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Author Topic: Dark Depths Dredge Post MTGO Power 9 Challenge  (Read 2575 times)
gkraigher
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« on: October 28, 2015, 12:40:36 pm »

I absolutely loved the deck lists that came out of the MTGO Power 9 Challenge.  

DOOMfinite's Top 8:

Creature (26)
4 Bloodghast
1 Dragonlord Kolaghan
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Fatestitcher
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
3 Golgari Thug
4 Ichorid
4 Narcomoeba
4 Stinkweed Imp

Sorcery (7)
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Dread Return

Artifact (5)
1 Black Lotus
4 Serum Powder

Enchantment (4)
4 Bridge from Below

Land (18)
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
2 Dakmor Salvage
4 Mana Confluence
4 Petrified Field
4 Undiscovered Paradise

Sideboard:
2 Barbarian Ring
4 Ingot Chewer
1 Riftstone Portal
4 Serenity
4 Wispmare


kingneckbeard's & Nukular's Top 16:

Creature (24)
4 Chancellor of the Annex
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Golgari Thug
4 Ichorid
4 Narcomoeba
4 Stinkweed Imp

Sorcery (7)
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Dread Return

Instant (12)
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
4 Mindbreak Trap

Artifact (4)
4 Serum Powder

Enchantment (4)
4 Bridge from Below

Land (9)
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Library of Alexandria
4 Petrified Field

Sideboard:
4 Dark Depths
1 Riftstone Portal
4 Thespian's Stage
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Vampire Hexmage

I loved them so much that I decided to marry the two decks together.  I want to play a "Manaless Depths" version in the main that can switch to a Serenity version when it needs to.  Now, I AM NO EXPERT on dredge, but I do consider myself a good deck builder.  So I thought I could post a list, and see what the response is.  So that all the Dredge experts in this forum could talk and ideas could flow.  

Presenting "Serenity Depths Dredge":

lands (21)
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Dark Depths
4 Thespian's Stage
3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Petrified Field
2 Riftstone Portal

creatures: (25)
4 Bloodghast
1 Dragonlord Kolaghan
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Golgari Thug
4 Ichorid
4 Narcomoeba
4 Stinkweed Imp

Sorcery (5)
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Dread Return

Artifact (4)
4 Serum Powder
1 Black Lotus

Enchantment (4)
4 Bridge from Below

sideboard:
2 Riftstone Portal
4 Nature's Claim
4 Serenity
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Karakas

or
2 Riftstone Portal
2 Nature's Claim
4 Serenity
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
2 Dread Return
3 Chancellor of the Annex
1 Karakas

The Leyline of the Voids could be cut entirely from the list, and you could also cut a number of Nature's Claims.  

Thoughts?

Cons:  Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void are especially strong vs the dredge portion of the deck, and there are no anwsers in the sideboard to either, but the dark depths package should be able to play around it.  The same can be said for Containment Priest.
Pros:  The dark depths package plays though a lot of hate already.  

(If you are the original builder of the decks, or are familiar with either version, please take time to list the strengths and weakness of your build.)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 05:38:49 pm by gkraigher » Logged
ajfirecracker
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2015, 02:15:54 pm »

I would be pretty tempted to trim Urborgs (given how many Riftstone Portal you have and the lack of Vampire Hexmage) and I would try to squeeze in more Dread Return and 1-2 Dakmor Salvage

Edit: I think no Hexmage also tips you over the edge in favor of Mana Crypt and Black Lotus
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 02:23:28 pm by ajfirecracker » Logged

kingneckbeard on MTGO

"I fully believe that if Dredge could play a transformational sideboard it would just win all the tournaments yet it just doesn’t have one because there is just nothing that it can play. It’d be awesome to completely ignore all those very specific hate cards people bring against you but how are you going to do that?" - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 02:17:08 pm »

Cons:  Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void are especially strong vs the dredge portion of the deck, and there are no anwsers in the sideboard to either...

Did I miss something?

