You know the old saying where it's not about whether or not you can do something, it's about whether or not you should?
Yeah, on Mining Modern we aren't having any of that nonsense. So when someone proposes a wonderfully ridiculous idea to me, all that matters is whether or not we can do it. And you know what? We have the technology.
Even for Manaless Dredge.
Let's get this out of the way—this is not a "competitive" Modern deck, per se, but it was certainly an interesting deckbuilding experiment and one I thought had some value even if the deck wasn't a revelation (though we did win some matches).
Let's digest what we have. The deck breaks down into three parts: dredgers, payoffs and enablers. Of course, so many things in this deck fill multiple roles, so I'll try to break it down. From the top, the plan is never mulligan below seven cards—Serum Powder helps us cheat this a bit—and always take the draw. You draw up to eight cards, and then discard to hand size. Preferably, you pitch Phantasmagorian.
That allows you to get your dredge cards into the graveyard, and every draw after that—either in your draw step or from Mishra's Bauble or Street Wraith—allows you to fill the graveyard with stuff. That includes the usual dredge goodies like Prized Amalgam, Narcomoeba and Creeping Chill, but it also means Vengevine. Combine that with the six zero-cost artifact creatures—which also enable a fun one-of in Salvage Titan—and you have an engine that essentially replaces lands, Bloodghast and Conflagrate for a Vengevine package as well as added value in Bridge from Below. The overall result is undoubtedly worse than normal Dredge, but when the deck was pitched to me I thought it was a unique idea to build around, and it did spark my interest in a few places.
For instance, one of the things I found was the synergy between zero-cost artifact creatures—say, Walking Ballista or Hangarback Walker—as well as Salvage Titan, Vengevine and Bridge from Below opened up some interesting avenues. Imagine a deck that could reliably fill the 'yard with copies of Vengevine and Bridge from Below and then play the zero-drop artifacts (that also are good if played fairly), while also maybe throwing in Salvage Titan to tie its pieces together. I have no idea what such a deck might look like, and it's probably an idea that would lead nowhere, but it's the kind of thing that shows the value of deckbuilding exercises like this. Decks like pre-ban Amulet Bloom or KCI or Hardened Scales didn't start out as the powerhouses they became—people explored their wacky ideas and kept working at it until eventually something stuck. That's exactly where Mining Modern lives, and it's why I enjoyed this week's episode.