Anti-Dredge Strategy - from a Dredge Expert

Almost all Vintage decks run either 0 or 4 Workshops. Almost all that run 4 would run 5 instead. Does it follow that shops decks should be running only 2-3 Workshops instead? 😉

No, but it would be silly to say "run 4 or 0 Shops in your artifact deck"

I was running a 2-2 split of Ancient Tomb, Mishra's Workshop in the Frenzy PO deck.

@ajfirecracker said in Anti-Dredge Strategy - from a Dredge Expert:

No, but it would be silly to say "run 4 or 0 Shops in your artifact deck"

My comment was tongue-in-cheek, but has a serious kernel to it: the analysis in this thread about 4 vs 0 copies has a major premise that the utility of Leyline of the Void is constant and independent of sideboard cards you've already chosen to include in the deck. Compare to Workshops: the first Workshop you add to a Vintage deck makes the deck an "artifact deck" and dramatically increases the value of each additional Workshop.

If you are on the "Leyline plan" of mulliganing to either a Leyline or a T2 win, the second through fourth leyline have dramatically increased utility by virtue of your choice to include the first. If you are on the "control plan" instead of applying steady disruption with castable cards like Containment Priest, Rest in Peace, Tormod's Crypt, etc, then it may never be optimal to include even one Leyline. There is no contradiction here or anything "magic" about the number 4.

@ChubbyRain Sure. I was very careful to include the "almost" qualifier.

@chubbyrain yeah i dont Leylines are the way to go in that kind of deck either. I think i would want a solid mixture of different hate pieces, kind of like you discribed.

@ajfirecracker The Wasteland argument is pretty compelling yeah.

I guess me leaning to the side of Spellbomb at first is too optimistic and too greedy. How often will the one additional card actually matter if you risk getting missteped or beeing a turn to slow for it? I guess this would be a whole different thing if we would not be playing against pitch dredge. When not in danger of getting misstepped the extra card might just counteract the tempo loss.

@evouga Then you are essentially moving the goalposts here, because the almost is what was important to the discussion.

@ajfirecracker What are your thoughts on The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale? I, personally, love this hate card in my Knight of the Reliquary decks and consider it a strong hate card.

I don't consider Tabernacle to be an anti-Dredge card, but it is a strong card in some generic sense

Ichorid is able to operate just fine through Tabernacle, and if you are tutoring it out with a Knight that's fairly slow.
When I see Knight of the Reliquary typically I am much more worried about Bojuka Bog followed by Wasteland.

@chubbyrain said in Anti-Dredge Strategy - from a Dredge Expert:

@aelien I think you misunderstood my point. Leyline is the best untutorable hate piece, IMO. The other hate pieces I find worse, but the inclusions of tutors justify running at least 1 of them. Basically, I started out with 5 slots, worked my way down to 1 remaining flex slot based on maindeck tutors, and considered Leyline as the best remaining card for the slot (before a metagame consideration the day of the event changed my mind). I have no desire to tutor for a Leyline but if I think I need an additional hate piece, I don't see why I shouldn't play a Leyline if I think that's the best one. After all, I'm not going to keep a hand that can't beat Dredge, so I am OK if I have the other hate pieces and reasonable cards to back them up. The 10% of hands that have Leyline are just a bonus.

And for what it's worth, I have enjoyed this conversation. Thank you for being willing to discuss this.

I still hold to the general rule of thumb of 4 leyline or none. However, every rule has exceptions and I find no fault in the reasoning Chubby is giving here. And possibly this is what AJfirecracker is trying to say but its just not coming across that way.

If this is how you arrived at throwing in 1 leyline, so be it. I may step back myself and say, "since I have one, is it worth it to remove 3 other hate pieces and replace them with leyline?" Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But I do believe at the very least that evaluation is going to happen.

@chubbyrain Worth noting since Matt brought up my example. Crypts and Cage are more much powerful for Paraodoxical Outcome then say leyline because they all contribute to your decks main gameplan of bouncing colorless low cost permanents.

last edited by IamActuallyLvL1

@chubbyrain said in Anti-Dredge Strategy - from a Dredge Expert:

@evouga Then you are essentially moving the goalposts here, because the almost is what was important to the discussion.

?? We are talking about Dredge here, how is the number of Workshops in your Frenzy Paradoxical Outcome deck the important point of the discussion?

last edited by evouga

@ajfirecracker said in Anti-Dredge Strategy - from a Dredge Expert:

I don't consider Tabernacle to be an anti-Dredge card, but it is a strong card in some generic sense

Ichorid is able to operate just fine through Tabernacle, and if you are tutoring it out with a Knight that's fairly slow.
When I see Knight of the Reliquary typically I am much more worried about Bojuka Bog followed by Wasteland.

What about Tabernacle in Shops? Shops can stop Dredge from comboing off using a mix of Wastelands, sphere effects, Ballista, Pithing Needle, Crypt, etc, but then the Tabernacle shines in preventing Dredge from grinding the game out with Zombie tokens.

last edited by evouga

@evouga And you were the one that brought up Shops. The point that was being made is that while it is normally correct to play 4 Leylines, it is not always so. Just like when you said that "almost all Vintage decks run either 0 or 4 Workshops", the "almost" is the whole entire point of the conversation and basically what I have tried to do is explain circumstances in which it might make sense to play less than 4 Leylines. So your metaphor is basically restating the argument and I don't know what you point is. Which, granted, is not an accurate use of the phrase moving the goalposts but I was in the middle of match and used it incorrectly.

@IamActuallyLvL1 I was tired of getting Chaliced and Leyline of Sancitied out of certain Dredge builds. I agree in general that Tormod's Crypt is more synergistic.

@ChubbyRain ajfirecracker presented a (well-reasoned) argument against the "0 or 4 Leylines" advice, based on a hypothetical format where 5 Leylines are legal, and offered three potential resolutions to the paradox he constructed. Search for "There are a limited number of ways to avoid that conclusion." to find his post.

I was responding to this argument. I'm not claiming that it's never correct to run 2 Leylines, nor am I claiming that no Vintage deck runs 2 Workshops, but these rare corner cases are not especially germane to analyzing ajfirecracker's argument that the "0 or 4" advice is generically unsound.

last edited by evouga

Re: Leyline at 4 and 0, I've actually never heard an argument for "4 Leylines or None" that made sense to me, or at least any argument that wouldn't equally apply to any magic card. Sure, you want it in your opening hand, but that's true of all dredge hate. Chubbyrain's "1 Leyline after I've added my tutor targets" plan makes total sense to me (except for the part where there's 5 slots, but that's another topic entirely).

It's the total opposite of a card like Workshop that pushes your deck in a particular direction and works in multiples. Leyline is worse in multiples, and has uniquely low deckbuilding costs, as you see it in lists that have no way of casting it. Dredge hate in particular has an added pressure to be diverse, as it's hard for a Dredge deck to pack answers to multiple card types, making a card like Leyline even worse in multiples than something like Moat is against aggro decks.

It's true that you want to see Leyline on turn one of not at all, but that doesn't encourage any particular count. The likelyhood of drawing a card in your opening hand and drawing it later are linked. It's maybe true that you want some of the benefits of running 4 and some of the benefits of running 0, but you can't actually do that, and running 4 doesn't get you any closer to that than 3 does.

I sort of feel like somebody did some bad math back in Guildpact, and everyone just rolled with it for 10 years.

