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Vintage 101: Dredging Up Memories


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're going to taking a look at the current resurgence of Dredge in the metagame and what the deck looks like right now. In addition to that we've got three events from the weekend including two Challenges and one Qualifier event.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Dredging Up Old Habits

Vintage continues to be very cyclical as it always has been, and this is a very good thing for the format. As of late though, we've seen a neat resurgence of one Bazaar deck in the form of Dredge. So what's happened? Why Dredge? Well, let's look at the current builds.

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Dredge really hasn't changed all that much it seems since the last time we've seen this deck. In fact, much of this build is pretty much the same overall. Long gone are the plans of Cabal Therapy and Bridge from Below and instead we see cards like Silversmote Ghoul and Creeping Chill.

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So really then, what has changed and why has Dredge suddenly been back in full force? I think the answer to this is primarily rooted in the cyclical nature of Vintage overall, and we're seeing a metagame where a very fair deck has cemented itself as one of the decks to beat in the form of Lurrus Saga. Despite this, many of these decks simply aren't focused on Dredge in their sights or sideboard plans, because they're worried about things like Jewel and Oath. Dredge can very much capitalize on these sorts of metagames and turn this in their favor with their combination of fast free creatures coupled with the free spells the deck gets to play.

Much of this is also because out of the Bazaar decks that exist, I've always found Dredge to be the one that always functions on an axis that is so different than the rest of the format and that alone makes it powerful to play. Being able to surprise opponents with how explosive the deck is helps quite a bit.

I'm sure things will cycle back around again as players begin to respect the deck more, but for now, Dredge is having a strong outing in current Vintage.

Vintage Challenge 3/2

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Saturday event. This event had 64 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Dredge and Lurrus Saga were the two most popular decks and both had reasonable win rates. PO also looked very good as did Jewel Shops and Sphere Shops. Beseech Storm and Initiative both had very poor win rates.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
BUG Midrange 1st Wesal
Paradoxical Outcome 2nd Graciasportanto
Doomsday 3rd CrazyDiamond513
Dredge 4th immvp
Sphere Shops 5th _J0SE_
Esper Tinker 6th TrueHero
Lurrus Saga 7th JakeTMS
Lurrus Saga 8th TueBo

Quite a bit of Lurrus here overall, but at the end of the event it was BUG that won.

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Very straightforward list here, but I like the addition of stuff like Life from the Loam in the main deck. Seeing this with Wasteland kind of makes me wonder if there's a space for BUG decks to play Witherbloom Command like some Legacy decks have been doing.

In Second Place we had Paradoxical Outcome.

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Lurrus variant here with no Citadel or Tinker. Very much a lean on Bowmasters/Saga game plan while trying to get Vault Key into play type of deck here.

Also in this Top 8 we had Sphere Shops.

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Sphere is a good name for this variant, as the decks resembling both Aggro and Prison have kind of coalesced into this one single version and it's not a clear delineation between the two. This is aggressive and prison-strategy wrapped up into one neat package.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we Esper Tinker.

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Jace, Vryn's Prodigy is super sweet to see. I very much like that card. Also, a main deck Balance is wildly interesting.

Vintage Challenge 3/3

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 43 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

No clear most popular deck here because of multiple ties, but Lurrus Saga did the best out of all here, while Dredge and BUG did very well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Lurrus Saga 1st HouseOfManaMTG
Esper Tinker 2nd TrueHero
Initiative 3rd choutin
Dredge 4th bless_von
Initiative 5th bernardocssa
Dredge 6th RogeDeckWins
Jewel Shops 7th EiJunCHN
BUG Midrange 8th Wesal

Definitely an interesting Top 8. Despite having a poor win rate, Initiative did have two hits here. At the end of the event, it was Lurrus Saga that won.

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Esper Build is quite interesting, having access to both Lavinia and Bowmasters but also retaining access to cards like Swords to Plowshares. Also, Seal of Cleansing is still great.

In Second Place we had Esper Tinker.

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Slightly different build than the previous one, with some Snapcaster Mage thrown in. Definitely a straightforward list.

Also in this Top 8 we had Initiative.

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Solid list here. I like the one of copy of Anointed Peacekeeper. Dauntless Dismantler is also very cool as always.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Jewel Shops.

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Digging this deck quite a bit. It's a very solid list. I like the sideboard copy of The Mightstone and Weakstone here. Seems very good against a lot of hate against this deck right now.

Vintage Qualifier 3/3

This past weekend was also a Vintage Qualifier event. This a Premier event where a qualification to an RC is on the line. This event had 193 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Lurrus Saga was the most popular deck, and it had a reasonable win rate. Turbo Vault Key did well here and Doomsday also did well. Esper Tinker underperformed as did Countervine.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Jewel Shops 1st EiJunCHN
BUG Midrange 2nd _Shatun_
Breach 3rd RikRin
Paradoxical Outcome 4th AlexanderRosdahl
Initiative 5th DEJAIR_LAMARCA
Lurrus Saga 6th kobayui
Lurrus Saga 7th DethFrmAbove
Dredge 8th msskinbolic

Really interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event, it was Jewel Shops that won.

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Very close to the same deck from the previous event, however, I do really like the copy of Otawara, Soaring City here. It seems like a really strong way to remove certain effects from the board.

In Second Place we had BUG Midrange.

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This is a nice list. I like having cards like Daze even just as a one-of in various lists in Vintage. It's always really clever to Daze a spell that the opponent isn't expecting to be Dazed.

Also in this Top 8 we had Breach.

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Straightforward game plan here for this deck. It gets a bit of PO action here too in addition to the Breach plan which gives it another angle on which to fight on.

Further down the Top 8 we had PO.

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Lurrus compresses this deck down a ton because of being able to just run leaner threats and focus on cards like Vault Key combo.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari always has some videos for us.
  • Montolio has a video on Scam. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

Since League results are now split throughout the week, let's find some Spice!

Mono Red Prison is super sweet.

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Grixis Phoenix!

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for your continued support of the column and join me next week as we continue our journey into Vintage!

As always you can reach me at my Link Tree! In addition, you can always reach me on the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the Vintage Streamers Discord.

Until next time!



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