Vintage Champs 2012- Top 8 with Dredge

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Iím Kevin. Long time lurker, first time poster. I made the Top 8 at the 2012 Vintage Championship. This was my 3rd Champs and Iíve always played Dredge.

4  Bazaar of Baghdad
4  Undiscovered Paradise
4  City of Brass
1  Gemstone Mine
1  Petrified Field

4  Serum Powder
4  Cabal Therapy
4  Narcomoeba
4  Bridge from Below

4  Golgari Grave-Troll
4  Stinkweed Imp
2  Golgari Thug
4  Darkblast

4  Ichorid
4  Bloodghast
4  Leyline of the Void
1  Ingot Chewer
1  Mental Misstep
1  Street Wraith
1  Gitaxian Probe

3  Mental Misstep
3  Chain of Vapor
1  Firestorm
3  Ingot Chewer
4  Nature's Claim
1  Wispmare

I saw a few dredge players at the Thursday Vintage event. So I replaced 3 Street Wraith and 1 Gitaxian Probe with 4 Leyline of the Void I borrowed from my handsome friend Duane.

I play 4 Darkblasts because of Yixlid Jailer. It is also good in the mirror. I was expecting Grafdigger's Cage to be popular so I wanted 4 Ingot Chewer and 4 Mental Misstep for game 2 against everyone but Oath and the mirror.

The more powerful my opponent's deck, the more Serum Powder I take out. I want to get lucky and hit my opening hand while keeping my deck as dense as possible. This might be foolish.

Rainbow Land = Undiscovered Paradise, City of Brass, or Gemstone Mine. Sideboarding for Game 3 is reported as a change from my Game 2 deck. I doubt the game reports are completely accurate, and for this I apologize.

Round 1 vs Dresden playing Stax
Game 1 Steel Hellkite takes me to 6 before I realize I can evoke my opening-hand Ingot Chewer through Chalice of the Void with 1 counter. I win an unusually close game 1.
Sideboarding: Keeping in a few Leyline of the Void to combo with Bridge from Below is possible.
-4 Leyline of the Void, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Street Wraith, -4 Cabal Therapy, -2 Darkblast
+3 Ingot Chewer, +4 Nature's Claim, +3 Mental Misstep, +1 Firestorm, +1 Chain of Vapor
Game 2 He leads with Ratchet Bomb, Grafdigger's Cage, and Sphere of Resistance. My opener is amazing: Bazaar of Baghdad, 2 Rainbow Land, 2 Nature's Claim, Ingot Chewer, and I think Bloodghast. He plays Kuldotha Forgemaster on his turn 2 and on mine I destroy it with Nature's Claim. He Strip Mines but I have drawn a 3rd land which allows me to evoke Ingot Chewer and destroy Grafdigger's Cage. He plays Wasteland and after I draw he says he had an upkeep effect. I ask if he wants to respond during my draw step and he Wastelands. I play Bazaar of Baghdad but still have no dredger. He has Trinisphere but it is too late. Ratchet Bomb is too reactive and kills only my zombies.

Round 2 vs Ryan playing BUG Fish? (I don't recall seeing Wasteland)
Game 1 I win and see that he is playing BUG.
Sideboarding: Against a black and blue deck I bring in my entire sideboard. Since his game 1 was unimpressive and I saw no moxen, I keep in all 4 Serum Powder. I keep my Petrified Field in Games 2 and 3 even though I never see Wasteland.
-4 Leyline of the Void, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Street Wraith, -2 Bridge from Below, -1 Bloodghast, -2 Ichorid, -2 Golgari Grave-Troll, -1 Stinkweek Imp, -1 Golgari Thug
+15 Entire Sideboard
Game 2 He accidentally shows me Leyline of the Void while I'm mulliganing. I think a long time about my 5 of Chain of Vapor, Rainbow Land, 2 dredgers, Ichorid. I mulligan to 4 with Bazaar and Nature's Claim but no Rainbow Land. I keep and find Rainbow Land with my first Bazaar activation. I destroy the Leyline and my second Bazaar activation hits the graveyard. On turn 3 I set up triple Cabal Therapy, whiff on Force of Will and see Dark Confidant, Snapcaster Mage, Merchant Scroll, and Ponder. I let him keep Dark Confidant and Merchant Scroll, but giving him Confidant and Ponder is probably better. My thinking is Merchant Scroll for Mystical Tutor for Tinker is too slow. Instead he Merchant Scrolls for Ancestral Recall, and then casts it again with Snapcaster Mage. I forget how he won, probably Tinker into Blightsteel Colossus.
Sideboarding: I don't think he has artifact hate and I am skeptical of Yixlid Jailer. I didn't see any Mental Missteps but I keep mine in case he has them.
-3 Ingot Chewer, -1 Firestorm
+1 Golgari Grave-Troll, +1 Ichorid, +1 Bloodghast, +1 Bridge from Below
Game 3 He mulligans to 6 and keeps a 1 land hand with Leyline of the Void. I have Nature's Claim right away and Bazaar to follow up. He misses land drops, when he plays Tarmogoyf I'm swinging for lethal exactly.

