Daily Digest: When Dragons Evolve

Mardu Dragons has been making big gains in Standard in recent weeks, and Gerry takes a look at a variation on the archetype that might be the next step forward.

With the Standard format rapidly evolving, each deck must evolve with it. Mardu Dragons had its brief time in the sun, but perhaps we need a leaner, meaner Dragon deck. As it turns out, Deathmist Raptor + Den Protector is difficult to beat in long games, so going under it is the best bet.

Zurgo Bellstriker and Bloodsoaked Champion get the party started early and Blood-Chin Rager (you might have to look that one up) is a pretty sick finisher once the ground is locked up. Did you know Goblin Rabblemaster is also a warrior? That combo can translate to a ton of damage out of nowhere.

Once the ground is locked up, reach is what you’re looking for, and Dragons are still the best at getting that job done. When you’re trying to get in those last few points, there’s nothing better than a hasty flier. When you’re pressuring them early, it’s more likely they have to spend their Hero’s Downfalls on that stuff instead of saving it for bigger threats. Den Protector is great, but it’s a little too slow if there’s a Stormbreath Dragon attacking them already.

Since the deck is aiming to be lower to the ground than the previous Mardu Dragons decks, there is no point in splashing a third color. Crackling Doom is an amazing removal spell, but unless it’s solving a specific problem, you’re better off just being able to curve out consistently.