Not so long ago, I was excited every time a new card for my Zombie Loam deck was released. But then, Dredge got very good again and everybody caught it to the hype so it wasn't as exciting anymore.
For more than a few months now, my Stinkweed Imps and Bloodghasts had been staying in a box, not knowing if they would see the light of the day again (not necessarily a good thing for a Vampire Spirit, anyway) as decks like Hollow One and Bridgevine were stealing the show. It was hard to imagine something would wake Dredge up from its torpor. But then Creeping Chill happened and all hopes were possible!
Yes, Dredge is back, and it's good again. Creeping Chill gives Dredge the turn it needs to compete with what used to be faster combo decks like Storm, and the reach to enable your Bloodghasts to attack earlier.
Riley wrote a whole article about the card here. The version I posted is close to the list you'll see pretty much everywhere. The only few differences are having 20 lands instead of 19. I like Dakmor Salvage enough for it to replace a Life from the Loam. I want to have a better chance to have two lands in my starting hand and the option to dredge a land when I need one in the midgame to bring back my Bloodghast. The difference between having one and zero is huge, so I don't think I would ever consider not running at least one.
Darkblast is a lot more versatile than Golgari Thug. Being able to kill a Thalia without having to wait for your third land against Humans is important in the matchup. Against Infect, Hardened Scales, Elves… you have access to the most efficient creature removal. I like to go up to four after sideboard as well. Playing two in the main deck frees two sideboard slots as well.
There's also the option to play it on turn one and start dredging on turn two if your opponent has a target. And don't forget also that it's a way to kill your own Bloodghasts at instant speed to prevent them from being exiled (Path to Exile, Anger of the Gods), bring back a Prized Amalgam, cancel the potential lifegain from a lifelink creature blocked like Vault Skirge, Wurmcoil Engine… Is it worth giving up a dredge 4 for a dredge 3 for this kind of upside? In my opinion, absolutely.
I've been advocating this since the dawn of time, but no one seems to agree with me. That might be a sign that I'm wrong, but I do believe I have this one right. Nature's Claim is a versatile way to get rid of Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void. However, when your plan involves draining your opponent for three and burning them out with Conflagrate, making them gain four life is not optimal. You need to have it in your hand to cast it, which is a problem if your opponent discards it with a Thoughtseize for example, but most importantly, if you're not holding one in your hand once you start dredging, there's no way you'll ever find an enchantment removal in the game, ever.
Ray of Revelation gives you the option to cast it from your graveyard to destroy a Rest in Peace in response to the trigger. Sure, you'll still lose your graveyard, but it won't be as bad as if you had to play against it the whole game. With Shriekhorn and more dredge effects, it won't take long to refill it anyway. You also have the option to get rid of two enchantments, which is relevant against Martyr Life (Runed Halo, Rest in Peace, Ghostly Prison) and Bogles. It requires you to play a white source in the sideboard so you have the option to hardcast it (necessary against Leyline of the Void), which isn't too big of a deal.
I expect Dredge to make a splash in Modern again and I may very well bring it to GP Atlanta next weekend. In the meantime, enjoy the videos!