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Against the Odds: The Greediest Dragon Deck: Smaug Combo


Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds! The other day, I was messing around on Magic Arena and ended up building the greediest Dragon deck, built around the greediest Dragon: Smaug! In the world of Lord of the Rings, Smaug is known to be the biggest and greediest Dragon around, living on a mountain of Treasure and gold it's hoarded over the years. In Magic, Smaug didn't technically get a card in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, but the story of Smaug is represented on the Saga There and Back Again, with the final lore counter making Smaug—a legendary 6/6 flying, hasty Dragon that makes a massive 14 Treasures when it dies! And we've built around this card today. But we're not just doing normal things with Smaug; we're looking to use it as a combo piece to make an absurd number of Smaugs or of another creature on the battlefield, with the help of one of my favorite Commander cards that I forgot even existed on Magic Arena: Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer! What happens if you try to build the greediest Smaug deck ever? Let's find out on today's Against the Odds!

Against the Odds: Smaug Combo

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The Deck

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There and Back Again is a unique saga. Its first level is almost useless. The second one is good but also a super-odd color-pie break by ramping a Mountain directly to the battlefield, which is something red normally doesn't get to do. Finally, the third lore counter offers the big payoff: Smaug. Smaug's a legendary 6/6 flying, hasty Dragon that (most importantly) makes a massive 14 Treasures when it dies, which is an absurd amount of mana! While we don't really care too much about the first two levels of There and Back Again, we care a lot about the last one, with the deck's goal being to win in hilarious fashion the turn when Smaug hits the battlefield!

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So, how do we turn Smaug—a single 6/6 flying Dragon—into a game-ending combo piece? With the help of Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer! Brudiclad is a super-unique card. It gives all of our creature tokens haste, makes a 2/1 Myr token at the beginning of combat on our turn, and then lets us turn all of the tokens we control into a copy of a token we control. This last ability does some really unique and interesting things with our greedy Dragon Smaug. In fact, we have two very different plans for winning with the combo of Brudiclad and Smaug.

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The simplest way to win with Brudiclad and Smaug is Mirror Box. Since Smaug is legendary, it's actually sort of a non-bo with Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer. If we turn all of our tokens into copies of Smaug, all but one will die. We will get a ridiculous amount of Treasure, but that's about it. However, the equation changes if we add Mirror Box to the mix. Mirror Box makes it so the legend rule doesn't apply to our permanents, which means we can have any number of Smaugs on the battlefield.

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Our deck is overflowing with cards that make tokens. Seasoned Pyromancer and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker keep us churning through our deck to find our combo pieces while also adding tokens to the battlefield, while Unexpected Windfall and Big Score draw us cards while also adding two Treasures to the battlefield, which help us ramp into Brudiclad and There and Back Again. As such, one of the most straightforward ways our deck can win is by just adding a bunch of tokens to the battlefield, getting Smaug, and then playing Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer to turn all of our random Elemental, Goblin, and Treasure tokens into copies of Smaug for the most hilarious and greediest beatdown possible.

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The other way we can win with Smaug is to avoid playing Mirror Box and intentionally make multiple Smaugs so they will legend rule and leave behind a huge pile of Treasures. We can do this by either playing two copies of There and Back Again or, more commonly, using Cackling Counterpart or Mythos of Illuna to copy Smaug directly. With a Smaug on the battlefield, Cackling Counterpart and Mythos of Illuna turn into absurd rituals. Take Cackling Counterpart, for example. We spend three mana to copy Smaug. It legend rules, and we make 14 Treasures, essentially turning our three mana into 14! We can then spend seven mana to flash back Cackling Counterpart, legend rule Smaug again, and make 14 more Treasures!

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Along with giving us endless mana, this also gives us a hilarious number of tokens on the battlefield for Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer. Once we have 20 or 30 tokens on the battlefield, Brudiclad is basically an instant win. At worst, we can turn all of our tokens into 2/1 Myr and beat our opponent down for lethal, although our funniest kills involve Mythos of Illuna since it can make a token copy of any permanent on the battlefield. This means we can copy our opponent's best creature and then use Brudiclad to turn all of our tokens into copies of that creature and then swing for lethal. Oh yeah, the Goblin token from Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is also a pretty good Brudiclad target, especially if we aren't in a position to win the game. We can turn all of our tokens into Goblins, attach with all the Goblins to make a ton of Treasures, and then turn those Treasures into something else with Brudiclad the following turn!

Matchups and Odds

While Smaug Combo offers some of the most hilarious and unique combo kills we've seen in quite a while, is the deck good? Not exactly. It has one big problem: it's super slow. Just think about There and Back Again, our key Smaug-making combo piece. It costs five mana; then, even once we get it on the battlefield, we need to wait two more turns to actually make Smaug. Once we get Smaug, we're pretty likely to win the game, but even with our best draws, this isn't happening until Turn 6 or so. Combine this with the fact that our deck doesn't play much removal or interaction—instead, it's overloaded with combo pieces, card draw, and token makers—and if we run into combo or dedicated aggro, there's a pretty good chance we'll die before Smaug ever hits the battlefield. So, no, you shouldn't run out and spend your wildcards on Smaug and Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer if your goal is to rank up. The deck will pick up some wins and do it in style, but overall, it's too slow to be truly competitive. But that's fine. The deck's goal isn't to win as much as possible; it's to do the most hilarious and greedy things possible with Smaug, which it did super well!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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