Matchup Mulligan: Dredge

Grixis Control Final Hand Answer

Hand 10: (on the draw)

Ad Nauseam Rite Of Flame Rite Of Flame Lions Eye Diamond Chrome Mox Duress Lotus Petal

Keep

I would likely keep this hand, but I wouldn't just jam on the first turn if I drew a land. I would cast Duress. Your opponent likely has Flusterstorm, Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek, and Force of Will, putting them very close if not over the 50% chance of action benchmark — at this point you're playing a coin-flip. If they don't have the discard spells, they likely have the counterspells. I would try to go Duress into a turn two win, assuming we draw well and hit lands. It's a bit risky, but I think it's worth it.

Dredge

Pre-board

Hand 1: (on the draw)

Duress Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Underground Sea DarkRitual Bloodstained Mire Swamp

Mulligan

Discard is super valuable, but really only on the play. On the draw, you're putting yourself at a massive disadvantage by keeping a hand like this as those discard spells are most likely blank cards. The exception to this is if your Dredge opponent mulligans into oblivion, which that deck tends to do. The other part of this hand being unplayable is that you're going to have to spend lots of time removing those discard spells from their hand AND finding a real action spell. It's worth noting that Thoughtseize has the real downside of possibly putting a Dredge creature in their graveyard.

 

Hand 2: (on the play)

Duress Lions Eye Diamond Lotus Petal Chrome Mox Ponder DarkRitual Polluted Delta

Keep

This is pretty close to an ideal hand, you're able to lead off on a discard spell and then lay out your artifact mana. One of the easiest ways to win this match-up is to sit on artifact mana and then play off of the top of your library waiting to draw into a "tutor effect." This hand gives you the decision of casting Ponder or imprinting it onto Chrome Mox before passing the turn, I would lean on keeping the Ponder in hand and then casting it on turn two in order to set up a turn 3 kill hopefully. If you're forced to shuffle and draw a non-business spell, I would highly recommend imprinting the Chrome Mox rather than sitting with something like Dark Ritual or Rite of Flame in hand.

 

Hand 3: (on the draw)

Rite Of Flame Lotus Petal Chrome Mox Duress Empty The Warrens Badlands Island

Mulligan

Unfortunately, Empty the Warrens is pretty bad in this match-up — Goblins aren't exactly winning the tribal war against Zombies. This hand also has the trap of Duress on the draw.

 

Hand 4: (on the play)

DarkRitual DarkRitual Ponder Brainstorm Chrome Mox Lions Eye Diamond

Keep

This hand goes back to a common theme in these articles, I'm a believer in potential. While you need a black mana source and an Infernal Tutor to win quickly enough to be relevant, I think I like these chances more. I don't think your five card hand is going to offer you more than this six-card hand. I would personally cast Ponder over the Brainstorm. I understand the appeal of hiding cards on top and then playing out artifact mana, but I think it's wishful thinking with a hand like this. I'd rather have the option of seeing a fourth card if what I need isn't on top of the library.

 

Hand 5: (on the draw)

Infernal Tutor Lions Eye Diamond Lions Eye Diamond Chrome Mox Lotus Petal BurningWish Thoughtseize

Keep

All day. You can't mulligan a turn-one kill based on being on the draw, even in your opponent's Cabal Therapy deck. You just need to accept it if your opponent gets you, if not, you're going to win.

 

Post-board

Website recommendation for sideboarding

 

Hand 6: (on the play)

DarkRitual Cabal Ritual Past In Flames Ponder Duress Bloodstained Mire Polluted Delta

Keep

I like this hand a lot, it has disruption, cantrips for finding business, and a discard-resilient back-up plan. I think it's important to think about how games will play out, not every game in these match-ups is a turn-one goldfish "kill you." I could see this being a turn three kill after disrupting your opponent's somewhat fragile deck.

 

Hand 7: (on the draw)

Infernal Tutor BurningWish Ponder Thoughtseize Volcanic Island Island Bloodstained Mire

Mulligan

This hand is just too slow and doesn't do anything, once again, think about how this game plays out. Your discard is weak on the draw, you don't have any fast mana sources, you're going to have to spend a lot of time floundering where any average Dredge draw will beat you. I'd feel much more comfortable with an average six card hand.

 

Hand 8: (on the play)

Rite Of Flame Chrome Mox Lions Eye Diamond BurningWish Polluted Delta Past In Flames

Keep

At a certain point you need to consider that your best shot at winning might not be the most probable. For this reason, I would keep this hand and just jam Goblins on the first turn. While ten Goblins most likely won't get there, it's likely a higher chance at success than an average five-card hand. I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for shipping this, but I don't think that's the correct line.

 

Hand 9: (on the draw)

Rite Of Flame DarkRitual DarkRitual Lions Eye Diamond Lotus Petal Chrome Mox Chrome Mox

Keep

Like I said, I'm a believer in potential. I don't mind playing off the top of the deck if it gives me a chance at winning where an average hand doesn't.

 

Hand 10: (on the play)

Ad Nauseam Brainstorm Ponder Underground Sea Thoughtseize BurningWish Bloodstained Mire

Share your answer in the comments below!

I'll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 as well as 9 Star City Games Top 8s (2 wins). You can often find him traveling the northeast in search for the next big event, he recently won SCG: Worcester and is the Legacy Premier League Season 3 Champion! Outside of M:TG he's an avid New York Mets fan, graphic designer, pop-punk enthusiast, and doggo aficionado. Bryant Cook is the owner and president of The EPIC Storm.