Modern is a 60 card constructed format that gets a lot of hate. Most of it, however, derives from the expense that is attached to it. A lot of the staples, such as fetch lands, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Stoneforge Mystic, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, Karn Liberated, Force of Negation, to name a few, are quite pricey. This is especially due to needing multiple copies or a playset to get the most value out of them. This price tag of Modern often drives players away and either keep them playing Standard or shifting interest to EDH due to how much cheaper it is for causal and beginner players. However, I would like to use this article series to highlight some of the cheaper deck options that can pack a punch. Of course some of the decks I highlight won’t be under $100, but you will end up with format staples, meaning the more expensive decks will become a lot cheaper! Hopefully, more people will consider giving Modern a go because I feel it is a format that houses some unique deck archetypes that get overshadowed due to the costly metagame. I love playing these obscure and inexpensive decks as they are light on the wallet and are super fun to play at a tournament. I’m hoping to make this a series that puts decks into a well needed limelight to help get popularirty for them and more people checking out Modern. So today, let’s take a look at Skred Dragons!
So, you’re probably sitting there thinking; “Hayden, what the hell is Skred Dragons? Are you making this up?” and surprisingly it is a real deck. Skred Dragons is a newly updated verion of Skred. Skred is an old deck of Modern, it’s been around for a while. Skred is a mono-red control deck that controls the board by using a lot of removal to clean the board in order to land big threats to steal the game. The deck gets its name from the signature card of the deck: Skred. Skred is a 1 red instant that deals damage to target creature equal to the number of snow permanents you control. So, you guessed it, this is a deck that cares about snow permanents. It also runs Scrying Sheets to help get lands off the top of your deck, acting as a sort of card draw and ramp, meaning you’re more than likely going to draw into gas! Skred also runs classic removal such as Lightning Bolt, Anger of the Gods, and Koth of the Hammer to help apply pressure and for his game-ending ult. Sadly, Skred began to fade into Modern obscurity with faster and stronger decks taking over the meta. However, the release of M19 helped to give Skred a well overdue makeover and push; making it stronger than ever!
Old School beats with New school cards
Skred, while still, a snow land focused, creature removal deck at heart, has now got a dragon theme in the deck. Sarkhan, Fireblood from M19 is a 3 mana Planeswalker that helps boost the power and consistency of the deck. With + abilities that allow you to loot and add mana to cast dragon spells to help to get to his ult that drops four 5/5 Dragons onto the field. Yikes. It is here with Sarkhan that Skred became a deck oriented around dragons. Alongside Sarkhan, Fireblood we run a pair Chandra, Torch of Defiance because she is one the greatest planeswalkers in Modern. The fact that she has 4 abilities, 2 of them being + that grant you so much resource is insane. With both her and Sarkhan giving you a collective 4 mana, you can cast your big dragons for cheap! The similar play style of controlling the board with removal spells and using Scrying Sheets to dig through your deck is still at this decks heart. However, the ability to begin dropping a bunch of powerful dragons with Haste helps to close the game out quickly. To help with controlling the board, the deck mainboards two Ratchet Bomb and a playset of Blood Moon to hose down multi-colored heavy decks alongside its hefty removal package. The bonus of running dragons means we get to run Draconic Roar; a fantastic card that most of the time ends being a bolt for both the opponent and their creature.
Big dragon goes roar
The dragons that we run in our deck are mostly 5 mana. Being so costly, the creatures we run must have haste to make up for their mana cost. Otherwise, if they get targeted by removal, it’ll feel a lot worse if we didn’t get to attack with them first. The best Dragon in this deck is Stormbreath Dragon. Not only is this a 4/4 flying with Haste and Monstrosity 3 for 7 mana, but he has Protection from White. This is huge in Modern as it means that people can no longer keep that cheeky 1 white mana up to path your creature. I cannot tell you how good it feels to drop one of these bad boys against a Control player and watching their face drop as they realize they can’t Path to Exile it. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dragon deck if we didn’t run the scourge of 2017 Standard; Glorybringer. Man, I love this card. It’s just so good. Glorybringer attacks for 4 on the turn you play it and you can exert him to deal 4 damage to any non-dragon creature. I can guarantee you that you will be the only player with Dragons so Glorybringer will kill pretty much anything the turn you play it. The deck also runs Thundermaw Hellkite and Thunderbreak Regent. Both of these are fine options as they still get damage on the board, but they are situational. Thunderbreak Regent is great against decks with a lot of removal whilst Thundermaw Hellkite is fantastic against Spirits who seek to go wide with their flyers. I am very intrigued by M21’s Terror of the Peaks which I feel will fit perfectly in this deck. While it may not have haste, its’ abilities more than make up for it.
I’ve piloted this deck for a year or so now and I have had great success with it. It is very strong against creature decks, consistently wiping their board clean each turn and setting for huge plays and winning as soon as you stick big threats. Winning with big dragons and Lightning Bolts, playing Magic just how Richard Garfield intended! I also cannot describe the feeling when you bolt a Death’s Shadow player when they get themselves below 3. With the number of removal spells and ability to remove lands from your top deck with Scrying Sheets, the deck stays pretty consistent meaning you’ll be able to play the cards you need at the right time. However, the weaknesses of the deck are apparent against Control and combo decks like Storm and Ad Nauseum. The deck is slow against decks that can set up their combo for a turn 3 win. I run a Chandra, Awakened Inferno in the sideboard to go side by side with Stormbreath Dragon against Control, meaning I do get a chance to sneak a win with hard to remove permanents.
After reading this article I hope that you consider giving this deck and Modern a chance. I plan to highlight Modern decks that go under the radar and are more powerful than at first glance! Do you run this deck? Do you run decks in Modern that do not pop up in the meta as frequently? Do you have a deck tech you would like to see me cover? Let me know in the comments below!
Skred Dragons Deck List: https://archidekt.com/decks/652627#Skred_Dragons