4 nature's claim
4 serenity
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ajfirecracker
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 02:20:34 pm »

Cons:  Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void are especially strong vs the dredge portion of the deck, and there are no anwsers in the sideboard to either...

Did I miss something?

4 nature's claim
4 serenity

Mana sources - he would have to float mana in response to a RIP
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kingneckbeard on MTGO

"I fully believe that if Dredge could play a transformational sideboard it would just win all the tournaments yet it just doesn’t have one because there is just nothing that it can play. It’d be awesome to completely ignore all those very specific hate cards people bring against you but how are you going to do that?" - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
dangerlinto
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 02:24:55 pm »

Mana sources - he would have to float mana in response to a RIP

Ah yeah.  Well technically if the Leyline was hardcast after you got a Riftstone Portal in the yard you could, but let's just call that the not-very-likely scenario. Smile
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ajfirecracker
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 02:29:53 pm »

Is Qasali Pridemage better than Serenity here? The conditions to cast it are the same, but it can pop an enchantment or artifact that comes out later (even if it shuts off Riftstone Portal)
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kingneckbeard on MTGO

"I fully believe that if Dredge could play a transformational sideboard it would just win all the tournaments yet it just doesn’t have one because there is just nothing that it can play. It’d be awesome to completely ignore all those very specific hate cards people bring against you but how are you going to do that?" - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
gkraigher
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 03:08:59 pm »

Prefectly reasonable idea to cut urborg to 2-3 copies and include dakmor salvage.  

I think Black Lotus is much better than Mana crypt in this list, but I could see arguments for both.  Lotus is especially good with the Serenity package.  

Quote
Mana sources - he would have to float mana in response to a RIP
Yeah, the mana sources in this deck is one of the flaws with the build.  It controls the sideboard cards you can even consider playing.  

With that being said, you guys bring up great points that Rest in Peace can be played around with floating mana for a nature's claim.  It's not ideal, but it would be easier to play around than an opening Leyline of the Void.  

When your opponent opens with Leyine, you have to draw depths.   But I think that is an acceptable risk.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 03:12:58 pm by gkraigher » Logged
TheMonadNomad
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 03:17:02 pm »

What are the 4x Chancellor of the Annex trying to disrupt?  Wouldn't most opponents just play a mox and pay the one for it??
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CHA1N5
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 03:25:38 pm »

What are the 4x Chancellor of the Annex trying to disrupt?  Wouldn't most opponents just play a mox and pay the one for it??

I can't say exactly how often, but I know from playing against Dredge that I've confidently kept a number of Land/Cage, Land/Mox/Priest and Land/Mox/RiP hands that would be significantly disrupted by this.
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gkraigher
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 04:31:46 pm »

Chancellor of the Annex is probably in there because the deck runs a bare minimum of mana sources/castable hate cards.  If you are building a deck with 4 force of will, 4 mental misstep, and 4 mindbreak trap but you aren't going to have a traditional sideboard, you find yourself with 4 loose slots in the 75 card list.  And Chancellor is a good option given the circumstances.  

It's efficiently annoying, at least for the first turn.  Just taxing you one mana is enough to keep you off a strong first turn play when you are playing a blue deck or a shops deck.  It gives a shops player a turn 1 choice to play Mishra's Workshop and get a card countered or take a slower line of play.  That seems strong to me.  

Chancellor is also a very good dread return target, not the best, but a very good one.  
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 04:40:05 pm by gkraigher » Logged
gkraigher
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2015, 04:36:37 pm »

I think one of the major takeaways from this forum should be:  what are the absolute essential cards for dredge to be playable, and how many open slots you have for other design.

These are the essential cards:

4 bazaar of baghdad
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Narcomoeba
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Bridge from Below
4 Serum Powder

These are the nearly essential cards:

Ichorid
Golgari Thug

Also Lurking:
Dread Return

28 are must plays, another 8-10 seem very close.  But it still leaves a lot of room to brew when you consider you have 15 more slots sitting in your sideboard.  

« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 04:39:11 pm by gkraigher » Logged
ajfirecracker
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2015, 04:57:16 pm »

What are the 4x Chancellor of the Annex trying to disrupt?  Wouldn't most opponents just play a mox and pay the one for it??

1) Slow Wasteland + artifact mana on Turn 1 (even if the opponent has a Mox)
2) Disrupt mox-light decks such as UR Delver, potentially eating both Turn 1 and Turn 2 for a 1 CMC spell
3) Disrupt acceleration-heavy decks when they keep a hand without land
4) Disrupt acceleration-heavy decks (especially combo) by investing their preferred color of mana (from their land) into a random Mox
5) Eat 1 mana in a game where the opponent may have access to 6 or so mana all game (because Dredge compresses the game so much)
6) Remain in hand for Library of Alexandria purposes
7) Hold the opponent off hate for a turn, allowing Dredge to establish a board presence or draw into other disruption
8) Disrupt spell chains when reanimated, usually buying a turn; for this reason Chancellor is pretty close in value to FKZ or Dragonlord K as a reanimation target

Additionally, it performs the first several roles after sideboarding out of the graveyard plan, where FKZ or DK would be dead weight.

So it's not really like "I want to counter X so I'll just run Chancellor" it's more like it has a little bit of utility in hand which is an upgrade over none.
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kingneckbeard on MTGO

"I fully believe that if Dredge could play a transformational sideboard it would just win all the tournaments yet it just doesn’t have one because there is just nothing that it can play. It’d be awesome to completely ignore all those very specific hate cards people bring against you but how are you going to do that?" - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
gkraigher
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2015, 05:02:38 pm »

Quote
I would be pretty tempted to trim Urborgs (given how many Riftstone Portal you have and the lack of Vampire Hexmage)

The more I think about it, the more I realize Black Lotus is ALWAYS better than Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth #4.  And arguably stronger than Urborg #1.

The deck could also find room for Mox Jet.  But the one additional mana per turn is much worse than Lotus because Lotus single-handedly activates Thespian's Stage and can be used to hard cast Dread Return and Serenity. 

I've updated the decklist in the original post.  
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 05:06:08 pm by gkraigher » Logged
gkraigher
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2015, 05:17:13 pm »

After building and testing, the first thing I notice is the number of qualitiy opening keeps you get on 4-5 cards.  You don't have to keep mulliganing past 4 if you get dark depths and thespians stage.  The Depths deck doesn't have to draw Bazaar to win.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 05:40:17 pm by gkraigher » Logged
vaughnbros
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2015, 07:07:03 pm »

This is an interesting idea.  Basically playing with an alternate win con.

Some things that I notice:
Combo is going to be hard to win as you are only running 1 dread return, 1 target, and 0 disruption outside of cabal therapies and leylines.  Every deck is going to have a weakness though, and this is probably an ok place to be.

You can't answer a Containment Priest, and if that person also happens to play a Karakas you basically can't win.  This definitely seems like a serious issue to me as priest and Karakas are both common plays in all of the white mentor decks.

I'm not sure I understand the need for 4 riftstone portals, or why you would ever want to play the second sideboard with dread returns out the board.  Dread return is much worse after game 1 if you are playing it, it should be main deck.
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gkraigher
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2015, 07:39:37 pm »

Conceptually, I am thinking you need all 4 riftstone portals post board to get enough Green White Sources to cast your cards.  You have to have one in your graveyard to cast your nature's claims and serenities.  Playing redundat copies is fine too becuase you can just play them, as it becomes a Savannah when another is in the graveyard.  You need a certain number of lands to get depths/stage online.  
 

You also need some number of Urborg, Tombs as well in case your opponent does play Rest in Peace and you need to be able to activate Dark Depths.  

