Megapitch Dredge: Weekend Report 6/7-/6/10

Since the spoiling of a number of these cards on Modern Horizons I, I have been working on a few different iterations of Dredge and was finally able to get some live tests in matches this weekend with their release late last week. In sum, there have been multiple major printings that were just released from Modern Horizons I that will have long term implications on how Dredge is played from here on out.

I finished 21-14 last weekend (for a match win % of 60%) on slightly different variations of Pitch Dredge (for reference I will put one of the lists at the bottom), but for the most part my goal was to accumulate some data on how the deck functions in the current meta to give a reference point on where the deck needs to improve. I feel like getting a fairly decent sample of 35 matches (90 games) in a short time frame should be able to paint a pretty good picture of where the deck is right now. You can find the full list of splits here, along with some of the raw data, but I am going to focus on some of the biggest results.

Highlight of the weekend was winning under this game state:
0_1560693764308_837f8eb5-e878-4ed2-9daf-017a92599f6e-image.png

Every game win was with a hand size of 5 or more, and there was not a big difference between game 1,2,3 or even hand size 5,6,7 here. This highlights the importance of the incoming London mulligan in about a month, and the need for Serum powder (even after that rule is enacted). The deck needs cards in hand to survive all of the pitch spells, and that means maximizing that number. Problem here is that there isn’t really any new cards that address this issue. Its basically just keeping Serum Powder in the deck list after the new rule change. This hand size problem is co-dependent on the pitch spells in the list as the win % is dramatically higher with 2 or 3 pitch spells than with 0 or 1.

The hate pieces to look out for.

The expected value of Tormod’s crypt in a game 2/3 is 0.473 followed by a distant second of Leyline of the Void and Strip effects at 0.200, then third Ravenous Trap at 0.145. Win %’s against these most frequent hate pieces are, well, not good. I only won 3/9, or 33.3%, of games against Leyline of the Void despite running both Force of Vigor and Wispmare/Nature’s Claims. Against Ravenous Trap (42.9% win %) and against Tormod’s (38.1% win %). These are not really what you want to see as a Dredge pilot and kind of highlights the problems with the current deck list as the deck was not winning at a good rate at all against these hate cards.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure much can be done against Leyline of the Void given the constraints of the deck. However, against Ravenous Trap and Tormod’s Crypt there is 1 card that shuts these out: Leyline of Sanctity. Of all the changes that I will suggest here, this has to be the #1 thing, add 4 of these to your deck.

Some additional options: Ancient Grudge (for Tormod’s Crypt), Misdirection (for Ravenous Trap), Unmask (on the play against Tormod’s or against Ravenous Trap), mana source to actually cast Cabal Therapy.

Containment Priest (25% win %) and artifacts, like Grafdigger’s Cage (50% win %) and Ensnaring Bridge (20% win %), are certainly still threats too, they are just not as frequent so it may be worth eschewing for the more commonly played hate cards.

Game 1 win % is not actually all that high. I finished 63% in game 1. Losses were mostly due to strip effects (only winning 6/11, or 55%, of game 1s against these), but also losing to things like mull to oblivion, 3/35 to opposing storm hands (mentor or tendrils), the dredge mirror, vault+key, tinker, oath. All of these are what I’d call “usual suspects”, but when people discuss Dredge, I feel like these are seen as the exceptions than the norm, but all added up there are a lot of exceptions that drag down the deck’s win %. One thing that may be able to correct this is trying to tune the main deck to beat these strategies.

Options for beating Strip effects game 1:

Direct answers (e.g. Noxious Revival, Petrified Field, Life from the Loam):
All of these are ways to get back your Bazaar of Baghdad. Noxious revival is the fastest, but is the most unreliable (if your opponent has a sphere). Loam is the most reliable, but is the slowest (you can get it from your graveyard, but you also need mana).

