There’s by no means been a greater time for Dredge in Trendy. For fairly a while, Dredge flew beneath the radar as a top quality deck that didn’t get the eye it deserved. Skilled pilots would persistently put up good outcomes, however it by no means reached the purpose of being thought-about top-of-the-line decks within the format. Then Guilds of Ravnica noticed the printing of Creeping Chill, which offered a big notch up in energy degree, in addition to altering a serious archetype (Burn) from a nasty matchup into one thing you’re joyful to be paired towards. Lastly, the announcement of the London Mulligan check has the potential to profit Dredge greater than another main deck within the format.
For reference, right here’s what a Trendy Dredge deck appears like:
Joseba Garcia, third place at Grand Prix Bilbao
1 Bloodstained Mire
Four Copperline Gorge
1 Dakmor Salvage
1 Gemstone Mine
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Mana Confluence
2 Stomping Floor
Four Wooded Foothills
1 Golgari Thug
Four Prized Amalgam
Four Stinkweed Imp
Four Cathartic Reunion
Four Creeping Chill
Four Faithless Looting
Four Life from the Loam
Three Historic Grudge
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Leyline of the Void
Three Lightning Axe
Four Nature’s Declare
1 Ravenous Lure
1 Vengeful Pharaoh
And for anybody not accustomed to the information of the London Mulligan, right here’s the way it works (taken from the official WotC announcement): “If you mulligan for the Nth time, you draw seven playing cards, then put N playing cards on the underside of your library in any order.”
Notice that to date that is solely introduced as a check for use particularly for Mythic Championship London. But when historical past is any indicator, it’s attainable that this rule could possibly be adopted for all ranges of play, as long as the suggestions from the gamers is constructive.
The rationale that this might profit Dredge is two-fold. First, it might improve your potential to seek for key playing cards whereas mulliganing (say, Faithless Looting and a dredge card), since you get to see extra playing cards on a mulligan earlier than you determine whether or not or not you’re holding. Second, Dredge doesn’t thoughts being down playing cards, because it performs primarily out of the graveyard as an alternative of out of its hand. This stuff mixed imply that Dredge can probably mulligan three or 4 occasions to search for key playing cards, and nonetheless have an excellent probability to win lots of these video games.
To make an extended story brief, Dredge is right here to remain. Beating ‘em and becoming a member of ‘em are each legitimate choices, however ignoring ‘em and hoping they go away isn’t. So let’s talk about the way to beat ‘em!
There are two methods to interpret this query. The primary is, How a lot hate do you want in an effort to be favored towards Dredge? My tough reply can be Four-Eight items of graveyard hate in your sideboard, relying in your archetype, and which hate playing cards you decide.
In case your deck is quick sufficient, then you definitely may have the ability to win some video games within the absence of graveyard hate. Definitely, in case you’re enjoying one thing within the class of Infect or Amulet Titan, then an excellent draw with one piece of graveyard hate should let you win the race.
In case your deck is sluggish and grindy, then an opponent who places wave after wave of creatures into play from their graveyard shouldn’t be precisely whom you need to face. I’ve struggled towards Dredge enjoying Jund with three Scavenging Ooze in the primary deck and extra items of hate in my sideboard.
The second approach to interpret the query is, What’s the optimum method to construct my sideboard in a world the place Dredge is in style? This model of the query is way extra necessary however in my expertise, it’s the model that’s requested far much less typically.
Being “favored” in a matchup feels good. It’s an inexpensive benchmark to search for. However there’s completely nothing distinctive concerning the quantity 51% the place your event fairness is worried. Growing your possibilities to win a matchup from 25% to 35% is nice! Enhancing from 65% to 75% is nice! Enhancing from 49% to 51% is marginal, so why get hung up on it?
My level is, if in case you have entry to high-impact playing cards for a sure matchup, then play with them! For those who don’t have entry to high-impact playing cards for a matchup, then perhaps you shouldn’t work too exhausting to place a band-aid on the issue.
