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John Shultis on Magic
urza_90@yahoo.com
Precon Recon
Knights vs. Dragons: Dragons
04.06.11

Welcome to another Precon Recon here at Pojo.com. This week I am taking a look at the recently released Knights vs. Dragons deck Dragons. While there are powerful cards in the deck, I feel that it lacks some punch. The Knight deck is far faster and superior, so in this article I will try and even the playing field. For a look at the original deck list, go here: http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/productarticle.aspx?x=mtg_tcg_knightsvsdragons_themedeck#deck2

The one thing that killed me about the Dragon deck is the fact that it says ‘Enraged Goblin minions pour from the mountain crags to repel the intruders.’ Yet in total, you are only capable of producing eight goblins, nine if you count the Fire-Belly Changeling. This is one area that needs fixing. The other would be mana production. The deck easily should have been red and green to speed up the mana. I will not be going to such extremes today, rather I will stay on a mono-red path.

The first things to go from this are things that aren’t “dragon-y.” Temporary Insanity definitely doesn’t fit the deck style. There are better creature removal spells than Spitting Earth, Seismic Strike, Jaws of Stone, Fiery Fall, Cone of Flame, and Breath of Darigaaz. This frees up eight cards right off the bat. Another card that just strikes me as useless is the Shiv’s Embrace. The ability to grant flying and fire breathing is jut useless. What would you really want to put it on? A goblin? I don’t think so. And while the Armillary Sphere’s get you mana, it goes to your hand, and not into play. While they may be useful, it is not necessary. I also vote to remove the Dragon’s Claw. The deck will play faster than your opponent should be able to defend against, therefore life gain is no longer necessary. Also, Ghostfire is a fun card when dealing with protection, but here, it just is more mana than it is worth. Another easy removal is Claws of Valakut, the pump is not required when playing with dragons. 14 spells out, that is a majority of what they actually put IN the deck. And we haven’t even looked at creatures. And as far as they are concerned, there isn’t a lot that needs removal. For starters, the Bogardan Rager. Dragons should be the main attackers, therefore, the Rager should go. I also feel that of al the dragons, Henge Guardian is useless, especially in this deck, removing it is a no brainer. And there we go, 16 cards coming out. That is just shy of half the deck. Talk about reconstruction right? I think this almost qualifies as plastic surgery on the deck.

So what needs to be added to make the deck play where it should, and destroy those meddlesome knights once and for all? FoDragonspeaker Shamanr starters, only one Dragonspeaker Shaman is a joke, there should definitely be at least three in here, so we will add two more, making it three in the deck. Second, some walls would not hurt while you build your army. I think Wall of Fire is a very good card in terms of defense for cost. Two Wall of Fires should be added. Also, the deck relies on Goblins for several things, mana and as a source of damage. Therefore without question, two more Dragon Fodders go in. The mana problem can be solved a number of ways. I think that another Seething Song should go in, as well as a full set of Pyretic Rituals. In terms of what replaces all of the creature removal spells we removed, I simply replace them with three Volcanic Fallout’s. The damage they inflict is far superior to all of the others. The final two spells are reserved for a very impressive, yet often overlooked card. The final two slots go to Unstable Footing. One mana can shut down any protection your opponents spells may invoke. And should you have the extra four mana, you can deal five damage. That’s as good as a Lava axe, only unpreventable.

And there you have it. This is a dragon deck that will win, and more often and easier than the deck Wizards originally supplied. The speed at which the dragons will hit the table will have your opponent reeling before they know what hit them. Now we have some support from Goblins, and mana acceleration to make sure the dragons are out before your opponent can rally any sort of worthwhile defense. Now take to the skies and burn away the intruders!

I am enjoying being in a vintage mood, and may just have another vintage deck lined up for next week. But then again, I have been dabbling around with an upgraded version of a precon that I feel should be making waves in tournament play. I’ll be trying it out this Friday at Friday Night Magic to see how it does, and will make my decision this weekend.

So until next time, keep safe, and keep gaming!

 

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