Indirect answer (Adding a higher density of graveyard cards and Dredgers):
This helps because even if your Bazaar gets stripped, you can win through a slow-dredge assuming you can chain Dredgers together and actually hit good graveyard cards. The major issue here for a Pitch Dredge list is that none of your pitch cards are also graveyard cards so inherently your have already reduced your density of graveyard cards.

Beating fast openers from opponents (e.g. mirror, storm, tinker, vault+key):

I’ll add another split here is that the deck has relatively bad matchups against storm / outcome decks. Despite running an absurd number of pitch spells to try to match up well against these decks, the deck still had some difficulty beating them. Game 2/3, you have to fight their speed and their hate leaving only a 36.4% win % in game 2/3s against outcome decks.

Add more “free” spells that actually impact these decks (e.g. Unmask, Mindbreak Trap):
Unmask is the one that I think is pretty big here as it is flexible enough to hit almost any hate piece, their win conditions, or even a mana source after you’ve already seen what their hand hinges on.

Add more speed (e.g. More dread returns, Gitaxian Probe, Fatestitcher/Lion’s Eye Diamond/Black Lotus, Vengevine/Basking Rootwalla/Hollow One):
Turning Dredge back into a consistent turn 2 deck can make a big difference in these match ups (instead of a turn 3-5 deck). Grinding out wins just doesn’t really seem to happen in the current meta as I had 0 wins after turn 8, and a majority were on turn 3 (pre and post board). Cashing out some of the later game grind cards (like Acorn Harvest that I was testing) for some of these earlier game one can make a big difference.

This leads me into the next set of cards where we can discuss what to cut from the list.

6-4 in games (3-1 in matches) against the mirror without getting any Dredge hate in the mirrors, and even overcoming some opposing hate in those matchups. Its interesting to me how the trend has been for Dredge decks to add more mirror hate, when I think in all my experience I have never noticed it making much of a difference. Anyway, here is some actual data to support what I have experienced. Most of my opponents here had Steve’s 7 hate pieces, and yet I came out with the better record. For those of you looking for deck space, getting somewhere between 4 and 7 cards by cutting these makes a lot of sense. If you want to still have a good mirror %, I’d advise going to the above and adding more speed as this will play into other bad matchups than just the mirror.

Game 2 and 3, I won 50% of games against Grafdigger’s cage and 75% of games against Deathrite shaman, in addition against Blue control lists the deck posted an over 50% match win % (53.8%). This is to say that Mental Misstep doesn’t seem all that important. It might be better to find other blue cards if that is the main goal of the card.

Winning the game was mostly done on the backs of free creatures (over 70% of the wins). This highlights the importance of keeping your free creature count high, but also highlights the lack of importance of winning with Cabal Therapy + Dread Return. When we look for where to find space, I think that these cards could be trimmed down (and potentially cut in Cabal Therapy’s case), in favor of some of these other options.

One of the deck lists used:
0_1560693745233_1ef6575a-81fa-4325-be3e-6268f599da45-image.png

last edited by vaughnbros

I'm skeptical that your results generalize well to other builds of Dredge.

You don't have Bridge from Below, so it's not exactly surprising that you didn't find Cabal Therapy or Dread Return to be especially powerful. Prized Amalgam is simply slow and Bloodghast is often somewhat slow as well, especially when you have to dredge a Dakmor Salvage for it which is the usual case. This helps explain your difficulty against combo, where early Cabal Therapy is very important to disrupt the opponent. You also don't have a lot of the best dredgers, so you're working with fewer cards on average than decks with Stinkweed Imp and Golgari Thug. Finally you're not running an "absurd number" of counterspells against these decks, you're literally running fewer than a typical pitch list.

Tormod's Crypt and Ravenous Trap you should have a good win rate against without any specialized answers (and if you don't, it seems like you have to explain why these are not good cards for the mirror). Of course, the main way to get a good result versus these cards is to establish a board off of a minimal graveyard, which in my opinion points to Ichorid / Bridge as the obvious tools you're not including. Regarding the mirror, it's an extremely high-variance matchup that comes down in large part to who hits their dredgers. I'm not inclined to take seriously a small sample size in this matchup.

