Wow. I haven’t written anything here in quite a while (2014!).

Since Zaiem asked, here’s the Dredge list I played at the CFB Game Center today. I went 3-1, up against Miracles (w), Lands (l), Dredge (w), and Miracles (w).

The deck

4 Golgari Grave-Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Golgari Thug
4 Ichorid
4 Careful Study
4 Breakthrough
4 Putrid Imp
2 Hapless Researcher
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Narcomoeba
4 Bridge from Below
2 Dread Return
1 Ashen Rider
1 Flame-Kin Zealot

4 Cephalid Coliseum
4 Mana Confluence
4 Gemstone Mine
2 City of Brass


4 Chain of Vapor
4 Faerie Macabra
1 Realm Razer
1 Ancestor’s Chosen
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
3 Ashen Rider
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria


Yup, no copies of Lions Eye Diamond. Not a strategic choice – I just didn’t feel like buying them. The deck seems to do quite well without them. I suppose it makes it slower, but I think it ends up being more resilient. I beat a LED-ed Dredge deck in the mirror. Hapless Researcher was fun there, de-Bridging my opponent at least once.

The mana base is actually needlessly hurty right now, since I have no actual need to cast other than blue or black spells. That would change if I bothered to pick up copies of Firestorm for the sideboard, which I’ve been considering.

The Realm Razer almost got me my second win against Lands today. It freaked out the Lands player, who’d boarded out all his removal and had to board it back in when he saw me flip the Razer in game two (sadly, it got Bogged out of existence before I could use it).

I like having one Ashen Rider in the main because it lets me clear out problematic locks in game one, and it’s a good backup plan to just outright killing them with Flame-Kin. Dread Return the Rider, make zombies, exile their threat or a land, Cabal Therapy off of Rider, make more zombies, screw up their hand and exile another permanent.

Your Legacy trend lines

So, given an SCG Open Series top sixteen that was heavily laden with both Mental Misstep and Stoneforge Mystic, is Legacy being snowed under by these two cards?
Well, I was curious about that, too. So here’s some information from the top sixteens for all the SCG Legacy Open events since June.
First, copies of Stoneforge Mystic and Mental Misstep in the top sixteens (listed as the percentage of the theoretical “maximum” of 64 copies across the top 16 decks).
Second, decks featuring Stoneforge Mystic and Mental Misstep (again, as a percentage of the maximum 16 copies in the top 16). Note that a deck is a “Mystic” or “Misstep” deck if it has even one copy of the card in question.
There aren’t enough data points to actually make anything of the apparent “upswing” caused by the results from today’s event, so I’d pay more attention to the averages in each case.
That works out to:
Stoneforge Mystic card percentage – 23.2%
Mental Misstep card percentage – 58.3%
Stoneforge Mystic deck percentage – 28.6%
Mental Misstep deck percentage – 63.4%
So, call it a quarter of the top sixteen decks, on average, featuring Stoneforge Mystic, and approaching two thirds featuring Misstep.
So far, I’d say I’m okay with that Stoneforge Mystic tally – for a card that forces the game to occur on the battlefield, that seems like a fine percentage.
On the other hand, I’m not sure if that Misstep tally is particularly “good” – but I don’t know that it’s “bad” either. It’s just kind of meh, like the prevalence of Force of Will. It’s a core element of the format, at least for now…and that seems okay to me, if not particularly interesting.
What do you think? Good sign? Bad? Let me know. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next Legacy Open brings.

The Dredge trilogy

Did you get a chance to check in on this week’s In Development, about Dredge?
What about last week? And the week before that?
That’s right — it’s the Dredge trilogy. This is the first time I’ve done a multi-part series like this, doing an in-depth analysis of a deck and how to play it. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m glad to see that people enjoyed this approach.
In case you missed it, or want to read the whole thing in one sitting, here are the parts:
Part 1 – My Zombies Rise from Seas and Bayous
Part 2 – Be the Big Bad (Part 1)
Part 3 – Be the Big Bad (Part 2)
…and then once you’ve had a chance to read them all, let me know what you think. Would you like to see more multi-part, multi-week articles like this one?

This week’s In Development – Moar Dredge Plz!

So what’s a good chaser for Dredge?
Clearly, more Dredge.
As a follow-up to last week’s discussion of the Dredge deck and game one, this week I’m talking about sideboarded games with Dredge. More than simple sideboarding, it’s a discussion about the transition from the OBT (One Big Turn) of game one to the tactical interplay of sideboarded games. If you’re used to thinking of Dredge as “win game one and then pray,” hopefully this week’s article will help fully reframe Dredge for you.
At any rate, I hope it’s an interesting read, whether or not you plan on playing the deck.
If you’re all set to read, then you can click here to go the article.

In Development – One big turn!

This week’s In Development continues a legacy of…er…Legacy Dredge. Do we even need to say Legacy Dredge at this point? Well, I suppose I could write about Vintage instead…
Anyway, after last week’s article presenting my deck from the San Jose Legacy Open, I had a lot of requests for articles on actually playing the deck. So this week is part one of a two-part miniseries covering how I play Dredge.
Part one, which you can click here to read, is mostly about the philosophy behind the game one / game two divide in Dredge, and then how I play game one. Next week will cover sideboarded games and some specific sideboarding ideas.
This may be my way of cleverly dodging doing any preview articles for Mirrodin Besieged. On the other hand, I may just like Dredge.
Either way, you can click here to read the article.

This week’s In Development – trading up for a better Dredge mana base

You’ve seen the deck tech, now read the article!
In this week’s In Development I talk about the Dredge deck I played at last week’s SCG Open Series Legacy tournament in San Jose. The single biggest change is a pretty big one — I’ve completely stepped away from the default mana base for Dredge to one that won’t keep betraying me like Sean Bean.
All that and more is covered in the article.

In Development – If you happen to be attending a Legacy tournament…

So, it’s In Development time yet again.
Are you going to any Legacy events anytime soon?
Say, any big ones?
If you’re considering it and you don’t have a lot of experience in the format, this week’s In Development might be the guide for you. I’ve tried to cover the format form the perspective of the non-devoted Legacy player – say, someone who is intimidated by a format with so many viable decks and over eleven thousand cards.
If that sounds like it might be up your alley, then go check out the article and then find me on twitter and let me know what you think.

Magic phrase of the week

This week’s Ideas Unbound from Max McCall, titled The Process of Actually Killing Someone on Turn One, has one of my favorite Magic phrases in a little while:
“An apt metaphor for the Tendrils mirror might be two players swinging wildly at one another with sledgehammers. Eventually, someone connects.”
Actually, the whole article is pretty good, being an in-depth analysis of Ad Nauseam Tendrils in the current Legacy metagame. Max recommends it, since it stomps the current Legacy boogeyman, Survival, and that seems like a solid plan.

The case for Force of Will

Last week I wrote about possible design solutions to keep Legacy healthy in the wake of the firming up of the reprint policy. Prior to that, I talked about why I have non-power-card reasons to want reprints, and since then I’ve put together an estimate of the total number of dual lands in the world. Now, I want to turn toward something else interesting…
Are Legacy staples all necessarily overpowered?
Click through to the extended entry to read more.

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