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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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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Balefire Dragon Discussion
1 month ago
Some time ago, I expanded Deathgrip and Lifeforce into a cycle of five allied-colored creatures, so I now am doing the same for Freyalise's Charm and Leshrac's Sigil , which are two more cards that I find to be very interesting, so here are the results of my work:
I removed the “return to hand” ability of each card in exchange for much greater versatility; each creature has protection from the shared enemy color of the creature’s colors, as well as an ability that both colors share that triggers when an opponent casts a spell of the enemy color.
Assertive Forcemage Show
Creature - human wizard
Protection from red.
Whenever an opponent casts a red spell, you may pay ; if you do, tap target permanent, and it does not untap during its controller's next untap step.
Originally, I planned to have this creature’s ability counter the red spell that the opponent cast, but I decided that that was too powerful (and I have already created a white/blue creature than can counter red spells in the previous cycle that I mentioned), so I instead chose another ability that blue and white share.
Ferocious Forcemage Show
Creature - human shaman
Protection from blue.
Whenever an opponent casts a blue spell, you may pay ; if you do, target creature gets +1/+1 and gains trample and haste until end of turn.
The ability of this creature is worded so that it can target either itself, if its controller controls no other creatures, or creatures that are controlled by other players, in the case that an opponent casts a blue spell during another player’s turn, which will make it useful for games with more than two players.
Holistic Forcemage Show
Creature - human druid
Protection from black.
Whenever an opponent casts a black spell, you may pay ; if you do, you gain 3 life.
For this card, I wanted to keep the ability of Freyalise's Charm , but drawing cards is not an ability that green and white share, so I instead chose an ability that they do share, and it gains more life than the damage that sadistic forcemage deals because gaining life is usually not as powerful as is losing life.
Mindwrack Forcemage Show
Creature - human wizard
Protection from green.
Whenever an opponent casts a green spell, you may pay ; if you do, that player discards a card.
Because this card is much more versatile than is Leshrac's Sigil , I made its ability less powerful, so that the controller of the mage cannot see the other player’s hand, and the other player may choose which card that they discard. Also, given that Balefire Dragon has no relation to Balefire Liege and that Deathbringer Thoctar has no relation to Deathbringer Liege , I feel that I can use the term “mindwrack” on a creature that has no relation to Mindwrack Liege .
Sadistic Forcemage Show
Creature - human warlock
Protection from white.
Whenever an opponent casts a white spell, you may pay ; if you do, sadistic forcemage deals 2 damage to any target.
This card is very simple and straightforward, and I originally had planned for it to deal the damage only to the caster of the white spell, but I made the ability more flexible to allow for political ploys in multiplayer games.
Also, I decided to create a legendary card to accompany this cycle, as well:
Felicia, Forcemage Adept Show
Legendary Creature - human wizard
As Felicia, forcemage adept enters the battlefield, choose a color.
Whenever an opponent casts a spell of the chosen color, you may pay ; if you do, you draw a card.
: return Felicia, forcemage adept to its owner's hand.
I could not allow the ability of Freyalise's Charm to not be used on a creature, so I put it on a legendary creature, so that it could be used as the general of an EDH deck; I gave the player the option of choosing a color, so that the creature would have greater versatility; and I retained the "return to hand" ability, so that the player could choose a different color for the first ability, if they needed to do so.
What does everyone think of these cards? Do you like them?
2 months ago
Some suggestion's I have for this deck are: Balefire Dragon , Combat Celebrant , Goblin Guide , Inferno Titan , Urabrask the Hidden , Fiery Emancipation , Helm of the Host , Mirage Mirror , Winter Orb , Jeska's Will , Ancient Tomb , Hall of the Bandit Lord , Homeward Path , Strip Mine and Blood Moon / Magus of the Moon
2 months ago
Some suggestions I have are Balefire Dragon , Combat Celebrant , Goblin Guide , Hellkite Charger , Hellkite Tyrant , Helm of the Host , Mirage Mirror , Winter Orb , Aggravated Assault , Fiery Emancipation , Ancient Tomb , Hall of the Bandit Lord , Homeward Path , Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep , Strip Mine and Blood Moon / Magus of the Moon
5 months ago
- Trigger for one of the ETB effects you listed (Tempest / Scourge / Terror)
- Send original to yard based on available recursion (PRO: fills the yard, CON: telegraphs your next move a bit). This could also be a lesser synergy with Boneyard Scourge
I think the nonbo aspect to me is that there isn't that perfect, consistent synergy with those legendaries - in this case, Drakuseth, Maw of Flames, Dragonlord Kolaghan, and Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury. It's hopefully a trigger, but choosing the token to remain on the battlefield also clearly telegraphs to your opponents what's coming next. The deck is fairly straightforward, so it's not like it'll be a big shocker, but I'd expect multiple players to hold up mana for counters / spot removal if they see you keep the token and send the original to the graveyard.
