Dredge Final Hand Answer
Hand 10: (on the play)
This isn’t a fast hand, which is an issue. That said, you’re on the play with a discard spell on the first turn which should buy you a little bit of time. What’s interesting with this hand to me is that it encourages out-of-the-norm cantripping. On the second turn, I would not cast Brainstorm which is unintuitive to some people. How you win this match-up is on the back of Ad Nauseam and not much else, you need to protect it. You can do this by holding your Brainstorm! Not to mention, even if you cast Brainstorm on the second turn you’re still very far from winning. Which makes holding the Brainstorm make much more sense.
I would cast Ponder off of the Underground Sea. Even if you find a discard spell, you’re likely not going to cast it here unless you risk death. If you’re in a situation where you need both discard and a “ritual effect” I would fetch first. What this accomplishes is two things, the first is marginally thinning your deck to improve your odds. The second thing is if you do manage to find both a discard spell and let’s say Dark Ritual, you don’t need to shuffle away the top card away in an effort to cast the discard spell.
Turn three is likely where you want to win this a hand like this. If you don’t have the resources to cast Ad Nauseam, cross those fingers and then cast Brainstorm.
Hand 1: (on the play)
Starting off with a close one! When I was drafting this hand, I initially made it a mulligan — that’s how close this hand is. On the draw, I think this hand is a mulligan. It’s very slow and far away from doing anything actually meaningful. With having copies of Burning Wish, your most likely path to victory is through Empty the Warrens, which isn’t terrific in the match-up. Especially online, where everyone plays with The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale where in paper that card is drastically less common. These things said, you do have answers to both Gaddock Teeg and Chalice of the Void in a pair of Burning Wish, which should not be underestimated. Having the time granted by Burning Wish, gives your cantrips the flexibility and ability to shape this hand into something meaningful which I believe is the tipping point in making this hand a reasonable choice to keep.
Hand 2: (on the draw)
While having effects such as Thoughtseize and Duress is great on the play, it’s pretty awful on the draw. The reason is Mox Diamond allows any card that’s relevant against us to come down on the first turn, it’s fairly rare that these are valuable on the draw unless you’re hitting a copy of Green Sun’s Zenith. Even without the discard spells being underwhelming in this position, the hand is simply too clunky. Not to mention the fear of Wasteland or locking yourself from your secondary colors with basic Swamp.
Hand 3: (on the play)
Being explosive in this match-up is very good. But you also need to be able to actually cast your spells, this hand is fool’s gold. It’s very tempting as a perfect Brainstorm could allow you to combo, that said, the odds are incredibly low. What’s more realistic is hitting two lands and then making Goblins on the second turn, but even if you do that, it’s going to be for a lower number. That’s the realistic best case, what’s likely to happen is a whiff and a concession.
Hand 4: (on the draw)
Best case scenario? You draw a free spell. That’s 8 Goblins on the draw, which isn’t likely enough. I’d feel more comfortable with my chances on six.
Hand 5: (on the play)
A very good well-rounded hand. You have a first turn discard spell (off of a basic Swamp) to hit a possible Chalice of the Void, Gaddock Teeg, or Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Then on the second turn, you’re not far off from being able to cast Ad Nauseam. I’m a believer in potential, this hand certainly has it!
Hand 6: (on the draw)
Too much of a good thing can be bad, this is an example of that. With three to four answers for their disruption, you will find yourself losing the long-game eventually without having much else going on. While this hand is close, it needs to be more balanced.
Hand 7: (on the play)
A more balanced hand! Our previous hand was just a card or two off from being playable, this hand shows you how swapping a single card can make a difference. Which is why it’s a good thing to carefully analyze each opening hand for what it is, don’t always rely on muscle memory!
Hand 8: (on the draw)
While this hand loses to a Chalice of the Void on one, you can’t always play scared. This hand has the potential to be a quick combo, while disrupting the opponent, you’re really counting on the opponent to not have the hate-piece.
Hand 9: (on the play)
This hand simply doesn’t do anything, just because you’ve already mulliganed once doesn’t mean you should be scared and not do it again. A five card hand is likely better than this.
Hand 10: (on the draw)
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I’ll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!