Brewing with Dragons of Tarkir

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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. Atarka’s Command 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 Siege Rhinos. Upgrading Firedrinker Satyr into Lightning Berserker 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.

Mono-Green Aggro

When I saw Avatar of the Resolute 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 Drown in Sorrow and Bile Blight, which are seeing heavy play currently. But if the format shifts away from those, I may be on Mono-Green Aggro yet again.

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

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 Shorecrasher Elemental for the main deck, which should prove quite powerful. The biggest gain is probably Encase in Ice, which does a poor Tidebinder Mage impersonation, but sometimes a poor impersonation is still good enough.

Sideboard Suggestions: Disdainful Stroke, Dissolve, Encase in Ice, and Icy Blast.

Mono-Black Aggro

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

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

White Weenie

This deck gained a lot with Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit and Dragon Hunter, 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.

Sideboard Suggestions: Erase, Banishing Light, Hushwing Gryff, and Surge of Righteousness,

Red Deck Wins

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

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

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 Dragon Whisperer and Thunderbreak Regent 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.

Sideboard Suggestions: Flamewake Phoenix, Harness by Force, Roast, and Torch Fiend.

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 Narset Transcendent 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.

Sideboard Suggestions: Self-Inflicted Wound, Surge of Righteousness, Thoughtseize, Virulent Plague.

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.

Sideboard Suggestions: Encase in Ice, Glare of Heresy, Negate, and Surge of Righteousness.

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 Self-Inflicted Wound and Ultimate Price to clean up the board.

Sideboard Suggestions: Encase in Ice, Negate, Self-Inflicted Wound, and Thoughtseize.

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 Drown in Sorrow being all over the place, but if it can find a way to deal with that, it should do quite well.

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

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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Josh Milliken

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Josh Milliken

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    • Fuquan on March 27, 2015 at 1:51 pm
    • Reply

    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.

      • Josh on March 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm
      • Reply

      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.

        • Fuquan on March 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm
        • Reply

        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).

          • Josh on March 29, 2015 at 10:17 am
          • Reply

          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.

    • Toby on March 27, 2015 at 8:07 pm
    • Reply

    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.

      • Josh on March 29, 2015 at 10:12 am
      • Reply

      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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