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Thread: [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

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    [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

    It's been an awful long time since I've played Dredge.

    Going into this event, I was weighing my options very carefully. I just want to take a step back and help everyone first understand what goes into preparation for an event like this. Eternal Extravaganza is without question the premier Legacy event on the east coast in the United States. This is a venue where perennially some of the absolute best players come out to try their hand at Magic's best format. The saturation of talented players in an event like this puts events like SCG Opens and the like to shame. That being said, preparation and an understanding of the deck one chooses to play in an event like this is paramount before sitting down for the first match.

    When deciding on what to play, I had toyed with so many other options:

    Show and Tell...



    Grixis Delver...



    UB Landstill...



    You get the picture.

    The fact of the matter is that over the course of the last decade, Dredge has always been my favorite deck to play. It's like an old friend at this point that I like to say hi to every once in a while. I think there's tremendous value in broadening one's skill of play by testing their ability to try new things. I've been doing this for some time now, but for an event of this caliber, I decided to make the call to my old friend and standby: Lion's Eye Diamond (LED) Dredge. The funny thing is that most people associate Manaless Dredge as the version I would normally play, but for this particular event I wanted to play four Black Lotus. My thought process is that the room would be full of fair decks, since I know that a majority of people who regular this circuit tend to lean heavily in that direction. I'm not saying everyone does, because that's not true. But for the most part, Delvers and Deathrite Shamans are the go-to for a lot of folks in the room. I don't want to play fair at all, and would much rather enjoy putting twenty power on board before my opponent has a turn. I've played Dredge and Legacy too long enough to know that at this point in time, it's well-positioned and poised to do serious damage. The ubiquity of Deathrite Shaman does nothing to change the fact that the redundancy and saturation of massive card advantage generated from the graveyard in lightning-quick fashion isn't as difficult as it sounds.

    After all, it's Eternal Extravaganza, right? Let's do this!

    After arriving on-site and meeting up with E.E. and geographically local players - some I hadn't seen in a while - I'm ready to do battle. The number of players nears the 200 mark, so this is straight-up nine rounds of Motel Hell. I always come with my list prepared and sleeved before arriving on site for any event, and this is what my 75 looked like:



    This is pretty par for the course. If you've ever played Dredge or followed it to some degree, you'll know there's always a core group of cards that see play, and others that are important cogs that see play in varying quantities. Sideboard cards are the same with Dredge, and I wanted to be sure that going into this event my sideboard was as tight as possible. I never intend on over-boarding against hate, because it's just not worth it. There is little sense changing the way a deck functionally operates against anywhere from two to four cards that are hazardous. It's important to have answers to those cards, sure, but I've never bought in to clogging my deck with second-stringers when I have multiple first-string Pro-Bowlers being all-stars.

    After the pairings go up, it's off to the races. I'm not good with names so apologies if I don't include everyone's name on here. I want to keep things brief as well, as this was nine rounds and I don't remember every card I sideboarded into.

    Round 1 vs. UWr Miracles [W: 2-1, 1-0-0]

    My opponent here was a really friendly person. I expect most of the day to be the same way: people who love Legacy. After some short banter we roll it up and I'm on the draw. Game one goes according to plan and I circumvent his art-altered spells by bringing back the living deck without casting them from my hand. This proves to be too much as he couldn't muster a Terminus, and eventually he gets overrun. Therapy rips his hand apart.

    Game two was a little different. I had this one locked up I believe at some point, but he stabilizes with some removal and eventually Mentor tokens and Snapcaster do work. Firestorm cruses some of his dudes, but it wasn't enough as he flashes in a top-decked Containment Priest.

    Being on the play game three is always a delight. I was able to overwhelm my opponent by swarming the board turn one, and I blow the game open early. At this point all he can do is sit and watch. I miss on some Naromoebas, so the game isn't exactly over. The end of the game sees my opponent with four lands and staring down a melting pot of would-be attackers, while he digs for answers. The key here is that he didn't have Brainstorm here to stack a Terminus from his hand - and then another to draw during my turn. Regardless, I had numerous threats in my graveyard and with more than lethal represented, I wasn't overcommitting to play into any shenanigans.

