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Crucible of Fire

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Utvara Hellkite
In this experiment, we visit a reforged crux of dragons and change our trooplings into draconic form in a crucible of fire.

Fate Reforged introduced a cycle of five legendary Dragons. Unlike the Invasion Dragons or the Planar Chaos Dragons, such as Treva, the Renewer and Intet, the Dreamer, these are two-color Dragons that scale based on our other Dragons attacking, putting them in the same category as Utvara Hellkite.

You see, I have a casual changeling deck that uses various tribal lords and a bunch of changelings for myriad creature-type shenanigans. Having a Fire-Belly Changeling pumped by both a Mayor of Avabruck (or its Werewolf face Howlpack Alpha) and a Lord of the Unreal is just fun. And when I reach 8 mana, cast Utvara Hellkite, attack with four tiny Dragon changelings, and make four 5/5s, things are all kinds of silly.

But we don’t have to muck up our deck with all kinds of different creature types—instead, we can focus on Dragons and greatly benefit from effects that were meant to scale with 6-mana Shivan Dragons by scaling them with 2-mana Woodland Changelings instead.

Little Dragons

To benefit from Dragon tribal effects, we need to start off with some small Dragons. These creatures are primarily common-power-level cards that are even a bit under-par to account for their vast possibilities, but those possibilities should shore up their weaknesses when we reach the next couple card categories.

Mothdust Changeling
Mothdust Changeling This is our 1-drop Dragon. If you’re unfamiliar with changelings, here’s your first glimpse. Mothdust Changeling is nothing compared to Flying Men, Zephyr Sprite, Wingcrafter, Jace's Phantasm, or Hypnotic Siren, but with its superpower to line up with any and every creature type, it just takes the right deck to make it shine.

Amoeboid Changeling This one is quite useful for changeling-based decks, as it lets us change anything into whatever we need it to be at the time (as far as creature types are concerned). It’s also strong against tribal decks, as we can, for example, steal away a creature’s types from it in the middle of combat, when it might have benefited from a Tribal Unity, Lord of the Unreal, or the like. In our deck, it’ll be slightly less useful, as we’ll only really want to turn our guys into Dragons, and we won’t have a lot of non-Dragons in our deck to begin with.

Fire-Belly Changeling, Woodland Changeling, and Avian Changeling These are all average to bad creatures that also happen to be tiny Dragons. Avian Changeling is just a white Wind Drake, Woodland Changeling is just a Grizzly Bears, and Fire-Belly Changeling trades in flying for a point of power when compared to Dragon Hatchling. The Hatchling may actually be better for its ability to attack with less risk (thus benefiting from some of the other Dragon attack triggers with less probability of dying), but I like the extra point of power for dealing early damage and enabling trades.

Taurean Mauler This is one of the few changelings that’s worth its slots in decks without the changeling keyword being necessary. Chameleon Colossus and Mirror Entity are two others, but I tried to lean toward red creatures that cost less than 4 and don’t take mana to use.

The Crucible and Friends

Crucible of Fire
The main reason I want to keep my changelings under 4 mana is that I want to cast Crucible of Fire on turn four. Far more powerful than Glorious Anthem or even an enhanced Divine Sacrament, the Crucible will function as a permanent Overrun, sans trample. A curve of Mothdust Changeling into Woodland Changeling into Avian Changeling into Crucible of Fire means we can attack for 14 on turn four. That’s not a ton for some formats, but we’ll have some massive creatures within the realm of fair, casual Magic.

Crux of Fate is Fate Reforged’s Dragon-themed sorcery, allowing us to Plague Wind for 3bb. There’s not much to say here, except that we probably shouldn’t be choosing to destroy Dragons with this deck.

Finally, Zirilan of the Claw is an old, interesting Dragon card. With the next section coming up, we’ll take a look at some of the more likely suspects for Zirilan’s activated ability, but having this guy out can keep our opponent on his or her toes. Note that this is our only non-Dragon in the deck, so keep Amoeboid Changeling at the ready when Crucible of Fire is on the battlefield or when casting Crux of Fate.

There are a few cards I didn’t include but that you might want to take a look at. Sarkhan Vol and Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker both are decidedly on theme and even have strong synergies. The Dragonspeaker can attack for 7 with Crucible of Fire while triggering other Dragon abilities, and Vol can let our expensive creatures attack the same turn we play them—or just make a small army of Dragons for us.

Dragonspeaker Shaman could make expensive Dragons cheaper, though we don’t have a ton of those here. Fearsome Awakening can bring dead Dragons back, but the plan is to win shortly after casting our first expensive Dragon. If Zirilan didn’t exile what he searched up, the Awakening would be more attractive. And Dragon Breath seems cool, but we ended up with only four creatures that could trigger it from our graveyard. Let’s move on and take a look at those.

Big Dragons

Dromoka, the Eternal
And here we come to the payoff. Okay, so Crucible of Fire could be plenty of payoff, but here’s some more.

Atarka, World Render If you’re familiar with Fate Reforged, you saw all these coming. Atarka’s double strike won’t be huge on our 1- and 2-power creatures, but it’s quite relevant with Crucible of Fire active. Fire-Belly Changeling’s Firebreathing (or Dragon Breath) can enhance the double strike, but it’ll be hard to put too much fire in that belly when we’re paying 5rg for Atarka that turn. Still, I want to play the whole cycle of legends, and Atarka does have plenty of potential upside when it comes to ending games.

Dromoka, the Eternal This is one of the strongest options we have. When we attack with our team, Dromoka will function basically as two thirds of a Crucible of Fire, but it’s also a 5/5 flyer, and we’ll gain its triggers all over again on the next turn. And it’s only 5 mana.

Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury I don’t think we gain a lot of from Kolaghan’s dash, unfortunately, and its attack trigger doesn’t grant any toughness. But if we have a big flying force, we can circumvent some of the opponent’s blockers and deal a bunch of damage in the air. If we tap a 2-drop to give our Mothdust Changeling flying, for example, and we attack with that, Avian Changeling, and a dashed Kolaghan, we can deal 16 damage out of basically nowhere.

Silumgar, the Drifting Death
Ojutai, Soul of Winter Ojutai can negate blockers altogether while preventing a counter-swing. Alternatively, we can turn off artifacts or just lock down our opponent’s mana. Attacking with a single Dragon might be nice, but with our tiny Dragons, we can have a virtual Torrent Elemental or Icy Blast every turn. Ojutai with changelings is reminiscent of Opposition—except we also are able to attack

Silumgar, the Drifting Death I think this one should also be quite good. Every attacking Dragon turns into a Nausea for our opponent, so the Drifting Death has the potential to just wipe out our opponent’s forces.

Utvara Hellkite And finally, here’s the card I mentioned earlier that was the prototypical Dragon-scaling card I used with changelings. This one’s is a bit of a win-more effect, and it costs the most of all our spells, but making 5/5s is potentially more fun than any of Fate Reforged’s legendary-Dragons offerings.

As a bonus, also consider Scourge of Valkas. It adds Shocks, Lightning Bolts, Flame Slashes, or Lava Axes to all our Dragons, though it is very heavy in the red department and would mean cutting something else.

Below is the decklist. Ancient Ziggurat, Cavern of Souls, Mana Confluence, and even Crucible of the Spirit Dragon will help us cast any of our Dragons, and the on-theme Dragonskull Summit offers us additional red for our enchantments or black for our sorceries.

If you love changelings, if you love Dragons, or if you just love permanent Overruns, give this deck a try.

Andrew Wilson

@Silent7Seven

fissionessence at hotmail dot com


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