Daily Digest: Dredges Of Sorrow

When is a Dredge deck not a dredge deck? When it has no dredge cards, obviously! SCG Syracuse starts tomorrow! Do you have the guts to gut the sacred cows in your Dredge builds?

Prized Amalgam, Narcomoeba, and Bloodghast should all look familiar. That’s the threat base for Dredge, one of Modern’s top decks over the last year. But one of the weaker aspects of Dredge is the number of pieces you need to assemble in a short time frame. In your opening hand, you’re looking for at least an enabler and a dredger, and from there you need to hit other dredgers to continue the chain and your key creatures.

You can get around not having everything immediately but not easily, and things can fall apart rather quickly. This deck enables the same great creatures but with a cleaner self-mill plan headlined by Hedron Crab and Glimpse the Unthinkable. This plan is cleaner, in that your enabler is also a dredger of sorts, and similarly explosive; one of each of those cards alongside a fetchland will mill over sixteen cards on turn 2, enough to create a sizable battlefield.

The primary issue with the plan is that you can’t continue dredging once your opening hand is spent, so the deck peters out more quickly. Visions of Beyond comes in to refuel you as only a draw-three can, and Collective Brutality and Rotting Rats give you some interaction and ways to get your Bloodghasts and Prized Amalgams from your hand into the graveyard.

On the balance, I’d assume this deck is a little worse than Dredge in Game 1, but with a similar free win potential. The real gain is in being able to transform in sideboarding into a straight mill deck against graveyard hate. You can cut nearly every creature in the deck for more mill cards and Surgical Extractions and take advantage of the fact that your opponent is diluting their gameplan to answer your Game 1 configuration, thus giving you time to win the non-interactive race.

Dredge is at a nadir right now, mostly because the amount of graveyard hate in the format is so high, making this an interesting option for those of us who just can’t get away from the free creature life.