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"Pitch Dredge is the worst thing to happen to Vintage this decade." - 2015 Vintage Champion Brian Kelly

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posted in Dredge read more

@ChubbyRain After watching a few VoDs of the deck, thinking about it, and testing a bit on MTGO with a similar list I have a few questions and comments.

First of all my questions:

  1. How did you come about making the deckbuilding decisions you did? What prompted you? What was your reasoning behind some of the decision?
  2. What changes did you make during testing? What cards were you really impressed with or were unimpressed with?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this version of Dredge in your opinion?

Now, through my testing, thinking and watching I have found Dakmor Salvage, Creeping Chill, Force of Vigor, Vengeful Pharaoh to be insanely impressive. While I have not had a chance to test Hogaak and Bloodghast I think the Hogaak seems very powerful and Bloodghast seems mediocre.

I think Dakmor Salvage is the card I have been most impressed with and it single handedly won me a game against a G1 T1 Priest when I had no other outs and I came very close to winning games 2/3 because of it. Dakmor allows you to consistently and reliably get to three mana with the help of Riftstone Portal, allowing you to hardcast Stinkweed Imp and Shambling Shell. Hardcasting these cards with a priest out can win you the game since it ignores their hate completely and can still generate insane value from saccing Shell to put a +1 on Imp and generate a few zombies. Combined with Creeping Chill just one Imp with a single +1 counter can be a 3 turn clock not counting the zombies you may have just produced. I have even been able to hardcast Pharaoh because of the amount of lands I had out.

Vengeful Pharaoh has also really impressed because of how it can allow you to really slow down and control the game, allowing you to find what you need while making it really hard for them to put a clock on you.

Creeping Chill is nice because it dodges a lot of the common hate and allows you to win while committing fewer resources. It also makes the hardcast beatdown much more viable. The same can be said for Hogaak except he is just so much better it seems like.

Interestingly/strangely I have lost quite a few post board games to decking and I think adding an anti-decking card like Progenitus or Emrakul could really help combat GY wipes and help you prevent from decking, allowing you to not only reuse certain cards but also give you enough cards to continue the hardcast beatdown plan.

Let me know of your thoughts or comments!

posted in Tournament Reports read more

@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.

posted in Dredge read more

@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 ๐Ÿ™‚

posted in Dredge read more

@Smmenen Awesome, thanks ๐Ÿ˜‰

posted in Dredge read more

@Smmenen Thank you! I eagerly await, though will most likely not be able to watch it live due to the Warriors game ๐Ÿ˜ž

posted in Dredge read more

@Smmenen Congrats on the finish! You should come test at Eudo more often ๐Ÿ˜‰ . I have a lot of questions about the deck! Lots of interesting deckbuilding decisions were made here it looks like regarding not only the mainboard but also the sideboard.

  • I would be very interested in hearing your thought process for cutting the GY hate from the main and how/why you chose the cards to replace those slots with

  • How did you feel the Force of Negations performed versus other options such as Mindbreak Trap

  • Was only 4 answers to non-creature hate consistent enough to your liking and did Force of Negation affect how confident you felt about dedicating that few slots to that role

  • Were the 3 Ravenous Traps to make up for the lack of GY hate MD and did this plan work

  • Could those 3 slots have been dedicated to something else that you had trouble with, what would you suggest, what did you have trouble with

  • Though process behind Terrastodon versus other DR targets and how it performed

  • 3 Spinning Darkness is a lot how did that feel/ how would something like Vengeful Pharaoh compare/ were you afraid of Yixlid Jailer

  • I am a little confused by the singleton Dakmore Salvage, could you provide some insight as to why it is there?

  • What would you change in the future and why

Overall your deckbuilding reflects a lot of the ideas thrown around on the Force of Vigor thread so I am interested in hearing your thoughts on some of those to.

Thank you and congrats again ๐Ÿ™‚

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@Daniel-Worobec @ajfirecracker I have a lot to say about this because I have thought a lot about Dredge sideboards.

I have found that most Pitch Dredge decks use a creature to give your other creatures haste such as Flame-kin Zealot and Dragonlord Kolaghan. While both are effective they are neither blue nor green that can be exiled to Force of Will or Force of Vigor. I believe Maelstrom Wanderer is a good alternative to be added to Pitch Dredge that is both blue, green and can be exiled to cast Force of Will and Force of Vigor and should be added as the โ€œHasteโ€ creature.

I think this is a really good idea with some good reasoning behind. I think that the inclusion of "pro-active" cards like Force of Vigor, and creatures (duh). I think with the inclusion of Maelstrom Wanderer increases the value of Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis as it is a bigger payoff to Cascade into than most of our cards (being either small creatures or counter spells).

Sideboard option one:

4x Force of Vigor

4x Noxious Revival

3x Shambling Shell

I have done quite a bit of testing with Noxious Revival and I am pretty confident that in a "normal" Pitch Dredge shell you often want 2-3 but that 4 is to many. Also as @ajfirecracker said there is little to no value of playing Dredge cards in the SB.

