Dredge Sideboarding Tactics



  • I'm relatively new to playing Dredge and I've taken a liking to Hollow Ones in the sideboard (along with 3 Anglers).

    When you sideboard out cards for your anti-hate, or win conditions that rely less on the GY, what do you take out?

    I don't understand fully which cards are best to remove and why.



  • @jhport12 I just started using the Hollow One/Gurmag Angler plan last night, and I'm 2-0 in a League, so far. I don't know if it's correct. But I've been removing the Dread Return package, any Dread Return targets I have, and my Ichorids. I keep Bloodghast in, because if we're on the 'actually cast our creatures' plan, we're more likely to be able to cast Bloodghast than we are Ichorid.



  • So I've been playing pitch dredge in leagues so far. It is quite a bit different however I think the one big similarity is that the return package and its creature targets have to come out. The goal of dredge should be dominate game one and then sneak out a victory in games two or three.



  • Sideboarding is very dependent on what cards are in your 75, and what deck you are playing against. Its not really different from other decks in that way with exception to how many cards you are taking out / bringing in for each MU. In general, you should board put cards that are bad or useless in a particular MU.

    Against storm, the mirror and other fast decks I think its fairly common to do very light boarding. Basically just focus on taking out really bad cards, and bringing in some lands / 0 and 1 drops. For the most part though, your main deck should be built for these matchups. Outside of these MUs you can cut some of the cards that are there for speed and consistency, for instance:

    Anti Storm/Dredge cards:
    Leyline of the Void - This card is just not very good outside of these MUs and can easily be boarded out.
    Mindbreak Trap - Again this has some impact on other MUs, but it really is only played for the Storm MU. Feel free to board it out if your Blue count is sufficient for Force without it.

    Speed cards:
    Fatestitcher - This only works with mana, active bazaar + GY. This is too perfect of a scenario to be realistic for Games 2/3.
    Dread return targets - These cards are generally unusable unless your opponent has no hate.
    Lion's Eye Diamond - You almost never want to pitch your whole hand in games 2/3 and the mana is more of just a biproduct.
    Ect. - Speed cards are for G1, and MUs where you need to win quickly. They are easy cuts.

    Serum Powder - This card helps with consistency, but in games 2/3 you are looking for higher variance wins and improved top decks.

    Trim copies of dredgers, dread return, and therapy - These are tough cuts, but some cards have to be cut and builds often run more of these cards than are necessarily needed.

    Against specifically slower control decks, workshops, fish, and other aggro. Disruption is less important in these matches, and you need to make sure your GY is lethal enough since they can actually fight back against weaker on board presences. Cards that I take out:

    Cabal Therapy - Trading a creature for a card from your opponents hand is not often a good exchange in these MUs.

    Counterspells / Unmask - These cards can be very hit or miss and if you have other ways to remove hate, Id considering cutting them down.



  • The Dread Return package is usually the first thing I cut, so I'm glad to learn that is how others approach it. I usually cut my lone Golgari Thug, too.

    I have only infrequently sided out Serum Powder because I thought it was essential to the deck. I guess I will have to reconsider.

    Post-Board, are there any hands people consider keeping where you don't have Bazaar? Sometimes I have a hand with good counters and/or anti-hate cards and I wonder if I should just keep. I don't want to over-assume the criticality of Bazaar, but then again it's almost hard not to.



  • @jhport12

    Again it depends on your 75 and the MU. Some decks have options to win outside of having Bazaar. If your list doesnt, it may be tough to keep hands without it.

    Even among the decks with other routes to victory, Bazaar hands are often much faster. There are some decks that you simply cant afford to lose that much speed against and you need your Bazaar.

    In general, hands with Bazaar are almost always going to be better than hands without, but there is no guarantee you'll find one when you are mulliganing. I will keep hands with disruption AND action. That means something like, a force of will and a creature I have the mana to cast.



  • If I'm facing Storm, I will keep a hand without Bazaar, but with multiple discard spells. My theory is that I'll shred their hand enough to buy myself time to find Bazaar, and do what I came to do. I haven't done it enough to say whether it 'works,' or not. But I wanted to say that I have done it.



  • @oestrus I think it does work if you have some follow up pressure in the form of a creature, or something like Loam engine.



  • I think @vaughnbros is generally correct about how to board, although I'm sure if you got into specifics he and I would disagree in some cases

    I have a bunch of videos of Pitch Dredge up at http://youtube.com/c/ajfirecracker where you can see me discussing and trying out different sideboarding plans (the later videos are generally closer to my current thinking)

    I think the biggest thing to be aware of is what "packages" you want in what metagame environments. When the metagame (and especially the particular matchup) is heavy on decks that are fast, but also hateful and controlling (ex: the old Mentor decks with Gush and a reasonable number of anti-Dredge sideboard cards) you probably want access to both the dredge plan as well as other plans (big dude aggro, Marit Lage, etc) post-board. When the metagame can be more cleanly divided into fast decks light on hate (ex: storm) and slower decks which are heavy on hate (Landstill, Grixis Pyro, etc) you can afford to just have the Dredge plan or non-Dredge plans as appropriate for the matchup


  • TMD Supporter

    I have Hollow One and three Anglers in my sideboard. They're great if you open with them, but I've also lost games where I ALMOST had my opponent dead and they ripped something to win. I don't have Forces in my deck so I have no interaction on the stack. I almost wanted to find a way to fit null rod in my sideboard just for the dreadful combo match up.



  • I think combo feels a lot worse than it really is - there are a lot of games where you can't do anything but if you run 8-12 counters there are a lot of games where you deal with one or two things and then kill them

    It feels like a 50/50 matchup but examining my records shows a winrate just shy of 70%



  • @ajfirecracker Yep. Its an easy MU if you build your deck right. You need Pitch spells (like Force or Unmask) and/or 1 CC destruction spells (like Claim or Chewer).


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