The Finest Vintage: Dredge
- Florian Koch
Let's take a deep dive into the deepest pool in all of competitive Magic, the wondrous environment of Vintage. It may be tempting to go crazy with Moxen and other Power right away, but first it's time to take a trip to the Bazaar, get some Therapy, cross a Bridge, and feel the Chill of the grave …
For me Vintage, or Type I as it used to be called, has always been the ultimate mythical experience in Magic. In the place where I started playing there were always a few Type I players around. However, most of the Magic scene was extremely competitive and thus the focus was mostly on Draft and the Constructed formats that mattered at the moment. I found drafting and playing Sealed Deck to be a lot of fun and, lacking the funds to acquire Power, mostly occupied my time with these endeavors. While I certainly enjoyed that, watching people play Type I was a different experience, it was completely mesmerizing.
At the time, Type I was pretty close to what you would call Old School these days. I don't remember it before Ice Age, but for the most part the format was very different from what it is today. You could do amazing things, at least they looked crazy powerful to somebody used to attacking with White Knights. However, in stark contrast to modern Vintage there were no combos. There just weren't any in Magic. The most combo-like thing you could do was kill somebody with Mirror Universe. That must have been around 1996–97. By the time I got my own Power in 2008, the format was already on the decline so I haven't had the chance to play a ton of tabletop Vintage tournaments in my life.
Recently, with the pandemic going on, preparing for GPs and the like suddenly stopped being a thing. While I enjoy playing Arena, I have zero interest in the whole competitive structure it offers, so I mostly spent my Magic time these last nine months drafting with no particular goal in mind. A few weeks ago it occurred to me that I could use this time to make the dive into Vintage that had always become a victim of priorities. So here I am, enjoying power and nostalgia on Magic Online of all platforms.
I believe when people think of Vintage they mostly picture bizarre, super broken things going on such as people frequently winning on turn one, and maybe with a tiny bit more knowledge they also imagine giant Zombie hordes on a rampage and players being locked out of the game right from the start. It turns out that these things can happen, but in modern Vintage they rarely do.
If you are even remotely into Vintage, then you are probably aware that decks are broadly classified as Blue, Bazaar, and Shops. However, looking deeper than the labels, you will find a high deck diversity. Both Shops and Bazaar decks come in at least two widely played varieties and for the people who want to play with Power there are a lot of options. Control, combo, tempo, and midrange builds all are viable. In addition to the core archetypes there are fringe strategies like Monowhite Eldrazi or even weird things like people trying quick kills with Fastbond and Steppe Lynx. In fact Vintage has a perfectly handsome deck diversity.
On top of the diverse metagame there are many options to meaningfully customize your deck. Due to the power of individual cards and the number of tutors in the format, you can often add a package of two or three cards to any given deck and suddenly get something that feels very different. Finally there is the aspect of Vintage that it is very big and likely less explored than other formats, meaning there are always things to discover.
For this series I will present at least one deck of each variety. I will play a stock list of the archetype until I think I have a good understanding of what's going on (which took me about 30–40 matches for Dredge) and then start experimenting, trying to tweak the deck a little, and see if I can improve it somehow. After a hundred matches I should be able to write a decent review of the deck.
The Stock List
Going into the format, I chose Dredge as a starting point. The deck isn't exactly trivial to play, but it is proactive with a straightforward game plan and doesn't run a bunch of tutors and one-ofs that open up dozens of lines that you have to take into account. Dredge seemed like a good deck to get acquainted with the format while keeping things relatively simple.
The list that I started with I took from kanister, also known as Piotr Głogowski:
|Manaless Dredge by Piotr Głogowski, Vintage Challenge #12223581|
When you build a Manaless Dredge deck, there really aren't all that many cards that you have to consider. The number of free spells is limited and not having enough lands for Bloodghast rules out a few other options, namely Dread Return, which would be too unreliable. This list is pretty much representative of what Dregde decks look like at the moment.
Riding the Beast
Playing the deck is straighforward, at least preboard. The mulligan prescription is: Keep everything with a Bazaar of Baghdad, mulligan everything else! Maybe some extreme hands like one Bazaar, three Narcomoeba, three Creeping Chill should be mulled too, but they come up less than 1% of the time.
