I don’t know about you guys but I am a huge Dragon fan! My mouth is already watering over some of these sweet cards, and I can only imagine what Dragons of Tarkir will have in store. Here are a few of the cards I’m looking forward to playing most from Fate Reforged.
Being a huge dragon fan, clearly my favorite EDH deck is Scion of the Ur-Dragon. This set brings a lot that scion really needed such as Crucible of the Spirit Dragon and the much needed board wipe of Crux of Fate (oh, that can kill Dragons? As if we’d ever use it like that). So let’s start.Silumgar, the Drifting Death
Yes, read it again. Did you see it!? “Hexproof” on a dragon. Finally, for the first time ever, Scion can turn into a Hexproof dragon! I didn’t think i would see the day but it’s finally here. Before Silumgar, the only way to really protect Scion was using Quicksilver Dragon and hoping you had an open blue mana and a legal target for whatever spell/ability they were using. This doesn’t happen very often. The only other way was to hope they just tried to burn him and change him into a bigger dragon. The Hexproof finally gives this a real way to protect itself and will definitely be an auto include in every Scion deck.
But wait, there is more! Whenever a dragon you control attacks, creatures defending player controls get -1/-1 until end of turn. Swinging with just him clears pesky chump blockers, and adding a couple more dragons can easily kill most creatures your opponent controls. This dragon is going to be amazing in Scion!
As far as standard goes, I wouldn’t count on this dragon making it into any dragon deck list. B/U isn’t the best color combination for these big dragon decks (no ramp). Those type control decks will want something a little more hard hitting than 3 damage as most of the time the board will be cleared anyway. It could see fringe play vs token decks, but I don’t see this dragon seeing much play elsewhere. Of course, every dragon is going to be a bomb in limited so not much to talk about there either.
Atarka, World Render
Yeah i wouldn’t say Flying/Trample is that great either, but do you know the only other dragon that has flying/trample and DOUBLE STRIKE! That’s right Dragon Tyrant, one of the best dragons in the Scion deck and easily the best win condition, just got a new friend. This is exactly what the Scion deck needed, a third win condition combo. Lets face it, most EDH games have at least 4 players, and Scion has 2 very quick kills, which isn’t quite enough sometimes.
1. Dragon Tyrant and pump 5 times to make him an 11/6 double strike to deal 22 commander damage.
2. Pump Scion with some dragon such as Moltensteel Dragon and then turn him into Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon for 10 infect damage. (You have to activate Scion then activate him again with that on the stack. With the first resolution, get Moltensteel Dragon and pump. With the second, get Skithiryx and kill).
Now with this sweet dragon you have a slightly worse way than Dragon Tyrant to kill a player. In combat you’d make Scion a pump dragon to get to the 11 attack, turn him into Atarka, and swing to get the double strike and win. The problem with this one is obviously its a little slower since you have to do it pre combat. This gives the opponent a better opportunity to stop it or just block, which sometimes they don’t do if they haven’t seen the combo before.
Either way this is a great win condition that Scion needed. Not to mention if you cast this guy he can easily make your other dragons deal 40 really really fast.
Again similar to the previous Dragon this may not see much standard play (besides in my dragon deck I may or may not be brewing). It is 7 mana for a 6/4 that has little to no impact on the board and can’t even block Stormbreath dragon profitably, so don’t expect it outside of EDH.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Another Dragon Planeswalker you say? I’m in! This guy is awesome, though I’m sure you already knew that. His +2 is Lightning Bolt for God’s sake(ok its really Ghostfire sure). His -X is basically Pernicious Deed except for colored permanents, and it actually hits other planeswalkers. If that wasn’t good enough, his ultimate is the actual opposite of Nicol Bolas; how’s that for flavor! -10 gain life, draw a new hand, play pretty much everything you have in it. But lets think for a second, is this actually good in standard? (because its definitely going in Scion, just for the flavor :D) Another insane planeswalker, Garruk, Apex Predator, that has high CMC of 7 doesn’t really see much play right now as it is, except a few fringe BUGwalkers decks. And to be frank (although I like being Josh), Garruk’s ability are a little stronger. He can make creatures to provide threats, kill creatures or planewalkers to stabilize the board, and then win from there. What does Ugin give that Garruk doesn’t, a board wipe and the flexibility to play it in non green control decks. Is that enough? I think it might be. B/U control is already relying on Perilous Vault which costs a total of 9 mana, and with FRF there will be the Crux of Fate, which is basically a board wipe. I think Ugin could easily make the cut in a list like this as it will serve 2 roles, a board clear/removal and a win condition. Is it better than Pearl Lake Ancient as a win condition, probably not but I guess we’ll see.
Ok now for cards I actually plan to play in standard.
Yeah its a 2 drop 2/1 that doesn’t even have haste. But this is the card red has been waiting on. My favorite thing about this card, Tap: draw 2, acquire target for Searing Blood is amazing. I guess that is the dream, but in any red deck drawing 2 cards is very good. Do I actually think this is going to be a staple in red decks in tournaments? No, but I’m definitely planning to build around this card to see where it gets me. Having the ability to confidently play cards like Searing Blood and knowing they won’t be dead is a good thing. One thing that is overlooked about searing blood in aggressive strategies is how well it does at allowing you to attack, especially with cards like Monastery Swiftspear. Humble Defector is an average 2 drop that your opponent will still feel threatened by. I am definitely looking forward to playing this card. I want to mention how good this is for Red EDH decks that lack card draw; pair with Homeward Path, or even Feldon reviving this guy from the graveyard so you can draw 2 cards seems like a good plan.
Last but certainly not least, my favorite card, probably of all time, Chandra’s Phoenix… Oh whoops Flamewake Phoenix
This card is nuts! 2/2 flying haste for 3 is pretty decent by itself, but now with a Chandra’s Phoenix type revival. And this goes back to the battlefield, AMAZING! For 1 R you get to keep reviving this guy. You can argue on which is easier to trigger, a 4 power creature, or a red spell/planeswalker hitting an opponent, but I think its pretty close. Seeing as you are building around the Phoenix, I don’t think there is a world where you could possible play both of these in the same deck :'(. There are already plenty of sweet tricks you can do with the Flamewake Phoenix, like the double sacrifice you can do with Butcher of the Horde; sacrifice Flamewak precombat, revive at combat and sac again (or just keep it). While most will play it in Mardu with this type of effect, mono red has a lot of tools with it as well. From Ashcloud Phoenix, Stormbreath Dragon, Sarkhan, Fanatic of Mogis, or even Minotaur Skullcleaver *wink wink*.
All in all this should be a pretty fun upcoming standard regardless to how much the meta shifts. And don’t get me started on the draft environment, yes there are dragons at common now (well, just one). I foresee me losing lots of money to the 5 color dragon deck I’ll be forcing every draft! Enjoy!