Creature — Dragon
Whenever Balefire Dragon deals combat damage to a player, it deals that much damage to each creature that player controls.
|Want (5)||Mairon_Bauglir , vane000 , Sunlord , PGleo86 , gadenlock|
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
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
3 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.
3 weeks 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.