    I wasn't able to find any LEDs in these games, and also lost the die roll. I'll take the good start.

    Round 2 vs. Maverick [W: 2-0, 2-0-0]

    This set lasts for about fifteen minutes unfortunately for my opponent, who was a really cool guy. He just succumbs to a hugely overwhelming board state game one, and all he had was a Teeg, Thalia, Birds of Paradise and Scryb Ranger out. I stripped a Knight from his hand earlier and with all four Bridges in the yard, I cooly let Ichorid(s) die each turn, at one point sitting on arbitrary. I just push through and he concedes. I think he had a Deathrite too that game, but it was late to the party. Game two was even faster, as he mulligans and I drop Putrid Imp who proceeds to open the door for all sorts of brokenness turn two.

    He extends the hand. Also, no LEDs in these games.

    Round 3 vs. BR Reanimator [W: 2-0, 3-0-0]

    Again a nice opponent with a tricked out deck. He reveals Chancellor being on the play and doesn't play a land or anything and passes. This immediately raises a red flag that he's looking to DDD if he doesn't spike a land and is on BR Reanimator because he took the play. I take my turn and ram a Careful Study out after tanking for a few seconds. He emphatically lets it resolve. He then remarks about forgetting his trigger and the game is over when I DR an Ashen Rider and flood the board. He beats himself up a bit.

    Game two was much faster. He's on the play and tried the Entomb route. I summon Imp and pass. When he tries to go for it, I have Faerie waiting in the shadows. From there it was a blowout after he mulled to six. I saw his hand with Therapy and it was nothing after the Macabre.

    Again, no LEDs in these first three rounds in any game. I also lost all of these die rolls, so sitting at 3-0 with those stats has me smiling inside. Still...



    Round 4 vs. Czech Pile/Noah Walker [W: 2-1, 4-0-0]

    I sit across from Noah and we exchange pleasantries. Such another nice dude, as most Legacy players tend to be. We gear up for battle. Noah is on the play with a mull to six plays a Tarn and passes. I play a gold land and LED(!). It promptly gets Forced, pitching Daze (okay, so some Delver or Pile variant realistically). He plays a second Tarn and passes. I play another land and a draw spell. It resolves. I discard dredgers and play another draw spell. It resolves. From there I blow the game open with a Cephalid Coliseum the following turn and there's nothing he can do but sit and watch me flood the board. He scoops them up as I motion towards Dread Return.

    Game two was much better for Noah, as he is able to control the game with a huge amount of advantage with Surgical and Snap-Surgical. I am able to still grind out the game, but he eventually finds multiple Deathrites.

    Game three I take the play. I want to say he mulls here. I am able to open the game with some gas and he can't stop it from resolving. He does have Surgical, but here's the situation that wins me the game:

    I cast Breakthrough on X=1 with an LED out on turn two. I have no dredgers in the graveyard. Noah has already cast Surgical on Stinkweed Imp, I believe - to stop me from dredging. He has Counterspell in hand, and top-decked the previous turn a Snapcaster. I pass priority to him without cracking the LED. He responds by flashing in Snapcaster. Resolves, and he casts Surgical on Ichorid. I respond by cracking my LED (RRR) and discarding the only card in hand: Grave-Troll. Now there's a dredger. The Surgical resolves, but my Breakthrough does serious work and nails multiple Naromoebas and Prized Amalgams, in addition to Bridges. I Therapy away his relevant spells and bring in a huge Troll with Zombies - and EOT my Amalgams come back. He beats himself up over this terribly, but I don't think he had a way around the situation. Hard to say.

    Regardless, I get the win and move on.

    Round 5 vs. Grixis Delver [L 1-2, 4-1-0]

    This match was supposed to be a feature match on camera, but unfortunately there were some technical difficulties. Anyhow, I'm up against an old Jupiter foe that I didn't remember, but he somehow remembers me. I played him with Manaless Dredge apparently. I win the die roll, and after we start the first game he promptly reminds me that he was actually considering putting me on the play because he remembered Dredge. Game one was little interaction: a Force stops an early outlet, but after that I kick the doors down and go to town. He cantrips the first few turns which is beautiful for me, because I just keeping plowing through my deck. I win in short order.

