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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
May 15 2014 11:00am
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Information about Vintage Masters is starting to trickle out thanks to spoilers on the mothership and other sources.  We've seen cards like Arrogant Wurm and Circular Logic get changes in rarity already, moving from Uncommon to Commons, which will help infuse new life in to the Pauper format.  We've seen cards like Necropotence and Yawgmoth's Will, both Vintage staples spoiled, and of course since the set is printed with Limited in mind we get awesome new art for a card like Control Magic.  Throw in the Conspiracy cards, the dual lands and the Power Nine and right now we have a reprint set to be excited about! 

I do not have to sell you on the set, WotC does, and using a large card pool to build it with (if you do not know the card pool to build this set is every card that is not already Modern legal.)  is sure to give the MtGO player a robust limited experience, and a very good entry to Vintage, much like the old Master's Editions used to do for us!  It is really hard though to write a preview article for a card that has been around since 1993.  I mean I was 13 at the time, and months away from even picking up Magic the Gathering in the lunch room of my high school.  Arabian Nights came out in 1993.  Just thinking about that makes me feel old.  That's 21 years ago!  In Arabian Nights, we had some classic hits.  Elephant Graveyard, Library of Alexandria and City of Brass are among the best lands in the set  (as well as basic Mountain due to a production error.) but I feel like the card I am previewing is not only the best land in Arabian Nights, but also the best card in Vintage Masters!

I'm biased, and I'm okay with that!



Yes I think Bazaar of Baghdad is the best card in the set.  Yes, I play a lot of Dredge whenever it is possible in a format to do so!  Also, that new art is amazing to see!  I'm not sure if this is a reprint from cube art, but I cannot wait to have some of these in my collection!  While I may have a sentimental value attached to the old card frame, I feel like this version of the art just shows what an open air market would feel like.  The Arabian Nights version tries to do that, but I find myself drawn to the foreground more often than I would like, and I think it distracts from the marketplace feel. 

I'm not much of an art analyst.  I just like what I like! 

Bazaar of Baghdad is the engine to the powerful Dredge deck in the Vintage format.  You draw two and discard three.  That seems bad, but when it's combined with Stinkweed Imp and Golgari Grave-Troll all you're doing is kickstarting the engine to your combo deck.  You are adding fuel to the graveyard, which is where of course the Dredge deck shines.  Activate this with a stocked graveyard and chances are you're putting ten to twelve more cards into your yard, and putting some Narcomoebas into play.  You're giving food to Ichorid and making it easy to put Nether Shadow (if your list is running it.) into play. 

Heck the target audience for Vintage Masters knows how Dredge works.  I'm not going to insult your intelligence and provide my own personal primer on the deck, and explain anymore why Bazaar of Baghdad is great in it.  We all know why, it fuels the graveyard and allows you to explode out of the gates.  What I am going to do is supply you with a few lists to look at.  Vintage Dredge as I see it falls into two camps, there is the camp that wins with Flame-Kin Zealot creating a ton of hasty 3/3 zombies from Bridge from Below.  There is also the version that runs Griselbrand and wins with Laboratory Maniac.  The goal of both decks is the same.  Dump your library into your graveyard, and Dread Return your win condition.  Then win the game! 

Let's take a look at these lists. 

First up is the Griselbrand list of Dredge. 

Dredge by Charles Rolko
Team Serious Open 3-4th Place Griselbrand List.
4 Ichorid
4 Narcomoeba
4 Bloodghast
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
3 Golgari Thug
2 Laboratory Maniac
25 cards

Other Spells
3 Griselbrand
4 Dread Return
4 Cabal Therapy
2 Darkblast
4 Bridge from Below
4 Serum Powder
21 cards
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 City of Brass
4 Undiscovered Paradise
2 Gemstone Mine
14 cards

Bazaar of Baghdad

As you can see, the plan is mulligan until you hit Bazaar, then win.  You win this way by Dread Returning a Griselbrand, dredging (or drawing) some cards, adding most likely a disruptive Cabal Therapy to the graveyard to protect your win, which is to Dread Return and Laboratory Maniac.  When the Maniac is in play, you activate Griselbrand, and draw a card with an empty library which allows the Maniac to win the game.  