In my experience with Bladewing, I've had trouble sustaining an early-game presence, even with a host of 2-3 drops and a bunch of looting effects. Admittedly, I might be looking at Echoes through a narrow lense - the late-game synergy is truly back-breaking (multiple Balefire Dragon, Utvara Hellkite,or Scourge of the Throne triggers probably wins the game outright). I think I'd just be concerned to drop an enchantment that doesn't affect the board on T3 or T4 while my opponents continue to ramp or get their strategies really in motion on that same turn. If you've seen the benefits outweigh the negatives I'd love to know about that experience!
I can confirm Hazoret's Monument has been great, even at a slightly higher cost. Having that additional method for filling the yard has been super helpful.
Speaking of, have either of you considered Drownyard Temple? I don't think I use it currently but could see it having value, knowing how much discarding wants to happen here (hi Chainer, Nightmare Adept! Also considering Azra Oddsmaker and Olivia, Mobilized for War).
6 months ago
- +Academy Rector
- +Alseid of Life's Bounty
- +Eldrazi Displacer
- +Emeria's Call Flip
- +Felidar Retreat
- +Generous Gift
- +Giver of Runes
- +Leonin Arbiter
- +Mentor of the Meek
- +Mother of Runes
- +Order of the Sacred Torch
- +Sanctum Prelate
- +Skyclave Apparition
- +Unexpectedly Absent
- -Banisher Priest
- -Benevolent Bodyguard
- -False Dawn
- -Flawless Maneuver
- -Kataki, War's Wage
- -Not Forgotten
- -Oblivion Ring
- -Parallax Wave
- -Promise of Bunrei
- -Sublime Exhalation
- -Sun Titan
- -Suppression Field
- -Treasure Hunter
- +Sea Gate Restoration Flip
- +Teferi, Master of Time
- +Training Grounds
- -Fact or Fiction
- -Into the Roil
- -Time Spiral
- -Sleight of Hand
- -Reality Shift
- +Agadeem's Awakening Flip
- +Big Game Hunter
- +Body Snatcher
- +Cabal Therapist
- +Corpse Dance
- +Feed the Swarm
- +Opposition Agent
- -Doom Whisperer
- -Inquisition of Kozilek
- -Jet Medallion
- -Overeager Apprentice
- -Sickening Dreams
- -Sidisi, Undead Vizier
- -Skirge Familiar
- -Street Wraith
- +Avacyn's Judgment
- +Blasphemous Act
- +By Force
- +Desperate Ritual
- +Goblin Cratermaker
- +Goblin Matron
- +Goblin Recruiter
- +Jeska's Will
- +Lightning Bolt
- +Possibility Storm
- +Ricochet Trap
- +Shatterskull Smashing Flip
- +Sneak Attack
- +Sweltering Suns
- -Anje's Ravager
- -Balefire Dragon
- -Bogardan Hellkite
- -Comet Storm
- -Curse of Opulence
- -Daretti, Scrap Savant
- -Dire Fleet Daredevil
- -Dragon Mage
- -Generator Servant
- -Goblin Welder
- -Hellkite Tyrant
- -Impact Tremors
- +Hyrax Tower Scout
- +Protean Hulk
- -Concordant Crossroads
- -Fauna Shaman
- +Fiend Artisan
- +Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy
- +Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
- +Lurrus of the Dream-Den
- -Memory's Journey
- -Supreme Verdict
- -Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
- -Teferi, Time Raveler
- +Aether Vial
- +Altar of Dementia
- +Bag of Holding
- +Damping Sphere
- +Jeweled Lotus
- +Lithoform Engine
- +Mirage Mirror
- +Prophetic Prism
- +Smuggler's Copter
- +Tormod's Crypt
- -Crucible of Worlds
- -Krark-Clan Ironworks
- -Memory Jar
- -Mystic Forge
- -Painter's Servant
- -Pithing Needle
- -Relic of Progenitus
- -Strionic Resonator
- -Voltaic Key
- +Ash Barrens
- +Branchloft Pathway Flip
- +Brightclimb Pathway Flip
- +Castle Locthwain
- +Clearwater Pathway Flip
