Dear Azami,

I started playing Magic right after Dragons of Tarkir. Dragons being my favorite fantasy creatures I knew I wanted to create a casual commander deck with basically only dragons based around the cards I had. Then add more as I acquired them. I also wanted the deck itself to be a hoard by having it foiled out.

So my main issue is the mana fixing, early plays and then dealing with the ramifications of the commander’s effect.

I am a little partial to the dual cycles of the dragonlords and would like to keep all ten even though I should probably cut some. So I am open to removing a few. I had included the regents dragons in earlier version of the deck but cut most of them.

I don’t really have a limit for cost of cards. I eventually plan on getting masterpieces for anything that has one but that is a very gradual process. So if there was optimal future state deck and an intermediate fill-in for the most expensive stuff that would be amazing. I would also like to keep the [casthaven]Prairie Stream[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Hallowed Fountain[/casthaven] as they are both expeditions I pulled.

The deck is focused on the flavour of keeping everything as dragon focused as possible especially the creatures. I am open to changes and exceptions that help the deck function aka Kaalia.

For playstyle I am ironically a very Timmy player with more Johnny than Spike. And in commander I don’t really care about winning just being able to do my own thing and get to a big flight of dragons or a finishing alpha strike.

Anyway hope that this interests you enough for you to write about it. And if not its has been really enjoyable reading your content. I only learned about you after your switch to Hipsters. As that is the only magic content I consume besides the magic story.



P.S. As I was working on tweaking my deck as much as I could after I typed all this up. I learned about the commander 2017 leaks. I have no problem either waiting till after that releases or doing it now. Which ever you think would be more interesting to write about.

The deck:

Commander: Scion of the Ur-Dragon
Aether Hub *F* (KLD)
Archangel’s Light (DKA)
Atarka’s Command *F* (DTK)
Atarka, World Render *F* (FRF)
Bant Panorama *F*
Bloodstained Mire
Bonds of Mortality *F* (OGW)
Brave the Sands (KTK)
Burnished Hart (THS)
Cascade Bluffs
Cinder Glade (BFZ)
Citadel Siege *F* (FRF)
Command Tower
Commander’s Sphere (C16)
Crucible of the Spirit Dragon *F* (FRF)
Day’s Undoing (ORI)
Descent of the Dragons (DTK)
Destructor Dragon *F* (FRF)
Dragon Mage *F* (SCG)
Dragon Tempest (DTK)
Dragon Tyrant (SCG)
Dragon Whisperer *F* (DTK)
Dragonlord Atarka *F* (DTK)
Dragonlord Dromoka *F* (DTK)
Dragonlord Kolaghan *F* (DTK)
Dragonlord Ojutai *F* (DTK)
Dragonlord Silumgar *F* (DTK)
Dragonlord’s Servant *F* (DTK)
Dragonmaster Outcast *F* (BFZ)
Dragonskull Summit *F* (M12)
Dromoka’s Command (DTK)
Dromoka, the Eternal *F* (FRF)
Evolving Wilds *F* (MM2)
Exotic Orchard *F* (CON)
Flooded Strand (KTK)
3 Forest *F*
Forgestoker Dragon (BNG)
Frontier Bivouac *F* (KTK)
Frontier Siege *F* (FRF)
Grand Coliseum (C16)
Hallowed Fountain *F* (EXP)
Harbinger of the Hunt *F* (DTK)
Haven of the Spirit Dragon *F*
Hedonist’s Trove *F* (DTK)
Hellkite Tyrant
Island *F* (BFZ)
Kaalia of the Vast *F* (CMA)
Karakas (EMA)
Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund
Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury *F* (FRF)
Mana Confluence *F* (JOU)
Maze of Ith (EMA)
Monastery Siege (FRF)
Mordant Dragon
Mountain *F* (ZEN)
Nylea’s Presence (THS)
Ojutai, Soul of Winter *F* (FRF)
Opal Palace (C16)
Outpost Siege *F* (FRF)
Palace Siege *F* (FRF)
Polluted Delta
Prairie Stream *F* (EXP)
Rattleclaw Mystic *F* (KTK)
Reflecting Pool (CNS)
Reliquary Tower *F* (M13)
Rugged Highlands *F* (KTK)
Rupture Spire *F* (CON)
Sarkhan Unbroken (DTK)
Sarkhan’s Triumph *F* (DTK)
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker *F* (KTK)
Savage Ventmaw *F* (DTK)
Scion of the Ur-Dragon *CMDR*
Scourge of the Throne
Shaman of Forgotten Ways *F* (DTK)
Sight of the Scalelords (DTK)
Silumgar’s Command *F* (DTK)
Silumgar, the Drifting Death *F* (FRF)
Smoldering Marsh
Sol Ring
Stormbreath Dragon *F* (THS)
Sunscorch Regent *F* (DTK)
Sylvan Caryatid
Temple of Malice *F*
Temple of Mystery
Temple of the False God (C16)
Temple of Triumph
Terramorphic Expanse *F* (MMA)
Thunderbreak Regent *F* (000)
Transguild Promenade
Traveler’s Amulet *F* (THS)
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon *F* (FRF)
Unknown Shores
Wind-Scarred Crag *F*
Zendikar Resurgent (OGW)

