Casual/Legacy Player Since: 1997

MTG Arena Player Since: 2019 (ADD ME: Apollo_Paladin#83413)

My Favorite Color(s) to Use: (though I do dabble with others)

  • Black/White

  • Mono-White

  • Mono-Black

  • Mono-Green

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@ cheffireball

Hey, those could be fun to play around with on the Sideboard for sure. I definitely don't think I want to add in too many "protection" and "what-if" type cards to the Main Deck, as doing so will dilute my win strategy in this budget build - however I really appreciate you keeping your suggestions budget; a lot of what I've been looking at with this build are ways to take it to a more expensive category...but I'd be lying if I said that part of the allure of this deck wasn't how affordable it was.

There's something so satisfying about stomping the life out of a 6-700 dollar deck using one so inexpensive.

I'd be very curious to hear how a build with some of these changes fares (particularly, against what type of deck). In actual practice within my normal playgroup, the deck is strongest as-posted (literally hundreds of test-games by now to go by confirming this) but that is not to say there aren't other considerations to be made should the audience widen for it. Particularly once a group becomes familiar with it.

Path to Exile saw an inordinate amount of play in opponent's builds for a time (some splashed white just to run it & similar effects to try and counter this build) while this deck was in its heyday. I've since retired it from all but casual play with seasoned players, but that's not to say it couldn't see a comeback once FNM's start back up again!


May 14, 2021 5:02 p.m.

Also, if you've dropped the coin on Entomb s, then there are more "Gold Hands":

  • 1x Swamp, 1x Culling the Weak, 1x Entomb, and 1 of any GY-to-Play spell is a Gold Hand
  • 2x Swamp, 1x Entomb, and 1x Exhume is a Gold Hand

It's worth noting that both of these new Gold Hands with Entomb are also only 4 cards, not 5 like the others (since you don't need a creature off the draw); that's why I suggested dropping an annihilator instead of another card - but I'd have to playtest with it to be completely certain. Doing so would leave you a lot more options for protecting the combo (even Unearth is nice, since you can discard Dread Return via a discard creature, pull more lowbie target(s) from the GY with Unearth, and then use Dread Return's flashback so that you've never had to pay the original casting cost).

May 11, 2021 3:02 p.m. Edited.

If you regularly run into Leyline in builds, then absolutely sure. They aren't big in my playgroup at least with any real frequency.

May 11, 2021 2:46 p.m.

Bloodchief's Thirst would be an ideal choice for that instance I'd say. It needn't be an instant since if he comes out Turn 2 there's no mana to activate his ability till the next turn anyway.

May 11, 2021 3:04 a.m. Edited.

You could even try Sideboarding something like Kaya's Ghostform if you're super-worried about forced sacrifice options. It'd slow the build down, but it's not unworkable either.

May 10, 2021 1:55 p.m.

As far as what to drop for Entomb s (I don't have a playset of them, not dropping that kind of coin on paper cards anymore), I'd probably cut all 4 of the lowest-threat annihilators ( Ulamog's Crusher ) since it'll be less key having an annihilator off the draw with 4 Entombs in the deck - you really want Pathrazer of Ulamog ideally anyway.

I wouldn't remove any of the discard-ability creatures, as being able to get key cards into the GY is still important.

Also: DON'T forget to strategically Mulligan bad draws, this deck can function and win just fine even with 1 or 2 redraws to ensure you're getting what you need.

How many test games did you run? 20? 40? It could just be luck of the draw too unless you're well into the 30s at least; that's just unavoidable in Magic

May 10, 2021 1:46 p.m. Edited.

@ darkbuff

Yeah, if you read up in the comments I talk about vulnerabilities with this build (with ANY M:tG build really) in that if you've got a deck centered around countering your win strategy, it will no doubt throw off win/loss records.

If you're playtesting a speed dredge deck against a deck that's just loaded with cheap creature removals and GY exile...then I have no surprise whatsoever that you're having issues and swapping in Entomb will not help you.

In practice, I've found 1 or 2 decks that can give this deck a run for its money by slowing it down, but if you've got a deck that can not only A) Keep annihilators off the board, B) Offer cheap repeatable GY exile options, and C) Do both A and B while STILL having enough firepower left to mount a sufficient attack to win (not just slow the Dredge strategy down by a few turns), then you're likely playing a Budget Deck vs a Power Deck - and yeah sometimes that'll happen.

This build did remarkably well for me in FNM games at the card shop before the pandemic. When you're dealing with lots of other builds, against opponents who aren't necessarily familiar with the build, then it fares pretty amazingly I've found.

