It’s a Dredgedy – 37th out of 1,345 with Dredge at GP Ghent

Hello and welcome back to my article cycle about Dredge. Today I’ll be writing a tournament report about the Legacy Grand Prix in Ghent. Of course I played Dredge (decklist here, for reference) because it’s the only deck I feel most confidant with while playing. And you need confidence at the Grand Prix.

Luckily we met a guy named Tom in Annecy, France while playing the Bazaar of Moxen tournaments in May this year, who offered us a place to stay in Ghent. Thanks again for your great hospitality, Tom! It was a really nice experience.

With the same four guys (Timo Schünemann, Pierre Liebsch, Julian Hecker, and me) who traveled together to Annecy for the Bazaar of Moxen, we made our way to Ghent. After arriving there at about 8 or 9 pm on Thursday, together with our host Tom and his friends we all went to the “Gentse Feesten,” one of the largest fairs in Europe. It was a really great evening full of laughter, fun, music and Belgian beer (mmmm, Belgian beer!).

On Friday morning at least Julian was really destroyed. At around noon we headed to the GP side to play a few single elimination 32 person Grand Prix Trials. I, for one, attended two GPTs just to lose both in the first round. The same was true for the Chaos draft I played. Actually it was a pretty bad day, Magic-wise. And as always, I have to start a big tournament once again without any byes. I haven’t even earned enough Planeswalker Points for at least one bye…

Day 1 at Grand Prix Ghent

At Saturday morning the main event is about to start pretty early. Well then, let’s do this again and take a good showing without any byes at a big tournament! All in all there were 1,345 players playing in the main event.

Round 1 vs. Bernard Bom (Netherlands) with U/W Miracle Control
Game 1: He Swords to Plowshares two of my Ichorids, but in the end it wasn’t enough because I had too many creatures through Bridge from Below.
Game 2: I had to slow dredge by using the discard step. Luckily he played a Vendilion Clique targeting me and put one of my two Cabal Therapies in my hand on bottom of my library. With the draw I had now, I speed up filling my graveyard by dredging for 6. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to win this game, even though he helped me with his Clique. He won via a bunch of Angel tokens from Entreat the Angels.
Game 3: I was pretty fast. I won through a Terminus that he cast for its Miracle cost.

Games 2-1, Matches 1-0-0

Round 2 vs. Stefano Masciulli (Italy) with Sneak & Show
Game 1: He started with Show and Tell on turn 2. He put in a Griselbrand, and on my side a Stinkweed Imp entered the battlefield. The next turn he attacked into my Stinkweed Imp and lost his Griselbrand to it. But with his hand full of cards he managed it to play a Sneak Attack bringing an Emrakul the next turn and I’m dead.
Game 2: He was too fast for me and I just lost to the big guys.

Games 2-3, Matches 1-1-0

Round 3 vs. Joe Michael Foster (England) with Dredge
Game 1: Joe is really a nice guy, and it was fun playing the mirror against him. Luckily I was really experienced in playing the mirror and fortunately for me he didn’t find a Dread Return for his Elesh Norn (which would be game over for me), and I was able to kill him on my next turn before he could dredge further.
Game 2: He burned his two Narcomoebas, himself and me with Firestorm for four to remove my Bridges. Killing just one of his own Narcomoebas (he even didn’t get any tokens because he hasn’t got any Bridges of his own in his graveyard) would’ve been more than enough. After that I was able to use my Bridges from Below more effectively, and I killed him. It would have been trickier had he killed just one of his Narcomoebas, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Experience of in-game situations does pay off occasionally.

Games 4-3, Matches 2-1-0

Round 4 vs. Anton Kotov (Russia) with GW Maverick
Game 1: I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be and Stoneforge Mystic equipped with both Sword of Light and Shadow and Umezawa’s Jitte won him the game.
Game 2: I dredged tons of cards turn one and produced too many tokens for him to handle.
Game 3: He mulliganed all the way to four cards looking for hate, and I was able to kill him pretty fast.