Round 3 vs Steve playing Dredge
Game 1 I open with 2 Leyline of the Void and Bazaar. Being on the draw, he scoops turn 1 to avoid showing me a single card.
Sideboarding: I don't know what he's playing so I do my standard sideboarding. I consider leaving in some Leylines, but decide he is probably not playing dredge. I give him a lot of credit for scooping turn 1 and being 2-0, so I take out a Serum Powder. I keep in Petrified Field because my guess is he is playing Fish.
-4 Leyline of the Void, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Street Wraith, -2 Bridge from Below, -1 Bloodghast, -1 Ichorid, -2 Golgari Grave-Troll, -1 Stinkweek Imp, -1 Golgari Thug, -1 Serum Powder
+15 Entire Sideboard
Game 2 He mulligans to 5 and has Leyline of the Void but no Bazaar. I have Bazaar and Nature's Claim, and dig for a Rainbow Land faster than he can topdeck Bazaar. I'm still worried he will draw Bazaar because my deck is sideboarded and slow, but he doesn't.

Round 4 vs Zac playing Gush
Game 1 I win and see that he is playing Gush.
Sideboarding: Against Gush I take out at least 1 Serum Powder.
-4 Leyline of the Void, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Street Wraith, -2 Bridge from Below, -1 Bloodghast, -1 Ichorid, -2 Golgari Grave-Troll, -1 Golgari Thug, -1 Petrified Field -1 Serum Powder
+15 Entire Sideboard
Game 2 He has turn 2 Yixlid Jailer. He adds another Jailer and I have no answer.
Sideboarding: I don't think I sideboarded, but I would consider bringing in Serum Powder for Wispmare.
Game 3 I activate Bazaar on my turn 1 on the play and pitch 2 dredgers and Ichorid. I have Gitaxian Probe in hand, so I feel the correct play is to pitch Cabal Therapy over Ichorid and hope to dredge into Narcomoeba for turn 1 Cabal. My Probe sees Gifts Ungiven, Preordain, Mox Ruby, Island, and 2 Misty Rainforest. He topdecks Fastbond and plays it and 2 Preordain. I'm guessing he played Grafdigger's Cage here. He Gifts for Yawgmoth's Will, Black Lotus, Yixlid Jailer, Ravenous Trap. This pile needed to be world-class, and giving him Ravenous Trap and Black Lotus makes it poor. Typically a player will go for the win here, perhaps with Yixlid Jailer as a backup, rather than Gifts for hate. I'm guessing my library was low from Serum Powder or he had Cage because all I did was hardcast Narcomoeba and attacked with it and a Bloodghast for the rest of the game. He draws 5 counters in a row while I win in 5 swings.

Round 5 vs Chas playing Sun Titan Dredge
Game 1 I'm on the play and we both have Bazaar. On turn 2, I foolishly Cabal Therapy my Bloodghast into 3 zombies, even though I have Darkblast and Rainbow Land. I have 6 zombies and pass the turn. He dredges his Darkmor Salvage and goes nuts, which I could have disrupted significantly by exiling his Bridge from Below if I still had Bloodghast. He ends up with 3 Bazaars, 18 zombies, 3 Bloodghast, Sun Titan, and 5 cards in library. With no bridges I can't survive.
Sideboarding: I'm worried he has sideboard Leyline of the Void. I bring in Mental Misstep to protect my Leyline of the Voids.
-1 Street Wraith, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Petrified Field, -1 Ingot Chewer, -3 Cabal Therapy, -2 Golgari Thug, -1 Golgari Grave-Troll, -1 Stinkweed Imp
+4 Nature's Claim, +3 Chain of Vapor, +1 Wispmare +3 Mental Misstep
Game 2 I exile 3 Bridge from Below on his draw step by Darkblasting my Narcomoeba. My dredging is solid and my zombie army is too big. He has Sun Titan but it doesn't matter.
Sideboarding: I saw about 35 cards and no Leyline of the Void. I decide to keep in only 2 answers to it. Should have been 2 Chain of Vapor instead of Wispmare and Nature's Claim.
-3 Nature's Claim, -3 Chain of Vapor
+2 Cabal Therapy, +1 Street Wraith, +1 Golgari Grave-Troll, +1 Stinkweep Imp, +1 Golgari Thug
Game 3 He dredges poorly turn 2. He canít remove my Bridges during my 2nd turn and my zombie army is massive. I exile 2 Bridge from Below on his 3rd turn draw step by Darkblasting my Bloodghast. He almost gets there, but fails to dredge into Bazaar for his Sun Titan.

