Creature — Dragon
Whenever Balefire Dragon deals combat damage to a player, it deals that much damage to each creature that player controls.
|Want (5)||vane000 , Sunlord , PGleo86 , gadenlock , notrachelray|
Printings View all
|Ultimate Masters (UMA)||Mythic Rare|
|Ultimate Masters Promo (UMAP)||Mythic Rare|
|Innistrad (ISD)||Mythic Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Balefire Dragon Discussion
14 hours ago
Hey, you're very welcome. I like the changes you've made. You've asked many questions :) I will try to answer each one. In this comment I'll explain the Scion of the Ur-Dragon combo better with some unfortunate changes and I'll answer other questions in another comment later on.
I've given you incorrect information about the combo using Savage Ventmaw. The only way Savage can be part of this combo is if it's already on the battlefield and can attack not tutored for by Scion. You can't change Scion into Savage and then attack, make the 6 mana and then change into another Dragon with Scion. This not how Scion works instead you have to do all the changing into Dragons when you first activate Scion with many activations. If you want to change into multiple Dragons with Scion then you must do it all at the same time. When Scion changes into a Dragon it loses it's original ability to activate/change into a Dragon instead it has all the abilities as well as power/toughness of the Dragon it changed into.
You can get around this by taking advantage of the stack by putting many activations of Scion to change into different Dragons onto the stack and then resolve each trigger one at a time. Each activation is a trigger and when it resolves from the stack will change Scion into that Dragon therefore you can change many times which tutors for and puts many Dragons into your graveyard. This lets you stack many activations with Scion, but you must do it all at once for the combo. The last trigger you resolve Scion will become that Dragon until end of turn.
Taking Savage Ventmaw out of the combo it costs 7 mana. This 7 mana is not including paying 5 for Scion. Scion needs to be on the battlefield already and able to attack. If you want to do this combo with Scion the same turn you play it, if it has haste, then the combo is not worth it since it will cost 12 mana.
7 mana for the combo, this is how it's paid in order , for two activations of Scion and then to reanimate Bladewing with Teneb for a total of 7 mana:
- Attack with Scion.
- At Declare Blockers step pay activate Scion for Bladewing the Risen.
- While that trigger is on the stack, pay activate Scion for Teneb, the Harvester.
- Resolve first Scion trigger which puts Bladewing in your graveyard and resolve the second Scion trigger which puts Teneb in your graveyard.
- Scion is now Teneb, deal combat damage to a player with Teneb.
- Teneb's ability will trigger, resolve Teneb's trigger, pay and reanimate Bladewing.
- Bladewing ETB and reanimates Teneb.
- Scion is Teneb therefore the Legendary Rule will apply when real Teneb is reanimated.
- Choose real Teneb and remove Scion.
- You end up on the battlefield with Teneb and Bladewing with Scion in your graveyard.
The point of this combo is to tutor for and get Teneb onto the battlefield since then he can reanimate Dragons in your graveyard each attack after. The Legendary Rule prevents ending up with both Scion and Teneb on the battlefield because when Teneb is reanimated by Bladewing Scion is Teneb. When this happens the Legendary Rule goes into effect where as you must choose one of the Tenebs and other is removed from the battlefield/put into your graveyard. You will choose real Teneb and let Scion be removed since ending up with real Teneb is the reason you're doing the combo.
You don't want your opponent to block Scion because then Scion can change into Teneb and connect to do combat damage to a player to trigger Teneb. Even if your opponent doesn't block Scion there's still a stop at the Declare Blockers step where you can activate Scion. If opponent does block Scion which could kill Scion as Teneb then activate and change into a different Dragon who will not die in combat if blocked.
4 mana for the combo, this is how it's paid in order , for two activations of Scion and then how ever much you have available or 24 life.
Combo with Atarka:
- Before you attack pay activate Scion for Moltensteel Dragon.
- While that trigger is on the stack, pay activate Scion for Atarka, World Render.
- Resolve first Scion trigger change Scion into Moltensteel, but before you resolve the second Scion trigger activate Moltensteel's pump.
- Pay as much as you have or pay 2 life per activation.
- Activate 12 times that can be a total of 24 life to pump Scion's power +14.
- Resolve second Scion trigger, Scion becomes Atarka with 20 power/4 toughness.
- Attack with Scion who is Atarka gain double strike.
- Do 40 damage to an opponent.
Just like how you can manipulate the stack of triggers with Scion activations you can do that with Moltensteel since it's activation can be pay for at instant speed you can put activations on the stack and resolve them before you resolve the second Scion trigger to change into Atarka. Manipulating the stack means you can move triggers around and resolve them in whatever order you choose. In this case you manipulate the stack to resolve all the Moltensteel pump triggers before you resolve the second Scion trigger that turns Scion into Atarka.
With Atarka, World Render you have to activate Scion before you attack, but with Dragon Tyrant you don't have to because he has double strike and doesn't need to gain it by attacking. If using Tyrant you can change the order of the combo and do it all in combat. You first attack with Scion, if he isn't blocked at Declare Attackers step activate Scion twice first for Moltensteel and then for Tyrant. Resolve first Scion trigger for Moltensteel, then pump, then resolve second Scion trigger for Tryant.
Using Atarka with this combo you give away what you are doing because you must activate Scion before you attack to gain double strike from Atarka. Tyrant you can be more sneaky since you can activate Scion in combat at the last possible time after you know that Scion is not going to be blocked for a lethal Tyrant hit.
Scion doesn't keep abilities of Dragons you change into. After you change into a Dragon Scion loses the abilities of the Dragon before it. The ability that Scion can use is the ability of the Dragon it currently is and only that Dragon. The exception to this is if Scion gains an ability such as double strike from Atarka, World Render or if you pump or add +1/+1 counters to Scion because he's gaining those effects thus they stay with Scion even if it changes into another Dragon.
The way you activate Scion is how the Dragon you want to change into ability reads. If you want Scion to be Ojutai, Soul of Winter then you must change into her before you attack since her ability triggers when attack which means at Declare Attackers step after Combat Phase begins. Atarka, World Render and Utvara Hellkite are same way, you must change into one of them before you declare attackers.
Any Dragon who has a does combat damage to a player ability such as Balefire Dragon you can wait with Scion after you attack. If you attack with Scion and it's not blocked then you can activate it at the Declare Blockers step and change into Balefire before you do combat damage to a player which then will trigger Balefire.
Sorry for the confusion with Scion as it can be a tricky card to play, but because of the stack and instant speed activation you can take real advantage of it's tutor ability with Dragons.
4 days ago
Profet93 I'm glad you gave it a read! Let me dive into your questions.
1) I haven't really given a budget for this deck, the reason being that I play on Tabletop Simulator. Essentially, my group makes decks on Tappedout.net and we "scry" it into the game as is. It's helped tremendously to quell the quarantine boredom over the past several months. I have a few other decks that I'd like to make in real life first before this one (I'm more of a Voltron player) but if I were to make this deck in real life I'd set the limit for about $200. The above deck of course isn't even close to that because we're just playing digitally. The culprits are...
Mana Crypt: I've been thinking of subbing this card for more normal forms of ramp anyway due to it's extreme snowball potential (and my group of friends prefer fun edh over competitive). Sub it with any other form of ramp. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger and Balefire Dragon: ANy big threat with utility is appreciated in Gruul. These can be substituted for any big green/red creature which fortunately there is an abundance Wooded Foothills and other special lands: With only two colors and a multitude of land searching ramp, you won't find much of a difference if you sub these out for basic lands. However always keep Mosswort Bridge and Spinerock Knoll, they are insanely easy to proc.
2) I've only played this deck in a group of 4 so my feedback will be limited but I will try my best to identify it's weaknesses from the few times I've played (but tested alone many times).
a) Counters and Bouncing: The deck is meant to play big threatening hitters from the hand turn 5 onward (Xenagos out consistently on turn 4). With more than a quarter of the deck consisting of either heavy hitters or card draw into those creatures, you can put on the pressure for quite a bit if you're drawing averagely. But almost always your entire mana will be spent to cast theses big creatures and only a small amount of mana is required to counter or bounce them. Watch our for pesky blue mages. There isn't much protection in the deck for that, I focused instead on consistently slamming a big threat each and every turn and wearing them out.
b) Card Draw: When you're playing with big creatures, sometimes you only need 1 or 2, especially with fairly sticky Xenagos on the field. However in 4's, it's not terribly unreasonable for a combination of 2 or 3 people to lock you out of your crazy burst. Card draw is naturally the best course to get yourself out of this situation (that and patience), but the card draw in here isn't quite up to the speeds of other decks and is creature reliant. I've boiled it down to this: If you do hit upon of the sources of card draw in this deck, you won't ever have to worry about card draw again.
c) You Are a Scary Gruul Player: Everyone will have there eyes on you. After blowing my friends out of the water first time with the deck I was the focus of attention in the next couple EDH games. Be prepared to get ganged up on to prevent you from quickly knocking someone out. You will find that this deck lends little political gain...which isn't so much a deck problem but an individual meta problem with your EDH group haha :) You have been warned.
d) You Build Tall, Not Wide: Your board is very thin and can get overrun by a horde of tokens. With no lifelink in the deck, you will lose a war of attrition if you can't trample or fly over your opponent's boards.
e) Little Opponent Interaction: This deck does one thing well, and that is grabbing the steel chair that Xenagos is offering and slamming Spidey to the ground (cue the name of the deck). It does so consistently. However if your opponent's are able to thwart your initial power spike and builds up a threat of their own, this deck can due little to stop it.
I'm very excited to hear some of your ideas!
1 week ago
Okay, so budget isn't a huge deal then, and I do agree with all of multimedia's suggestions. I believe that Temur Ascendancy is a better option over Elemental Bond due to the fact that both do draw cards when creatures enter the battlefield and the difference between having 4 and 3 power doesn't affect you since most dragons are power 4 or up anyways, but ascendancy also gives creatures haste which is a big thing.
Now for upgrades
The five Ikoria triomes>corresponding tri-lands
So Morophon, the Boundless is just a fantastic card especially in a five color tribal such as this, most dragon cards have only a single pip of each color in their cost, so when you combine Morophon's reduction with the Ur-dragon you can be casting dragons for a single mana... and boneyard scourge just isn't really worth all the mana in the long run. Next Balefire Dragon is just an all around great card that can keep your opponent's boards under control, and Intet, the Dreamer again isn't really worth it having to pay that three to get the card, its a neat card advantage trick, but it think there are enough ways in this deck to just straight up draw that card instead of having to pay three for it. Then the five Ikoria triomes just provide more versatility over their corresponding tri-lands just because they can not only be cycled late game, but they can also be fetched with Farseek or Skyshroud Claim which was my next suggestion specifically because of the triomes. then Dragon Broodmother is just a dragon all star giving you lots of tokens to get all of your attack triggers and to create lots of chump blockers and maybe a big guy eventually, and Crosis, the Purger again isn't really cutting it with the amount of value he gives, against a mono-colored deck it can be alright, but every color you add on to an enemy deck it gets significantly worse. and finally Thunderbreak Regent over Dragonlord's Servant because the servant is very vulnerable and doesn't provide much value in the long run while the regent is an efficient early drop dragon that helps to protect your board from targeted removal or any other targeted ability.
2 weeks ago
Scion of the Ur-Dragon. so many neat interactions like transforming into different things when unblocked depending on the situation. surprise Balefire Dragon, nichol bolas, or even Moltensteel Dragon then Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon in the same turn for instant KO. or Teneb, the Harvester to reanimate something.
or i just dump all my mana into the ability during an opponents end step right before my turn, to load up the grave for a Patriarch's Bidding or Primevals' Glorious Rebirth with a haste guy like Dragonlord Kolaghan or Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund. this also triggers a ton of damage off of Scourge of Valkas and Dragon Tempest
4 weeks ago
Ah okay, I assumed the maybeboard were cards you were only looking at, my bad!
In that case you have a bunch of stuff that definitely could fit in the deck. For those three you mentioned Exploration is very good and can be slotted in over Rampant Growth, Canopy Vista/Smoldering Marsh can just be replaced by a Forest/Mountain, and definitely take a Sol Ring if you have a spare one.
As for others, here's the most notable you have on your maybeboard:
- Asceticism - If it resolves your dragons are almost invulnerable outside of stuff like deathtouch/boardwipes
- Smothering Tithe - Could help with ramp
- Dragonlord Ojutai - Great card advantage with hexproof half of the time
- Glorybringer - Might not be as strong as some other options but that exert can effectively be a removal spell every other turn
- Nicol Bolas, the Ravager Flip - Great value all around and if you manage to transform him you basically win
- Rishkar's Expertise - Pricy but casting it will probably mean refilling your hand and getting a free dragon which covers its cost
- Cyclonic Rift - EDH staple and one of the best boardwipes in the format, wipes all of your opponents' creatures, artifacts, walkers, etc
- Force of Vigor - Pretty good removal that can be manaless
- Teferi's Protection - Protects your entire side from boardwipes
For boardwipes you already have Crux of Fate and Balefire Dragon. Throwing in Cyclonic Rift would definitely be a good choice. The issue with boardwipes in decks like these is that you don't want to reset your own boardstate, but that's why the three I mentioned are so good because they only affect the opponents. Cyclonic Rift also dodges indestructable as it's a bounce effect rather than a destroy.
In my opinion, counters are generally not very effective in decks like these. It's generally more effective to run cards like Rhythm of the Wild and Asceticism as they're not one-shots, while also having the side-benefit of opponents using their counters on your other opponents instead. If you wanted to pick up additional effects like those if counters/removal are rampant in your group, I personally like Steely Resolve and Conqueror's Flail.
If you want more spot removal, I definitely recommend picking up a Path to Exile. With it, Swords to Plowshares, and Anguished Unmaking you should be good for spot removal unless you wanted to splurge on an Assassin's Trophy.
I'm unsure about Ramos, Dragon Engine. Since you're in a more casual environment they might be okay, but unless you have something like Descendants' Path down they're not really worthwhile. If you're wanting to go out and buy a fairly expensive creature, by far the best purchase you could make is Kaalia of the Vast IMO.
1 month ago
So, there are several things you have misunderstood when looking at this deck, as it's one I have played and tweaked for the better part of a decade now and am very happy with it's current state. Firstly, the danger of Xenagos really kicks in when you can actually pressure an opponent, so it's best to stick with either trample or flying creatures exclusively, with the few exceptions of those that will really buff and support you such as Birds of Paradise and Oracle of Mul Daya. I chose to go with flyers, the best of which are largely dragons, because people generally do not have many fliers and are not prepared to deal with the power and pressure of many massive fliers suddenly appearing and swinging at them. As for the rest of the suggestions you have, and the part you misunderstood with him, is that you're focused on making more of a midgame and a recovery so you don't falter due to lack of cards. However, Xenagos doesn't really care of need that. Xenagos needs to get to 5 mana and get a single dragon out. One dragon. Then you are immediately swinging for at least 10 if not more, and every dragon has abilities and triggers that further pressures your opponent(s).
Greater Good is a fantastic card, but there are very few times that you want to be sacrificing your creatures since you will always be a massive target since Xenagos is always a threat. The same goes for Life's Legacy and Momentous Fall.
The problem with cards such as Return of the Wildspeaker, Harmonize, and Bonders' Enclave is that they take up most of your turn to draw cards. I have found that as a true gruul deck you don't want to let off the pressure on your opponents. You very rarely need more than a few dragons over the course of the game as Xenagos puts so much pressure on through doubling them and haste that losing an entire turn to draw more cards is a waste. I make an exception for Rishkar's Expertise because it does still allow us to drop a card and keep the momentum going.
Elder Gargaroth is indeed a good card, but it runs into the problem that it's effects aren't good enough for the deck. He is focused on the additional utility abilities, being lifegain, token generation, and drawing a card, which in any other deck are fantastic abilities. But here he doesn't put pressure onto your opponents the way cards such as Terror of the Peaks does. Everything about Xenagos is speed and pressure. You also run into the issue of him dying. With most opponents fielding very few flying and reach creatures when compared with the number of them in this deck, you rarely need to worry about your dragons dying. Every turn your board keeps building and the dragons have such destructive abilities (see Balefire Dragon for an example of such) that they have trouble keeping a strong board presence and fighting back. But all they need is one small deathtoucher, or any pump spell on one of their ground creatures and they stop your momentum. However, they will rarely have enough fliers to do that. That's a big part of the reason why we run so many dragons. Direct damage to your oppoenent, destructive effects to their boardstate (ex. Tyrant's Familiar), and constant psychological pressure and panic setting in. This is the way of the gruul.
Lifeblood Hydra is too slow. You need at least 8 mana to make him even a little viable, which is too much and too slow. My 8 drops are either extremely powerful, Utvara Hellkite for example, or i'm dropping a 6 drop and holding up a Heroic Intervention or something of that sort.
The Great Henge is also a great card, but again it's too slow.
Berserk is okay, but I prefer my creatures staying alive and pressuring on further turns.
Kessig Wolf Run Honestly just not good enough. The trample is largely unnecessary, and it eats up a minimum of 3 mana to have any effect, mana that can better be spent elsewhere.
Rancor Not good enough
Deflecting Swat Amazing card, but very rarely are cards single targeted any more, at least in my meta. Board wipes are more common.
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar Rather than this, I can just have another dragon which would do much more for my deck.
Sensei's Divining Top Another amazing card, but it just doesn't do enough in this deck.
Now, regarding the high CMC of the deck, of course it's going to be high. We're rushing out to 6 mana and then aggroing out from there. This deck doesn't look to play tempo with a whole bunch of smaller cards being played and set up. That takes too long and allows midrange and late game decks to set up too much. This deck is trying to ramp out and attack.
Finally, I have no idea which creatures you are viewing as subpar. The creatures in this deck are exclusively either flying to attack and pressure my opponents, or ramp/dorks to accelerate the deck, or protection in the form of Archetype of Endurance. If you would be willing to expound on that statement i'm curious to hear your opinion on which creatures could be better utilized.
I will say this, all of those suggestions are great and i'm always really happy to hear and see other people's thoughts on improving things. Other than Berserk and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar I have actually run every single one of those cards in this deck at one point or another. However, though many years and a lot of experience with him, this build is what I have found to be the most powerful and reliable one.
1 month ago
griffstick thanks! I actually only built it because of your post asking for help. Essentially, to make the best of the commanders ability the pings are the way to go Hellrider and Goblin Chainwhirler are good on their own but with the commander out they're basically asymmetrical Damnations. The rest of the deck is good stuff and what I deemed to be the best warriors/clerics/wizards/warriors. Granted, theres not an even distribution but quality over quantity :) theres probably an argument to include Balefire Dragon too; would be gross if it had haste.
1 month ago
DeinoStinkus, think Dark Confidant would deal too much damage to myself. Balefire Dragon looks good but it has to connect for combat damage to trigger. And at that it's doing 6 damage anyway. Doesnt really need deathtouch. So I opted for Shockmaw Dragon instead. I removed Fire Ants from the list because it hits my creatures a lil to much. But just having it out is good enough. Idk about this one.
RiotRunner that's a good idea. I thought of it too but didn't try putting it together yet.