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Ultra-Budget Speed Dredge (2x 5-Card "Gold Hands")

Legacy Aggro Budget Competitive Dredge Eldrazi Mono-Black



Thank You for Supporting this Deck!

This Deck has hit the Top Rankings!!


~ #1 Position in Legacy

~ #12 Position Overall

"I really appreciate all of the support and I hope many of you are using this build to toss an unexpected wrench into your Casual/Legacy playgroups! I know it's been a long-time crusher of a deck for me for many years now..."

Anatoxin-a: 'Very Fast Death Factor' (aka. 'Budget Speed Dredge')

NAMING THE DECK: "I don't always try to come up with clever names for my Magic Decks, but a couple years back I had the idea to re-name this deck "Anatoxin-a"; which is more commonly known even in Scientific circles as 'Very Fast Death Factor'. It's an actual toxin sometimes found in pond scum (frequently in/near Swamps), and with this being a Dredge Deck and all...yeah. Upvote for Science."

I've had this deck for quite a while now: probably since 2014-15 (at least). It's inexpensive to build, fun to play, and has been a fairly consistent & brutal winner for me since its inception. I decided to post it here online for others to enjoy a while back. (Many of my friends absolutely despise this Deck...hahaha).


The Win Strategy is simple: Attack with an Annihilator creature early enough in the game so that when you do, your opponent basically wipes his/her board (including Lands).

I've found this to be a highly versatile combo useful against a wide variety of deck/win types & it continues to hold its own for Casual/Legacy play even against much newer sets & combos.

With either one of the "5-Card Golden Hand" draws (and thus allowing for up to 2 Mulligans a.k.a. 3 Hand Draws per game to try for) this deck has the potential to be ATTACKING Turn 3 with any Annihilator creature in it - and with as little as 1 Mana no less!

Basically, if this deck gets to attack, it's (almost) always a guaranteed win. There really are not many decks that can stand up to creatures with Annihilator 2 or 3 attacking this early in the game. Even if you're only eating one Land per attack phase (which still requires the opponent to have LOTS of cheap-cast permanents), if you can start doing this on Turn 3, then there isn't much chance of recovery for your opponent.

One of the largest advantages of this build I've found are that the "Golden Hand" draws are only 5 cards (for strategic mulligans), and a couple of the cards are even interchangeable in their usefulness making the hands even more likely to occur in order to pull off the win strategy.

The two "5-Card Golden Hand" sets for this deck are:

Putrid Imp is just stupidly overpowered in this deck. Having a free & infinite discard outlet on Turn 1 is absolutely devastating for a Dredge deck of this type. I've used him in other deck constructions in the past (he's pretty brutal in a Madness deck as well since you can just pay Madness costs for everything as long as he's in play), however this configuration with Annihilator is the strongest and most consistent against a wide range of deck types of those that I've tinkered with.

All creatures which are intended to be cast normally from the hand in this deck have a mana-free & tap-free discard activation ability (Discard a Card:) so that they can be used the same turn they enter play if need be. Use them to dump any of the Annihilator creatures into your graveyard and then force-play them with Exhume or Dread Return.

If you can get Putrid Imp out Turn 1, you can just pour any big creatures into your graveyard you wish, both of the vampires (Heir of Falkenrath   and Stromkirk Condemned) have a once-per-turn constraint. Still, they pair pretty well for such a low-mana cost as early defense if it's required. I've actually had a small handful of extremely rare games where I was unable to get an Annihilator creature in-hand and managed to win regardless by using weenie "discard outlet" creatures alone; so I consider their addition to be a pretty strong one. It's not that difficult at all to utilize at least 1 of each and have a 4/3 flyer quite quickly.

Premise (Optimal Performance):

Using "Golden Hand #1" (Using 2 Mana):

  • Turn 1: Play Swamp and cast Putrid Imp, discard Annihilator creature.
  • Turn 2: Play Swamp and cast Exhume, draw out Annihilator creature to the battlefield, discard another card to give Putrid Imp flying & attack.
  • Turn 3: If desired, discard another card to buff Putrid Imp, Attack with Annihilator creature & Putrid Imp.

~~ OR ~~

Using "Golden Hand #2" (Using 1 Mana):

Annihilator Creatures:

These are the primary win conditions for the deck. Preference for Annihilator creatures in Golden Hand builds have priorities as follows:

  • #1: Highest Annihilator ability value (Hence Pathrazer of Ulamog taking priority)
  • #2: Highest Power/Toughness

There are other creatures out there with the Annihilator ability, but these I have selected are the highest Annihilator value-to-Power/Toughness ratio (with the exception of It That Betrays -- see below) that will stay in the graveyard without cycling to the library instantly. There is no real intention in this build, for example, to hand-cast Artisan of Kozilek (rendering his graveyard ability moot). Also, ALL of the other creatures with higher Annihilator values than 3 also (rather inconveniently for my purposes) have a caveat on them where they shuffle into the Library when put into a Graveyard (from anywhere).


