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Goldfish Gladiators: Five-Color Dragons (Standard, Magic Arena)


Welcome to Goldfish Gladiators! Ever since Core Set 2019 was released, Dragons have been one of the favorite tribes to play in Standard. They offer good removal, ramp, card draw, and finishers, which makes them a powerful option in Standard. Most commonly, Dragon decks are Grixis to take advantage of Nicol Bolas, the Ravager and Niv-Mizzet, Parun, but what happens if you just play all of the sweet Dragons and go five colors? That's what we are going to find out today! We played Five-Color Dragons a while ago, back before rotation and the release of Guilds of Ravnica, but we get a couple of big updates and improvements thanks to Guilds of Ravnica itself. Can a five-color deck compete in Standard without access to all the shock lands? How many Dragons is too many? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Goldfish Gladiators: Five-Color Dragons (Standard)

Discussion

  • All in all, we played five matches with Five-Color Dragons and ended up going 3-2, which is pretty reasonable. The deck tends to feast on midrange and control strategies (along with Izzet Drakes), but we lost a close one to Mono-Red Aggro and randomly got blown out by a Nullhide Ferox in a Selesnya deck running a surprising number of non-creature spells. 
  • Otherwise, there isn't a whole lot to say about the deck. The plan is to cast huge, powerful Dragons turn after turn, hopefully starting on Turn 4, and do this until our opponent gives up or gets beaten down. 
  • Sarkhan, Fireblood and Dragon's Hoard are the two cards that make the deck work—in fact, we might be too dependent on drawing these cards to fix our mana and ramp us. Things tend to go really well when we have a Sarkhan, Fireblood or Dragon's Hoard on Turn 3, but we do struggle in games when we don't draw either. 
  • The two big additions to the deck from Guilds of Ravnica are Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Deafening Clarion. Niv-Mizzet, Parun is likely the best Dragon in Standard, and while it can be hard to cast, with a focus on playing red and blue dual lands and the help of Dragon's Hoard and Sarkhan, Fireblood, it usually isn't too much of a problem. Meanwhile, Deafening Clarion gives us an early-game sweeper that turns into a huge amount of lifegain in the late game, since all of our Dragons survive three damage. It's essential to staying alive against aggro and then eventually puts the game away by gaining us 10 or more life by giving our team lifelink.
  • The one thing I disliked about the deck was the three non-Island, non-Mountain basic lands. In theory, we can tutor them up when we get hit by Field of Ruin, but in practice, they just made the deck clunky. Cutting them for more shocks or check lands is a good plan.
  • The biggest downside of the deck on Arena is that it costs about a million wildcards (actually, 14 mythics and 37 rares), which makes it difficult to build if you don't already have a pretty big collection. Thankfully, a lot of the key cards are used in other decks (like Niv-Mizzet, Parun, Nicol Bolas, the Ravager, Sarkhan, Fireblood, and all of the dual lands), so many of your wildcards are going toward cards that you'll want to have in your collection even if you don't play Five-Color Dragons as your primary deck. 
  • In sum, Five-Color Dragons is one of my favorite decks to play in Standard. While it does lose to itself sometimes thanks to its ambitious mana and all of the expensive Dragons, it's also one of the most powerful decks in Standard when it runs smoothly. It should also improve this winter, when the rest of the shock lands join the format, making the five-color mana base even more consistent! If you've got wildcards to blow and like smashing face and drawing cards with massive fliers, keep it in mind. It's a blast to play and pretty competitive to boot, even despite losing to itself on occasion!

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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