Deck Guide of the Day: Dredge

The deck is surprisingly hard to play, so it’s worth getting in a lot of testing with the deck in a variety of matchups to understand how to sequence your cards and play it. A lot of matchups play out the same way, but certain cards have added utility in some matchups. Stinkweed Imp is a good blocker against a lot of decks, and Golgari Grave-Troll is a good threat in some matchups.

stinkweed-impgolgari-grave-troll

The most important thing to realize is that once you start dredging cards, you never get a fresh draw again. What that means is that once you start to dredge cards, you want to make sure you have all the tools you’ll need for the rest of the game to function, and if you lack those tools, then naturally drawing is sometimes, but not always, a better option. It’s also important to know that you don’t necessarily have to have those tools in your hand already, as some of them can be later acquired through dredging, like lands via Life from the Loam and Dakmor Salvage. Always have a reason to dredge a specific card over other options. If you can’t think of a reason to dredge a card, just naturally draw instead.

Generally speaking, if you have a hand that has 2 lands, and one of those lands produces green mana, then you’re set to be able to do anything you want to do over the course of the game, thanks to Life from the Loam, which you will dredge into your graveyard at some point. Life from the Loam is really the centerpiece of this deck, as it allows you to bridge the gap from your opening hand to the midgame. It also provides extra fodder for Conflagrate, and is often the best card to dredge every turn later in the game.

life-from-the-loamdakmor-salvage

Over the course of the game, you’re going to need to do a handful of things. You’re going to want to play lands to return Bloodghast to play. You’re going to need to be able to flashback Conflagrate, which requires 2 red sources, and you’re going to want to be able to flashback Faithless Looting or Rally the Peasants, or unearth Scourge Devil, all which require 3 lands. Sometimes you will also need to be able to use Life from the Loam to set up your lands to be able to hardcast big threats like Golgari Grave-Troll or Stinkweed Imp.

bloodghastconflagratefaithless-lootingrally-the-peasantscorge-devil

One of the hardest parts of playing the deck is knowing what kinds of hands to keep. You basically only want to keep hands that “do something.” What that means is that you have Cathartic Reunion, Insolent Neonate, or Faithless Looting to discard cards, and then access to a card with dredge to be able to begin the process of dredging. You also need to find Prized AmalgamsNarcomoebas, and Bloodghasts along the way to actually start putting power into play.

cathartic-reunioninsolent-neonateprized-amalgamnarcomoeba

I’m not going to keep a hand that only has dredge cards and no way to get them into the graveyard. It’s not worth the risk of not drawing one of the 12 enablers fast enough. The exception is when I’ve already mulliganed down to 4 or 5 cards. Then I’ll keep a speculative hand if I have some lands to work with, or alternatively keep a no-land hand if I have all the tools I’ll need to win if I do draw the land. Fun fact, even if you miss your first land drop, you have over the 50% chances to win that game anyway. Deck is explosive and powerful.

On the other hand, I will keep some, but not all, hands where I have enablers but not dredgers. For example, I’d easily keep a hand with Faithless Looting and Cathartic Reunion and a few lands, even if I don’t have a dredger. As long as you have draw power, you can find dredgers eventually. The hand will be slower, but still functional. For example you can keep a hand and go turn 1 Faithless Looting discarding 2 Bloodghast, and turn 2 Faithless Looting again discarding 2 Prized Amalgams, followed by a second land. You don’t draw any cards with dredge in this scenario, but still accomplished the entire point of what those dredge cards are supposed to do: put Amalgams and Ghasts into play early and often.

Here’s the full list:

Creature (25):

4 Bloodghast
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Insolent Neonate
4 Narcomoeba
4 Prized Amalgam
1 Scourge Devil
4 Stinkweed Imp

Spells (15):

4 Cathartic Reunion
3 Conflagrate
4 Faithless Looting
3 Life from the Loam
1 Shriekhorn

Lands (22):

2 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Copperline Gorge
2 Dakmor Salvage
2 Stomping Ground
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Mountain

Sideboard (15):

1 Ancient Grudge
2 Bojuka Bog
1 Collective Brutality
2 Darkblast
1 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Lightning Axe
4 Nature’s Claim
2 Vengeful Pharaoh

This deck is really power and should earn its respect. If Your going to any Modern tournament be prepared to face this matchup.

Thanks Everybody for reading,

Andreas

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