These Backup cards aren't necessarily a part of any of the "Golden Hand" card draws, but they serve to protect the combo(s) in one way or another.

  • Unearth is a good way to salvage a Putrid Imp or other discard-outlet creature if the only one in play gets destroyed or countered somehow (or if you have to sacrifice it for Culling the Weak), and of course Cycling is always a good option to have in dire straits.
  • Dread Return, while being included in the "Golden Hand" build, also works well if played against a Mill, Land Destruction, or Attrition deck. I've had games where opponents attempted to beat this deck just by stalling it, and being able to discard Dread Return via any of the "discard outlet" creatures and sacrifice 3 creatures to dredge out an Annihilator has won me the game more than once. It's particularly effective in games where one is limited on mana since you can simply sacrifice three 1-mana creatures to play a 4-mana spell if you can manage to get it into the graveyard.
  • Dakmor Salvage was suggested in a comment and I feel it fits in rather well as a Backup card. In the event of being overrun with mana and having no Annihilator creatures, it can be discarded via one of the outlet creatures and then used to mill the library. Also, in the event I play against a Mill Deck (not uncommon in my playgroup), it falls into the same category as Dread Return for being useful from the graveyard, unlike my Swamps which are just gone if they get milled. Useful in ultra-high mana and ultra-low mana situations (due to milling anyway). Nifty.
  • After some rigorous testing, I've found that Not of This World is indeed probably the strongest (and cheapest mana-wise) protection I can afford my Annihilator creatures in this build. Really solid suggestion made by MagicMarc, so thank you for that. I'm still leaving it on the sideboard for now, but I may try and find a way to squeeze even a couple of these into the standard build down the road.


  • I use this deck in a playgroup where Mill Decks are fairly common, thus the utility of Dread Return is preferable to me in a lot of cases since it can still be useful if it gets milled. However, against some theme decks I've started exchanging 4 copies of Dread Return for 4 copies of Animate Dead simply because it's more mana-efficient and the downside to Animate Dead (-1/-0) is essentially a non-factor with Annihilator creatures & this deck's win strategy. Animate Dead also has the additional downside of making my Annihilator creature vulnerable to Destroy Enchantment effects in addition to its normal vulnerabilities as a creature, hence why it's on the Sideboard. It's a risky(er) switch unless I know what I'm up against.

  • Dakmor Salvage makes for good discard ammunition on non-Golden Hand games that persist a few more turns, though it may get Sideboarded exclusively for use against Mill Decks if having less basic land throws off Golden Hand (or near miss) draws too much. I'm going to wait 20 or 30 test games before deciding on this.

  • I could add/swap "4-of's" of more expensive creatures with Annihilate, but there's little practical point for the function they're serving here, and it does just fine without them. For instance, if I can trade or find cheap copies, I might swap out 4x Ulamog's Crusher for 4x It That Betrays eventually. I'm not in a huge rush, however, since attacking with Annihilator 2 or 3 so early is pretty much a game in the bag regardless of any other abilities or Power/Toughness factors (or how many turns they manage to hold out).

  • Most other things that caught my eye are kind of a lot of money for what I feel would be just unnecessary bragging rights of owning the cards almost; and part of why I like this build is that it's so ridiculously cheap to toss together.

Deviating from Budget

  • Entomb is listed here on the Maybeboard, and is an exception to my aversion to adding in pricier cards to the build. These would add in a 3rd and 4th possible "Golden Hand" option since it can:

A) Stand in for Putrid Imp's function on both of the "Golden Hand" draws listed in the description above

B) It doesn't require an Annihilate creature in-hand off the draw, and also

C) It could guarantee Annihilate 3 instead of 2.

It would be a beautiful fit here. I'm really trying to keep the overall price of this deck to a minimum as a kind of concept, but it's just too good and so I might be willing to bend on it if I can trade/find cheap copies. As it stands right now, however, a full playset of Entomb is easily equal or greater than the entire cost of the rest of the deck. Still, I'd probably drop some things to fit these in were I to acquire them.

I'd certainly welcome any other input or suggestions, though -- and as always, upvotes are always appreciated!


Updates Add

This deck hit #26 (now up to #12) in the rankings! Also #1 in Legacy now too!

Big shout-out and thank you's to everyone for the support, comments, suggestions, and likes!

I genuinely hope some of you are using this build to wreak havoc in your Legacy playgroups! I know it sure did 6 years ago when I built it (and it still does) haha...

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