I find that adding four Noxious Revival would be good candidates for being cards that you can exile to Force of Vigor. Noxious Revival is a good utility cards in Pitch Dredge decks allowing you to recover a Bazaar of Baghdad and getting a second Bazaar from your graveyard. Noxious Revival is also good at getting utility cards from your graveyard such as Force of Will, Force of Vigor or getting a Hollow One into your hand. Other applications include putting a card onto of your opponentโ€™s deck that they may not want, saving a Bridge from Below from being exiled and putting a Narcomoeba on top of your library.

Yes! Noxious Revival is a very good card in my opinion for the Dredge SB and I think is a necessity in the current version as they are a lot weaker to waste effects than they have been in the past. As you can tell there are many, many uses to Noxious Revival and I have been very nicely impressed with it. My biggest complaint with it is that it is yet another source of card disadvantage in a deck with 8-12 pieces of card disadvantage which can lead to you being unable to fully capitalize on its power at times.

Sideboard option two:

4x Force of Vigor

4x Basking Rootwalla

3x Vengevine

Again, like @ajfirecracker said I do not think Vengevine has a spot in the SB of Dredge as it is weak to all of the same things that our other creatures are. Basking Rootwalla is a card that I really like and have thought about a lot in the past and I think can spawn a new type of SB for Dredge because of Force of Negation (I will expand on this later).

In my play testing I do find that getting the appropriate combinations of cards into your hand is inconsistent.

Ah, yes. The biggest advantage of Bazaar of Baghdad can also be its biggest weakness at times. This comes back to my point of not being able to fully capitalize on your powerful cards because you are so low on resources (ie you cannot resolve the cards you are digging for or you cannot dig as efficiently or quickly as you would like because you have so few cards in hand)> I have a few ideas on this later.

Sideboard option three:

4x Force of Vigor

4x Elvish Spirit Guide

2x Natureโ€™s Claim

I like this and recognize that it is not a complete SB but you most likely need some answers to Containment Priest.

With the London Mulligan taking into effect soon, Pitch Dredge may not rely on Serum Powder as much and there may be decks that do not include Serum Powder.

I think this statement is very risky. If you look at the math you are roughly 97% to hit Bazaar without Serum Powder with the London Mulligan, yet with Serum Powder you are roughly 99%. Now assuming you lose every game where you do not have Bazaar of Baghdad in your opener and that you have a 50% win rate (when you have Bazaar in your opener) then the inclusion of Serum Powder boosts your overall expected win rate by roughly 1% (it is actually a bit more I think), and this number goes up the better player you are! So to cut Serum Powder you would have to find a set of 4 cards that boosts your win rate by more than roughly 1% for it to be worth it. Is that possible? Most likely. Have we found what cards yet? I am not convinced. Additionally Serum Powder increases the average number of cards in our opening hand which is also heavily correlated with winning the game for Dredge.

Notable creatures to put in Pitch Dredge to help support Force cards are Domia, Sage of Stone, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Prophet of Kruphix and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis.

I think Damia, Sage of Stone is a possibility as it allows us to have more cards in hand (more countermagic, resources), digging power, and speed but I think it may be win-more. If you could Dread Return a Damia is it better than Dread Returning an FKZ or DLK (most likely winning you the game on the spot)? As for Muldrotha, the Gravetide I think that you need to heavily tune your list for this to be playable as there is nothing we can play from the GY for value that we can not already, if you made a more land heavy list with Loams and such then it could be alright. Prophet of Kruphix seems really bad to me, not enough lands in the deck to use it, might as well DR a huge green creature. Hogaak seems worthwhile, not because he pitches (we want it to be blue and green for that) but rather because he seems viable post SB as he can be cast from GY through Priest and can be cast through Cage from hand for free.

4x Bazaar of Baghdad

4x Bridge from Below

4x Stinkweed Imp

4x Cabal Therapy

4x Hollow One

2x Ichorid

2x Dread Return

1x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

4x Narcomoeba

4x Prized Amalgam

4x Force of Will

4x Mental Misstep

3x Force of Negation

1x Maelstrom Wanderer

4x Force of Vigor

4x Noxious Revival

4x Golgari Grave-Troll

3x Shambling Shell

This seems like a good starting 60, but I think you want to shave some Shambling Shells for an Ichorid and a Force of Negation

I am now going to provide a few 60s and 75s that I think have some theoretical merit and will explain why.

