Bring Out Your Dredge!

Hi everybody, and welcome back to Strictly Average for another article. Although I normally write about Modern, this one is going to be a bit…different.

It’s going to be about me…kind of.

Full disclosure, I don’t often like talking about me. With the exception of being around friends in private conversations, and as long as I’m feeling ok, I’m generally kind of quiet when the subject becomes “me”. However this past weekend (author’s note: two weekends ago) at the SCG Cincinnati Team Open weekend I had a great time not just with playing Magic: the Gathering, but also feeling like I am part of a team. I’ll talk about what I played in a moment.

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Last summer my friend Joe Dyer (who also writes Vintage for MTGGoldfish) asked me to be a part of this very site to write for Modern. He had been following my writings for quite some time as I moved from site to site looking for a home. Once I joined I was introduced to a bunch of people through Discord, but never met any of them (that I did not already know) face-to-face.

When the opportunity for the SCG Team event presented itself Joe was asking to form a team, and I immediately joined taking the Modern seat with one condition: We get someone else from Strictly Average to join so we can be…Team Strictly Average. What a great decision that was too. Our third member was none other than the creator of this site, Jeremy Beardsley.

Although my Friday was absolute garbage, Jeremy and I hit it off instantaneously. I can not be more appreciative of this outlet that he has provided, not only to myself but to many other contributing authors. If you want to show him some love go to TCGPlayer and search for StritclyAverageMTG. Then buy some cards.

Speaking of cards, Joe played Legacy (Nic Fit), Jeremy played Standard, and I played Modern. With these team events I have learned that you want to play as close to a “Tier 1” deck as possible. These events showcase the best decks in each format, and rarely do brews or “your FNM deck” appear. Not that there is anything wrong with brews, but these events are more than just regular events from their Open Series.

Playing Dredge

Creatures (17)
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Narcomoeba
4 Bloodghast
1 Golgari Thug

Artifacts (4)
4 Shriekhorn

Instants (2)
2 Darkblast

Sorceries (18)
4 Creeping Chill
4 Cathartic Reunion
4 Life from the Loam
4 Faithless Looting
2 Conflagrate

Lands (19)
4 Copperline Gorge
4 Wooded Foothills
3 Bloodstained Mire
2 Blood Crypt
2 Mountain
2 Stomping Ground
1 Gemstone Mine
1 Mana Confluence

Sideboard
4 Nature’s Claim
3 Ancient Grudge
3 Lightning Axe
2 Ravenous Trap
1 Memory’s Journey
1 Collective Brutality
1 Assassin’s Trophy

What an amazing deck. I wish I could have taken my own pictures as I played to show you how much fun it was to pilot a deck with no fear. Have you ever been so in tune with your deck that you didn’t think you would lose? That’s where I was during Day 1 of the open. Here’s how I did.

Rd 1 vs Infect: win 2-0
Rd 2 vs Izzet Phoenix: win 2-1
Rd 3 vs Mono-Red Phoenix: win 2-1
Rd 4 vs Jund: 1-1-1
Rd 5 vs Amulet Titan: lose 0-2
Rd 6 vs 8-Whack: lose 0-2

Card choices:

So “why two Darkblast“? I felt that card would do more work than a second Golgari Thug, and honestly it did (especially when you read below). This allowed me to run a single Memory’s Journey as it would be a good card to use against not only Surgical Extraction, but also vs Arclight Phoenix to have the opponent shuffle them up into their library instead of putting them in play. Sadly it never came up where it would matter. It’s also a difficult card to cast as it’s primarily blue, but if I need to cast it for the Flashback cost I can.

Most of this deck is pretty tight beyond these changes. I have thought about putting a Steam Vents in order to hard cast Prized Amalgam if needed, but it doesn’t come up often enough.

Going forward I might run a second Collective Brutality instead of the Memory’s Journey in order to better combat hyper aggro strategies such as 8-Whack (see below).

Some cool plays:

Vs Infect round one in the second game I only had a Blood Crypt in play for several turns but was able to dredge back Darkblast to keep killing his infect creatures. I naturally drew into a second land (a Mountain), and was able to cast a Shriekhorn, and a Darkblast. Later on he cast a Spellskite, and I drew into an Ancient Grudge right when it was needed. This was my favorite round all day due to the intense game play and sequencing between myself and the opponent.

Vs Izzet Phoenix game one he cast an early Thing In The Ice, and I had more than five cards in hand after playing my third land. I cast Conflagrate for 0, then flashed it back to kill his Thing In The Ice allowing me to attack. Playing around Spell Pierce in post board games by hard casting Stinkweed Imp over and over felt really good. It’s nice to have infinite blockers vs Phoenix. More of these blockers appeared in the next round which helped secure that win.

While we did not make day two my teammates were super encouraging, and I signed up for the Modern Classic Sunday morning. My results were not that great, and I spent the rest of our time there hanging out with friends, and chatting about Magic: the Gathering with a parent who was at the venue for another unrelated event.

On our way back home I drove around a few parts of Cincinnati of interest to me (Great American Ballpark, The Freedom Center, The Banks district) to show Jeremy some of what I enjoy in the realm of sports as that’s another interest we all had in common.

In Conclusion

Magic: the Gathering is great, but honestly making friends is better. If you can get both in one weekend then cherish that moment as it may not always be available.

Thank you for reading. I know this was a short article, however I appreciate not only the opportunity to create articles for you all to read, but also appreciate you for taking time out of your day to stop by and read my articles as well as other articles here on Strictly Average MTG.

What are your thoughts on Dredge? Have you made any sweet plays? Please comment below, and follow me on both Facebook as well as Twitter.

NEWT WEEK: With War of the Spark previews beginning soon I’m going to go back in time again to talk about one of my favorite Standard eras, and it’s one that left a Scar on me…especially when it left Standard.

Until then…

TAP MORE MANA!!!

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