So Force of Vigor is obviously a really good card and it allows us to go completely away from mana, but then Leyline of the Void becomes a big problem as there are only 4 solutions in the deck rather than 8-10 as I generally prefer.

The main deck's primary threat is losing to Wasteland. Noxious Revival seemed like a great solution to Wasteland and sort of decent against Leyline in that it pitches to Force of Vigor. I may go back down that route.

Gitaxian Probe seemed highly suspect to me at first.

As I thought and thought about how to find Force of Vigor more reliably I contemplated adding mana back in.
Chain of Vapor could pitch to the counterspells which is decent.

Then there was a game where I probed into Vigor. That seemed good. Then I thought about adding more free cyclers.

In particular I contemplated adding 4 Mishra's Bauble, 4 Urza's Bauble and 4 Street Wraith.

Against a Leyline each cycle speeds you up by 1/3 a turn. By the time you are 12 cards deep you may find 3 cycles which means you are 15 cards deep. If you found an extra cycler then 16 cards deep. It is a lot more likely to find Force of Vigor by then.

Testing around with this a bit I first found that this makes the Force cards way worse since none of the new cards to pitch to anything.

I also found that the deck becomes a lot faster. It is very common to get 2-3 extra dredges by turn 2.

The deck also becomes far more resilient to Wasteland. For instance if I have 2 Baubles on turn 1 and you waste my Bazaar I can still get 3 dredges on turn 3. This is not as good as Noxious Revival at all but still not bad.

Turn 2 Ichorid which chains into a bunch of other stuff is far more likely if you are dredging several times before your second turn starts. Noxious Revival can't do this.

Note that the Baubles give valuable information about your opponent's current and future hand and make it
more likely to hit with your first Cabal Therapy.

Finally post board when 17/60 cards cycle for free it all of sudden becomes a lot more likely to find that Force of Vigor against Leyline of the Void

Lets say you are on the play post board and your opponent drops Leyline.
You have 2 cycles in your opening hand so you cycle twice.
Then you play and activate Bazaar. This draws you a 3rd cycler so you cycle a 3rd time.
You are now a full turn ahead of where you would be without the cycles. On average you do not quite get 2 non Bazaar cycles in your opening hand, but you average more than 1.

My testing was done assuming opponents were boarding out their countermagic. This may not be optimal. I have been of the opinion that non Mental Misstep countermagic is sub optimal post board. The role of the Leyline is not turn the other deck into a prison deck, but instead to act as a road block to let the other deck combo out first. Now that there are only 4 Leyline removal spells in the whole deck, the whole prison strategy becomes a lot better.

You cannot cut dredgers below 12 because you really want to dredge and not draw pre-board.

I pulled out Chalice of the Void because it seemed bad with 8 Baubles, but I can just drop the Baubles first. When I don't have a dredger I might draw into a Bauble but a dead Bauble is not the end of the world because Bazaar.

Probably Chalice belongs.

The Unmasks in the board were in case of Jailer or a similar creature. I was thinking about using them on the play only, but I did not use them much at all.
I would consider all of the other usual suspects including Noxious Revival, Misdirection, Hollow One, Contagion, Spinning Darkness, Ravenous Trap and Dakmoor Salvage. Losing to Wasteland when I boarded out the Baubles was a problem so I am currently leaning towards Noxious Revival.

If your opponent does not have Leyline then you can bring in the Forces and remove some of cycle cards so you can counter hate spells.

last edited by meadbert

Cycling is good because it can get you to great cards faster, and because it can trigger more dredges, faster.

But cycling is also bad because cards that cycle do basically nothing in the graveyard. And you need there to be a high density of cards that do great things from the graveyard, like Ichorid, Amalgam, Bridge, Cabal Therapy, Bloodghast, Dread Return, and Hogaak.

Cycling cards can do the former, but crowd out the latter.

In dredge, roughly 1/3 of the deck should be disruption, 1/3 should be reanimation (including self-reanimation) and/or offense, and 1/3 should be the dredging package (Bazaar, Serum Powder, and Dredgers).

So, for example, in my list from the Vintage playoff here, the breakdown is:

21 disruption
19 Reanimation/Offense
20 dredging package

Cycling basically fits into the dredging package, usually on the assumption that you can get to disruption faster as well, but it really hollows out your reanimation suite.

last edited by Smmenen

That is a good point. Compared to your list I dropped 4 Narcomoeba from my reanimation suite.
They are missed for sure, but the extra cycles are nice as well.

