I think the best answers to Marit Lage are not being played quite as much right now as they have been for a while. What do you think of the following? (post-London)

4 Bazaar of Baghdad
2 Serum Powder
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Golgari Thug
4 Narcomoeba
4 Ichorid
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Bridge from Below
4 Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
4 Force of Will
4 Force of Negation
2 Mindbreak Trap
4 Petrified Field
4 Mental Misstep
4 Unmask

4 Dark Depths
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Thespian's Stage
2 Vampire Hexmage
1 Riftstone Portal

@jimtosetti said in Pitch Dredge:

I watched your replay of the top 8 Steve, and I really enjoyed it. It is surprising how many lines there are to discover as you play the deck over time. I found that I had to work through many of the same situations that you faced. Something interesting that I have found about this deck is that most Dredge decks, no matter the build, are very effective at doing certain things. It can be a matter of what your opponent was playing, or what both of your starting hands were that decides which Dredge variant is successful on a given day.

I have found that the more I play the deck in this meta, the more I lean toward a certain strategy. Because there are fewer combo decks like Paradoxical Outcome, and more decks like Mud, Dredge, BUG, and Xerox, I have found that I like Pitch Dredge with Bloodghasts and Prized Amalgams. I also only use one or two Hogaaks and no Dread Returns. This strategy allows me to apply pressure, Cabal Therapy more aggressively, but still have counter spells to stop broken cards.

I have found that side boarding Unmasks to use when you're on the play, coupled with counter magic and removal is very difficult for the opponent to deal with. I will also normally side out Hollow One against decks that use Dack Fayden, but not always. When I face Dreadhoarde Arcanist decks I am more likely to keep some in because their mana base doesn't seem to allow them to cast it as quickly as other Xerox decks. I will also side out Hogaak against combo decks frequently.

Hogaak is an interesting card for this archetype. It provides Dredge with enough muscle to operate without a Bazaar in play, and can be cast through sphere effects. My opinion of this card is that it is better than the Dread Return packages when there is less combo, or a need to end the game quickly, or on the spot. Hogaak also gives the player the ability to brute force damage through against blue decks when they attempt to win the aggro way. This is important because it can be very difficult to resolve a Dread Return against them. If they counter Hogaak is doesn't even matter. It can just be cast again. You can even gain value from bridges by using the legendary rule with multiple Hogaaks.

The Dredge mirror is particularly interesting. My opinion of this matchup is that it is seldom decided by grave hate, but rather from gaining value from Bridge from Below while removing the opponents bridges as fast as possible, going so far as to cast multiple Cabal Therapies to accomplish the task. If one of the players has Elesh Norn, that is probably the best card for the match, but it isn't something that can happen all the time. I have played with Leyline of the Void and Ravenous Traps, but there were so many games where they just went to the graveyard, and could have just been something else. The cards are good, but I think it is more important to focus on the Bridge from Below tactics.

Having shared some of my thoughts on the deck, I will say that I would be comfortable playing at least ten different configurations of the deck. I like Dredge with no counters, super pitch dredge, Bloodghast dredge with Force of Wills (with or without Dread Return), and Mind Break Trap variants. I also like numerous sideboard configurations. I have found this to be a very interesting and fun deck to play, and I hope to keep finding new strategies with it.

This is an amazing post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Nicely formulated, thought provoking, and great insights.

I agree with not only much of what you said, but all of the sentiment. Most especially, the point that Dredge really does reveal more and interesting lines of play the more experience you get, and the deeper you get with the archetype. I feel like I'm leveling up pretty regularly, gaining new insights and understandings.

That's really Magic at its best. It's why I will never get sick of The Deck in Old School or Gush decks. There is no ceiling to understanding or insight.

After I broke out the 12 Force Dredge a few weeks ago, I really don't understand how this hasn't caught on more.

Finished 2nd in the Vintage Format Playoff tournament today on MTGO with this monster.

0_1561856468965_Pitch Dredge 6.29.19.png

The tournament is full of ringers, since to qualify, you needed 35 Vintage format points, which you get through Top8ing Challenges or grinding leagues. Not super easy unless you play Magic in front of your computer more than I'm comfortable doing on a regular basis.

I've been tuning it all week in preparation for the tournament. A few notes:

When I started of, my main focus was: 1) Karn decks, 2) the mirror, and 3) Jeskai. For that reason, I moved Hollow Ones to the sideboard. They are terrible against Jeskai, good against Karn, and weak in Games 1 in the mirror (they are excellent in the Leyline "subgame").

As I was testing, the metagame abruptly shifted more towards BUG and Survival. Force of Negation is best against Karn decks, but terrible in the mirror, decent against Survival, but subpar against BUG. Therefore, I moved to Force of Negation to the Sideboard.

Since I was worried more and more about Deathrite Shaman, I cut the SB Dakmore Salvage, and added a 3rd Contagion.

Hogaak is phenomenal, but you get can away with just 3. It's a card that can win games that no other card can win, especially with Sphere effects in play. I won through lots of Spheres in otherwise unwinnable games because of him. But you only want to be able to hit 2 to make Bridges (I won one game doing 120+ damage).

Chalice of the Void is an all-star, and so is Probe. I can't understand how any Dredge deck wouldn't run both. It's just objectively wrong. I feel the same way about less than 4 Ichorid.

If I was going to the NYSE, I would definitely play this deck, and not worry too much about hate. It can win through 3-4 pieces of hate with a bit of tempo advantage and shifting roles from dredging to Hollow One attack or just slow running Ichorids.

Congratulations on the playoff finish Steve! I had this style of list all ready to go, but decided to go with RWU Xerox because I didn't want to wade through all the grave hate I was expecting. I agree with your rationalization for the deck configuration, and I think you figured out the archetype for the meta.

