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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Commander Review: Fate Reforged – Mardu Ideals

November 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Mardu Ascendancy

The Best Defense is a Good Offense.

Hello my fellow EDH-ers and welcome back to yet another article of the past of Tarkir. Today article is going to be talking about the origin of the ideals for the Mardu clan. The Mardu of the past are Ferocious Warriors who are fighting the fast and deadly Dragons for their clan survival. Leading those Dragons attracted to the region in their outpost siege is the fastest of them, Kolaghan.


Storm’s Fury

Kolaghan and her brood is revered by the Mardu for their speed. She is the fastest among the Dragons. Her appearance is titanic in size and covered in spines with four feathered wings. Her breath attack is that of lightning. A feral and brutal being, she enjoys the hunt and kill more than the resulting meal. She is unlike the other Dragons as she does not seems to speak draconic, only communicating in lightning flashes and violence.

Outpost Siege

A Place and Home Worth Dying for.


In the original timeline, Ugin’s death resulting in the Dragonstorm stopping also affect Kolaghan and her brood drastically. As no new Dragons will created, their numbers slowly died out. Kolaghan herself was defeated and killed. Her skull was used as a throne for the Mardu khans.

Dragon Throne of Tarkir

Throne of Power.


Following Sarkhan’s intervene with the past, the defeated then Mardu khan of the past, Alesha, returned to her Lands after the khanfall and was greeted by Kolaghan in the distance. Although she was ready to die in battle with Kolaghan for her final stand, Kolaghan show no interest in killing the Mardu khan. It was at this moment that the khan realized that Kolaghan and her brood did not seek to tyrannically dominate their non-Dragon subjects like the other Dragons. They instead preferred to simply Fly freely across Plains, striking down enemies and moving on. The Mardu then abandon their banners and rode with Kolaghan and her brood willingly. Over time though, Kolaghan would eventually also take full dominance over the clan by force and also issue ban on the words “khan” and the name of the old clans. With Kolaghan controlling over the non-Dragon subjects with her violent, cruelty and unpredictability, the Mardu would also lost their identity and became the Kolaghan clan; more savage and barbaric than their former selves with no form of honor or law.

Thunderbreak Regent

The Law of Lightning Rules all.


Now you have an idea of the origin of the Madru ideal and how it came to be, let’s have a look at the fast and furious Dragon leader’s stats.


 Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury

Card Name: Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury


Types: Legendary Creature – Dragon

Card Text: Flying

Whenever a Dragon you control attacks, creatures you controls get +1/+0 until end of turn.

Dash 3BR

P/T: 4/5

Kolaghan color identity is of the chaotic Rakdos color combination which consists of many removals; ranging from spot to board. There is also hand disruption in the color identity which allows you to disrupt your opponents. Kolaghan also feature the new Dash ability that allows her to dodge board sweep too; a handy mechanic to protect herself. She can also ambush your opponent with her Dash throwing their math off; since she can attack if she is Dash in. Point to be noted is that you can Dash Kolaghan in from the Command Zone and she will return to your hand as per the Dash resolve; although any Commander tax if any has to be added to the Dash cost too when you Dash her in. So in short, Kolaghan can be Dash in from the Command Zone and Dash in from the hand after that. Kolaghan most deadly power though probably lies in her attack trigger which pumps up your army whenever a Dragon attacks. The good thing about Kolaghan’s attack trigger is that it is only Tribal by trigger and not the trigger ability itself. Dragons are needed to trigger it but the trigger affect not just Dragons but everyone. It is quite similar to the Battle Cry ability except the trigger pumps up the attacking Dragon who trigger it too. Kolaghan is also quite cost effective for her power to cc; effectively she is a 5/5 attacker for 5cc due to her attack trigger. Combining all the stats of Kolaghan, you have an army pumper where you can simply attack with her and pumps up your army; or Dash her in for a surprise pump and attack with your army and her.


War Cry


When in doubt, just Attack.

Kolaghan’s Dragon attack trigger like many pump spells and abilities last till end of turn. So if you did not end the turn, it will still be there. Such triggers are good as they will trigger again if you can attack again piling up the triggers bonus with each added combat phase. This strategy is very powerful as you can kill off several opponents within one turn as each of your attack become stronger than the previous one. Below are some ways within Kolaghan color identity to go about it for those extra combat phases.

Aggravated Assault Take as much extra combat phases as you can afford the activation cost. Can be made infinite if you are able to get enough mana Creatures that tap for mana to pay for the activation cost.
Breath of Fury Aura which gives extra combat phase when enchanted Creature deals combat damage to a player. Enchanted Creature is sacrificed once Aura ability is triggered and Aura is attached to another Creature for repeat process.
Fury of the Horde The “free” extra attack.
Hellkite Charger Dragon with attack trigger that gives extra combat phase. Repeatable if you can afford to pay the trigger again. Also pumps your army at the same time when combo with Kolaghan.
Relentless Assault The very first extra combat phase spell.
Savage Beating Entwine spell which gives Double Strike and extra combat phase. Possibly the most deadly alpha strike if entwined.
Scourge of the Throne Get an extra combat phase after attacking the player with the most or tie for most life for the first time each turn. Also pumps your army up at the same time it attacks when combo with Kolaghan.
Seize the Day Flashback spell which gives extra attack phase.
World at War Rebound spell which gives extra attack phase.



