Velomachus's Approach

by DedWards on 01 May 2021

Main Deck (60 cards)

Sideboard (3 cards)

Creatures (3)

Submit a list of cards below to bulk import them all into your sideboard. Post one card per line using a format like "4x Birds of Paradise" or "1 Blaze", you can even enter just the card name by itself like "Wrath of God" for single cards.

Deck Description

Fun idea I had. Posting here so I don't forget it / can share it.

hipponox gave a good idea for an addition that could make this deck somewhat more viable: Wand of Vertebrae

MTGGoldfish posted a pretty good Dragon's Approach deck:

I think this is a good start for making Dragon's Approach a decent Modern deck, and is good reference for taking this Pioneer list to a more Looting oriented build.

How to Play

Baral, Chief of Compliance and Goblin Electromancer all reduce the cost of Dragon's Approach, so use them to accelerate the number of Dragon's Approach you can cast.

On the 5th casting of Dragon's Approach, tutor up Velomachus Lorehold, attack with the dragon, and cast yet another Dragon's Approach for even more face damage.

Wand of Vertebrae's first ability can help mill over extra Dragon's Approach to accelerate the option to Tutor up Velomachus Lorehold. The second ability on the wand serves 2 purposes: Can shuffle Velomachus back into the deck to be tutored up again, and puts more Dragon's Approach back into the deck to be drawn / cast off Velomachus's attach trigger.

Shock is to deal with early threats and / or to round out the amount of damage needed to burn the opponent out of the game. They also help to get enough spells in the graveyard for Curious Homunculus to transform (if it lives ling enough).

Deck Tags

  • Pioneer
  • Izzet
  • UR
  • Spells

Deck at a Glance

Social Stats


This deck has been viewed 906 times.

Mana Curve

Mana Symbol Occurrence


Deck Format


NOTE: Set by owner when deck was made.

Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Not Legal in Modern
  • Not Legal in Vintage
  • Not Legal in Legacy

Deck discussion for Velomachus's Approach

did you consider wand of vertebrae? It's another 1 drop if you need it that can give you free approaches in the yard- plus it'll help you shuffle a dragon back in if you drew both somehow unluckily. It might be janky because i know the deck needs a certain number of approaches though.

Was just thinking this deck kind of wants to do like a similar thing to like nahiri boom in modern- and its handy to have a way to recycle the "emrakul" card if you somehow draw into it (both of them in this case- so i know its less likely- but I imagine it'll still happen occasionally). maybe theres a more elegant solution for it.

Maybe some graveyard protection to get the sideboard going like silent gravestone?

Clean list though +1

Posted 01 May 2021 at 18:35


Thanks. Sadly, I don't actually own the cards for this deck (don't own much blue cards), but Wand of Vertebrae is a great upgrade for this. Curious Homunculus looks like the weakest link in this list, so it's the best option for removing to make space for the Wand. Thanks for the idea :D

Not sure what Graveyard protection is viable in Pioneer, but that's definitely an idea for a few sideboard slots. The other option is to have a semi transformation sideboard, taking out a number of Dragon's Approach to bring in other cards, thus fighting graveyard hate indirectly.

Posted 01 May 2021 at 18:53


Silent Gravestone is the only one I can think of. Though there might be a few others- I guess the other option is to run some counter spells/artifact removal for relic-esque (soul-guide latern etc) cards- i guess that would take it in the transformational camp like you said. Or maybe things like ashiok, dream render might be cool as well- though I'm not sure what decks are in the meta for pioneer right now that this hates out totally haha. But it seems to have the ability to be a hoser against some decks- plus it can also mill yourself if you want to keep the approach plan. It's definitely a fun idea. Scavenging ooze and reliccy cards I feel are the big threats to the deck though

Posted 01 May 2021 at 19:56


and hey! thanks for the shoutout just noticed haha

Posted 01 May 2021 at 20:32


With [[Baral, Chief of Compiance]] and Goblin Electromancer in your deck I would rather play Magma Jet than Shock. Draw/ discard, like Dangerous Wager might be another way to get enough [[Dragon's Approach]] into your graveyard.

