I really like Mountains.
Sooo … Pretty …
My first deck was BR Vampires back in Innistrad, when I thought Invader Parasite was the coolest card around. A 3/2 that removes a land AND deals damage? Sweet! Since then I’ve moved on and branched out. My first competitive deck was Wolf Run Green, where I found out that Primeval Titan and Dungrove Elder are pretty good together (duh). Since then I’ve played Soldier and Knight Tribal, and Death and Taxes, and Burn, and Zoo, and GW Midrange … but the one thing I’ve never really done is put Islands in my deck.
Let’s just take this slow, okay?
Yes folks, I’m talking about my latest Standard deck, UR Dragon Control. This has been a pet project of mine for a little while now, and I’m ready to drop the knowledge bomb on you. The 75 looks like this:
So let’s break it down, shall we?
Shenron ain’t got nothing on this!
4 Thunderbreak Regent 4 Stormbreath Dragon 3 Icefall Regent 1 Clever Impersonator
All (well, almost all) of the bodies in the list fill the dual role of being dragons and connecting for 4 in the air. They also are all difficult to remove for various reasons or provide additional value when the other guy inevitably tries to do so. There is no greater feeling than your opponent targeting a Thunderbreak Regent with a Hero’s Downfall and having the counter after they take an additional 3 to the dome. The Clever Impersonator is a fun tech pick, giving me a fifth Stormbreath Dragon, a sweet planeswalker that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to, or a value creature such as Surrak, the Hunt Caller.
For the deck that doesn’t actually have Silumgar, but still wants to Counter
4 Silumgar’s Scorn 2 Negate 4 Dissolve
Not going to lie, being able to straight up Counterspell in Standard is a good 60% of the reason I put this deck together (the other 40 being freaking Dragons, man!). My dirty little secret is that for a player who’s only really ever thrown Lightning Bolts around, I have come to love having counters. The ones here give me a good mix of coverage across the table.
IMA FIRIN MAH LAZOR!!
3 Draconic Roar 3 Anger of the Gods
Anger of the Gods has been an absolute staple for me since about September 27, 2013. Wrathing the board of Sylvan Caryatids and various Goblins is just great value. Draconic Roar is an instant speed creature bolt that has a very pleasant upside. If only there was low-costed, high-value Dragons that I could play in Modern Burn …
The Card Advantage
You’re the One, Neo … I mean, Narset
3 Anticipate 2 Outpost Siege 3 Dig Through Time
Putting cards into your hand is 50% the reason you play Islands (for the other fifty, see Counters, above). Anticipate gives me card selection early on, while a resolved Dig Through Time or Outpost Siege often means game over.
4 Shivan Reef 4 Temple of Epiphany 2 Haven of the Spirit Dragon 2 Swiftwater Cliffs 8 Island 4 Mountain
I knew fairly early on that I’d want roughly half of my lands to give me both colours, as I was split pretty evenly between red and blue. After the tweaks I ended up with the spread you see. Haven of the Spirit Dragon gives me some very useful recursion in the late game, while also being the occasional second red source for my dragons.
The Glowing Blue Hamster Ball of Death
Another thing that came up very early on was that I’d need a strong transitional sideboard. Typically it goes one of two ways. Either I’m up against Control, in which case:
+2 Mindswipe, +2 Negate, +2 Wild Slash
-3 Anger of the Gods, -3 Draconic Roar
Wrathing the board of creatures is not very relevant when your opponent doesn’t have any. Being able to counter things is. As well as being able to pick off any low loyalty planeswalkers such as Kiora, the Crashing Wave is a plus, or even just a shot to the dome.
The alternative sideboard plan, which comes in when my opponent is faster than me (which happens with depressing regularity), is:
+3 Reality Shift, +3 Roast, +2 Wild Slash
-4 Dissolve, -2 Negate, -1 Icefall Regent, -1 Clever Impersonator
If my opponent is obliging enough to bring green or red creatures, I also bring in the Encase in Ice, usually taking out a second Icefall Regent and the pair of Outpost Siege.
Essentially the idea is to be able to say no to whatever threat my opponent tries to use to kill me quickly and with the most efficiency of mana. While pulling out Dissolve seems –heh- counter-intuitive, I find that three mana is often just that one critical turn too slow to stop the whatever it is my opponent is doing.
So that’s UR Dragons ladies and gents, hope you enjoyed it. Control the board into turn 6 or 7, land a Dragon with some back up and ride it from there to the win. I’ve been having an absolute blast with this deck, and I think it could be a real winner in this format. So thanks for reading, and I’ll talk to you next time.