Brew For Your Buck - Here Are My Dragons

Blue dragon.
(Sapphire Dragon | Art by Joe Slucher)


Hello fellow brewer and welcome back to Brew for your Buck, where we swap out the top 10 most expensive cards in a deck with 10 budget cards that add a unique twist. For the last two articles, we've been focused on infinite combos to win immediately upon assembly. We've also been in Orzhov (white, black) both times. With that in mind, I went searching in the Izzet (blue, red) part of the color pie, looking for a commander that lends itself to a more casual, Timmy/Tammy-esque playstyle. A good old fashioned Dragons deck just seemed to fit the bill. Fortunately we just had a new commander for this archetype released not too long ago:

Sarkhan is a great commander for a deck based around a creature type that tends to be higher on the mana curve. He only costs three mana, making him easy to cast early, and then he reduces the cost of all future Dragons. The copying ability is excellent too, especially in conjunction with attack or combat damage triggers since Sarkhan gives the Dragon it's copying "haste" by already existing on the battlefield. We can see that with some of the cards we are going to take out of the $354.53 list.

            1. Ancient Copper Dragon ($52.35)
            2. Terror of the Peaks ($29.73)
            3. Cyclonic Rift ($25.07)
            4. Urza's Incubator ($20.28)
            5. Ancient Silver Dragon ($18.32)
            6. Cavern-Hoard Dragon ($13.99)
            7. Jeska's Will ($13.38)
            8. Balefire Dragon ($10.73)
            9. Utvara Hellkite ($10.50)
            10. Goldspan Dragon ($9.94)

Total Value of Cuts: $204.29

Steam Vents is our only land that would qualify for a swap, which would bring our total savings to $217.68.


Thinking about the cards we want to add, I want to be careful about keeping the Dragon count consistent. We need to add back seven Dragons since we took that many out. We'll look for Dragons with attack or combat damage triggers that we get right away once Sarkhan copies the Dragon we cast, but mostly our budget package this week is just looking to make our opponents dead as fast as possible.


Five drop Dragons are really valuable in this list, because we can curve Sarkhan straight into them. First up, the best curve topper in those Arena Cube red decks: Glorybringer ($0.27). We can exert it and Sarkhan to snipe two creatures if needed or just bash for eight damage. Want to gain some political favor? Try out Hunted Dragon ($0.53) to make a new friend via Knight tokens, then smack someone else in the face for twelve with Sarkhan and this five mana 6/6 flying haster. Or just smack the person you give the tokens to; those Knights don't fly. For more face-smashing, try out Tiamat's Fanatics ($0.09). When these guys come down after Sarkhan, you're throwing eight damage at each opponent as early as turn four.


Utility Dragons

Part of why I love doing these articles is finding cards that I didn't know existed. Dream Pillager ($0.10) is yet another one, but don't you think its name sounds like a black Nightmare instead of a red Dragon? Either way, this guy slots in as a good replacement for Ancient Silver Dragon at a fraction of the price. Sapphire Dragon ($0.18) pulls double duty in the deck, being a useful though over-costed Negate early and helping to find the right cards later. Vengeful Ancestor ($0.29) can repeatedly goad your opponent's creatures, keeping the pressure off you while you're hitting everyone with your big flying monsters. Finally, Siege Dragon ($0.30) might seem a bit laughable in comparison with Balefire Dragon but it's way cheaper and does a pretty good impression. Plus the one time you absolutely WRECK the Arcades player in your pod will make for a Commander story you'll be telling for years.


Non-Dragon Dragon Support

With our required seven Dragons out of the way, let's look at our three supporting slots. My mind went straight to bonuses for creatures with flying, since all but four of our creatures have it. Things like Warden of Evos Isle, Gravitational Shift, Windreader Sphinx and Lofty Denial would be great (and budget) additions, but it just seemed too generic. We're a Dragon deck after all, let's do Dragon things!

Shared Animosity ($1.23) seems like an auto-include in a typal deck looking to attack, so I'm glad it's getting a reprint in the Wilds of Eldraine bonus sheet. In magical Christmasland, you could even attack with six 10/3 Tiamat's Fanatics on turn five. Speaking of attacking creatures, if we need to draw cards look no further than Keep Watch ($0.58). Not only can we use this on our turn if we're swinging out (which we'll be doing a lot of), but this will count for your opponents' creatures too. They don't even need to be attacking you! To bring it all home, we'll throw in a Guild Artisan ($0.10). This deck is as mana hungry as they come, so extra ramp is always needed. Since our plan is to be attacking with Sarkhan all the time, this is a small mana and money investment that fits our plan nicely.


Wrap Up and Savings

Let's take a look at what we saved:

Out  Price  In  Price 
Ancient Copper Dragon  $ 52.35 Glorybringer  $ 0.27
Terror of the Peaks  $ 29.73 Hunted Dragon  $ 0.53
Cyclonic Rift  $ 25.07 Tiamat's Fanatics  $ 0.09
Urza's Incubator  $ 20.28 Dream Pillager  $ 0.10
Ancient Silver Dragon  $ 18.32 Sapphire Dragon  $ 0.18
Cavern-Hoard Dragon  $ 13.99 Vengeful Ancestor  $ 0.29
Jeska's Will  $ 13.38 Siege Dragon  $ 0.30
Balefire Dragon  $ 10.73 Shared Animosity  $ 1.23
Utvara Hellkite  $ 10.50 Keep Watch  $ 0.58
Goldspan Dragon  $ 9.94 Guild Artisan  $ 0.10
Total  $ 204.29 Total  $ 3.67
  Original Deck Price  $ 354.53
New Price  $ 140.52
Total Savings  $ 214.01
% Savings 60%


I hope you liked this straightforward, attack and smash Dragon deck. We cut a whopping 60% off the price of the deck, kept some sweet Dragon staples, and made you the scourge of durdle decks everywhere. Here's the final list:

Here Are My Dragons

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Creatures (30)
Enchantments (8)
Sorceries (5)
Instants (10)
Planeswalkers (1)
Artifacts (11)
Lands (34)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
View this decklist on Archidekt

As usual, I'd love to hear your take on this deck, the BFYB process, commanders or themes you'd like to see, or anything else! Let me know down below in the comments; I'm usually pretty good about responding. If not I'll see you next time when we brew for your buck!

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Please note: card prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of writing, but prices can vary over time and between locations.

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Brian played Magic intermittently between 2003 and 2017 when he fully embraced his love for Commander. Finding ways to maximize the value of each piece of cardboard in the deck is one of his favorite things to explore, especially if it involves putting lands in the graveyard! Outside of Magic, Brian works as a consultant in the marine industry, turning his passion for boats and ships into a career.

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