A full Dread Return package plus Hogaaks seems like overkill on finishers to me.

Your assertion that Pitch Dredge is light on graveyard effects compared to prior Dredge builds is simply wrong. Both Pitch and earlier builds like Fatesticher typically ran 40-43 cards to comprise the core Dredge package. I think with Hogaak and the London mulligan we can we can cut a few of those cards, but my math puts a minimal Dredge core at 37, which is hardly some major cut as compared to 40.

last edited by ajfirecracker

@ajfirecracker

I specifically left the deck list at the end because the conclusions, I believe, are generalizable. You can take or leave the results, but I'd like to see some data from you in the future if you are going to keep making claims to the contrary.

The deck I played still fairly consistently turn 3'ed an opponent when things were not getting disrupted. Are you claiming that other lists (with less Returns+no Ghasts) are consistently faster? Because I'm fairly sure that would not be true if you actually collected any data. Bloodghast comes into play turn 2. Ichorid and Amalgam both come into play turn 3 (unless Ichorid was in your opening hand). So Ichorid is really only boosting turn 3+ kills. Same can be said of Bridge from Below kills as the Zombies aren't attacking until turn 3+. Clearing counter magic would actually be less important for a Bridge from Below list as you still get the zombies.

Exactly my point on the mirror. Its not about having hate pieces for your opponent. Its about getting a better Dredge. Playing mirror hate is straight a waste of space. You are better off just making your deck faster.

My lists have less Graveyard cards in them with the new onset of pitch spells as I've replaced anti-hate like Ancient Grudge and disruption like Failure to Comply with the additional pitch spells. The other builds people are playing, look like spawn off of the manaless Dredge lists I was playing ~6 months ago, and also have a few less graveyard cards.

I didn't say less Dread Return and no Bloodghast would kill more quickly, please read my actual post.

@ajfirecracker

You may want to take your own advice. Read my post, look at the data I collected and not just scroll to the deck list to critique. It might answer some of your questions.

You may have noticed I actually responded to a bunch of things that are in your post but not in the deck list, like your success in the mirror, your difficulty vs combo, etc

Edit: Look, it's not fun to take criticism, even constructive criticism, and you're clearly not happy with what I've said so I'll leave it at that. Good luck - I really do think there's a chance you carve out an interesting alternative to the now-classic Bridge / Ichorid / etc setup, and I wish you all the luck in the world in doing so.

last edited by ajfirecracker

@ajfirecracker

I really have no issue with constructive criticism, but when you write up a post talking about specific critiques on 1 of 7 decklists that I used and my entire post is not focused on said decklist, but the archetype in general, it derails the conversation and becomes de-constructive.

Bloodghast is somewhat slow in one post, but also not what you were saying in the next post. So I’m not sure what you are even trying to say.

If you want to engage and discuss some results that you’ve been seeing, I’d be happy to discuss.

This was a great read. I'm not a Dredge pilot, but I found the part about the anti-Dredge cards interesting despite the sample size being very small.

Lance, I used your shell and some of your theories as the basis for my dredge build. In particular Bloodghast has been really good for me and it was looking at your build that motivated me to actually brew with dredge when it's an archetype I had previously avoided.

The available data I have across a couple of variants and pilots is

Pilot 1: 13-2
Pilot 2: 12-3
Pilot 3: 13-2
Pilot 4: 6-5
Pilot 5: 10-0 (Vintage Challenge win yesterday)

Total: 54-12 (82%)

Naturally, AJ's initial response was "this deck is horribly misbuilt".

It's builds and posts like yours that spur innovation and provide a platform for others to further advance the format and metagame.

