Today’s article is all about the Dragons of Magic: the Gathering.
In particular, today’s article is designed to serve as a quick and easy guide for any fan looking to add some sweet Dragons to their decks. I’ll be breaking down the Dragon tribe by color and highlighting the crème de la crème of Dragonkind currently available in the multiverse.
Last week I bought my first ever Collector’s Pack of Magic cards and was lucky enough to crack open a foil, borderless Tiamat.
What a sweet card!
I decided on the spot that I wanted to make a fun and flavorful Tiamat EDH deck. When I started combing the internet for ideas and resources to aid in my pursuit, I was sorely disappointed by the lack of quality resources available to me. There were hundreds of videos and articles where new players talk about their 10 or so favorite Dragons, but there was nothing even remotely useful (at least that I could find). Perhaps, the good articles all got sorted down in the Google search. Nevertheless, I decided to write today’s Dragon Index because if it had existed, it would have saved me hours of reading bad cards on Gatherer.com.
There are hundreds and hundreds of different unique Dragon creatures in Magic and today I’ve sifted through all of them and will be highlighting the ones I believe will make the most advantageous additions to decks and filtering out the least impactful ones that are best left out of decks.
While red is clearly the color most associated with powerful Dragons, I could make a strong case that white actually has the second deepest pool of quality Dragon creatures (at least in terms of monocolored options). White Dragons tend to be individually quite strong and less concerned with Dragon synergies. =
All of these Dragons are useful in the right type of deck.
These are the Dragons I’d consider Top Tier in white:
Excellent mana fixer and the ability to recur Eternal Dragon over and over again is extremely useful.
A solid Dragon option that helps disincentivize opponent’s from removing our Dragons with targeted removal.
A fantastic multiplayer Dragon that gains life and grows as other players cast spells.
An extremely efficient Dragon to cast because of its delve ability. Murktide Regent is one of the few Dragons to boast a lot of success in Constructed formats.
My pick for the best Blue Dragon in EDH. I love playing with this card. Any card that allows players to take actions without paying mana is incredibly powerful and this ability is particularly good.
A Dragon with the unique ability to wrath away all of the other creatures in play.
The only Dragon with infect and a particularly powerful Dragon in terms of its cost relative to its abilities.
My pick for the best black Dragon of all time. Kokusho’s death trigger is particularly nasty in multiplayer formats such as EDH because it will drain each player for five life. Also, one of the most iconic Dragons in the history of Magic.
I’ve already stated that red is the deepest and best color for Dragons in Magic and here’s why:
Worldgorger Dragon is one of the most unique and powerful Dragons ever printed because it enables an infinite combo with any enchantment that returns a creature in a graveyard to play (Animate Dead, Dance of the Dead and Necromancy). The Dragon’s ETB trigger will remove all of your permanents from play (including the Animate Dead) which will cause Worldgorger to leave play. When it leaves play, its leaves play trigger will go onto the stack returning the Animate Dead, which starts the loop anew. With each loop, all of your permanents return to play untapped which allows you to make infinite mana via infinite repetition of the loop. Once you’ve got infinite mana, allow the Animate Dead to return and choose a different creature in a graveyard to end the loop. Shivan Hellkite is a nice one, since you can use all of that infinite mana to deal infinite damage.
Goldspan Dragon is a very aggressively costed five-mana Dragon in the vein of other greats such as Thunderbreak Regent and Stormbreath Dragon. It’s certainly seen a lot of play in Standard and is an absolute all-star in EDH because it makes mana and even enables a few combos (such as Crown of Flames to generate infinite storm).
One of the most popular Dragons in Commander for obvious reasons, stealing all of an opponent’s artifacts is “not nice.”
Terror of the Peaks is a really fun card in a Dragon deck because it deals a ton of damage especially in a deck that can churn out a lot of Dragons or token Dragons. A very useful endgame Dragon card.
It wouldn’t be a Brian DeMars article without an Honorable Mention. Today I’m giving it to…
Shivan Dragon is the OG Dragon from the original Magic core sets. It may be outclassed by more powerful designs, but no Dragon will earn you more style points than a Shivan.
Green is not a great color for Dragons…
Quality (In a Loose Sense)
Green is easily the worst Dragon color in Magic, but Adventures in the Forgotten Realms brought one of the neatest and flashiest Dragons ever created into the multiverse. Old Gnawbone is capable of generating so much mana in a single turn sequence. I love it.
These are mostly cards that would simply go into a five color deck.
Now this is a Dragon! Wow! It can go into any deck and has an extremely powerful ability to remove permanents of all types. It’s certainly a card worth considering in any deck that doesn’t have great options to remove a specific type of permanents.
The list pretty much starts and stops with…
What more could a Dragonmage possibly ask for? I would put this card in virtually any BG Commander deck and I have no issue with saying Beledross is the best Dragon in EDH. The ability to untap all lands once per turn is nuts.
There are not many options for Orzhov color Dragons. Shadix is a reasonable Commander card. It certainly feels like a card that would be fun to use in multiplayer in a color that isn’t good for Dragons.
The real prize:
Easily one of my all-time favorite Dragons to play and worthy of inclusion in any Dimir color deck. I’ve played a lot of Dragonlord Silumgars in my day both in Constructed and EDH and it never disappoints. In fact, DLS is a Commander I frequently play!
All of these are fine but not nothing to write home about…
Now we’re talking! Dragonlord Ojutai was one of the most impactful constructed Dragons of all time and was the beef behind the Dragons of Tarkir “Esper Dragons” archetype. It comes down and can’t be targeted and then draws extra cards each time it connects. A very Azorius flavored Dragonlord.
A fun casual one.