Posted 02 May 2021 at 09:33


ooo- that might be a move. Or maybe even lightning strike/abrade. Abrade might be better because it can rid of soul-guide lantern and the like also. There's probably an argument to run shatterskull smashing as part of the mana base also to try and jam in more removal. I was wondering myself if this is a deck that wants like "faithless looting" effects. You think dangerous wager is preferable over something like cathartic reunion if they end up going that route?

Posted 02 May 2021 at 15:38


Cathartic Reunion, Illuminate History or Izzet Charm (versatility) could all be options for this, tough Izzet Charm wouldn't profit from Electromancer or Baral

Posted 02 May 2021 at 16:05


izzet charm seems pretty great also hmmm. it kinda does do all the things... I'm wondering whats better. seems like a lot of ways to "approach" (im sorry lol) this now.

Posted 02 May 2021 at 19:36


Looking at reworking the idea around looting [[Dragon's Approach]] into the graveyard. The choice of dragons will depend on the non-dragon, non-[[Dragon's Approach]] cards.

Posted 03 May 2021 at 08:47


There doesn't seem to be that large a payoff of playing valomachus, just an extra dragon's approach. Personally I would use drakuseth but if you want haste I think Kolaghan is legal

Posted 02 May 2021 at 15:56


yeah that might be true. He'd need a payoff. Maybe like the resurgence half of Response // Resurgence or something- then he gets an additional combat step- and then can try and do it again and chain em- and he could use the response half if he draws it for some board control. not sure how good of an idea that it is- but its a thought if hes commited to velomachus

Posted 02 May 2021 at 19:34


Drakuseth, Maw of Flames is definitely a good dragon to cheat in early. Will consider it.

Sadly, the CMC (or I guess Mana Value now) of Response // Resurgence is 7 (both sides added together), which it 2 more than Velomachus Lorehold's base power, and his ability works off of his power. I did a quick search on Gatherer and I can't seem to find any Pioneer legal extra turn instants or sorceries that grant extra combat steps that Velomachus can cast, as cool as that idea is.

I'm looking at reworking the idea to include more looting effects and possibly other Dragons to tutor.

Posted 03 May 2021 at 08:54


o yeah, I forgot the split card cmc ruling- sadddddd. Yeah a change of dragons might be the move then. curious to see what you end up with!

Posted 03 May 2021 at 14:43


I've just become aware that an alternate version of my paperstrip method has managed to spread out through the magic community since 2017 and have had a rekindling in 2020.

I know that you tried your hand at it around 2017 or earlier.

Someone started using the concept of the deck core and changed the name of blank cards into flex cards, and it seems that since 2017 the idea has spread out and mutated. User: theswarmer described to me how he used a notepad to note down possible cards to replace his flex cards (blank cards)

Did any of your friends join you in your own evolution projects ?

I've tried to track down the article that must have gotten deck cores to become a mainstream building tool.

Do you know anything ?

Posted 09 May 2021 at 21:31


Nudge nudge...

Posted 19 May 2021 at 10:28


Sorry wikeddarkman, I don't really visit the Vault as often as I used to. To answer your question, I never really got a process as organized as your own down, so no. I also don't know anything about that article.

Most of my MTG experience in the last couple of years has been practically running my LGS MTG events. Not in any official way, just doing most of the work since the TO became a father. I really should look into becoming a TO and / or an official Judge.

Posted 27 May 2021 at 20:27


The idea of remembering a very few cards to track during a tournament, and use a notepad to do it directly actually never crossed my mind. I've always gone big scale on projects, so I sort of blocked myself from going with a simple way of evolving decks.

I must admit than when thinking about it, a simpler way to use evolution will be so much easier to use for the masses, so I'm joining in on it at some time in the future.

I'm not sure being a judge is a good thing anymore.

Hasbro/wotc has announced that it will focus less on professional magic in the future to support a larger number of fans. It turns out only 9% of magic players have a dci number, and this includes one time players, which sort of means professional play is grusomly rare (more like mythic)

These news have been covered by youtubers.

Posted 27 May 2021 at 21:35