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Dragons of Tarkir Draft Guide – Dragon Green

Today we’ll dive into an archetype that gets played very infrequently. The main reason for this is that you need great rares/mythics to get the deck going. The deck I’m referring to is Dragon green! The main goal of the archetype is to let you play any bombs in any color that you happen to open or get passed, and then claim victory with overpowered cards.

This deck doesn’t just naturally come together, but it also can’t be something you’re looking to draft when you sit down for your first pick. Rather, the deck forms slowly while drafting when you have powerful cards and you can’t build toward a streamlined two-color deck. This tends to happen when you see powerful cards in different colors each pack and can’t seem to figure out what archetype you’re supposed to be drafting. You end up taking the best card out of each pack even though it’s a different color to stay flexible, and end up having a pile of strong cards rather than a deck. This situation isn’t all that uncommon, and usually around picks 7-10 you’ll finally start to gravitate toward the 2 most open colors. However, the route of Dragon Green is to just play all your good cards in every color.

The Fixing

Clearly a 4-5 color deck doesn’t work without mana fixing, and while DTK isn’t a great set for fixing, it is present.

The best of the bunch is Explosive Vegetation. You get ramp for your expensive bombs and fixing at the same time.

Next you have the Monuments. They perform especially well in Dragon Green because you tend to play extra mana sources in your deck to both have functional mana and to ensure you cast your expensive bombs in a timely manner. At the point when you would normally be flooded, the Monuments help you stabilize or pressure your opponent’s life total.

Last in line for mana fixing is a pretty bad card, but one that makes the archetype tick. That card is Sheltered Aerie. You only get one extra mana off the land you put the Aerie on, but it then opens up all your splash cards while doing a little ramping. It’s a poor topdeck later, but the key is that if your deck has powerful enough cards, you can afford to play a weak card like Sheltered Aerie to enable them.

The Payoff

Once you have a bit of fixing and your pile of good cards, you get to start reaping the real benefits of the archetype. As the draft moves forward players passing to you will end up opening powerful cards they can’t play outside of their colors. You get to benefit from their misfortune in these situations and scoop up those great cards.

This is especially nice in the Fate Reforged pack because the bombs in FRF are so good. Fate Reforged also tends to be pretty light on playables, making it the perfect place to pick up gainlands for added fixing. You’ll end up with a sweet draft deck with very powerful cards and great mana when everything goes right, and that’s a pretty nice place to be after the awkward start often associated with this archetype.

One final general strategy note about the deck is that because it ends up being base-green, you’ll want early green cards to help you survive while you set up your mana and powerful late game. 2-drops in green are quite valuable for this reason, and anything that can stall the game or stunt your opponent’s development (usually removal) is extra valuable in this archetype.

Dragon Green Common/Uncommon Pick Order

There isn’t a clear pick-1-pack-1 pick order for me here since you will end up in the deck later in the draft. Cards in this archetype that work better here than they do in other archetypes are:

Rares/Mythics Better than the Commons/Uncommons

Any strong rare in the set in any color. Remember that this is the point of the archetype and what makes it so exciting!

Deck #1

5 color stuff 1-1 Dragons article deck 1

Deck rating: C-

This deck has a lot of power at the top end but it’s less powerful in the rare department than many of Dragon Green decks. Regardless, it still has some of the best late game compared to any other deck at the table. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a ton early plays to ensure it hits that late game and the mana is also worse than many decks within the archetype which warrants the low grade. Once the deck gets rolling it does have some good 5-mana cards to play after an accelerator, and Volcanic Vision can easily win games on its own.

Deck #2

4 color ramp 3-0 Dragons article deck 2

Deck rating: A

This deck just has it all, not to mention 2 FRF Dragons which were picked 2nd and 3rd out of pack 3. Sidisi into Silumgar is completely filthy and this deck demonstrates what Dragon Green is trying to achieve. The deck also has many ways to interact early, which buys it enough time to get to its stronger plays. Without the rares this deck is subpar, but picking up late mana fixing from packs 1 and 2 let the deck capitalize on splashable bombs and moves from a mediocre deck to an awesome one.

Deck #3

5 color 3-0 Dragons article deck 3

Deck rating: A-

This is my favorite Dragon Green deck I’ve ever drafted. Clone Legion is the biggest game in town and in one game I was able to Clone Legion into Living Lore. Then my opponent responded to my large board with a Ghastly Conscription for eight creatures. I was able to attack with Living Lore and after my opponent only blocked with one 2/2, sacrifice it to make seven 2/2s of my own. It was one of the crazier things I’ve ever done in Limited.

This deck has a lot of inevitability because it has so much card advantage combined with truly powerful effects. It’s a little slower than the last deck, which bumps it down a notch, but Salt Road Quartermasters plays a strong role at stabilizing the board early as does Updraft Elemental. My only regret with this deck was that the draft had to end.

Deck #4

5 color 2-1 Dragons article deck 4

Deck rating: A+

The power level is just off the charts and the deck even has the dream of Dragonlord Dromoka into Atarka, World Render. The early plays once again ensure making it to the late game, and Sheltered Aerie helps cast Hedonist’s Trove which is actually reasonable to play in a 5-color deck.

Youthful Scholar looks a little strange here without exploit, but functions as a mini-Moat and discourages attacks from the opponent. Certainly the deck isn’t Clone Legion level sweet, but not every deck can be and this is the best Dragon Green deck I’ve drafted.

I have drafted some unexciting Dragon Green trainwrecks I didn’t show here, where I didn’t get enough fixing or didn’t get enough powerful cards. I decided to show you what I thought were my most exciting decks of the archetype, but just be aware that you are taking on a lot of risk by drafting this archetype. Dragon Green is more of an exit strategy that you can use when your draft is going poorly that results in a powerful deck if drafted correctly. There’s also value to getting to play with a ton of sweet rares in the same deck, and I look forward to the next time I get to draft this exciting archetype.

Also, follow me at www.twitch.tv/nealoliver88 where I stream most weekdays! Thanks for reading.

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