Games 6-4, Matches 3-1-0

Round 5 vs. Bart van Eiten (Netherlands) with GW Maverick
Game 1: I had a pretty fast start that he couldn’t handle.
Game 2: He resolved a Wheel of Sun and Moon on turn two, targeting me. After that I wasn’t able to win this game because I haven’t boarded any enchantment removal in. Fail.
Game 3: See game one.

Games 8-5, Matches 4-1-0

Round 6 vs. Alessio Angeli (Italy) with RUG Delver
Game 1: He knew how to play his deck and has much faster start than me in both games.
Game 2: See game one.

Games 8-7, Matches 4-2-0

Round 7 vs. Daniel Ahlberg (Sweden) with Sneak & Show
Game 1: After he casts Show and Tell I took one hit by Emrakul just to block it in the next turn with a Narcomoeba, and then was able to counterattack for the win!
Game 2: I could have won this game had I not brainfarted. After he removed my graveyard, I was able to draw a Breakthrough. I cast it off my one land I had in play, while I’ve got three Lion’s Eye Diamonds in play. He played a Spell Pierce, targeting my Breakthrough…and I didn’t pay it with one Lion’s Eye Diamond. After I passed my turn, I died to Sneak Attack bringing two big guys into play. After the game I looked at the top four cards I would have drawn with the Breakthrough: there was one Dredge 6 and one Looting…
Game 3: I’m too fast for him and he hasn’t drawn any relevant counters, and I easily overwhelm him.

Games 10-8, Matches 5-2-0

Round 8 vs. Kristoffer Timm (Germany) with Belcher
Game 1: He quickly produced 16 Goblin tokens, but I was able to generate many blockers with sacrificed Ichorids and Narcomoebas, combined with Bridge from Below. After staying alive I was able to overrun him with the Zombie horde.
Game 2: He again drops 10 quick Goblin tokens on his first turn, and this time it’s enough to kill me fast enough before I can stabilize.
Game 3: Again he produces 12 quick tokens. Luckily I was able to produce enough blockers after getting hit once. I won the game on the back of Ichorids and Zombie tokens.

Games 12-9, Matches 6-2-0

Round 9 vs. Michael Kammer (Germany) with Sneak & Show
Game 1: I was quite tired at this point, but I somehow managed to this game easily through little or no hate.
Game 2: See game one.

Games 14-9, Matches 7-2-0

Finally, I made Day 2 at a Grand Prix! I’m one of three Dredgers who made it to Day 2. One of them is my friend Julian, the other one I don’t know. Taking into account that 54 people played the deck on Day 1, it is a quite disappointing performance for the Dredgers as a whole.

Day 2 at Grand Prix Ghent

Round 10 vs. Ciro Bonaventura (Italy) with RUG Delver
Game 1: I’m a bit faster than him and won through Zombie token and Ichorid beatdown.
Game 2: I came to the following situation: he has a flipped Delver (flipped revealing a Lightning Bolt), one Tarmogoyf and one Nimble Mongoose in play. I resolved a flashbacked Faithless Looting deciding which cards to discard. I know he still has got the Lightning Bolt in his hand to kill his Delver and remove my Bridges. There are two Bridges in my graveyard and I’m able to discard another one with the risk to lose it to the killed Delver. I take the risk and discard the Bridge, because I was able to get a few tokens out of my Bridges the turns before with killing his own Delver. I end my turn. “Ichorid dies?,” I asked. “Okay,” he said. “I get three tokens?,” I asked. “Okay,” he replied. And I’m back in the game with a bunch of tokens. In his turn he attacked with his Delver, which is blocked by one Narcomoeba to produce three tokens. In my next turn I was able to produce many tokens and kill him in the following turn.

Games 16-9, Matches 8-2-0

Round 11 vs. Ville Kaukoranta (Finland) with RUG Delver
Game 1: This game was a bit grindy because he knew how to play against the deck. He Stifled my Ichorid and Narcomoeba triggers, but in the end I was able to produce too many tokens and overwhelm him.
Game 2: I attacked him for 10 on turn three and he was dead shortly thereafter.