Speaking of getting more bonus out of attacking, here are some more attack triggers which you may consider throwing into the mix to make your deadly attacks with Kolaghan’s attack trigger even more deadly.

Ability Name Remarks Cards with it
Annihilator Forces defending players to sacrifice permanents on top of them having to face a big attacker for each attack. One of the more devastating triggers to happen again for the defending players. Artisan of Kozilek / Eldrazi Conscription / Hand of Emrakul / It That Betrays / Kozilek, Butcher of Truth / Pathrazer of Ulamog / Spawnsire of Ulamog / Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre / Ulamog’s Crusher
Battalion Gets bonus for attacking with Creature with Battalion and at least two other Creatures. Bomber Corps / Firefist Striker / Legion Loyalist / Warmind Infantry
Battle Cry Gives each other attacking Creatures +1/+0 for each attack. Similar to Kolaghan attack trigger Goblin Wardriver / Hero of Oxid Ridge / Kuldotha Ringleader / Signal Pest
Exalted Pumps the Creature attacking alone with +1/+1 till end of turn for each instance of the ability for each attack. Good for Voltron style kills. Cathedral of War / Duskmantle Prowler / Duty-Bound Dead / Knight of Infamy / Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis / Servant of Nefarox


Hero of Bladehold

Heroes are born from Crisis and Battles.


If you like Kolaghan’s attack trigger a lot then you might consider a full Dragon Tribal theme. As you can see, there are a lot of them in Kolaghan color identity since Red is the nature color of Dragons. Below are some Dragons within Kolaghan color identity that you may choose to add to your deck.

