Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Dragons in Magic
Dragons offer some of Magic's strongest creatures. While most cost a hefty chunk of mana, they typically have impressive battle stats, flying, and other unique abilities, making them hard-hitting beatsticks. They're spread throughout all factions, slightly favoring red, and you can build around their theme thanks to a myriad of impressive supports.
Many worthwhile dragon boosts come from dragons themselves, granting army-wide bonuses that reward your devotion to their clan. But with dozens of spells available, which draconic supplements reign supreme? These are the ten best family-supporting dragons in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Scourge of Valkas
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 5
While Valkas specifically demands several of his mana be red, he only needs one color and arrives as a solid 4/4 with flying. Additionally, whenever he or another dragon enters the field under your control, they deal X damage to any target, where X is the number of dragons you control.
Counting themself, that'll be at least one damage, and likely several more in a devoted deck. As icing on the cake, you can spend one red mana at any time to boost Valkas by +1/+0 for the turn, providing a potential win condition if you can attain infinite mana.
9. Silumgar, the Drifting Death
Silumgar's colors require you to delve outside red, and for his taxing fee, he only carries three power. However, in addition to flying, he wields seven toughness and hexproof, making him challenging to remove.
Better yet, whenever a dragon you control (including Silumgar himself) attacks, all creatures the defending player controls suffer -1/-1 for the turn. In addition to outright killing weaker units, this discourages blockers, as enemy troops will deal reduced damage and die more easily in combat.
8. Kilnmouth Dragon
Kilnmouth needs seven mana, and for such a high price, he's only decent at 5/5. But in addition to the expected flying trait, his amplify three lets you reveal any number of dragons from your hand as Kilnmouth arrives, placing three +1/+1 counters on him for each.
Even a single revealed card turns him into a menacing 8/8; multiple triggers will skyrocket Kilnmouth to double digits. From there, he can either attack with his devastating power or tap for his effect, which deals damage to any target equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on him. That's a powerful and reusable removal, and note it counts +1/+1 counters besides the amplified ones (we'll soon see a dragon that bolsters units for more counters).
7. Atarka, World Render
For her price, Atarka's 6/4 stats seem average but her numerous traits more than compensate. Not only does she have flying and trample, she gives your attacking dragons (including herself) the rare double strike trait, letting them hit twice with each swing!
Even on her own, Atarka can swing for 12 damage each turn, and since the initial blow comes through at first strike speed, defenders need at least seven toughness just to potentially hit back.
6. Lathliss, Dragon Queen
Legendary Lathliss only needs one color and enters the arena as an impressive 6/6 with flying. Additionally, whenever another non-token dragon arrives under your control, you get to create a red 5/5 dragon token with flying!
Thus, as you swarm dragons, you'll, uh, swarm more dragons, quickly overwhelming foes with your monstrous army. As a final bonus, Lathliss can spend two mana to grant your dragons +1/+0 for the turn. Again, that's potential infinite damage if you gain infinite mana; even if not, it's a nice outlet for leftover resources.
5. Scalelord Reckoner
Most dragon supports are offensive in nature, but Scalelord's effect offers a rare shield for your titans. Only needing white mana, he serves as a solid 4/4 with flying, and whenever an opponent targets one of your dragons with a spell or ability, Scalelord lets you destroy any non-land permanent (even a planeswalker) they control!
This really makes opponents think twice before harassing your dragons; just watch out for non-targeting removals like field wipes. A mainstay for any devoted dragon deck, Reckoner is also one of today's cheapest cards, costing well under two dollars!
4. Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund
You'll need three colors and seven mana to cast Karrthus, but in commander format, many dragon generals contain every color (we'll see one later), so it's rarely an issue. He serves as a brutal 7/7 with flying and haste and shares haste with your other dragons, letting them swing immediately.
Additionally, when Karrthus enters play, he grants you control of all dragons and untaps them, ensuring you have plenty of behemoths to immediately toss at your opponent.
3. Dromoka, the Eternal
Dromoka suffers from Selsenya hues, as green and white are perhaps the least dragon-conducive colors. But she only needs one of each, has 5/5 and flying, and whenever a dragon you control attacks, you bolster two, placing two +1/+1 counters on your creature with the lowest toughness.
This triggers multiple times if you attack with multiple dragons, fortifying your army just in time for the damage step.
2. Utvara Hellkite
Even for a dragon, Hellkite is expensive at eight mana. But he only needs one color, has 6/6 and flying, and whenever a dragon you control attacks, Hellkite creates a 6/6 flying dragon token. This effect quickly snowballs, as your new tokens can also trigger the ability when they later attack, mass-producing some of the strongest tokens in the game.
Note Hellkite is also one of today's few non-legendary creatures, letting you clone him without having to sacrifice your copies.
1. The Ur-Dragon
The Ur-Dragon offers an excellent dragon leader for commander format. Not only does his color identity grant access to each faction, his eminence effect reduces the cost of your other dragons by one whether Ur is fielded or still in the command zone! This skillfully mitigates the biggest issue with dragon decks—their high prices.
Casting Ur himself requires a whopping nine mana, but if you manage the feat, he brandishes 10/10 and flying. And whenever one or more of your dragons attack, you draw that many cards, then you may play a permanent from your hand for free! Card advantage and free spells in one—what's not to like?
Other Dragon Supports in Magic
Today we've examined several dragons that boost their kin, and you can further empower their clan with other supports in the form of enchantments, planeswalkers, and lands. Many of these can provide any mana color, useful when building a rainbow dragon commander deck, or simply reduce the price of your behemoths.
With a steady stream of supports (often Sarkhan's planeswalker forms), dragons remain a prominent theme that can brandish any color and swarm monstrous tokens. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of draconic spells, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill