Thanks to Creeping Chill being printed in Guilds of Ravnica, Dredge is becoming a more popular archetype in Modern. Hating out graveyard-based decks is nothing new, but there's a lot of cards to consider when trying to pick the right one for the current meta and your deck. Here at Epicstream, we've taken a look at the best sideboard cards in Modern that give you an edge against Dredge decks.
In no particular order, here are our top 20 sideboard cards to beat Dredge in Modern:
Rest in Peace
Rest in Peace is one of the most powerful answers against Dredge in Modern. It exiles everything in the graveyard and stops anything from going into the graveyard until it is answered. The main downside to Rest in Peace is that it prevents your own graveyard strategies from working as well. That means no more Snapcaster Mage flashbacks, Tarmogoyf's dealing damage, etc...Advertisement
Relic of Progenitus
Relic cantrips and is colorless so it's a good addition to decks that want the card advantage. Relic is not a permanent answer to Dredge and will only act as a speed bump for a turn or two. You'll need to follow Relic up with pressure or more answers.
Surgical is helpful, but not a silver bullet. Hitting a Bloodghast can slow down their deck and buy you time. Surgical is probably best used alongside Snapcaster Mage, where you can flashback to take out multiple pieces.
Leyline of the Void
Leyline of the Void is an incredibly powerful card against Dredge. The best part about Leyline is that it only affects your opponent's graveyard. This means you can deploy it without harming your own Tarmogoyfs, Snapcaster Mages, or other cards that rely on your graveyard. You can run it in a deck that doesn't have black mana, but you'll have to aggressively mulligan to get it in your opening hand.
Tormod's Crypt provides a few advantages over other graveyard hate. It has zero CMC, which means any deck can utilize it without costing you tempo. It only hits one graveyard, so you can preserve your own. Finally, its ability can be used at instant speed (its cast at sorcery speed of course), so you can wait to deploy it until the best possible time.
This is a conditional Tormod's Crypt with a surprise factor. In general, Tormod's Crypt is probably the better card.
Bojuka Bog is great in decks that have land tutoring effects such as Amulet Titan.
Loaming Shaman is fantastic in a G/X deck that wants to stay aggressive in its sideboarding plan.
Jund Charm isn't your ideal answer vs Dredge. The main reason you would consider this is for its versatility. Being able to wipe the board of 2 toughness creatures can be powerful. It's worth considering, but ultimately, it is a weaker mass removal and a weaker answer to Dredge.
Like Jund Charm, Rakdos Charm is a weaker answer but provides some versatility.
Anger of the Gods
Anger of the Gods is a much stronger consideration than Jund Charm as it both exiles creatures and deals 3 rather than 2 damage. The main downside is that Dredge can hold their creatures in the graveyard and wait to one shot you if they can get you down to 10 life with a Conflagerate and hasty Bloodghasts.
Hallowed Moonlight is a niche card that is mostly a consideration because it cantrips. Most likely, this card is going to buy you one turn, which might be enough to make a difference. Rest in Peace is a much better answer to Dredge. Since it is an instant you can flash it back with Snapcaster Mage. You would more likely board this as an answer to Through the Breach, Aether Vial, and Collected Company decks while gaining some small fringe benefits against Dredge.
Anafenza, the Foremost
Anafenza is great in an aggressive Abzan deck. It provides a powerful anti-dredge effect while applying pressure on your opponent. The only way for them to deal with it is a Conflagrate for 4 or an Assassin's Trophy.
Grafdigger's Cage will halt Dredge decks in their tracks. You can even dig for it with Ancient Stirrings. The downside to Cage is that it lets your opponent continue to build their graveyard, so when they do draw their Assassin's Trophy or similar card to answer Cage, they will be able to kill you quite quickly with their graveyard toolbox.
Nihil is primarily used to preserve your own library while exiling your opponent's. It also draws a card.
Ooze isn't a silver bullet, but it provides an incremental advantage and pressure against Dredge. It's a bit slow, as you'll need to have green mana after casting it to start chipping away at your opponent's graveyard.
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Kalitas has some fringe playability. It's a 3/4 body with lifelink that can effectively block 2 creatures (blocking 1 Prized Amalgam and gaining life to neutralize the other). This will stop their attacks until they draw a Conflagrate or go over the top with Narcomoeba.
Wheel of Sun and Moon
Wheel of Sun and Moon is useful in decks That utilize cards like Tarmogoyf or Knight of the Reliquary. You get to keep your graveyard cards while hating out Dredge. Unlike Rest in Peace, this won't exile cards that are already in the graveyard, so you will have to watch out for enchantment removal.
Declaration in Stone
Declaration in Stone is White's Anger of the Gods. It's cheap and efficient removal that is good vs a variety of decks.
Bojuka Bog is going to be better most of the time. Grounds has some utility in that it taps for Colorless (Eldrazi decks might care), can use mana the turn it is cast, and its ability can be used at will (assuming you save 2 mana to use it).
Top 5 Picks
So what are the best of the best sideboard options? Here are my top 5 choices to board against Dredge:
1. Rest in Peace 2. Leyline of the Void 3. Grafdigger's Cage 4. Bojuka Bog (in decks that tutor lands) 5. Relic of Progenitus/Nihil Spellbomb (tie)
Honorable Mention: Surgical Extraction
What cards do you use to beat Dredge? Leave us a comment in the comment section below!