So, I remember there was a thread about this on the old Drain, but I felt curious again. I heard people arguing for LoA in Dredge and a lot of lists pack the card now. But... isn't it a bit slow? Or do Dredge players who play LoA always choose draw instead of play?
I'm one of the guys pushing for Library of Alexandria's adoption. There's a few reasons to run it.
The biggest in Game 1 is Wasteland resistance. Library is a must-Waste card, and if you haven't used a Powder the urge to Waste it is even stronger because they don't want you to play Island and have the option to Ancestral in response to a Waste (meaning they may have to Waste/Strip the Library on sight even on 5-6 cards rather than 7)
The ability to use it as an alternative (rather than supplement) to Bazaar is also important. I am somewhat selective as to whether I keep a hand of Library and 6 other cards. On the draw, against slower opposing decks (judged by player-name) and with a good dredger I will be more likely to keep a 7-card Library hand. The opposite applies when the opposite conditions are met. Library + Petrified Field actually gives up very little speed compared to Bazaar of Baghdad on the draw, if you dredge a Bazaar by Turn 3.
Obviously, just drawing a bunch of cards is a very powerful strategy, especially post-board.
In my Pitch Dredge deck in particular, Library is unusually powerful. One reason is that my free disruption is mostly counterspells and other cards that stay in hand until needed. Prior to Pitch Dredge most of the free disruption that saw play needed to exit the hand before the game began or on the first turn - Leylines, Chalice, Unmask, etc. With counterspells and Chancellor of the Annex most of the disruption can stay in the hand longer, which is very favorable for Library. Another key element is the printing of Thespian's Stage. Library is restricted but non-legendary, and I have had games where I go nuts and counter everything my blue-based opponent tries to do.
I have tried pretty extensively to play Library and it can feel incredible at times. Completely dominating opponents who keep slow hands against you in games 2/3.
However, I would never advocate keeping a hand game 1 with it, and I don't think its an auto include. Both are primarily because the card is slow. Most of the games you lose as dredge are to hate+fast clock. While library may be good against certain hate, it is poor against waste/needle/ect. It also does nothing to help you against a fast clock and in fact probably hurts you.
If the metagame slows down again, I will consider running it again, but with the current speed I like other utility lands better. Strip mine and Karakas being the two most noteworthy competition cards. Strip helps slow your opponents clock, and potentially denies them off hate. Karakas functions as an answer to Oath and Mirror creatures as well as having random utility and being able to cast some of your colored spells.
@DeaTh-ShiNoBi Strip mine is incredible. It is by far the best land outside of Bazaar, and requisite mana fixers. Hitting Bazaar in the mirror, slowing down your opponents game 1 plays, stopping a library from burying you in card advantage, denying them off of their 2 mana hate game 2/3, comboing with petrified field/life from the loam, helping depths combo win through wasteland, crushing a turn 1 trinisphere, ect., ect. The card is certainly restricted for a reason.
Strip Mine is indeed great. I would rank it below both Petrified Field and Library of Alexandria, but above almost any other utility land. I suspect Karakas might also be a worthy inclusion, especially with a white-based sideboard (which is eminently doable)
In my mind, I lose more to Waste/Strip than to pressure or to being raced outright. As a result, I place a very high priority on having a density of answers. I see Library as an auto-include for its role as a 5th Petrified Field, with significant upsides in other tactical uses.
I like library in dredge, but it's not an auto include and is often a win more.
The reason I'm staying away from it right now is post board, I want access to leyline of the void and leyline of sanctity.
Since library is never the plan game 1, and not as good after side boarding, I've cut it from my current list.
Now strip mine, I feel like I like this idea a lot more in this meta. Which should be definated by less workshop decks, which means you should be able to cut down to 2-3 petrified fields.
On a side note, is chain of vapor the best sideboard card right now? Containment priest really threw a money wrench into the equation, so needing artifact, enchantment, and sometimes creature removal, is chain the best choice right now?
@gkraigher Library is best in sideboarded games to help you find your sideboard cards (be they anti-hate or transformational stuff).
On Chain of Vapor, I'm not much of a fan. It gets hit by Mental Misstep, but more importantly, it's really bad against Containment Priest and Rest in Peace. Containment Priest has Flash, so it only works for 1 turn if they're tapped out. If they know you're on Chain of Vapors, they can leave up their mana to recast their Priest, making your Chain of Vapors worthless.
Using it on Rest in Peace at least works for a turn, but you're starting from scratch since there's no way to have a graveyard while Rest in Peace is in play. It usually takes more than 1 turn to get going if you're starting from scratch. Once they recast it, it wipes your graveyard again, nullifying your progress. You can get some zombies out of the deal, maybe, but that hardly seems comparable to things that take it out forever.
In my opinion, Chain of Vapor is outdated. It was great when everyone was using Leyline of the Void as their go-to anti-Dredge hate. Now it's bad.