You mention a bad starting hand and I can't help but wonder if you're just not using the strategies properly. For one, with 5-card "Gold Hands", your odds of having NOTHING (like not even a step) towards your combo are exceedingly low. Beyond that, any creature removal that isn't direct Exile (like Swords to Plowshares or w/e) is only slowing the build down. I agree that forced creature sacrifice can be annoying, but this build also has loads of cards to return things out (also Not of This World for anything that targets an annihilator).

It sounds like you're either playing against one of the few deck types that can actually contend with this deck's strategy (more just by lucking into early board/GY control rather than by applying its own combos) or that you simply haven't run enough test games to get an effective baseline.

It's difficult for me to say which is the case w/o looking at the Deck you're referring to giving it problems, but even with 4x Withered Wretch in a build, my construction has statistically a much larger chance of being able to pull off the combo since I have multiple versions of each card that can be used to achieve it (3 different annihilator creatures, all 4x; and 2 different GY-to-Play options, Dread Return at 3x (which can be re-used for free from GY using weenie discard creatures) and Exhume at 4x.

I'm not trying to call you out or anything like that, but I really struggle to see how a deck not specifically designed to counter this one's combo can regularly keep up game after game.

May 10, 2021 1:41 p.m.

Yeah, any Turn 1 win combo is going to require a dream hand of 7 cards. Having my combos only require 5 cards means I get up to 3 hand draw tries per game to get something that looks decent to start with.

I'm not trying to pass judgements on decks I haven't myself played, but a required 7-card hand to pull off a combo sounds like a pretty slim chance as it its, and it would seem to me that without some kind of tutoring even taking a near-miss could be problematic.

I agree there aren't many solutions an opponent can muster for a Turn 1 win deck, but generally from what I've seen, unless you've got every card required to pull it off from the draw, you end up without much attack power at all (since you've got to save other key cards to still try & pull off the combo rather than being able to just play things out with a less-than-ideal hand). They're also generally far from Budget builds since they require very specific cards to pull off & don't leave much room for deviation/experimentation.

I hope my speed dredge build does well for you - let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions after you play a few dozen test games with it!

April 30, 2021 10:13 a.m. Edited.

In the most ideal conditions with this build, you're swinging with Pathrazer of Ulamog on Turn 3. Think from the opponent's side what that looks like. Sacrifice 3 permanents on Turn 3 (before you even get to declare blockers)...even if you've got 3 non-land permanents to use as fodder, that means you've spent out most of your hand already too.

If you DONT have cheap-cast permanents to use as fodder, then it's eating your lands...which is very difficult to come back from that early, especially since it's recurring each turn when you attack unlike more traditional Land Destruction-focused builds.

April 30, 2021 4:39 a.m. Edited.

The idea is similar to Dredging out Iona, except that she only prevents one color of spell being cast. If you can start eating lands early enough, you're essentially preventing ALL spells from being cast, regardless of color (even colorless) or other special condition.

April 30, 2021 4:33 a.m. Edited.

As far as Grisel, yeah card draw is great, but I think casting win conditions is better. I don't think he's worth including since the only reliable way to get him into play with this build is to Dredge him from the Graveyard - better to just pull an annihilator and start ravaging the opponent's permanents rather than just drawing more cards.

I guess I dont' see what utility he'd fill except to take up extra card slots (albeit with a card draw ability), it just seems like it'd muddle the key combo of the deck which is really preventing the opponent from doing anything so much as it is about swinging with a big creature early. None of these big creatures even have trample, meaning a measly 1/1 can prevent a turn's worth of damage from all except Pathrazer of Ulamog - the key here is if they do that, that means they've had to sacrifice other permanents to keep him out (likely lands, these are the real target with this build).

April 30, 2021 4:28 a.m. Edited.

@ darkbuff

This is a budget build as a concept deck, so I intentionally stayed away from high-dollar cards. In actual practice, I don't see many high-dollar cards that offer as good or as reliable an option as my current selections - with the exemption of Entomb . Entomb would be a stupid good fit here, but ordering a playset of those is easily equal (if not more) than the entire cost of the rest of the deck. Reanimate could fall into the same category, if you're not playing in a group where Mill decks or Discard decks are common, you might see better use out of this in place of Dread Return , but my main consideration with it is the budget not its functionality. Functionally it's beautiful, I just feel it opens the deck up to a wider audience using budget cards, and with Dread Return usable for zero mana from the GY (can discard it via a discard outlet creature, then sacrifice 3x low-mana weenie creatures to cast it). This can sometimes be useful if you want to say, pump up your vampires with Stromkirk Condemned , attack, and end the turn by sacrificing the vamps and pulling an Annihilator from the GY to set up the next turn.

