With Pauper’s popularity exploding across the community, many stores have started holding paper events. Although paper Pauper events are not yet supported by WotC, that hasn’t stopped my store from holding their own events! So in preparation for this, I will be sharing with all of you my favorite deck in the format: Dredge.
Today we will go over the basic strategy of Dredge but with a few personal tweaks I’ve made to it.
So without further ado, let’s get into the deck list:
4 Viscera Dragger
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Hooting Mandrills
4 Putrid Imp
4 Wild Mongrel
1 Ambusph Viper
4 Grisly Salvage
3 Grapple with the Past
2 Ghastly Demise
4 Commune with the Gods
1 Chainer’s Edict
4 Jungle Hollow
4 Evolving Wilds
Viscera Dragger: An overall great card. We can cycle it for two mana, then either unearth it, or use it to play our delve creatures. It’s also a card we are OK with discarding to cards like Wild Mongrel or Grisly Salvage since we can still get value out of it.
Stinkweed Imp: Even though this is the only Dredge card in the deck, it is still a very powerful effect to have. Just one use of Stinkweed Imp‘s Dredge ability is enough to almost cast any of our Delve creatures for one mana. Stinkweed Imp is also useful for blocking the ever present Delver of Secrets once it flips and starts swinging, as one of Stinkweed Imp‘s abilities basically gives it Deathtouch.
Gurmag Angler & Hooting Mandrills: The main goal of the deck is to fill up our graveyard, so we can cast these creatures for only one mana. Gurmag Angler is slightly bigger and will beat almost any creature in a one on one fight. While Hooting Mandrills is slightly smaller but has the added bonus of trample.
Putrid Imp & Wild Mongrel: Both of these cards allow us to put cards we want directly into our graveyard to fuel our delve creatures, and they also get a nice bonus themselves. Wild Mongrel can get out of hand in an instant, and can even sometimes protect itself with its color changing ability.
Ambush Viper: This card is my secret weapon. It is two mana to kill any attacking creature that doesn’t have some kind of evasion. The main strength of Ambush Viper is its ability to kill black creatures like opposing Gurmag Anglers.
Chainer’s Edict: This card is best used against decks such as Bogles, as they typically only play a single creature.
Evolving Wilds: Filling our graveyard and fixing our mana at the same time! What more could we ask for (besides better color fixing).
As always, your sideboard will vary depending on your local meta, but for reference here is my current one:
Pauper Dredge Sideboard
2 Sultai Scavenger
2 Ambush Viper
3 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Cower in Fear
1 Chainer’s Edict
Sultai Scavenger: Useful for decks that throw out a lot of chump blockers as it let’s us still get some damage in.
What to swap it with: Chainer’s Edict is the first to go as they can sac their worst creatures. Wild Mongrel and some of our targeted removal may also be weak in these matchups.
Ambush Viper: Great for the mirror match, as it can easily kill opposing Gurmag Anglers, but you need to be wary of creature removal and decks with lots of evasion. This card can also be used in conjunction with Grapple With the Past if we need more removal and it can be picked when we cast Grisly Salvage or Commune With the Gods, but we usually have a better choice.
What to swap it with: Ghastly Demise is a great card, but it can’t be used against black creatures. You can also swap out Chainer’s Edict if you don’t like the option it gives your opponent. You could also switch out Grapple With the Past if you feel you need to play more aggressively.
Naturalize: The main reason we play this card is because most graveyard hate is usually in artifact form. This makes us force our opponent to use a card like Tormod’s Crypt when it isn’t that good for them.
What to swap it with: As all colors have access to artifacts, this one is heavily dependent on the matchup. So just cut whatever feels like the weakest link.
Gnaw to the Bone: This card is great against aggro. Since we are filling our graveyard with creatures constantly, this can give us loads of life.
What to swap it with: As always, if you opponent is playing loads of insignificant creatures, Chainer’s Edict is useless. You may also want to switch out Grapple With the Past, as it is more of a late game card.
Cower in Fear: Great against decks that play tiny creatures, and it can also be used to help ours win against a once equal force.
What to swap it with: Most likely Targeted removal Chainer’s Edict.
Duress: Great against combo decks that need a specific card to function. Just make sure you know what you’re up against before you use it.
What to swap it with: What you swap out really depends on the specific matchup.
Chainer’s Edict: I’m going to be honest with all of you, 98% of the time this card is trash, and it lets your opponent choose what dies, but the 2% of the time it works it’s amazing. Switch the extra one in on any deck that plays a very small amount of creatures or ones you can’t target.
What to swap out: Whatever removal is the least effective in the matchup.
Some other cards of note include:
Death Rattle: A delve kill spell, but it can’t be used on green creatures, and I’d rather use my graveyard to cast creatures.
More sac effects: If Bogles or a similar deck is common in your meta, you may want to run more of these. Other than more copies of Chainer’s Edict, you could also run Geth’s Verdict or Diabolic Edict.
Trespasser’s Curse: This card could be game winning against aggro decks. It’s too new to be sure, but worth trying out if you have the time.
But what do you think? Do you have any suggestions on how we could improve this deck list? What Pauper decks do you like playing? Do you enjoy the Pauper format and think we should keep talking about it? If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to say something in the comments section below.