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Thread: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

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    [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake




    This thread is dedicated to Drewís memory. It needs to be stated before anything else that this restart of sorts for Painter would not have been possible without his invaluable contributions. He was a great player, amazing advocate, and even better person. The world is poorer for his loss. I know I would have never been as diligent in my testing or focused in my play if he wasnít a part of the history of this deck. So an eternal thank you and gratitude from me brother. We may not have always agreed, but you are missed, and I thank you for everythingÖ

    -Seth







    Strawberry Shortcake is the combo centric white-splash variant of Imperial Painter. It utilizes Enlightened tutors to increase speed and consistency with a small increase in Wasteland susceptibility. . Splashing white really helped solidify one of Imperial Painterís greatest weaknesses: the consistency problems that came with not being able to find grindstone beyond naturally drawing it. Besides having better access to the combo and maindeck answers, the inclusion of tutors in Shortcake also frees up sideboard space for silver bullet tutor targets as opposed to the need for multiple copies of hate pieces. Since its inception in 2012-13, Shortcake has put up Top 8s in some of the biggest tournaments, becoming the best toolbox combo deck in the format.



    Brief History of Imperial Painter

    Imperial Painter was created shortly after the printing of Painterís Servant in Shadowmoor in May, 2008. The deck slowly gained traction and become a viable meta-contender, albeit very rarely seen because of the scarcity of Imperial Recruiter, formerly only available in Portal Three Kingdoms. You can read more about the evolution and testing of the deck in its initial state in the other two Imperial Painter threads. Any discussion of mono-red should be done there as they are different enough in choices and playstyle to each warrant their own thread. Throughout the testing of Imperial Painter, various people began testing out splash colors. However, due to how few pilots of even the base deck there were, testing colors were never really fleshed out beyond maybe one or two dedicated pilots in the early years.

    Around 2013 Painter started to become a known quantity. By that I mean opponentís were starting to learn how to play against the deck and it was no longer the case that no one had any clue what you were doing. Even at this stage, however, it was still one of the most uncommon matchups you could face. A few rule changes to the overall legacy meta also were introduced around this time. You can read more about the Ďpresent dayí imperial painter in the second thread here.




    Creation of Strawberry Shortcake


    Going over old deck lists the first deck that truly resembled what Shortcake is currently was posted to the Source around February 2012. Before that, E tutor and other card selection cards were used, but each build also had strong aggro components where a first turn threat was a reliable and reasonable line. For whatever reason (most likely due to meta game issues with a high prevalence of BGx rock style decks in the Maryland area at the time), the first list used 4 Faithless Lootings. Looting allowed better card selection/advantage when paired with top in a discard heavy meta, but this also required a fairly slow meta which Delver variants helped to make antiquated. This list looks funny in a vacuum because some of the earliest iterations were still using the white splash mana base with an outdated Stoneforge package in the sideboard. From combing through the threads it seems the Stoneforge and lands split were kept mainly out of laziness and previous positive results rather than any strategic goal.

    Seth would end up piloting this list to a 5/66 at the Grand Prix Bmore Legacy side event after winning a smaller side event the day before. Over the next month the deck needed to increase its consistency along with its speed. It is from this that the Faithless Lootings became E tutors. By this time the core of the deck was solidified. He again took the updated list to a top 4 finish at a GPT at Tales of Adventure in PA, winning a Juzzam Djinn. The list was given mild tweeks over the next 6 months trying to show others the strategic advantage of E tutor over the slower draw engines that people were trying.


    After these months of testing, I switched over to playing the white splash at Seth's behest. We refined for a few months and GP Washington DC was the debut event for this new white-splash Painter build. I managed to end 6-3, not a terrible showing for a new build. From there, more tweaking and testing led up to the Starcity Baltimore Open in January 2014, where I finished 5/402 and Seth finished 36/402, an insanely good showing for Shortcake considering we probably were the only two players in the field on the white splash. It was after that finish for the deck that Shortcake put up the best finish in any tournament for any variant of Painter, when Jean-Mary Accart (Lejay) took it to 5th place out of 1,587 people in Grand Prix Paris in February. After that finish, Shortcake gained many followers and from that point up until Senseiís Top was banned in April 2017 it was the premier toolbox-combo deck of the format, able to adjust to any meta changes through small additions or subtractions of one or two cards between main and side. The pure power and synergy of Shortcake was evident, especially as very few cards wizards printed from 2013-2017 ever made their way into the deck.



    Name

    The name Strawberry Shortcake was originally coined as a joke toward the end of 2013. The first reference I could find to the name in any sort was in my GP DC report, where I mentioned calling it Strawberry Painter. After that Seth and I started further developing the list for Starcity Baltimore and he said we should call it Strawberry Shortcake because it was an even dumber name. After the Baltimore finishes we managed to put up, the name Strawberry Shortcake was here to stay.