In game, your decisions come down to when and how to use Bazaar, what to name with Cabal Therapy, and what to counter. As a rule of thumb you will activate your Bazaar right away on turn one because you can draw into Hollow One. Afterward your upkeep is best because you can discard the card you dredge right away in order to dredge it again in your draw step. Also you might find additional cards to exile for Ichorid or hit a Prized Amalgam that wants to be taken for a ride by your Ichorid. Postboard things get trickier.
For Therapy, in most cases you will want to name Force of Will in anticipation of your next Therapy, which will resolve almost with certainty and with more information. When you need just one more turn but only have access to one Therapy, preparing your next Therapy doesn't achieve anything. So in this case try to think of card that can turn the game around and that they wouldn't have played yet: Tinker, Bolas's Citadel, Golos, Paradoxical Outcome, et cetera. Against Ravager Shops your window to take anything at all is very small, and against Golos Stax Golos itself is usually the only card that matters that wouldn't already be in play. In the mirror Therapy is useless so you mostly use it on yourself, if at all.
Finally, when it comes to countering stuff, it's mostly obvious which of their cards are really powerful. Doomsday? Check! Paradoxical Outcome? Check! Oath of Druids? Check, please! Aside from these you should probably counter everything that has significant board impact. If they have Tarmogoyf, then they likely won't be on a combo plan, but that Goyf can slow you down a lot. Against Shops you are rather indiscriminate. As soon as they have a Sphere of Resistance your Force is useless anyway, so you might as well counter something while you can. Against other Dredge decks there is only Hollow One, so Force of Will becomes useless after turn one.
Armed with this very basic knowledge you should already be able to win a fair amount of matches and get acquainted with the format. Thankfully, Dredge is extremely consistent and its power is probably more resilient to a few minor slips than any of the blue decks'.
All the Hate
Things get more interesting postboard. One of the things specific to Dredge is how it is very much the favorite in almost every matchup game one, but opponents will bring a lot of very powerful hate, and then it is usually the dog postboard. This means you will have to fight tooth and claw there.
As a small aside in order to better understand the dynamics of games involving Dredge, I would like to reference something PV recently wrote about in an article. He categorized decks as being either Quality decks or Quantity decks. Quality decks have a few highly impactful cards and the rest is mostly support structure. For example Bitterblossom would play that role in Faeries as every other card in the deck is more powerful with Bitterblossom in play. Quantity decks on the other hand often trade one for one or their cards all do the same. The classic Legacy burn deck where basically every card is "three to the dome" would be a very good example of the latter.
This categorization is helpful when approaching mulligan decisions. A quality deck would rather have fewer than more cards if it can have access to its key cards, thus mulligans more aggressively. The quantity deck has no great preference as to which cards it gets and usually just wants to have more of them. Jund is an extreme case in that even lands can in some cases be exchanged for spells. It also helps to understand why games with Jund play out the way they do: With Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek they make sure that their opponents almost never have access to their quality cards, thus turning every deck into a quantity deck.
How is this relevant to Dredge? First of all, its obvious that Dredge is the quintessential quality deck. You would rather keep one Bazaar than seven cards without one. More interestingly the nature of Dredge also turns your opponent's deck into a quality deck. Your plan A is so strong that the number of their cards usually doesn't matter. You are very susceptible to individual cards, though. What matters is hate and only hate. The implication is that you must assume your opponent will mulligan very aggressively toward hate, and you should take into account specifically the likely presence of not yet revealed hate cards.
As an example imagine that you are in game two against Sultai Midrange. They are on the play, keep seven, play a land, and say go. No Leyline and no Deathrite Shaman is an extremely weak opening, but they still kept seven. You should ask yourself: Why? The logical conclusion is that they have Wasteland or at the very least Assassin's Trophy. If you infer this, then you can consider a rather unusual play: Slow-roll your Bazaar and instead of starting your engine the normal way discard a dredger in your end step. This protects your Bazaar for use at a point when you can profitably use both of its abilities, the draw and the discard.
Also, if they nullify your play with Surgical Extraction, then you can just do the same thing again next turn. Taking this example one step further, if you have two Stinkweed Imp and one Golgari Thug, then you might want to start by discarding the Thug. It's the strictly worse play, but if you discard the Imp and they extract it, then you can't use your end step as a discard outlet the turn after. Considering what they might have and finding ways to beat it, is what postboard games revolve around.
