|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Innistrad (ISD)||Mythic Rare|
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Creature — Dragon
Whenever Balefire Dragon deals combat damage to a player, it deals that much damage to each creature that player controls.
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Balefire Dragon Discussion
3 weeks ago
Iquasi, thanks so much for the detailed reply.
I understand your reasoning for running Sakura-Tribe Elder, Burnished Hart, and Solemn Simulacrum. My list replaces those with Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, and Wild Growth (just added). I am playing all the good one mana dorks.
I am playing all the counterspells that you are. Heroic Intervention seems great in theory as board wipes are very common in my meta. It would seem that Heroic Intervention could be a backbreaker as everyone's board is cleared while you are sitting pretty. It was just added so it may prove to be good only in theory.
Balefire Dragon seems to be very similar to Pathbreaker Ibex, which I cut. They are very impactful cards IF they get to swing. There is rampant spot removal in my meta. I am doubtful that they survive to my following turn.
Maelstrom Wanderer is a pet card of mine as it was the first commander deck I built. My deck has to have some more aggro elements as I am not playing Ancestral Statue. Wanderer gives me cascades and haste to the whole team.
3 weeks ago
Frank, thank you for taking your time to write! If you could provide me with a link to your decklist I could maybe offer more assistance, but I'll try to reply to your points now. But first I must say a few words on the design of this deck. This list is far from being the most powerful Animar list out there and that is entirely intentional: my regular playgroup with long-time friends is not the most competitive and since this list was designed for that environment I have on purpose omitted a number of traditional Animar key cards such as Survival of the Fittest and the fast mana such as Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Mox Amber, Utopia Sprawl and one mana ramp dorks. If I were to power up the deck, I'd start with adding more fast mana and tutors.
Ancestral Statue I would recommend running as an 'emergency win button' for those games that last for hours. If you feel like adding more power, add Purphoros, God of the Forge and/or Walking Ballista, but even Statue itself helps put games away with arbitrarily large Animar attacking.
Part of the reason for me running Sakura-Tribe Elder, Burnished Hart and Solemn Simulacrum is that my meta runs quite a lot of removal, and these cards listed above all leave something behind in the case of Animar leaving the table. Since Animar draws quite a lot of hate I've tried to include cards that provide value even without Animar on the table.
Gilded Drake is a card I play in my 100% tuned combo-Animar list, but here I have omitted it for power level reasons. Caustic Caterpillar is nice, but I prefer running Ainok Survivalist over it since it synergizes better with Cloudstone Curio. I had Maelstrom Wanderer in the deck for a while but I eventually cut it for Balefire Dragon because in this list Wanderer can hit something fantastic, but more often than not it hits random 1- and 2-drops that don't really affect the game at all, so I cut it. The dragon does a lot of work in my meta: all players play creatures and having access to one-sided sweeping effect is just too good to pass. The Dragon is also handy in the 7-drop slot because of Birthing Pod. Tutoring up Bane of Progress with Imperial Recruiter, playing it blowing up everything and saccing it to Birthing Pod the next turn is one of my favorite lines in this deck :) With haste effects Balefire Dragon is just too good to pass. If you don't have it I'd recommend adding it if your meta runs slower creature decks like mine does. Bane of Progress is one of the Imperial Recruiter toolbox creatures that I have found very useful. This deck runs only a tiny number of artifacts or enchantments so it is basically a one-sided board-wipe. Heroic Intervention I have just found inferior to counterspells. Intervention doesn't stop Toxic Deluge or Living Death but Mana Drain does. Then again against Supreme Verdict counterspells look pretty awful, but I think your deck would be better off with counterspells if your mana base allows it. Spellseeker is a card I have considered, but it might be too strong for this meta. I do run it in my 100% powered list and I just love it.
Hardened Scales is a card I am considering at the moment and you might see it quite soon in my list :) It is a good card but I'll have to see if it is too strong.
4 weeks ago
Iquasi, thanks for posting this list. Yours is one of a very few non combo (or minimal combo) Animar lists that is being actively updated.
I am not playing Ancestral Statue but am interested in making the deck efficient outside of combo.
