Top 10 Dragons in Magic: The Gathering
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.
Yet out of Magic's thousands of cards, only a few dozen belong to this rare type, helping them feel majestic and fierce. Which ones are worth casting? These are the top ten dragon spells in Magic!
10. Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 5
Like just about every dragon, Skithiryx bears the flying trait, allowing it to soar over non-flying blockers when attacking. For five mana, this black reptile enters wielding 4/4 (four power and four toughness) alongside three great abilities:
- Infect (Skithiryx deals damage to creatures as -1/-1 counters and players as poison counters; players with 10 poison counters immediately lose)
- Spend one black mana: Skithiryx gains haste, letting it ignore summoning sickness
- Spend two black mana: Regenerate Skithiryx, reviving itself when destroyed
The infect trait means Skithiryx can earn you win with just a few attacks, especially since it can give itself haste, and it may helpfully revive if slain. Plus, infect works great at removing indestructible creatures, who still perish if their toughness hits zero.
9. Dragonlord Silumgar
Silumgar enters as a 3/5; although its power may seem comparatively low, deathtouch automatically kills anything it fights, eliminating the problem. Even better, Silumgar lets you steal an opposing creature or planeswalker for as long as you control Silumgar! This is a fantastic trait that both removes an opposing force and gives its power to you.
Be sure to prepare some hexproof or shroud-bestowing artifacts to ensure Silumgar sticks around long enough to employ your captured minion.
8. Balefire Dragon
One of red's several impressive behemoths, Balefire joins the fray with the usual high battle attributes and flying trait typical of dragons. It also possesses an ability that reflects combat damages it deals to your opponent onto all their creatures!
Thus, if your opponent has no flying blockers, or if you make Balefire unblockable with certain equipment, it can easily exterminate your opponent's entire army when it damages them directly.
7. Atarka, World Render
Atarka's 4 toughness may veer on the low end for dragons, but a 6/4 monster is still nothing to sneeze at, especially considering Atarka's numerous abilities:
- Flying (of course)
- Trample (deals excess battle damage to opponent when battling creatures)
- Double-strike to all your dragons whenever they attack
Double-strike is one of the best traits in the entire game, essentially letting a creature attack twice in a single turn. Atarka not only gives it to itself, but all your winged reptiles whenever they strike. Add in Atarka's trample effect, and your opponent will be unable to adequately defend against your double-damaged, creature-piercing allies.
6. Scourge of the Throne
A 5/5, Scourge here represents one of the best comeback cards in the game. With its dethrone attribute, whenever it attacks the player with the most life, Scourge gains a permanent +1/+1 counter. In addition, you get to untap all your creatures and have a second battle phase for the turn!
Scourge's abilities fortify itself while enabling numerous attacks on your adversary; make sure to save it for situations where their life exceeds yours.
5. Dromoka, the Eternal
Dromoka offers a great option for white and green, especially useful considering their relative lack of notable dragons. For only five mana, you get a five power and five toughness creature with the usual flying ability. Even better, Dromoka bolsters two whenever a dragon of yours attacks, meaning your creature with the lowest toughness gets two +1/+1 counters!
Simply have Dromoka and your other dragons strike to drastically boost your weakest monsters and ensure every member of your team is battle-ready.
4. Dragonlord Ojutai
Another five-cost reptile, Ojutai arrives with a respectable 5/4, flying, and two alluring abilities. First, he has hexproof as long as he's untapped, making your opponent unable to target him. Second, whenever he deals combat damage to a player, you get to look at the top three cards of your deck, add one to your hand, and put the rest on the bottom.
Ojutai's great draw effect, unique color combination, and unreliance on other dragons earns him a spot in many builds.
3. Dragonlord Dromoka
Another green and white dragon, Dromoka demands six mana but arrives brandishing an impressive 5/7. He also has flying, cannot be countered, and prevents opponents from casting spells during your turn.
This means that as long as you can keep Dromoka alive, you're essentially immune to having your cards be countered, a great defense against a primary strategy of blue. This also helps avoid instants from other colors as well, letting you relax during your turn.
2. Utvara Hellkite
Yet another tremendous red dragon, Utvara boasts of its 6/6 while activating an amazing, self-stacking ability: Whenever a dragon you control attacks, place a 6/6 red dragon token with flying onto the field.
Basically, whenever any of your dragons attack (including tokens), you gain a new minion with Utvara's strength. If your opponent can't deal with Utvara soon after its arrival, they'll soon be crushed under the weight of an ever-multiplying swarm of powerful dragons.
1. Hellkite Tyrant
Bearing six power and five toughness, Hellkite Tyrant easily seizes top spot with a wide variety of imposing effects:
- Whenever Tyrant damages an opponent, gain control of all artifacts they control
- At the beginning of your upkeep, you win the game if you control at least twenty artifacts
Tyrant's mighty stats plus flying and trample already impress, and its ability to steal artifacts really cements it as our best dragon yet. This lets you pilfer and command commonly-used artifacts like Sol Ring, Worn Powerstone, Paradox Engine, and also earns you the win simply by owning enough of them. Finally, unlike Silumgar, you get to retain control of the treasures even if Tyrant dies; once their yours, their yours.
Which dragon do you prefer?
Magic's resource-gathering system really helps dragons feel authentic. They're not the most abundant cards, and they demand a fair chunk of mana to use, but dragons leave a remarkable impression whenever they hit the field.
As we eagerly await Magic's next back of fire-breathing tyrants, vote for your favorite entry, and I'll see you at our next card countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill