Most of us fantasy fanboys will hands down say that dragons are the coolest creature in all of the mythic lore. Whether we’re talking Smaug or Draco, Eastern or Western, dragons have always captivated people – in some cases for centuries.
And yes, I will admit, I love dragons. While I liked the classic Shivan Dragon, what I truly loved were and are the legendary dragons, specifically starting with the Elder Dragon Legends – you know the original heavy hitters – Nicol Bolas (before Planeswalker status), Arcades Sabboth, Chromium, Vaevictis Asmadi and Paladia-Mors.
These were THE dragons to have, to hold, to crush your opponents with their combolicious goodness!
Meanwhile skip forward a few years from Legends/Chronicles and you start hitting the new versions in Invasion and then Planar Chaos. Not quite as powerful, not quite as expensive, but in some cases, more fun for combos.
But these guys pale in comparison to the awesome combo magnet known as Niv-Mizzet – by far my favourite dragon. He’s red and blue – the colors a dragon should be. Dragons are not the lame beasts as portrayed in “Reign of Fire”. He exemplifies dragons as the both living embodiment of fire & ferocity as well as a vast store of knowledge. However, we will talk more about him as his comboliciousness in Dragons Rock V2.0 – returning to Ravnica and the Firemind, Niv Mizzet.
In this column, we will talk about EDH with a deck full of and inspired by the OG dragons that inspired the format. That said, the best dragon to head the charge is not an EDH, but the avatar that can be them all – Scion of the Ur-Dragon.
What says combo better than this beat stick with wings? A measly 4/4 for one of all five colors, it is not the power and toughness but the special ability that makes this dragon so ripe for combos.
That’s right – Search your library for a dragon, copy it, and toss it in the bin.
Just off the top of my head, make Scion unblockable, search for say Nicol Bolas, empty your opponent’s hand. Next turn, search for Bladewing the Risen, pull Nicol back out, search for Teneb, the Harvester – Rinse Repeat until your opponents go down in a blaze of agony inspired by big stompy fire-breathers!
Of course, all of this will be much easier if you’ve got a good mana ramp and some stuff to give your Scion both shroud and unblockability. So for this deck “recipe”, I will literally just giving you some guidelines for how to start the ramp, helpful cards and you will need to fill with dragons from there with the idea that most of your dragons are of the EDH multi-color variety.
Editor’s note: This deck is intended as a rough frame work and not a completed deck. At it’s current incarnation, there are only 83 cards in it. Depending on your play group and play style, you many want to consider additional mana fixing, mana acceleration and choose the dragons that work best for you!
The first set of cards are your mana fixers, such as Birds of Paradise and Fellwar Stone, and your utility destruction cards, such as Putrefy and Mortify, which rock against most permanents. There are a number of substitutions that you can do – I wouldn’t use both a mana chicken and Utopia Tree unless you don’t have say a Fellwar Stone.
The second set of cards are the permanents that will make it easier for you to get your dragons out, such as Dragonspeaker Shaman as well as the sneaky card players – Dragon Arch and Call to the Kindred. And these cards work superb with the third set of cards that cause extra damage when your dragons flap in to chomp on your opponents or come flapping onto the field.
The non-basic lands and basic lands are just suggestions – you may have better to use. But some of them are great for flavour such as Dragonskull Summit or any of the lairs such as Dromar’s Cavern.
And finally we get to the dragons! Again, like most of this deck, I have given a few suggestions to start you off. In this case, I would consider them staples as you read before in the combo portion. As for the flavour of the deck, consider the five original Elder Dragon Legends, the five dragon legends from each Invasion and Planar Chaos – they are the reason there is five colours in the deck.
The reality of this deck is that it’s made to take advantage of all the colours especially with Scion as the general. And the ability to sneak those multi-colour bombs in with their special abilities offers all kinds of possibilities!
Now to go with the dragon goodness is my recipe for bacon-wrapped, cheese stuffed jalapenos. These Dragon Bites have enough fire and flavour to satisfy the dragon in all of us.
— Nicol Billas
Originally Published August 29, 2012 @ castlesandcooks.com