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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
May 30 2013 12:07am
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Before I started working on the precons, and when the spoilers were coming out for Dragon's Maze, someone asked for a deck based around Melek.


Of course, it wasn't supposed to be just any deck:  It was supposed to be based around Dragonstorm!  It took me a while to come up with something I was happy to publish, but here it is!

Melek, Izzet Paragon
A Commander Deck
1 Anger
1 Archaeomancer
1 Balefire Dragon
1 Bogardan Hellkite
1 Hellkite Charger
1 Hellkite Igniter
1 Hellkite Tyrant
1 Hypersonic Dragon
1 Magus of the Future
1 Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
1 Rorix Bladewing
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Utvara Hellkite
15 cards

Other Spells
1 Coalition Relic
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Grim Monolith
1 Izzet Signet
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sol Ring
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Jace Beleren
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Dragon Breath
1 Future Sight
1 Soothsaying
1 Brainstorm
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Echoing Truth
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Frantic Search
1 Impulse
1 Mana Drain
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Pongify
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Seething Song
1 Starstorm
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Turnabout
1 Twincast
1 Call to Mind
1 Compulsive Research
1 Dragonstorm
1 Drain Power
1 Epic Experiment
1 Fabricate
1 Inner Fire
1 Mana Geyser
1 Mind's Desire
1 Personal Tutor
1 Ponder
1 Serum Visions
1 Spelltwine
1 Time Spiral
1 Time Warp
1 Vandalblast
47 cards

1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Cascade Bluffs
1 Command Tower
1 Coral Atoll
1 Dormant Volcano
1 Flooded Strand
1 Great Furnace
7 Island
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mystifying Maze
1 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Seat of the Synod
7 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Steam Vents
1 Strip Mine
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Temple of the False God
1 Volcanic Island
1 Wooded Foothills
37 cards

1 Melek, Izzet Paragon



Deck Tech

All right, so when I took on this challenge I knew that there were a couple of issues.  First, you can't make this a straight "spell slinger" deck.  You really need, you know, actual dragons in your deck for Dragonstorm to be any good.  Of course,  you could try and make a bunch of tokens with Empty the Warrens and play Day of the Dragons or Dragonshift (which would be cool), but I was asked to use Dragonstorm.  This means that not only do I need to make a decent Storm count, but I need dragons that can hit hard and fast.  That means that most of the dragons need haste.  And if it doesn't have haste, that dragon better bring something else worthwhile to the party.

The other problem is that most of the time, even if you bring every dragon from your deck out into play, you still can't kill the table.  That's where Time Warp comes in.  I only included one Time Walk effect, but most of the time one was enough to do the damage.  There's also Hellkite Charger's triggered ability as well, but usually you can only pull that off once.

On top of Dragonstorm, I included Epic Experiment just because I wanted to play the card.  About a third of the deck can be case off of Experiment, so occasionally it doesn't work out so great.  Just remember to cast it for no less than 9 mana, in case you end up hitting Dragonstorm.  Also, since you can create pretty decent storm counts and there are a lot of permanents in the deck Mind's Desire was included.  The fun thing is that instants and sorceries revealed by Epic Experiment are actually cast, and contribute to the storm count, which helps when you follow up with Mind's Desire.

Since you need lots of mana, I included a bunch of cheap mana rocks.  I also included some planeswalkers to help with making mana and drawing cards.  But there will be times when the top of your library is stuffed full of permanents and you have Melek out there.  That's why Future Sight and Magus of the Future are included.  Also, fetch lands are there to help you shuffle your library and get rid of unwanted cards from the top.

If you look closely, you'll see that Sensei's Divining Top is not in the list.  That's purely because I loathe the card with a passion.  I admit, the deck would be better with it in there.  I admit this is hypocritical considering the deck has Scroll Rack, which essentially does the same thing.  So add one if you got it.

niv-mizzet, dracogenius hellkite igniter

The best dragons in the deck are probably Hellkite Igniter (because you can funnel your extra mana into him and he can really hit hard) and Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius (card draw is nice).  Rorix may seem goofy, but he has haste and can hit hard.  Hellkite Tyrant is in there to try and steal mana rocks.  Of course, he could backfire if he gets stolen, but that's a risk you have to take.

Because the deck is a storm based deck, you can have some long, durdley turns without much of a payoff.  Sorry, that's just the way it has to be.  One tip for playing the deck:  Never try and grab all the dragons from your deck unless you are sure you can win RIGHT THEN.  If you have to wait a turn and someone Wrath's then removes your graveyard, you're screwed.  I always tried to leave at least 2 or 3 dragons in my deck even if I could Dragonstorm for all of them.  You will have plenty of games where you don't Dragonstorm, and instead turn into a dragon beat down deck.  Be prepared to change plans on the go.

