Let’s talk SPOILERS.
If you play Magic at any competitive level or casually enjoy brewing around the newer cards out of a set, then you have probably seen most of the brand new dragons.. oh, and other spoilers. This article will talk about my personal top five spoilers from Dragons of Tarkir. Keep in mind, these are my personal favorite cards coming out of the new set!
The cards are ranked in descending order, meaning number 5 is not as good as number 1 (in my opinion!) Now, let’s look at some sweet new cards.
5. Sarkhan Unbroken
I think Sarkhan is pretty happy to be on Tarkir now that there are so many dragons. The reason Sarkhan Unbroken is #5 is because I just do not see the hype behind him. In the current standard meta, I would rather cast a Xenagos than Sarkhan Unbroken. The fact that he doesn’t hit for four damage the turn he comes in hurts as well (bye bye old Sarkhan ways).
Now that I am done lamenting over how he just isn’t what I wanted, check out his sweet abilities. His minus two brings a dragon friend along with your brand new ‘walker, giving him a way to protect himself. Sarkhan Unbroken also can cantrip and make mana, so that is always nice when you are trying to play extra, higher CMC dragons. His ultimate is insane. Play all the dragons. He essentially takes you and your opponent into Tarkir, only your opponent has to deal with tons and tons of Dragons (unless you are four colors and grab that one Kolaghan you crammed in your janky dragon deck). The only potential weakness this has against any deck are board wipes like Crux of Fate and End Hostilities. Regardless, this card is sweet and I predict it will hover around 15$ before dropping to 8$ post rotation.
4. Ojutai’s Command
I was so happy to see this get spoiled. What a fantastic card for the current meta-game. UW Control may finally have its day in the sun. So what makes this card so special (minus the fact that it is basically Cryptic Command without all the good parts). Well, you can counter a spell and draw a card (Remand), you can get back a Seeker of the Way, or you can just gain 4 life (not bad with all the aggression of the format). Now, how is this broken enough to make it 4th? In the correct UW control shell, this card has the potential to break the deck wide open. UW was lacking a major tempo card like the RTR standard format (Sphinx’s Revelation). Maybe this is the card that will make UW a thing. We will see what happens once players like Shaun McLaren and Ivan Floch get to brewing control strategies.
If you aren’t excited that this format of command card is coming back with cards like Narset, Transcendent and Dragonlord Ojutai, then you need to wake up. UWx Dragonlord will be a deck. I’m calling it. Here is my list you can play around with:
With a list like this, you can play around with mana costs. For instance, we hit the sweet spot in turns four through six when we can bluff commands (even better with Tasigur) and have cards like Hero’s Downfall and Dissolve. Our deck’s magic number is 3. That being said, we have very powerful cards that will finish the game. An example is how I have included Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Elspeth. These are cards that simply take over the game. If we manage to land an early Tasigur, we can keep up his ability or both of our commands! That is just nuts to me. The deck has tons of playability and I love this list. This will probably end up being my standard deck before Magic Origins (if I ever get away from RG).
This card made me brew up a list like this. It is pretty exciting. There’s more to come!
3. Thunderbreak Regent
Hello value! Hello Dragons! Man, this card is going to break RG and Jund wide open. Let’s talk standard for a bit, ok?
Stormbreath Dragon is one of the most feared and hated cards since Theros. Stormbreath Dragon eats a lot of Hero’s Downfall in the current format. Now, imagine if Stormbreath could come in as early as turn 3 (with a single Elvish Mystic tapping for green) and, if your opponent had the removal, just bolted them. You’re imagining Thunderbreak Regent. Slide this 4/4 flyer for 4 that bolts your opponent if it, or any other dragon, dies into your RG deck and you have yourself the beginning of a very good standard deck.
This card is worth the hype. With all the dragons in the format, you just can’t afford to conventionally kill them all with a card like Thunderbreak Regent hanging out in the shadows. You better grab all those sweet board wipes while they are still around 1$ before this guy hits the table at your LGS. He will singlehandedly win games. I’m calling it.
2. Risen Executioner
Woah Woah Woah, Zombies? Oh yes, zombies. Let’s talk about how good this new Zombie Lord is in Sultai builds. Pair him with old Sidisi and just make 3/3’s all day. I think this is the sleeper card of the set. With cards like Kheru Lich Lord and Empty The Pits in standard, this guy has some potential. Expect to see Sultai Whip again with some Sultai Ascendancy spice thrown into the mix.
Cards like Tasigur, Dig Through Time, and Murderous Cut can help clear the way to bring back Risen Executioner from your graveyard with ease. Or, you could just play another one. Either way, this guy is insane with about 3 zombie tokens in play. I expect for him to see heavy play. Maybe he won’t. I love the mechanics and the way he interacts with the graveyard. A zombie-like effect.
Now, number one is fantastic. But I have to give nods to all the great cards in this set. Here are the honorable mentions:
Silumgar’s Command – 4 Stars, value town all day.
Dragonlord Kolaghan – 3.5 Stars, must play in Dragon Tribal.
Dragonlord Dromoka – 3.8 Stars, immune to instant speed removal during your turn.
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit- 3.5 Stars, Bolster it up aggro decks.
Ojutai Exemplars- 3.2 Stars, maybe this guy will be the new Aetherling type card.
Narset Transcendent- 4 Stars, Rebound and drawing cards seems fun, just like locking your opponent out of the game.
1. Atarka’s Command
WOW. This card is nuts. The fact that you can cast a Lightning Bolt and put a land from your hand into play is INSANE (Tempo Tempo Tempo!). Imagine a hand from RG Aggro real quick. You’ve got 4 lands, 1 of which is Temple of Abandon, Stormbreath Dragon, Elvish Mystic, and something else like Thunderbreak Regent. Ok, T1 Mystic. T2 Mountain. On your opponent’s T2, Atarka’s Command choosing to play a land and Bolt, scry. T3 land Stormbreath. TURN 3 STORMBREATH DRAGON.
Never before has this been possible without Double Elvish Mystic. This makes everything possible! Imagine a world where you have access to 4 mana on turn 3, and the extra mana is from lands, not mana dorks. This card can just end games too. Give all my guys +1/+1? YES. This card will make a splash everywhere. Zoo will play this in Modern. Scapeshift will play this card. I will play this card.
Atarka’s Command is, at the time I wrote this article, the best card to come out of Dragons of Tarkir. Never before has RG had something like this when I have played Standard. The only other card in Standard I can think of that allows you to play extra lands is Kiora, the Crashing Wave. Imagine a Turn 3 Sarkhan Unbroken. Or Sarkhan Dragonspeaker. The list is endless. This card is amazing. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, it answers the siphon effect of Siege Rhino while allowing you to accelerate or bolt. This card is bonkers. Pick up your play set before they are 10$ apiece.
I hope you guys are as excited for the new cards as I am. I love new sets! Later this week be sure to catch my next spoiler article that will talk about the top 10 cards that deserve reprints in Modern Masters 2! This is spoiler season, so I figured I would join in on the hype. Remember, you can’t play Magic at Target or Walmart. Buy Dragons of Tarkir from your local game store!
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