Keep up the good work.

last edited by ChubbyRain

I can also tell you that from a Hatebear pilot's perspective, if you're interested in that, the land heavy and the Hogaak builds are the hardest to beat. Oh, and of course Hollow One is a bitch as well. I went from a 8-0 record to 11-11 in no time. And I play 2 Containment Priests, 2 Yixlid Jailers, 2 Scavenging Ooze and 4 Deathrite Shaman maindeck alongside the usual Wasteland package (and Thalia and Spirit which can also be good against Dredge). Ironically, my game 1 win-% is higher than my game 2 and game 3 win-%.

last edited by Griselbrother

Vintage Dredge loses to 4 things: mulligans, Wasteland, hate, and faster combo.

Why is Narcomoeba better than Bloodghast? It's better against Wasteland and fast combo, and generally the creature effect is better against hate as well. It also supports a blue package to fight hate and fast combo. Finally, Bloodghast generally requires you to spend a draw on Dakmor Salvage which gives you fewer chances to find additional Cabal Therapy against fast decks or to find your finisher against slow decks.

Why is it important to focus on running more dredgers and dredgers with larger dredge numbers? More dredgers and larger dredgers gives you more speed and consistency to fight fast combo decks, and helps you find key interaction cards like Cabal Therapy as quickly as possible. More and larger dredgers also gives you the best chance to beat Wasteland with slow dredging, or to quickly find key graveyard cards like Dread Return or Hogaak after clearing hate.

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.

Why is Prized Amalgam bad? Prized Amalgam is generally too slow to fight fast combo, his delayed effect is ineffective in fighting through hate (for example, by forcing your opponent to use a Tormod's Crypt more quickly). The fact that Prized Amalgam requires additional graveyard creatures to trigger makes him suboptimal when slow-dredging (for example after Wasteland).

So yes, I think your deck is horribly misbuilt because it allocates a lot of resources and card slots without focusing on actually turning losses into wins. Vintage Dredge is not the kind of deck where you can just throw in "good" or "powerful" cards until you get to 60 or 75 and have a good deck. Narcomoeba is a pitifully weak card, but it's incredibly synergistic with the dredge engine which is why it is almost always a better choice than some other graveyard creature.

Keep in mind that we are undergoing massive metagame shifts and you just got a bunch of new tools that should be expected to help your win-rate with Dredge. If you want to attribute your entire 80% winrate to the strength of your build you have to downplay the importance of these other factors, which I think is disingenuous at best. I'm entirely comfortable saying that an 80% winrate deck is misbuilt because A) I don't believe you will have an 80% winrate with anything like that configuration once the metagame settles down and people optimize their hate and B) I believe with the new tools at your disposal and the relative weakness of the field to dredge you should be scoring even higher. Pointing out that you have a high win-rate does very little to convince me that I have mis-evaluated the build of the deck because I don't believe your build is incapable of winning, I believe it is sub-optimal. So when you say "I have an 80% winrate with this deck" my reaction is "Yeah but what would it be if you took out (what I think are) terrible cards for (what I think are) good cards?" If you wanted to provide some sort of evidence that your build is better than another build you would have to pilot both builds competently and compare their winrates.

Imagine I tell you that a particular build of Survival is the only one being played right now and it has a 58% winrate. How optimal is that build? You have no way to answer the question because you need some point of comparison, a single winrate number tells you literally nothing about how optimal the build is. That's why I am unimpressed with your 80% number - it tells me literally nothing without a comparison to the current winrate of other builds of dredge.

Edit: And of course I've also seen your build in action and Bloodghast has done what I expected it to do, Prized Amalgam has done what I expected it to do, and so on. If I watched it and Bloodghast was way better than the previous 4 times I've tested the card I would update my impression of the optimality of your build.

Edit 2: If you're killing it with this deck, where are the results? https://www.mtggoldfish.com/player/chubbyrain

last edited by ajfirecracker

Thank you, Jessica.

This has been one of the most brutally hate-filled times in the metagame because the Blue Pitch variant of Dredge has been so prevalent following last week's challenge. It is also a period of time in which "fast combo" is at an all time low because of the impact of new printings, like Narset, Karn, Force of Vigor, Force of Negation, Ouphe, etc. You have very little basis on which to form you rather strong opinions, but that hasn't stopped you before on other topics. In any case, I have learned the futility of engaging with you, so this will be the last time. I will let the results speak for themselves.

