One of the only two tri-colour decks in DotP14, Enter the Dracomancer promises to make little Timmy’s eyes glow with really big dragons. No, really big. Bigger than that. Keep going. Look, we’re talking oneshotting players here. That big.
That is, if you live to play them.
Strength in omnomnom
Enter the Dracomancer is commonly regarded as one of the weakest decks in DotP14. What can I say, that is entirely true. It suffers to a heavy imbalance in its mana curve, meaning that you’ll spend the first turns twiddling your thumbs and praying your opponent doesn’t kill you before the big stuff comes around. Seeing as someone decided that White Weenie had to take the place as most overpowered deck in the game once again, Dracomancer doesn’t exactly have much going for it since it can hardly stop its own turn 4 death.
It’s not bad per se, but the format means that it only gets seventysomething spells total, most of which are high-cost bombs or manafixing to wrangle the tangle of triple colour, so its early game is really lacking. Don’t play this at any tournament. Still, for casual, it’s a fun deck even if not competitive.
It takes careful building, execution, and quite a fair bit of luck, too. If you expected this to rock because Jund (red-green-black) dominated tournaments for a while, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Still, when it does work out, it’s nothing but fun to play. Even if you lose, at least you didn’t have to use Tryhard’s Glory to put up the fight you did. Oh, and did I mention that this deck’s win condition are dragons? Lots and lots of really big dragons? You’ll love it, I tell you. I guess it’s somewhat susceptible to heavy removal decks that don’t rely on damage since its winning bombs are strong and far between, but who cares when you’re summoning dragons?
Take what you have, do what you can, pray for the best
Unlike other decks in Duels of the Planeswalkers, Enter the Dracomancer actually has a fair array of tools from all of its colours. Mostly, anyway, and that every colour has to be satisfied means that you’ll still end up with a pathetic amount of each. Thus, it demands careful play more than any other deck. There are basically no alternative escape routes, so use your cards only when you need to, not when you can.
Speaking of no escape routes, most of this deck builds on synergy with what you already have on the board. Effectively, this means that things will either go really well or really badly, with little in between. Still, one perk of it is that you’ll be spanking decks that rely on cards like Pacifism to keep threats away and I suppose that’s a good thing somehow.
Enter the Dracomancer deck list (by mana cost)
60 cards, 11 Mountain, 7 Forest, 2 Swamp, 2 Terramorphic Expanse
- 1 Banefire
- 3 Dragon Fodder
- 1 Savage Twister
- 3 Borderland Ranger
- 2 Jund Charm
- 1 Consume Strength
- 4 Maelstrom Pulse
- 4 Cultivate
- 1 Spellbreaker Behemoth
- 1 Bloodbraid Elf
- 1 Ogre Battledriver
- 3 Crucible of Fire
- 2 Explosive Vegetation
- 1 Archwing Dragon
- 1 Sneak Attack
- 1 Broodmate Dragon
- 2 Predator Dragon
- 2 Dragon Broodmother
- 1 Dragonlair Spider
- 1 Flameblast Dragon
- 1 Form of the Dragon
- 1 Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund
Enter the Dracomancer card-by-card analysis (by mana cost)
Terramorphic Expanse: 3.5
I wouldn’t run four, but it does what it’s supposed to do reasonably well. It also thins your deck when you use it, giving you a higher chance of drawing spells. Add and remove as you find necessary. Speaking of mana, you’ll see that I proposed a build with only two Swamps. Considering this deck’s overall build, you are almost bound to have some sort of fetching going on by turn 3, so finding the Swamp should not be an issue. Nothing in this deck costs more than a single black mana, so that should be perfectly sufficient for the rare case where you have to use two black things in a single turn or if your other Swamp gets blown up.
Tukatongue Thallid: 2.5
A single green mana for something that can block and/or be eaten twice, though not at the same time. What’s not to like? For instance, that it will never show up when it’s needed and is useless in pretty much every situation. There are better ways of generating food.
