Legacy Treasures: Dragon Stompy


CabalTherapy is taking yet another trip down memory lane and revisits a deck that used to be the best prison strategy in Legacy. Sit down and fasten your seatbelts because we are going to travel into a long-gone past when Dragons ruled the format.

Once upon a time, way over ten years ago around 2007, the triumvirate of Goblins, Solidarity, and Canadian Threshold ruled over Legacy. Occasionally Burn, Dredge—the new kid on the block back then—or decks like Enchantress, Phyrexian Dreadnought/Standstill, and White Stax could take down tournaments as well. But the land was divided into three parts and it looked like nobody could usurp the throne.

The Arrival of the Magi

Magus of the Moon

Then came Future Sight, the now legendary third set in the Time Spiral block. The expansion gave us Grove of the Burnwillows, Bridge from Below, Pact of Negation, Tombstalker, the groundbreaking Tarmogoyf … and it gave us Magus of the Moon. To be honest, the other Magi were rather mediocre—with Magus of the Future and Magus of the Moat being somewhat useful—but the red sorcerer was clearly the most powerful one. Having up to eight Blood Moon effects opened up new possibilities to battle Canadian Threshold.

Chalice of the Void had already been an important part of Legacy. A few years later in 2009, MUD, a colorless lock control deck powered by Metalworker would even become the bogeyman of the format for a while. Eventually Magus of the Moon met Chalice of the Void and they decided to take on the established decks. Fueled by Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors, the first competitive Dragon Stompy lists emerged in 2007 and 2008.

But wait, why was it called Dragon Stompy and not Moon Stompy in the first place?

How to Tame a Dragon

Rakdos Pit Dragon

A fairly decent beatdown deck with lock elements already existed in Legacy at the time: the monoblue Fearie Stompy. Serendib Efreet and Sea Drake were strong creatures, but soon red surpassed blue in raw strength and mana efficiency. Wanting to run Magus of the Moon alongside Chalice and Trinisphere made players look for more powerful options in red.

In 2006, the Rakdos guild was able to tame a dragon. Being in chains and living in caves, where flying was impossible, this creature was a unique and pretty powerful beater back then, and Rakdos Pit Dragon sparked the interest of many players. Its abilities worked well together with the concepts of prison strategies as especially its +1/+0 for 1 red provided a decent way to spend unused mana.

While the its success began with the Magus, a certain Dragon was the backbone of the newly built deck.

The Deck

Seething Song

Dragon Stompy was an attempt to combat Canadian Threshold, Goblins, and Solidarity. With seven to eight Blood Moon effects and around another seven lock effects, Dragon Stompy wanted to play any of its disrupting permanents on turn one and follow up with a decent beater as soon as possible.

That is it. The strategy could not be more simple. Seething Song provided enough acceleration to cast one of its main creatures on turns two till four. It was crucial for Dragon Stompy to put pressure on the opponent because of its horrific top decks and lack of answers to other strategies.

Other possible card choices included Flametongue Kavu, Covetous Dragon, and even Akroma, Angel of Fury. Later on, Taurean Mauler and Kargan Dragonlord joined the party and saw play as well.

Current Status

Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Dragon Stompy has never really left the format but evolved into a new form. The Dragons died or went into hibernation; Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Karn, the Great Creator took over their legacy; the new Moon Stompy was able to claim a Grand Prix title and establish itself as one of the best prison strategies, if not the best, in modern Legacy.

While Eldrazi reigned supreme in the Stompy section at times, the power and value of Moon effects paired with aggressive creatures like Goblin Rabblemaster and Legion Warboss elevated Moon Stompy back to new heights. It looks like it is not going anywhere. Here's a version that was successful recently:

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