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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
"Chris's Casual
Dragon Deck"
November 24, 2010
 

Anthropologists have long wondered at the fact that most ancient cultures worldwide have, independently, concepted myths and legends about dragons. Granted, the Eastern snake-like spiritual dragons are a different animal than the fire-breathing behemoths of Western myths or the draconic god-beasts of ancient Mesoamerica, but the core idea remains the same: a reptilian creature of great and terrible power that is beyond the ken of any animal found in nature.

So why does each culture ultimately dream up a dragon as the archetype for a fearsome beast? Some believe that these myths were influenced by the discovery of dinosaur remains, but others think that the dragon is a representative of some primal memory of human history. As though at some point in the primordial development of humankind, we encountered some lizard-like creature that so impressed itself in our ancestor's nightmares that we've told tales of it ever since.

What kind of creature could threaten mankind so completely that it inspired fear and awe for generations to follow? And how could you blame a Magic player for wanting to harness that kind of power? But it's easier said than done.

 



I've been playing Magic for only a little while now. I currently have a red dragon deck that isn't working so well. Budget is an issue for me. If the card costs more than three dollars, no can do. If I need 3 and they cost more than 3 dollars together, can't do it either. But I still encourage you give me suggestions no matter what they are, then give a second suggestion, and then the cheapest suggestion to replace the original suggestion with. Here's the deck.

Lands:

Mountain x22
Keldon Megaliths


Creatures:

Flameblast Dragon
Furnace Whelp x2
Dragonspeaker Shaman x2
Volcanic Dragon
Ancient Hellkite
Knollspine Dragon
Rakdos Pit Dragon x2
Two-Headed Dragon x2
Dragon Mage
Hoarding Dragon
Kilnmouth Dragon
Hellkite Charger
Mordant Dragon
Imperial Hellkite
Ryusei, the Falling Star
Predator Dragon
Shivan Dragon
Voracious Dragon

Hunted Dragon

Clockwork Dragon


Everything else (Sorceries, Instants, etc.):

Rage Reflection
Mana Echoes x2
Seething Song x2
Dragonstorm x3
Insurrection
Relentless Assault
Door of Destinies
Dragon Roost
Dragon Fodder x3
Crucible of Fire x3
Desperate Ritual

As you can see, the deck is not very fast. Could you please make it faster and still keep the huge beatdown element with it. Thanks.

Chris Pulliam

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have to admire someone whose deck is 50% Dragons, Chris, but of course most Dragons cost at least five mana. Much like the Giant deck from Lorwyn block, actually getting them on the table before the other guy has you dead to rights is going to be a challenge.

But of course, Chris, you already know that. After all,
you've included a few Seething Songs and a Desperate Ritual, which incidentally go lovely with Dragonstorm. You mentioned that you're on a bit of a budget? Seething Song and Desperate Ritual are cheap, and Dragonstorm is cheap enough that you can get one more copy to complete your playset. Enough fast mana spells with a Dragonstorm can get you a horde of the Dragons of your choice as early as turn three or four. And you can ease your budget by making room for the extra mana accelerants by removing some superfluous rares.

Insurrection is a cute trick, but wholly unnecessary-- the creatures on the board most worth stealing are bound to be your own. Rage Reflection is similarly unnecessary. By the time you have enough creatures for it to matter, well, you've got DRAGONS. And Mana Echoes won't do much for you, unless you expect to have three or four Dragons out and then start chaining multiple Dragons a turn. At that point you're not winning, you're showing off. Door of Destinies isn't really earning its keep either, for a similar reason. First you have to play it, and then you have to cast a Dragon for it to get a bonus. And you really need to cast multiple Dragons to optimize the door. Crucible of Fire, by contrast, gives +3/+3 to Dragons you already cast before the Crucible hit the table for the same cost as the Door, while the Door has to see three Dragons get played to give the same benefit.

And then you've got Dragonspeaker Shaman, who reduce
s the mana cost of your Dragons. He's one way to make sure your opponent doesn't get a chance to swarm you before your Dragons make their appearance. A few Shamans, a few Iron Myr for red mana, and you'd be all set for casting Dragons. One hitch though: if your opponent manages to kill the Myrs and Shamans that you were relying on to cast that monster in your hand, you may suddenly find yourself helpless to do anything, watching your opponents' 2/2's and 3/3's introduce themselves to your life total.

The other option, is not to speed your own development but slow down theirs. A few Pyroclasm, a few Flamebreak, and the small attackers your opponent was going to kill you with will be wiped out, leaving you plenty of time to cast your Dragons. And after you cast some Dragons, Pyroclasm and Flamebreak will still wipe out any smaller creatures while not being enough damage to kill your Dragons. They'll also handily wipe out those 2/2 Knights you gave your opponent when you played Hunted Dragon. Now, Flamebreak seems to be going for $1.50 each, which means according to your budget, you can get two of them. Pyroclasm, however, can be had for a quarter a piece, so you should definitely have a playset of them.

I also noticed that you have a single Hoarding Dragon, who can cheat an artifact into play. You're a bit light on artifacts, however. I already put Door o
f Destinies on the cut list. Clockwork Dragon is neat, but newcomer Steel Hellkite is stronger. Iron Myr is a bit suboptimal if you intend to run Pyroclasm, but Everflowing Chalice, Mind Stone, or Ur-Golem's Eye will give you the mana you need without being open to creature kill. And of course, there's nothing worse than getting your favorite Dragon on the board just to have it eat a Doom Blade, so a singleton Darksteel Axe wouldn't be a bad idea.

And finally, of course, there's the lands. Nothing to complain about here, but if you have a few spare Terramorphic Expanse you could thin your deck and improve your draws. Your deck won't suffer too much from the land coming into play tapped, since most of your spells are top-heavy and you won't have much to do in the early turns.

And remember to practice your best dinosaur roar for when your Dragons swing for the kill!

Good luck!

~BMoor

 

 

 

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