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CardName: Dragons of Tarkir Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Flavour Text: What are your thoughts on Dragons of Tarkir? Do you have some favorite cards? How about cards that your really dislike? How do you think Wizards handled their Dragon theme? What do you think of the clan mechanics? Feel free to ask your own questions as well. Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Dragons of Tarkir
 
 
What are your thoughts on Dragons of Tarkir? Do you have some favorite cards? How about cards that your really dislike? How do you think Wizards handled their Dragon theme? What do you think of the clan mechanics? Feel free to ask your own questions as well.
Updated on 24 Mar 2015 by Alex

History: [-]

2015-03-13 16:19:13: Link created the card Dragons of Tarkir
2015-03-13 16:31:08: Link edited Dragons of Tarkir:

Typo... oops.

2015-03-13 16:31:11: Alex edited Dragons of Tarkir

Thank you for linking, sir.

Yay Dragons! It looks good. But I'm not having any time to play new sets!

Dragons: Man. If you count the monuments, this set has sixteen uncommon dragons, all at six mana. Six mana is going to be the hump to get over in this set.

Exploit: I was dubious about the mechanic at first. But the exploit rewards seem to be pretty powerful, and in particular, seem to avoid the Devour problem of all eggs in one basket: for the most part the exploit rewards restore card parity or better. Looks potent.

Speed: This set seems to have a weird relationship to speed. There's a lot of aggressive two-drops, reminiscent of Gatecrash. But there's also a bunch of effective defensive creatures and the aforementioned sixteen six-mana dragons. I can't tell how effective a fast deck is going to be.

Dash: I do like the twists on dash we see in Pitiless Horde, Warbringer, and Ambuscade Shaman (hello Primal Forcemage, almost didn't recognise you there).

Megamorph is obviously being discussed on its own thread.

Here are a few of the thoughts I had a first glance concerning different aspects of the set:

Dragons: I wasn't sure what to think of the "ALL THE DRAGONS" theme going in. Wizards really hammered it into us that this was the selling point of the set, especially at the PAX panel. I didn't know if I was going to like it or if they were going to pull it off well (which could possibly have been different things). I'm rather ambivalent toward dragons, and it bothers me that Wizards thinks they're such a popular creature type. I know that they probably have market research to back it up, but I just don't really understand it. I dislike seeing them cram dragons into every set, especially Innistrad and Theros, where they just felt off.
While I didn't know whether I was going to like it or not, I did expect a few things from the set. Dragons have become rather one-note over the years, so I expected them to mix that up a bit. They had the perfect opportunity to do so by spreading dragons into all five colors. I also expected the dragons to be highly impressive, and I imagined there would be several pushed to be constructed powerhouses, like Thundermaw Hellkite, since they're the face of the set and Wizards has hyped us up about them. I expected the dragons to appear at every rarity, since they're apparently all over Tarkir at this point.

Wizards defied many of my expectations, and not really in good ways. There's not even one dragon at common. Even though there are plenty at uncommon, and plenty of effects that reference dragons at common, I still find this disappointing. Even if none of the other dragons in the set caught my eye, I expected the dragonlords to "wow" me. After all, they're the most powerful beings in the set and they've survived over 1,200 years. I expected them to impress in the way that the Theros gods, or Avacyn and the Powerpuff Girls, or even the Eldrazi did. They failed to do this. Only Ojutai really caught my eye, to be honest. The others are all pricey but with smaller bodies than I would have expected (except for Atarka, who we all knew would be a big dumb fatty). They gave them the type Elder and yet they still seem like run-of-the-mill dragons to me. I understand that this is just a personal feeling, but I feel like I know Wizards has failed me somehow when the uncommon cycle of dragons has me more interested than the mythic rares. Maybe this feeling is off. After all, the uncommons will be easier to get a hold of. Oh, and we all know I'm not talking about that terrible cycle of megamorph dragons.

The Past Khans: While it might not make perfect logical sense, I was very glad to see that Wizards made reflections of the previous khans appear in this set. I'm very glad to see Narset Transcendent, and she's one of my favorite cards in the set. It makes me sad to see some of the others "weakened" so, but I do feel that it's very appropriate.
This isn't necessarily related to the khans, I do feel that Wizards has repeated a mistake they've made many times before. Like Gisa and Geralf before him, Taigam failed to get a card of his own. He actually got two cards referencing him in their names, and yet Wizards didn't think that people would expect to be seeing him on a card? Come on, guys.

Megamorph: Yes, the precedent has been set for cute little twists on previous mechanics, but this one has such a silly name, and it's literally just a "better" morph. Multikicker and typecycling at least have different applications.

Dash: As Alex said, the small twists on this mechanic are pleasant. Pitiless Horde is the most interesting design, I think. Ambuscade Shaman feels like a color pie break. To me, it should be green or red. I don't understand what makes it black.

Formidable: While not as boring as I thought when I first saw it, this mechanic just doesn't excite me very much. The things I like about it? It's adorable that it's "double ferocious," and that Dragonlord Atarka sets it off all by herself. I don't particularly care for how much you have to commit to turn on formidable, nor do I like that the high threshold means you're probably already ahead when you receive the bonus.