Edit: I built this deck earlier this week and MTGO publishes once a week. I was also pilot 2 with 3 4-1s (even if I did have a 5-0, one of the other pilots would likely get published over me given MTGO's reporting system). I know data analysis isn't your strong suit, but come on... At least make a little effort, Mr. Kruger.

Look at your page...you haven't even played on MTGO in two years. You have no knowledge base with the current metagame and literally every take you had was painfully inaccurate in my testing. Hollow One was incredible when your opponent started at 8 life from Crippling Chills. Bloodghast attacking for 2 and having Haste was amazing with Chills. Not to mention casting Hogaak, which Narcomoeba doesn't do. The entire format was warped to deal with Blue pitch cards, so why play them, and if not playing them, why do you need to play Narcomoeba?

Failing to consider new variables isn't the characteristic of an expert. Medical doctors are constantly updating their knowledge bases as new evidence becomes available. It's the characteristic of dogmatic thinking and intellectually lazy thought...

last edited by ChubbyRain

Who is Mr. Kruger? Who is Jessica?

Third-grade strats here

A decade of experience playing Dredge is "very little basis" on which to form opinions...

last edited by ajfirecracker

@chubbyrain said in Megapitch Dredge: Weekend Report 6/7-/6/10:

Hollow One was incredible when your opponent started at 8 life from Crippling Chills. Bloodghast attacking for 2 and having Haste was amazing with Chills. Not to mention casting Hogaak, which Narcomoeba doesn't do. The entire format was warped to deal with Blue pitch cards, so why play them, and if not playing them, why do you need to play Narcomoeba?

I'm happy to see substantive argument here.

Crippling Chill and Bloodghast require an active graveyard, in which case you should be winning without them. That's what I mean when I say that you're not turning losses into wins. These cards in those roles take a win and turn it into a more satisfying win, which is not worth very much in the way of match win percentage.

Narcomoeba casts Hogaak if you can sacrifice it for zombie tokens, which the Narcomoeba decks are built to do in the first place, but I agree Hogaak is one of the few things that promotes Bloodghast over Narcomoeba. I just think it doesn't make Bloodghast net better than Narcomoeba. Most matches the real win condition is making a bunch of zombie tokens, which Bloodghast is worse at. In matches where you need the finisher, you also need earlier and more consistent Cabal Therapies, which Narcomoeba is better at.

I think the blue pitch cards are good even if the format is "warped" to deal with them, which I question in the first place. Across two decades of play blue decks have never really hit a point where the metagame made Force of Will a bad card, I don't see why that would be the case here. I think you might be saying that Leyline of the Void is more widely played than other hate, but in that case your points about Crippling Chill and Bloodghast are totally undercut. Moreover, if you are going to be playing Hollow One as one of your outs to Leyline of the Void it seems like you want the blue package to protect it long enough to actually kill the opponent.

last edited by ajfirecracker

This was an interesting read. I have been playing Dredge now and then recently and I played it in the challenge this weekend. My build had two Hogaaks, no Dread Returns, 12 dredgers, 8 pitch counters, and maindeck Leyline of the Voids.

Some of the things I learned through playing this deck is that is doesn't need the Dread Returns. I went 4-3 in the challenge. Two of the match losses were because both opponents had turn one Leylines in both side boarded games. In my league matches I consistently dealt with these situations with sideboard Force of Vigors. Losing these games caused me to reconsider my strategy. Going forward I will be testing 4 Elvish Spirit Guids and 4 Nature's Claims along with the Force of Vigor. To accommodate these cards I had to cut some Dredge and creature hate and move some Unmasks to the main while cutting the rest.

I also lost a match to Matt Murray's Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. I have played quite a bit of Dredge in the past, so this isn't a card that I have recently played against. This card is crippling to the version I was playing. I added the Dread Return package back to the main deck because that is the only way my deck is beating this card once it is in play. I don't think its a common card, but it could be going forward. The Dread Returns also had to come back in because I took out the Leyline of Voids.

