Skred Dragons in Modern
There is one tribe that for the longest time has had a ton of support, and yet couldn’t break its way into any competitive scene. Due to the high mana cost of almost every Dragon in existence, the tribe hasn’t seen play as a tribe, since doing so would require making it to turn 5 or beyond without developing much of a board state beforehand. Thankfully, with the release of M19, this problem has been mitigated through the printing of Sarkhan Fireblood. Obviously he doesn’t fix the issues on his own, but with the help of some early removal and disruption, he can get us to the big hitters sooner and more reliably.
The deck is an amalgamation of Skred and some nonexistent Dragon tribal list, giving removal and board wipes in the early game before the dragons come out to play later on. The main threats are, as you can probably tell, the ten dragons sitting in our arsenal. Thunderbreak Regent gives us a 4/4 flier, which is a fine rate on its own, but its ability is what makes it really shine, since it turns any removal from the opponent into a free bolt for us. Glorybringer is a fantastic card that can clear away almost anything on the other side of the table, and will win just about any battle in the air. Finally, we have Stormbreath Dragon to swing hard and fast. It can attack as soon as it comes down, dodge Path to Exile, and then grow later on while also dealing damage with Monstrosity. Our planeswalkers, Chandra and Sarkhan, also give us win conditions. Chandra can effectively draw us cards, ramp us, and act as an expensive removal spell, while also giving us some extra reach. Sarkhan lets us rummage to try to find just the card we need, while also ramping us into Dragons and giving us 20 power in his ultimate.
The rest of our spells act as disruption, and are mostly there to slow down the opponent until we can start dropping dragons. Ratchet Bomb acts as a slower Engineered Explosives, allowing us to take out an army of tokens or one-drops. Blood Moon helps us slow down color-hungry decks or decks like Tron until we can start dropping our threats, and Anger of the Gods helps clear the way just before they start coming down. Skred acts as a removal spell that scales very well into the lategame, and is part of the reason the deck runs a full 24 lands. Lightning Bolt and Draconic Roar also give us removal, and while it may not scale quite as well into the lategame as Skred, they do have the benefit of giving us some extra reach when our dragons can’t quite do the trick. Our lands consist of Snow-Covered Mountains to help enable Skred, some Scrying Sheets to thin out the deck, and a single Cavern of Souls in case of a control deck that starts countering all of our dragons.
In the sideboard, Dragon’s Claw can help decks that are too fast for us, and is especially useful against Burn since it will trigger off of our spells as well as theirs. Molten Rain is good against many of the same decks as Blood Moon, while also speeding up our clock. Shattering Spree can take care of a problematic Affinity or Lantern boardstate, and Anger of the Gods can be brought in against a variety of go-wide strategies. Batterskull is another useful tool against burn to stabilize later on, and Alpine Moon has the somewhat specific application of “shut down Tron/Valakut for a turn or two.” And sometimes, that’s all this deck needs to stabilize and take back control of a game. Finally, the extra Ratchet Bomb is there to help deal with swarms of small 0- or 1-cmc creatures.
- Always activate Sheets if you have the mana. The extra card is worth it, and even if you don’t need the extra land, it could draw you into gas faster.
- Scrying Sheets can be used as a scry for Chandra. Use sheets, and if you see a card you don’t care about, you can let Chandra eat it to deal 2 damage.
- Don’t be afraid to exert Glorybringer. Sure, you lose out on 4 damage, but clearing out an important threat is almost always going to be better.
- You can activate Stormbreath Dragon during the opponent’s draw step if they have blockers. This causes them to draw a card, but often won’t give them the opportunity to cast the drawn card, giving you an extra point of damage. You rarely get punished because very little instant speed removal kills Stormbreath in Modern.
Skred Dragons is a lot of fun, and is almost certainly the best way to play anything resembling Dragon Tribal in modern. You get good removal, big dragons, and a solid manabase. Glorybringer is a great card, even outside of Standard, and Stormbreath Dragon has proven itself as a capable card in the format before. Thunderbreak Regent has a very specific niche with this deck, but it fits in very well. Take it for a spin, and if you enjoy big beats, I’m sure you’ll have a blast!
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