Round 6 vs Marc playing Drain Control
Game 1 I mull to 2 but find Bazaar. I lose to Tinker into Blightsteel Colossus before I can hit a dredger.
Sideboarding: My opponent is 5-0 so I consider taking out a second Serum Powder.
-4 Leyline of the Void, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Street Wraith, -2 Bridge from Below, -1 Bloodghast, -1 Ichorid, -2 Golgari Grave-Troll, -1 Golgari Thug, -1 Petrified Field -1 Serum Powder
+15 Entire Sideboard
Game 2 His early Nihil Spellbomb slows me. My Cabal Therapy on Force of Will whiffs and sees Yixlid Jailer, Dark Confidant, Blightsteel Colossus, Flusterstorm, and Yawgmoth's Will. I Darkblast through his Yixlid and finally amass an army and swing for 11, bringing him to 3. On his turn he tries to Ancestral Recall with Underground Sea, Mox Pearl, and Voltaic Key untapped. I respond with Nature's Claim on Voltaic Key. He plays Yawgmoth's Will and then Demonic Tutor and Time Walk from his Graveyard. On his extra turn he plays Yixlid Jailer then Pyroclasm and Grafdigger's Cage. This leaves me with no army and no Bridge triggers. On my turn I incorrectly exile my Bridge from Below because his Yixlid Jailer died. He has 2 unknown cards in his hand, and I evoke Ingot Chewer rather than hardcast Cabal Therapy. It resolves, I destroy the Cage, play a land, and my 3 hasted Bloodghast attack for the win exactly.
Sideboarding: I see so much hate I figure he has no Leyline of the Void.
-1 Wispmare, +1 Bloodghast
Game 3 He has turn 1 Pithing Needle on the play and passes. I say, "What is your name?" He is puzzled. I say, "You have to name a card." Maybe I should have said "Name your favorite Magic card." He names Bazaar and says he was confused because his name is written on his GenCon badge. He has Yixlid Jailer and Nihil Spellbomb. I have 2 Bazaars. It's my first loss and I'm 5-1.

Round 7 vs Josh playing Landstill
Game 1 He Wastelands my Bazaar. When I dredge my Stinkweed Imp, I have 4 Narcomoeba on top of my deck! He concedes.
Sideboarding: I saw only Library of Alexandria, Strip Mine, and Wasteland. I don't know what he is playing and my guess is some weird homebrew. I keep in my Serum Powder because Wasteland decks are generally not powerful.
-4 Leyline of the Void, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Street Wraith, -2 Bridge from Below, -1 Bloodghast, -1 Ichorid, -2 Golgari Grave-Troll, -1 Stinkweek Imp, -2 Golgari Thug
+15 Entire Sideboard
Game 2 He has Grafdigger's Cage and protects it. He Ancestral Recalls himself, I break Standstill trying to destroy Cage and he counters. This whole time he is drawing off Library of Alexandria. He Mana Drains my Ingot Chewer and is in complete control. I die to Mishra's Factory.
Sideboarding: I don't think he has Yixlid Jailer so I go with my fatter dredgers. I consider taking out Serum Powder.
-3 Darkblast
+2 Golgari Grave-Troll, +1 Golgari Thug
Game 3 He has Leyline of the Void to start and adds Grafdigger's Cage. I dig with Bazaar and eventually exile a Bazaar and Mental Misstep, keeping Rainbow Land, 2 Ingot Chewer, and Mental Misstep, with Bazaar and Rainbow Land in play. He Ancestral Recalls but I have Mental Misstep. I break Standstill to Nature's Claim his Leyline of the Void and it resolves. Ingot Chewer evoke on his Cage gives me a zombie, my first creature, and I add 3 Bloodghast via landfall with an Ichorid in my graveyard. He has Engineered Explosives on 0 and Mishraís Factory, and adds another Engineered Explosives on 2. He has only 1 mana left, so my first attack brings him from 24 to 13. My library is 4 land out of 14 cards so I elect to draw and crucially find a land. I attack for 14 but he blows the Engineered Explosives on 2, blocks Ichorid and takes damage from only my 2 zombies. I landfall my 3 Bloodghasts back and lose all my zombies to his other Engineered Explosives. I take him to 2 and he plays Crucible of Worlds but it is too late. I was very fortunate with my draws, and that he didnít draw counter or hate.

