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In Development – My Zombies Rise from Seas and Bayous

My friend Dave has a unified belief about bacon and zombies – they both make everything better. Salad? Better with bacon. Action-adventure game? Better with zombies. He’s the reason I own Mall of Horror, a great, slightly tongue-in-cheek board game that is exactly right for you if you’ve ever thought, “You know, I want to play out the action from Dawn of the Dead, only with more backstabbing and betrayal.”

And yes, I did just link to the 2004 remake. I have great respect for George Romero, but the 1978 original is a painfully slow movie. Maybe I’m just jaded.

This past weekend I took my variation of Dredge into the Legacy day of the SGC Open Weekend in San Jose. Today, I’ll take a look at why I picked Dredge, how I substantially modified a part of the deck that is usually left untouched, and a few thoughts on how the deck plays.

Why Dredge?

As I touched on in last week’s Legacy overview, this is a format rife with archetypes. Also, to echo a comment Phil Yam made on twitter after my article last week, there are fewer clear best decks in Legacy than in Standard or Extended. His exact quote was “Tier 3 decks are better than they look” and this is true. Another way to consider this is that when you find yourself saying, “That deck looks terrible” in Standard, there’s a decent chance you’re right…but in Legacy, there’s a decent chance you don’t understand how the deck will operate.

So, the question this leaves generally is “Why pick any one archetype?” In my case, what led me to choose Dredge?

I’m like a Buffy character

Which is to say, “I like graveyards.”

I rocked a play set of Vengevines in the Standard Open, and the second best play of the day for me was casting a Squadron Hawk, filling my hand, and overflowing two Vengevines into the graveyard at the end of the turn. I’m not much of a griefer at heart, but the kicked look from my opponent at that play was kind of sweet.

So, I like recursion. I like the tricks that you can do where you’re moving cards into and out of your graveyard, flashing things back, returning and sacrificing creatures, and generally making a wall of zombies.

I think people generally undervalue, at least in presenting why one should play a given deck, the role of having fun. If you aren’t thrilled by how your deck operates, you’re not going to pay nearly as much attention to your games as you should.

The power of drawing your deck

In its own unconventional way, the Dredge deck draws a ton of cards. Every time you replace a draw with a “dredge N,” you effectively draw N cards. Of course, these cards must fit within particular constraints to be useful in that context – you have to be able to get some use out of having them in your graveyard. But there are a lot of cards that work just fine from your graveyard, and being able to massively outdraw your opponent is exactly as powerful as you think it should be.

Relative mana independence

Another trait that really endears Dredge to me is how well it operates in the absence of that most basic of Magic core elements, lands. Although the deck can technically operate entirely sans mana, you probably do want to have mana access to start your game plan off and to make it flow as smoothly as possible.

However, the deck still does operate quite cleanly in the absence of mana – and this matters in Legacy, where many of the major archetypes pack some form of mana denial. The most common are Wasteland and Rishadan Port, and both show up reasonably often. The ability to just ignore these after the first few turns is really nice, as it leaves the opposing deck with the tempo cost of running these lands, but with very little gain in terms of disrupting your game plan.

Ichorids mock counterspells

The final Dredge trait that we tend to ignore is how well Ichorids make their way around countermagic. This is especially relevant when you can expect to face any number of Force of Will decks at a Legacy tournament. While they try to use countermagic to disrupt your other accelerators and dredge enablers, you can simply churn out Ichorids, turn after turn, dealing 3 damage at a time until you win.

Altering Dredge

If you followed the coverage of the Legacy Open, you may have noticed that they ran a deck tech on the Dredge build I ran at the tournament. That deck tech briefly discussed some of the changes I chose to make to the deck, including one fairly significant modification that I’ve been nothing but pleased with.

So many things to leave alone

When we’re experimenting and playtesting, it’s good every so often to change things just to change things. Even though we tend to assume that deck builds that we see in tournament coverage are optimized, that’s usually far from true. We want to change our card choices to test the boundaries of what works and what doesn’t.

That said, you don’t want to actually run random changes at a tournement, so it’s good to figure out what can be left alone.

