Brewing with Dragons of Tarkir

Welcome back for Brewing with Dragons of Tarkir!

Today, I’ll go over eleven lists that I’ve come up with using some of the new cards from Dragons of Tarkir. These decks won’t have fully formed sideboards, since I don’t have time to test them all or complete knowledge of the metagame (the one exception being the Gruul Burn list, which I have had a chance to test). This was quite an exciting set for me as a brewer, and I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from the diverse array of decks I have for you today. But enough babble, let’s see some decks…

Gruul Burn

First up is Gruul Burn. [card]Atarka’s Command[/card] adds a lot of power to the deck, letting you pump your team while dealing three or even shutting down the life gain from those pesky [card]Siege Rhino[/card]s. Upgrading [card]Firedrinker Satyr[/card] into [card]Lightning Berserker[/card] was also a tremendous gain for this deck, allowing it to be more aggressive with its creatures. This will be the first deck I build when Dragons of Tarkir is legal, and with the results of my testing looking good so far, I don’t see me playing anything else unless the format drastically shifts.

[deck title= Gruul Burn]
[Creatures]
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Lightning Berserker
2 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Wild Slash
4 Magma Jet
4 Lightning Strike
4 Searing Blood
4 Atarka’s Command
4 Stoke the Flames
2 Become Immense
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Forest
9 Mountain
[/Land]
[Sideboard]
4 Roast
3 Destructive Revelry
2 Circle of Flame
3 Arc Lightning
3 Outpost Siege
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

Mono-Green Aggro

When I saw [card]Avatar of the Resolute[/card] get spoiled, I got super excited to build this deck again. The biggest thing keeping me from playing this is its weakness to cards like [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card] and [card]Bile Blight[/card], which are seeing heavy play currently. But if the format shifts away from those, I may be on Mono-Green Aggro yet again.

[deck title= Mono-Green Aggro]
[Creatures]
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Servant of the Scale
4 Avatar of the Resolute
4 Swordwise Centaur
4 Boon Satyr
4 Reverent Hunter
3 Nylea, God of the Hunt
2 Polukranos, World Eater
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Aspect of Hydra
2 Bow of Nylea
2 Setessan Tactics
[/Spells]
[Land]
2 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
21 Forest
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Hunt the Hunter[/card], [card]Nylea’s Disciple[/card], [card]Ranger’s Guile[/card], and [card]Reclamation Sage[/card].

Mono-Blue Devotion

While not quite as powerful as the old Mono-Blue Devotion decks, this deck will likely begin to pick up in popularity. It gained [card]Shorecrasher Elemental[/card] for the main deck, which should prove quite powerful. The biggest gain is probably [card]Encase in Ice[/card], which does a poor [card]Tidebinder Mage[/card] impersonation, but sometimes a poor impersonation is still good enough.

[deck title= Mono Blue Devotion]
[Creatures]
4 Dakra Mystic
4 Hypnotic Siren
4 Frost Walker
4 Stratus Dancer
4 Omenspeaker
4 Shorecrasher Elemental
4 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Master of Waves
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Military Intelligence
2 Bident of Thassa
[/Spells]
[Land]
3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
20 Island
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Disdainful Stroke[/card], [card]Dissolve[/card], [card]Encase in Ice[/card], and [card]Icy Blast[/card].

Mono-Black Aggro

This deck will do well at some point soon, but with so many [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card]s running around, it will have to work hard to do it. [card]Pitiless Horde[/card] seems like a very scary card, much like [card]Phyrexian Negator[/card] was in its heyday.

[deck title= Mono-Black Aggro]
[Creatures]
4 Bloodsoaked Champion
4 Gnarled Scarhide
4 Tormented Hero
4 Pain Seer
4 Silumgar Assassin
4 Herald of Torment
4 Mogis’s Marauder
4 Pitiless Horde
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Bile Blight
2 Hero’s Downfall
[/Spells]
[Land]
2 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
20 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card], [card]Self-Inflicted Wound[/card], [card]Thoughtseize[/card], [card]Ultimate Price[/card].

