Dragon Triggers For Everyone!

Dragons are everywhere, and Bennie Smith isn’t waiting until the next set to set them free! See Bennie’s awesomely powerful Commander deck that uses a ton of Fate Reforged!

For the Vorthos in all of us, Fate Reforged really hits it out the park. We’ve got a fantasy time travel story where our hero goes back to undo a
terrible wrong, but the best part is… back in Tarkir’s early history there were a bunch of dragons! Dragons are iconic fantasy creatures that inspire awe
(and sometimes terror) in all of us who imagine what it must be like dealing with them. When I took my young kids to go see the first Hobbit movie, I’d say
their interest in the film was mild. They enjoyed it, but they weren’t stoked. Once I drug them to the second film and they encountered Smaug the
Magnificent, the Tyrannical, the Chiefest, and Greatest of Calamities… once they saw that sweet FX dragon and heard Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice, they were
most definitely stoked like the fire in Smaug’s belly. I could see two fans of fantasy being born right before my eyes.

It took me back to the summer before my 7th grade year, and my cousin came to stay with me a week and brought a game with him called Advanced
Dungeons & Dragons. Imagine if it were called, oh I don’t know, Tunnels and Trolls instead. I could see being mildly interested, but the alliteration
that involved the word dragon… now that word promised something epic, something special! I mean just look at the cover of the Monster Manual!

Okay, so maybe the artwork wasn’t exactly stand-out, especially considering the impressive state of fantasy artwork we’re privileged to experience
nowadays. But the quality of the artwork didn’t really matter so much as… that’s a dragon on there! Are you telling me that I can make up a character and
send him to go fight a dragon? Sign me up! I was hooked on D&D, hooked on fantasy, and hooked on gaming in no small part because dragons are
frickin’ coolness personified.

I imagine that these sorts of stories are not unusual for Magic fans across the spectrum, and Wizards of the Coast knows that dragons hold a special place
in the hearts of fantasy enthusiasts. We usually get a dragon or two peppered through sets each year, but to roll out a block that is so heavily
dragon-themed is quite special. They did a sweet job of teasing us with dragon flavor without actually giving us dragons in Khans of Tarkir (outside of our
planeswalker friend Sarkhan), but now that Fate Reforged has hit…

Wow, are there some sweet dragons in this set! I’ll get to the legendary dragons in a moment, but I’m even impressed by some of the uncommon dragons
(especially the green one), and I love that they took Lava Axe and turned it into a dragon so there could actually be a dragon at common. In fact, I’m
keeping my fingers crossed that I can draft five or six copies of Lightning Shrieker and keep doming my opponent with them, shuffling them back into my
deck to draw (or manifest) again and again and again. It may be awful, but it’s gonna be fun!

The uncommon and common dragons are sweet, but really where the special sauces of draconic deliciousness can be found are in the rare slots. Just bask in
their collective glory here a second:

Now, when pondering their awesomeness while wearing my Commander hat, I did start out with idea sketches for five different Commander decks. I’ll likely
get around to at least some of them eventually, but I’ll be honest with you-I wanted to play with them all. Why can’t I play with them all?

Well, of course I can play with them all! I’m sure I wasn’t the only one out there who quickly made the leap to Scion of the Ur-Dragon so we can play all
of the dragons. In fact, some of you may even be rolling your eyes at me making such an obvious choice as a commander for a dragon-themed deck. And you
wouldn’t be entirely wrong-Scion is very much the obvious choice for anyone who wants to make a dragon-themed deck. But Scion makes a particularly strong
choice for the particular thing I want to do with my dragon deck…

Dragon Triggers

Dromoka, the Eternal; Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury; Silumgar, the Drifting Death; Atarka, World Render; Ojutai, Soul of Winter

What I love about these rare Fate Reforged Dragons are their “whenever a Dragon you control attacks” triggers. I want to trigger these things like crazy! I
want multiple dragons attacking with multiple triggers going off and doing all kinds of crazy stuff. Playing all five of these, I’m hoping to naturally (or
maybe with a little assistance) draw and play one or two of them, but Scion of the Ur-Dragon can stand as a placeholder for one of the other ones. I know
you can build Scion of the Ur-Dragon to assemble a few particular dragons to “combo-kill” someone — for instance if you stack the ability you can get the
firebreathing ability of Moltensteel Dragon activated a few times “for free,” then switch Scion to Dragon Tyrant to benefit from flying, trample, and
double strike. But that doesn’t really appeal to me. I want to hand out dragon triggers like I was Oprah Winfry on location in Tarkir!

