Commander Venture 1 - Red & Blue Dragons

Commander Venture Banner Red and Blue Dragons

Today I’m going to go over my choice of commander deck for this year's Commander Venture. For this first run, I wanted to pick something familiar, and as I had been running Niv-Mizzet in one form or another for YEARS, I thought it only fitting to choose the other Red Blue Dragon deck that came out this year: Draconic Dissent from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate. The deck has two main themes with an interesting subtheme I noticed that really made me want to pick the deck.  Here's the full list.


The obvious theme is the big D, DRAGONS, showcased with the box legend Firkraag, Cunning Instigator. This deck has a whopping 13 dragons, these beefy creatures all have interesting effects and BIG power. This not only makes them a threat on the battlefield, but most of them have “Enter the battlefield” effects that make the more expensive mana costs worth the cast.

Firkraag, Cunning Instigator {3}{U}{R} Legendary Creature — Dragon  Flying, haste  Whenever one or more Dragons you control attack an opponent, goad target creature that player controls.  Whenever a creature deals combat damage to one of your opponents, if that creature had to attack this combat, you put a +1/+1 counter on Firkraag, Cunning Instigator and you draw a card.  3/3 Illustrated by Andrew Mar

The second and, I believe, main theme is the Goad ability showcased with the “secondary” legend Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer. Baeloth is accompanied by the background Clan Crafter. While the dragons are a big part of the deck, the Goad ability which reads “Goaded creature attacks each combat if able and attacks a player other than you if able” and the heavy hitters of the dragons with some well placed spells like Curse of Opulence lead to a scary and fairly interesting combat phase. The combination of Angler Turtle, Propaganda, and Pursued Whale seems particularly interesting. Giving my opponents creatures with the Whale, forcing them to attack with the Turtle and seeing how each opponent reacts to the propaganda in that situation seems like loads of fun!

Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer {4}{R} Legendary Creature — Elf Shaman  Creatures your opponents control with power less than Baeloth Barrityl’s power are goaded. (They attack each combat if able and attack a player other than you if able.)  Whenever a goaded attacking or blocking creature dies, you create a Treasure token.  Choose a Background (You can have a Background as a second commander.)  2/5 Illustrated by Joshua Raphael

An interesting thing I noticed about this deck is that it only has 3 multicolored creatures, Firkraag, Spirit Dragon, and Niv-Mizzet the Parun. I think the designer added Niv and Spirit Dragon to the list knowing that they are popular UR cards and give me hope that I can use this deck as a good base for a spellslinger super synergistic deck that I’m used to down the line. However with only 10 instant / sorcery spells and none of them being cantrips like Ponder, I’ll have a way to go to get that kind of game plan going.

Niv-Mizzet, Parun {U}{U}{U}{R}{R}{R} Legendary Creature — Dragon Wizard  This spell can’t be countered.  Flying  Whenever you draw a card, Niv-Mizzet, Parun deals 1 damage to any target.  Whenever a player casts an instant or sorcery spell, you draw a card.  5/5 Illustrated by Svetlin Velinov

In the 2-card Collector Booster Sample Pack I opened an extended art Ravenloft Adventurer, and a showcase Sarevok, Deathbringer. I don’t normally play Black and both of these cards seem a little underwhelming, but that’s kind of a point to this experiment, to use what I get and to strategize within the limitations set. I could especially see Sarevok being used in some sort of Stacks strategy, but we’ll see what fate has in store for me.
Overall I think this deck is a very interesting start for this Venture! It’ll be fun to see what sticks with this list of cards over time and to see how the deck evolves as I add more cards to the pool. I foresee a ton of games being derailed due to players not expecting the “Goad” mechanic, and I’m looking forward to opening more products to see which of the strategies in the deck really take off!