dredge mtg

MTG Keywords Explained: Dredge

Card Kingdom Strategy

Today, we’ll review the most controversial graveyard mechanic in Magic: The Gathering: Dredge!

What is Dredge?

Dredge may be a powerful mechanic, but it’s actually pretty simple in practice.

If a card with dredge is in your graveyard, and you would draw a card for any reason, you may instead return the card with dredge to your hand by putting a number of cards equal to the dredge number from your library into your graveyard. So, if you have a Stinkweed Imp in your graveyard, you could put the top five cards of your library into your graveyard and return it to your hand.

A few rules clarifications:

  • You can replace any instance of card draw with a dredge, not just the card you draw for turn. If you cast a spell that allows you to draw two cards, and you have two cards with dredge in your graveyard, you can dredge them both!
  • You cannot dredge if the number of cards in your library is less than the dredge number.
  • Once you decide to replace a draw by dredging, it’s too late for anyone to respond by trying to remove the card from your graveyard.

Why Dredge is Powerful

So, you may be wondering, why is dredge so busted? Mainly, it’s because dredge can enable some incredible graveyard synergies.

Some cards have effects when they’re put into your graveyard from your library, and dredge decks love them. Dredge decks can drain opponents with Creeping Chill without paying four mana each time. They can put Narcomoebas onto the battlefield, which will trigger cards like Prized Amalgam.

Dredge decks are the best homes for cards like Dread Return. Their cheap, expendable creatures will come back from the graveyard again and again.

But the scariest thing about Dredge decks is how fast they are. These decks can fill up their graveyards in the first few turns with creatures like Stitcher’s Supplier and Satyr Wayfinder. Then, they can start dredging by casting cheap card draw spells like Cathartic Reunion. Faithless Looting serves both purposes!

Dredge decks effectively empty their entire libraries into their graveyards, then take their pick of powerful effects. Dredge plays from an entirely different angle, and it’s one of the most explosive decks you’ll come across.

Looking to add some dredge cards to your graveyard decks? Browse the cards on our site!