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The Top Ten Legendary Dragons for Commander

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This is the second top 10 list I've put together to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

My first, which you can read here, was a look at the top 10 non-Legendary Dragons in Commander. Last May, Abe Sargent wrote about the top 10 Elder Dragons for Commander, so in the interest of minimizing overlap, today's column is going to focus on Legndary non-Elder Dragons in Commander. That means a number of Dragonlords and Ancient Dragons won't be included because they've already been covered. You can read Abe's column here.

Honorable Mention

Before I begin, it's worth including a few honorable mentions. All of these could easily have been put into my top 10, and might be in your list if you were to make one.

Niv-Mizzet Reborn
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Atarka, World Render

Niv-Mizzet Reborn was a last minute swap out of the top 10. This 5-color Dragon Avatar has more powerful predecessors and gives you a huge incentive to build around cards with two-color color identities. Any enter-the-battlefield loop will let you draw every two-color card in your deck, but it can also be a lot of fun to just play fair and see how much value you can get with flicker and blink spells. It's a fun deck-building challenge whether you're building a combo deck or a more casual deck.

Kokusho, the Evening Star is a fantastic combo piece, with a death trigger that has each opponent lose 5 life and gaining you life equal to the life lost this way. In the early days of Commander, Kokusho was actually banned in Commander until 2012. Life gain is a huge advantage if you're up against decks trying to win through combat damage, so at the right table a good Kokusho deck can still present a very real threat.

My last honorable mention goes to Atarka, World Render, a 5/5 Dragon with flying and trample and a powerful attack trigger. Whenever a Dragon you control attacks, it gains double-strike until end of turn. Dragon decks can unleash a ton of damage and Atarka will make it twice as easy to clear the table, but it comes with a hefty seven mana casting cost. If your commander eats a few removal spells and commander tax may become a real problem.

Top 10 Legendary Non-Elder Dragon Commanders

Without Elder Dragons in the mix, this list may feel like it's missing some obvious choices, but all of these Dragons can present a real threat to win a game of Commander and some of them can just crush tables even in high power metas.

10. Niv-Mizzet Parun

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius and Niv-Mizzet, Parun are all powerful variations on a single theme - a Legendary Izzet (ur) Dragon Wizard that cares about drawing cards and dealing damage. They put you in colors that let you interact on the stack and both Firemind and Parun combo with a number of well known cards including Curiosity, Ophidian Eye and Tandem Lookout.

Niv-Mizzet, Parun

The combo you are usually digging for will have you draw a card and have Niv-Mizzet, Parun deal 1 damage to an opponent. Your combo piece will then reward you for that damage with card draw, which will trigger Niv again, creating a damage/draw loop that lets you kill the table. You're in blue, so you can protect your commander and play defense until you're able to dig to your wincon. You also get card draw whenever a player casts an instant or sorcery spell, and that includes your own spells.

This can be a very strong deck but in my experience it seems to always play out the same way. I personally like this combo, but more as a backup plan for a deck that has other ways to win. I don't love decks that are always trying to do the same thing every game.

9. Old Gnawbone

My next pick takes us from a Dragon with abilities perfectly fitted to its colors, to a legendary Dragon that feels like a bit of a color pie break. Green has the fewest number of flyers by a very long shot, as well as the fewest number of flying Dragons, but this next pick is a high costed legendary flying Dragon with an outrageous ability!

Old Gnawbone

Old Gnawbone would be amazing if it created seven Treasure tokens when it dealt combat damage, but this 7/7 flying Dragon gives all of your creatures that ability. I don't know what they were thinking when they brewed up this design, but Old Gnawbone might be the best Green flyer ever printed.

8. Klauth, Unrivaled Ancient

Not to be outdone, my next pick is a Gruul (rg) Dragon that doesn't even need you to deal combat damage to make mana. In this case you won't get Treasure tokens, but you will get mana that you can use in your second main phase.

Klauth, Unrivaled Ancient

Whenever Klauth, Unrivaled Ancient attacks, you add X mana in any combination of colors where X is the total power of attacking creatures. You can only use this mana to cast spells, and you don't lose it as steps and phases end, so you can use it in your second main phase. Is Klauth better because you don't have to deal combat damage? Is it worse because you're not getting Treasure tokens? I could see solid arguments either way, but being in Red gives you access to a lot more cards and a lot more Dragons so Klauth narrowly edged out Old Gnawbone for the eighth spot in my list.

