Dream Trawler is a Better Magic Card than Dragonlord Ojutai

There, I said it. It needed to be said. I personally needed to admit it and quite honestly so did a lot of you. I put it on the proverbial wax. It can never be taken back now.

There are two camps of folks out there. The group that agrees with this statement and at this point are probably saying, “But Alex, we already knew that.” Believe it or not there are some folks out there that still believe that Dragonlord Ojutai is better than Trawler. I know right. How is this possible? No clue.

The other group of folks do in fact believe Ojutai is still better. I know what everyone in the camp of Ojutai will say; “Alex, Ojutai digs deeper, and has better card selection.” Obviously there’s no disputing that. However that’s about the only spot where Ojutai out-performs Trawler.

It’s time to stop living in the past. I understand where you’re coming from. It’s hard to admit one of your favorite cards has been outclassed. Power creep is real. This is a perfect example of it.

 

Some argue that Ojutai is a better blocker because it can stay back and always has Hexproof. Though that is true, I would argue that having Lifelink makes Trawler a much better blocker because there’s value in blocking with it over Ojutai. With Ojutai you have to attack to get the Anticipate trigger and then, not only is it tapped it, no longer has Hexproof. Where as with Trawler, you can pass turn and block to gain some life. Yes, it costs one more mana to cast, no it doesn’t matter.

Lifelink is one of the biggest advantages Trawler has over Ojutai. You can just cast it against a Mono-Red opponent and keep it up as a blocker to buy time against opposing creature threats while they try to figure out how to get around it.  It’s just so good at blocking its taken place of Lyra Dawnbringer in Azorius Control Pioneer decks and has even taken over Baneslayer Angel’s spot in some Modern Control lists. It’s also the only win con in the Azorius Control deck in Standard that Zach Allen and Corey Baumiester have been crushing the SCG Open Series with.

Austin Bursavich who was the only player piloting Azorius Control to make the Top 8 Players Tour Phoenix also had three copies of Dream Trawler in it which is a huge feather in Trawler’s cap.

Trawler not being Legendary is also immensely important when comparing the two. You can jam three or even four of them in your seventy-five and be perfectly happy drawing them in multiples. If you can get two of them onto the battlefield at the same time it’s pretty impossible for your opponent to win.

In Standard, the only thing that can realistically kill it is Shatter the Sky and Time Wipe. Pioneer has similar limitations given that Supreme Verdict is really the only mass removal spell that is being played that can kill it.

As for Modern It’s a bit more vulnerable, but that speaks more to the power level of the removal in the format rather than Dream Trawler. Things like Liliana of the Veil and multiple Path to Exiles are a few of the ways to get it off the battlefield.

Dream Trawler Decks

Below are just a few examples of Dream Trawler just starting to dominate in Azorius Control decks. It’s certainly proving itself to be a multi-format staple for any and all Azorius Control decks.


Austin Bursavich’s (Pioneer) Azorius Control [PT Phoenix 5/8th Place]

Planeswalker (8)
Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Teferi, Time Raveler

Sorcery (4)
Supreme Verdict

Instant (20)
Absorb
Azorius Charm
Censor
Dig Through Time
Dovin’s Veto
Mystical Dispute
Opt
Sinister Sabotage

Artifact (1)
Soul-Guide Lantern

Enchantment (1)
Seal Away

Land (26)
Castle Ardenvale
Castle Vantress
Fabled Passage
Field of Ruin
Glacial Fortress
Hallowed Fountain
Irrigated Farmland
Island
Plains
Sideboard (15)
Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis
Narset, Parter of Veils
Dovin’s Veto
Mystical Dispute
Seal Away
Soul-Guide Lantern
Ashiok, Dream Render
Damping Sphere
Detention Sphere
Dream Trawler


Zachary Barash’s (Pioneer) Azorius Control [MF Phoenix PTQ 3rd/4th]

Creatures (1)
Dream Trawler

Planeswalkers (8)
Teferi, Time Raveler
Gideon of the Trials
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis

[deck] Spells (22)
Azorius Charm
Dovin’s Veto
Censor
Sinister Sabotage
Absorb
Opt
Supreme Verdict
Dig Through Time

Enchantments (4)
Seal Away
Detention Sphere
Cast Out
Lands (25)
Island
Plains
Hallowed Fountain
Glacial Fortress
Irrigated Farmland
Field of Ruin
Castle Ardenvale
Castle Vantress

Sideboard (15)
Mystical Dispute
Aether Gust
Rest in Peace
Dovin’s Veto
Grafdigger’s Cage
Settle the Wreckage
Dream Trawler
Nyx-Fleece Ram


Dream Trawler has made an impact in Standard as well…


Zach Allen’s (Standard) Azorius Control [SCG Open: Philly 1st Place]

Creatures (3)
Dream Trawler

Planeswalkers (7)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler

Enchantments (13)
Glass Casket
Elspeth Conquers Death
Omen of the Sea
The Birth of Meletis

Spells (12)
Absorb
Chemister’s Insight
Dovin’s Veto
Shatter the Sky
Lands (25)
Island
Plains
Castle Ardenvale
Castle Vantress
Field of Ruin
Hallowed Fountain
Temple of Enlightenment

Sideboard (15)
Archon of Sun’s Grace
Banishing Light
Aether Gust
Dovin’s Veto
Mystical Dispute
Whirlwind Denial
Devout Decree


Corey Baumeister’s (Standard) Azorius Control [SCG Open: Richmond 1st Place]

Creatures (4)
Dream Trawler

Planeswalkers (8)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler

Enchantments (14)
Glass Casket
Elspeth Conquers Death
Omen of the Sea
The Birth of Meletis

Spells (9)
Absorb
Shatter the Sky
Time Wipe
Lands (25)
Island
Plains
Castle Ardenvale
Castle Vantress
Hallowed Fountain
Temple of Enlightenment

Sideboard (15)
Sorcerous Spyglass
Aether Gust
Dovin’s Veto
Heliod’s Intervention
Mystical Dispute
Devout Decree


These lists are just a sample of what is out there. In my mind, it’s not even a discussion. At first I was skeptical, too. But in the end, Dream Trawler is better than Dragonlord Ojutai

For more of my content on Control be sure to listen to my weekly podcast “Control Freak” or check out  my stream on Twitch.

If you have any questions, just want to talk more about magic, or try and convince me why Ojutai is better than Dream Trawler reach out to me on Twitter (@LessAlex).

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