Dredge with Kenan Diab at Grand Prix Charlotte

Posted in Event Coverage on May 22, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Over the last few weeks, we've seen a lot of different Dredge decks doing very well on Magic Online. As a result of the deck's success, pilots of the Dredge deck ran into a lot of graveyard hate on Modern Weekend here at Grand Prix Charlotte .

Versions of the deck with Vengevine, Greater Gargadon, and a variety of other interesting cards have all seen success. In a quest to find the best version of the deck I scoured the room and found a lot of people talking about Kenan Diab's Dredge deck. I decided to sit down with Diab to talk about Dredge in Modern.

Diab explained how his deck was different than a lot of the other Dredge strategies we've been seeing recently, “Modern can be a very fast format and you really need to build your deck around a card like Vengevine. It didn't seem worth it just to make a 4/3 Haste. I've also seen a lot of the new Dredge decks not playing many dredgers. I wanted to make room for more and I found that I needed to change the deck so that I could cut lands. Life from the Loam, Darkblast, and Dakmor Salvage all found their way into the deck.

Other people are playing Bridge from Below with cards like Greater Gargadon or Drowned Rusalka. Drowned Rusalka was very mana intensive and I wanted to play more one mana cantrips. Greater Gargadon was narrow. I wanted my deck to be focused on what it was best at doing and Bridge from Below turned out to be quite good on its own at making blocks very difficult for the opponent.”


Kenan Diab dredges his way to victory!

I asked if graveyard hate had been an issue and what measures had been taken to beat it.

“The deck is very fast and can often present well over ten power on the second turn. Bogles is the only deck that can actually find the room to play more than one copy of Rest in Peace. Even if they have it, oftentimes, Rest in Peace is too slow on the draw. My Bogles opponent yesterday was facing thirteen power on the second turn and actually had to think for a long time before casting Rest in Peace on his second turn. He probably didn't have a third land and needed to cast Rancor and Daybreak Coronet to race me. That's the type of pressure the deck can create, it's enough to make someone have to think about whether or not they should cast Rest in Peace on their second turn,” he smiled. “I think the best plan against most graveyard hate is to ignore it for the most part. With Life from the Loam we can work our way up to enough mana to start casting Golgari Grave-Troll, which wins a surprising number of games.”

If you're looking for a focused Modern Dredge deck that eschews all forms of “tech” in favor of consistency and focus then Kenan Diab found the right deck for you. The deck is declining in popularity and we may see a lot less graveyard hate in the not-too-distant future. When the hate goes away, it shouldn't be surprising to see Dredge rise from the grave!

Kenan Diab’s Dredge - GP Charlotte

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