones.

I think the crystals might be a source of power for The Dominion, but we’ll know more about that when it hits soon.

This is all I can find on Vara and this new faction of Dominion that we’ll be fighting. Let me know what you think of them in the comments.

Image Source: YouTube


  1. There is a new conversation with Faye discussing the crystals, where she mentions they seem to be a byproduct of Dominion tech interacting with the Anthem, much like ember is a byproduct of shaper relics. No clarity on whether this is a deliberate action by the ODminion to generate crystals or accidental.

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