To really go nuts on the dragon triggers though, I need more dragons…


Mothdust Changeling, Slumbering Dragon, Dragonmaster Outcast, Runed Stalactite, Amoeboid Changeling, Shapesharer, Mirror Entity, Taurean Mauler, Dragon Egg, Chameleon Colossus, Furnace Whelp, Hellkite Hatchling, Destructor Dragon, Dragon Broodmother, Hellkite Charger, Quicksilver Dragon, Scourge of the Throne, Steel Hellkite, Balefire Dragon, Dragon Mage, Utvara Hellkite

Hey, wait a minute-there’s a dragon here with a dragon trigger too! Check out Utvara Hellkite-now that’s a heckuva dragon trigger.

There’s a big problem with this goal of getting lots and lots of dragon triggers… dragons usually cost a lot of mana. They also tend to be rather fierce
creatures that draw player attention. So how are we supposed to get a bunch of dragons in play ready to attack once one of the new Fate Reforged heavies
hits the board? Changelings to the rescue! These cute little dudes are relatively light on the threat-o-meter and just might stick around long enough to
charge into the Red Zone once you’re ready to get trigger-happy. I can easily imagine a Mothdust Changeling, a Shapesharer, a Dragon Egg and a Furnace
Whelp hanging out minding their own business when all of a sudden you drop Dromoka, the Eternal and attack!

Hellkite Charger and Scourge of the Throne can even give us another attack step for even more dragon trigger fun!

I also included a bunch of actual, higher-cost dragons in the deck too. Some are fine targets for Scion to turn into — for instance, Quicksilver Dragon in
case someone targets him with removal, or Dragon Mage if we need to draw a new hand. Some are just efficient big monsters that we don’t mind running out
into play like Dragon Broodmother or Balefire Dragon.

Dragons Matter

Cavern of Souls, Crucible Of The Spirit Dragon, Dragonspeaker Shaman, Bladewing’s Thrall, Kaalia of the Vast, Mana Echoes, Scourge of Valkas, Crux of Fate, Patriarch’s Bidding, Cryptic Gateway; Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund; Bladewing the Risen

I also wanted to pepper in some “dragons matter” cards along with some generic tribal goodies. It tickles me that Scourge of Valkas can actually do some
serious damage in this deck. I kinda dig that I can make Kaalia of the Vast one of my 99 in this Scion deck to cheat out some dragons – and maybe even
equip her with Runed Stalactite so she can be a dragon too! Crux of Fate is the perfect creature-sweeper card for our dragon deck, and with Amoeboid
Changeling, we can even temporarily make a creature a dragon to avoid his fate or take away an opponent’s dragon type to kill it off. Karrthus, Tyrant of
Jund is a badass and doesn’t like to play second fiddle to anyone, but giving all your dragons haste makes him big game, particularly if you fire off a
Patriarch’s Bidding to get back a bunch of dragons in one huge, epic haymaker turn.

I thought about Dragon Roost – I mean, seriously, it’s a perfect flavor addition – but given that my mana curve is already stuffed at the high end with
sweet actual dragons I figured I’d leave it off this particular list. If I build around one of these Red/X dragon legends, you can bet I’ll find room for
the Roost.

Here’s what I’ve got cooked up:

Scion of the Ur-Dragon
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 01-23-2015
Magic Card Back

I purposely avoided old school dual lands here; obviously you can stick the original ten duals in here and they make the mana excellent, but man, that’s a
lot of money to put in one deck. I wanted to illustrate that Wizards has really given us a lot of great tools to make a viable five-color Commander deck
without having to take out a second mortgage on your house. Sure, a lot of these lands come into play tapped, but you’re a dragon deck-you sleep on a
mountain of gold, what’s the rush? I’ve included lots of lower cost spells in the deck to make sure you can advance your board and play in the early turns
before your monsters come calling. I also included very few lands that did not make colored mana because Scion is so colored-mana intensive-utility lands
is the price you pay when playing all five colors!

Since we’re a five-color deck I tossed Legacy Weapon into the mix for some pinpoint removal. I remember way back in the day we ran Legacy Weapon in our
mono-black Cabal Coffers deck along with Crystal Quarry, which we nicknamed the “clip” for our Weapon. Crystal Quarry just happens to make all the right
mana for our Scion, so it certainly fits right in. I tossed Fist of Suns in here too figuring if we assemble the mana to cast Scion, we can then cast any
spell in the deck for the same cost.

I worked Volrath’s Stronghold, Gaea’s Blessing, and Bow of Nylea into the deck so after I’ve turned Scion into particular dragons I can put them back into
the library to do it again. Gaea’s Blessing also gives some resistance to any mill strategies that opponents might employ.

Frontier Siege fits beautifully in this deck; early on if you need the ramp you can do the Khans side, but if you draw it later the flying & fighting
Dragon side is perfect!

I know we’re probably going to get a bunch more dragon cards in Dragons of Tarkir, but I just couldn’t wait to go nuts with our new dragon
legends! What do you think of the deck? Are there any cards that I overlooked?