7. Tiamat

For my seventh spot I'm back to another 5-color legendary Dragon, and this one happens to be a God. I never built around this commander, but Tiamat's ability is undeniably powerful and in five colors you can brew him in a bunch of different directions.

Tiamat

When Tiamat enters the battlefield, if you cast it you get to tutor up five other Dragons. I think the best plan would probably be to abandon all pretenses of "playing fair" and just dig to a combo to make infinite mana. Then when you tutor up your five draconic buddies you'll have the mana to cast them. It shouldn't be difficult to find five Dragons that can win you the game. If you don't make loads of mana, Tiamat gets a lot weaker, as you'll probably be playing out a Dragon each turn and hoping for the best. That's fine too, but it's definitely a lower powered approach to building around this card.

6. Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

Did you know that it only takes 10 poison counters to kill a player in Magic? That's true across all formats, even in Commander, and if your playgroup suggests that it should be changed to some other number, you might want to suggest they run more interaction. That said, this next legendary Dragon has played no small part in getting players to overreact to poison counters since it was printed back in 2010 in Scars of Mirrodin.

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, also known as "Skittles" is a 4/4 flying Dragon with infect. It costs 3bb but for an extra Black mana it can gain haste, and for two Black mana it can be regenerated. Skittles can be a deadly 1 v 1 commander, but in multiplayer games you'll usually manage to kill one or two players before getting hated off the table. Nobody wants to be the next player to die from poison counters so tablemates will often gang up on you. Is this card a little too high on the list? Very few commanders that aren't known combo enablers will get the sort of reaction you'll get when you reveal that you have Skithiryx at the head of your deck, so that's why I'm listing it so high. From here on out you'll be seeing some truly degenerate Dragons.

5. The Ur-Dragon

My next pick could easily be placed at the top of this list. Not unlike Edgar Markov, which is still the single most powerful Vampire commander in the format, this next card was the best pick to lead a five-color casual Dragon deck for years. Eminence, which functions both on the battlefield and out of the command zone, is one of the most broken abilities Wizards of the Coast has ever dreamed up. You can't remove a card from the Command zone, so Eminence is one of the few things you've got no way to deal with.

The Ur-Dragon

The Ur-Dragon's Eminence ability is relatively tame. Other Dragon spells cost 1 less to cast. This Dragon Avatar has flying and a 10/10 body, so if you can get it onto the battlefield you've got a real threat to kill someone with commander damage. Whenever one or more Dragons you control attack, you'll draw that many cards and you may put a permanent card from your hand onto the battlefield. Card draw is very powerful. Playing a big permanent spell - probably a Dragon - for free is also powerful. The biggest problem is the fact that the format has sped up in recent years. I expect that a nine-mana 10/10 will just get less and less playable outside of lower powered "battlecruiser" metas as the format continues to evolve and speed up.

4. Scion of the Ur-Dragon

Years before we ever saw The Ur-Dragon on a Magic Card, a Dragon that referenced it flew circles around other decks for years. This Dragon Avatar shares The Ur-Dragon's wubrg identity but plays a very different, and much deadlier game.

Scion of the Ur-Dragon

Scion of the Ur-Dragon is a 4/4 flying Dragon Avatar with a pretty neat party trick. For two mana, you can Entomb a Dragon and Scion becomes a copy of that card until end of turn. The key to using this ability is knowing that you can hold priority after activating its ability and activate it a second time. Back in the day it was a big deal to play Scion of the Ur-Dragon, use its Entomb ability to get Moltensteel Dragon and Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, and kill someone out of nowhere with 10 infect. You first make Scion into Moltensteel Dragon, you pay life (phyrexian Red mana) to pump its power up to 10, then you turn Scion into Skithiryx, pay a Black mana to give it haste, and you kill someone that doesn't have a blocker.

If that doesn't impress you, that's understandable. A lot has happened and a lot of powerful cards have come out since Scion was a regular problem at commander tables. Still, you are in five colors and Scion of the Ur-Dragon can be turned into the Dragon part of any combo involving a Dragon. You're in wubrg so you can run tutors to go get the other pieces easily enough. Scion of the Ur-Dragon may no longer be the scariest Dragon to see across the table from you, but it has a place in the history of this format and can still be a powerful general for a five color Dragon deck.

3. Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

As we near the top of my Top 10 list we're going to see more Dragons that can just win the game out of nowhere with the right combo piece. For this and the next spot that combo piece is Food Chain. That old Green enchantment works with a short list of creatures that can be cast out of exile to generate infinite mana.

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Food Chain mana can only be used to cast creatures, but that isn't a problem for Prossh, Skyraider of Kher. You're in Black so you can tutor for your combo pieces. After making infinite mana with Food Chain combo, you use Food Chain to loop Prossh. When you cast Prossh, you'll create X Kobolds of Kher Keep where X is the amount of mana spent to cast him. They are just 0/1 Red Kobold creature tokens, but Prossh lets you sacrifice another creature to get +1/+0 until end of turn. For years Food Chain Prossh was considered a competitive deck on the cEDH decklist database and would regularly crush tables that weren't prepared to deal with him.

2. Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Food Chain has had a series of commanders that were seen as the optimal pairing for cEDH play and in recent years my next pick had a turn in that role.

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King may not give you creature tokens when it enters the battlefield, but it does provide a source of card draw that triggers whenever you sacrifice a permanent. The current top cEDH build for Korvold is a turbo Ad Nauseam build. In the era of Treasure tokens it makes sense that a card like Korvold would thrive, and top builds look to use Dockside Extortionist to draw their deck and win off of an assortment of two and three card combos. If all else fails, you can easily make Korvold into a huge flying combat threat and maybe even kill players off with commander damage. Even a more casual Korvold list, not designed to compete at cEDH tables, can be extremely challenging to play against. A focus on Treasures and force-sacrifice cards like Fleshbag Marauder and Grave Pact can position Korvold to be a real problem.

1. Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm

My top spot goes to a Dragon Spirit that showed up in 2022 but hasn't seemed to break into cEDH play yet. It happens to be absurdly difficult for any new card to see serious cEDH play, but this last card has proven to be incredibly powerful and versatile.

Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm

Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm is a Temur (gur) Dragon Spirit with flying and ward 2. Whenever another nontoken Dragon enters the battlefield under your control, you get to create a token that's a copy of that creature, except the token isn't legendary if that Dragon is legendary. That might not sound all that impressive, but if you read my recent top 10 list of non-Legendary Dragons, you'll know there is a lot you can do with Miirym.

If you want to keep things relatively tame you might think about how much noncombat damage you could push out to your opponents with matching sets of Scourge of Valkas or Terror of the Peaks on the battlefield. A nontoken and a token Lathliss, Dragon Queen might do a nice job of pumping out 5/5 Dragon tokens at an alarming rate. A pair of mana producers like Savage Ventmaw, Old Gnawbone or Klauth, Unrivaled Ancient can power you into some pretty big plays.

Miirym decks benefit from having Miirym enter the battlefield so you'll want to run flicker effects and combos like Deadeye Navigator and Peregrine Drake. You'll make infinite mana and then flicker one of your other Dragons infinitely, making a huge copy of token Dragons. If they've got haste you can probably just swing for the win.

Token doublers like Parallel Lives and Doubling Season can go a long way toward creating a ridiculous board, and if you just want to do a few backflips on the way to the finish line you can throw in Astral Dragon. When Astral Dragon enters the battlefield you can make a Dragon token that is a copy of target noncreature permanent. If you copy a token doubler you'll need to prepare yourself to do a little math. Those Dragon token copies of your token doubler will let you create even more tokens.

You can look up Miirym combos on EDHRec.com or on commanderspelltable.com. Even if you're trying to build a "fair" Mirrym deck, to some extent you'll be playing Dragons on easy mode. There's nothing wrong with easy mode, and if your playgroup is playing at a high level you might need a powerful commander like Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm just to keep up with them.


If you're a regular reader you might be wondering why some of my favorite dragons are missing from this list. This past Monday I shared my personal top 10 ways I'm going to be celebrating the Year of the Dragon and that list included a number of cards that otherwise might have been put on this list. I'm not sure Ramos, Dragon Engine or Lathliss, Dragon Queen are truly worthy of being in an objective list of the greatest Legendary Dragons in Commander. Putting them in my Monday column let me sing their praises without having them take up a space in today's list.

If you enjoy my work you can find my weekly column every Monday on this great website, along with the occasional extra article that might pop up on a different day.

Thanks for reading!

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