Acid-Spewer Dragon / Stormwing Dragon Pumps your other Dragons when Megamorph up.
Akoum Hellkite Deals 1 damage to a target when you Landfall; deals 2 damage instead if the Land is a Mountain.
Ancient Hellkite “Burns” defending player’s Creature when it attacks.
Archwing Dragon Dragon with built- in Dash.
Avaricious Dragon Gives an additional draw at draw step but force discard hand at end step.
Balefire Dragon Whenever it deals combat damage to a player, deals that much damage to each Creature that player controls.
Bladewing the Risen ETB reanimate a Dragon permanent card.
BR: Pumps all Dragons by +1/+1 till end of turn. Sort of Dragon lord.
Bogardan Hellkite ETB deals 5 damage distribute as you choose among any number of targets.
Boltwing Marauder Pumps +2/+0 till end of turn to target Creature when another Creature enters the battlefield.
Brimstone Dragon / Dragon Egg / Dragon Hatchling / Dragon Whelp / Furnace Whelp / Henge Guardian / Nalathni Dragon / Rathi Dragon / Rorix Bladewing / Scion of Ugin / Shivan Dragon / Skyship Stalker / Teeka’s Dragon / Volcanic Dragon Basic Dragons to fill the ranks.
Cairn Wanderer “Dragon” which gain basic abilities from Creatures in graveyards. Said basic abilities are; Flying, Fear, First Strike, Double Strike, Deathtouch, Haste, Landwalk, Lifelink, Protection, Reach, Trample, Shroud, and Vigilance.
Catacomb Dragon Half power, rounded down, of nonArtifact and nonDragon Creature blocking it.
Changeling Berserker / Fire-belly Changeling / Ghostly Changeling / Moonglove Changeling / Skeletal Changeling / War-Spike Changeling Extra lower and middle cc “Dragons” to fill the ranks. The filler to all Tribal themes.
Clockwork Dragon Comes with its own +1/+1 counters and way to increase them.
Covetous Dragon Low cost high power Dragon upkeep by having Artifacts.
Crimson Hellkite Activated ability which uses Red mana to deal damage to target Creature.
Deathbringer Regent Board sweep if cast from the hand and there are five or more other Creatures on the battlefield.
Draco Biggest and highest cc Dragon available for all color identity.
Dragon Mage Wheel of Fortune Dragon.
Dragon Tyrant Dragon with raw power. High cost, high power, high damage, and high upkeep, basically everything is high.
Dragonlord Kolaghan Upgraded version of Kolaghan.
Dream Pillager Red impulse style card advantage. Exiles number of top cards of library as per combat damage dealt by it and allow casting of nonLand cards exiled this way.
Ebon Dragon ETB force target opponent to discard a card.
Fire Dragon ETB deals damage to target Creature equal to number of Mountains you control.
Flameblast Dragon Blaze a target whenever it attacks.
Fledgling Dragon Threshold Dragon.
Forgestoker Dragon “Eliminate” blockers as it attacks by dealing 1 damage to them and making them unable to block for the combat.
Furnace Dragon Affinity for Artifact Dragon. Anti-Artifact by exiling all of them when cast from hand.
Furyborn Hellkite Bloodthirst Dragon.
Hellkite Charger Relentless Assault Dragon. “Cast” Relentless Assault as it attacks.
Hellkite Igniter Low activation pump which pumps by number of Artifacts you control for each activation.
Hellkite Tyrant Alternate win con by having twenty Artifacts at upkeep. Steal all Artifacts of player it dealt combat damage to.
Hoarding Dragon Tutor for and exile Artifact card. Gets exiled Artifact to hand when Dragon dies.
Hunted Dragon Political Dragon. ETB gives opponent three Knight tokens.
Imperial Hellkite Morph Dragon. Tutor for Dragon when it morph up.
Kilnmouth Dragon Amplify Dragon. Deals damage equal to +1/+1 counters on it to target.
Knollspine Dragon ETB discard your hand and draw cards equal to damage dealt to target opponent this turn.
Kokusho, the Evening Star Drain each opponent for 5 life when it dies.
Lightning Dragon Echo Dragon. Middle cost middle size.
Lightning Shrieker Self-protect by shuffling back to library at end of turn. Not too recommendable for EDH due to huge deck size.
Lotus Guardian Mana producer.
Malfegor ETB discard your hand and each opponent sacrifices a Creature for each card discarded this way.
Mana-Charged Dragon Join Forces Dragon. Pumps its power by Join Forces.
Mirrorwing Dragon “Reflect” Instants or Sorceries targeting only it to all Creatures the spell controller controls.
Moltensteel Dragon Phyrexian Red Dragon.
Moonveil Dragon Pump your whole army.
Mordant Dragon When it deals combat damage to a player, it may deals that much damage to target Creature that player controls.
Noxious Dragon Destroy target 3cc or less Creature when it dies.
Pardic Dragon Suspend Dragon.
Predator Dragon / Preyseizer Dragon / Voracious Dragon Devour Dragons.
Rakdos Pit Dragon Hellbent Dragon.
Rimescale Dragon Snow Dragon. Freeze Creatures by putting ice counter on them. Creatures with ice counter on them cannot untap.
Runehorn Hellkite Exile from graveyard to Wheel of Fortune.
Ryusei, the Falling Star Deals 5 damage to each nonFlying Creature when it dies.
Scourge of Kher Ridges Board sweeper Dragon.
Scourge of Nel Toth Self-recurring Dragon.
Scourge of the Throne Dethrone Dragon. Gets extra combat phase when it Dethrone for the first time each turn.
Scourge of Valkas Deals damage equal to number of Dragons you control to target whenever it or another Dragon enters the battlefield.
Shivan Hellkite 1R: Deals 1 damage to a target.
Shockmaw Dragon When it deals combat damage to a player, deals 1 damage to each Creature that player controls.
Siege Dragon ETB destroy all opponents’ Walls.
When it attacks, deals 2 damage to each Creature without Flying defending player controls if he or she controls no Walls.
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon Infect Dragon.
Skyline Despot ETB you become Monarch.
Create Dragon token at your upkeep if you are the Monarch.
Slumbering Dragon Lowest cost Dragon. Slowly “wakes up” when you or your Planeswalkers is attacked.
Spawn of Thraxes ETB deals damage to a target equal to number of Mountains you control.
Steel Hellkite Spot mass removal through cc when it connects with opponents.
Stormbreath Dragon Monstrosity Dragon.
Swift Warkite ETB pull 3cc or less Creature from hand or graveyard onto battlefield. That Creature gains Haste and bounce back to hand at end turn.
Taurean Mauler “Dragon” that grows as your opponents cast spells.
Thunder Dragon ETB deals 3 damage to each nonflying Creature.
Thunderbreak Regent Deals 3 damage to opponents targeting your Dragons with a spell or ability.
Thundermaw Hellkite ETB deals 1 damage and tap to each opponents’ nonFlying Creatures.
Two-Headed Dragon Menace Dragon.
Tyrant of Valakut Surge Dragon.
Deals 3 damage to a target if its surge cost was paid.
Tyrant’s Familiar Lieutenant Dragon.
Utvara Hellkite Create a Dragon token when a Dragon you control attacks.
Vampiric Dragon Vampire Dragon. Grows bigger the “Vampire” way.
Warmonger Hellkite Forces all Creatures to attack each combat. Pumps attacking Creatures.
Worldgorger Dragon Half of the Worldgorger Animate Dead infinite combo.
Zodiac Dragon Bounce back to hand when it dies.


Bringing the House Down as it Goes Down.

Bringing the House Down as it Goes Down.


Dragon Fury

Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury

Fast Kill.

Summarizing the whole article, Kolaghan is a very good choice for a Dragon Tribal theme for her color identity. Although I feel that it is more recommended to use her as a normal Creature than a Commander. Kolaghan may has a good pump ability but in overall comparison, Bladewing the Risen is a better choice as a Commander for his abilities. Kolaghan abilities are a bit pale when compared to Bladewing.


What do you think of the origin of the Mardu ideal?  Do you agree with our opinions on the Dragon leader as a Dragon pumper in the deck? Share with us what you think in the comments below. Today article shall end here for now. Do stay tune for more upcoming Commander Review of Fate Reforged. Till the next article in the series.


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.


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