In the case of Dredge, there’s a basic framework that doesn’t need to be monkied with:

 

Even this might be pared down a little bit for personal preference. It also isn’t exactly a “functional” minimal Dredge build, as you need more enablers in there…it’s just that the choice of specific enablers varies and isn’t as locked-in as the other cards I listed.

So, that’s a decent Dredge core. What does a typical Dredge deck look like?

Here’s Caleb Neufeld’s Dredge deck, which he piloted to a top 16 finish last weekend:

Dredge (by Caleb Neufeld)

That’s a pretty good example of the species. So how and why did I move away from that?

The lands, they (continue to) burn me

In extensive playtesting of various Dredge builds over the last several months, I noticed on thing that really bothered me about all of them.

The lands.

Pretty much all contemporary Dredge decks feature a carbon copy set of lands like so:

 

(Some feature three copies of Tarnished Citadel.)

I loathe these lands.

They’ve hurt me. They’ve betrayed me at critical moments, either stabbing me in the back to bring me one point (or three!) closer to death, or simply disappearing from view. Although the deck is, as I’ve mentioned, reasonably solid in the absence of mana…it just doesn’t mesh well with my desire to win to have to abandon three-point life chunks just to get access to some colors.

I found myself wishing, really wishing, that I didn’t have to play such terrible lands just to run this deck.

And then I realized I didn’t.

The costs and consequences of changing your mana base

So, in a Dredge deck like Caleb’s, what do these rainbow lands give us access to? You may want to review the deck list for a moment before continuing.

As you can clearly see from the list, the bulk of the spells that you’re actually going to cast in a game are blue or black. Here are the spells that require other colors, from Caleb’s list:

 

Only one of these, the Tribe, is a main deck card. Everything else lives in the sideboard. While we can’t rule them out as “essential” simply based on that fact, it does mean that fundamental mechanics of the deck operate just fine without them.

Keeping that in mind, I did a quick review of sideboard options (more on that below) and decided to swap out the mana base almost completely. The only cards I kept were the Cephalid Coliseums, which are actually integral to the functioning of the deck itself. The new mana base looked like this:

 

The new mana base offers major advantages over the old one. After a potential one-time investment of a single life point, your land is “free” forever. It doesn’t deal 1 to you, or deal 3, or disappear after three uses. They just sit there, being functional lands, at least until they get Wastelanded.

That single Bayou is there to serve some of the sideboard cards I wanted to run, but note that if you prefer different cards, you can certainly run a different singleton dual. I recommend a B/x dual, where x is the color you want access to, because you’re reasonably likely to want to cast black spells in a sideboarded game.

Obviously, this cuts off access to Tireless Tribe as a dredge enabler, as well as too many of those sideboard cards. That said, I think this change is totally worth it, as the ground you buy in wins against decks that try to win by attacking your life total far exceeds the ground you lose by not having access to those specific sideboard cards.

It does, of course, make the deck more expensive. We shouldn’t let a major change in a Legacy deck go by without mentioning price.

One final note, something that came up for me once during the tournament – this mana base alteration does mean that Fish decks can islandwalk you. Just something to keep in mind.

The full list

The mana base alteration was the biggie, but I made other changes to the general Dredge structure, which I’ll comment on in a moment. Here’s the list I ran at the Open:

Underground Dredge

Time to check in on some of my card choices:

Hapless Researcher – Caleb’s deck runs a set of fifteen Dredge enablers, featuring 4 Breakthrough, 3 Careful Study, 4 Tireless Tribe, and 4 Putrid Imp. In cutting Tribe, I was left with the Imps, one more Careful Study, and the Breakthroughs. Hapless Researcher simultaneously fills this gap in enablers with an on-color card while also promoting even more explosive game ones by letting you “bridge” gaps in one of your big dredging turns. This bridging may either involve casting a Researcher, or even Dread Returning it just to sacrifice it, make more zombies, and dredge some more. I have been nothing but happy with this little guy.

Note that he’s also a killer in the Dredge mirror, where he lets you nail the opposing deck’s Bridges at will.

Flame-Kin Zealot – You have your choice of main deck “combo kills.” Caleb has gone with Iona, where the “kill” involves Dread Returning Iona and hopefully locking your opponent out of an essential color. I’m not fond of this, having tested it, because many decks can still either remove Iona or simply kill you with their remaining colors. On the other hand, the Zealot is an excellent game one win condition, as it offers an immediate, “you’re dead right now” kill – and it’s a kill that can flow around an enemy fattie or other blockers.

Angel of Despair – Where I have Angel, Caleb has Woodfall Primus. Either is probably fine, but one creature of this type is necessary, as you can otherwise randomly lose game one to a card like Elephant Grass. I prefer Angel of Despair since I like to be able to kill a creature if I need to.

Darkblast – I run one in the main deck over a second copy of Golgari Thug, as I appreciate having access to a way to kill annoying hoser creatures like Gaddock Teeg.

Over in the sideboard, you can see how the color constraints of the revised mana base have focused my sideboard choices.

I expected the specific metagame of the San Jose Open to feature many decks that would rely on artifacts as their graveyard hate. With that in mind, I ran four copies of Nature’s Claim and, after some deliberation, three more copies of Ancient Grudge, there solely to be flashed back.

The sideboard also features four copies of Unmask, a card that I feel is excellent in Dredge. Unmask is my go-to card when I’m unsure of my opponent’s sideboard plans against me. It’s also excellent against fast combo decks such as Ad Nauseam Tendrils, where it can let me knock them back a turn or so. The true sickness involves hitting your opponent with an Unmask, then following it up with multiple Cabal Therapy strikes. In my game two against an opponent playing Hypergenesis, I kept a five-card hand on the draw featuring Unmask, Cabal Therapy, some random black cards, and no lands. My opponent dropped a Leyline of the Void pre-game (boo, etc) and I started my game out by Unmasking to take their one cascade spell, revealing a hand with two copies of Iona. I topdecked a land on my second draw and Cabal Therapied for those Ionas. This gave me a tremendous amount of free time in which I was able to kill my opponent with Narcomoebas, a Stinkweed Imp, and eventually a hard-cast Ichorid.

Overall, I was very happy with this build of the deck. However, after conversation with Frankie Mach, my final round opponent in the curiously odious Dredge mirror, I think the Ancient Grudges can go in favor of a more general replacement. If I were to play this deck in a random Legacy metagame today, I’d run this:

Underground Dredge update

Pithing Needle gives a more proactive solution to those unpleasant anti-graveyard artifacts, while also, Unmask-style, being able to nail a whole host of other cards. In fact, Needle is a beautiful Legacy card, seeing as it’s a general answer to cards in a format that features so many cards. I like it, and I’m going to be giving it a shot for the near future.

Ending on a PSA

I’m out of space today, so I’ll have to return in the future to talk about considerations like opening hands, sideboarding for specific matchups, and playing around the inevitable hate. In the meantime, here’s a public service announcement, courtesy of our own Michael Sohn in his role as a judge.

Arrange your graveyard like this:

Not like this:

In Legacy and Vintage, graveyard order matters, which means that your graveyard must be contiguous. You are, of course, allowed to just have it as a big pile, as my opponent in the Dredge mirror does here:

But I tend to lose track of my cards when I do that, so I prefer to keep my graveyard spread out. If you want to use that approach, then you, too, need to have your graveyard snake around in a contiguous pattern so that you aren’t accidentally reordering that sucker.

Zombies, lands, and sideboard cards

It took me a while to be willing to so fundamentally alter the Dredge mana base, but at the end of the day, I’m super happy that I did so. In exchange for giving up some sideboard cards that I’m not particularly excited about, I have a deck that is more consistent, more resistant to aggro and damage-based combo, and thus more reliable overall. If you can swing it, I’d recommend giving this variation on Dredge a try at your next Legacy event.

What do you think? Is this an exciting new turn for the deck, or is the pain of losing Tireless Tribe just too much to bear? Let me know in the comments.

***
magic (at) alexandershearer.com
parakkum on twitter

40 thoughts on “In Development – My Zombies Rise from Seas and Bayous”

  1. Thank you so much for this. I was tired of losing to my own lands (though i will miss tireless tribe)

    Also, thanks for making it un-LED-ed

  2. Great article, I really wish more writers were as concise and used as many pictures as you. It was a lot of fun playing against you Sunday (if thats what we call playing Dredge when you see one Bridge From Below one two games). Good luck with the deck in the future.

  3. any thoughts on drowned rusalka instead of hapless researcher? i know it costs a mana, but you can sac anything, and you discard first, meaning you pitch a troll or big stinks and can immediately dredge it back. is the fact that you have to pay mana the determining factor?

  4. Not so keen on pithing needle. There are at least 4 different activated abilities that people play against you (crypt, relic, nihil spellbomb, faerie macabre), you have to guess/know which they have, and smart players will have a mix.

    I really like Tireless Tribe in dredge, but the lands are pretty painful sometimes.

  5. Really really good article, great use of images to tell the story of how to operate the deck as well.

  6. Firestorm is basically too good not to run, which makes me want to turn that Bayou into a Badlands. If you’re going to do that, I suggest the following changes to the board:

    1 Ancestors Chosen
    1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
    3 Firestorm
    3 Null Rod
    3 Chain of Vapor
    4 Unmask

    You need a solution to Leyline, and in UBR you really only have Bounce as an option. It lets you get ahead of the Leyline, at the worst, and generally you can use that turn or two to find a Therapy. Null Rod is a bit greedy with the “high” mana cost of 2, but its a universal answer to all the Tormod’s Crypt style cards you’re going to face. Since you don’t run LED, it does nothing to you at all. Firestorm, obviously, is the reason to run red.

  7. The pictures were just fantastic, really gave an exciting turn to it, and it is great to see the deck in action. It gave the article a second narrative that was very interesting.

  8. adam, why not a taiga instead of a badlands (instead of the bayou). that’ll give you access to green and red (for nature’s claim, firestorm, and ancient grudge)

  9. Please do more deck breakdown articles. Very helpful too all

    thank you

    Is there a reason why players don’t use Kor Skyfisher with Vengenvine?

  10. I agree that firestorm is too good to leave out. I will definitely be testing this with the new style mana base you suggest.

  11. It’s probably a little better to include polluted delta with your other fetchlands to minimize the impact of pithing needle.

  12. Nice article. At least till I got to your list and omission of Iona. That’s where I kinda stopped. Petrified field is pretty cheap and can take place of a dual if people are looking to keep the cost down with this land setup.

  13. Dear Alex,

    Ah, dredge! I’ve been working on dredge for a while now (Ichorid, non-LED, “non-combo.” Ie: only Dread Return targets are Grave-Troll and 1 Terastodon. Though I’m soon to start testing a Blooghast version and a one with more targets main-deck [like Sphinx].)

    At any rate, I’m fascinated by this new take on Dredge. I appreciate trying to standardize the mana-base. I’ve frequently taken 5-12 damage from my lands alone, making an easy win into a close race. That being said, I usually win those races regardless, so I can’t say I’m displeased with all of the gold lands.

    I believe that Tireless Tribe is replaceable in Game 1. Hapless Researcher (and cards like Breakthrough and Careful Study) let you move Dredge cards from your hand into your graveyard just as well as Tireless Tribe… once. However, it is in sideboarded games that Tireless Tribe and repeatable discard outlets really shine. My Game 1 win percentage is so high already that I have found it worthwhile to adapt the maindeck for more grinding attrition games. (I find Games 2 and 3 to be long and drawn out, simply because my opponent mulligans into graveyard hate, I Therapy his/her action spells, and we are forced to battle with sub-par hands.)

    I am a firm believer in 4 Putrid Imp and 4 Tireless Tribe in Dredge. In my experience, being able to a) hold on to a few dredge cards and b) being able to discard them at will is the difference between a blwout game 2 and one in which you can rebuild immediately. Is it worth adding a Scrubland for Tribe? Maybe… but then you lose Nature’s Claim. I don’t know how to address that. White does give you access to things like Ray of Revelation, though, and other Disenchant/Demystify effects. (Though none are as versatile as Nature’s Claim.)

    Regardless, I feel that in the board Null Rod is better than Pithing Needle. It can preemptively answer every artifact-based form of Graveyard Hate, and it takes full advantage of this new mana base which neither expires nor damages you. Given that, I believe it is possible to change to a Scrubland, add Tribe to the main, and use the white for getting rid of enchantments while using artifacts to stop the artifact-based graveyard hate. I don’t know whether or not it is enough, but I think it’s worth looking into, because Tireless Tribe really has been THAT good for me.

    I am very much looking forward to your next article on Dredge! Any testing results you have, any ideas you’ve gone through, I’m curious to read about all of them.

    ~ ASW

  14. Seems like an interesting idea, although I happen to dislike Dredge and would prefer to see it become completely unplayable rather than revitalized. For shame.

  15. I love the use of still images in this article! I lost to Dredge in the top 8 of a GPT–I now have a better idea of what I was up against. Thanks!

  16. I want to point out: if you are running Underground Sea in Dredge then you probably want to run Wonder. You don’t need to reanimate him at all and he turns all of your Zombies into fliers.

    You can do a similar thing with Badlands + Anger. I haven’t tried it, but if you do try it out you could cut Flame Kin Zealot for Anger as they have a similar role.

    I have played the rainbow lands forever mostly due to Tireless Tribe. To be honest I haven’t tried hapless researcher, but being able to blow bridges at instant speed in the mirror is definitely good.

  17. For MTGO, since unmask hasn’t been printed yet, is there another card that would do something similar?

    Again, thanks for the article!

  18. In addition to all of the beneficial cards you lose access to with this proposed manabase, you also now lose to Stifle. Which is ironic as the only decks that run it are normally byes for Ichorid.

  19. Thanks to everyone for the remarks. Glad you liked the pictures. For bonus fun, save them out as a slide show – it’s kind of cute. Also, I had a number of game ones against people like that one the weekend (except, as he notes, Daniel…those stupid missing Bridges).

    To address one sideboard card I’m not using — it may just be me not being “good at Firestorm,” but I haven’t liked it that much at all. I’d love hearing your stories about the circumstances under which Firestorm has been awesome for you, as it might help direct some sideboard modifications that people touched on in their comments.

    I may just follow up next week with the “How I play Dredge” article next week, especially as that can help explain some of the sideboard choices, most notably a bit more about why Iona lives in the sideboard rather than the main deck.

    @AdamNightmare – You bring up a good point that I didn’t touch on at all – you can swap out the one “sideboard enabler” Bayou for any other sideboard enabler dual that your fetches can grab. Right now, the fetch suite is designed to be able to grab forests, letting me get those Bayous and Seas…but, of course, you could get the same effect if all your fetches grabbed Swamps. Right now, the Forest tilt is a bit historical, as at one point I was considering running a single Dryad Arbor so that spare fetches could grab Dread Return targets.

    As it happens, that wasn’t really as useful as having a different card in that slot, but that explains why it’s Mistys and Catacombs rather than, say, Catacombs and Mires.

    @Jamez – On the Vengevine side, I don’t use Kor Skyfisher because I don’t need it, and consequently I’d rather use the deck space for something else. My default GWx Vengevine build these days features a full set of Squadron Hawks, and that usually fuels my ability to recur Vengevines just fine. As a bonus, I’m never in the awkward position of being forced to knock back my own tempo (by bouncing a land) if I want to simply play a two drop.

    @Slade – Genuinely didn’t think of that. 🙂 With the caveat that I have not tested this at all, my major reservation about Murmuring Bosk would be having a land that /always/ enters the battlefield tapped. That seems as if it would be exceptionally bad in Legacy. But then…haven’t tested it yet. I might give it a shot in playtesting, see what I think.

    @Daniel – It’s a decent thought, although no one has ever Needled my lands. I think the cost of bringing in Pithing Needle against a deck where it’s fairly mediocre overall is too high for opponents to want to do that in general.

    @Daveh – I’ve done a lot of playtesting with Iona, and I love her in sideboarded games, but really not at all in game one. I may just go ahead and do the “how I play this deck” article for next week to explain that. In game one, a swarm of zombies is almost always superior, at least in my testing.

    @ASW – Okay, so that’s two votes for Null Rod. The Rod is another card that simply wasn’t on my radar. That’s a feature of Legacy, of course, to not have a card on your radar! I’ll give it some testing.

    As for the Tireless Tribes in games two (and three, if there is one)…I haven’t felt the need. But then, it’s possible that my sideboarding and approach to boarded games is really different from the norm (not saying it is, just saying I don’t really know if it is or not). My ideal creature would, of course, be able to pitch like Imp and sac at will like Researcher. But between the two, I’ll actually pick the sacrifice, as it gives me bonus zombies while it pitches /and/ enables more dredging. Really, it’s that last one that is the most powerful part – that the card is ‘draw/discard’, rather than just ‘discard’.

    @juzamjedi – Good point, and I’d forgotten that I was actually thinking “Damn, I wish I had a Wonder” in my drawn out game one against Frankie (the Dredge mirror) at the Open.

    @Parcher – If the few decks that run Stifle want to blow them on one of my lands instead of on having a 12/12 trampler (or whichever), that’s fine by me. If some Stifle (and Trickbind) oriented deck became significantly more popular, this might be a bigger worry…but at the moment, almost no one plays the card, and it’s a necessary part of their own proactive game plan.

    @Mike Destroyer – I’ve tried Drowned Rusalka, and the mana cost is a gigantic issue, bigger than you might imagine. If I could run Rusalka, I absolutely would, but in Legacy it’s not unreasonable to imagine that you’re going to lose all (that is, both) of your lands to Wastelands in short order after starting off your play. You really do want a card that can work in isolation without any outside “fuel.”

  20. Team America runs Stifle/Wasteland, and has maintianed it’s presence in the format to some degree even through Survival’s reign. You’ll find one in most SCG Top 8’s/16’s, albeit with a different name sometimes. New Horizions runs the same package, with White (see: Knight of the Reliquary) to back it up. And while it couldn’t effectively deal with Survival, it was dominating 5Ks beforehand. It also has a large advantage over Goblins, so expect to see this deck back with a vengance.

    More to the point; Either of these decks, or even DreadStill, Stifle-ing your only land, or even your second, with Daze and Force backup will put Ichorid at a huge disadvantage that is likely not a necessary risk. but forced through the proposed manabase

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  22. @Parcher – On the high side, a Dreadstill deck may run perhaps 8-9 of those effects – for example, Rodney Hannigan top eighted the Boston Open with 4 Stifle, 2 Trickbind, and 3 Wasteland. Similarly, Team America builds – say, William Nichols’ from the Indy Open – top out at 8, with four Wastelands and four Stifles.

    Goblins, which is a tremendously more common matchup in Legacy right now than either of these, flat-out always runs eight mana denial effects in the form of four Wastelands and four Ports. And, unlike Dreadstill builds, you don’t have to defer your primary win condition to use them.

    I’m actually going to be reviewing the overall metagame from the SCG Legacy Open in the near future, but my impression from major Legacy events in the past year is that you shouldn’t expect to hit more than, at most, two Stifle decks…and even then, you’re facing no more of an LD challenge than you should expect from the 8-12% of the field who are trying to kill you with little red men.

    On the other hand, not taking bonus damage from your lands gives you significant edge against decks like Goblins that can only win via your life total – and, notably, means you may well get a free turn against Dreadstill, which rather clunkily has to try to kill you with a 12/12.

    So, although losing a land to Stifle is possible, this modest increase in risk is outweighed rather dramatically by the rewards, at least in my experience.

  23. I fully agree with you Alex that zombies win 95 % of your game 1s, but it seems like you just can get hosed by cards like cursecatcher with this strat, whereas 1 mb copy of Iona would win it hands down easy and quickly. And I would think you’ll see that more often than teeg.

  24. @Daveh: It’s pretty easy to beat Merfolk game one. You never really have to give them a target for Cursecatcher, and without you ever casting a spell, they can’t even use countermagic to give hiim a target unless they want to 3-for-1 themselves. Just let Ichorids die EOT until you have enough to Alpha strike.

    @Andrew: I guarantee you will see 10 Team America/New Horizons decks at a 5K for every DreadStill deck, though I agree that 2 in 8-10 rounds s about the most you’d expect. Now that Survival is gone though, Zoo is back,. And DreadStill simply cannot beat Zoo, so I wouldn’t expect it at all.

    On a side note, a 12/12 Trampler, be it a Dreadnaught, or Terravore, is about one of the most difficult things for Ichorid to deal with pre-board.

  25. Very nice article Alex, thanks!

    How good was Nature’s Claim in your testing? I barely see any Leylines. Since you seem to be pretty adept at statistics: is it possible that you make some nice graphs of the proliferation of the different hate cards?

    Unmask has been disappointing for me, what do you think about the white Leyline against Storm? If you need to have the hate immediately in hand, might as well go with the most potent one.

  26. This deck list has a huge mana base so you can put in a dakmor salvage in place of a fetch land and use sickening dreams in place of firestorm. White leyline stops tormods crypt and red deck wins and storm. These should be in your sideboard. They make pain lands less painful against RDW. I personally use four Leyline of the voids in my vintage build which converts into legacy nicley with just a few changes. main deck leyline of the void is great in the mirror match. This is legacy, right? You can use four lotus petals in legacy? Lotus Petal gives you acsess to first turn wins. Here’s an example hand for legacy. one land, one lotus petal, one P.imp, one breakthrough, two Golgari Grave Trolls, one Leyline of the Void. I think this is a lot less risky than going all in with LED as that it can leave you with nothing to do and no land. That’s also why i think this LEDless deck list is much better. I also want to make some points on Main deck Leyline of the Void. If you choose to use terastodon your opponent gets no 3/3 tokens. You have to remember some times you get bad dredges and just can’t get that zomnie swarm in time, so main deck Leyline gives you the option of Dread Return Sharuum the Hegemon and helm of Obedience combo to blow away their library for the win with out Bridge zombies. I hope this advice is useful and I love all Dredge articles and I love Dredge. Keep the dredge articles coming.

  27. Nice read. I always enjoy reading dredge articles. Looking forward to your next dredge article. I’m interested to see how you win post board games after getting past the hate without going off using draw spells/effects since you probably fetch the bayou to cast the anti hate card (claim, grudge, ray).

  28. I wonder how often you’ve dredged away the land you desperately need. This is a risk for the Bayou, but I’ve gotten Crypted and drawn from the top of the deck and wanted a land. Probably not the most common of occurrence, but it’s there. I mean, I’ve never lost to my lands burning me out, but I have lost to color screw with the 5 color manabase.

    I think you dramatically undervalue Tribe’s use in the maindeck. It’s a significantly better card than Hapless Research, especially at fighting hate.

    I’ve had Null Rod and not been super impressed. If you’re just fighting some Crypts and Relics, I like Grudge better because it’s more flexible. Null Rod is at its best at fighting CB decks that can float Trap with Top, but I’ve gotten significantly better as a Dredge player since that was my worry.

    Also, I think 0 dedicated Dread Return targets is correct game1. You don’t need them except against the fringiest of decks.

    Anyway, I think more attention to Dredge is awesome, but I feel the need to give the counter-arguments. Here’s my maindeck, which I think is very very correct. I think the lists out there are just untuned because people throw pet cards in there. This list maximizes consistency during the most important turns 1-2.

    4 Golgari Grave-Troll
    4 Stinkweed Imp
    2 Golgari Thug
    1 Darkblast

    4 Tireless Tribe
    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Careful Study
    4 Breakthrough

    4 Narcomoeba
    4 Ichorid
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Bridge from Below
    2 Dread Return

    4 City of Brass
    4 Gemstone Mine
    4 Cephalid Coliseum
    3 Tarnished Citadel

  29. Pingback: » In Development – Be the Big Bad (Part 1)

  30. Pingback: » In Development – Be the Big Bad (Part 1)

  31. Pingback: » In Development – Be the Big Bad (Part 1)

  32. Pingback: » In Development – Many Dread Returns

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