    Game two he overwhelms me with Pyromancer tokens. My hand was depleted and kind of slow, so in the end he gets there.

    Game three was unfortunate. I lose this round because I dredge 42 cards deep with four Trolls (Breakthrough:24, LED->Looting:12, natural Dredge:6)...and saw zero Narcomoebas. I needed to hit only a single one after he cast Extraction on my Bridges, because I wasn't able to match with Ichorids against his tokens. I was looking to DR Iona and finish him. He only had a Bolt in his hand, which was just enough for lethal the last turn. He breathes a huge sigh of relief and the judge at the table can only shake his head in disbelief.



    Round 6 vs. Death and Taxes [W: 2-0, 5-1-0]

    I play against a really nice guy this round, once again. I'm a little tilted from the previous round, but I don't let it get to my head. In game one he wins the play and drops a Vial off Plains. Okay, D&T. I open the game up with LED and Looting, and from there generate a very nice board state that is slightly overwhelming. He gets Thalia online and a bunch of dudes too off Vial, but unfortunately, he can't deal with just under forty power staring him down the final turn.

    Game two was a little more of the same. I explode on my turn one after he plays Plains and passes. LED with Breakthrough happens, and I blind-rip double RIP from his hand (seeing no other lands and an Enlightened Tutor). I generate a board with six zombies and he Tutors for Cage. He slams it, but can't stop 12 power crashing in for lethal over two turns.

    The competition at this point will certainly stiffen this deep in the event.

    Round 7 vs. Death and Taxes [L: 1-2, 5-2-0]

    My opponent is an acquaintance from the old days and we get down to business. Game one goes as previous as the last round: a lot of dredging on the play, and a lot of him nodding. A lot of triggers resolve, and a lot more nodding. The game ends with all three Ichorids facing him down with a horde of zombies. Dread Return was imminent before he scoops.

    Game two is a little more grindy. He is able to locate a lot of his removal, in addition to Surgical Extraction which was key on a Troll. I wasn't able to recover until a few turns after, by which point he had already amassed a lot of attackers.

    Game three was rough. I have a powerful hand, a good hand. He has Surgical again on Troll. That's fine, I have Imp in the graveyard. I don't hit any Bridges, but nail a few Narcomoebas. I Therapy him naming RIP. I take one. I also see Containment Priest. Well, holy fucking hell. This guy does not like losing to graveyard strategies, and manages to locate all of his hate in a six-card package after a mull. I don't win the game, but try my best to drag it out hardcasting threats and looking for Firestorm. I can't find it and I lose.

    Round 8 vs. Czech Pile [W: 2-0, 6-2-0]

    I get paired this round against an old Jupiter friend, Sam Roukas, Sam and I were paired before at a previous EE, where I think I beat him playing Manaless. Sam and I talk a bit and it's business time. I go on the play, drop a land and he Forces an LED. I pass the turn. I think he counters another draw spell the following turn, but I have a second one that resolves. From there I find Breakthrough off the draw spell - having discarded a dredger - and I just crush him in short order. He had mulled to six in this game, as well.

    Game two he starts out with Deathrite, having mulled. I Firestorm it and discard two cards, double Shock. I then blow the game open as his hand was somewhat reliant on the DRS to do work. I was able to hit Narcomoebas and Ichorids, and with Therapy they did work enough to grind him out with zombies.

    At this point I'm knocking on the door of a possible Top 8 berth, but learn it will be a clean cut. In a field of this many good players teetering near 200, I'll take a Top 16 finish. All I have to do is win my last round, of course.

    Round 9 vs. Jund Reanimator [W: 2-0, 7-2-0]

    This match was an on-camera feature that can be found around the 03:15:00 mark. In this match, I'm visibly able to explode game one with a sick hand and sick dredge sequence. It ends with a huge amount of power coming at him, which includes a 13/13 Troll. Game two was a little different, as a mull to five with no lands (but Memory's Journey and Faerie) keeps him on ice, and I draw a land and win the game from there almost the same way as game one.