Its second clause is nearly irrelevant as neither counters nor prevention are too prevalent in DotP14. Still, pay X mana, deal X damage to anything you want. A fair deal, especially with the lack of other efficient burn.
Dragon Fodder: 3.5
Reinforcements… or food? Regardless of in whose stomach the two end up, this is a solid turn two play. Not to mention it’s your only turn two play.
Dragon Breath: 3.0
Could be decent, but not really. Sure it gives haste, firebreathing, and recurs for free, but it has really bad synergy with itself. Even if you do manage to get it onto what you just played with some scrap mana, you won’t have any to pump that creature that turn. Even if you do, you should have maybe three or four mountains out before this becomes irrelevant. The pump it gives is minor and its recursion only works if you draw it and get it into the graveyard somehow. Meh.
Dragon Fangs: 2.0
Like Dragon Breath, but actually sucks pretty hard. More or less any of your guys who would trigger it already Trample and/or Flying, so it goes to waste in all but the rarest cases.
Artifact Mutation: 1.0
Didn’t we already go through this? It’s a really good card, mind you, but if you use it on anything that this game has to offer concerning artifacts, you are actually doing your opponent a favour. No one uses artifacts in this game, especially not costly ones, so this is a waste of a slot.
Savage Twister: 3.5
On the surface, it looks costly. Look at it this way: It’s a Banefire. Aimed at everything. For one mana more. Convinced yet? It’s unfortunate that most of your stuff will die in the blast, but those of your pretties which you would mind if they got killed are tough enough to survive it.
Dragonspeaker Shaman: 2.5
Sure it’s a 2/2 for three mana which is at least somewhat acceptable and he makes all of your dragons turn up faster. However, his cost requiring double red and being in the area where you usually just want to fix might result in getting your dragons out later than if you hadn’t forced yourself to play it.
Jund Battlemage: 3.0
Eats spare mana and craps out food that can also block. Not too shabby. Unfortunately, too shabby for this deck, as it only starts to make an impact when you don’t have the mana and/or the big omnomnomers are already on the field.
Borderland Ranger: 3.5
You desperately need all the early bodies that you can get, and this one isn’t too terrible. He ensures your Swamp will come out in time and still puts on some presence. Not necessarily what you deserve, but what you need.
Jund Charm: 4.5
In DotP13’s Mana Mastery deck, I always found this card somewhat lacking. Here, it’s a rockstar. Purge the field of impurities, strengthen one of your guys (preferrably in combat) or wipe a graveyard, all of which are great options for this deck. Who would’ve guessed that Jund Charm plays well in a Jund deck? Notably, you can use this to respond to any enters-the-graveyard triggers like Undying and negate them.
Consume Strength: 3.5
Remember Agony Warp? Well, this is basically that, except with almost guaranteed advantage. Nab one of their guys to make yours strong enough to kill another one of theirs, or give one of your guys a whopping +4/+4 advantage in combat! Strong, should be used.
Soul’s Fire: 3.0
How would you like your creatures to punch in the face anything on the opposing half, completely without danger? It won’t do much when things are going southward, but when you’ve got something notable on the field (even a Pacified one) it whoops ass. If nothing else, it’s direct burn. Unfortunately, by the time you get a big enough dude that this matters, you’ll have a big enough dude that it doesn’t. Isn’t Magic lovely?
Maelstrom Pulse: 4.0
Its cost is somewhat prohibitive with the rest of the things that you’ll be playing. Regardless, it’s your only choice as for direct destruction and it right down spanks token decks where a lot of creatures have the same name. It can also take care of any noncreature threats your opponent might have, so there’s another reason to run it. Don’t forget though that this will not resolve against Illusions due to their sacrifice clause, so you won’t be able to destroy more than one of them. It can, however, break their instawin Lord of the Unreal + Phantasmal Image combo.
It fetches and ramps, but what else? In the meta that you have to face, doing nothing of note on your third turn can be the difference between life and death. Still, so can be not having two lands of your choice. It’s a necessary evil out of lack of something better.