1st List: May 4th Dredge

"Normal" Pitch Dredge with Force of Vigor

This is a pretty normal looking MD with some of the changes I suggested you make. I did not include the SB because I think it is one of the most complex and important decisions for Dredge.
For this version the SB needs to include between 2 or 3 of the following:

  1. Answers to GY hate (an the means to execute it).
  2. Another axis of attack.
  3. Redundancy.

The Antihate SB
Now when you break into option #1 you have a few targets. You must be able to deal with the following effects/cards as efficiently as possible:
Spheres
Wasteland
Containment Priest
Grafdigger's Cage
Leyline of the Void
Countermagic
Tormod's Crypt
Pithing Needle
Yixlid Jailer*
Rest in Peace*
Now the ones with a * are rarer or lower quality concerns because they are either not very good (RiP) or not very popular (Yixlid Jailer).
Now most SB include very broad and efficient answer such as Nature's Claim or Chain of Vapor. Because Force of Vigor fits this role we may be able to more carefully curate our SB with more powerful or narrow cards to be able to beat certain specific cards or matchups. With this in mind I propose Survival all-star, pet card of mine, and a card I have been thinking about a lot and testing a bit, Squee, Goblin Nabob. Yes, you read that right. Squee. In a Dredge SB. Here is the thing though, in matchups or situations where you GY is not permanently exiled (which is a decent amount since only 2 of the above cards achieve this) he is insane. While you GY may be "locked down" or you are unable to get your normal value out of it, Squee operates on a different axis than our other value as nothing is put onto the battlefield or cast, getting around Priest, Cage and Countermagice. Additionally he solves one of the biggest issues I have mentioned with Pitch lists; low resources (not many cards in hand). With Squee operation you are not only able to dig much more efficiently but your hand size will increase by 1 every turn provided you are not doing anything else. This is very important if you are looking for something like a Hollow One and want to keep your Countermagic live or the where you want to find your land for your anti-hate spell. As promised here is a suggested rough draft antihate SB along with a note on what role each card serves:

1 Squee, Goblin Nabob (Utility)
2 Noxious Revival (Utility/Answer)
4 Gemstone Mine (Mana)
1 Mana Confluence (Mana)
1 Vengeful Pharaoh (Disruption/Answer)
3 Chain of Vapor (Answer)
3 Nature's Claim (Answer)

The Delver SB
This is my take on option #2 (for @ajfirecracker it used to be Marit Lage).

4 Squee (Utility)
3 Noxious Revival (Utility/Answer)
4 Basking Rootwalla (Transformation)
1 Strip Mine (Disruption)?
1 Wasteland (Disruption)?
2 Hogaak (with some MD)

So this SB is extremely theoretical so far but the new Forces + Hogaak allow you to have what I think is a sufficient critical mass of not only free creatures that do not rely directly rely on the GY but also Counters to "ride" these highly efficient creatures to victory. This strategy is somewhat similar to Delver decks in Legacy but taken to the extreme. @brianpk80 has been very vocal recently about how Hollow One allows Dredge to "transform" into a Delver deck and I think this SB is mean to capitalize on that idea to the max. The Strip Mine and Wastelands are there because I would imagine you need a few lands in the Shops matchup, because it furthers your disruption while again being on a different axis and because it could really help you in the mirror.

I wanted to also just throw a few decklists out there to get more ideas brewing and to think of how the 60 impacts and complements the final 15.

3rd List: Blue.dec

How much interaction is to much? (How to piss off BPK)

Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions. If I made any mistakes or did something dumb please let me know as I stayed up way to late trying to do this since I got excited. I have many more ideas on the subject and have discussed it a lot and cannot wait to begin testing on MODO soon (PS if anybody is looking to sell Dredge on MTGO for a nice price PM me).

Edit: Fixed some counting stuff cause I am tired and bad at math. Also realized none of these lists have any GY hate so that could be an issue in an open meta.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@ChubbyRain I wonder if now would be the time to brew some sort of Lands deck as typical Eldrazi decks have terrible mana bases, allowin you to attack them from their most glaring weakness that is not immidiatly solved by Karn. Additionally, Lands could rely a lot less on artifact mana and resolving spells, helping make the Spheres one sided against Eldrazi rather than the other way around. I know you have tried Sultai Depths but I for this endeavor I think a more typical Lands shell would be needed. I have been paying more attention to the Super-Staxy shells that @vroman has been brewing and the seem more and more land oriented so maybe that is the direction to go. Thoughts?

posted in Decks read more

@vroman If you are looking for a way to interact with the opponents moxen then I would recommend Meltdown. It is a card I recently found out about, and seems particullarly strong in this kind of build as it does everything you want Ratchet Bomb to do (except blow up tokens) without being affected by Null Rod/Needle type cards. The biggest downsides I can think of is the Sorcery speed and inability to kill tokens. Often you can run it out for X = 0 but if you are afraid of Mental Misstep you can run it out for X = 1 and get the same or better effect. Also, I love the innovation, and the fact that you play a pet card of mine, Barbarian Ring! Keep it up ๐Ÿ˜‹

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

@desolutionist Yes, as @rbartlet said their is Vintage this month. Tou can always check the Eudo calendar to see when it is scheduled up to one month ahead (normally the schedule is made on a month to month basis). Vintage is normally on the third Sunday of the month at 12 or 1.

Details here for this month: http://eudogames.com/june-vintage/