Games 18-9, Matches 9-2-0

Round 12 vs. Emanuele Marcotti (Italy) with Esper Blade
Game 1: He was able to resolve 5 (!) Swords to Plowshares (including Snapcaster flashbacks) by turn 4 and I couldn’t do anything, and slowly die.
Game 2: As I tried to resolve a Cabal Therapy and get tokens, he asked if I get the tokens when the Bridges are removed from the game. Of course I don’t get any. After about half a minute of thinking he said my Therapy and my token trigger are resolving. I named Surgical Extraction and hit. This was just a really horrible mistake he made and I won the game because of it.
Game 3: Swords, Extractions, and Snapcaster Mages combine to make it hard for me to get into the game, and he grinds me out.

Games 19-11, Matches 9-3-0

Round 13 vs. Alexandre Bonneau (France) with RUG Delver
Game 1: I had the faster clock, and Zombie tokens help me race.
Game 2: So has Extractions coupled with a very quick clock in and takes this one.
Game 3: He doesn’t see enough hate fast enough and I quickly overwhelm him.

Games 21-12, Matches 10-3-0

Round 14 vs. Lioc le Briand (France) with Reanimator
Game 1: He lands a second turn Reanimate on Elesh Norn and I’m pretty much instantly dead.
Game 2: I draw and keep quite a decent hand. First turn Looting, second turn Careful Study, Breakthrough, and he was dead before he could react.
Game 3: I started with Leyline of the Void and proceeded to win this game on back of my multiple drawspells. It was really great to win this horrible matchup for me.

Games 23-13, Matches 11-3-0

Round 15 vs. Jonathan Jung (France) with MUD
Game 1: He receives a game loss for being late, and we shuffle up without the benefit of sideboarding for the next game.
Game 2: He knew what I playing and I also knew he was on MUD. So he kept a hand of 6 with first turn Chalice of the Void for 1. I had to slow dredge for 4 because he made my two Putrid Imps on my hand really bad with his Chalice. In his next turn he played a Metalworker, followed by a Staff of Domination. Luckily he hasn’t got enough mana to go into the infinite loop. He had two other artifacts on his hand, he just needed another one to kill me. He casts a Lodestone Golem and Lightning Greaves just to attack me for 5. That was really good for me, because I wasn’t instantly dead if he drew another artifact. Then the following situation presents itself: he attacked with Lodestone Golem. My single creature, a Narcomoeba, was tapped due to an end of turn activation of his Staff. So the Staff is untapped again. I’m at 3 life and had to block the Golem. In his attacker step I activated the Cephalid Coliseum to find at least two Narcomoebas (one could be tapped by his Staff). And so I dredged two Narcomoebas; the second one was the last card I dredged. I double blocked his Golem – he hasn’t tapped one Narcomoeba – sin the hope to generate a few more tokens. “Both Narcomoeba die and I get tokens?,” I asked him. “Sure,” he replied. In this situation it would have been better to give one Narcomoeba the full 5 damage, but I don’t think he could have won the game from this point on. I generated many more tokens with Ichorid and won the game.

Games 25-13, Matches 12-3-0

Round 16 vs. Pietro Cavalletti (Italy) with Hypergenesis
Game 1: So, this is the match for Top 16. And what a match it was; at least the first game. This was the worst game ever. I needed at least 8 draw spells, including Breakthroughs, to find the first Dredger. And because of his really bad draws, I was able to win this game!
Game 2: I just got crushed. The second turn Show and Tell blew me out here.
Game 3: I get crushed again, this time on my second end of turn step (it wasn’t even his second turn) Hypergenesis.

Games 26-15, Matches 12-4-0

I ended up 37th out of 1,345 people, earned one Pro Point, and $200. I think I was the highest placing Dredger in the tournament. At least there wasn’t any in the Top 32, and Julian went 11-5-0.

I’m really pleased with my results lately. In almost every event I attend, I manage to break into the prizes, to help pay for trips and more.

After the 16th round my friends and I watched the Top 8 matches, where Timo Schünemann, the inventor of my list, won the finals with Ad Nauseam Tendrils!

All in all we had a really great time in Ghent. Thanks again for your hospitality Tom. And also thanks to all my opponents for the great games. It was a pleasure to meet you all. And of course thanks to my friends. You’re absolutely crazy and therefore I love you guys.

Until next time,