Here is a sample list of the Flame-Kin Zealot approach to winning. 

Again, your plan is to mulligan to Bazaar, find disruption to protect your combo, and win with a giant graveyard, this time turning zombies sideways!   Personally I like this version a little bit better.  It's closer to what I play in Legacy, and the sideboard in this version seems to be better suited against a robust format.  While both decks are clearly all in, glass cannon style decks, the Flame-Kin Zealot version to me seems to be better equipped to deal with a wide variety of hate. 

Dredge is not the only deck where Bazaar of Baghdad shines though.  Another graveyard based combo deck uses it as well.  Worldgorger Dragon is a neat combo deck, that uses Bazaar to great effect.  The game plan here is put the dragon into the graveyard and reanimate it with an Animate Dead or other enchantment like Dance of the Dead.  When it comes into play it removes everything on your side of the board, including the enchantment on it.  This is due to the Dragon's enter the battlefield trigger.  When the Animate Dead leaves play, the dragon goes to the yard, everything comes back, including the enchantment and you're free to tap your lands or moxen for mana, your Bazaar to fill your graveyard and continue the loop.  Eventually you stop targeting the Dragon with Animate Dead, and target Oona, Queen of the Fae.  By the time you do this you should have a large amount of mana floating, which you use with Oona to deck your opponent!  That sounds exciting right?  I know that this was a really simple explanation of the deck, but it's something else that you can do with Bazaar in Vintage!

Here is a sample list for the combo deck. 


Dragon Combo by Daniel Buzzie
Team Serious Open 6th Place
4 Dark Confidant
3 Worldgorger Dragon
1 Oona, Queen of the Fae
8 cards

Other Spells
4 Force of Will
3 Duress
2 Read the Runes
2 Intuition
1 Brainstorm
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Echoing Truth
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Imperial Seal
2 Animate Dead
2 Dance of the Dead
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Necromancy
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
26 cards
4 Underground Sea
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Island
1 Swamp
1 Flooded Strand
18 cards

Bazaar of Baghdad

I may be done with writing about Dredge and our preview card in Bazaar of Baghdad, but let me give you all some resources, they helped me out a ton while I was learning how to play the deck!

Matt Elias had a great two part primer on Dredge.  While four years old, I feel the information contained within the articles is a very good starting point for someone wanting to learn about the deck.  You can find part 1 here, and part two here

Here is a great tournament report about a winning Dredge list from 2012.  I feel it is very important because it has video of the deck in action!

Themanadrain.com is a huge resource for those interested in Vintage.  Check out the Dredge forum here


I'm personally excited for Vintage Masters.  I think it's going to be a great draft format, and I've never played with the Power 9 in real life before.  I missed out on it when it was in the powered cube.  I've long been interested in the Vintage format, but cost was a huge factor in not getting there when I played paper magic, with the availability of more affordable power in our future, I think the sky is the limit for Vintage on MtGO!

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the Vintage Masters drafts and events on the client!  


A great spoiler card we've by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 05/15/2014 - 12:56
Kumagoro42's picture

A great spoiler card we've got this time!

Didn't know the Worldgorger combo used Oona as a wincon these days. I guess she's one of the few creatures (the only one?) that you can reanimate and dump infinite mana into for an instant win that doesn't even require attacking. That's nice for Oona, who never really got any attention elsewhere.

When I first played Dragon, by JXClaytor at Thu, 05/15/2014 - 21:36
JXClaytor's picture

When I first played Dragon, it ran ambassador laquatas (I know I spelled that wrong.) as the win condition. Deck is fun to play, makes a very small percentage of the vintage metagame, like about 1% according to mtgtop8.com

Aside from Ambassador by AJ_Impy at Thu, 05/15/2014 - 23:25
AJ_Impy's picture

Aside from Ambassador Laquatus and Oona, other potential wincons include Mindshrieker, Spikeshot Elder, Flamekin Spitfire, Scalding Devil, Flamewave Invoker, Reckless Embermage, Kumano, Niv-Mizzet Dracogenius, Shivan Hellkite, Orzhov Guildmage, Duskmantle Guildmage, Scholar of Athreos or Lich Lord of Unx. Oona is the most mana and activation efficient.