Another conclusion from the quality deck paradigm is that Unmask, being the only discard spell you can play on turn one, could be a valuable addition as it can take away some of this crucial interaction. However, talking about hate, there is the bogeyman of course: Leyline of the Void. If Leyline happens, then there is nothing you can do. Not even Force of Will or Unmask protect you. All you can do is dig for Force of Vigor while wistfully looking at the treasures you burn. It's really bad and the biggest reason to nearly always bring Force of Vigor for game two.
Compare Leyline to Grafdigger's Cage. It stops you just as cold while it sits in play, but it is much easier to interact with and the cards you discard are only temporarily unavailable, not lost forever. Containment Priest is similar to Cage in that you get nothing done while it is there, but you can remove it and explode in their face right away. Its "gotcha" moment due to flash can be painful, but you should usually be able to anticipate that. Priest turns deadly when they add Lavinia, Azorius Renegade. If you don't have them low enough to finish them off with Creeping Chills, then this is absolutely lights out.
Another powerful hate card that you must expect from almost every deck is The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. There was a time when Dredge decks included lands that produced mana and you also had access to Bloodghasts, which could have haste. But these days when they have Tabernacle, it stops almost everything you are doing. You are down to Ichorids and Creeping Chills. Again this is something that you should take into account in various ways. For instance, if they have Tabernacle, you must protect your Ichorids at all costs.
The other thing is that you should bring Wastelands and consider how to use them, which is actually nontrivial. For example you might not want to show them that you have the answer at the ready because playing Tabernacle will slow them down as well. On the other hand, if you don't play Wasteland preemptively, then Tabernacle will kill all your creatures. If you only have a bunch of "worthless" Narcomoebas in play while a Bridge sits in your grave, that upgrade might actually be alright with you, but when that Tabernacle gets to eat two Hollow Ones, it hurts a lot. You will probably not get this right every time, but it makes a lot of sense to think about Tabernacle before it messes with your game plan.
Other cards that that you often see are Tormod's Crypt, Ravenous Trap, and Soul-Guide Lantern. The paradigm here is always the same: Try to control the flow of your cards as well as you can. Don't activate Bazaar in your upkeep. Try to get value off your triggers one by one. If you have Ichorid and Prized Amalgam in your grave, then resurrect the Ichorid, try to get the Amalgam at the end of turn, and pass. If they allow this, then you can add a little fuel in their next end step and so on.
With Surgical Extraction there sometimes is a bit of a mind game when they go for a "gotcha." The idea is that they wait on their Extraction and take away your only dredger in response to your Bazaar activation, thus wasting your activation. The idea might seem reasonable, but if you think about it, if they extracted your dredger on their turn, you would be forced to activate Bazaar in your upkeep with no dredger anyway and the outcome would be exactly the same. So although it doesn't make much sense, this situation comes up occasionally. If you really have reason to believe that they are going for this play, then you consider more carefully what you are working with. If you only have that one dredger or the one and duplicates of it in hand, then you should probably go to your draw step to protect your ability to dredge. That said, most of the time Surgical Extraction just means you have to win without Ichorids, which slows you down considerably.
Finally, there are Wasteland and Pithing Needle. There is not much to say or do about these two. In both cases, if you don't have the answer, you can still try to salvage a win slow-dredging. This isn't unlikely to succeed if they kept a mediocre hand only relying on one such piece of interaction.
Having played with the deck extensively, I would like to propose my 75, explaining the changes I made from kanister's list. Don't expect too many changes, though—most of the cards are essential parts of the deck.
The first card that I wanted to include was Gitaxian Probe. It's a blue card for the ever-hungry Force of Will and it accelerates your draws a little. More importantly it improves the quality of Cabal Therapy. If we were talking Legacy, you might wonder if Probe is just a crutch not to have to figure out what is going on. But Vintage is different in that blue decks are largely composed of one-ofs, especially when it comes to the really dangerous cards. Most of the time you just cannot infer whether they have Tinker in hand or Monastery Mentor or Yawgmoth's Will. Instead of trying to guess a random one-of you will often just name Force of Will as the obvious four-of in every deck and hope to find another Therapy in time if they have something critical. Being able to probe first should make your first Therapy much more effective.
When you think about how Probe can accelerate your draws, the next card that comes to mind automatically is Street Wraith. Yet taking into account how the actual games played out, it was not so much the extra speed of Street Wraith that I found appealing but the ability to protect myself from hate. Wraith can be very useful against Sultai Midrange, which is one of the most popular decks at the moment. For example, if they open with Deathrite Shaman on the play and you only have one dredger, then you have a problem and even if you have two the other one better not be Shambling Shell. So many of your draws can be crippled by the Shaman, but if you can cycle Wraith in response, then you're actually binding some of their mana, stunting their early development, and get to protect your dredger. Knowing this, you can often lure them into activating Shaman on their second turn by pretending to have kept a weak hand with only one dredger.
The other scenario where I really like Street Wraith is when your Bazaar gets destroyed. You often want to get Ichorid into play on turn two either to trigger Amalgam or to cast Therapy, but with just one Bazaar activation you cannot get Ichorid, a card to exile with Ichorid, a dredger, and a payoff into your graveyard. Street Wraith solves this problem very nicely and the extra card draw comes in handy too. Five extra cards in the grave and an extra Amalgam in play will often give you a good chance to win a game where you are otherwise slow-dredging all the time, especially when they used an early land drop to waste you.
The final card that deserves some consideration is Noxious Revival. I saw it in a few lists and didn't think much of it at first, but at some point I started wondering if it might be just the card to improve a lot of things at the same time. Why? Considering that you are dredging all the time, this often plays like a poor man's Vampiric Tutor. They have Cage? Dredge until you find Force of Vigor and put it on top. They wasted your Bazaar? Just draw it again. Need another Force of Will …? Then there is the option of using it as a counter for Surgical Extraction. And in some matchups you can use it as a pseudo-Time Walk by putting a blank on top of their library. That you only have nine other green cards in the deck makes it help Force of Vigor, too. Finally there are a few fringe scenarios where you really only need three more damage and that Creeping Chill that you discarded earlier sits in the grave or you desperately need a Narcomoeba to get those Amalgams going. The card looks out of place in Dregde, but for me it has proven its worth many times already.
My choice of Contagion over the third Sickening Shoal doesn't deserve much discussion. I am just not sure which is better and thus erred on the side of diversity. Both kill Deathrite Shaman and Containment Priest reliably which is their main purpose. Contagion might have a few extra applications in matchups involving combat, but it rarely comes up.
To get these cards in, something had to go, and in kanister's list there are two cards that I really dislike: Tormod's Crypt and Mindbreak Trap. Crypt, I think, is just a weak card that can be removed without too much consideration. The problem is that it's mostly for the mirror, and if a player has Leyline here, then that player usually wins even against Crypt. If both players have Leyline, then Crypt does nothing. It would only do something if both players didn't have Leyline, but that never really happens. If you want another card that is good for the mirror, I would suggest Surgical Extraction. Taking Wastelands or Bazaars can be a decisive advantage, and the card is more useful in other matchups. Against green Bazaar decks for example you can take their Vengevines away.
Mindbreak Trap on the other hand serves an important purpose or at the very least it is supposed to. Although not particularly bad, you can easily lose combo matchups, and for these you want specific tools. Mindbreak Trap looks appealing, but it is actually not that difficult to play around. Doomsday almost doesn't care at all, and even against the Outcome decks you cannot always count on them casting two spells before Outcome. The obvious replacement would be Force of Negation and I am sure that's not terrible, but considering the number of blue cards in the deck, I doubt that you will interact more than once per game even with two additional Forces. I must admit I am not sure why Unmask has gone out of favor as the card had been a mainstay in Dredge for a long time, but I like that it is always castable and, like Gitaxian Probe, sets up Cabal Therapy. There is also a bonus in that you can have Unmask in almost every matchup on the play and try to steal their hate.
Cutting three Traps and the Crypt makes room for four cards, but we need at least one more slot, otherwise we are replacing three Traps with one Unmask, which does not bode well for the combo matchups. A natural candidate might be Chalice of the Void. Chalice is much better on the play, and preboard on the play you rarely lose anyway, but I like how it slows down Doomsday and Outcome, both decks that can win on turn one. Doomsday especially often wins on turn two and is hard to disupt aside from Force of Will.
In the end I did something that looks like sacrilege: I cut two Bridge from Below. How can I justify cutting a card that has been a four-of in 99% of the Dredge decks over the span of fifteen years? Frankly, looking at how the games played out most of the time, it didn't seem to matter very much if I had a Bridge. People might picture Dredge as a deck that creates these vast Zombie hordes, but this is not really what happens in Vintage, or more to the point it is not why you win. Many decks create hardly any board impact at all, but the overwhelming forces Bridge creates you only need when your opponent puts a lot of relevant blockers in your way, which they usually don't. In fact Bridge is a very fragile card that often creates overkills and in the chain formed by Bazaar, dredgers, Ichorid, and Bridge, Bridge is the last link. The other pieces work perfectly fine without Bridge, but Bridge only works if everything else is in place.
I don't want to malign Bridge from Below too much. There are good reasons why this card has been a central piece of Dredge decks for over a decade. While experimenting I went even further, at times removing all Bridges, and I must admit that it didn't feel right. My impression is that Bridge has something to give, the effect is useful, but it only works when everything else is running smoothly and in that case, with fifteen cards going to the graveyard every turn, you often have access to Bridge, even if there are only two in the deck. I might be wrong here, people often are when they challenge established beliefs, but I don't think Bridge should be considered an automatic four-of as much as it is. In the 50+ matches I played with less than four Bridges I didn't win less and I didn't miss the additional copies. If you are uncomfortable with this choice but still want to try out the few changes I made, then I suggest you remove a Golgari Thug and/or the Chalice.
To finish up the deck we have to assign cards to the main deck and the sideboard. With the changes I made, there is not much to move around, though. Given the 75 cards, they should split up between main deck and sideboard like this.
|Manaless Dredge, Updated|
You could debate whether you want to exchange an Unmask or both for Wastelands. I wouldn't do it, but considering that speed plays a role in preboard games, destroying a land almost for free on turn two might be worthwhile.
Matchups and Sideboarding
Dredge has a tendency to have its matchups play out quite differently preboard versus postboard. Also the exact composition of your opponent's hate is often much more relevant than the deck they play. Especially with the blue decks, their hate cards depend a lot on personal preference, which makes it difficult to give hard and fast prescriptions. In fact this will always force you to re-evaluate your sideboard between game two and game three. On the other hand, once you know what they have, it will usually be obvious what to bring in. Generally if you are unsure your Force of Vigors are always a good starting point.
When it comes to playing Force of Vigor on the draw, you are often presented with a choice right away: Do you destroy their Leyline in their upkeep or do you wait until end of turn and try to get a Mox as well. In most cases I would advise to pull the trigger right away. Getting a Mox is nice, but not a priority. Many opponents are prepared to fight for their Leyline, though, and if you let them make a land, the exposed Leyline could suddenly be protected by Flusterstorm, Daze, or Spell Pierce, turning a game that you would probably win into one that you lose almost certainly.
Another relevant consdieration with respect to Force of Vigor is if to put two Leylines into play if you have them in your opener. The obvious argument against doing it is that Force of Vigor destroys both of them anyway and hand size is often important in the mirror. However, at least if you have Hollow One in hand, you should definitely get both of them into play anyway as the second Leyline can act as a shield for Hollow One then.
Versus Bazaar Decks
Against other Bazaar decks you want Leylines and Wastelands. One question for the Dredge mirror is if you want to keep Force of Will. The card doesn't do much besides protecting your Leylines from Force of Vigor, but that alone is probably worth it. If you consider that given the choice I would rather have Leyline than Bazaar on the draw, then it makes sense that you would try to protect this card too. On top of that Force of Will protects you from Hollow One, the only card that ignores Leyline altogether. It is also not that difficult to make room. Chalice, Misstep, and Unmask do nothing and Bridge and Chill are not particulary impressive either.
Finally you have to decide whether you want to play first. When everything revolves around Leyline postboard, then tempo is usually not a consideration. On the other hand cards are more important than usual: your spells often cost another card to cast, Bazaars are generally less useful with fewer cards to work with, and Bazaars are also short-lived, which makes it important to be able to discard to hand size.
|bring in||take out|
Versus Shops Decks
The Wasteland question is a bit more interesting against Mishra's Workshop. You might think that with such a ridiculously powerful land at their disposal you naturally want to bring Wastelands. This strategy is more likely to work out if you are on the play as you can get your engine going and then destroy their precious Workshop. Postboard you should generally think more along the lines of "How can I make sure I get going?" instead of "how can I be faster/slow them down?" as they will always have hate. In this context Wasteland is mainly a tool to take out The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, which Golos Staxx has aplenty but Ravager Shops not at all.