I think the main thing with Pitch Dredge in the current meta is having a higher dredger count and a more reliable way to deal with Leyline of the void. Both of these things were already possible before Modern Horizons. I haven't really studied Matt's Dredge list, but I get the concept. No pitch counters, Bloodghasts, and hate from the side board. I think its a smart strategy because there are fewer Karn and PO decks which means faster damage is a statistically sound way to approach this meta.

These issues are interesting to me, so I think I will stream some Dredge tonight. Probably my version and Matt's version to get a better feel for their respective capabilities. I think these two Dredge variants are strong at the moment, so I want to learn more about them.

last edited by Guest

@ajfirecracker @ChubbyRain I do not really want to get involved in your "discussion" but I respect you both immensely as deckbuilders and players. I think you guys can and should have a constructive conversation and discussion on Dredge because it is possible and it is interesting, but resorting to name calling and insulting each other is not going to help. I think you guys are misinterpreting/misunderstanding each other's arguments and then focusing on only one aspect. This does not seem to be going anywhere and does not seem very constructive as it is a vicious cycle. I think if you guys want to have a good conversation then you guys should start out with a more broad critique and then delving into the nitty gritty to really get some good insights. I think this should go without saying but try and keep the discussion civil and polite. I understand that there has been some disagreement recently on TMD but everybody deserves respect.

Well let’s go down the Dredge theory rabbit hole then. I agree with the assessment that via reductionism the deck only loses through 3 routes:

  1. Mulligans
  2. Faster “combo”
  3. Hate

The problem is though that all 2 and 3 are incredibly complex. 2 and 3 can also be intertwined at times complicating the problem even more. Let’s cover 2 first.

Faster “combo” can be almost any deck in the format right now with exception to Xerox/Blue Control decks that as I laid out the decks I played had over a 50% win % post board. So slower decks simply arent a big problem assuming you have some decent plan at tackling hate.

Beating the other decks involved disrupting their particular game plan, and/or speeding the deck up past it’s more typical turn 3 kills. That means focusing on cards actually capable of disrupting / winning before turn 3. Other cards that don’t do this and don’t help with beating hate are simply win mores. One of the first things that I started doing as a Dredge pilot was cutting down on these no-added value cards. My first win with the deck didn’t play Dread Return and a number of wins there after didn’t play Bridge from Below. The idea that you need to play these cards, and you need to play them together is patently false. Commonly played cards that are potentially pinned here:

Bridge from Below when not in multiples
Too many copies of Ichorid/Amalgam/Nether Shadow
Often Dread Return in current builds
Cabal Therapy when not in multiples
Ect.

These cards do almost nothing against hate cards and rarely push you to turn 2 wins unless you happen to luck into multiple copies of Bridge, Therapy, and Return (basically the perfect Dredge). So in most situations they are really superfluous. There was a time when cards like Cabal Therapy and Bridge from Below combo’ed to beat certain hate, but that isn’t really the case in current Pitch Dredge lists. You can’t run 4x Gitaxian Probe to support Therapy. Most decks choose not to run Ingot Chewer or Wispmare to support Bridge triggers.

As go cards that probably should be seeing more play /new cards in this role of speeding the deck up, there is one very big one:

Fatestitcher into Dread Return
Hogaak into Dread Return
Any “free” creatures into Dread Return (like Hollow one)

These all allow you to get to the magic number of 3 Creatures on turn 2 thus opening the route of Dread Return kills before your creatures would’ve done it anyway.

