Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Dragons in Magic?
It seems no collectible card game can resist the allure of including ever-beloved dragons: Pokemon has 'em, Yu-Gi-Oh loves them, and Magic: The Gathering, of course, follows suit. In Magic, dragons tend to have high power and toughness stats, the flying trait to soar over land-based blockers, and several powerful effects.
Yet out of MTG's thousands of cards, only a few dozen belong to this rare type, helping them feel appropriately majestic and fierce. Which ones are most worth casting? These are the 10 more of the strongest dragon spells in Magic (you can view the original 10 here)!
10. Kokusho, the Evening Star
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 6
Here's a monocolored entry to get us rolling. Like most dragons, Kokusho costs a fair chunk of mana but wields flying and a nice 5/5 power and toughness. However, don't worry too much about guarding your winged reptile, because its effect activates upon death: All opponents lose five life, and you gain life equal to the total amount lost.
This is a sizable chunk of health that often defeats weakened opponents while regenerating your precious life points. It's even better in multiplayer matches since it impacts all opponents, including those with hexproof (since the effect doesn't need to target them).
9. Wasitora, Nekoru Queen
Black, red, and green Wasitora enjoys several advantages compared to other dragons. It's comparatively inexpensive, with a price of only five mana, and since it's both a cat and a dragon, it synergizes with many creature-type dependent effects. It also enjoys the expected flying trait alongside trample, letting excess damage hit your opponent even when blocked.
Thanks to trample, triggering Wasitora's next ability is easy because it activates when Wasitora lands some combat damage on your opponent. At that point, they're forced to sacrifice a creature; if they can't, you create a 3/3 black, red, and green cat-dragon token with flying. This acts as both a creature removal and a swarm tactic, ensuring you gain a benefit even if your opponent currently controls no units.
8. Scion of the Ur-Dragon
Scion takes one mana of every color to cast, and since it's legendary, it's a popular choice for commander format dragon decks hoping to use dragons of each color. With only flying and 4/4, Scion doesn't stand out until we view its mana ability, requiring two mana of any color(s). Once the price is paid, you search your library for a dragon permanent (shuffling afterward), put it into your graveyard, and have Scion become a copy of that permanent until the end of the turn.
Not only does this allow Scion to temporarily adopt the abilities and stats of stronger dragons (without having to pay their higher costs), it fills your graveyard with powerful creatures ready to be revived. Speaking of which...
7. Bladewing the Risen
Black sure is seeing some formidable dragons today, eh? Using Mountains and Swamp lands, you can cast zombie-dragon blend Bladewing the Risen for a sizable seven mana. Despite this taxing price, Bladewing only arrives as a 4/4 with flying. However, when it hits the arena, you're able to return a dragon permanent from your graveyard to your field! Two dragons for the price of one demonstrates the importance of a stocked discard pile and puts a powerful ace up your sleeve.
As an extra trait, at any point, you can spend one black and one red mana to simply give all dragons +1/+1 until the end of the turn. An underwhelming ability, but a nice way to spend leftover resources, and like Scion's mana trait, no tapping is required.
6. Scalelord Reckoner
Because dragons demand so much mana, you take a risk playing them since you're often left helpless for the turn when your opponent uses removals to defeat them. Enter Scalelord Reckoner, a comparatively cheap white warrior that punishes adversaries who dare to target your dragons.
Beyond its simple 4/4 and flying, Reckoner lets you destroy a target nonland permanent an opponent controls when that opponent targets one of your dragons with a spell or ability. Thanks to this, you'll give as good as you get and rapidly eradicate opposing enchantments, artifacts, creatures, and even planeswalkers when your dragons suffer a debuff. As a final benefit, Reckoner is less pricey than most of today's units, and you can often snag it for less than three dollars.
5. Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Red-and-blue Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind follows the trend of flying and 4/4 battle stats, but excels thanks to two simple abilities that form a great combo. First, whenever you draw a card, Niv deals one damage to a target creature or player, helpfully finishing off either your adversary or their army. Then, Niv can tap to draw a card.
Not only is drawing useful in and of itself, but it's also especially helpful when you get to damage foes whenever you do so. As some final bonuses, note that Niv belongs to both the popular dragon and wizard families, buffing a wide variety of creature-type based effects, and its colors fit right into the popular Nicol Bolas decks.
4. Ramos, Dragon Engine
Although colorless Ramos can fit into any deck, it works best in multicolored builds thanks to its abilities. Once again bearing the common 4/4 and flying traits, Ramos's first quality adds +1/+1 counters to itself when you cast a spell for each of that spell's colors. This can potentially add five counters at once, quickly buffing Ramos to be invincible in battle. However, you can also (once per turn) remove five +1/+1 counters from Ramos to add an unparalleled ten mana (two from each color) to your pool!
Finally, note that Ramos counts as an artifact, comboing well with artifact-dependent effects, and you can only field one at a time thanks to the legend rule.
3. Savage Ventmaw
Like Ramos, red-and-green Savage Ventmaw costs six mana, is a 4/4, and can add a bunch of mana to your reservoir. This time around, all you need to do is attack with Savage and you'll get three red and three green mana for a total of six! Thankfully, this mana doesn't empty until the end of your turn, letting you spend it on anything in your second main phase rather than just instants in the battle phase.
Six colored mana is no joke; be sure to toss any red haste-granting effects into your deck to allow Savage to attack as soon as it enters and make early use of its massive ramping trait.
2. Ojutai, Soul of Winter
Although Ojutai needs seven mana, it compensates with a plethora of awesome qualities. In addition to 5/6 and flying, the Soul of Winter also wields vigilance, letting it attack without having to tap. Even better, while fielded, whenever one of your dragons attacks, you tap a target permanent your opponent controls, and that permanent doesn't untap during their next untap step.
This lets you tap either potential blockers to connect with some direct attacks or lands to reduce your foe's mana production, and since the trait applies to all your dragons (not just Ojutai), you can easily kill your opponent's mana generation.
1. The Ur-Dragon
Designed for commander games, The Ur-Dragon costs nine mana and needs one from each color. However, it functions as a great general since it gives access to all colors and possesses a spectacular eminence ability: whether Ur-Dragon is on the field or in the command zone, all dragon spells you cast cost one less mana.
This means even if you don't manage to field the Ur-Dragon, it'll still help by reducing the mana prices of your other dragons. Plus, if you ever do field it, he wields an impressive 10/10 and another fantastic ability: Whenever one or more of your dragons attack, you draw cards equal to the number of attacking dragons and can place a permanent from your hand to the field!
In short, Ur's first ability increases your speed of playing dragons even while laying dormant in your command zone, and his second should give you the game if you can manage to field him.
Dragon Support Cards in Magic
An ever-beloved card type, dragons aren't the most frequent of creatures but they always leave an impact when we see a new one. They reward players willing to work with their vast mana demands with a heap of benefits and traits, and they combo with each other better than most creature types.
Many dragon members like Scion support their entire clan, while planeswalkers such as Sarkhan Unbroken offer powerful supplements to a dragon deck. But for now, as we eagerly await Magic's next dragon-containing expansion, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill