Bazaar of Baghdad beyond Dredge

I have owned 4 Bazaar of Baghdad for a longtime and I know the dominant deck in Vintage for this card is Dredge. There used to be a Dragon deck but that deck is no long viable based on the meta-game. Is there a viable deck for Bazaar that is not Dredge in Vintage?

This is the last viable deck I played that worked
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
4 Animate Dead
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Demonic Tutor
4 Duress
3 Entomb
3 Extirpate
4 Thoughtseize
4 Vampire Hexmage
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will
2 Life from the Loam
3 Pernicious Deed
3 Iona, Shield of Emeria

Lands (22):
3 Bayou
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Bloodstained Mire
2 Dark Depths
1 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
4 Swamp
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
3 Wasteland

Sideboard: (15 cards)
2 Avoid Fate
3 Diabolic Edict
2 Hellkite Overlord
2 Reanimate
4 Seal of Primoridium
2 Tormod's Crypt

I played this back 2010 and did fairly well with it. I tried something like this deck and it did very poorly against several of the newer decks. Most of the cards that are good against Dredge are good any Bazaar based deck. I think there is a reanimator deck out there but I am unable to see it in the current meta-game. Any ideas?

I think Bazaar is a much more adaptable card than many people give it credit for.

Outside of dredge I have tried it in: HollowVine/Reanimator which is close to dredge but distinctively different. I run it in a Vintage Lands variant I have also run it in 2-card Monte and doomsday lists.

Not saying all those ideas were amazing but you can use the card a lot outside of dredge in my opinion.

I have been in the same boat because Bazaar is arguably my favorite card in the game and I’ve gone about trying to fit it into multiple lists and see how it plays.

The more you build with it I think you more you realize it can go into many different lists and you can find lists that are not as vulnerable as dredge to graveyard hate. Although that’s obviously where the card shines the brightest though.

Hope this helps a bit.

So this list is 10 years old, but I always remembered it because of how it used Bazzar. Vin Forino is a known brew master and top notch player. Bazzar does have a level of synergy with dark petition, which is an obvious upgrade to Grim Tutor in this list. Bob is considered unplayable right now because of Ballista, but a list like this could be fun to take for a spin on MTGO!

edit I should qualify this list by stating that it was t8 at worlds in 2007.

Creatures (4)

4 Dark Confidant
Lands (18)

4 Swamp
2 Bazaar of Baghdad
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Cabal Pit
1 Library of Alexandria
3 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
2 Underground Sea
1 Wasteland
Spells (38)

1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Necropotence
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Echoing Truth
2 Extirpate
1 Vampiric Tutor
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Demonic Tutor
4 Duress
3 Grim Tutor
3 Night's Whisper
3 Tendrils of Agony
1 Yawgmoth's Will

3 Null Rod
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Darkblast
1 Hurkyl's Recall
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Massacre
1 Wasteland

last edited by p3temangus

@p3temangus I had not thought about combo. There were a few control decks with Replenish but they are too slow. Way back when there was a workshop deck with bazaar.

Uba shops might not be terrible given how strong Ensnaring Bridge and Null Rod could be in the deck along with not losing as much lock as in the past (since Thorn is restricted). That is the only Bazaar deck that I think avoids a large portion of Dredge hate.

People (including myself) try the Legacy Lands deck in Vintage (boosted by Bazaar) from time to time. Strong MUs against Shops and Dredge. Blue is kind of sketchy though if you can figure out that part of the equation, it could be a good deck.

I ran into an interesting pile with Bazaars and Squee, Goblin Nabob a couple of months ago. I think the rest of the deck might have been Goblin Welders and gearhulks.

@hardy it was probably Legion of Doom. That is a very fun list. I’ve tried it before and when it goes well it goes really well but the flip side is sometimes you get obliterated and don’t really do much. But it is a ton of fun

The OP list could really benefit from Riftstone Portal given you want to cast G spells. I nearly died to the Hollow Vine Bazaar deck at Eternal Weekend. His list is somewhere in that giant PDF at Eternal Central with all the lists.

He played DRS, Duress effects, Orcish Lumberjacks and a suite of basic lands.

@nedleeds said in Bazaar of Baghdad beyond Dredge:

The OP list could really benefit from Riftstone Portal given you want to cast G spells. I nearly died to the Hollow Vine Bazaar deck at Eternal Weekend. His list is somewhere in that giant PDF at Eternal Central with all the lists.

He played DRS, Duress effects, Orcish Lumberjacks and a suite of basic lands.

All hail the Wayne "The Rock" Johnson.
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last edited by whienot

@whienot Like the list, love the spelling of "Pittspurg."

