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Author Topic: Dr. Edge's Laboratory Deck Primer  (Read 7840 times)
vaughnbros
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« on: July 31, 2013, 05:20:16 pm »

Since I know there have been some people inquiring about this list.  Here is quite a bit of information on it.

In the last few months the format has become increasingly hostile towards traditional dredge lists.  However, I have been able to pilot a the variant of the deck to 4 out of 5 top 8's.  I have done this by playing a version that not only has a great game 1 with 73% win percentage in tournament play.  But that also transforms post board to significantly reduce the deck's vulnerability to graveyard hate, 48% game 2/3 win percentage in tournament play.  

The deck plays significantly different from a normal dredge list.  With this deck the dredge pilot must make legitimate decisions game 1 and then game 2/3 its more of a fish deck with the option of dredging.

Creation of the Deck

As the name of the deck suggests the key card to making this happen is the recent printing of...



He allows the deck to take a different route in game 1.  You no longer are forced to attack in order to win only to mill yourself, which dredge does pretty well.  In game 2/3 he combos extremely well with the other key card...



He functions as a single card combo not unlike oath of druids.  The first activation finds Laboratory Maniac and the second mills you to win off the Laboratory Maniac.

The First Tournament

I was still skeptical on how powerful the deck was at this point, but I took it to a tournament to try it any how.  Here was the initial list and tournament report (since I don't have a more recent one):

"Dr. Edge's Laboratory"
Main Deck (60):

Mana Sources:
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Underground Sea
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Riftstone Portal
4 Dakmor Salvage

Fast Mana:
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Black Lotus
1 Lion's Eye Diamond

Bazaar and its search engine:
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Serum Powder

Free Bodies:
4 Bloodghast
4 Narcomoeba
3 Fatestitcher
2 Bridge from Below
1 Dryad Arbor

Card Advantage:
1 Ancestral Recall
3 Cabal Therapy

Return and Targets:
4 Dread Return
2 Griselbrand
1 Sun Titan
2 Laboratory Maniac

Dredgers:
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
2 Golgari Thug

Sideboard (15):
Mana Sources:
3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Underground Sea

Another 1 card combo:
4 Divining Witch

Card Advantage:
3 Dark Confidant
1 Liliana of the Veil
3 Skullclamp

Round 1 against Alex on BUG fish
Game 1 - I keep my opener of Bazaar and triple narcomoeba...  He goes first turn deathrite shaman, turn 2 wasteland, turn 3 scavenging ooze and prevents me from getting any bloodghasts or narcomoebas into play.  I manage to hard cast a golgari thug, but otherwise do nothing relevant.
Game 2 - He drops turn 0 leyline.  I drop Diving Witch, fetch up Laboratory Maniac, and proceed to win before he can get black mana.
Game 3 - He drops another turn 0 leyline and then his deck does what its supposed to do.  He abrupt decays, counters all my early threats then strips me 4 times to keep me off the mana I need to combo quickly.  I was still only one turn short before he attacked me for lethal Sad
Record 0-1

Round 2 against Evan on Metalworker Workshops
Game 1 - I mulligan to 1 non bazaar card and am pretty much expecting to be blown out of the water.  He plays a bunch of spheres.  We sit there for a few turns going draw go.  He eventually finds a mishra's factory and starts attacking.  The 8th card I draw is bazaar, but I wait until the next turn to start dredging since he has wasteland.  He knocks me to 12 then off the races I go, I manage to mill a bloodghasts, 2 narcoembas, and both my bridges into the yard.  He starts to ramp smokestack and plays a second mishra's factory.  I get him to 9 before the smokestack locks starts to board sweep me every turn, but with dakmor salvage and 3 bloodghasts in the yard at that point I know I have him.
Game 2 - He leads off with double needle on bazaar and a cage.  I lead with bob, followed by divining witch, laboratory maniac, and win.
Record 1-1

Round 3 against ??? (sorry I forgot to write down names) on Golden Gun Oath
Game 1 - I start dredging, therapy his counter spells away, and combo off.
Game 2 - He plays out a bunch of hate cards and I proceed to aggro him down with first turn black lotus into narcomoeba and bloodghast.
Record 2-1

Round 4 There can only be one dredge player! against Mark Hornung on Always Sunny Dredge
Game 1 - He wins the die roll.  He keeps a 1 bazaar dredger hand and I keep a hand with 2 bazaar and fast mana, but no dredger.  We both start milling our libraries and on his turn 3 he  is unable to find flamekin zealot to swing for the win.  So he has to pass the turn back... and I never give it back to him.
Game 2 - He is on the play again.  He keeps a 1 bazaar 1 dredger hand and I keep a 2 bazaar no dredger hand... He can't hit another dredger.  I combo off on turn 2.
Record 3-1

Round 5 We ID into top 8, but play it out anyway against ??? (sorry again should've written down names) on RUG delver
Game 1 - I go all dredge on him and combo out.
Game 2 - He plays first turn delver, turn 3 goyf.  I manage to stabilize at 11 life with stinkweed imps.  I start taking a over the game by card advantaging with skull clamp, but I also drop to 9 from fetch lands.  I had already therapied 1 lightning bolt away so I felt safe, but he manages to lightning bolt 3 consecutive turns killing me 1 turn before I could combo off.
Game 3 - He plays turn 1 delver, turn 2 delver, and turn 3 goyf.  I miss play and play a liliana into a force that he flipped with delver instead of therapying it costing me any chance I had to stabilize.
Record 3-1-1 (3-2)

Quarterfinals against Paul Mastriano on Esper Control
Game 1 - I dredge, therapy, win.  Although he does give me a little scare as he is able to get out a BSC and was 1 mana from time walking for the win.
Game 2 - He drops early hate and paths my divining witch.  Then he proceeds to go broken at some point in the game before I can aggro him out.
Game 3 - He plays 2 cages in the first couple turns of the game, locking him out of tinker on top of me being locked out of my graveyard.  This ends up costing him as I play a 1 power creature pretty much every turn of the game, and widdle away his life total while he scrambles to try and find a way out of the situation he put himself into.

Semifinals against Mark Kinney on Grixis Artifact Control
Game 1 - I dredge, therapy, win.  However, he was 1 artifact away from ultimating his Tezzeret agent of bolas for the win.
Game 2 - I don't think he put in any dredge hate, not sure though, and he just blows my transformation out of the water with his superior cards.  I let him durdle around for like an extra 10/15 minutes after the game was over before scooping since he looked like he was enjoying himself.
Game 3 - We spend about 10 minutes sideboarding and staring at each other trying to figure out what each other are boarding into.  I stay go with dredge, he puts me on dredge, but he keeps a hand with no first turn hate and I combo him out on turn 3.

Finals against I thought Justin Kohler was knocked out of this tournament, Matt Murray on UW Bomberman
Game 1 - We both mulligan to 5.  He first turn grafdigger's cage on me.  I cast a couple creatures, he casts a Jace.  I scoop.
Game 2 - I can't find mana in any of hands and end up mulliganing to a 4 card 1 land hand.  He mulligans to 6 and plays tormod's and rest in peace on turn 1.  Followed by turn 2 Jace.  Game over.  Congratulations to Matt on the victory though!

Being able to pilot the deck to the finals when I knew it was rather inefficient gave me promise to continue working on it.  

The Deck Now

After much testing, tuning and four more tournaments I believe I have nearly perfected the deck.  Adding missteps to answer main deck hate, darkblasts to deal with creatures game 2/3, and changing the sideboard pretty significantly.  Here is that list that I took to my recent top 8:

"Dr. Edge's Laboratory"
Bodies:
4 Bloodghast
4 Narcomoeba
2 Fatestitcher
2 Bridge from Below

Dredgers:
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
2 Darkblast
4 Dakmor Salvage

Dread Return and targets:
4 Dread Return
2 Laboratory Maniac
2 Griselbrand
1 Sun Titan

Disruption:
4 Mental Misstep
3 Cabal Therapy

Mana:
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
4 City of Brass
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Facilitators:
4 Serum Powder
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Ancestral Recall

SB:
Mana:
4 Cavern of Souls
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Combo:
4 Divining Witch

Beats:
4 Mayor of Avabruck

CA/Tutor:
1 Dark Confidant
1 Vampiric Tutor

Playing the Deck


Game 1
The plan is simple mulligan to bazaar, dredge your library, and dread return Laboratory Maniac at some point.  It usually pulls this off on turn 3.  The execution of that plan can get a little more complicated.  So some things to look for:

When setting up dread return:  Dredging dakmor salvages and returning fatestitchers are both plays to ensure you have enough bodies.  Like with any dredge deck you always want to therapy when possible to get rid of any counters in your opponents hand.

