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Bazaars Over Baghdad

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My favorite thing about Vintage is the decks you look over two or three times and still can’t begin to understand. It turns into an awesome puzzle, where some cards and interactions are very familiar, but there are others I’ve never seen played in the format before. Understandably, this crazy brew from vaughnbros14 made me cackle with glee:


Let’s start with what I was able to figure out. This is a dredge deck: four copies each of Serum Powder and Bazaar of Baghdad make it abundantly clear. But while most dredge decks are made up of Dredgers, Bazaars, and combo pieces, this deck makes space for a large number of mana-producing lands and actual spells like Life from the Loam, which is a little wonky. The key strategy here is to use Bazaar of Baghdad in combination with Dredge creatures to begin flipping your deck into your graveyard. Then you shred your opponents hand with Cabal Therapy, unearthing Fatestitcher to untap Bazaar, and Dread Return-ing Sun Titan to buy back more Bazaars.

You end the game by Dread Return-ing an Angel of Glory's Rise. The Angel will bring back both Laboratory Maniac and Azami, Lady of Scrolls, and you’ll try to draw two cards with an empty library to end the game, which forces your opponent to have at least two removal spells at the ready to prevent the kill.

So what makes this deck so interesting? The Life from the Loam package gives you the ability to Strip Mine lock your opponent or dig into Karakas to lock Oath of Druids players out of Griselbrand. It also provides the ability to play Dark Depths plus Thespian's Stage out of the sideboard, which is an enormously powerful option to have available.

The addition of Blue cards like Fatestitcher gives you the ability to play Ancestral Recall and Force of Will to fight unfair decks, alongside main deck Leyline of the Void to beat up on other graveyard decks in the format. I also think it’s interesting how the combination of dredgers is set up to ensure you can empty your library exactly, since you aren’t allow to Dredge away more cards than are currently in your library.

All told, the deck seems a turn or two slower than typical Dredge, largely due to the inconsistency of playing a lower density of Stinkweed Imps. However, in exchange you gain a powerful Life from the Loam engine to help win games you might not be able to otherwise and to assist in casting a spell like Ancestral Recall. Also, there’s a Torrent Elemental in here I still haven’t figured out. Besides its ability to be cast after being exiled to Serum Powder or some other graveyard hate, the card just seems like an awkward backup win condition if your graveyard gets hated on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cute interaction. I just can’t help but feel like I’m missing some bigger picture, and I absolutely love it.

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