Spellbreaker Behemoth: 4.0
Look at it this way: It’s a 5/5 for four mana that can’t be countered. You have to mind its double green cost, but beyond that, it’s pure goodness. Its second ability is not always going to be relevant, but it does put some pretty pressure on decks that could counter as they have more or less no way of getting rid of it and ensures your really big guys come through.
Hellkite Hatchling: 3.0
It could have had Flying by default, at least. In the best case scenario, it can also be a 5/5 flier on turn 4, so it’s not entirely terrible. Keep in mind however that that’ll use up at least two other cards. Not playing material.
Bloodbraid Elf: 4.5
Welcome to the Wheel of Fate! Today, we’ve got little Timmy here with us, ready to spin his fate! Are you ready? What will he get this time? Will it be a free Cultivate, or just a Banefire? I’m your host 3/2 Haste (my parents are terrible monsters) and I’ll be swinging right into the fray to at least tear a hole into the enemy’s defenses. Make sure you stay tuned for after the commercials when we’ll be meeting our second guest Hellkite Overlord to clean up the mess!
Ogre Battledriver: 4.5
There is a surprising lack of Haste in this deck. This fixes that problem, allowing your little pretties to be a major pain from the turn they come out onward. It’s basically the same effect as Dragon Breath, but with no mana investment. See my point?
Explosive Vegetation 3.0
It seems really good on paper, doesn’t it. However, you can do a bit of stochastics and figure out that Cultivate actually does the exact same thing for you in most situations, except sooner and more consistently. Since it’ll often come down to a decision between the two, Cultivate clearly wins out.
Crucible of Fire: 3.5
What’s good? Big dragons! What’s better? Bigger dragons! It’s a bit of an investment for little instant return value, but this deck features a variety of lizards at any cost and size, so its buff isn’t to underestimate. Since most of DotP14’s noncreature permanents suck, there is about zero chance that this will get removed, too.
Archwing Dragon: 3.0
At that stage of the game, you are usually looking for stalling tools, rather than a four-point burn to your opponent’s face from which you have to tear off the bandage each turn with another four mana. Since most of the removal in DotP14 is instant speed (cough Dick Blade cough Zombies OP unconvincing cough) its sorcery-dodging ability will rarely be relevant. If DotP works as intended, it could have some decent synergy with Sneak Attack. A two-card combo for something that you should get for the same price already (a 4/4 flier) which relies on two one-ofs. Why am I not convinced.
Sneak Attack: 3.0
So, anything you want, with haste for free, for but one mana, and all you have to do is make its swing count? Sounds awesome, right? It certainly can be; Since it’s not released yet, there’s no way to know. Make sure to check here for when its code is released.
Gorger Wurm: 3.0
Maybe it’s a 5/5 for five mana. Maybe that’s enough and I’m too hard to please. Still, it gets almost no return value from devouring things, so you might as well be playing things that do.
Torrent of Fire: 2.5
It’s basically Soul’s Fire, except in suck. There’s really no reason why you should run this, especially with room for Soul’s Fire still left. If you can get a big enough dude to stick that this will be worth the mana at sorcery speed, you probably don’t need it anyway.
Broodmate Dragon: 3.5
8/8, split across two bodies to make it harder to remove, benefits double from Crucible of Fire, bounce only makes it stronger, this card is really good for only six mana and as a possible turn four play with a Shaman.
Dragon Broodmother: 4.0
Provides both worthy devourers and the food they need. It also triggers on each upkeep, so at the very least you’ll get one token out of it that’ll be ready to attack once its sister hatches. It’s very red though, don’t forget about its triple cost.
Dragonlair Spider: 4.0
Almost the same as Dragon Broodmother, anything your opponent does will only feed your future plays. Not to mention that a 5/6 reach is also quite decent. Run or regret.