Combo is very tough matchup. 
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vaughnbros
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2015, 07:53:08 pm »

Conceptually, I am thinking you need all 4 riftstone portals post board to get enough Green White Sources to cast your cards.  You have to have one in your graveyard to cast your nature's claims and serenities.  Playing redundat copies is fine too becuase you can just play them, as it becomes a Savannah when another is in the graveyard.  You need a certain number of lands to get depths/stage online.  

I think this kind of flawed logic.  So we need rifstone portal to cast our serenties and claims,  but the targets of RIP and leyline prevent riftstone from ever working in the first place.  I think I missed this at first glance, so you are actually extremely vunerable to Priest, RIP, AND Leyline as well as no answers to 1-shotters.  All of your anti hate really only functions against Grafdigger's cage and pithing needle... I think these need to be 5 color lands, or at the very least horizon canopies.  Stage copies your opponents tundras, and trops if they have them, but that seems more like a last resort than a plan A for casting these spells.
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gkraigher
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2015, 08:02:59 pm »

Well the Dark Depths package beats all that other hate....Leyline, RIP, Containment Priest.  That's the whole point.  It's hard to have hate for both plans of attack.  

Both kingneckbeard's & Nukular's Top 16 decks, therewere two, had the same problems except they have force of will.  If they don't force it at that point of the game, they deal with it the same way my deck would:  you've got to get the  Depths/Stage combo online.  Traditional dredge has to anwser those cards, this deck does not.  And all you are cutting from the main are cards like Undiscovered Paradise and Mana Confluence to fit in Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage.  

Riftstone Portal and Urborg are essential because they turn Bazaar and Dark Depths into lands that tap for mana.  But you might be right, you might not need all 4 portals.  
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 08:10:12 pm by gkraigher » Logged
ajfirecracker
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2015, 08:51:27 pm »

Force of Will can target non-graveyard-hate cards, which is a pretty big plus when you're trying to combo off with something other than graveyard combo pieces.

I'm not trying to discourage from the project of enabling a transformative combo with the ability to cast anti-hate, just pointing out that Force does a lot more than counter hate pieces.
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kingneckbeard on MTGO

"I fully believe that if Dredge could play a transformational sideboard it would just win all the tournaments yet it just doesn’t have one because there is just nothing that it can play. It’d be awesome to completely ignore all those very specific hate cards people bring against you but how are you going to do that?" - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
gkraigher
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2015, 09:02:58 pm »

Absolutely.  The context wasn't in regard to Force of Will not doing a lot, it does.  It was specifically in context to how Force of Will interacts against RIP, Priest, and Leyline (kind of).  Force of Will has a lot of applications, but both decks deal with those hate cards the same way once they are on the board.  

While 2 Dredge decks with Force of Will made the top 16, historically, Force of Will hasn't been included in successful Dredge lists.  
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vaughnbros
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2015, 09:32:18 pm »

Well the Dark Depths package beats all that other hate....Leyline, RIP, Containment Priest.  That's the whole point.  It's hard to have hate for both plans of attack.  

But you are relying on the dark depths package against 90% of hate.  That defeats the advantage of playing anti hate cards at all.  As was mentioned Force of Will, Mental Misstep and Probe+Therapy answer hate cards as well as other cards.  By not playing G or W sources you are forgoing the only reason to play anti hate in the first place, which is that you can beat resolved hate pieces.

Quote from: gkraigher
While 2 Dredge decks with Force of Will made the top 16, historically, Force of Will hasn't been included in successful Dredge lists.

Historically laboratory maniac, and thespian's stage didn't exist.
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gkraigher
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2015, 01:06:49 pm »

Horizon Canopy is actually an interesting card because the sac draw 1 effect is strong in a dredge deck.  It's just hard to jam it into a deck with so many lands already. 
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vaughnbros
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2015, 01:33:52 pm »

Horizon Canopy is actually an interesting card because the sac draw 1 effect is strong in a dredge deck.  It's just hard to jam it into a deck with so many lands already. 