Problems for the deck include mana issues, occasional lack of card draw and cards that tax you for playing stuff, like Grand Arbiter Augustin IV.  And then sometimes you'll get going with a decent storm count, hoping to find something, and just sputter out due to not having enough Blue mana or something.  But that's mainly because I'm not patient enough to set up "the perfect turn."  If you're a true combo player you'll probably do a better job at piloting the deck than I would.

Finally, don't forget that Hypersonic Dragon allows you to Dragonstorm during an opponent's turn!  Good times.  I also managed to Drain Power someone during their upkeep to keep them from re-casting Maelstrom Wanderer, and used the mana I gained to flash out Bogardan Hellkite for extra measure (Hi Josh!).  Tons o fun.

Game 1

In this game, I do pretty much everything right that I need to even though Melek got tucked with Spell Crumple the first time I tried to play him.  Obviously I had to take out the Grand Arbiter player first, because I can't handle his taxing ability.  I manage to Mana Drain his miracle'd Temporal Mastery, and use the mana to get out a quick Dragonstorm for a couple dragons.  He has an answer for my pumped Hellkite Igniter once, but not twice, and I finish him off.

epic experiment

After that I have a big turn where I Epic Experiment for a lot, which turns into a Mind's Desire for a bunch and fill my board and Time Warp.  Even with the extra turn all I can do is hurt the Emmara and Teneb players a lot, and can't finish them off.  Emmara Oblivion Rings my Hellkite Charger, and Teneb casts Tooth and Nail but can't entwine it.  However, I draw Archaeomancer on my turn.  All I have to do to win is bring back the Time Warp from my graveyard and cast it, but I don't, instead going for the Hellkite Charger win and not having enough mana to do so.  Bad mistake.  I'm able to kill off Emmara, but not Teneb, who quickly casts Day of Judgment to wipe my board.

After that it's just me durdling around and drawing nothing while Teneb beats me down for the win.  I made several mistakes this game (one of which was not killing the Teneb player first), but it shows that the deck can do what it needs to do.  A better player would have won here.

Game 2

This is a game where everyone else beat up on each other, and I swooped in for the win.  The Ezuri player wasn't super cut throat, but managed to knock down the Bladewing player while Bladewing was mana hosed.  Doran used Bitterblossom and Skullclamp to draw a ton of cards and hit Ezuri since elves can get nuts quickly.  I got value out of Melek by doubling up on Frantic Search and Pongify.  The Bladewing player used Insidious Dreams to help him with his mana problems, but it didn't look like it was going to be enough.  I used Hellkite Igniter to knock the Doran player pretty low after he Skullclamped away all his flying faerie tokens.

Eventually I was in the 30's, and everyone besides Ezuri was below 10.  I had cast a couple of hasty dragons to take out the Doran and Bladewing players.  Ezuri had no way to stop my flying assault and conceded.

Sometimes you just gotta be a dragon beat down deck.

Game 3

Rith bailed early in this game, and Avacyn was going to have problems with Animar's protection abilities.  The Animar player got a turn 2 animar, turn 3 Master Biomancer, then on turn 4 used Bloodbraid Elf to fill the board with dudes.  He attacked me that turn, then on the next turn followed things up with Ruric Thar and more beats, hurting Avacyn.  Avacyn managed to clear the board with Austere Command, but not before dropping to around 10.

This gave me enough time to set up Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius to kill Animar when he came back out, but I forgot that Avacyn had cast Linvala.  Animar started ticking away at Avacyn's life total despite a Sunblast Angel to slow him down.  When Avacyn was down to 3 he had internet problems and disconnected.  Luckily my dragons after that were big enough to beat down on Animar.

I'm not going to lie and tell you this is the BEST DECK EVVAAAHHH!!!  But it was fun to play even if it was out of my comfort zone.  Yes, there were times I felt like I was just durdling along hoping to draw into something cool, but most of the time it was worth it.  Plus, I liked attacking with dragons.  Who doesn't?

Hope you guys liked this.  I was happy to get away from the precons.  Next week I'm going to cover another Commander with Red in it.  Stay tuned!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale 32 at yahoo dot com



I really should have played by JXClaytor at Thu, 05/30/2013 - 00:14
JXClaytor's picture

I really should have played that game differently rather than trying to spread the damage out.

Haha! I don't remember if by Leviathan at Thu, 05/30/2013 - 10:29
Leviathan's picture

Haha! I don't remember if this was our first game together, or our third. If it was the third, you should have known what was coming...

It was our first, I had been by JXClaytor at Thu, 05/30/2013 - 16:19
JXClaytor's picture

It was our first, I had been watching some :D