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August 22, 2017

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Commander 2017 Breakdown (Part 1)

Hi everyone! My name’s Adam, and with the upcoming Commander 2017 release (and our sweet new in-store Commander 2017 League), I’m here to review the new precon decks and make a few suggestions on how they could be improved.

Before we get into the thick of things, a quick note on my thought process: my suggestions are meant for a multiplayer environment, and should be thematically appropriate for the deck. I’ll also be limiting myself to my five top picks, and maybe one or two runners-up. With these things in mind, let’s get started. Today I’ll be taking a look at the new Dragon tribal deck, Draconic Domination!

Draconic Domination

Creatures (32)
O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami
Ramos, Dragon Engine
Scalelord Reckoner
Boneyard Scourge
Territorial Hellkite
Taigam, Ojutai Master
Wasitora, Nekoru Queen
Ryusei, the Falling Star
Scourge of Valkas
Utvara Hellkite
Sunscorch Regent
Deathbringer Regent
Hellkite Charger
Tyrant’s Familiar
Atarka, World Render
Bladewing the Risen
Broodmate Dragon
Crosis, the Purger
Dromoka, the Eternal
Intet, the Dreamer
Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury
Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
Ojutai, Soul of Winter
Scion of the Ur-Dragon
Silumgar, the Drifting Death
Spellbound Dragon
Teneb, the Harvester
Steel Hellkite
Orator of Ojutai
Dragonlord’s Servant
Dragonspeaker Shaman
Savage Ventmaw

Spells (30)
Fortunate Few
Fractured Identity
Crux of Fate
Painful Truths
Earthquake
Cultivate
Farseek
Kodama’s Reach
Rain of Thorns
Fist of Suns
Herald’s Horn
Mirror of the Forebears
Armillary Sphere
Commander’s Sphere
Darksteel Ingot
Dreamstone Hedron
Lightning Greaves
Nihil Spellbomb
Sol Ring
Wayfarer’s Bauble
Kindred Discovery
Monastery Siege
Palace Siege
Crucible of Fire
Dragon Tempest
Frontier Siege
Curse of Verbosity
Curse of Opulence
Curse of Bounty
Elemental Bond

Lands (37)
Crucible of the Spirit Dragon
Haven of the Spirit Dragon
Mountain
Swamp
Forest
Plains
Island
Path of Ancestry
Arcane Sanctum
Command Tower
Crumbling Necropolis
Frontier Bivouac
Jungle Shrine
Mystic Monastery
Nomad Outpost
Opulent Palace
Sandsteppe Citadel
Savage Lands
Seaside Citadel
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
Vivid Grove
Vivid Marsh
Vivid Meadow

My immediate impression is that this land base is going to be very slow. Running a reliable five-colour mana base is a challenge, and including 16 lands that enter the battlefield tapped means we’ll likely end up behind a turn. Since the curve really hits its stride around CMC 6/7, this deck will be a slog without at least a few changes. We already have some solid artifacts and spells to ramp us, but there’s always room for improvement, right?

Chromatic Lantern is a shoo-in for any five colour deck, and should be an early go-to when making changes. It’s far from a replacement for rebuilding the mana base, but it’s a safe place to start. Honourable mention also goes to the Rakdos, Gruul, Izzet, and Boros Signets, without which we’ll probably have some difficulty casting our late game spells.

Hour of Promise is a good choice to swap out with one of our other spells (I’m looking at you, Fortunate Few) in order to tighten up our late game a bit more. We almost certainly won’t be hitting Deserts to make 2/2 Zombies, but searching for non-basics in this deck is a flat out necessity. But what will we do with all this mana?

So long, Hellkite Charger! You’ve been replaced with a leaner, meaner, and subjectively less fragile version of your effect in the form of Aggravated Assault. We should have a ton of mana at our disposal late game now, and as an added bonus this enchantment goes infinite with Savage Ventmaw. Definitely aggravating for everyone else at the table, right?

If we’re bringing our biggest, baddest dragons to the table, Dragonlord Atarka deserves a seat. Dropping in at a whopping seven mana, she’s an immediate threat to the board and lets everyone know you mean business. Depending on your play group, if you’re dealing with an absurd amount of control (or just enjoy a sweet game of solitaire), you may want to consider Dragonlord Dromoka instead. The body isn’t quite as big, but she buys you time to work unobstructed.

He fixes! He brings creatures! If he ults, we (probably) win the game! Some may see an exclusion of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon as diverging from the theme, but I hope Sarkhan Unbroken‘s flavour and functionality more than make up for it.

That’s it for my short list of fixes and improvements on Draconic Domination. Do you think I missed something? Recommendations of your own? Let me know in the comments!

If you haven’t heard about our new Commander 2017 League and are in the Ottawa area, you can check out the details on our Events Calendar and hopefully we’ll see you at the Tower.