White Weenie

This deck gained a lot with [card]Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit[/card] and [card]Dragon Hunter[/card], making its creatures go up a couple notches in power level. I don’t expect this deck in any kind of numbers, but I wouldn’t discount it from doing quite well.

[deck title= White Weenie]
[Creatures]
4 Dragon Hunter
4 Mardu Woe-Reaper
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
3 Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
4 Phalanx Leader
4 Seeker of the Way
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Gods Willing
3 Launch the Fleet
2 Valorus Stance
3 Spear of Heliod
[/Spells]
[Land]
22 Plains
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Erase[/card], [card]Banishing Light[/card], [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card], and [card]Surge of Righteousness[/card],

Red Deck Wins

We will see a lot of this style of Red Deck Wins in the coming months. Big gains were [card]Dragon Fodder[/card] to make cards like [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] and [card]Collateral Damage[/card] even better and [card]Roast[/card] to take care of those problematic blockers. With such a mass of tokens, it will be no problem most games to cast [card]Outpost Siege[/card] naming Dragons to pretty much win on the spot.

[deck title= Red Deck Wins]
[Creatures]
4 Foundry Street Denizen
2 Lightning Berserker
2 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Dragon Whisperer
4 Mardu Scout
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Collateral Damage
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Outpost Siege
4 Stoke the Flames
[/Spells]
[Land]
20 Mountain
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Arc Lightning[/card], [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card], [card]Frenzied Goblin[/card], and [card]Roast[/card].

Mono-Red Devotion

This deck just wants to go big as quickly as possible, but has plenty of early game to ensure that it doesn’t get run over by the hyper-aggressive decks. The cards [card]Dragon Whisperer[/card] and [card]Thunderbreak Regent[/card] added quite a bit to the deck’s staying power, allowing it to maintain control of the game against decks packing a lot of removal. I’ll be surprised if this deck doesn’t see a lot of play.

[deck title= Mono-Red Devotion]
[Creatures]
4 Dragon Whisperer
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Prophetic Flamespeaker
4 Fanatic of Mogis
4 Thunderbreak Regent
4 Stormbreath Dragon
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Crater’s Claws
2 Hammer of Purphoros
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
2 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
19 Mountain
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Flamewake Phoenix[/card], [card]Harness by Force[/card], [card]Roast[/card], and [card]Torch Fiend[/card].

Esper Control

It seems like most of the cool toys in this set were geared towards making the blue control decks more viable. While that’s not what I typically play, it is quite tempting. Now that [card]Narset Transcendent[/card] has arrived to draw approximately all the cards, I expect to see control mages everywhere rejoicing. The big issue these decks face is not dying before they can gain control of the game, which will likely be a lot harder now that there are endless one-drop creatures.

[deck title= Esper Control]
[Spells]
2 Bile Blight
2 Ultimate Price
2 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
4 Dissolve
3 Hero’s Downfall
3 Narset Transcendent
3 Oujutai’s Command
1 Utter End
2 Crux of Fate
4 End Hostilities
2 Silumgar’s Command
3 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
4 Dig Through Time
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Temple of Enlightenment
2 Temple of Silence
3 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
3 Island
3 Plains
2 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Self-Inflicted Wound[/card], [card]Surge of Righteousness[/card], [card]Thoughtseize[/card], [card]Virulent Plague[/card].

Azorius Control

With so many amazing cards for Azorius Control, it’s just a matter of combing the right ones. This deck benefited maybe a little too much from this set and could take a while before the optimal build is locked down, but it will be seeing a lot of play from day one.

[deck title= Azorius Control]
[Creatures]
3 Dragonlord Ojutai
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Anticipate
4 Silumgar’s Scorn
1 Banishing Light
4 Dissolve
3 Narset Transcendent
4 Ojutai’s Command
1 Aetherspouts
4 End Hostilities
3 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
4 Dig Through Time
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Temple of Enlightenment
4 Tranquil Cove
4 Flooded Strand
4 Radiant Fountain
6 Island
3 Plains
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Encase in Ice[/card], [card]Glare of Heresy[/card], [card]Negate[/card], and [card]Surge of Righteousness[/card].