One other addendum: Because of the rise of BUG and/or Wrenn decks, that's why I added a pair of Petrified Fields. Also, Field + Strip is good against Tabernacle, directly and indirectly.

My guess is that Survival will taper off at the NYSE. I'm actually really down on Survival. I think BUG is the real deal though.

I would guess that the metagame at the NYSE will be something like:

25% Shop + Eldrazi type decks
15% Xerox decks
10% BUG decks
13% Dredge
7% Survival
5% Oath
5% PO (some people will still try it, even though it's terribly positioned, because they don't play on MTGO).
5% other control (lanstill/grixis, etc)
15% Other

Just because Shops/Eldrazi are going to predominate, this deck is extremely well positioned.


How is Prized Amalgam performing for you? Would you consider anything else in that slot?

What would you think of cutting Ravenous Traps for Wastelands?

I've considered cutting Amalgam, but the problem is your blue count. And, it's also relatively beefy. I like that you can just win with an Ichorid and Amalgam, and tempo your opponent out for a few turns to win.

If I were to cut Amalgam, I would probably go:

+2 Petrified Fields
+4 Bloodghast
+2 Force of Negation (from the sideboard)

-4 Amalgam
-4 Leylines

And move the Leylines to the SB, probably cutting Rav Traps altogether.

last edited by Smmenen

You'd only cut Amalgams for Bloodghasts? So you feel strongly that the deck needs 12 graveyard creatures?

I think it's very important for the deck to present an offense without having to dredge much, in order to play through Traps and Crypts. Yes. I will bin an Amalgam and an Ichorid knowing that it will force my opponent to Crypt or Trap me. Bloodghast serves a similar function there.

I tested a little bit with Bloodghast over the weekend, and disliked it. As long as you want Force of Wills, I think you are prized into Amalgam, because you can't basically cut Force of Negations and/or MBT, and still have a high enough blue count. And you know how I feel about MBT (not great).

@smmenen said in Pitch Dredge:

My guess is that Survival will taper off at the NYSE. I'm actually really down on Survival. I think BUG is the real deal though.

Somewhat unrelated, I know, but this seems a very confusing statement on it’s face. At this point Survival plays a passable BUG game where necessary while still having the busted stuff.

I do really like the dredge list though!

Yeah we were having a conversation recently about whether or not BUG is just a worse version of Survival (or certain builds of survival), it certainly seems that way to me. What does playing BUG get you that you can't get with survival?

@garbageaggro said in Pitch Dredge:

Yeah we were having a conversation recently about whether or not BUG is just a worse version of Survival (or certain builds of survival), it certainly seems that way to me. What does playing BUG get you that you can't get with survival?

The blue control element: Narset, Cruise, Dig, Brainstorm, Preordain, and Snapcaster

Wastelands. (And Strip Mine)

Tarmogoyfs. (More efficient beaters)

Overall focus on mana efficiency and cards that are individually good on their own rather than reliance on a single enchantment in conjunction with green mana. The Survival deck still operates without the enchantment but not at a Vintage caliber level.

It’s after all playing “4-mana and 5-mana” 4/4s and Basking Rootwallas.

is one better than the other? Who knows. but those are the differences.

last edited by desolutionist

I got the first Competitive Vintage League Trophy of the July 2-Sept 24th season with Pitch Dredge.

My MVP? 4 Leyline of Sanctity. I beat opponents who had literally 4 Rav Traps in hand tonight, and another player who literally played 4 Tormod's Crypts over the course of one game.

I learned quite a bit, but the main take away I had was that you still want 4 Powder. I tried 0 Powder, 2, and 3, and they were all inferior to 4. The main reason is that Powder allows you to keep larger hands, and thereby do more interaction.

The other thing I learned was that the London Mulligan doesn't really seem to help that much as I expected. In three leagues, I still had to mulligan to 1-3 more than once or twice. What London Mulligan really does, is give you the absolute best hand when you are mulliganing below 4. But it doesn't really help you find Bazaar that much more frequently if you are trying to keep a hand 5 or larger.

Cutting Powder means that you will have to keep hands that are 1-4 cards MUCH more frequently. That's not acceptable for me. Great insights tonight.

last edited by Smmenen

I'm testing four Street Wraiths in the place of Petrified Fields and two other flex slots. They really add some punch to the deck and they can be exiled to the Ichorids. I went 3-2 in the first league beating blue decks but losing 2-1 against the same Dredge player who had four traps and four crypts. I pretty much punted though keeping hands on the back of the white and black leylines when I knew I shouldn't. The white leyline is definitely a good idea, but I don't know how much I want to use it in the mirror.


Nice. Leyline of Sanctity is one of the best anti-hate cards now that the lists have gone mostly manaless.

If play
4 street w.
1 g. Probe
Bloodghast and extra lands

Nether Shadow Is possibile insertion

last edited by babau

@smmenen said in Pitch Dredge:

I got the first Competitive Vintage League Trophy of the July 2-Sept 24th season with Pitch Dredge.

My MVP? 4 Leyline of Sanctity. I beat opponents who had literally 4 Rav Traps in hand tonight, and another player who literally played 4 Tormod's Crypts over the course of one game.

One more reason as always against dredge to be on diverse answers. I played W Karndrazi splash black for jailer and cage out of the board with containment priest main to battle the menace. I think i want to be on creature-based hate atm against you? Though i do like the sickening shoal tech.

I was going to restream my Vintage Playoff rounds last night, but the update to MTGO make that impossible. The replays are now all bugged because of the London Mulligan change. Sorry about that.

Maybe I'll just stream a league later instead.

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