Demanding Dragon's Casual Appeal
Demanding Dragon is a card casual players can get very excited about. When he enters the battlefield, the Dragon deals 5 damage to target opponent unless he or she sacrifices a creature. That's pretty powerful, either way. Plus, he's 5 power and 5 toughness. While he may be no Thundermaw Hellkite or Stormbreath Dragon, forcing an opponent to sacrifice a creature is always a powerful play. Five damage is no joke, either.
Why is Demanding Dragon So Cheap?
As powerful as he sounds, why is he only $1? Well, this isn't a card that screams competitive play. But this isn't just a Dragon. This is a creature with a generically powerful effect that can slot into a variety of midrange decks. Really, his strength is very dependent on the meta. If there are decks that can effectively swarm the board, he's going to be a fairly weak play. But, he's really strong against decks that play one big finisher or don't play many creatures at all. So, there is room for Demanding Dragon to be very good.
Is Demanding Dragon a Good Standard Card?
In Standard, Demanding Dragon felt more like a sideboard card against particular decks. M19 is full of cards built to hose certain decks and this is definitely one of those. There are definitely ways to abuse his enter-the-battlefield ability, such as blinking and reanimating. If those types of decks are viable in Standard, he'd definitely be a player. Also, the recent best Dragon in Standard, Glorybringer, wouldn't hang around past October 2018.
You couldn't expect a huge price tag on this guy, especially being only a Core Set rare. But, since there is so much interest in him, you should be keeping an eye on him. Attaching a Lava Axe to a creature that can at the very least force your opponent to sacrifice something or take a sizeable amount of damage to the face is awesome. Yeah, your opponent can choose not to sacrifice something, but losing a quarter of your starting life total is pretty sizeable.
Unfortunately for Demanding Dragon, there proved to be no real home for him. Despite how good he looks on paper, he just hasn't proven to be worthy of competitive play. He doesn't quite do enough for 5 mana. Had he been 4 mana instead, and dealt 4 damage, and was a 4/4, Demanding Dragon may be more attractive to competitive deckbuilders.
Should I Care About Demanding Dragon?
Demanding Dragon is still an interesting card, even without any significant Standard play. Five mana Dragons typically do see play, but there are a couple things that work against him. He doesn't have haste, which most competitively played Dragons do, giving you an immediate return on investment for your mana. Some players thought his abilities make up for that, but that hasn't played out.
It seemed like Demanding Dragon could be a $3-4 card very easily, especially with his demand profile early on. It never happened, though. With that said, he is a Dragon, and his foils bottomed out at $1.50. There is some value in foil Demanding Dragon if you really like collecting Dragons.
Also, Demanding Dragon has also popped up in a few mono-Red EDH Decks, such as Lathliss, Dragon Queen (also from Magic 2019) and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker from Magic 2020 is also inviting him into some of her lists, too, so there is still potential for Demanding Dragon to find some more homes.