Check out this deck, and particularly the sideboard:
Four Scalding Tarn
Four Arid Mesa
2 Temple Backyard
2 Stomping Floor
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Steam Vents
1 Treetop Village
Four Noble Hierarch
Four Knight of the Reliquary
Four Baneslayer Angel
Four Wild Nacatl
Four Lightning Bolt
Four Path to Exile
Three Lightning Helix
Four Bant Allure
2 Umezawa’s Jitte
Four Meddling Mage
Four Ravenous Lure
Three Tormod’s Crypt
Why, you may ask, am I that includes a ten-year-old deck listing from a format that not even exists? How, you may also ask, did I even discover it?
Ten years later, I nonetheless know the precise event (Worlds 2009) and have match (spherical 18 towards All-In-Purple) the place I can look to dig up this deck record. The rationale I’ve remembered it for all these years is as a result of it taught me such a transparent and essential lesson about deckbuilding. Saito’s sideboard options simply 4 distinct playing cards—the 4 highest-impact sideboard playing cards obtainable to him, within the largest numbers he might legally play them. His essential deck is as robust as attainable for “regular” matchups, and his sideboard is just seven playing cards towards Dredge decks and eight playing cards towards spell-based combo decks.
One thing tells me that he didn’t arrive at this sideboard by figuring out that he wanted seven playing cards to be 51% towards Dredge and eight playing cards to be 51% towards Hypergenesis Combo. I consider that he arrived at this sideboard as a result of these have been the playing cards that the majority dramatically improved his fairness within the essential matchups. Why limp throughout the end line when you’ll be able to blow previous it in a blaze of glory? Why get to 51% towards Dredge when a number of additional playing cards may let you pummel it?
So how do you have to construct your sideboard with Dredge in thoughts? It is best to contemplate the choices obtainable to you, and in the event you discover them interesting, you must play them in as many copies as you’ll be able to match.
Leyline of the Void is among the recreation’s most iconic graveyard hate playing cards. It stays a potent and helpful choice that may be utilized by any deck, black mana or no. Leyline is nice towards Dredge, as they won’t beat it if it stays on the battlefield. The London mulligan rule additionally boosts your potential to search for it in your opening hand. However it may be destroyed by Nature’s Declare, Murderer’s Trophy, or Maelstrom Pulse, that are playing cards that Dredge gamers are educated to sideboard in “simply in case.”
The draw back of Leyline is that it’s a really excessive measure. A nuclear missile is a strong weapon, however many battles require one thing with extra precision. At face worth, Leyline is card drawback—you spend a card and you don’t influence your opponent’s assets in a direct approach. Moreover, its costly price ticket makes it a really poor card to attract into later within the recreation. For these causes, Leyline is nice towards Dredge, however much less interesting towards decks that peripherally use the graveyard corresponding to Izzet Phoenix and Demise’s Shadow.
One of the best time to decide on Leyline is if you consider that the sport might be determined within the first couple of turns. When the sport is compressed in velocity, then your opening hand makes up a bigger portion of the full variety of playing cards you draw. This will increase the facility of the pre-game motion and lessens the draw back drawing it later. Word that having black mana does assist.
Surgical Extraction is sweet in case your deck has numerous Snapcaster Mages. In any other case, it’s full trash. Luis Scott-Vargas leads a public service marketing campaign to fight the overuse of Surgical Extraction, and I help his efforts a hundred percent. It has all of the downsides of setting you again a card, however with out the efficiency of the opposite graveyard hate choices. You’ll beat Dredge in the event you stick a Leyline. You’ll in all probability nonetheless want extra assist even in the event you Surgical their Narcomoebas or Stinkweed Imps. (Which is why it’s a superb pairing with Snapcaster Mage to get double-uses).
Personally, Nihil Spellbomb is my favourite graveyard hate choice in Trendy. A weapon of precision, if you’ll. Spellbomb strikes a great stability of being quick and potent (1 mana to take out an entire graveyard for those who want it), but in addition replaces itself in a recreation the place you want your assets. It additionally does its job even when the Dredge participant is prepared with their Nature’s Declare.
Spellbomb is low-risk as a result of it’s low cost, it replaces itself, and it’s good in both your opening hand or off the highest of your library. This makes it good towards each Dredge and the less-dedicated graveyard decks (Phoenix and Shadow) alike. It’s even a nice most important deck choice for some decks.
