“And the Shadow fell upon the Land, and the World was riven stone from stone.

The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World.

The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes.

The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead.

All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World.

And him they named Dragon."

Tribal Dragons are incredibly common in the EDH world, most notably since the release of The Ur-Dragon with Commander 2017, however it’s taken on various shapes and generals over the years. The very name EDH stands for Elder Dragon Highlander!

Most decks revolving around Tribal Dragons tend to favour more than one colour as there are quite a lot of incredible Dragons when you start blending colours together. That being said, this deck is restricting itself to as Zirilan of the Claw possesses possibly the best Dragon-related ability that a tribal Dragon general could ask for.

for , we can tutor for any Dragon in our deck, give it haste, and exile it at the beginning of our next end step. Normally, being able to simply tutor up something like Dragon Tyrant and swinging with Double Strike sounds like a fair enough trade to warrant the Exile clause, however we’re going to be abusing the End Step so that our Dragons evade Zirilan’s Exile trigger.

Sundial of the Infinite will be a great approach towards ensuring we keep the Dragons we tutor. Since Zirilan’s ability checks at the beginning of the next end step, its ability is placed on the stack. As that happens, we can activate Sundial’s ability to simply end the turn. This bypasses the effect of Zirilan’s Exile clause, and the Dragons will simply just remain on the battlefield.

Conjurer's Closet is our other End Step maniupulator. At the beginning of the end step, we simply arrange triggers accordingly so that Conjurer’s resolves first, blinking our cheated in Dragon. This will then nullify the Exile Clause that Zirilan has.

Normally, the Exile Zone is something incredibly hard to interact with, and outside of our own commanders, are incredibly punishing for any other permanent sent to that zone. Zirilan unfortunately sends creatures it tutors to exile at the beginning of our end step; but what if we could Exile that creature with a different ability? We had already discussed the benefit of Conjurer’s Closet, but there are more examples of Exiling to something else entirely.

Safe Haven and Endless Sands are two lands that exile creatures, and can be sacrificed to return said exiled creatures back to the battlefield. This is a great way to cheat around Zirilan’s exile clause and allows you to retain these powerful creatures for an onslaught of damage.

Tel-Jilad Stylus is our primary artifact used for this method. This allows us to bend the rules of Zirilan’s downside by shuffling that dragon back into our library. Normally shuffling a permanent is seen as a downside, however this actually allows us to tutor it once more, eliminating the drawback of Zirilan’s ability.
Aside from finding ways to abuse Zirilan’s ability, we also have relatively cost-effective ways at bringing in these high-CMC value targets with artifacts like Belbe's Portal and enchantments like Sneak Attack.
They say the Dragon Reborn, the men who can channel the male side of the One Power are eventually driven mad from the Power. It’s time to welcome your opponents to your madness.

Stax-cards as a back-up plain aide us in a couple of ways. For starters it potentially halts opposing strategies, and it can also simply shut them down entirely. Stranglehold ensures our opponents cannot search their libraries or take extra turns. Since many decks rely on colour-fixing with fetch lands or tutors for combo pieces, this is an incredibly hate-filled card. Token Decks are in for a rude awakening with AEther Flash or Heat of Battle to some extent, and any deck that specializes in sending creatures to the Graveyard (like, a sacrifice as an activation cost) will absolutely despise seeing Burning Sands in play, as they are forced to sacrifice lands whenever a creature they control is put into the grave.

I feel like, as time goes on, there may be other effects added to this list, but for now this seems like a suitable supplementary gameplan to aide in ensuring we can reliably activate Zirilan’s ability.


Updates Add

There are a few changes I wanted to highlight. Some are going to be preliminary changes and may not be final until I've played enough of the deck.

A fairly disadvantageous paper version of this list was piloted on the weekend with some expectedly bad results. I didn't have the snow lands at the time, forgot to replace funcationally worse mana rocks with the Mana Crypt and Grim Monolith that are in my more competetive deck, and I was missing some interaction/stax pieces. The drawing you get off of the snow basics and Scrying Sheets really do need a place here, as it can help filter your deck.

I glanced at the types of Dragons I had, and was underwhelmed with Slumbering Dragon and Dragon Tyrant. I initially really liked the latter as a card, but it was mainly to just fill out a deck. However I had forgotten to include some other staple dragons, which seemed like a massive oversight.

Defense Grid is fine, but I know there are other stronger hate pieces to include.

On top of that, I absent-mindedly forgot cards that are just incredibly useful in mono-red; cards that either allow us to exile the top deck to play, or exile opponents.

With that said, I decided to add the following:

Bogardan Hellkite - flash is great if we're not summoning this to Zirilan, and the ability to divide damage is also very useful.

Stranglehold - just a very punishing card all around.

Vance's Blasting Cannons  Flip - a great enchantmen that allows to exile the top deck and play it, and can flip into a land that bolts, which also has its uses. Plus, the treasure chest art is just great.

Stolen Strategy - this is a great way to exile opposing decks, and allows us to use their cards against them, if we wish.

Sunbird's Invocation - a little mana-intensive, but so is 90% of the deck. Casting any of our dragons with this in play seems pretty bonkers.

Fire Diamond - I just noticed a lack of mana rocks that produce

Gemstone Caverns - I wanted to include something to help expedite our gameplan, and there's nothing like a good old fashioned land with a pre-game effect to help us get there.

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Date added 1 week
Last updated 2 days
Exclude colors WUBG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.14
Tokens 6/6 Dragon, Monarch
Folders Uncategorized, Ancient Dinosaur Immortals!, EDH Ideas, decks I love, I like it, Current Projects, Potential Decks
Top rank #1 on 2018-12-05
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