Questions for Dredge players
By - softboiledeggs2
Life From the Loam is key to bringing back bloodghasts, and making your conflagrates lethal, or allowing conflagrate to act as a wrath against aggro decks.
You mulligan every one lander, and every hand without a green source, this is less true now that Thrilling Discovery and Ox of Agonas have been printed, but it's still a solid rule of thumb.
You should draw cards if you need a specific card, so if you've mulliganed to four and had to keep a one lander, draw a card, or if you have like, 3 cards left in your deck and you can't win this turn. Generally you never want to draw cards.
You'll learn when best to cast Ox as you play the deck, but generally, cast it asap if you're racing, wait if your opponents on a slower deck.
You can't counter Creeping Chill with an actual counter spell, but if you exile creeping chill with something like Scanvenging Ooze while the triggers on the stack, than the ability can't resolve and you won't drain your opponent.
i see i see. I'm conflicted as to whether or not i should mulligan hands with no green sources because dredge still feels playable without them. It does feel awkward to be stuck on 2 lands on turn 4/5 though.
Thrilling discovery makes the non-green hands better then they were before, but I still wouldn't keep them unless I had mulliganed really low, or I had a very explosive hand against a deck that I know is just a race (like ad naus). Loam just keeps the wheels greased in dredge, and helps make sure that you always have something to do.
Loam helps you win the long, grindy games and stacks your hand for a giant Conflag. Fetching green early is key in Dredge.
Ox turns are your most explosive, so the sooner the better. If you mill over a Conflag/multiple Chills on your Ox turn, the opponent is usually dead the following turn (clearing blockers or dealing the last few points of damage).
Sometimes in SB games you have to draw cards with your Discovery/Cathartic to dig for an answer to a hate piece.
makes sense! i really dislike having to actually topdeck an answer but its so unfortunate how hard graveyard hate actually destroys dredge...
Loam is less crucial than it used to be. A lot of lists are back to 1 bloodghast main, and between thrilling discovery, cathartic reunion, and ox dredge can present an extremely high amount of pressure without a green source as long as you have at least two lands and can cast the enablers you need to. These kind of starts are much more prone to disruption that you otherwise wouldn't be however. Thalia is less prominent, but can lock you out of spells if you're stuck on two lands. In long grindy games, being able to loam back and build up lands on board, allowing you to do multiple two mana plays in a turn can be extremely useful, like loam + conflag. Speaking of conflag, Loam is a key way to fill your hand for a big, game winning conflag. The single maindeck bloodghast can also be useful in certain spots to return your amalgams if you either don't have any narcos left, or haven't hit any yet. So the hands without green are far more playable than they used to be, but they do need to be pretty explosive to consider keeping them as a 6 or a 7, as there are some downsides if there's a chance you could end up in a longer game.
Your ideal opener is at least two lands, one of which is a green source, along with some mix of dredgers and enablers. As you mulligan further you compromise on what you're willing to accept. Hands without green are much more playable than they used to be, as I mentioned above, but they aren't ideal as they cut off options prematurely. Two lands is mandatory, keeping one landers seems attractive and tempting some times, and when you mulligan low sometimes you just have to accept a one lander or in post sideboard games where you're unfavoured in the matchup and you've got an opener that has enablers, dredgers, your sideboard card/s and only a single land it can as a very side case be correct to roll the dice on hitting a land off the top, but as a general rule you need two lands to operate, and ideally one of them is green, but you can't always have what you want.
The only times you really take draws instead of dredging is when you're in one of these side cases where you're trying to find a second land, when you're under some type of graveyard hate like leyline or rest in peace and you can't remove it immediately, or when your library is very, very low on cards and you need the extra turns to win the game.
Ox doesn't need to be cast as soon as possible. If you have a cathartic/thrilling discovery in hand it's better to use that instead of ox. Particularly in a post board game where you might have a relevant sideboard card in hand, or a drawn creeping chill that you might need to cast (it's not fun to do, but it's not a completely dead card in hand, and sometimes you need all the damage you can get). Casting Ox is very good though, and you'll need to weigh up the cards in hand that you're losing vs what you can find by doing a big dredge.