In spite of this I would bring Wasteland even against Ravager Shops. Their main way of disrupting you is Pithing Needle and that one will often be protected by a Sphere of Resistance. A single mana source unlocks Force of Vigor, whereas if you have none, you are down to discarding in the end step and slow-dredging. I'm not sure if this alone would be reason enough to bring the Wastelands, but if you also take into account that their mana base is often fragile and most of their creatures are much better if they put a lot of mana into them, then Wastelands should easily bring more than enough utility.
|bring in||take out|
Against Golos Staxx the question is not so much if you want to bring Wastelands but how you want to use them. Tabernacle is an important part of their defense and Golos makes sure they always have it. Wasting their Workshop should be a good idea as it slows down Golos a lot and then you might be able to take it away with Therapy. Their other angle of attack works around Sorcerous Spyglass from the main deck and Grafdigger's Cages (main and/or side) so you will need Force of Vigor, too. Considering that you want eight cards and every card in your main deck is potentially good against them, you are hard pressed for slots.
|bring in||take out|
Versus Blue Decks
Against blue decks you bring in what deals with their hate. So in game two you are mostly down to educated guesswork.
What do you take out? I keep Chalice on the draw only against Doomsday and Outcome decks. Creeping Chill is usually less important postboard. Again, preboard you care for speed (and generic interaction) and Chill makes you faster. Postboard the goal is to get going in the first place and Chill doesn't help with that. Also your opponents' hands are often weak as they evaluate their hands mostly with respect to their hatefulness. You often win these games even if they go longer, provided you can deal with that hate. An exception to this rule are decks where you expect to face Tabernacle or Oath of Druids but not much of the really awful stuff. In those games you often want to win with Ichorids and Chill speeds that up.
Speaking of Oath, that matchup seemed fine to me if you try not to play into their Oath. If they don't have Forbidden Orchard, do what is necessary not to end a turn with creatures in play. To achieve that you might have to allow your Ichorids to eat your Amalgams and you might have to decline your Narcomoeba triggers. Actually, you don't have to be quite as conservative as long as Oath is not in play. Once they play it, you still get another turn to sacrifice the remaining creatures to Therapies.
How does Serum Powder work with the current mulligan rule? I will use a five-card hand as an example to explain the procedure because that is a little easier to understand than an example involving a variable. So you take a mulligan to five, drawing your seven cards, and find a hand with Serum Powder but no Bazaar. When you want to use Powder here, you reveal Powder and exile that card along with four other cards from your hand for a total of five cards exiled. The remaining two cards from your hand go to the bottom of your library. Then you draw five cards from the top of your library. You can either keep them or mulligan again. In that case you will shuffle your five-card hand into your library and take a regular mulligan to four, drawing seven new cards of which you will keep four.
This procedure begs the question which cards you should put on the bottom to preserve them. One option is Creeping Chill. If you don't have to take another mulligan, then the card will stay on the bottom of your deck and the only value it provides is to be dredged in your last turn of the game. The other option is to preserve the actual key cards of your deck like dredgers and Ichorids. As a general rule of thumb, if you powder with many cards in hand, consider putting Chill on the bottom, if you have fewer cards, put key cards on the bottom. The reason is that when you powder something like four cards, the chance to find a keepable hand after the Powder is quite small and the extra mulligan that you probably will have to take puts the cards from the bottom back in circulation, thus making your deck more functional.
Cards like Spirit of the Labyrinth and Narset, Parter of Veils interact in a special way with the dredge mechanic. As long as you have not drawn a card that turn you can always choose to replace the draw with dredging, and you can continue doing so because you will not actually have drawn a card that turn. After choosing to draw a card, however, you will not be able to dredge any more cards this turn. The reasons might be a little confusing, but it is something that comes up occasionally. For example they might decide to crypt your graveyard in your upkeep. If after that you activate Bazaar to draw a card and discard three including Stinkweed Imp, you will not be able to draw a card or dredge Stinkweed Imp in your draw step.
Hullbreacher on the other hand works differently. It has a replacement effect and not a static ability that prevents you from doing something altogether. Thus with Hullbreaher in play you can always choose whether to dredge your card or give your opponent a Treasure.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.