Thank you Timothy for your submission. Let’s get to work.

Somehow the last time I saw a [casthaven]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/casthaven] deck was around the time that Theros released, more than a year before Dragons of Tarkir released. Back around the time of Zendikar and Scars of Mirrodin the rainbow Dragon was one of the scourges of my college playgroup. Frighteningly quick and consistent, my brother’s version of the deck rarely took down a whole game, but he could always knock out a player or two on his own before falling to the rest of the table.

Of the three problems Timothy notes with his deck, mana fixing can be the hardest to get right, especially in five-color decks. As such I’m going to talk about the lands first.

The Lands


[casthaven]Karakas[/casthaven], [casthaven]Temple of the False God[/casthaven], [casthaven]Reliquary Tower[/casthaven], [casthaven]Transguild Promenade[/casthaven], [casthaven]Rupture Spire[/casthaven], [casthaven]Unknown Shores[/casthaven], [casthaven]Opal Palace[/casthaven], [casthaven]Wind-Scarred Crag[/casthaven], [casthaven]Rugged Highlands[/casthaven], [casthaven]Frontier Bivouac[/casthaven], [casthaven]Bant Panorama[/casthaven]

Let’s start simple. [casthaven]Karakas[/casthaven] is a fantastically powerful card. It’s also banned in Commander.

[casthaven]Temple of the False God[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Reliquary Tower[/casthaven] are great ramp and utility respectively, but you need to consistently be hitting WUBRG on or before turn five, so there’s no room for colorless lands.

On the other side of the coin, [casthaven]Transguild Promenade[/casthaven], [casthaven]Rupture Spire[/casthaven], [casthaven]Unknown Shores[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Opal Palace[/casthaven] can give you any color of mana you need, but they do so so slowly that they just don’t work in any sort of reasonsable timeframe. The filterlands aren’t bad per se but given that you don’t have a limited budget you can do so much better than lands that consistently put you behind a turn.

[casthaven]Frontier Bivouac[/casthaven], [casthaven]Rugged Highlands[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Wind-Scarred Crag[/casthaven] are all getting cut because I want to reduce the number of taplands you’re running. [casthaven]Bant Panorama[/casthaven] is coming out for a combination of reasons—it effectively puts you down two mana the turn you activate it, the colorless mode isn’t terribly useful to you, and it can only find three of your five colors.

Before we go into the additions I want to note that the list Timothy sent in had 42 lands, and I want to trim that number back to a bit. So we have eleven cuts but I’ll only be adding nine lands back in.


[casthaven]Blood Crypt[/casthaven], [casthaven]Breeding Pool[/casthaven], [casthaven]Cascading Cataracts[/casthaven], [casthaven]Crystal Quarry[/casthaven], [casthaven]Godless Shrine[/casthaven], [casthaven]Plains[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sacred Foundry[/casthaven], [casthaven]Stomping Ground[/casthaven], [casthaven]Swamp[/casthaven]

The additions fall into three basic catagories: basics, shocklands, and the two WUBRG lands. I’m adding a single Plains and Swamp so that [casthaven]Terramorphic Expanse[/casthaven]/[casthaven]Evolving Wilds[/casthaven]/any ramp spell can actually find any color that you need it to. Since hitting all of your colors is a crucial part of this deck, this is an absolutely mandatory change.

The shocklands that were added were chaosen to give you maximum access to your colors off of the fetchlands that you already have, since I wans’t going to go full mental and tell you to get the full copies of two of the most expesive dual land cycles ever. [casthaven]Bloodstained Mire[/casthaven] can now find any color except blue, while [casthaven]Polluted Delta[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Flooded Strand[/casthaven] can both find all five colors.