A player on mtgo cashed an event this summer with an updated take on Cerebral Assassin. Islandswamp covered it here:

I've been working on a similar deck for fun on xmage with a lower curve and greater focus on reanimation:

//Fatties and Robots--8
2x Griselbrand
1x Inkwell Leviathan
1x Mindslaver
1x Myr Battlesphere
1x Oona, Queen of the Fae
1x Possessed Portal
1x Sundering Titan
1x Worldgorger Dragon

4x Animate Dead
4x Goblin Welder

1x Demonic Tutor
4x Duress
4x Entomb
4x Mental Misstep
1x Vampiric Tutor

4x Bazaar of Baghdad
4x Squee, Goblin Nabob

1x Black Lotus
1x Mana Crypt
1x Mox Emerald
1x Mox Jet
1x Mox Opal
1x Mox Pearl
1x Mox Ruby
1x Mox Sapphire
2x Badlands
2x Blackcleave Cliffs
4x Bloodstained Mire
1x Great Furnace
1x Mountain
1x Swamp
2x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1x Vault of Whispers

It's fun to have multiple angles of attack--welding, reanimating Griselbrand, or winning on the spot with dragon if you have the opening. Squee+Zaar is a fun engine, and Possessed Portal is a card near and dear to my heart. Mindslaver is a fun-of that could/should be another Portal, Dragon, Griselbrand, or even something like Imperial Seal or Faithless Looting. I have Pack Rats in the sb because Leyline, Rest in Peace, and Containment Priest are rough. 😄 This is still very much a work-in-progress, but I've been having fun with it.

last edited by Pox22

I really appreciate all the feedback. To summarize, I see an Aggro deck with Basking Rootwalla and Vengevine with Survival of the Fittest from Champs.

There is a Workshop hybrid control deck from about 14yrs ago for Uba Stax that would run Null Rod, Uba Mask, Ensnaring Bridge, Sphere of Resistance. I'm not sure what the creature package would look like for this one.

There is reaminator combo with Animate Dead and Goblin Welder. I want to try a modern day Dragon reanimator based on the meta-game, it would do well against Aggro decks like Shop and Dredge but it will have a difficult time against Blue decks running 12 counters.

I think it may be a trade off worth making since Blue decks now must run main deck artifact hate and the anti-deck spells are becoming more varied due to Dredge sideboard tactics.

I'll post a list a bit later.

This is my bazaar control, inspired by Alejandro Escribano and tuned for a very long time with some nice updates:

// 60 Maindeck
// 8 Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt

// 8 Creature
4 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Monastery Mentor
2 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
1 Blightsteel Colossus

// 16 Instant
4 Force of Will
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Gush
1 Dig Through Time
3 Intuition
4 Mental Misstep
1 Punishing Fire
1 Brainstorm

// 19 Land
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
3 Volcanic Island
2 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
2 Flooded Strand
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Tundra
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea

// 4 Planeswalker
4 Dack Fayden

// 5 Sorcery
1 Time Walk
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Tinker
1 Demonic Tutor

// 15 Sideboard
// 14 Instant
SB: 4 Ancient Grudge
SB: 4 Pyroblast
SB: 1 Ravenous Trap
SB: 1 Ray of Revelation
SB: 2 Tragic Lesson
SB: 2 Rakdos Charm

// 1 Sorcery
SB: 1 Balance

The problem with reanimator in vintage, beyond the fact that it gets the splash damage from dredge and oath hate, is that it is not faster than oath or dredge and it uses the stack, unlike dredge. Dredge is very linear, fast, and consistent. It wins most game 1s because the opponent is usually banking on counterspells or spell taxers...and dredge doesn't care much about those things. You can make competitive bazaar decks outside of dredge, but they won't be as good as dredge - at least g1. G2/3, the grave hate comes in, but dredge even has tools now to completely abandon the graveyard plan when the opponent goes all in on grave hate and is suddenly drawing blanks.

I'm perhaps the biggest fan of innovation/deck building there is (I'd quit playing and deck build full time if I had to choose between the two), but I don't think bazaar has much utility outside of dredge or as a complementary card to decks that don't really need it (i.e. shops decks using it with uba mask or crucible).

Survival decks/madness decks can use bazaar effectively, but I don't know how good they are overall. They also use bazaar as more of a CA engine than they do a wincon path with squee. They can use vengevine and rootwallas, but their main bazaar play is to get squee and generate CA. They use survival itself as the wincon since it tutors for the creatures.

I'm not a fan of relying on the graveyard. It's too easy to hate out. It's fine as an angle for advantage, but anything all in on the grave needs to be as stack-immune and fast and consistent as dredge. The only thing I can think of that MAY be decent is like a Modern Hollow One style build. I doubt that's fast enough even with powder and bazaar. You have things like Anger...but it's a stretch. Dredge pulls it off as a plan B mainly because the opponent totally diluted their deck with useless grave hate and mulled into grafdiggers or something.

edit Goblin welder is certainly a strategy that has done well with bazaar. I totally forgot about him, and that might work. Mindslaver dodges grafdiggers/containment priest and there's a lot of synergy with welder and bazaar for a lot of attacks. Uba stax also synergizes with both bazaar and welder. I think welder is the key if you really want a non-dredge deck that uses 4x bazaar and the grave as a plan A.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

I think you're selling Dragon short. One problem with Dragon is that the most effective win condition isn't viable to test with on MODO, which means not too many people try to play Dragon in general. I think there's a good Dragon build out there that could work well.