When using dread return: Griselbrand is capable of milling your entire library, but only capable of putting narcomoebas into play.  Sun Titan can bring back ghasts, but doesn't dredge as much.

Against spheres don't get mana locked:  Don't activate your bazaar until main phase if it would require you to pitch a land, dredge back dakmor salvages to ensure you are hitting your land drops every turn, and on the final turn riftstone portal will allow your bazaars to tap for mana.


Sideboarding

Against pure combo decks, like burning long, you don't sideboard.

Against other decks there are no predefined sideboard plans for this deck except that almost always its 15 cards in and 15 cards out. Dread return, Griselbrand, Sun Titan, Serum powder, fatestitcher, cabal therapy, mental misstep, riftstone portal, darkblast, and bridge from below can all be boarded out depending on the match up.  For a rough idea of boarding:

Workshops:
-4 Mental Misstep
-3 Cabal Therapy
-1 Dread Return
-1 Griselbrand
-1 Sun Titan
-2 Fatestitcher
-3 Serum Powder

Your disruption cards are less important in this match up as they only have a small chance of being useful.  In exchange you are able to keep your dredge plan very much alive forcing them to need hate if you have a bazaar.

Against bomberman:
-4 Golgagri Grave-Troll
-4 Dread Return
-2 Griselbrand
-1 Sun Titan
-2 Bridge From Below
-2 Darkblast

With a rest in peace and fetchable cages/tormod's typically the dredge plan is a poor decision in the match up.  As such as many graveyard based cards as possible should be boarded out.

Most other decks fall somewhere in between these two in the amount of disruption, powders, and dredge plan cards you want to leave in.


Game 2/3

You have three routes you can go in any individual game.  Beatdown, via bloodghasts, mayor, and the other creatures.  Divining Witch lab maniac combo.  Or dredging for value and dread return.  Typically the deck can switch gears in the middle of a game between the three different plans.

Mulliganing is one the biggest decisions you have to make here.  Bazaar typically means you can keep since it allows you to dig for what you need.  Mana and witch/mayor is usually also a keep.   Do not keep a hand where you have no action.  Typically the longer games go the more it is to your opponents advantage.

These games are all pretty unique, but a few things of note:
You can activate bazaar in response to removal when comboing with Divining Witch Lab Maniac.
Bloodghast gains haste when your opponent has 10 or less life.
Don't be afraid to take a gamble by using serum poweder, dredging or activating divining witch.
Stay active.  Casting a spell every turn even its just a narcomoeba or a dredged back stinkweed imp.
Hold your extra lands to pitch to bazaar.
Don't play more than 1 bazaar unless you are committed to the dredge plan.

Sample Game 2/3 Hands:

Hand 1:
Serum Powder
2 Stinkweed Imp
2 Bloodghast
1 Laboratory Maniac
1 City of Brass

Powder into:
2 Bazaar
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Dakmor Salvage
2 Cabal Therapy
1 Mayor of Avabruk

Keep.  This has potential to cast turn 2 mayor by pitching your riftstone or top decking a land.  You can also therapy at least twice.

Hand 2:
2 City of Brass
1 Dakmor Salvage
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Mental Misstep
1 Stinkweed Imp
1 Bloodghast

Keep.  You can disrupt them with an early misstep and then aggro with your two bodies.  You also have enough mana to cast anything you top deck.

Hand 3:
2 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Mox Jet
1 Cabal Therapy
1 Narcomoeba
1 Divining Witch

Keep.  This hand is pretty potent.  You have uncounterable turn 1 divining witch, or turn 1 you can clear removal with cabal therapy and dig with bazaar.



