Daily Digest: Breath Of Fire

Whether it’s on HBO shows, in fantasy novels, or this Standard format, one thing is certain: Dragons are never going away. Ross Merriam highlights the latest firebreathing brew from one of the game’s most accomplished players!

SCG Regionals August 6!

I guess I’m on an Explosive Vegetation kick this week because I have another four-color, not-quite-ramp monstrosity for you today. Vegetation is still holding together an otherwise untenable manabase, but rather than enabling sweet spells like Crush of Tentacles and Descend upon the Sinful, this one is powering out the most powerful creatures in Standard: Dragons!

Okay, maybe there aren’t that many dragons in the deck (only five), but Reality Smasher might as well be called Eldrazi Hellkite, even if it doesn’t have flying, while Woodland Bellower and Woodland Wanderer represent a ludicrous amount of power for single cards. Importantly, the green creatures can hold down the ground, especially since Bellower finds the vigilant Sylvan Advocate, while your Dragons go to work in the air.

Even more importantly, this deck puts more power on the battlefield than any other deck in the format, giving you the power to break through the many stalled boards this Standard format creates. And if your giant green beaters aren’t enough to do it, the Dragons are there to mop up tokens or steal your opponent’s best permanent, which should immediately cement your control of the game.

Deathcap Cultivator gives the deck a nice early ramp card to curve with Explosive Vegetation, trade with an aggressive creature, or enable converge for an early Woodland Wanderer. This is an aggressive ramp deck, so you want to accelerate early, but ideally you will stop in the mid-game and start landing haymakers every turn until your opponent realizes that taking repeated blows to the head is likely to cause brain damage and calls the fight.

The key for these decks is having ways to mitigate flood so that your land-heavy hands can still find enough action to compete. Enter Duskwatch Recruiter, a sizable body in the early-game that can act as a ramp spell if it flips but eventually gives you a mana sink that tears through your deck to find the most powerful cards. Woodland Bellower gives you access to extra copies, so you don’t need to max out on a card that is poor in multiples and can be low-impact in your best hands. I like three here.

Haven of the Spirit Dragon also pulls double duty here, letting you rebuy your best creatures (provided they weren’t exiled), while also giving you a valuable colorless source for the Eldrazi in the deck. Obviously the manabase in a four-color deck is going to be a concern, so having your colorless sources come on lands you want to play anyway and that can provide fixing for your gold cards is very welcome.

Ben admits that this list is untuned in his deck tech here, so feel free to experiment with the list if you’re looking for something fun in the waning days of the pre-Eldritch Moon format. The Dragonlords won’t be with us much longer and deserve to devour some unsuspecting opponents while they still can.

SCG Regionals August 6!