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Card of the Day

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Zodiac Dragon 
Portal 3 Kingdoms Rare

Reviewed August 9, 2004

Constructed: 2.08
Casual: 3.33
Limited: 2.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 


* game store owner in CA, ShuffleAndCut

A nice huge creature that recurs itself.  Combo this with Sneak Attack, and you've got quite a nice thing going on! If your opponent does not have enchantment removal on hand, it really gets nasty for them.  One interesting note...this is one of the few dragons that does not fly. 

Portal 3 Kingdoms in English is one of the rarest sets ever printed.  The set tells the story of Chinese history, and speaks of their great legendary figures that shaped that history.  It's really quite fascinating.  The Zodiac Dragon is the chase card of the set, and is the most expensive post Unlimited set card currently in print at $100 a pop.

In limited, if you have a chance to take this in draft, just pick it.  Considering you just plucked a $100 bill from a pack, you barely need to care about the outcome of the matches.  Though, if you get it into play, hooray for you!
Constructed: 3
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4
   Current Price:
Zodiac Dragon - Portal 3 Kingdoms - $100
   Combos Well With:
Sneak Attack - Urza's Saga - $18.75

Judge Bill

*Level 2
MTG Judge

*game store employee

or, "summon target judge to quash all sorts of bombo ideas."
I'd put even money on at least one of my comrades (probably multiples) trying to tell you that this is an infinite combo with Wild Mongrel, Psychatog, or any card that gets a benefit of discarding it from your hand. The card even says so, right?
Thankfully, Wizards recently gave us Oracle text for all Portal cards. (But, no, they are still not allowed in sanctioned tournaments.)
The Oracle text of Zodiac Dragon is as follows:
Zodiac Dragon
Creature -- Dragon
When Zodiac Dragon is put into your graveyard from play, you may return it to your hand.
The most expensive card of the Portal 3 Kingdoms set, probably for the mistaken bombo idea. Still, it's a recurring 8/8 fatty. That goes a long way in most casual games. Pair this with Sneak Attack, and you get an 8/8 every turn for 1 red mana. Works really well with Recurring Nightmare, too. A fun card all around, even with the cleaned up rules text.
As it's not legal in any environment but casual, that's the only rating I'll give today.
Casual: 4.5

Jeff Zandi

5 Time Pro Tour

Zodiac Dragon
Wow! Iím reviewing a Three Kingdoms card! Thatís a new first for me! One of the VERY FEW Magic cards that Iíve never owned! Anyway, the ability for the Dragon to return to your hand whenever he goes to the graveyard is GOOD. The fact that this giant flying reptile costs nine mana is BAD. I love big red dragons, but this one just doesnít have what it takes to be considered playable. Also, it looks like this guy doesnít even have flyingÖ (by the way, Iím a Chinese ZODIAC DRAGON myself, born in 1964!)


Ray "Monk"
* Level 3 DCI Judge
*DCI Tournament Organizer

Zodiac Dragon


Remember that time that someone put a Portal Three Kingdoms card in the Card of the Day list, and I was writing up my Card of the Day reviews while running events at Hexacon, and I was using the Type One Oracle for reference for the cards, and of course Zodiac Dragon was not in the Type One Oracle, and I had no idea what the card did, and had to write a really long run on sentence in hopes that no one would notice I really was unable to review this card?


I remember that time.


Constructed:                 2

Casual:                         4

Limited:                        3


* game store owner (The Game Closet - Waco,TX)

Zodiac Dragon - Monday

I'm not sure how good this guy really is. I just think he s worth snagging up. He's one of the highest dollar cards in Magic since the early sets. He costs a lot to play, but he is an endless dragon. That being said, he doesn't fly, which is a bit odd. Casual guys love this just because the creature never goes away and it's a dragon. In limited play, I would take it and hop to use it as a late game finisher, but wouldn't bet on it.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 3
Limited: 3
Zodiac Dragon --

I'm slightly disappointed with Zodiac Dragon. I haven't had any experience with the card, so when I saw it on the CotD listing, I thought it might be fun to review a card that I had never seen before. How wrong I was. Zodiac Dragon has a number of problems. First, it is way too expensive for serious consideration in anything but a deck that tricks it into play (see: Reanimate, Sneak Attack). Next, for its cost, it doesn't really do much. It's an 8/8 with a mediocre ability -- returning a creature to hand is OK, but when it means you have to sink another nine mana to put it into play, I'm not sure its even worth it. This card won't be seeing play in any Constructed deck I play, and more than likely the same for limited. Casual players, however, might find a use for the Dragon through cool combos or, as said above, with decks that trick it into play.

Constructed Rating: 1.5
Limited Rating: 1.5
Casual Rating: 2.5

 Van Zandt

Zodiac Dragon
He needs to fly, and that's a lot of mana, but again, self-recurring creatures have their uses. One of the higher dollar portal cards that hasn't been reprinted. And it's a dragon.

constructed 2
casual 3.5
limited 2.5 

Secret Squirrel on the

Zodiac Dragon
Portal eh?  I dont know much about this set, but I found out that this is one of 12 cards that is based on the Chinese Zodiac.  So it has flavor, and its a recurring 9 cc 8/8 flying dragon.  If you can ever cast it, I guess it could be fun, but protal isnt legal in constructed.  So it only has Casual. 
Casual: 3

Zodiac Dragon -
Boy this card would be good if the silly oracle didnt exist.
Constructed - Portal = Banned.
Casual - Phoenix type abilities, such as this zodiac dragon, are a personal favorite of mine. This could be real potential fun with an Aether vial. Get it to 9 counters (Use help, such as Coretapper, or Energy chamber). Than you can bring out a husk, or anything that sacs for help, and if you really wanna get super, intruder alarms, Aphetto Alchemists, etc. Either way...... this with Vial seems the way to go.
Casual - 3.0

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