- +Cragcrown Pathway Flip
- +Darkwater Catacombs
- +Geier Reach Sanitarium
- +High Market
- +Mishra's Factory
- +Mossfire Valley
- +Needleverge Pathway Flip
- +Riverglide Pathway Flip
- +Shadowblood Ridge
- +Shivan Gorge
- +Skycloud Expanse
- +Sungrass Prairie
- +Volrath's Stronghold
- -Canopy Vista
- -Cinder Glade
- -Clifftop Retreat
- -Dakmor Salvage
- -Dragonskull Summit
- -Drowned Catacomb
- -Glacial Fortress
- -Hall of Heliod's Generosity
- -Hashep Oasis
- -Hinterland Harbor
- -Isolated Chapel
- -Prairie Stream
- -Riptide Laboratory
- -Rootbound Crag
- -Smoldering Marsh
- -Sulfur Falls
- -Sunken Hollow
- -Waterlogged Grove
- -Woodland Cemetery
7 months ago
There are other cuts to consider as well, but I feel these are the more noteworthy ones....
Ashaya, Soul of the Wild - No direct synergy with Xenagos, you want a beater with evasion or protection
Beast Whisperer - Better in decks that are lower to the ground that can better use it's ability
Brash Taunter - "No synergy with Xenagos"
God-Eternal Rhonas - Better in decks that go wide, this gets easily chump blocked. You rarely have more than 1 creature out at a time
Klothys, God of Destiny - "No synergy with Xenagos"
Leyline Tyrant - Better in red decks, while not recomending it, glorybringer would be better IMO as it acts as removal as well
Phylath, World Sculptor - No synergy with....
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger - Not enough ramp to hard cast, no cheating effects (which wont even give you a cast trigger)
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre - See above
Shadowspear - Meta call? Better to have creatures with trample or more ramp and card draw in this slow
Triumph of the Hordes - Hit or miss. Playing a beater, hoping it survives, casting this next turn and hoping they dont have removal. Ignoring the feelbad of infect
Berserkers' Onslaught - Winmore
Vernal Bloom - Symmetrical ramp which you can't even take full advantage of
Nissa, Who Shakes the World - This is ok, I like the vigilance and getting essentially a 6/6. Rather have something more impactful.
Atarka, World Render - Beater with evasion
Balefire Dragon - Beater with evasion that also destroys decks that go wide
Carnage Tyrant - Beater with protection, evasion and anti-blue. Nice to use a mass draw spell knowing they can't remove the creature in response
Etali, Primal Storm - Not needed, but fun! Lots of value, doesn't require combat damage
Farhaven Elf - Ramp for T4 Xenagos
Fierce Empath - Tutor
Inferno Titan - Removal
Kogla, the Titan Ape - Removal
Malignus - GG target player
Savage Ventmaw - Beater with evasion and helps build tempo
Scourge of the Throne - Destroy people's lifetotal
Shaman of Forgotten Ways - Ramp and potential wincon
Siege Behemoth - Beater with evasion
Somberwald Sage - Ramp
Springbloom Druid - Ramp for T4 Xenagos
Yavimaya Hollow - Protection
Turntimber, Serpentine Wood - Land when you need it, beater when you don't
Dread Statuary - Manland to be used as potential beater or for draw spell
Rishkar's Expertise - Draw + Tempo. Powerful!
Life's Legacy - Draw
Momentous Fall - Similar to above, to be used in response to removal
Berserk - Use on selvala, malignus or even an opposing creature attacking one of your opponents!
Sylvan Library - Nice but not needed
7 months 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.
7 months 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!