    In the end, it was all worth it. I end the day at EE7 in 13th place at 7-2 and good enough for two-hundo credit. Very cool.



    So in the end, I sifted through the old hardware and once again pieced together the deck I love most. In doing so, I was able to accomplish this great feat and made the entire trip and experience a great satisfaction. But more than anything, I had fun. And that's something a lot of people miss in all the crazy bloodshed. It's a game. And it can be competitive and fun at the same time. You see people you haven't seen in forever, and it's great. Still, I always set the bar very high for myself. Always. I've done very well at these events, having knocked on the Top 8 doorstep several times now.

    Here's hoping for a T8...at EE8.
    "There's a legend round here. A killer buried, but not dead."

  2. #2

    Re: [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

    A nice read! Would you change anything in your 75 in hindsight, given the decks you played.

  3. #3

    Re: [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

    Nice report and gratz on the finish with Dredge! I'm curious about your game 3 in round 4 where you 'tricked' your opponent in wasting his surgical on an ichorid. You mention that he couldn't really do much, but if he had just let the breakthrough resolve, you draw four cards, discard four. And then what? Hope for Faithless looting? I've played Dredge as well and know that not many opponents truly understand how the deck functions, but why didn't he just hold back his Snapcaster-surgical? If all he wanted was to get rid of Ichorid, he could've done that at any time during your turn really.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dice_Box View Post
    Non games are not only a common sight in Legacy, they are every decks plan. [...] Playing a deck like DnT and then complaining about "Non games" is hypocritical, because non games are your plan, you just disapprove of the way someone else is trying to achieve that same goal.

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    Re: [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

    Sideboard tips? When do you bring in the petals and journeys?

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    Re: [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

    Quote Originally Posted by UseLess View Post
    Nice report and gratz on the finish with Dredge! I'm curious about your game 3 in round 4 where you 'tricked' your opponent in wasting his surgical on an ichorid. You mention that he couldn't really do much, but if he had just let the breakthrough resolve, you draw four cards, discard four. And then what? Hope for Faithless looting? I've played Dredge as well and know that not many opponents truly understand how the deck functions, but why didn't he just hold back his Snapcaster-surgical? If all he wanted was to get rid of Ichorid, he could've done that at any time during your turn really.
    I'm not sure why he did it. My goal was to protect the Troll and keep a card off the Breakthrough at that point. It was actually more of a parlor/Jedi mind trick than anything to scare him into acting sooner than he wanted to. Breakthrough on one must had worried him or something. I can't say for sure why he did it. Even if he waits and Surgicals Narcomoeba, I was *probably* going to hit a few Ichorids and generate advantage the next turn. His hand was bare after the Snapcaster, no gas. I dredged deep chaining Trolls and flashed back FL, so the odds aren't in his favor there regardless.

    We discussed the lines of play after.
    "There's a legend round here. A killer buried, but not dead."

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    Re: [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

    Quote Originally Posted by say no to scurvy View Post
    Sideboard tips? When do you bring in the petals and journeys?
    Petals come in against fast combo and decks where you need extra mana to cast sideboard cards. With twelve lands casting two mana spells it becomes rough.

    Journey protects against decks packing Surgical, Loam/Lands decks, Reanimator decks. Things like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackaBo View Post
    A nice read! Would you change anything in your 75 in hindsight, given the decks you played.
    Nope, I was pleased with the whole thing. A lot of the cards I played in the sideboard had "go-long" value and weren't geared towards specific decks (Leyline, Firestorm). I didn't want to corner myself into siding narrow cards.
    "There's a legend round here. A killer buried, but not dead."

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    Re: [Report] 13th @ EEVII w/ LED Dredge

    Great report, and congrats on the run. Always nice to see Dredge put up a good showing.
    Lone Star Lhurgoyfs

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernkastel View Post
    The only thing I have to say to is... I never ever want my deck to ever be associated or compared with your tier 3-4 filth. I take great insult to that very act alone. Go back to reddit or MTG salv where you belong.

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