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Much Abrew: Standard Dredge (Standard, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, it was the crazy Standard Dredge that came out on top. As such, we're heading back to the super-fun Guilds of Ravnica Standard this week to see if we can win some games by filling our graveyard at lightning speed and killing our opponent with things like Narcomoeba, Creeping Chill, and Arclight Phoenix! Can an updated version of Dredge work in Guilds of Ravnica Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Standard Dredge (Standard)

Discussion

  • That went pretty well! While we were playing one-player matches rather than a league, we finished 4-1 in our five matches and beat a lot of the best decks in Standard along the way, taking down two different builds of Golgari, an Izzet Drakes deck, and a Jeskai Control deck. Our only loss came to Boros Angels, which feels like a tough matchup, and even there, we were one good self-mill away from stealing the match!
  • As you probably noticed in the videos, we made some major changes to the deck before playing the matches. The original build of our deck from the Instant Deck Tech really struggled with beating creatures, both in the main deck and in the sideboard. While our main deck is almost the same, dropping the mono-blue sideboard plan and overloading with sweepers and removal after sideboarding greatly improved our matchups against all of the creature decks in the format. 

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  • To support the removal plan, we also made some major updates to the mana. The original deck played no red mana and only a tiny bit of blue mana. Now, we have a regular Grixis mana base featuring Steam Vents, Watery Grave, Sulfur Falls, and Drowned Catacomb. While this change is mostly to support our sideboard, it also has the upside of making it possible for us to hard cast our Arclight Phoenixs, which doesn't come up often but is very important in some games. 

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  • The cards that really power the deck are Wand of Vertebrae and Drowned Secrets. Our most explosive draws always involve at least one of these cards, and often two. Ideally, we won't cast anything except cantrips and maybe some removal spells all game, and trust that we can win the game by milling our win conditions into the graveyard. While we can try to piece things together with cantrips and jump-start and surveil cards, having at least one card that allows us to repeatedly mill our own cards is very important to the plan of the deck.

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  • When it comes to playing Standard Dredge, the most important thing you can do is learn to count in threes. Apart from Narcomoeba, all of our finishers (Creeping Chill and Arclight Phoenix) deal damage in chunks of three. This means that getting our opponent down to 18 life (with something like Narcomoeba) is extremely helpful. On the other hand, the difference between our opponent being at 18 and 17 isn't very much at all, so we're often better off chump blocking with our Narcomoeba to keep our life total high, unless we think we can get our opponent all the way down to 15 (which would mean one less Creeping Chill or Arclight Phoenix attack is needed to kill our opponent). 
  • Another important aspect of playing the deck is tracking the cards we have left in our deck. If we have Creeping Chills in our library still, we know we have guaranteed damage if we can mill enough cards to get our Creeping Chills in the graveyard, so we often focus heavily on milling ourselves rather than playing other cards. On the other hand, once we have all of our Arclight Phoenixs and Creeping Chills in the graveyard, it's often better to start milling our opponent with Drowned Secrets so we don't accidentally mill ourselves out of the game.
  • Speaking of milling. Two important notes: first, using Wand of Vertebrae to shuffle another Wand of Vertebrae and some other cards back into our deck is a good way to avoid decking ourselves. Second, it is possible that we can mill our opponent out of the game, especially if we happen to draw two copies of Drowned Secrets. While milling our opponent is a backup plan, keep it in mind if the opponent manages to exile all of our Arclight Phoenixs with cards like Settle the Wreckage or Vraska's Contempt
  • As for the sideboard, it's hard to make too many changes in any specific matchup, but I often take out Narcomoeba for removal. While we can't add more than a handful of cards to our main deck from our sideboard each match, since we have so many cantrips, it's pretty easy to find our sideboard sweepers and removal after we bring them in. 
  • So, should you play Standard Dredge? I think the answer is yes! With the updates to the sideboard and the additional removal, the deck actually feels really good. It's hard for most decks to interact with and can win out of nowhere! While it's still possible to get overwhelmed by creature decks, especially in game one, the deck is surprisingly resilient and hard for most opponents to interact with. If you're a fan of Dredge in older formats or just like milling yourself, give Standard Dredge a shot! It's not only fun but oddly competitive to boot!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today! Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com. 


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