Finally, [casthaven]Crystal Quarry[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Cascading Cataracts[/casthaven] are the slow-ish fixers that you really want. Even with an maanbase stuffed full of duallands, sometimes you’ll get to five and just not have access to all the colors you need. Enter these two. Either one will make sure six mana of any combination of colors is enough to get [casthaven]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/casthaven] into play, and sometimes that’s just what you need.

The Creatures


[casthaven]Mordant Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Harbinger of the Hunt[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonlord Kolaghan[/casthaven]

Let’s start with the obvious. This is a theme deck, but  you can only be a slave to the theme so much. Most of the dragonlords range from just ok to outright powerful, but [casthaven]Dragonlord Kolaghan[/casthaven] is outright bad in commander. (It’s basically a joke unto itself at this point.) With average stats, a triggered ability that can’t ever be triggered, and static ability that you already have on the much stronger [casthaven]Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund[/casthaven]. You can do a lot better.

[casthaven]Harbinger of the Hunt[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Mordant Dragon[/casthaven] are both highly situational, and while Harbinger might be worthwhile if your metagame is infested with x/1 tokens you can do better in the vast majority of situations.


[casthaven]Moltensteel Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Nicol Bolas[/casthaven], [casthaven]Somberwald Sage[/casthaven]

He’s back in the spotlight now, but the original [casthaven]Nicol Bolas[/casthaven] card is a potent threat and a vicious weapon against control decks. His casting cost and upkeep payment keep him from seeing much play, but here where you can use Scion to tutor up Bolas as a nasty surprise after no blockers have been declared, which makes it the perfect home for the Elder Dragon. Also he has that sweet From the Vault printing that has one of my favorite pieces of art.

[casthaven]Moltensteel Dragon[/casthaven] is a unique creature because of how it interacts with Scion. If you activate your commander’s ability twice, you can use the first to resolve to turn him into [casthaven]Moltensteel Dragon[/casthaven], and then there’s a window to cast spells or activate abilities before the second Scion activation resolves. Since Moltensteel Dragon’s firebreathing only requires phyrexian mana you can dump as much life as you want into making it bigger, and because of the rules surrounding layers that bonus will carry over to apply the second creature you tutor out of your deck. Say, [casthaven]Dragon Tyrant[/casthaven]. Once you take the commander damage rule into account, four mana and ten life is all it takes to one-shot an unsuspecting player.

[casthaven]Somberwald Sage[/casthaven] is a concession to the simple fact that Dragons are expensive to cast and Scion can be removed. When that happens plan B is to dump dragons out of your hand and start swinging. Sage gets you to the level of mana you need to do that, and it does so on turn four.

The Spells


[casthaven]Archangel’s Light[/casthaven], [casthaven]Atarka’s Command[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dromoka’s Command[/casthaven], [casthaven]Silumgar’s Command[/casthaven]

[casthaven]Archangel’s Light[/casthaven] is a bad card. I understand wanting to recycle all the dragons that Scion has dumped into your graveyard. However seven mana is way too much for this effect and there’s some much better options out there.

And then we come to the commands. Between the three that I’m cutting there’s way too many modes available to actually talk about all of them, but in the simplest terms [casthaven]Atarka’s Command[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Dromoka’s Command[/casthaven] simply don’t scale well to a game of commander, but are instead designed to be extremely efficient in 1v1 competitive games. [casthaven]Silumgar’s Command[/casthaven] can be very impactful, but all of its modes are so situational that it’s unlikely for an opportunity you’re happy about comes up.


[casthaven]Cultivate[/casthaven], [casthaven]Living Death[/casthaven], [casthaven]Patriarch’s Bidding[/casthaven]

[casthaven]Cultivate[/casthaven] is one of the best ramp spells in commander, but it’s even better here because it all but guarantees to round out your colors and if played on curve leads to a turn four Scion.

[casthaven]Living Death[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Patriarch’s Bidding[/casthaven] are taking the role formerly filled by [casthaven]Archangel’s Light[/casthaven]. Except instead of simply putting the used Dragons back in your deck these dump them directly into play. There are conditions of course—[casthaven]Living Death[/casthaven] brings everybody’s dead things back and also kills everything on the board, while [casthaven]Patriarch’s Bidding[/casthaven] will bring back all creatures of the type that each player chooses. That means that everyone gets their Dragons back, while you can potentially recover a [casthaven]Somberwald Sage[/casthaven] or other utility creature if someone else names Human or another relevant type. One important note is that these cards can mean that it’s often correct to dump dragons into the graveyard even if you don’t intend to attack or block with Scion that turn.

