Stu's Modern Picks for SCG Baltimore
Welcome back everyone! It has been an excited few weeks starting with the Felidar Guardian banning, then 2 of my friends, Gerry Thompson and Kevin Jones, winning major tournaments and finally some new Commander cards leaking out today! However, this Memorial Day weekend I am going to be in sunny Baltimore, the city of delicious crab legs and poor taste in sports teams for the SCG Modern Open. I have narrowed down my deck choices quite a bit so I am going to go over what I am looking to play.
This is the deck I have been playing for the longest in Modern. It is the only real graveyard deck in the format. Living End brings creatures back from the Graveyard but that is more of a byproduct of cycling to find a cascade card and it doesn’t stop working if the graveyard is taken away. Dredge NEEDS the graveyard to be active which is one of its biggest strengths and weaknesses. The hate cards for Dredge range from very good to almost unplayable. A well timed Rest in Peace can be game over and Ravenous Trap is a free spell that is very hard to play around. Cards like Grafdigger’s Cage, Scavenging Ooze, and Surgical Extraction are all too slow or do not do enough. Grafdigger’s Cage you can keep building up resources until you are ready to remove it, Ooze is vulnerable to any number of removal spells and Surgical cannot answer the redundancy the deck can provide.
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Dredge can naturally prey on the fair decks of the format, such as the various control decks, fair midrange decks and aggro decks. Those decks are supposed to be able to grind out matchups, but nothing grinds better than a deck that just needs to reveal a Narcomoeba or hit a land drop and all of suddenly can put 10+ power back on to the board. Its own sideboard cards can be quite potent too. Collective Brutality and Gnaw to the Bone give the aggressive decks fits. Abrupt Decay and Nature’s Claim can stop most hate cards. Darkblast lets you eat away at Affinity and Raven’s Crime can combine with Life from the Loam to eat away at the card advantage engines.
I recently purchased a $27,000 collection that was basically every deck in Legacy and Modern. I have not had the pieces to Ad Nauseum even though it is high on my list of decks I want to play. First of all, you get to play the Temple lands in modern. Those are probably my favorite lands they have printed in a long time even though the Cycling lands from Amonkhet are also really sweet. The deck is just trying to assemble Angel’s Grace or Phyrexian Unlife and Ad Nauseum to draw the entire deck to find Lightning Storm and finish off the opponent that way. Out of the sideboard you have Laboratory Manic as an alternate win condition. The deck does not care too much what the opponent is doing. It does not need to rely on the graveyard like normal Storm combo does or hit a critical mass of Artifacts like the Ironworks combo decks. That makes this deck far less susceptible to hate cards. Being able to draw the deck also lets you find your own answers like Echoing Truth to answer something like Chalice of the Void or Leyline of Sanctity.
Target: Your Face.
I am leaning more towards Ad Nauseum than Dredge because post-board the Dredge games can be a bit of a grind I am not sure I want to face 15 rounds of that kind of grind. I once went deep with High Tide and I have to say that much math and comboing will take a toll after a long day. You constantly have to be doing math, which I enjoy, but you are doing it for long periods of time instead being able to have a brief respite during your opponent’s turns. One of the cascade decks could be in play for me as well but I probably will not make that decision until later tonight before the tournament. If you are attending SCG Baltimore or just enjoying the holiday, I hope you have a great weekend!
Thanks for reading!
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