I hope this entices some people to pick the deck up and try it in a tournament.  It is by far the most fun I've had playing magic in quite a while.  If anyone has any questions or comments don't be hesitate to say so!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 05:25:20 pm by vaughnbros » Logged
Varal
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 06:32:36 pm »

It's really interesting. I'll definitely test it a bit since I like both transformational sideboards and dredge. There's probably none that exists but did you consider playing cards that give haste when they're in a graveyard.
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shrewarmies
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 06:41:28 pm »

Anger
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TheWhiteDragon
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 09:16:53 pm »

BTW, on Mastriano's match in the T8 that you reference...cage can't lock him out of tinker....it's actually tinker fodder.  It is sacced to cast the spell by the time he actually digs for BSC.  If he had Tinker in hand and really was looking for a way to remove cage, then it was an epic misplay.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 09:27:14 pm »

2 cages will lock out the Tinker play, though.
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vaughnbros
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 06:57:21 am »

There's probably none that exists but did you consider playing cards that give haste when they're in a graveyard.

I'm not quite sure I follow for the need for haste.  G1 a resolved dread return is always game.  G2/3 cards that function in the graveyard are unreliable due to all the hate that your opponent will be bringing in.

BTW, on Mastriano's match in the T8 that you reference...cage can't lock him out of tinker....it's actually tinker fodder.  It is sacced to cast the spell by the time he actually digs for BSC.  If he had Tinker in hand and really was looking for a way to remove cage, then it was an epic misplay.
2 cages will lock out the Tinker play, though.

Correct 2 cages and all of his artifact hate being in is his sideboard certainly does lock him out.
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Varal
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 09:43:42 am »

I'm not quite sure I follow for the need for haste.  G1 a resolved dread return is always game.  G2/3 cards that function in the graveyard are unreliable due to all the hate that your opponent will be bringing in.
Correct 2 cages and all of his artifact hate being in is his sideboard certainly does lock him out.
You're right about the graveyard hate. I was just wondering how often your Divining Witch gets killed by removal before you can activate it. 4 mana is probably near impossible to cast for Dredge decks anyway.
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 12:19:58 pm »

I'm not quite sure I follow for the need for haste.  G1 a resolved dread return is always game.  G2/3 cards that function in the graveyard are unreliable due to all the hate that your opponent will be bringing in.
Correct 2 cages and all of his artifact hate being in is his sideboard certainly does lock him out.
You're right about the graveyard hate. I was just wondering how often your Divining Witch gets killed by removal before you can activate it. 4 mana is probably near impossible to cast for Dredge decks anyway.

Did you even look at his deck list? it has fetches, dual lands and sideboard mana.  Making it similar to the mana base of a fish deck...  He can easily get 4 mana games 2/3.
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 01:09:27 pm »

I'm not quite sure I follow for the need for haste.  G1 a resolved dread return is always game.  G2/3 cards that function in the graveyard are unreliable due to all the hate that your opponent will be bringing in.
Correct 2 cages and all of his artifact hate being in is his sideboard certainly does lock him out.
You're right about the graveyard hate. I was just wondering how often your Divining Witch gets killed by removal before you can activate it. 4 mana is probably near impossible to cast for Dredge decks anyway.

Did you even look at his deck list? it has fetches, dual lands and sideboard mana.  Making it similar to the mana base of a fish deck...  He can easily get 4 mana games 2/3.


I was referring to the second decklist that has only 18 mana sources. This seems little to reliably cast 4 mana spells unless you have Black Lotus or Bazaar of Baghdad and Urborg Tomb of Yawgmoth. Fish decks usually play around 18 lands + artifact mana  mana dorks.
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vaughnbros
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 01:57:26 pm »

I'm not quite sure I follow for the need for haste.  G1 a resolved dread return is always game.  G2/3 cards that function in the graveyard are unreliable due to all the hate that your opponent will be bringing in.
Correct 2 cages and all of his artifact hate being in is his sideboard certainly does lock him out.
You're right about the graveyard hate. I was just wondering how often your Divining Witch gets killed by removal before you can activate it. 4 mana is probably near impossible to cast for Dredge decks anyway.