The Artifacts


[casthaven]Chromatic Lantern[/casthaven]

This is another card that can practically guarantee a turn-four commander, as well as fixing your color problems forever. Not much to say here.

The Enchantments


[casthaven]Nylea’s Presence[/casthaven]

Not really a bad card, and the cantrip is nice. However, when compared to mana fixers like [casthaven]Cultivate[/casthaven], [casthaven]Chromatic Lantern[/casthaven] and (Spoiler) [casthaven]Prismatic Omen[/casthaven], [casthaven]Nylea’s Presence[/casthaven] just falls woefully short.


[casthaven]Crucible of Fire[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dissipation Field[/casthaven], [casthaven]Ghostly Prison[/casthaven], [casthaven]Prismatic Omen[/casthaven]

[casthaven]Prismatic Omen[/casthaven]. See [casthaven]Chromatic Lantern[/casthaven] Above. ‘nuff said.

[casthaven]Crucible of Fire[/casthaven] pumps up all of your combat-ready Dragons , and the +3/+3 boost is enough to take them from average- big for commander to big-huge. Especially after a mass reanimation, this card lets you dish out the damage while forcing most opponents to 2-for-1 themselves blocking.

[casthaven]Ghostly Prison[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Dissipation Field[/casthaven] are here to help beef up your early game, letting you stall a bit until you can start playing out hour higher-end creatures. The idea here is to just slow your opponents down a bit, ensuring that you don’t get run over before you can set up. I’m a big proponent of [casthaven]Dissipation Field[/casthaven] in particular, the card just does so much work for how little it costs, and it gets overlooked far too often.

The Planeswalkers


[casthaven]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/casthaven]

Ugin is one of the few Planeswalkers I really truly like in commander, but so much of his power is tied up in his –x ability, and you’re playing a five-color deck. Admittedly you have a high curve, but so do most commander decks. At least for me, this just isn’t worth the risk.

The Finished Build

Putting it all together, here’s the finished decklist:

Commander: [casthaven]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/casthaven]

Creatures: [casthaven]Atarka, World Render[/casthaven], [casthaven]Burnished Hart[/casthaven], [casthaven]Destructor Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragon Mage[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragon Tyrant[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragon Whisperer[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonlord Atarka[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonlord Dromoka[/casthaven], [casthaven]Somberwald Sage[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonlord Ojutai[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonlord Silumgar[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonlord’s Servant[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonmaster Outcast[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dromoka, the Eternal[/casthaven], [casthaven]Forgestoker Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Nicol Bolas[/casthaven], [casthaven]Hellkite Tyrant[/casthaven], [casthaven]Kaalia of the Vast[/casthaven], [casthaven]Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund[/casthaven], [casthaven]Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury[/casthaven], [casthaven]Moltensteel Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Ojutai, Soul of Winter[/casthaven], [casthaven]Rattleclaw Mystic[/casthaven], [casthaven]Savage Ventmaw[/casthaven], [casthaven]Silumgar, the Drifting Death[/casthaven], [casthaven]Scourge of the Throne[/casthaven], [casthaven]Shaman of Forgotten Ways[/casthaven], [casthaven]Stormbreath Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sunscorch Regent[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sylvan Caryatid[/casthaven], [casthaven]Thunderbreak Regent[/casthaven],

Spells: [casthaven]Patriarch’s Bidding[/casthaven], [casthaven]Living Death[/casthaven], [casthaven]Day’s Undoing[/casthaven], [casthaven]Descent of the Dragons[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sarkhan’s Triumph[/casthaven], [casthaven]Cultivate[/casthaven], [casthaven]Bonds of Mortality[/casthaven], [casthaven]Brave the Sands[/casthaven], [casthaven]Citadel Siege[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragon Tempest[/casthaven], [casthaven]Frontier Siege[/casthaven], [casthaven]Hedonist’s Trove[/casthaven], [casthaven]Monastery Siege[/casthaven], [casthaven]Prismatic Omen[/casthaven], [casthaven]Outpost Siege[/casthaven], [casthaven]Palace Siege[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sight of the Scalelords[/casthaven], [casthaven]Zendikar Resurgent[/casthaven], [casthaven]Crucible of Fire[/casthaven], [casthaven]Ghostly Prison[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dissipation Field[/casthaven], [casthaven]Commander’s Sphere[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sol Ring[/casthaven], [casthaven]Traveler’s Amulet[/casthaven], [casthaven]Chromatic Lantern[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sarkhan Unbroken[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/casthaven]