Now let’s shift to talking about reason 3 that Dredge losses games, hate cards. The number of hate cards and variety people are playing is really at an all time high as far as I can recall during my ~10 years as a Dredge pilot. Even the simplest, most predictable is the Shops decks running Tormod’s, Ensnaring Bridge, Strip Effects, AND Grafdigger’s cage along with other major nuisances like Walking Ballista and Wurmcoil Engine. Add on top of that the deck is fairly fast. A dredge decklist from 10 years would’ve been pummeled into the ground by these decks, but we have new tools and with the right cards the matchup can be pushed to favorable (as I have experienced). A variety of hate cards means you need versatile answers, which is the biggest reason that Pitch Dredge has rose in popularity. It helps that Pitch spells are also good at disrupting those game 1 losses too. So naturally, this has been the best way to build Dredge in a traditional manner.

However, there have been a number of new printings that now allow Dredge to almost completely ignore non-exile effects. Including Hogaak, Creeping Chill, Shenanigans, Hollow One along with old ones, like Life from the Loam and other cast-able Dredge cards. I once played won with Dredge lists with no Golgari Grave-Trolls because I wanted to be able to cast all my Dredgers post board. We are a long way from just being able to cast Dredgers now when our opponents don’t exile our graveyards.

The real issue though for Dredge are decks that satisfy both reason 2 and 3. Turn 3 Combo decks running Leyline of the Void and/or 7+ hate cards. Use your pitch spell to take their Hate card and they kill you on turn 3/4. Use it to take their win con and their hate slows you to a crawl. As a result the excessive number of pitch spells post board becomes somewhat of a liability.

I had been keying off these decks with a combination of 4x Ancient Grudge and sideboard Null Rods to beat Tormod’s, but that’s not really very effective at beating Ravenous Traps and Leylines that other decks have shifted to. On top of that space is tight these days playing 12-16 pitch spells and a Red card that costs mana is a dramatic shift from where Pitch Dredge wants to be right now. Finding a little more space via some cuts, or restructuring the deck entirely (by cutting blue) seem like the only ways to really make the deck good against all major matchups.

As to the aside on Narcomoeba, the card is great game 1, but is by far the worst at overcoming hate cards. In ideal situations your expected value of Narcomoebas is only 2.7. That number becomes even less when fighting through hate, and should you have other options they will often be better in games overcoming a resolves hate piece. This means Narc excels at helping reason 2 of losing, but not much when reason 3 of losing is happening.

Bloodghast is the best free creature if you choose to play lands in your decklist (which I highly advise) because it comes into play turn 2 and returns as soon as hate is removed. So he helps tremendously in both reasons 2 and 3. Tapping to cast Hogaak now is also very big.

Amalgam / Ichorid are distant 3rd/4ths to Narc and Ghast. Since they come a turn late and can be fairly difficult at times to get into play. Amalgam pitches to Force (very important), is a great blocker, and sticks around if an opponent drops hate later so seems to be the preferred option, in my opinion. I wonder if 4 is the correct number on these though.

Why do you think Narcomoeba is bad against hate? Prized Amalgam is to me the "obvious" creature which is bad against hate because it requires more mass of graveyard effects than other creatures in order to do anything.

I think you should include Wasteland on your list of ways Dredge loses, and I think your point in the initial post about Bazaar recursion and graveyard density is a serious one that people should bear in mind.

I find it interesting that you want to cut Bridge from Below and Cabal Therapy, my experience has been that Cabal Therapy is the most efficient way to disrupt the opponent in that kind of turn 2-3 dead zone. I would be much more inclined to take seriously the idea of cutting some of these 'sacred cow' cards if the stuff that was going in their place was not something even more extraneous like Creeping Chill.

Edit: I want to add that I am 100% on board with the idea of cutting no-value-add cards in favor of cards that actually matter. That's been my main goal with the deck. I think we might have some disagreement as to which cards are low value and which are effective in which situations, but that seems like something we should be able to hash out fairly well.

last edited by ajfirecracker

not to throw more fuel on the fire here but what is up with golgari brownscale in that list? even without ichorid/unmask, do you really value 2 life over dredging more?

Hitting 16 green and 16 blue cards requires playing some otherwise suboptimal cards. You can’t just cut Amalgam for Ichorid and Brownscale for Stinkweed or the deck’s balance is off on those counts. They have to be replaced by Green or Blue cards.

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