You really aren't running that many lands.  Depths and Bazaar don't reliably tap for mana.  Riftstone portal shouldn't be more of a 1-of so that's 3 slots for Canopies.
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gkraigher
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2015, 01:48:55 pm »

Again, Riftstone Portal is necessary because you need it to activate Stage/Depths.  Redundant copies of the cards are not colorless producing lands, they are Savannahs. 

Playing a Horizon canopy, Depths, Thespian's Stage still isn't enough to activate Stage.  Replace Canony with Riftstone Portal and put more portals in the yard and you can.   Or Bazaar, Depths, Stage with Portal in the yard is also enough.  Horizon Canopy doesn't do that.  

Riftstone portal is like a "Sol" land in that it often times adds more than just 1 mana.  You have Bazaar and Dark depths unable to produce mana without it or an Urborg.  Urborg is very much a "Sol" Land in the deck.  

Canopy always taps for a single mana, and you can't sacrifice it when your only cards are Depths and Bazaar in play.  
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 01:52:39 pm by gkraigher » Logged
vaughnbros
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« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2015, 01:56:17 pm »

Again, Riftstone Portal is necessary because you need it to activate Stage/Depths.  

I disagree.  Both decks posted have 1 copy, my personal lists have 0 copies.  The card is definitely not necessary.

Riftstone portal is like a "Sol" land in that it often times adds more than just 1 mana.  You have Bazaar and Dark depths unable to produce mana without it or an Urborg.  Urborg is very much a "Sol" Land in the deck.  

Portal itself won't tap for mana when its in your yard, and you actually need bazaar to get it into the yard in the first place.  So its never a sol land unless you have multiple bazaar's and depths already in play.  I think you need to play this deck a little bit more.  I'm not sure talking theory is helpful without you getting more experience fighting through less than optimal situations, where portal won't be functioning. 
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gkraigher
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2015, 01:59:24 pm »

I certainly agree.  There is only so much theory crafting can achieve.  I'm going to sleeve this deck up and play it at my next local Vintage event. 

I think you are certainly correct that most dredge decks don't run riftstone portal.  But, to me, if I wanted to play both Dark Depths and Serenity in the sideboard, I think Riftstone Portal is the card that allows you to do both. 

I don't know if this is an optimal version of dredge, or even a good version, I just wanted to build a deck that achieved both ends. 
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2015, 02:52:41 pm »

I don't think you are fully understanding how these decks and matchups play out. If you want to familiarize yourself with the Depths plan more, these are essential reading before you "theorycraft" or anything else:
Adam Pierce aka AJFirecracker aka kingneckbeard's introduction here: http://www.eternalcentral.com/the-dredge-of-glory-an-introduction-to-manaless-dredge-in-vintage/
Adam Pierce aka AJFirecracker aka kingneckbeard's continuing discussion here: http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=46708.60
Lance Ballester aka vaughbro's explanation and tournament report here: http://blackmagicgaming.com/dr-edges-lab-report/

Trying to jam a bunch of Serenity and other anti-hate cards into the deck doesn't make much sense, when the entire point of the Depths transformation/alternate plan of attack is by dedicating so many slots to obviating the hate entirely to begin with.

I have tested and played numerous versions of these decks over the past few months leading up to Vintage Champs, and it was one of the 2 decks I brought to Vintage Champs to play. Riftstone Portal is decent in the deck, but I certainly didn't think it merited being a 4-of (unless you insist on doing stuff like casting Serenity). It is most useful as a 1-2 of usually, to help facilitate the land heavy draws post-board where you have a bunch of lands that don't produce mana (ie. multiple Bazaars + a Depths), and also to help facilitate casting Life from the Loam if you go that direction (I found 2 to be the optimal number in the various versions I tested). Each additional Riftstone Portal beyond the first isn't dead, because it can just be played normally to tap for mana, but it usually came down to opportunity cost in deck construction. By playing more Portals you have to necessarily play fewer Petrified Fields, Urborgs, Cavern of Souls (if you have the LabMan plan), etc.
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