What is this deck?
This deck is black/red in the style of reanimator, and it aims to use and abuse the effects of cards like Warstorm Surge and Flayer of the Hatebound. However, the deck is special in its focus on Dragon Tribal, thanks to its commander's Enters-the-Battlefield ability. Its gameplay is comparable to Blink decks with a red flair due to the deck's nature of wishing to have as many big bodies hitting the field as often as possible, and then going aggro with them.
You Might Want To Play This Deck If...
- You love reanimator strategies
- You think Dragons are flipping cool
- You want to translate a quasi-burn strategy into Commander
- You want to merge Johnny and Timmy ideologies
- You know House Targaryen is better than everyone else
- You like to have fun
You Might Not Enjoy This Deck If...
- The amount of graveyard hate your metagame runs is ridiculous
- You need to be packing at least 10 control-oriented spells in any given deck
- You identify yourself mostly as a Spike
- You think any proper combo needs to be infinite to be effective
- You're partial to House Lannister
In Rakdos Colors:
Malfegor - Perhaps the closest to our Bladewing in form and color combination, Malfegor is a rather under-played commander who can take advantage of ye olde Hellbent cards from when the Rakdos guild was originally given its identity in Dissension. He can lend himself to reanimator strategies after obliterating your hand, which is hopefully full of fatties, and force the sacrifice of everything your opponents are threatening with.
Tymaret, the Murder King - The idea here is to sacrifice things, kill other things, and recur them all for value. Tymaret works on a smaller scale than Bladewing and is much more available on its mana. It's conceivable to work him into an aggro strategy, voltron, griefer, or purely sacrifice-based value akin to Lyzolda.
Rakdos the Defiler - Nothing says "all in" quite like voluntarily blowing up half of your board to blow up half of your opponent's board. Perhaps some Demon Tribal could be in order here.
Mogis, God of Slaughter - Ever since his premier, players have been putting Mogis at the helm of Punisher-style decks and setting out to accelerate the game by giving their opponents very un-fun choices. Alternatively, you could go for a BR Devotion build with Mogis and attempt to swing in for commander damage, because I hear 7-ower commanders for 4 mana is pretty good. He's also the current go-to Minotaur tribal commander.
Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch - Haste is good in commander, but the way Exava's designed, it's hard to imagine her anywhere outside of a 1v1 match. Her deck would have a mana curve pretty low to the ground, looking to smash in for 40 damage asap and controlling the board wherever possible.
Lyzolda, the Blood Witch - Lyzolda, as I mentioned above when talking about Tymaret, would be good with a plentiful amount of small creatures which she could sacrifice and which could be easily recurred (think Reassembling Skeleton) to grind her way to victory.
Olivia Voldaren - She's the premier Vampire from Innistrad, and she's a widely-used commander for BR control (hello, Basilisk Collar) and more-commonly Vampire Tribal. Her abilities lend to a deal of flexibility in deck-building, making her a machine gun, a control piece and an aggro finisher all in one, Edward-Cullen-destroying package.
Kaervek the Merciless - The original name in BR Punisher decks, Kaervek throws special gifts of damage in the faces of your opponents like some evil Santa Claus. Caution should always be exercised when taking him to a new metagame as he inevitably draws the ire of the other players. Nonetheless, if you're confident in your abilities and are prepared to fight the world, Kaervek would be an exciting challenge to pilot.
Grenzo, Dungeon Warden - The newest of the BR legends, this little goblin encourages unique deck-building and a fun play-style. The two ways to build around him that look the most effective would be Tribal Goblins since the little buggers are already pretty cheap, and small creatures with Enters-the-Battlefield effects for removal and value. Tom at MTGRadio runs both of these builds quite well.
Wort, Boggart Auntie - She lends herself to a a deck built specifically for Goblin Tribal, her claim to the archetype being her built in recursion element that gives the goblins a much-needed way to fight through board wipes and globs of removal.
Rakdos, Lord of Riots - Another legend that lends himself to unique deck-building, Rakdos encourages being proactive with damage (he looks like he'd be bffs with Mogis) and then throwing down big fatties after giving your opponents a nice dose of punishment. His deck is one that would not be easy to perfect, but one that would be so rewarding to make effective.
In Dragon Tribal:
Zirilan of the Claw - An old-school utilitarian that could tutor Dragons straight into play, this guy unfortunately is constrained to mono-red and has the downside of having to exile his Dragons after cheating them out. However, he will continually get better as the quality of creatures in MtG improves and we get more ETB effects on mono-red Dragons, like Spawn of Thraxes.
Kaalia of the Vast - Being able to do Angel and/or Demon Tribal alongside Dragons is pretty powerful, but she's also easy to remove, very linear to play and easily draws hate from other players. Kaalia decks can be blazingly fast, soul-crushing monstrosities of destruction, but they all tend to look the same.
Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund - Karrthus is deceptive: at first, he looks great for Dragon Tribal, but he's really more effective as the head of Jund Control or Goodstuff deck. Why? The M14 rules change for legends hit him hard. Any blue player could change make a copy of him, gain control of your own Karrthus, sac off the copy and keep your commander along with your whole board of Dragons. If you play Karrthus Tribal, play very carefully and with Death By Dragons.
Scion of the Ur-Dragon - Probably the best Dragon Tribal imaginable can be made with Scion at the helm. He gives access to all five colors and can Entomb a Dragon for just two mana. Throw in some Reanimator cards afterward and voila, super effective deck. Should I ever be able to afford a super-expensive mana base for five colors, I'd make Bladewing into a Scion deck.
Piloting the Deck
This deck plays most like a combination of reanimator and burn. A good opening hand would consist of a few lands, a mana rock, a fatty, and looting spell, plus something like Mesmeric Orb or Entomb to start filling the 'yard.
The early game is all set-up: playing mana rocks, getting fatties and specialty creatures into the graveyard, and setting up with playing our damage triggers like Pandemonium and Purphoros. Pro-tip: Pandemonium can be good for politics.
The mid to late game has us selecting our targets, playing/recurring our dragons and blasting away at life totals. Most times, if this deck goes off, there won't even be a late-game because there's nothing but pile of ashes surrounding your dragons. Also, sometimes you don't even need to attack, you just need to hit your triggers.
The feel of playing a game with this deck is like that of a combo deck. By that, I mean we need to see certain effects to really make the deck tick, and we reeeeally like it when people leave us alone to build our board. However, this is a dragon deck, so in the mid to late game, we can fight off any aggro coming at us and regular board wipes don't bother us much at all. A late game Bojuka Bog (or something like it) can really ruin our day, but as long as we draw into some gas, we can switch to going aggro and finish off there.
Quote from skybug12 »how has Flayer of the hatebound worked for you? I put him in my deck and he seemed pretty sweet in theory, but I feel like he might be too cute to warrant a spot.
Quote from InTheBreeze »Hey man
Blade wing was my original commander and still play the deck regularly. I like your build with the globs of damage win conditions. I never played that style because I lacked the enchantments you are using and went with a Megrim and Memory Jar style interaction to bin dragons and pull ramp or reanimation.
I'm also a fan of Mesmeric Orb but man does that draw the tables hate.
Animate Dead is solid and could work instead of Victimize.
I used to play Dragonspeaker Shaman but I think he's better as a mana rock
Or maybe Burnt Offering away an early fatty to play Bladewing and his friends. I just think the barbarian dies to easily to be worth only the cost reduction.
Steel Hellkite is a solid beater and blasts pesky permanents.
I also like Innocent Blood or Smallpox as early game mini sweepers. Smallpox can actually shut someone out early so tread carefully.
Also Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace can give you a dragon in the graveyard and piss off the table as well.
And of course if you're gonna play dragon's breath you gotta run Dragon Tyrant. Absolutely brutal that one with haste.
Lastly Sarkhan the Mad is on theme as hell and can do globs of damage.
Good luck on your next games and I'm off to find a Heat Shimmer and Warstorm Surge lol.
Quote from Jial »I haven't taken a thorough look at this decklist yet, but one card I would consider is the evil brother of Fling; Rite of Consumption. You lose instant speed, but gain life from it. Plus, nobody remembers that card even exists most of the time.
Quote from InTheBreeze »Just discovered Where Ancients Tread and remembered this deck. Nice addition to your EtB trigger party.
Skullclamp is cheap to use and helps when you're sacking dragons.
And I truly hope there is a Reef Worm token set that comes with the new commander deck! Quit holding back our Commander set tokens Wizardddsssszzz!!!!
Quote from rhakee »I feel like Vampiric Dragon should be in here...
Quote from krichaiushii »Note that Chaos Warp is also in the red deck, and given its effect, might be considered.
Stranglehold does yeoman's work in my decks when it comes to screwing up opposing strategies, as does Leyline of the Void. The latter MiGHT justify adding Exhume.
Hellkite Tyrant can be fun, as you never have to return stolen artifacts until they are destroyed or the game ends. The trample is a bonus. Speaking of trample, Mana-Charged Dragon can be huge in the right meta game.
Quote from skybug12 »Do you ever have trouble finding a dragon when you need one? I run about 24 dragons in my deck and I am thinking of cutting some of that fat for more utility. You make a good point about magmaquake and such cards, I might take those out as well. I like the idea of the warstorm effects, I only have 1 of them in my deck
This is my deck that im working on:
Quote from skybug12 »Thanks for the tips. I haven't gotten to play the deck that much so my experience playing it is solitaire style. Also, feel free to use the sig if you want, I was inspired after reading the thread.
What's your opinion of Tyrant's Familiar? If you cast it with bladewing, the lieutenant bonus is assured
Quote from skybug12 »have you tried out Cauldron Dance? Seems like a card you would like. puts 2 creatures onto the battlefield for Warstorm damage, haste for combat damage, and puts them back into your hand and graveyard for more casting.