I really like Nihil Spellbomb in my G/B/x Midrange decks as a result of, in contrast to Leyline, it permits me to maintain a Thoughtseize into Darkish Confidant hand and know I’ve a lot of useful playing cards that I can draw into. It often slows down the Dredge participant sufficient for Scavenging Ooze to develop into a serious participant. (Extra on Scavenging Ooze to comply with.) It additionally has strong synergy with Tarmogoyf and Grim Flayer.
Spellbomb is nearer to Surgical Extraction in efficiency than it’s to Leyline of the Void. Because of this, you’ll typically want a quick draw or a second piece of graveyard hate to actually slam the door towards Dredge.
Relic of Progenitus is the cousin of Nihil Spellbomb, for gamers with out black mana. Spellbomb is usually just a little higher as a result of you possibly can crack it in an emergency even for those who don’t have mana open. However Relic has some upsides additionally, with the faucet capability coming in useful in some conditions and matchups. Moreover, the truth that it exiles each graveyards modifications its relationship to playing cards like Tarmogoyf.
With my love for Nihil Spellbomb, it’s little shock that I’m additionally a fan of Relic. It’s an excellent choice for UrzaTron, Valakut, and a few management decks.
What Grafdigger’s Cage loses in efficiency, it makes up for in being a very good draw off the highest of your library. It doesn’t cease all graveyard shenanigans, nevertheless it does an terrible lot. The most important draw back towards Dredge is that it doesn’t cease them from progressing their recreation plan, dumping playing cards into the graveyard, after which killing it later, at their comfort. Nonetheless, Cage is likely one of the higher choices for the matchup.
One other use of Grafdigger’s Cage is towards Collected Firm. I might take it or depart it towards a deck like Bant Spirits, which has 4 Collected Firm as the one playing cards to close down. However towards Elves, which frequently performs Chord of Calling, or towards Abzan Firm, which can have Kitchen Finks, it’s nearly as good as gold. On the flip aspect, Grafdigger’s Cage fails miserably towards Dwelling Finish, because of the uncommon templating of its namesake card.
I usually view Cage as a slightly-less excessive model of Leyline of the Void. You shouldn’t deliver it in towards decks with solely Snapcaster Mage, however in 1-2 copies, it’s nonetheless a very good choice for a lot of sideboards.
Relaxation in Peace is the gold commonplace for graveyard hate. Getting access to this card is a large attraction of enjoying a non-graveyard white deck. It does every little thing that Leyline of the Void does, however while not having to be in your opening hand. For those who forged it later, it exiles every thing already within the graveyard, even when the opponent is ready with a Nature’s Declare.
Relaxation in Peace obliterates each graveyards, so it is going to be annoying alongside your personal Tarmogoyfs, Lingering Souls, or Snapcaster Mages. Nonetheless, if my deck can help it, Relaxation in Peace is an instance of a card I might probably slam in Three-Four copies, even when I already felt superb about my Dredge matchup.
One-shot graveyard removing results aren’t my favourite, since you’ll be able to nonetheless lose video games to Dredge if the remainder of your draw isn’t robust sufficient. Nonetheless, these may be effective choices for decks which might be good at racing and simply want that little additional oomph to recover from the end line. Particularly, Tormod’s Crypt is fairly good in Hardened Scales and Affinity because of the quick clocks and presence of Mox Opal.
For a similar cause, I’m not enthusiastic about Bojuka Lavatory. However looking it up at instant-speed with Knight of the Reliquary could be very highly effective, so I’d probably play one copy alongside that card. If I solely had Traverse the Ulvenwald, I feel I’d select Scavenging Ooze as an alternative.
These creatures are fairly highly effective, and have utility in a variety of matchups and conditions. Sadly, they may all be too sluggish to fight Dredge on their very own. Nonetheless, when combined with different graveyard hate choices, they are often a part of a well-balanced breakfast.
I didn’t cowl each graveyard hate choice obtainable, however this should be sufficient info to sketch out a very good sideboard in your Trendy deck of selection. With Dredge and different graveyard decks being main gamers, these hate playing cards are among the many most potent sideboard instruments you’re going to have entry to. Select them correctly, they usually’ll go a great distance in the direction of serving to you win matches.
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