We are just a week into Patch 1.14 and there have been some very serious changes! Among those is a pretty large buff to the Dragon archetype, which has been very needed. Both Shyvana and Eclipse Dragon got a stat buff, and it has made Dragons feel a lot better overall.
I have been trying to make Dragons work for a while now, and the deck I landed on that feels the most consistent is combining Dragons with the Daybreak package. Dragons don’t have a lot of units below 4 cost that you really want, and that is where Daybreak comes in to fill the gap – and absolutely shines at that. This deck hits really hard in the mid-to-late game while also having a great board presence early. On top of that, there are so many tech options to adjust this deck to your play style. Let’s dive into this breakdown!
You can also check out a video about this deck on my YouTube channel, where I go over the list in detail, explaining its game plan and all the card choices!
Like I previously stated, the main idea is to utilize the Daybreak curve in a defensive manner early to get into the later parts of the game, where you can overpower them with Dragons. Daybreak is really powerful on defense, but it also offers a lot of flexibility with Invoke and more Daybreak card generation from the Solari Priestess and Rahvun, Daylight’s Spear.
Combine this with efficient early combat tricks that Targon and Demacia are both so well known for and you can really sustain a strong defensive plan, possibly even turning the tides early with pressure. If not, Dragons will surely come down and be a force to reckon with. We aren’t running a ton of Dragons, but Shyvana, Screeching Dragon, Eclipse Dragon, and The Infinite Mindsplitter get the job done.
All of these conditions provide a solid mid-to-late game that can overcome many opposing decks. Normally you can pick a turn where your board advantage is at its highest, and drop a Relentless Pursuit to close the game out. You can also combine Relentless Pursuit with the stuns from Leona to finish the game on an advantageous turn. That is the game plan, now let’s talk about some key cards!
Solari Soldier: Soldier is one of the strongest 1-drops in the game. He shuts down attacks on turn 1 and most of the time on turn 2 as well. He is the first piece of the ‘SSPL’ curve as we call it at our Podcast. That is Soldier, Shieldbearer, Priestess, and of course Leona. This curve is the heart of every Daybreak deck and every piece is super useful and you will see them all here.
Solari Shieldbearer: The Shieldbearer is the best defensive 2-drop in the game. Nothing can really touch a 3|6 on turn 2, but that statline has also really good value well past that. Having 3 power also allows this unit to block Fearsome, adding further to it’s defensive capability. This is a perfect tool for any deck looking for a solid 2 drop that helps stabilize.
Solari Priestess: The third piece of the SSPL might be the weakest, but also the most versatile. Adding a little bit of Invoke is always beneficial, and the specific cards Priestess has access to are some of the more powerful Celestials for a midrange deck (Falling Comet is in most cases the best spell that can be picked up by Priestess; The Warrior is the best follower).
Leona: The last piece of the SSPL is of course Leona. I normally utilize Leona mostly as a defensive tool, as she can normally turn off your opponent’s biggest attacker. She has really strong stats and can level on curve pretty consistently as well. The added bonus of the ability to stun on both offensive and defensive turns lets Leona continuously provide you value throughout the game.
Rahvun, Daylight’s Spear: Rahvun adds a ton of value as a Leona-enabler, a thick body, and a card generation engine. The added synergy he provides with all of your Daybreak units is huge, and the dream of getting both the Daybreak and Nightfall of the Eclipse Dragon is actually a play that happens fairly often.
Shyvana: The recent power buff to Shyvana has allowed her to become a lot more useful and even scary, especially when you are attacking on turn 4. She can level up much easier now and puts out more damage in general. She is in a lot better of a place now making Dragons as an archetype much more viable.
Screeching Dragon: This to me is the most impactful Dragon. Challenger and Fury on the same unit allows you to snowball by picking off important opposing units, and this comes down at the very important turn 5.
Eclipse Dragon: The Eclipse Dragon was the other card that was buffed in Patch 1.14, and now this unit is so beefy. A +2 boost to health to a unit with Fury is really powerful and on top of that this Dragon is already one of the most versatile with both a Daybreak and Nightfall effect. This adds synergy to our Daybreak units as well as has the possibility to proc both effects with Rahvun.
Single Combat: Single Combat is an absolute staple card for Demacia and works even better with Dragons because of Fury.
Concerted Strike: This is your strongest removal option for Targon/Demacia and on top of that synergizes again with Dragons. It is a must in this deck.
Egghead Researcher: I like the Egghead because he is an early blocker and provides card generation that can help in the mid-to-late game. He creates a unit that will fit with your synergy, but the downside is that unit can be a very high cost drop that won’t see play. This risk is worth it in my opinion since most of the time you get a very playable card.
The Infinite Mindsplitter: The Mindsplitter is an incredibly useful tool. He is a beefy unit that also can stop 2 units from functioning on the board, which is incredibly powerful both from a defensive and offensive standpoint. In general, you can see there are a lot of cards with this quality in the deck – the ability to function both offensively and defensively. I believe it is a key to this decks success. Back to Mindsplitter – to me, this is a core card but I am putting it in Flex because it is slightly meta dependent. This card does very little versus aggro – so if we are in a full aggro meta, this card might not make the deck.
Hush: Hush has changed quite a lot since it’s intial release, but currently at 2 mana and Burst speed it’s still an incredibly versatile as a combat trick and much more.
Sharpsight: Everyone underestimated how good Sharpsight is. This major stat buff at Burst speed is super good for combat heavy decks, just like this one.
Relentless Pursuit: Some form of Rally is a core aspect of this deck, but I am putting this as a Flex card because there are quite a few options for Rally you can choose from. To me, Pursuit is the best and most consistent because you can cast it off of spell mana alone.
Strafing Strike: We already have quite a few striking combat tricks, but this obviously synergizes very well with Dragons. This is a flex spot because there are plenty of other ways you could fill this slot, but adding some additional combat tricks is always solid.
Pale Cascade: This card should probably just be in the deck, but Targon and Demacia have so many solid spell options at 2 mana. This card can easily find a spot over Hush or Sharpsight.
Dragonguard Lookout: As I said before, some form of Rally belongs in this deck. We already have a lot of high-cost units here, and we aren’t actually running that many Dragons, so I prefer Relentless Pursuit – but there is a world where this deck shifts into more Dragons and can afford to run Dragonguards.
Inviolus Vox: Card generation is a very important aspect of this deck. It allows you to recover once you get hit with heavy removal or resistance. We have a lot of access to this already, but if we were running more Dragons Inviolus would make the cut for sure.
Judgment: You do have the option to run Judgement as a 1 of to really catch people off-guard with a blow out play. This works a lot better in a midrange meta, and if we get to that point I will be adding this as a 1-of for sure.
Bastion: Bastion is great protection for some of your key units, but it is a little too expensive for my blood. Again if we were more Dragon-focused and really wanted to keep Shyvana alive, it could be worth a slot.
Starshaping: If you are looking for some healing tech, you have a few options. Radiant Guardian and Starshaping are the first that come to my mind, but Starshaping adds even more card generation and doesn’t require a trigger-condition.
Unit-based decks are some of the easiest to mulligan with. Here we are just looking for our early units in our starting hand. If you already have some of those, you can debate keeping a Leona or Shyvana as well. You don’t really want your combat tricks early, but that can be dependent on what you’re playing against. Sometimes keeping a Sharpsight when you already have enough units is fine. If you are playing against a fast aggro deck, you need to aggressively mulligan for units that cost less than 3. If you’re playing against something slow you can keep things that cost 4 as well. Right now, the meta is a bit all over the place but in the section below I will pick a few things I have been seeing a lot in Masters and break down the matchups!
This is mostly a favorable matchup. Typically we end the game around turn 8 with a strong rally along with a huge board. We have a lot of big units that fill the board up and are hard to deal with, so the ramp matchup is something I am comfortable with.
TF Go Hard is the new hotness. Everyone is playing this deck right now, and our matchup is pretty fair. We have plenty of ways to get TF off the board, and plenty of ways to dominate the board. We can run into problems when this deck gets a strong board wipe off, and it also can provide a ton of chump blockers which really get in our way.
Scouts and Dragons have very similar game plans. They are unit based decks that are looking to dominate early and then finish with a Rally when you have a strong board. We can typically out-pace Scouts and stun important units with Leona in order to keep our advantage and slowly grind out these games.
Dragons have been pretty terrible against quick decks since they released. Right now Discard Aggro is super strong and can really pop off very hard and fast and overwhelm most decks. We don’t have healing or board wide removal, so this matchup is pretty tough.
So far, this has been my favorite and most consistent Dragon deck I have been able to build. Daybreak pairs very nicely with Dragons and solves a lot of their problems with a strong early curve, card generation, and sustain.
There are a lot of ways to change this deck to your play style, whether that is adding more Dragons to live out the dream, adding more Daybreak to utilize Leona better, or adding more sustain to survive longer. All of these changes can take the deck in various directions that are all really strong and consistent.
So what have you been playing with Dragons? Do you think Shyvana is playable now or does she need more work? Let us know as we continue the conversation!