Survival of the Fittest is the only tutor I am playing that you are not.
What changes would you recommend to increase the efficiency of my deck without adding infinite combos?
4 weeks ago
Some card recommendations: Lathliss, Dragon Queen, Dragon's Hoard, Balefire Dragon, Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund, Sylvia Brightspear, Scourge of the Throne, Vanquisher's Banner, or Scion of the Ur-Dragon. They are good for dragon or tribal focused decks like yours. Some are kinda expensive though.
4 weeks ago
CaptainKraw thanks for stopping by. I love Tooth and Nail! It can get me my finishers like Blightsteel Colossus and Siege Behemoth or get me out of a pinch with removal like Bane of Progress and Balefire Dragon.
1 month ago
1 month ago
Rapacious One is great with Xenago's ability, I wouldn't cut him. I personally would cut Avatar of Might, since this deck seems to be extremely creature-heavy, and the only time someone would have more creatures than you would probably be a token deck.
I would NOT put in Godo, Bandit Warlord for two reasons:
1: You have exactly zero Equipments for him to tutor when he hits the battlefield.
2: His attack ability only applies to Samurai creatures, so even though you may get another combat phase after this one, you won't have a way to untap your creatures to take advantage of said extra combat phase.
Since you're operating on a budget, I'm not gonna suggest cards like Stonehoof Chieftain, Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, or Balefire Dragon, although all three of those creatures make for AMAZING additions to a Xenagos EDH deck. Deus of Calamity makes for decent land destruction and has built-in trample. Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma can give all your guys trample. Kessig Wolf Run is another decent addition.
One janky combo I ran in my Xenagos EDH was some big creature like Heroes' Bane or Primordial Hydra + Dragon Throne of Tarkir. Sure, my big creature turns into a doorstop, but now you gotta deal with 5 other creatures bigger than said creature.
1 month ago
I want to start this off by saying that I really respect your willingness to put your opinion out there like this berryjon, it's commendable, and I think a lot of people would struggle to do so, especially for as long and as consistently as you've put these articles out. I've been keeping up with them since #1, and they're fun to read!
Now this article in particular you knew was going to face some disagreement, you even acknowledge as much near the beginning.
Thing is, I tend to agree with a lot of the folks in this thread, there seems to be a lot missing from this article, like it should have been multi-part, or was intended to be longer. I'm not really seeing any explanation or justification for the idea that this was an intentional design choice. The other thing that really popped out at me was that you claim "Aggro has been written out of it as nonviable", and then proceed to explain why RDW is nonviable, not Aggro. You even listed Green, the color with big beefy facebeaters, as one of the good colors in the format. There are other styles of Aggro than RDW, and I've seen Stompy decks in EDH do fairly well for themselves.
Changing Commander Damage to work on non-combat damage is not only a demonstrably terrible idea, as has been addressed here already, it's also a step in exactly the wrong direction imo. This is going to be kind of a radical opinion that people won't agree with me on, but if anything, in my personal opinion, Commander Damage is part of the reason Aggro isn't viable. Voltron is simply better. As long as CD exists, Aggro cannot beat Voltron. Between this, and how much more ridiculously powerful creatures have grown over the past decade or so, imo 40 life isn't that much to blow through, especially in aggro, it means like one more round of attacks, tops. It's multiplayer that makes Aggro hard as hell, not Commander.
In a 1v1 game of commander, with Commander Damage, a deck will end you turn 3-4, and consistently. You say that Aggro needs consistency, you have consistency built into the format by its very namesake! Your Commander! I've watched decks knock people out turn 3-4 easy, every game.
Tier lists are for cEDH though, and I think that really gets to the heart of this issue. cEDH is really not Commander.
IMO, Aggro absolutely exists in EDH, I watch it win games weekly. The problem is that EDH Aggro isn't Modern Aggro. You can't build with Goblin Guide and expect that to be good. It's EDH, you need to think bigger. Etali, Primal Storm, Balefire Dragon, Hellkite Charger, these are what red aggro creatures look like in EDH, not Goblin Guide and Monastery Swiftspear.