Did you even look at his deck list? it has fetches, dual lands and sideboard mana.  Making it similar to the mana base of a fish deck...  He can easily get 4 mana games 2/3.


I was referring to the second decklist that has only 18 mana sources. This seems little to reliably cast 4 mana spells unless you have Black Lotus or Bazaar of Baghdad and Urborg Tomb of Yawgmoth. Fish decks usually play around 18 lands + artifact mana  mana dorks.

Fish decks are also typically running 5 strip effects, which are very rarely used for mana, making the totals very comparable.  Serum powder also adds mana and can be cast at 3.  This isn't super relevant though.  The only card you want 4 mana for is the 2-of fatestitcher or to play multiple things in a single turn.

As for being able to activate witch the first turn. It isn't really a big advantge.  If he dies you can't combo anyway, you just loose the ability to cycle a card from your hand into mayor.  I think lightning greaves wouldn't be a terrible option if you really wanted to go that route.
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vaughnbros
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 11:46:25 pm »

After a few months of not playing much vintage, I was finally able to sleeve this bad boy up again.  Here's the list I piloted to a top 4 split of a 21 man tournament:

Bodies:
4 Bloodghast
4 Narcomoeba
2 Bridge from Below

Dredgers:
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
3 Darkblast
2 Dakmor Salvage

Win:
3 Dread Return
2 Laboratory Maniac
1 Griselbrand
1 Sun Titan

Disruption:
1 Strip Mine
4 Wasteland
4 Mental Misstep
4 Cabal Therapy

Mana:
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
4 City of Brass
1 Riftstone Portal

Facilitators:
4 Serum Powder
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Ancestral Recall

SB:
Humans:
1 Dark Confidant
4 Mayor of Avabruck
4 Divining Witch

More Mana:
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Cavern of Souls

Notably I added wastelands and strip mine to deck, increasing the mana count and providing the deck some extra disruption.

Quick Report:
BUG fish - Round 1 - Game 1: I comboed off on turn 3.  Game 2: I dredge for value on the first few turns netting a couple creatures which he stops by landing a jailor, which I have no darkblast for.  I still end up taking the game as my creatures are able to get in enough damage to cause him to die to flipping a pair of Jaces. 1-0 matches (2-0 games)

Dreadless Dredge - Round 2 - Game 1: Lab maniac+griselbrand give me the win on turn 3, after he removed all my bridges at instant speed (darkblast) and had a horde of zombies ready to kill me.    Game 2: he keeps a hand with no leyline and no bazaar, so I promptly turn 2 comboed him. 2-0 matches (4-0 games)

Doomsday - Round 3 - Game 1: I win a tight one by preventing his lab maniac combo by threatening double darkblast off lotus and then using those darkblasts on my own narcomoebas making zombies end of turn to swing for the win.  Game 2+3: I mulligan to 1 and 2 no bazaar hands.  2-1 matches (5-2 games)

Grixis Tezzeret - Round 4 - Game 1: from the play he vault keys me on turn 3.  Game 2: the man plan gets within 1 turn of winning before he again assembles vault+key. 2-2 matches (5-4 games)

Workshops - Round 5 - Game 1: he wastes my bazaar, but I have a second.  Game 2: I drop turn 2 Mayor followed by turn 3 waste+divining witch.  3-2 matches (7-4 games)

Doomsday Rematch - Top 8 - Game 1: I misstep his ancestral it slows him down a couple turns giving me the time I need to combo out.  Game 2: I Misstep him, wasteland him (forcing him to gush), and therapy 3 times in the first couple turns to prevent his combo before comboing myself.  4-2 matches (9-4 games)

Playing doomsday in two matches and dredge in another the transformation didn't get as much work as it usually does, but the main deck once again proved its strength.  

Combo decks packing a large amount of graveyard hate are about the only deck that I'm still looking on ways to improve against since the dredge plan is crippled by their hate, and the creatures are too slow to consistently compete with their broken cards. (tinker, vault/key, and oath)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 11:57:32 pm by vaughnbros » Logged
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