Dredge has been gaining in popularity as the synergy between Bloodghast and recent addition Prized Amalgam has given the deck the explosive potential with built-in resilience that has been the hallmark of the archetype for over a decade now.
That's right. Dredge was first printed over a decade ago. I hope I'm not the only one who cringed at that realization. Now get off my lawn so I can write the rest of this in peace.
As I was saying, Prized Amalgam and Bloodghast form the core of the threat base for Modern's latest Dredge variant and it has proven to be a contender, but Justin O'Keefe's recent list has a few innovations that just might take the deck from good to great.
The first is Shriekhorn. Yep. Shriekhorn. That card you proxied on about a hundred times and always seemed to have three of in your Scars of Mirrodin Block Sealed pools. (Magic players are very unlucky, you know.) It may not look like much, but it has a job to do and it does it well. Costing only one mana is critical here, as Dredge needs to operate on low land counts because it wants to start dredging as early as possible. And one mana for six mills, even if it takes a little time, is the best rate around.
Sure, Shriekhorn is going to be a terrible topdeck sometimes, but for the most part you are dredging by turn 3, so you aren't going to draw them anyway, and you'll almost always have time to fully use it when cast on turn 1 or 2.
The second, and infinitely more exciting, addition is Greater Gargadon, aka Big Poppa Gargs. Or Garglemesh. Okay, no one has ever called the card either of those names (as far as I know), but this is one of my favorite cards in Magic's history and it does a lot of subtle but important things for this deck.
First, it gives you a big late-game threat to build toward for only one mana. Your horde of 2/1s, 2/2s, and 3/3s can be brick-walled, but not a 9/7. More importantly, the sacrifice ability lets you harness the power of Bridge from Below and Bloodghast.
The Bridge from Below synergy is obvious, but it's easy to see all the Bloodghast value previous lists forfeited. Each landfall trigger is now an opportunity to remove a counter from Greater Gargadon and trigger a Bridge from Below. It's also an opportunity to recur Prized Amalgam. With the healthy number of fetchlands in the deck and Dakmor Salvage, you can easily trigger landfall five or more times in a game. You can even use Greater Gargadon to sacrifice a Dakmor Salvage you played early on to ensure a land drop on a key turn.
Dredge has quietly been rising within the Modern metagame for a while now and innovations like these are only making it better. With Modern entering the spotlight this month at #SCGNY and #SCGINVI, it may not remain quiet for long.
- 4 Bloodghast
- 4 Golgari Grave-Troll
- 2 Golgari Thug
- 4 Greater Gargadon
- 4 Insolent Neonate
- 4 Narcomoeba
- 4 Prized Amalgam
- 2 Stinkweed Imp