Round 8 vs Blaine
In 5th place, I am lucky to be paired up so I can draw into the top 8.

Top 8 vs Marc playing Drain Control
Marc showed me his dredge hate after our game in the swiss, so I knew his deck almost card for card.
Game 1 He gets to play because he is a higher seed. On his 2nd turn he Time Walks into Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Nihil Spellbomb. My Ichorid kills Jace, and I have a Cabal Therapy and 2 Bloodghasts in my graveyard. I assume he will Spellbomb me if I trigger landfall, so I flashback Cabal Therapy. I rule out Tinker and name Yawgmoth's Will. I whiff and see Demonic Tutor, Force of Will, Flusterstorm, Lightning Bolt, and Scalding Tarn. I did not consider naming Demonic Tutor, which was a logical possibility. He Spellbombs in response to landfall and has Blightsteel Colossus next turn. I Bazaar during my upkeep and my hand is Darkblast, Narcomoeba, Undiscovered Paradise. My plan is to hardcast Narcomoeba and dredge either Narcomoeba or Bridge from Below. This plan is stupid because I already know he has Force of Will and Flusterstorm. I dredge a Bloodghast and a Bridge from Below. I attempt to Darkblast my Bloodghast but he Flusterstorms. I should have kept 2 Darkblast and Undiscovered Paradise so that I would have 2 tries to kill my own creature. He had a 2nd counter anyways: a blue card waiting on his library for him to Sensei's Divining Top. Iím approximately 70-7 lifetime in tournament game 1s playing Dredge, and Marc beat me game 1 twice.
Sideboarding: I go against my strategy and keep my 4 Serum Powder in because I don't want to mulligan into oblivion. I sideboarded wrong because I forgot he had Yixlid Jailer, I do want my Darkblasts and Firestorm.
-4 Leyline of the Void, -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Street Wraith, -2 Bridge from Below, -1 Ichorid, -3 Darkblast, -1 Petrified Field
+3 Ingot Chewer, +4 Nature's Claim, +3 Mental Misstep, +3 Chain of Vapor
Game 2 I whiff on my turn 2 dredging. He has turn 2 Blightsteel Colossus. I dredge during my upkeep and think for a long time about my Bazaar discard. I can either discard Bridge from Below and dredge 6 cards or hope to topdeck land and play my already in-hand Chain of Vapor. In retrospect I think it is correct to draw. The judge had already given me a warning for playing slowly and told me I needed to make a decision. I go for the dredge and squeeze my hair after I dredge Undiscovered Paradise as my first card. I whiff and the match is over. Like game 1, he had the counter anyways.

I would make a few changes to the deck. Street Wraith and Gitaxian Probe add explosiveness and psynergy (Ichorid and Cabal Therapy), but are unnecessary. I like having a deck that is functionally less than 60 cards, but games 2 and 3 the cards in your library are too valuable a resource to decrease.  I would cut them and add Dread Return and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. It seems great in the mirror and maybe lets you to run less Ichorid/ Bloodghast/ Bridge as your creatures are bigger. I have not tested this, and the last time I played Dread Return was 3 years ago alongside Sadistic Hypnotist.

As for the sideboard, I don't like Chain of Vapor in this build. The deck is not explosive enough to profit from bounce. I would cut 2 and add Pithing Needle (for Tormod's Crypt, Nihil Spellbomb, Relic of Progenitus, or even Griselbrand, Misty Rainforest, Scalding Tarn) and Wax/Wane. In fact I like Wax/Wane over Wispmare.

A combination of Petrified Field, a Golgari Grave-Troll, an Ichorid, and/or the last Chain of Vapor could also be cut. I would consider adding a 2nd Dread Return, Smelt, Erase, or Fireslinger (for Yixlid Jailer).

Grand Inquisitor:
Even among my experienced Vintage friends, many undermine Dredge.  This is a great post, and evidence that it's a sophisticated deck that belongs in the format.

Was the top eight timed?  It's weird that the judge called you on slow play in what, I would imagine, was untimed Magic.

Thank you very much for giving us this outstanding report. We suffered because WotC decided not to cover it, so I mean it: Thank you for sharing your experience here.

Quote from: hitman on August 20, 2012, 09:29:58 pm

Was the top eight timed?  It's weird that the judge called you on slow play in what, I would imagine, was untimed Magic.

The Top 8 was untimed. The warning was issued after I did nothing for 5 minutes.


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