Lands: 4 [casthaven]Mountain[/casthaven], 3 [casthaven]Forest[/casthaven], [casthaven]Island[/casthaven], [casthaven]Plains[/casthaven], [casthaven]Swamp[/casthaven], [casthaven]Aether Hub[/casthaven], [casthaven]Blood Crypt[/casthaven], [casthaven]Bloodstained Mire[/casthaven], [casthaven]Cascade Bluffs[/casthaven], [casthaven]Cinder Glade[/casthaven], [casthaven]Command Tower[/casthaven], [casthaven]Crucible of the Spirit Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Dragonskull Summit[/casthaven], [casthaven]Evolving Wilds[/casthaven], [casthaven]Exotic Orchard[/casthaven], [casthaven]Flooded Strand[/casthaven], [casthaven]Breeding Pool[/casthaven], [casthaven]Grand Coliseum[/casthaven], [casthaven]Hallowed Fountain[/casthaven], [casthaven]Haven of the Spirit Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Cascading Cataracts[/casthaven], [casthaven]Mana Confluence[/casthaven], [casthaven]Maze of Ith[/casthaven], [casthaven]Crystal Quarry[/casthaven], [casthaven]Polluted Delta[/casthaven], [casthaven]Prairie Stream[/casthaven], [casthaven]Reflecting Pool[/casthaven], [casthaven]Godless Shrine[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sacred Foundry[/casthaven], [casthaven]Smoldering Marsh[/casthaven], [casthaven]Temple of Malice[/casthaven], [casthaven]Temple of Mystery[/casthaven], [casthaven]Stomping Ground[/casthaven], [casthaven]Temple of Triumph[/casthaven], [casthaven]Terramorphic Expanse[/casthaven]

The Additions

I did things a bit differently this week, because of your dragon hoard challenge. The price on the left is the cheapest printing I could find of a given card, while the price on the right is for the foil versions, although I defaulted to Masterpiece or From the Vault printings where possible.

[casthaven]Blood Crypt[/casthaven]        8.03    54.06
[casthaven]Breeding Pool[/casthaven]        13.27    68.81
[casthaven]Cascading Catarcats[/casthaven]    0.84    6.96
[casthaven]Chromatic Lantern[/casthaven]    8.89    54.99
[casthaven]Crucible of Fire[/casthaven]        0.96    2.14
[casthaven]Crystal Quarry[/casthaven]        3.65    11.86
[casthaven]Cultivate[/casthaven]        1.52    5.58
[casthaven]Dissipation Field[/casthaven]    0.85    2.99
[casthaven]Ghostly Prison[/casthaven]        1.99    18.97
[casthaven]Godless Shrine[/casthaven]        11.96    74.68
[casthaven]Living Death[/casthaven]        5.3    6.92
[casthaven]Moltensteel Dragon[/casthaven]    0.51    0.89
[casthaven]Nicol Bolas[/casthaven]        1.38    67.31
[casthaven]Patriarch’s Bidding[/casthaven]    13.18    31.44
[casthaven]Plains[/casthaven]            0    4.99
[casthaven]Prismatic Omen[/casthaven]        14.34    38.9
[casthaven]Sacred Foundry[/casthaven]        14.89    56.99
[casthaven]Somberwald Sage[/casthaven]    1.66    3.95
[casthaven]Stomping Ground[/casthaven]    14.49    68.63
[casthaven]Swamp[/casthaven]            0    4.99

Total            117.71    586.05

This overhaul can cost anywhere from $117.71 on the cheaper end to $586.05, if you want to go in for exclusively foil, From the Vault and Masterpiece printings. The Expeditions Shocklands are a huge part of that price difference, which is perhaps to be expected when fully blinging out a five-color deck. The good news is that the manabase is also the least urgent part of the overhaul, effecting the speed and setup time of the deck rather than its power.

Levi Byrne has been with the game since Worldwake and has a rabid love for fantasy writing that goes back decades. Despite some forays into Legacy he plays Commander almost exclusively, and has a love for the crazy plays and huge games that make Magic what it is. He was the go-to advisor of his playgroup on deck construction for more than five years before joining Dear Azami.

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