Rebound: It's a returning mechanic, so I thought I knew what to expect from it. I was pretty wrong. I'm disappointed by most of the cards they chose to represent it, and how hard they nerfed it. Distortion Strike versus Taigam's Strike made me say "really?" out loud, as did Center Soul versus Emerge Unscathed. I do love Profound Journey, though. I mean, I wish it cost less, but I understand that that makes no sense.

Exploit: It itself, the mechanic is not very exciting. They really had to give it some juicy cards in order to make it be interesting, which they did. The flavor of it fits the Sultai — um, the "Silumgar" perfectly.

Individual Cards:
• Is anyone else bothered by Descent of the Dragons and Hardened Berserker being red? Neither of seem like they fit in the slice of red's pie with which I'm familiar.
• Wow, the Monument cycle is... uninspiring.
Swift Warkite could be lots of fun with Phantasmal Image.
• Now that Den Protector exists, I want even more to build a deck around Mastery of the Unseen and Temur Sabertooth.
• What did Fall of the Hammer do to deserve to be turned into Tail Slash? I assume it has something to do with all the big dragons in limited...
Ire Shaman means my morph deck might need to include red.
• I hated Illness in the Ranks and now I hate Virulent Plague with the same irrational passion.
Living Lore is a neat design.

Descent is odd not so much because of color pie aspects, but because they failed to use exile (or sacrifice) for this effect AGAIN. I also find it odd it can hit other players. Blue did well there because it did it at instant speed, but these guys don't even have haste...

I think Fall of the Hammer turned out a little bit more powerful than was ever intended. Tail Slash is still something I'd pick reasonably high, especially with all the Wandering Champions and Dromoka Warriors around.

Generally I like the commons a lot. Herald of Dromoka and Champion of Arashin are just two cards that strike me as really pushing B/W warriors.

It almost feels like they pushed warriors harder than dragons, in some ways.

On Khans, Maro commented that Taigam didn't come to exist in the set at all until Creative were doing their thing, long after Design was finished. He sounds like he doesn't particularly mind the set naming characters who don't have legend cards because he thinks it's nice to have potential for nostalgia legends in casual products like Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury. I'm not sure I agree with him, but I can see how the timings don't work out.

On Formidable, I agree it's annoying how much it encourages you to overextend, though it's good that most formidable creatures have decent power already. Crater Elemental has to have one of the most "win-more" abilities since Spawnsire of Ulamog.

On Rebound, Sam Stoddard says over here that they started off with Distortion Strike in place of Taigam's Strike, and it was stupidly good with Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest. They kept increasing the cost and finding it was still too good with Shu Yun until they got to 4 mana.

­Descent of the Dragons isn't a polymorph spell. A bunch of dragons show up and eat all the creatures there were before. That's totally appropriate for red and destroy.

I thought it WAS a polymorph spell, but "turn into a dragon" was the reddest red red effect ever :) (Remembering Rosewater saying Form of the Dragon was a classic example of a card which was red, despite most of the mechanics on it not being red.) But I'm not sure I'm right.

Regarding creative, yeah, it makes sense that it works how it does now, but it would be nice if there was even more integration between design and creative, say, if creative worked as far in advance as design, a bit like development does. But I can see how that would be hard to achieve.

http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/dl35

I'm also amused to note, green's "twice every ten years, it gets a flying dragon" is holding true. Canopy Dragon which jumped, in 1996. A dragon and a kirin in Kamigawa in 2004. And R&D managed to resist the impulse for a decade, but now three dragons between Fate Reforged and Dragons of Tarkir.

FTR, I think this is about right (but I've never actually played with a green dragon so I'm not sure).

Did anyone else go to the prerelease?

I did two. My games went absolutely horrifying, though I did get some nice cards: surrak, dromoka, Arashin Sovereign, Collected Company...

I learned that you practically cannot build the exploit deck without multiple "want to die" cards.

I did two also. I went RG (my least favorite color combination) for the first and went 4-1, despite not getting any cards of note. Then I did a 2HG, again getting no great/chase cards, and went 2-2.
Dash is pretty fun, but players fall into traps with it. I won at least one game because all my opponent did was dash his creatures.
I can see why Tail Slash costs more in this environment. There sure are a lot of high-power creatures running around.
When I did 2HG, I got my dream combination of two Enduring Scalelords but I never got to go infinite with them. :(
My best win was when my opponent cast Mind Rot on my while I was mana screwed, allowing me to cast my Tasigur, the Golden Fang, which won me the game.

I had a very weird play where the correct thing to do was nuke my own Servant of the Scale with Twin Bolt, because it allowed me to grow my Scalelord out of Sandblast range. Generally though, even on-curve Surrak with formidable was never anywhere near enough to get things done (every single of my opponents had downright daunting amounts of removal, and I had virtually none in comaprison, plus I hardly had any game were I drew less than 10 lands... not counting casting Explosive Vegetation almost EVERY GAME in the first prerelease).

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