Flameblast Dragon: 4.5
It’s technically a Blaze Dragon, but don’t tell anyone. If this ever gets to attack, it can easily win the game on its own. At the very least, you’ll be able to blast any flying blocker for five damage and swing through uncontested, where it’ll inflict serious damage as well. Due to one of Magic’s many convoluted wording quirks, you determining X and paying the mana happens instantenously as the ability resolves, meaning that your opponent won’t be able to force you to pay mana for nothing. It can also target and kill Illusions for free with the same logic.
Igneous Pouncer/Valley Rannet: 2.5
Overcosted creatures meant to be cycled for their respective colours. Some might say that their thinning alone makes them worth it, but if that’s what you want, run more fetchlands instead. If there was a Forest/Swamp version or one with more toughness, maybe I’d consider them, but inter se they do too little.
Predator Dragon: 4.0
Somehow, I overlooked this during initial tests. Feed it two goblins and you’ve got an 8/8 flier coming in without warning. Add in another for an instant two-turn clock. This goes perfectly to show how much difference there can be between 1 and 2 in Magic. Don’t sac your entire board to it unless it’s worth it, though. (i.e. opponent is tapped out and can be killed thus.) Even when hunger is your only thought and destruction your entire tactic as is so often the case with Jund decks, there is something like overkill, which you’ll see when your opponent calmly doomblades the thing that just ate your entire board.
Volcanic Dragon: 2.5
Strong in Sealed, crap in constructed. You should be able to cast both Predator Dragon and Broodmate Dragon by the time you hit six mana, so this pales in comparison.
Dragon Roost: 3.5
It makes dragons, consistently, without cards. In other words, use if you care for winning the game in the long run. Keep in mind however that such strategy would hardly excite a cubicle’s worth of accountants. Where’s the fun? I hate this card with every fiber of my being. It’s slow, costly, boring, and being a valid strategy it doesn’t seem to fit into a deck whose strategy consists mostly of prayers. Still, with two of them, I must advise towards playing them.
Sangrite Surge: 2.0
Yes Double Strike is powerful. Yes this pumps to make it worth it. It’s also really expensive and a sorcery, so any chump will stop it from happening altogether.
Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund: 3.0
Only really gamechanging in the mirror match, but about as tough as a Predator Dragon with two Goblins included in its prize plus a lot of other goodies. You can also use him for pseudo-vigilance for all of your dragons, in case you really need defense.
Form of the Dragon: 4.0
Let’s face it, this is a casual deck. That in mind, what could be more fun to use than a card which not only makes dragons but makes you into one? There are few fliers in the game as is, so many decks will have trouble bypassing your defenses and getting in those five damage that must be dealt in a single turn, especially once you survive the first turn and begin blasting their fliers into oblivion. It requires care to use, but it could only be more awesome if it was on fire and played rock on a bass guitar that is also on fire. I suppose you’ll have to settle with it burninating the entire enemy board instead.
Kilnmouth Dragon: 4.0
Yes, Amplify is a rather weak mechanic since Wizards seems to insist on putting it on guys that are on the high end of their tribe’s ladder. This also has Amplify 3. And if you Amplify it even once, you get an 8/8 flier which can Lightning Bolt something every single turn. I’ll let you figure out by yourself what happens if you have more dragons on hand.
Penumbra Wurm: 3.0
Doesn’t fly, isn’t a dragon, costs much. Do not want, not in comparison to all the other expensive bombs.
Hellkite Overlord: 3.5
This will gladly exterminate your opponent by itself if you ever live to cast it and have it swing. Since you should have plenty of Mountains in play by that time, it can two-hit KO an opponent ending the game on the turn after it is cast. If you’re looking for a bomb about as powerful as tactical nuke, this is it. That being said… there are so many other things that are more worth the mana. Since this deck is so rich on high-cost, some just don’t cut it. This is unfortunately one of them, being too costly for its effect. If you want, you can switch out Karrthus for this; They are about equal. This has more potential to win the game by itself, but Karrthus is much safer, especially with the untap trick.