Preorder MTG Innistrad Midnight Hunt today!
   Sign In
Create Account

Tiamat, the Fiend


Unlike many Magic players who are enjoying the new set Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, I've never really been a Dungeons and Dragons player. In fact, I'm only just now getting involved with a game for the first time ever only in the past few weeks (not including the beginner game me and a friend did together back in middle school). As such, most of the cards that are showing up in the set aren't resonating with me the way they would with other players. There was one, however, who immediately stood out to me strongly: Tiamat.


You see, despite my lack of experience with Dungeons and Dragons, many other RPGs, in both tabletop and video games, borrowed quite a bit from the classic game. This was clear in none other than one of the most premiere RPG video game series in the world: Final Fantasy. Tiamat has shown up throughout the series from time to time, or at least a dragon of sorts in name only. I'll never forget my first time playing the original game, though, where she is one of the game's primary bosses as the Fiend of Wind. That's no surprise since, as Commander content creator Shivam Bhatt pointed out on Twitter, the game was basically a glorified DnD campaign in many ways!

As such, it made sense to make some really sweet Commander decks with the queen of the fiends (and of dragons) herself. Let's start first with a more budgetary version:

Budget Tiamat | Commander | Kendra Smith

The basis for this list was the ill-fated Commander 2017 deck Draconic Domination, which you can find here if you want to see the original. The deck was actually a somewhat decent entry to a dragon tribal deck and gave us one of the best dragon commanders in Magic: The Ur-Dragon. The biggest issue the deck had, though, was clearly the mana base, which was insultingly bad. Couple it with a few odd choices and there's plenty of room for improvement!

Last week I talked about five-color mana bases and showed off a couple setups. For this list, we're using the first of the two lists included, as it makes a solid level up without breaking the bank too hard. From there, we can slip in some replacement cards. Orator of Ojutai, Taigam, Ojutai Master, Spellbound Dragon, O-Kagachi, Ryusei, the Falling Star... there are some pretty middle-of-the-road choices that don't do quite so well in a lot of dedicated dragon builds like this. Thankfully, though, there have been a lot of great cards that have come out in the last couple years.

Scion of Draco
Kaalia, Zenith Seeker
Dragon's Hoard

It might actually surprise you that cards like Leyline Tyrant, Lathliss, Dragon Queen, Amareth, the Lustrous, and Drakuseth, Maw of Flames are pretty affordable options! Heck, even Scion of Draco - a new mythic from Modern Horizons 2 - is good enough to slip in here, and easily buffs your creatures as well. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker is an excellent way to find what you need on the cheap and even Kaalia of the Vast - while still around the $18 mark - is a lot more reasonable than she used to be. There's also a ton of great new mana rocks that have come out since the original decklist, making it so there's plenty of decent budgetary upgrades to make the deck a bit more cohesive.

Now let's kick it up several notches for those looking for something with a little more oomph!

Revamped Tiamat | Commander | Kendra Smith

This list is rocking a lot more powerhouse cards in an attempt to push dragon tribal to its limits. A lot of the same things are present, but you get the best mana dorks around, a much more stable mana base, and powerful cards like Urza's Incubator, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, and Morophon, the Boundless. All of these help get your giant monstrosities down with ease. That's not to say anything of slipping in powerhouses like Old Gnawbone, Balefire Dragon, Goldspan Dragon, and even Nicol Bolas, the Ravager.

Morophon, the Boundless
Old Gnawbone
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

As with all Commander decks, you don't have to follow this one quite to a tee, but it should provide a solid foundation of what you can look to for ideas to build your own deck. For example, I originally had Numot, the Devastator in this list, but took it out both due to space and the card being generally unfun to play against. However, sometimes you do find yourself in a meta where you really need to blow up some powerful lands, and that's where card choices like this can really come into play. Make the deck your own and have fun with it!

There's no shortage of dragons in Magic. The game's nearly thirty years old now, and dragons have been a tremendously integral part of it in that time. Whichever ones you choose, there's no doubt that you'll make great use of them under the Dragon Queen's wings. Give one of these lists a try at your next Commander game and burn your enemies to a crisp!

Kendra Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: Kendra Smith

Limited time 35% buy trade in bonus buylist