The 9 best uses of the Dredge keyword in Voyage to the Sunken City
The Dredge keyword in Hearthstone allows the player to look at the three cards at the bottom of their deck, and immediately move one of them to the top, to be drawn next. This kind of scrying effect has always been very powerful in card games, but Dredge takes it one step beyond, with specific synergies that allow you to find cards that are more powerful than normal, or the ability to draw and play cards that fit into your overall strategy on the same turn as you Dredge them up.
Most of the strongest decks in the meta at the moment are making use of Dredge one way or another — some use it as just another tool to victory, while others depend on it far more heavily. So let’s take a look at the nine instances where the Dredge keyword is being used to the most success in the current game.
Bone Glaive (Demon Hunter)
Demon Hunter has multiple strong archetypes right now, such as Naga Demon Hunter — which uses all of the shiny new synergies between Naga minions and spells, giving their new legendary, Lady S’theno, the opportunity to shine — and Token Demon Hunter, a more “traditional” style of deck that aims to flood the board and keep attacking with as many minions as possible.
In either case, Bone Glaive is being used — although, to be honest, the Dredge effect is just a bonus, and you’re not always aiming to find anything in particular; you’re more interested in getting to attack with your 5/2 weapon and contribute directly to your opponent’s demise.
Aquatic Form (Druid)
Aquatic Form is one of the best Dredge cards in the game so far. All kinds of Druids are using it, but Ramp Druid is taking it to the top of the meta as one of the strongest decks in the game at the moment. This card allows you to Dredge for no cost, and gives you a very powerful secondary effect: if you have enough mana to play the card that you just found through your Dredge effect, you draw it.
Getting to pick from one of three cards and immediately draw it — in a circumstance where you’re guaranteed to have enough mana to play it immediately — is a very powerful effect that can absolutely turn a game around.
Harpoon Gun (Hunter)
Face Hunter will always be in vogue. The current variation of this tried-and-true deck uses Harpoon Gun, a weapon that allows you to Dredge whenever you attack. If your Dredge effect finds a Beast, you can draw it and reduce its cost by 2. But here’s the catch: the deck isn’t running any real “Beasts” at this time!
“What is this madness?” you’re surely asking. Well, Face Hunter is a Naga-based deck — Raj Naz’jan shines, but “lesser” Nagas also thrive — and it runs one card that does technically count as a Beast: Amalgam of the Deep, a minion of the “All” type, which will be Dredged up by your Harpoon Gun, receive a mana discount, and then be used to give you a “free” 2/3 minion that, ideally, also allows you to discover an extra Naga if you have one in play.
Trench Surveyor (Mage)
Mech Mage is a great deck with multiple variations — but all of them are making use of Trench Surveyor to allow you to immediately (try to) find a Mech and draw it. On a deck archetype that lives or dies by playing Mechs, that effect would already be powerful enough as it is.
But it gets even better: those Mech Mage decks also make use of Azsharan Sweeper, a card that adds a powerful Sunken Sweeper to the bottom of your deck. Sunken Sweeper will give you even more Mechs to play — three of them, in fact — so you’re obviously going to try to activate that particular synergy as often as possible.
Seafloor Savior, The Leviathan, and more (Paladin)
Mech Paladin is easily the deck that is making the most use out of the Dredge keyword right now. Seafloor Savior will give you new ways to “handbuff” minions you find at the bottom of your deck. Radar Detector, while not technically a Dredge card, brings out a very similar functionality and then some, by drawing you up to five Mechs at once.
Azsharan Mooncatcher is a powerful Mech that adds an even stronger Sunken Mooncatcher to be Dredged up later from the bottom of your deck. And finally, there’s the already-discussed powerhouse that is The Leviathan, a card that is likely to be a Paladin staple for as long as it remains on Standard. Whew!
We need to open by saying that the only reasonably powerful deck in the meta that is using Illuminate right now, the so-called Switcheroo Priest, is not a consistent deck. It uses a gimmick to be able to create two 12/12 Murlocs with Rush for only 3 mana, at the cost of running a strange, mismatched deck; and it’s based on the sort of gameplay that will be infuriating for the opponent when they lose to it, but that will not work as dependably as the Priest player would have liked. Hence, it currently fluctuates below a 50% winrate, according to external site HSReplay, despite having such a seemingly broken interaction in it.
With all of that said, the Dredge card itself, Illuminate, is a very strong card, even if the Priest class is not in the best position at the moment. For 0 mana, you can Dredge up a spell and reduce its cost by a whopping 3. This is a card that players will always be watching, for sure. As the meta shifts, and as more sets are released, Illuminate will always have the looming potential to become a cornerstone of any strong Priest deck that arises in the future.
Swordfish and Gone Fishin’ (Rogue), plus Tuskarrr Trawler (Neutral)
Pirate Rogue is currently making use of all three of those Dredge cards — the Neutral minion Tuskarrr Trawler is a Pirate, after all, so it fits well in this deck. This is an aggressive deck which, much like Pirate Warrior, will try to find as many Pirates and weapons as it can, and never stop attacking.
Swordfish is a weapon that lets you find Pirates and buff them — in addition to the weapon itself — with extra attack power, while Gone Fishin’ is the kind of card that is just very useful to any Rogue strategy, by allowing you to Dredge and draw the results of your Dredge for only 1 mana, as long as you fulfill the Combo condition.
And this deck is also running Azsharan Vessel, which adds a Sunken Vessel for you to Dredge up later, giving you lots and lots of stealthy Pirate attacks.
Scalding Geyser (Shaman)
Burn Shaman might not be as in vogue as some of the other decks in this article right now, but it definitely has potential and has been steadily rising. It makes use of Scalding Geyser to Dredge up a few more burn spells for your big burn turns, and there isn’t much beyond that.
The card itself is also a damage spell, dealing two damage for only one mana — but since this deck thrives on Spell Damage effects from cards like Bioluminescence and Radiance of Azshara, it’s likely to hit for more than that.
Quest Warrior is the strongest deck in the meta right now, and it makes use of Obsidiansmith to help the player find their Pirates — which they need to play in order to complete the questline, Raid the Docks — and their weapons, where the +1/+1 buff can be far more substantial than for a minion.
Whether you draw a Pirate or a weapon, using Dredge here puts you one step closer to your win condition, so it’s easy to see why this card fits like a glove into this powerful deck.
There are several other Dredge cards in the expansion — honorable mention goes to all of those wacky Murloc Warlocks — but we’re sure that crafty players are always pondering and trying to make them work. Perhaps in time, people will be able to dredge up strategies that utilize those other cards as well.
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