Velomachus is crazy powerful and I’ve found myself including it not only in my Dragon-themed EDH deck but in a lot of decks that play RW. It’s really powerful and a great card to cheat into play with Dragon Arch, Elvish Piper or Quicksilver Amulet. It hits hard with haste and generates card advantage when it connects.
I’m not a huge fan of the BR Dragons. I think they have cool flavor but are not particularly efficient in terms of what they do or how much they cost to cast. Kolaghan does hit hard but combat damage is so passé in EDH.
Again, I like the flavor and the fact that it does something powerful but it’s expensive to play. I feel like BR Dragons are something people do because it’s cool and not necessarily because its efficient. You gotta want it!
Selesnya has three great Dragons all of which hit the sweet spot in terms of efficiency and high power.
Not necessarily the best card in a “Dragon deck” but Dromoka, the Eternal is quite good as a card in generic GW deck.
Easily one of the most powerful Dragon cards ever conceived. Wow, is this card powerful in Commander. The ability to shut other players off from playing during your turn and being uncounterable is pretty special. It’s the card I always get into play right before I combo off with a big Dragon attack.
There are a surprising number of quality UR Dragon creatures:
Also, some particularly good ones:
We don’t typically think of two-drops as “Dragons” but this one is. It’s also quite powerful relative to most two-drop creatures.
NMP was a dominant and format shaping card back when it was in Standard. It’s uncounterable and highly impactful once deployed to the battlefield. It’s also extremely nasty in multiplayer since it is going to start drawing a lot of cards and dealing a lot of damage if not removed immediately.
Galazeth Prismari is a special card. It gets perhaps a little overshadowed by Urza, Lord High Artificer because the two are similar and Urza is one of the most obviously demented, power creep designs I’ve ever seen on a Magic card. It’s unique because it only costs four mana (and you’ll notice most Dragons cost five or more to cast). It also makes a Treasure token and turns all of your artifacts into Mox Opals. In a multicolor deck, Galzeth’s ability to color-fix (Urza only makes blue mana) is a huge boon.
Simic is not known for its Dragon-prowess. With that said, if you really wanted to:
Gruul is a strong color in terms of Dragon options:
I’m also a fan of…
The haste is nice (especially if being cast onto an empty board) but in a lot of cases it’s a less exciting Old Gnawbone.
It’s kind of interesting that there are significantly more allied three-color (shards) than unallied three-color (wedges) Dragons. I’m going to start with the wedges:
The reanimation ability is great and Teneb is a fairly powerful Commander in its own rite.
If you really want a Dragon as a RUG Commander, this is the only realistic option right now. I do think this card has been way outclassed by more powerful designs since the days of Time Spiral.
Again, the wedges just don’t have a lot of Dragon options…
Vorosh does make for an interesting Commander since its in a good color trio and it’s one of the easier cards to use to kill opponents with commander damage because of its ability to quickly grow.
Numot is an interesting Dragon because it blows up lands. Probably not a card that is going to help a player make a lot of friends at the table, but it is quite good.
I don’t pretend to understand people who play Mardu. I find both of these to be underwhelming but that’s what’s so great about MTG – there’s something for everyone!
A couple of solid beefcakes:
I’m also a huge fan of…
I don’t know what higher endorsement I can give a card than “I bought an old card face foil” but I did and I plan to make an Arcades deck. It’s definitely a fun “build around” card.
Grixis is the color of Nicol Bolas, the most iconic Dragon in Magic.
Bolas also has quite a few planeswalker variants that are worth checking out in addition to:
It’s a neat card in multiplayer because it forces all players to discard and it also has the ability to transform into a giant planeswalker version of Bolas on the flip side.
It’s kind of funny that the shard that gave birth to one of the most iconic Dragon Constructed decks doesn’t have a ton of great options.
Dromar has some sweet nostalgia value but that ability is pretty behind the times in terms of being practical to use.
And, of course…
Rith is my favorite (and in my opinion the best) of the Invasion block Dragons. I love that it has a weird ability to make Saprolings because of course there’s a Dragon that does that. I would actually put this card into a deck and feel pretty good about getting to play with it again.
Jund is known for its Dragon mastery. In fact, as I’ve been using a metric of “quality” and “excellent” Dragons to set the best ones apart from the rest.
In fact, most of the “quality” Jund dragons in a vacuum are better than the best options in other three color combinations. Now, let’s bring on the excellence:
The biggest, baddest Dragon in the Jund lands is basically among the biggest, baddest in the multiverse. I love this card as a Dragon finisher and the fact that it can randomly steal other player’s Dragons. It’s also a pretty nasty card to Dragonstorm for!
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King earns my checkmark as the most busted Jund Dragon. It facilitates a bunch of combos, grows, and draws cards. What more can a Jund color card possibly do?
One of the cool things about building a casual Tiamat deck is that I’m able to draw from every call and even play some of these neat rainbow cards in my deck that I wouldn’t typically be able to cast.
I also mentioned these as artifact and colorless Dragons, but technically they require a five color identity commander:
Last but not least, there is one WUBRG Dragon that stands tail and shoulders above the rest:
Essentially, this card is a combo in a can. My Commander deck would be significantly more powerful if I used Scion as my Commander instead of Tiamat (since Scion is essentially just a combo with cards in the deck). Once you get Scion into play it can essentially change into any Dragon card that you have in your deck at instant speed.
After having gone through and mapped out the strongest Dragons in MTG, if you want to know how I really and truly feel about them. Here’s my top eight favorite Dragons to add to a deck:
- Worldgorger Dragon
- Shimmer Dragon
- Galazeth Prismari
- Goldspan Dragon
- Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
- Dragonlord Dromoka
- Eternal Dragon
- Beledros Witherbloom
What are your top eight favorite Dragons to play?