Fascinating stream tonight, thank you.

I would really try to find space for the 11th and 12th dredger. Difficulty finding dredgers was an issue in multiple matches.

You know how a lot of pro players will take a well-tuned deck and give it an extra edge in consistency by adding a land or two? The same idea applies with dredgers as well. They're a support base for your deck in much the same way as land in a more traditional deck.

last edited by ajfirecracker

@Smmenen Just finished watching your stream, thank you so much for showing us your replays and talking through your deck and decisions. It was really helpful and gives us good ideas on what works and what doesn't. I am interested to see how well Dakmor serves its role since we did not see it do anything in the challenge. Overall, great job playing and building, thank you again 🙂

Good! I'm glad I answered your questions! Here is the direct link to the video: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/437434568

@smmenen Stephen, I had a question for you. Are you SURE you need a Dread Return package? What about running 4 copies of the new card Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis? Just a thought as it pitches to FoV and also exiles to Ichorid in a pinch.

We discussed that question in the stream last night (video in post above)

4 Hogaak seems like overkill to me, although the exact count is something to fine-tune and tweak over time. I think 3 is where I would most likely start.


In a build with Bridge from Below getting 2x Hogaak in the GY can be chained for a ton of zombies.

I have 2 4-1s in a deck without dread return and with 4 Hogaarks. It’s not pitch. It doesn’t run bridge. A free 8/8 is pretty good without extras honestly. I was testing a minimalist hypothesis by cutting cards like narcmoeba. You don’t need four but the fact that it pitches to Force of Vigor, Ichorid, Unmask, and Contagion/Shoal means the diminishing returns of running 4 are virtually nonexistent and this argument is pretty irrelevant. Play as many as you can fit.

last edited by Guest


I think the route you've gone is probably closer to optimal when it comes to post board games. I am a little bit afraid for some matchups where you kind of do really need Dread Return to close out the game quickly, but more on this when I finish writing up this report from the weekend.

I haven’t encountered games in which that has come up. Ironically, I’ve lost to lotus Narset + strip mine and not having a dredger (despite Steve’s hyperbole that Narset does nothing) in back to back games and Mirror Fun tm. What matches are the go wide strategy necessary?

Edit: I still kill on turn 3 the vast majority of games.

last edited by Guest

You mostly want DR for the mirror, storm, and oath. Other matchups it doesn't really matter.

Wasteland is the number 1 reason you will lose game 1s though in general, and yeah Narset + hate piece is really obnoxious.

last edited by vaughnbros

@chubbyrain said in Pitch Dredge:

I have 2 4-1s in a deck without dread return and with 4 Hogaarks. It’s not pitch. It doesn’t run bridge. A free 8/8 is pretty good without extras honestly. I was testing a minimalist hypothesis by cutting cards like narcmoeba. You don’t need four but the fact that it pitches to Force of Vigor, Ichorid, Unmask, and Contagion/Shoal means the diminishing returns of running 4 are virtually nonexistent and this argument is pretty irrelevant. Play as many as you can fit.

I think you're thinking about this backwards. My concern is not that I'm going to have too many Hogaaks and be unable to find a use for the 4th one. My concern is that slots are valuable, and the 4th Hogaak has to pull its weight for me to choose that card over an additional Mindbreak Trap or the one-of Gitaxian Probe or the Strip Mine or whatever the best card I could run would be. If 3 Hogaaks gives me a certain level of ability to close the game with the Dredge plan, the 4th has to make a serious contribution beyond that in order to justify itself.

Yes, I’m saying that the utility of being a b/g card, along with the consistency of hitting and casting hogaark on turn 2 to set up the turn 3 kill, justifies the 4th copy. I thought that followed from my post.

Duplicitous GY cards are pretty critical to winning through exile, strip effects, and now the even higher probability you will exile your own cards (through pitch + powders). If you want to build around Hogaak as your primary win con then he should be a 4-of. If he's just kind of there as a good card, then sure you can play less.

I really enjoyed testing both decks last night. The experience gave me some ideas for a deck that uses strategies from both variants. I will be streaming that deck in around an hour, so stop by.

Why is Hollow One bad? Hollow One contributes very little when there is no hate, and when there is hate he almost never gets the job done.

Before I played in the Challenge on the 8th, I was toying around with cutting Hollow One.

Hollow One is interesting. The pros are obvious. It's a free 4/4 body, and unbelievable in multiples. It's also great in the Leyline subgame.

But I also agree with the point that he rarely is going to win a game by himself without either 1) disruption 2) countermagic, or 3) additional offensive action. And he can massively backfire when playing against Dack.

But I think the under appreciate cost to Hollow One is that does nothing outside of your opening hand. When you are dredging, hitting Hollow One feels really bad. Disruption like Force of Will, Misstep, Unmask, Force of Negation, Force of Vigor also take up the same deck space, but they all directly contribute to the win much more forcefully and immediately than Hollow One attacking for 5 straight turns. that's because they counter the opponent's attempts to stop you or their main game plan.

I've not yet been courageous enough to cut Hollow One - mainly because I feel like I want it against Eldrazi, non-Dack Planesewalkers, and the Leyline mirror, but it's something on my list of things I want to test.

Re: Tabernacle

Three countertactics for dealing with it:

a) run max Ichorids. All you need is 7 Ichorid activations unmolested to win with it through Tabernacle

b) run a single Dakmore Salvage or Riftstone Portal. This can allow you to keep an Amalgam around, and attack with an Ichorid for the win

c) Run Dread Return package, and play Ashen Rider to blow up Ichorid or win hastily with Kologhan, etc.

Another answer to Tabernacle is the most simple one: Waste it, possibly with Petrified Field or Noxious Revival to find your waste/strip

Hollow one is good against creature decks. Poor against Blue (with all their removal) + Combo (you are rarely getting 5 swings in).

Tabernacle should only really be slowing you down slightly, it needs to be combined with other hate to really hurt. This is comparable to other cards like this: Lavinia/Narset/ect. that only really impact you under the situation where you can't use your GY properly.

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.

last edited by Guest
  • 100
  • 23399