As for the creatures, there's a lot of high-power creatures you can pick from if budget is no issue. Honestly though even something like Iona doesn't seem as reliable to me (not to suggest it's a bad choice either). Some of it is playgroup dependent, but in Legacy especially with a lot of the newer sets, Colorless stuff isn't unheard of. There's really no workaround an opponent can muster for Annihilator creatures, since even if something on their side has protection, it's a sacrifice not a targeted ability -- and also the main consideration for early board control, those other creatures cannot affect Lands.

These Annihilator creatures can usually cause an opponent to start losing at LEAST 1 land per attack phase, especially if you get them out early enough before they can cast too many things. There's not much coming back from a deck that's causing you to sacrifice your own lands on Turn 3 or 4 - hell, forced land sacrifice is even a workaround for high-dollar stuff like Cascading Cataracts and Lotus Field since the Indestructible/Hexproof effects are worthless against sacrifice.

April 30, 2021 4:24 a.m. Edited.

@ memdem

Thanks, I appreciate it! It's continuing to just stomp opponents - not bad Id say for a deck that's only seen 1 or 2 card additions/alterations in the 10 or so years since I first built it!

April 29, 2021 8:35 p.m.

Said on Dino Deck...


You need a more reliable way to self-trigger your own Enrage for that mechanic to be fully powerful.

I recently helped a friend on Arena with HIS dino deck, and Cinderclasm along with Spikefield Hazard  Flip appear to be the two best self-enrage-trigger options available on Arena. Cinderburn will trigger all of your enrage at once, and with Spikefield, it can double as a land so you're not stuck devoting a massive portion of your deck to tiny direct-damage spells (which aren't all that effective in many cases, save for self-triggering Enrage on your own guys).

There's also stuff like Shock which has a few printings that are legal & available on Arena, but with 2-damage effects you run a greater risk of an opponent themselves having a Shock or similar spell, and being able to finish off one of your Enraged dinos for very little cost/effort.

Additionally, and it can depend some on creature choices, but his Enrage build didn't have many options for dealing with Flying at first, so Arachnoform and Collision / Colossus both each got 2-3 copies added into his deck as well.

I'd look into that as Polyraptor could be cool if you added in some more copies, but without a reliable trigger he's not that great. There's also quite a few nice Red/green enrage dino options you could add in to help make it more streamlined and have better synergy.

Good luck & Nice build! +1

April 28, 2021 6:31 p.m. Edited.

@ darkbuff

Not especially, no. I mean, in lieu of having other cards in my build it could work, but it's nowhere near as mana-efficient as my current Discard/Dredge combo(s).

Nevertheless, I enjoy the card immensely just because Exodus has a lot of nostalgic cards. Back in the era when it was new, Recurring could be seriously OP, but anymore there's far quicker/better ways of achieving this effect in my opinion.

Figure, especially with this deck, you'd be using the effect on Recurring Nightmare the same turn it enters play (if you're aiming for optimal efficiency with this build), so it's effectively a 3-mana GY-to-Play option.

Mana-wise that isn't awful, but Exhume is only 2CMC and Dread Return while being 4CMC is included because it can be cast from the GY for zero mana (just the weenie creature costs). Also, I've got a playgroup where Enchantment Hate isn't all that uncommon, so I don't see a ton of benefit of using it here. Consequently, this is also why I have Animate Dead sideboarded instead of in the Main Deck; one Light of Hope (or similar card) and it's trouble. In practice Enchantments with this build just haven't been reliable.

Give it a try though! If it works out I'd be curious to hear how it went. I'm always curious to hear about variants on my build here!

April 28, 2021 2:59 p.m.


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Finished Decks 17
Prototype Decks 5
Drafts 0
Playing since Revised Edition
Points 615
Avg. deck rating 12.18
T/O Rank 80
Helper Rank 20
Favorite formats Legacy, Modern, Casual, Arena, Historic
Suppressed formats Pre-release, Heirloom, Commander / EDH, Noble, Hero, Block Constructed, Duel Commander, Tiny Leaders, Highlander, Penny Dreadful, Frontier, Leviathan, 1v1 Commander, Pauper EDH, Canadian Highlander, Brawl, Oathbreaker, Pioneer
Good Card Suggestions 182
Last activity 2 days
Joined 3 years