Dimir Control

Dimir Control got exactly what it wanted in Dragons of Tarkir, and we may all suffer because of it. This deck will be a major player this season, forcing out a lot of other decks that just can’t compete. It could even displace Abzan strategies from the top spot, now that it has access to [card]Self-Inflicted Wound[/card] and [card]Ultimate Price[/card] to clean up the board.

[deck title= Dimir Control]
[Creatures]
2 Dragonlord Silumgar
1 Silumgar, the Drifting Death
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Anticipate
1 Bile Blight
4 Silumgar’s Scorn
2 Ultimate Price
3 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
4 Dissolve
4 Hero’s Downfall
1 Perilous Vault
4 Crux of Fate
2 Silumgar’s Command
4 Dig Through Time
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Dismal Backwater
4 Polluted Delta
4 Radiant Fountain
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
5 Island
3 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Encase in Ice[/card], [card]Negate[/card], [card]Self-Inflicted Wound[/card], and [card]Thoughtseize[/card].

Orzhov Warriors

Finally, a critical mass of warriors have been printed to make this deck look very tempting. Now that it has sixteen one-drops, it may be able to race any deck in the format. The biggest issue it will face is [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card] being all over the place, but if it can find a way to deal with that, it should do quite well.

[deck title= Orzhov Warriors]
[Creatures]
4 Bloodsoaked Champion
4 Dragon Hunter
4 Mardu Woe-Reaper
4 Tormented Hero
4 Blood-Chin Rager
4 Chief of the Edge
4 Blood-Chin Fanatic
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Bile Blight
4 Harsh Sustenance
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Temple of Silence
4 Caves of Koilos
3 Mana Confluence
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Plains
6 Swamp
[/Land]
[/deck]

Sideboard Suggestions: [card]Erase[/card], [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card], [card]Self-Inflicted Wound[/card], and [card]Thoughtseize[/card].

All Players on Deck

That’s all I have for now. I’ll see you again for Brewing With Magic Origins. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I will do my best to answer them.

Thanks for reading,

Josh Milliken

@joshuamilliken on Twitter

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7 comments on Brewing with Dragons of Tarkir

  1. Fuquan says:

    Nice overview, but I think one special deck is missing: Battlefield Thaumaturge, Dragon Tempest and Descent of the Dragons. I don’t know how this will do, but it SOUNDS awesome thus far. Because even though those three cards can end a game turn 4 (with a single Hordeling Outburst or even a Dragon Fodder), the deck doesn’t rely only on going out fast with a bang. There is still so much I have to try out, but UR aggro could surely be a thing.

    1. Josh says:

      That was not one I considered, to be honest I had to look up every one of those cards. It sounds like you want a Jeskai Tokens shell with that to max out on token producers though.

      1. Fuquan says:

        Not really, as I don’t need W in this deck at all. Maybe a Temur shell fits it better, but I think UR is enough. Haste 1-drops (Monastery Swiftspear for example), Tempest, Dragon Fodder or Hordeling Outburst and if the opponent is tapped out, you can T4 Battlefield Thaumaturge and Descent of the Dragons at the same time, ending the game instantly (sacrifice 4 creatures to make Descent cost only RR, 4 Dragons enter, do 16 damage to the opponent and attack for another 16).

        1. Josh says:

          Adding white gives you access to Jeskai Ascendency, which makes your creatures more powerful while digging into your combo win condition. Unfortunately there’s so much removal seeing play that getting that early combo win is very unlikely, since your main piece is a 2/1.

  2. Toby says:

    Seems odd to say that Drown in Sorrow will be all over the place then not see any copies in the proposed Dimir control deck. Pretty sure it is at least better than Bile Blight.

    1. Josh says:

      It’s definitely at least a sideboard card. It was an oversight that it didn’t end up in the suggested sideboard cards.

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