The bigger change was dropping the maindeck blue Forces. I miss those a lot.

Here are the comparisons to consider. The downside is the loss of dredging into Narcomoeba. Lets consider the following scenarios: We will label 4 Naromoebas, 6 Forces and 2 Fields as your "questionable" cards. My questionable cards are 8 Baubles and 4 Street Wraiths.

What if we have 0 in our hand? - In this case you deck is clearly better because you can dredge into Narcomoebas and I cannot.

What if we have 1 in our hand? - If you have a Narcomoeba it is dead. If you have a Force then it is great IF you have a Prized Amalgam. Without a Prized Amalgam the Force is dead too. My extra Bauble means I am likely to dredge 5 extra cards off of an Imp so I start turn 2 with 7 cards in my yard instead of 3. That is a huge difference!

What if we have 2 in our hand? - Now you can pitch one blue card to a Force so this extra counter is fantastic. You can feel much safer. I have 2 extra cyclers so I am likely to start turn 2 with 12 cards in my graveyard rather than 3, which means I am likely to be half way through my deck by the begining of my main phase.

To me by far the biggest weakness of the Baubles is the loss of the blue Forces.

I am not sure about Thug vs Shambling Shell.

In Magic there are some games where you blow your opponent out and there are others where you get blown out. The trick is to win the ones in the middle where it could go either way. Cards that primarily effect that middle are most important. Other cards are "win more" or "lose less." Typically if you have Stinkweed Imp or Grave-Troll pre-board you are doing very well and very likely to win. If you have no dredger at all you are in a lot of trouble. Wasteland will just wreck you. One could argue that 0 dredgers is in the middle, but it is close to you getting blown out.

The important middle section is when you get that Thug or Shambling Shell. Basically if Shell/Thug is your only dredger, then getting 4 chances to dredge into something rather than 3 is a pretty big different and impacts the important games where things can go either way.

Unfortunately there is a very serious downside and it shows up in two ways.
First is your opponent goes turn 1 Oath and you have no green spell to pitch to Force of Vigor.
The second is you do have a green card to pitch, but said green card is Golgari Grave-Troll. I would MUCH rather pitch a Shell so I can dredge my Grave-Troll rather than pitch my Grave-Troll so I can dredge a Thug.

There are also games where I end up with 2 Thugs in my hand. Since I run 4 of them this is actually reasonably likely after a Bazaar activation. For this reason I think running 4 Thugs and 0 Shells is the wrong ratio. I think at least 1 Shell is worth it, maybe 2.

@meadbert said in More Cycle in Dredge?:

In Magic there are some games where you blow your opponent out and there are others where you get blown out. The trick is to win the ones in the middle where it could go either way. Cards that primarily effect that middle are most important. Other cards are "win more" or "lose less." Typically if you have Stinkweed Imp or Grave-Troll pre-board you are doing very well and very likely to win. If you have no dredger at all you are in a lot of trouble. Wasteland will just wreck you. One could argue that 0 dredgers is in the middle, but it is close to you getting blown out.

The important middle section is when you get that Thug or Shambling Shell. Basically if Shell/Thug is your only dredger, then getting 4 chances to dredge into something rather than 3 is a pretty big different and impacts the important games where things can go either way.

I don't think that's the right way to think about it, at least during deck construction. I think the right way to think about it is that you want cards that will turns losses into wins. So for example including more good dredgers is likely to turn losses (no dredgers) into wins (one Thug) without any sort of intermediate or medium state in between (because having a dredger is basically binary).

There is also the risk of filling your deck with too much air. There’s a reason Xerox decks don’t play the restricted spells, 4 Preordain, and 4 Sleight of Hand (or whatever else). Yes, they could give themselves more chances to find the absolute best cards (Mentor+Time Walk) but they’ll lack the ability to win the games where that doesn’t work or where they’re under too much pressure early and can’t find it in time.

If too many of your cards don’t do anything but cycle, you run the risk of... not doing anything but cycling.

@wfain So the cycle spells are only "air" in the graveyard, which is the point that Smmenen was right to emphasize. This is a concern. The loss of Narcomoeba does matter. Ultimately I am more than willing to give up Narcomoebas to start turn 2 with 7 cards in my yard rather than 3. So my cards are on average worse in my graveyard, but I get more of them. The bigger concern is the loss of the blue Forces.

In your example with Preordain, the issue is you end up tying your mana up trying to draw cards instead of doing stuff. In this case the cyclers are free so no mana is being tied up and no tempo is lost.

The list I am considering now is:

21 draw:
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Serum Powder
4 Street Wraith
4 Mishra's Bauble
4 Urza's Bauble
1 Gitaxian Probe

12 dredge:
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
3 Golgari Thug
1 Shambling Shell

15: Win
3 Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
4 Ichorid
4 Bridge From Below
4 Prized Amalgam

12: Defense
4 Mental Misstep
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Strip Mine
1 Chalice of the Void
2 Force of Vigor

4 Leyline of the Void
4 Force of Will
4 Force of Negation
2 Force of Vigor
1 Noxious Revival


I think your assessment is very forward thinking. Dredge is far too slow in its current form.

Instead of giving up on FoW, could you just use Pact of Negation? (And Dread Return)

last edited by Guest

I believe most decks that have used Pact of Negation historically have had synergy with it (Legacy Hive Mind) or have had the ability to win in their own upkeep (Flash) or have had the ability to pay for it reasonably consistently (Blue Belcher). I'm skeptical that particular card would be strong in Dredge, although obviously it is quite strong in cases where you intend to win on the same turn.

Cycle effects are usually nice because they can speed the decklist up and thin your library post board to get you to answers. However, none of that matters if you don’t actually have ways to end the game early or answers in your decklist

The biggest problem with the decklist is that your 4 Ichorid are the way for you to actually get anything started, and you have no DR so you are naturally going to be slower due to those choices.

On answers to hate, you have much fewer than the normal dredge, nothing against resolved Containment Priest and only a single copy of noxious revival for Wasteland.

This all said, I think if you want to build around cycles you should build better around cycles. Cards like Hogaak and Amalgam seem like poorer fits as they are more grindy. A card like CotV actually locks you out of your own cards and is only an answer to 1 hate piece (crypt) under special circumstance (on the play). These seem like easy cuts for better cards.

One card I always wondered about in vintage dredge is faithless looting. Nobody plays it, and I think the color has something to do with that, but draw 2, discard 2 for one mana (and then having flashback) seems like it would be great for what the deck tries to do - dredge. I could also see a legacy version throwback - breakthrough. Could there be some sort of rainbow colored dredge that could run lootings and breakthrough to some degenerate effect? Bazaar is still bazaar, but having a bunch of spells that mimic the effect or have a draw 4 for 1 mana component seem really good. Breakthrough also pitches to FoW and FoN, so there's that, too.

Experience has shown that 1-mana enablers like Faithless Looting, Careful Study, Cephalid Coliseum, Breakthrough (etc) are not as effective as simply finding and using Bazaar of Baghdad

Of course if you try some of these cards anyway and find them successful and consistent, we will all be quite interested at that point

is playing 12 cyclers even better than playing 8 blue sources and 4 fatestitcher? you effectively need to draw 2 of 12 cyclers to have the same value as 1 of 8 lands


Cycling cards would be better post board, but Stitchers are much better game 1 since some of those blue sources can be 0 mana: Sapphire, Petal, Lotus, LED and it gives you a creature in play to trigger Amalgam+Therapy.

@ajfirecracker So here's a list I've been tinkering with:

// V_1_rainbow dredge

// 60 Maindeck
// 4 Artifact
1 Mox Diamond
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mox Sapphire

// 23 Creature
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
1 Ichorid
4 Narcomoeba
4 Bloodghast
1 Flame-Kin Zealot
4 Fatestitcher
1 Sun Titan

// 4 Enchantment
4 Bridge from Below

// 8 Instant
4 Force of Vigor
4 Force of Will

// 9 Land
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
2 Mana Confluence
1 Dakmor Salvage
2 Gemstone Mine

// 12 Sorcery
4 Breakthrough
2 Cabal Therapy
3 Life from the Loam
3 Dread Return

// 2 Sideboard
// 2 Instant
SB: 2 Darkblast

I don't have a sb yet. I discovered faithess looting is just a bad bazaar effect for 1 mana. Breakthrough, on the other hand, is absurd. Dredge x4 + discard your hand for 1 mana is bonkers. I've turn 2ed very consistently with this, and often because the second land I play casts breakthrough. You are able to flip 20+ cards off breakthrough fairly regularly. If you land a "blue mox" effect on turn 1 with a bazaar, you can cast breakthrough and chain off of therapies and returns into titan and mill your whole deck turn 1 for a zealot win...all while still having 4x FoV and FoW main deck.