The other shell I've personally tried was Storm Combo. Bazaar is great to fill up your graveyard for a monster Yawgmoth's Will, and you'll probably want to pair with something like Defense Grid to ensure resolution. In games 2/3, you'll need a backup plan though.

The third possibility is Lands, which has been seeing some play lately. I've not personally tried it so I can't speak to it's power.

The final possibility is Madness, but it's easy to fall into the rabbit hole of trying to find as many Madness cards for such a deck. Very few madness cards are actually powerful enough to include in a Vintage deck, so you'll need another source of CA to pair with Bazaar. Perhaps Deep Analysis would work here? It would also work well with Delve cards.

last edited by Hrishi

@thewhitedragon69 Survival/bazaar decks got a massive upgrade with Hollow One. Not as consistently powerful as dredge but you can have a consistent 6-16 power on the board on turn 1 with a t1 bazaar activation and don't need to mull to oblivion or paly serum powder. You also have a back up plan of hatebears and goyf beats making mulling to dredge hate a very bad plan as we can just switch gears; I have won a game with t1 double leyline and a grafdiggers start by them but t1 thalia into t2 bob sealed the deal.

The deck chews up shops decks alive and has at least 50/50 shot at any "fair" control decks with oath being nigh unwinnable and PO storm a question of if we can be faster or more disruptive with it in their favor of t1 kills and tinker.

IMO welder is unplayable with all the gravehate and missteps and deathrites running amok and not to mention the deck he was amazing against always (Shops) now runs 4x ballista to ruin his day or run Eldrazi that can't be welded away.

last edited by bleedth3sky

@bleedth3sky I actually said just that:

"The only thing I can think of that MAY be decent is like a Modern Hollow One style build. I doubt that's fast enough even with powder and bazaar. You have things like Anger...but it's a stretch. Dredge pulls it off as a plan B mainly because the opponent totally diluted their deck with useless grave hate and mulled into grafdiggers or something."

In your example, your opponent did exactly that...he virtually mulliganed to a hand of 4 with 3 dead grave-hate pieces. Then he let you play 4 power by turn 2 and did absolutely nothing for 5+ turns??? Boarding in grave hate is not so great vs survival decks because it can tutor for reclamation sage and such and doesn't rely on the grave or bazaar like dredge.

I still don't think it's as consistent as dredge and it uses survival as the main engine since it tutors for the creatures. Bazaar is just CA with squee and a complementary card most times, not the main game plan like dredge. The OP wants a 4x bazaar deck revolving around bazaar's brokenness.

Ballista certainly makes life harder for welder. But it does have things like Uba Mask and Mindslaver that don't care about DRS or cage. I think Welder could probably make some good plays with bazaar even now, but I still doubt there's any bazaar deck better than dredge with current printings.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

@hrishi Those are good uses for bazaar (filling a grave for yawg will) but that's not the 4x bazaar-based deck the OP was looking for. A 1-or-2-of bazaar is great as a utility card in a lot of places, but it's not a "bazaar deck" anymore than storm with a single time walk makes it a "time walk deck."

@thewhitedragon69 i think you have a misunderstanding of how the survival deck plays out. there are a few different types of draws you might see:

  • busted survival draws: this is what you seem to have in your mind, and they are certainly one of the most powerful things the deck can be doing. chaining vengevines into rootwalla into a hollow one leads to a ton of power on the board fairly quickly.
  • bazaar draws: the other aggressive opening from this deck comes from bazaar and it's why the deck plays the full 4. looting into a combination of rootwallas, hollow ones, and vengevines can easily put 5-12 power on the board on turn 1 sometimes even if your spells get countered. These bazaar hands try to dump creatures on the board and then be just disruptive enough for all 3 turns the game might last. Modern decks with hollow one and phoenixes and bloodghasts do something similar, but this deck does it in a much more busted way.
  • disruptive draws: you can also see hands that just power out hate cards ahead of curve. often you try to transition to a bazaar or survival gameplan afterwards, but just hatecards alone is good enough sometimes and i will keep hands that play turn 1 thalia even without an engine card.
  • grindy draws: squee (and bob) is included because bazaar does deplete you of resources, and you want to be able to bazaar as often as possible. this can sometimes be a card advantage engine, but mostly its filtering and looking for cards to apply pressure.

overall, i think the survival deck is very real and attacks the metagame fairly well and from a somewhat unique angle. not all decks are equipped to handle lots of large creatures all at once and the graveyard hate being played isn't even that bad for most of our deck.

last edited by kaluma

@kaluma @Thewhitedragon69
In fact, no less than Brian Kelly has mentioned to me in passing that he thinks our SotF/Bazaar deck is, in some ways, better than dredge. Between kaluma and I we’re averaging one 5-0 league per week with the deck over the last 6 weeks.

last edited by wfain
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