There are possible dragon cards that have been leaked on reddit (see here for images and other possible reprints of dragons that are going to appear in the set) from a twitter account of @turnonethoughtsieze – which has since vanished off the face of the earth. While most everyone knows by now what these dragons do I wanted to talk about the new unconfirmed legendary creatures and why I love their designs. I’ll also talk about where I speculate WOTC will take the tribal decks, based off what we’ve seen. Scroll down to see my reviews of each of the different new dragon cards.
What I think these Dragons mean for CMDR 2017
Assuming that these dragons are legit, I think the designs that we’ve seen so far should bode well for the release come late August.
We know we are only getting 4 different boxes this year, and that the theme will be tribal. It’s pretty clear that one of these boxes will be dragons, and the fact that they picked dragons (a super mainstream tribe) makes me believe that the other tribes will also be mainstream so that they have a deep pool of cards to choose for reprints and players have other cards they can buy or pull from their collection to build decks with.
I think they will have a box that has a focus on 5 color elementals, and a box that has a 5 color human focus. Both of these tribes have a really good spread of cards in all 5 colors. I’ve thought about angels, demons, goblins, elves, merfolk, treefolk, and others but those tribes don’t appear to have a good spread across 5 colors. Perhaps eldrazi? I don’t think so. There are only 4 boxes this year compared to the usual 5 that have come from every previous edition of Commander, so a lot of things could be different. I bet they will print more new Changeling cards because those cards are easily translatable to different tribes.
The number of commanders excite me in what appears to be the dragon box. I really like that WOTC seems to be spraying us with options for what we want to play as our commanders, and more importantly what we want to build with after we open the box and break up the deck.
I do think that including all of these commanders have the potential to make the raw out-of-the box experience kinda strange for experienced players, but I think if these are marketed more as “Starter Packs” for EDH tribal then it could lead to a overall better consumer buying experience.
I also like how almost all of these cards have two creature types – this gives us maximum spread to use these cards alongside or as leaders of other tribal decks. WOTC is putting in a lot of work to make these commanders enjoyable to build decks with.
The Dragon Cards
O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami – 1WUBRG
Legendary Creature – Dragon Spirit
Whenever O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami deals combat damage to a player, if that player attacked you during his or her turn, exile target nonland permanent that player controls.
Let’s get to it – this guy, like most of the other supposed leaks, is a expensive dragon that has a very defensive exile effect when he deals combat damage to a player. I like him because he has flying and trample (very hard to block all the damage) AND he doesn’t have to be in play to ‘know’ if a player attacked you. This means you can cast O-Kagachi, give Kagachi haste, then swing in and get a free exile if that someone attacked you. If O-Kagachi has double strike he will be able to exile two nonland permanents because his trigger happens on combat damage.
O-Kagachi can be somewhat awkward – if he’s your commander everyone knows the approximate time period to stop attacking you if they don’t want their key permanent exiled (this might be a positive though). He also costs 6, which makes him naturally suited for a slower deck or one with super dedicated ramp. He’s terribad versus the noncreature nonattacking decks of the format because he won’t have much to target with his ability.
What I like most about O-Kagachi is that he’s one of the first Dragon Legendaries that make me really feel like he would lead a Dragon Tribal deck. Sure, Scion of the Ur-Dragon exists but too many builds of that commander peter out into non-dragon flavored combos or use 1 trick ponies. I see Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund as a much more suitable dragon tribal commander, but he only encompasses three colors. O-Kagachi gives us access to 5, with a commander that rewards a slow and somewhat defensive playstyle.
Wasitora, Nekoru Queen – 2BRG
Legendary Creature – Cat Dragon (Meow)
Whenever Wasitora, Nekoru Queen deals combat damage to a player, that player sacrifices a creature. If the player can’t, you create a 3/3 black, red and green Cat Dragon creature token with flying.
This card is hilarious, and actually somewhat good if you are playing against a lot of voltron decks. I think I need to see this card in action to see if pooping out 3/3 Cat Dragons is a passable ability, but the flavor win on this card alone inspires me. I do think this creature is a solid contender in a Jund style Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund deck.
The Ur-Dragon – 4WUBRG
Legendary Creature – Dragon Avatar
Eminence – As long as The Ur-Dragon is in the command zone or on the battlefield, other Dragon spells you cast cost (1) less to cast.
Whenever one or more Dragons you control attack, draw that many cards, then you may put a permanent card from your hand onto the battlefield.
This card is massive, but very similar to Oloro, Ageless Ascetic the true power lies in the passive ability that requires no effort beyond choosing the Ur-Dragon as your commander. There are powerful dragons in EDH but when you take the large pool of dragons that are only reasonably playable and reduce their casting cost by one its time to re-evaluate all your options. The Ur-Dragon is a living mana rock commander that’s actually better than a mana rock because you don’t have to put mana into him upfront and you can cast multiple dragons per turn with the cost reduction, provided you have enough mana. Mark my words, this card is going to change the way dragon tribal is played in EDH.
Obviously this card is going to crack skulls if he resolves and starts attacking, but he costs such a absurd amount of mana that I don’t see that happening too often.
Taigam, Ojutai Master – 2WU
Legendary Creature – Human Monk
Instant, Sorcery, and Dragon spells you control can’t be countered by spells or abilities.
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell from your hand, if Taigam, Ojutai Master attacked this turn, that spell gains rebound.
There doesn’t seem to be a ton that links Taigam to dragons, but we’ll take him: I think this is the most potent card spoiled so far. He doesn’t cost too much mana at 4, he’s devastating against other blue decks, but most importantly giving ANY instant or sorcery spell rebound is absurdly powerful. Get ready to get hammered when your opponents Temporal Manipulation you after attacking with their Taigam.
The only real constraint I see with Taigam is that his ability to rebound spells really only gives the controller power in their second main phase. I think this will lead to more builds that focus on being proactive with Taigam whether it be time walks, draw effects, tutors, or basically anything else. Wrath of God effects are interesting with Taigam because with the rebound it essentially clears the board for a complete cycle of player turns and allows for the caster to untap with no creatures in play – this is often a type of win condition for many control decks.
What I like most about Taigam is that he brings something seriously explosive to the Azorious guild. Sure, there are powerful blue/white commanders like Grand Arbiter Augustin IV or Ephara, God of the Polis but I feel that compared to other guilds the Azorious guild is somewhat shallow. The proactiveness that can come from Taigam will be refreshing, even if it leads to more time warp s being cast.
Ramos, Dragon Engine – 6
Legendary Artifact Creature – Dragon
Whenever you cast a spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Ramos, Dragon Engine for each of that spell’s colors.
Remove five +1/+1 counters from Ramos: Add WWUUBBRRGG to your mana pool. Activate this ability only once each turn.
This is a 5 color dragon I can get behind. You need to untap with him, but its not hard to cast a couple spells (or a spell like Conflux) to ritual super hard into a game-swinging turn where you get ten mana and cast the rest of your hand. There are ways you can combo with this card, but note that you can only activate Ramos once per turn. Most combos I’ve seen online revolve around flickering him in and out of play (his restriction to regenerate 10 mana gets reset when he leaves and enters play). But if you flicker him he’ll lose his counters….. its complicated. Ramos is a fun commander that can create dramatic explosions if you can untap and include lots of multicolor spells in your deck. There’s probably a fun +1/+1 counter theme you can apply as well and skullcrack someone for commander damage.
What do you think of these possible new cards? Are you excited about CMDR 2017? If you want more tribal dragon reading here on Commander Society we have a sock article by Dylan Bandstra here.