The effect Creeping Chill produces when you mill it is a triggered ability, you aren't casting any spells. Your opponent can only counter it with [[Stifle]] type effects that counter triggered abilities, or by removing the chill from your graveyard in response to the trigger, like with a [[Surgical Extraction]] type instant speed effect.
thank you so much for the detailed response! i definitely agree that having a green mana source doesnt feel SUPER important, especially after playtesting the deck a couple times and finding that the deck is still fairly operable without ever casting loam. casting cathartic over ox is something i have never considered; probably due to my lack of experience. but it definitely makes sense to do so when i have a SB card in hand so thanks for bringing that up!
No, unless they have a stifle effect.
some games i feel like i can just rely on casting an explosive Ox and getting bloodghasts back via dakmor salvage so Loam doesnt seem thattt crucial
Sure, but what about the games where you don't draw those cards? What are you drawing instead of Loam?
yea if i dont get ox then a hand with no loam is pretty screwed
Sometimes you won’t have time to bother with loam but it’s nice to have one hand. If you can find a window to do it your usually in a good space. Four lands can open up the strongest turns with its to loam than conflag to wipe the board or finish off lethal or sometimes conflag to whatever you can or might need to since your will be bigger than can escape an ox
[Life from the loam](https://c1.scryfall.com/file/scryfall-cards/normal/front/d/7/d7447c11-05a1-44e4-831a-0bacf97d447d.jpg?1547517654) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Life%20from%20the%20loam) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/uma/172/life-from-the-loam?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/d7447c11-05a1-44e4-831a-0bacf97d447d?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text)
[Ox of agonas](https://c1.scryfall.com/file/scryfall-cards/normal/front/7/5/75caefa7-94d5-472e-a540-daad3ee69899.jpg?1581480343) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Ox%20of%20agonas) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/thb/147/ox-of-agonas?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/75caefa7-94d5-472e-a540-daad3ee69899?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text)
[Creeping chill](https://c1.scryfall.com/file/scryfall-cards/normal/front/f/5/f5456173-7a08-4b5c-8450-7123375f4a86.jpg?1572892924) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Creeping%20chill) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/grn/66/creeping-chill?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/f5456173-7a08-4b5c-8450-7123375f4a86?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text)
^^^[[cardname]] ^^^or ^^^[[cardname|SET]] ^^^to ^^^call
> Am i supposed to mulligan until i get a fetchland / stomping ground in my opening hand?
No, you mulligan until you get a two land hand plus a dredge enabler. Dredge can't operate with one land.
>When am i supposed to take draws rather than dredging?
When your library size is 5 or fewer cards and whatever Chills remaining won't end the game.
>Should Ox of agonas be cast as soon as possible?
Generally, yes. Look at the board state and use your judgement. If you're going to die to a Blighted Agent unless you Conflagrate then do that instead. Cast anything worthwhile from your hand before the Ox so you don't need to discard it.
> Can my opponent counter my Creeping chill trigger?
Not without a \[\[Stifle\]\] effect or a way to exile Chill from the graveyard.
[Stifle](https://c1.scryfall.com/file/scryfall-cards/normal/front/6/1/616d1b20-61c1-4d39-a9b5-ad9fd61699e4.jpg?1562865442) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Stifle) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/cns/108/stifle?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/616d1b20-61c1-4d39-a9b5-ad9fd61699e4?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text)
^^^[[cardname]] ^^^or ^^^[[cardname|SET]] ^^^to ^^^call
ahh yes i have edited my post. I meant to say a 2 land hand which includes a fetch / stomping ground. thanks for your reply!
It’s great in grindy games and MUs where conflag is good. With ghast being a sideboard slot at best rn, you cast a lot less loams. Ox is active T3 onwards too.
what us MU?
Definitely keep hands with 2 lands, btw. You can’t function trying to topdeck your second land drop.
typo i meant to ask what is MU. yeap i am aware haha but sometimes if im on the draw and dont have a turn 1 shriekhorn to potentially hit a dredger, i like to take the risk and try to draw a second land by turn 2
I can’t condone the practice of 1landhands anymore. Back with Flooting, hell yeah all day. We REALLY need 2 lands or we brick just as hard as no yard.