Magic: The Gathering – 10 Budget Upgrades For The Draconic Destruction Starter Commander Deck
Draconic Destruction is one of the five Starter Commander Decks, designed to be easy for new players to pick up and learn the ins and outs of Magic: The Gathering's Commander format. These decks start off with relatively low power but with a few upgrades, they can be formidable decks.
Once you’ve played a few games of Commander, however, you’re going to want to start upgrading your deck. While you can always immediately jump into loading your deck up with powerful (and expensive!) cards, sometimes a more budget-friendly approach is best. With these upgrades to your Draconic Destruction deck, you’ll be the master of Dragons in your playgroup.
For all the upgrades in this deck, we tried to keep the price of each individual card under $5 based on TCGPlayer’s Market Price to keep it as budget-friendly as possible, but there will always be variations as prices flux.
10/10 Sarkhan’s Triumph
The first card to include to upgrade your deck would be Sarkhan’s Triumph. This three-mana sorcery lets you search your library for a Dragon creature and add it to your hand. This budget-friendly tutor lets you grab just about every creature in your deck depending on your situation.
It is cheap enough to cast early and prep for a later turn, and late-game Sarkhan’s Triumph can drab a game-winning Dragon. An easy card to cut to include this tutor would be Provoke the Trolls, which is only an okay pump spell.
9/10 Minion Of The Mighty
While notably not a Dragon, Minion of the Mighty can cheat Dragons into play from your hand. Minion of the Mighty is highly dependent on your board state, as without a few good early creatures, you might be sitting with a 0/1 Kobold for a few turns. Keep in mind that you don’t have to just attack with Dragons to trigger its Pack Tactics ability; it only needs you to attack with six power.
You could even load up Minion of the Mighty with six power and attack by itself to trigger its ability. Cutting Loaming Shaman to make room for Minion of the Mighty is a pretty good swap, since the Shaman doesn’t add much to your game plan.
8/10 Kodama’s Reach
If there’s one thing you need in this deck, it's plenty of ramp. Having the right number of spells that can search up lands and mana-producing permanent cards is vital in hitting your land drops and casting your larger creatures on-curve.
You’ll notice that there is already a Cultivate in the Draconic Destruction deck, which is great, but is the only ramp spell in the deck. Ideally, you would want to include a few other ramp spells as well, like Farseek or Rampant Growth, but Kodama’s Reach is a great starting point.
7/10 Savage Ventmaw
Speaking of ramping, Savage Ventmaw is a Dragon that can deal some damage while also adding mana. Whenever Savage Ventmaw attacks you add three red mana and three green mana to your mana pool. This mana doesn’t go away between phases, meaning you can save it until your second main phase to cast a larger dragon or multiple spells.
Savage Ventmaw can replace Demanding Dragon, since the Demanding Dragon only targets a single opponent and sacrificing just one creature likely won’t make that big of a difference to the match.
6/10 Carnelian Orb Of Dragonkind // Jade Orb Of Dragonkind
These two Orbs are so similar that devoting two slots of this list to them seemed unnecessary, since you should be playing both in your deck. The two Orbs add either one red or one green mana respectively, and when you use that mana to cast a Dragon creature, it gains either haste or a +1/+1 counter and hexproof for a turn.
Both of these are really good, and can replace two other artifact ramp cards, Atarka Monument and Spit Flame.
5/10 Thrakkus The Butcher
Dragons are already among some of the hardest-hitting creatures in Magic, but what if you could deal even more damage? Thrakkus the Butcher is a little on the smaller side compared to its full Dragon friends, but when it attacks, it doubles the power of all Dragons you control until end of turn.
Thrakkus the Butcher works really well with your commander, Atarka, World Render, which gives all your Dragons double strike when they attack – ultimately letting you hit for quadruple damage. Thrakkus can swap in for Furnace Whelp, a relatively weak creature compared to your other Dragons.
4/10 Wrap In Vigor
Sort of a niche card, Wrap in Vigor is a vital replacement for more expensive spells that protect your creatures from board wipes. If an opponent plays a card like Day of Judgement or Supreme Verdict a turn or two after you play you have established a big board presence, it can really set you back. With Wrap in Vigor, all your creatures are protected from the next time they would be destroyed.
Don't forget that, when a creature is protected this way, you tap it, remove all damage that has been done to it, and it is removed from combat. You should consider swapping Unleash Fury out for Wrap in Vigor, as Unleash Fury has the same effect as your commander, but to only one creature.
3/10 Abundant Harvest
This unique card can be either a one-mana ramp spell or a one-mana draw spell depending on your needs. You can play it on turn one if you need to search for a land to hit your land drops on time, or later it can be an efficient draw spell that skips over any of your lands.
While you don’t get to control what type of nonland card you’re going to draw, it can be good in a pinch if you’re digging for something.
2/10 Descent into Avernus
Sometimes in Commander, you may find yourself in a position where the game stalls. All your opponents have an army in play and no one can make any headway in combat. That’s where the underrated Descent into Avernus comes into play. At the beginning of your upkeep, you add two counters to Descent into Avernus, deal damage to all players, yourself included, equal to the number of counters on it, and everyone creates that many Treasure Tokens.
It can be a double-edged sword, since it does ramp all players equally, but can be an effective way to push your opponents into action since they’re on a very quick clock. You can exchange Hunter's Prowess for Descent into Avernus pretty easily, which also reduces the overall mana cost of the deck.
1/10 Kessig Wolf Run
An extremely powerful utility land, Kessig Wolf Run lets you spend mana to give a creature you control +X/+0 and trample for a turn. Since you can do it at instant speed, you can pump up a creature after blocks have been declared to push extra damage, or even make sure a creature of yours trades with an opponent’s. Don’t forget that you can use this land defensively too, baiting an opponent into attacking you thinking you don’t have anything to efficiently block with until you pump it up.
You could swap out a basic land for Kessig Wolf Run, though a better choice might be taking out Magmaquake. While it can be a good board wipe in a pinch, the average mana curve of the deck is so high that throwing in a few extra lands will help you reliably cast your big spells.
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