I think the 0 or 4 folks are assuming you have to mulligan for Leyline or it's a wasted slot, and the "1-3 is sometimes reasonable" folks are imagining that you don't particularly mulligan for Leyline, and accept that sometimes you start with it and sometimes you don't

last edited by ajfirecracker

As someone who plays a lot of Dredge, but also dabbles in every other archetype, I must say that the most important thing to choosing a hate piece is really how it synergies with your deck. Some decks even want to run these cards main deck, and not just leave them to the sideboard. This usually leads decks to play a 4-of since most decks have 1 hate piece that is just superior for their deck list. For those that don't pick anti-hate that synergies with their deck, they run the risk of jeopardizing their own gameplan and thus playing into the Dredge players' benefit of both of you having worse decks in game 2/3.

For example, just playing Leyline because it theoretically can hurt Dredge the most is not a good reason to run Leyline. If you're on a Xerox deck that wants to filter through its library and now you have a bunch of bad cards in there. If you're on a Outcome deck that wants to activate its mox opals and cast outcome to bounce as many permanents its also not a great choice because Grafdigger's, Tormod's and others are artifacts and are better at being bounced. If you're on an aggro deck, the damage difference between a swinging Yixlid Jailer / Containment Priest and a Leyline of the Void can also not be palatable.

I noticed Pitch Dredge jumped back and forth between Leyline of the Void and Ravenous Trap for the same reasons listed by everyone else. Leyline of the Void is solid in Dredge because it greatly reduces the number of creatures the opponent can use to break Bridge from Below. However, there were lists for a while that used Ravenous Trap since you could still make use of it if you drew it for the turn or off of a Bazaar of Baghdad activation. Both have their merits, but it seems Leyline of the Void is winning out more often.

@brass-man The two properties that make leyline special amongst other hate pieces are:

  1. it is probably best hate piece IF you have it in your opening hand.
    It is uncounterable, it is free, it is assymetrical, the effect is very potent , it is down on turn 1 no matter if you start on the play or on the draw.
  1. it is probably one of the worst hate pieces if you draw it later in the game.
    If you would draw Leyline, the card is horrible, a lot of decks would have to use extensive resources (crack lotus, use dark ritual etc.) to be able to cast it, or not beeing able to cast it at all and to make matters worse it wont exile anything that is already in your opponents graveyard. However: this downside is so very greatly reduced if you already have a leyline in play from your opening hand and are just drawing your second one. In that case, it most likely doesnt really matter that you have drawn it, since your opponent is already very much desperate to handle your first one which will give you enough time and resrouces to either win, or if you really have no other option cast your second one.

I think these attributes make Leyline very special compared to your peers. In my eyes the whole reason to play Leyline is to have it in your opening hand, if not its just so much worse than other options.
In very extreme terms: Leyline is possibly game winning in your opening hand and absolutely useless outside of it. Logically it should follow that either you want to maximize the possiblity of having it in your opening hand, or just eliminate it all together and go for other options.

@ajfirecracker said in Anti-Dredge Strategy - from a Dredge Expert:

I think the 0 or 4 folks are assuming you have to mulligan for Leyline or it's a wasted slot, and the "1-3 is sometimes reasonable" folks are imagining that you don't particularly mulligan for Leyline, and accept that sometimes you start with it and sometimes you don't

"sometimes you start with it, and simetimes you dont" is not a 50/50 thing, it can be modified by playing more or less leylines, and thats the whole point of playing 4 of them. This is like saying "you sometimes win the lottery and sometimes you dont" which is completely ignoring that there is a propability underlying those events.
Also as i explained over and over again in the posts above it is not about always mulliganing to a leyline, it is mulliganing to a keepable hand, while keepable hands are either very broken and fast, or nearly all hands with a leyline in them. Leylines just up the count of keepable hand by a ton. All of this still in the context of playing DPS and following the 'broken or hate' strategy.

last edited by Aelien

I agree that if your mulligan strategy involves finding Leyline of the Void in your opening hand you probably want to run as many as possible

On the other hand if your mulligan strategy involves finding some piece of Dredge hate and you have (for example) 4 Cage and 2 Leyline, then you have 6 cards that can count as a success. The fact that the Cages aren't literally Leylines doesn't matter if you're mulliganing for them like Leylines

last edited by ajfirecracker
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