Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are the Best Dragon Support Cards in Magic?
Dragons remain some of Magic's strongest creatures, requiring substantial amounts of mana but entering with impressive power and toughness as well as a slew of lethal abilities. But dragons don't have to work alone; thanks to a wealth of awesome supports, you can boost your tyrants with a variety of spells.
Many dragon supporters are dragons themselves, and we'll tackle these in a different list. Today, we're examining the ten best non-dragon dragon supports in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Haven of the Spirit Dragon
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 0
As a land card, Haven doesn't require any mana to play, but you can only field one land per turn. It can tap to either add a colorless mana applicable to anything, or one of any color that can only be used for casting dragons. These are nice options useful for accessing different hues in rainbow dragon decks (like Scion's commander build) without having to draw all the right land types.
You can also spend two mana (of any color) and both tap and sacrifice Haven to return a dragon or Ugin planeswalker from your graveyard to your hand, a nice recovery when you have leftover mana to spare.
9. Draconic Roar
Admittedly, Draconic Roar doesn't support dragons so much as they support it, but it's worth covering. As an instant, Roar can be cast at any time, and it deals three damage to any creature, removing threats before they can utilize their abilities. However, when you cast Roar, if you control a dragon or reveal one from your hand, it also hits its target's controller for three damage.
Essentially, as long as you have reptiles fielded or in hand, Roar combines both effects of the classic "Lightning Bolt" in one potent package.
8. Crucible of Fire
This red enchantment is about as simple as they come. For four mana, Crucible increases the power and toughness of your dragons by +3/+3, requiring a moderate amount of resources but offering a fierce increase for your theme.
Crucible helpfully specifies that only your dragons receive the boost, so if you happen to face another dragon deck, their troops won't benefit from Crucible's effect.
7. Dragonspeaker Shaman
A 2/2 for three mana is a poor deal, but Dragonspeaker's three subtypes (human, barbarian, and shaman) offer synergies with several clans. More than that, he reduces the price of all dragon spells you cast by two colorless mana, a huge discount that lets you play dragons much faster. A handy trait, but for a similar effect that needs less mountains, look no farther than...
6. Dragonlord's Servant
Servant only reduces the cost of dragons by one, but he costs less mana than Dragonspeaker and one of his two subtypes is goblin, arguably the best synergy for the red faction thanks to its abundance of powerful imps.
Servant's lower cost, similar battle stats (1/3), and subtype generally give him the edge over Dragonlord, but they're both useful supports who have their uses (especially in EDH, where you can only include a card once in your deck list).
5. Sarkhan, Fireblood
Sarkhan Fireblood is one of my favorite mono-red planeswalkers. He's one of the cheapest available, costing just three mana and arriving with a corresponding three loyalty, and he wields two different +1 effects, letting you change his bonus each turn. His first lets you discard a card to draw one, and his second grants two mana of any colors that can only be spent on dragons, an excellent ramp tool for your theme.
Plus, if you can ever afford Sarkhan's ultimate -7, he creates four 5/5 dragon tokens with flying, a handy tool for swarming your field with powerful beatsticks.
4. Kaalia of the Vast
One of the best commanders in EDH, Kaalia's disappointingly weak at 2/2. However, she has flying, and when she attacks, you can place an angel, demon, or dragon (oh my) from your hand onto the field tapped and attacking as well!
This is a superb way to cast expensive yet powerful behemoths like "Utvara Hellkite" and "Balefire Dragon" without paying their substantial fees. Use artifacts like "Lightning Greaves" to grant Kaalia haste and let her attack immediately, and "Dolmen Gate" to protect her as she swings.
3. Zirilan of the Claw
Don't be misled by his artwork—Zirilan isn't a dragon himself (he belongs to the uncommon viashino and shaman families). He also costs five mana, but considering his status as a support unit, his 3/4 stats are surprisingly high.
More than that, by spending three mana and tapping, Zirilan can play any dragon from your deck and grant it haste, affording immediate actions. It's exiled at the end of the turn, but this is an excellent search/summon that rivals even "Scion of the Ur-Dragon" himself.
2. Sylvia Brightspear
Sylvia partners with the dragon "Khorvath Brightflame," letting you search him from your deck when you cast her, but she's good enough to stand on her own. The human and knight pairing is nice, but her 2/2 stats are weak—until you factor in her rare double strike effect, letting her deal both first strike and regular combat damage.
As if that weren't enough, Sylvia grants your dragon creatures double strike, providing the same awesome bonus "Atarka, World Render" does for a fraction of the cost. In fact, Sylvia's boost is superior, as Atarka's only applies when you attack (and not when you block); hers is constantly in effect, and it boosts your entire team (useful in Twin-Headed Giant games).
1. Dragon Tempest
For just two mana, this enchantment offers a general boost to your flying creatures (which includes nearly all dragons) and one specifically for your scaled titans. First, whenever a flying creature enters the battlefield under your control, you grant it haste, letting it attack or tap immediately.
That alone would be worth two mana, but Tempest also lets dragons who entered under your control deal damage equal to the number of dragons you control to any creature or player, rewarding your swarming tactics by punishing any target. Inexpensive and useful to both dragons and other aerial troops, I use in Tempest in any red dragon deck I construct, and I recommend testing it yourself considering its surprisingly affordable price; you can buy it for under two dollars!
More of the Best Dragon Supports
Today we've examined several prime dragon supplements, but remember that many dragons boost their own clan; we'll cover these at a later time. Of course, general creature supports (like auras and equipments) work just as well on dragons as they do on other units, offering even more ways to empower your build.
With these cards in hand, you're well on your way to a dragon victory, but for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of awesome dragon supports, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill