Deck of the Day: Manaless Dredge (Legacy)

A deck with absolutely no lands that can win the game? If that’s up your alley, I have just the deck for you. This Legacy deck uses absolutely no mana producing cards to win the game. So how does it get that job done?

Well, it starts with being on the draw. You literally can’t make a land drop or play any spells on turn 1, so you actually need to discard just to get started. If an opponent knows what you’re on before game 1, you’d better hope to win the die roll. Being on the play is a huge disadvantage because you’ll be forced to say “go” while your opponent gets to effectively start with an 8th card. This also means that this deck almost can’t mulligan. Going down to 6 cards means that you’re forced to wait at least one full turn before you can get started.

There are some excellent cards for this deck to discard, the best of which is Phantasmagorian. This is a total game-changer, as discarding the Horror can turbo-start your game plan. With the Phantasmagorian in the graveyard, you can discard three cards to return it to your hand and really fill your ‘yard up in a hurry. With that trigger on the stack, you can also discard your other three cards to get your entire hand into your graveyard.

This is a Dredge deck, so you’re going to be playing a large number of dredge cards. The purpose of these cards is almost solely to get as many cards into your graveyard as possible. Golgari Grave-Troll is the best of the bunch as it has the highest dredge at 6, but Stinkweed Imp, Shambling Shell, and Golgari Thug all get the job done, albeit more slowly.

Getting these cards into your graveyard lets you start finding Narcomoebas. A dredger hitting this little flyer will put it directly into play.

A full graveyard also gives you the ability to bring Nether Shadows and Ichorids back from your graveyard. These haste creatures get in for some quick damage, and add board presence for your other key spells.

Flashback spells that require no mana cost are a huge part of what makes this deck tech. Cabal Therapy can clear out your opponent’s hand and clear the way, and Dread Return can bring back your biggest threats from the graveyard just by sacrificing a few creatures.

With these sacrifice effects in Therapy and Dread Return, Bridge from Below can flood your board out with Zombies. You can quickly build a massive board presence by sacrificing your own creatures, and even Ichorids can build an army of Zombies the slow way (just don’t trade in combat and let an opponent’s creature die to exile your Bridges).


With all of these dredge cards, getting an extra trigger is almost akin to drawing six cards when you’re dredging back a Grave-Troll. Free card draw in Street Wraith and Gitaxian Probe allow you to really go through your deck quickly and makes sure that the game ends before the opponent can do anything about it.

Chancellor of the Annex provides the deck with a pregame action to both slow the opponent down and make it challenging to interact with you. Now, the opponent will always get a first turn, especially since you choose to be on the draw, but this can slow down the really important stuff like Deathrite Shaman. You can also fire off a quick Dread Return on the Chancellor to shut down combo decks.

The other creatures most commonly targeted with your Dread Returns are Flayer of the Hatebound and Whirlpool Rider. Whirlpool lets you shuffle your hand into your library and draw that many cards, or in other words, you can potentially dredge 30. Flayer of the Hatebound provides a way to win in a single turn without needing your Zombies to lose summoning sickness. Returning a Flayer and then returning a Grave-Troll is sure to be lethal with a stacked graveyard.

If you don’t mind relying a bit on the luck of the opening hand draw, this deck is a powerful one. Just be sure everyone in the room doesn’t know what you’re on or you’re immediately losing equity!

THICKWICK, Top 16 in an MTGO Legacy Challenge


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