2nd Place in the August Power 9 Challenge [Videos]


I haven't had the chance to play much Vintage lately, so I tried to get my money's worth

Deck is Pitch Dredge, with some minor tweaks for the Eldrazi meta

2 Vengeful Pharoah
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Flame-Kin Zealot
3 Dread Return
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Bridge From Below
4 Ichorid
4 Narcomoeba
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
4 Mindbreak Trap
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Srinkweed Imp
4 Golgari Thug
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Petrified Field
1 Library of Alexandria
4 Serum Powder

4 Dark Depths
2 Vampire Hexmage
4 Thespian's Stage
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Riftstone Portal

last edited by ajfirecracker

Great content. We were entertaining out-of-town guests today, so I couldn't play. I look forward to participating vicariously through your video content. The first was quite instructive.

I love this deck. Happy to see you do well with it! Thanks for the vids 🙂

What is the specific point of Pharaoh? I ask because I'm writing a bit about your deck and I want to make sure I'm getting it right.

@Islandswamp The primary goal is to shut down Workshops and Eldrazi (specifically the Ancient-Tomb-powered midsize creatures) as well as Oath creatures. They can be good across other matchups but those are the main ones. Watch the Finals game 2 for an example of how strongly Pharoah can lock Shops out of the game

@ajfirecracker So basically they just can't attack you without losing that creature, and you can keep it in the graveyard permanently anyway. That seems legit to me. 🙂

@Islandswamp Yeah exactly. It gets around every card in their deck (LD, cost increases, Chalice, etc) except Leyline of the Void / Relic of Progenitus (and Cage is the much more common hate). Part of the appeal is that Shops and Eldrazi are not sufficiently threat-dense to ignore creature kill (they are largely built to play 2ish threats and protect them long enough to close out the game). Pharoah can be a little soft to Ravager/Hangarback or to Ravager/Trike but that's true of almost all cards I could run instead as well

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What do you do against main deck Priests that seem to be popping up? I can see Pharaoh helping there but I feel the deck might need something more. You are the expert on this deck I just like to find things out. Would you ever consider a pitch spell like Contagion or Sickening Shoal?

Also what are your thoughts on Prized Amalgam in this list?

Maindeck Priest: just race (they will typically not be mulliganing for it, and they need a Mox to reliably beat Cabal Therapy to play), Force of Will, Vengeful Pharaoh. The theory of the deck in almost every matchup is you are 80% in game 1, then 50% in game 2/3. If you are instead 60/50/50 that's still a favorable profile.

Black pitch spells: You don't really have enough room for them. I consider Pitch Dredge to be much tighter on slots than traditional Dredge (it's a core part of the deckbuilding logic; why I don't run Bloodghast for example). If they are extremely high value in a given Meta they can start taking some of the Vengeful Pharaoh / Dread Return / Dread Return target slots

Prized Amalgam: Everything that I said above applies except this pitches to Force. I don't think that's a big enough edge over any of the other prominent options. This is one area where I could be proven wrong, and if you're interested there have been some lists which (in my opinion) hybridize Pitch and traditional Dredge and which utilize PA as a Force fodder

@Islandswamp there's plenty of Pharaoh footage from this weekend but I've also put out a little older stuff like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VWyMbl9jO4

The Tinker play in round 2 was hilarious. Thanks for posting!

What would your thoughts be on Vengeful Pharaoh in a "Traditional" Dredge deck as like a 3 of? You have convinced me the card is quite powerful and I'd like to test it.

I was agonizing for you in that game 1 of the finals that your FKZ was not the Dragonlord, which instead would have been the 6th Black creature for the Ichorid-beats win.

@BazaarOfBaghdad Yeah Dragonlord was almost certainly the better card. I'd have to look carefully to see if FKZ ever cared about the precise number of creatures (there's a window where he's better) but I'm pretty sure that was not the case all day

@ajfirecracker I was watching out for that and didn't see anything that I can recall. The last few minutes of your round 2 (round3?) video are missing, but I don't remember off-hand if there was any potential relevance to that question.

I really wish I had more money so I could play some Dredge online again. I did enjoy it, I just was quick to give up after a few games of losing to graveyard hate. The times that I tried the transformational package I seemed to face a ton of Wasteland decks.

@msg67183 I think it's good, it's probably a little more Shops/Eldrazi specific there than in my list. In my list, buying time for a Marit Lage kill while "locked" under a Grafdigger's Cage is a valid strategy, while in a traditional list you have to remove the Cage (or cast 1/1s and 1/2s). As a result I think you have to be relatively more confident that you are heading into that sort of metagame (but that certainly seems to be the case at the moment)

@Islandswamp vs Wasteland decks it's important to present both graveyard and non-graveyard combos, as well as to grind through land destruction with Petrified Field as well as Thespian's Stage copying their Waste/Strip

last edited by ajfirecracker

Video below of a 4-0 this morning, which brings me up to 12-2 over the past 8 days


last edited by ajfirecracker
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