I think breakthrough is the speed card that may have been missing to make "pitch" dredge explosively fast. The one downside I see is that you can't play breakthrough and keep up FoW + blue card unless you cast breakthrough off of a lotus. But I don't know if that's a back breaker. You can still proactively Vigor, you just have to rely more on therapy to clear the way...or you hold breakthrough and use it as the FoW fodder if you expect rav trap/extraction to be cast. Pact of Negation or unmask may work as replacements for FoW.

This deck isn't 100% tuned, but it is crazy fast and consistent and still has the 8x pitch spells to ram through hate. Let me know what anyone thinks.

Mox Diamond? I think if you're very heavy on blue stuff Chrome Mox would be the first "fixed" Mox to go for, although when you're discarding your hand frequently IDK if you even want your disruption to be blue pitch spells as opposed to black pitch, artifacts, lands, Leylines or Chancellors

I also think you want Lion's Eye Diamond in a Fatestitcher list that's planning to discard its hand frequently

Finally, that's an awful lot of deck-slots devoted to normal Dredge stuff. High 30s to low 40s is the card count you typically see these days and you're getting towards the low 50s here. That's 2-4 whole playsets of disruption effects you're giving up for these extra speed elements, a trade-off that should leave you better positioned against Dredge "mirrors" but worse against most everything else (in my opinion). You also didn't manage to squeeze in Serum Powder so you're likely to have slightly worse consistency than you might otherwise achieve.

I'm not saying any of these are fatal issues, just where I would focus my testing energy if I was trying to get something like this to work

last edited by ajfirecracker

@ajfirecracker I think lion's eye is good with fatestitchers. I actually changed my build and cut FoWs for max cabal therapy, max stitcher, and 3 dread return. Honestly, the force of vigor seems like the all star to me. It gets rid of main hate, turn 1 spheres, turn 1 oath, time vault, and anything else that is much of a threat. I found FoW underwhelming in most games as I always wished they were something more dredge related.

Force of negation didn't play out well for me even before this list and FoW always felt weak...odd as that is to say. It seems to me the deck wants to be fast and have a bomb answer (vigor) for the biggest turn 1 threats. The FoW build seems like it can disrupt a lot, but it's a lot slower. You can slow roll with bridges and ichorids and hoogaak, but I find there's something to be said for winning on turn 2 consistently. FoV just gives dredge that maindeck answer it always wanted.

In the fatesticher version, LED it's the best card you can draw, apart of bazaar. It lets you dredge from t1, and unearth fatesticher. That's a 95% chance of T1 win. I don't know why you would play any other rock over it.

With London mulligan, I'm thinking in play full set of mox diamond and dakmor savage, in addition to the 4 mana rocks (Lotus, LED, shapphire and petal). Obviously it's even a more combo version, with less interaction.

@nsammael My current version runs LED and 1x mox diamond. I could see going up to more, but there are only 5 non-bazaar lands I'm running and slots are at a premium. As far as interaction goes, I've found FoW and FoN to just be eating up valuable slots more often than they are game-winning. FoV is the disruption the deck wants, and it's a great main 4x of. I am sure with 8x FoW/FoN, the deck has more interaction and can prevent some turn 1 losses, but it slows its own strategy down 3+ turns to do it in many cases. A fatestitcher version with 4x FoV main can turn 1-2 kill fairly consistently and can blow up anything hindering/threatening to make that happen. I'm loving fatestitcher/breakthrough w/ 4x FoV.

The version i'm thinking about has some more lands, 4 dakmor + 4 paradise + 2 "free slots" (It could be petrified field, riftstone portal, wasteland and strip mine...) And 4 Diamonds.

As I said, it's more combo focused, but It has 2 FoV, though It could be 4 (i'm afraid not having enough green cards)

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