    Imperial Painter Split

    You probably are asking why this new thread needs to be started. I will leave most of the history of Shortcake to Jack as I am too old to remember this shit. I do remember that for the last 10 years there has been no deck I have played more, won with more, or loved more than this one with its shitty wb portal cards. It is from this place I was deeply saddened by the banning of SDT. I knew at the time that the deck would be fundamentally altered although I could not have fathomed how the deck would be completely neutered. And for nearly a year I stopped playing it. It wasnít till about December 2017 that I had the itch to sling Painter and started to evaluate why the deck was actually not performing as it had to be more than the simple removal of three non combo cards in a deck of 60 that made it nearly unplayable in a developed meta.

    It was from this I realized that it was really 2 things that were keeping Painter down.

    1. We lost SDT.
    More ranting on this at the end This limited our ability for card selection. We lost the edge in grinding out matches. Welder lost tricks, we could no longer hide cards from discard nor could we abuse Enlightened tutor. While the selection loss was evident from the start the subtle losses to the deck really added up. Subsequent cards that were tried may answer one avenue that SDT addressed but there was nothing that provided the card selection, interactions with welder, ability to combat discard, all while being on curve and repeatable the way that SDT was.

    2. The format evolved.
    This is more subtle than point 1. If you casually look at the format you see tempo shells and terrible mana bases, and Miracles. How could Painter not thrive in this environment? The issue was that the format had morphed. Without fear of counterbalance there was a race for the bottom. Cards selection improved as cantrip counts increased and DRS never had to fear being locked out for free, allowing basically every deck a mana dork that also gave it an end game which could now resolve at any time in the game. So while mana bases became stretched, decks in general increased the ability to have the proper answer or threat. Painter did not have the tools to combat both of these. Blood moon had become worse with DRS everywhere, and decks in general could find the piece to disrupt our deck more reliably than Painter could find the proper cards and combo pieces.



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    Current Decklist:

    9/24/2018


    4 Ancient Tomb
    3 City of Traitors
    3 Plateau
    3 Mountain
    1 Great Furnace
    2 Wooded Foothills
    3 Bloodstained Mire


    4 Lotus Petal
    1 Simian Spirit Guide

    4 Imperial Recruiter
    4 Painterís Servant
    4 Ethersworn Canonist
    3 Goblin Welder
    1 Walking Ballista

    4 Pyroblast
    2 Red Elemental Blast
    3 Enlightened Tutor

    4 Grindstone
    4 Smugglerís Copter
    1 Blood Moon
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Engineered Explosives



    Sideboard:

    4 Surgical Extraction
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Containment Priest
    4 Pyroclasm
    1 Grim Lavamancer
    1 Viashino Heretic
    1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
    1 Blood Moon


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    It is from this wreckage that the newest version of Painter comes from. Differences between lists are pretty minimal beyond personal preference for a card slot. It would be nice to be able to take credit for the idea but a lot came from the old thread. People were trying a couple Smugglerís Copters. Lavaman was being added as well to decent success. Initially this was dismissed as both of these cards had been tested years ago to minimal success, and Copter seemed weird and too similar to equipment, which the deck didnít need or want. However the format had changed and that Copter isnít like equipment. The strength in both these cards lies in the synergy between them, along with where they fit on the curve, while allowing the deck to address the current meta.


    Card Choices


    Imperial Recruiter: For Shortcake the only number is 4. Anything else is sub-optimal. A tutor that is on curve and leaves behind a body is something that red should never have access to. Even without Copter in the deck, Its ability to assemble the combo, or get Welder to recur combo pieces cannot be understated. Additionally, Recruiter needs to be looked at in the context of how much life he is saving as a blocker, which is invaluable when comparing to any budget option someone wants to try. In a combo deck that has the ability to grind, saving life by blocking a Tarmogoyf or Gurmag Angler is huge since we are also trying to leverage the mana boost of Ancient Tomb. He can bail you out at any time and he increases side boarding options and saves sideboard space. While in the past we often joked about beating down with shitty 1/1s, Copter has allowed the Recruiter to provide a much needed punch in the deck after he serves his tutor role, allowing improved board presence and value for the deck.

    Painter's Servant: It is one half of the combo. This little guy turns every card a color. Outside of the exile zone, every card in the game, is one color, lands and artifacts included. This allows Grindstone to continue to mill as each time it checks, the cards are the color called with Painter, regardless of their type. It should be noted that Painter has to be in the table during resolution of the effect of Grindstone. Even though the blast effect package is less these days, it should go without saying that you need 4 of these guys.

    Goblin Welder: Recursion, protection, recruitable and it is also a lightning rod for removal. Probably the only reason itís not a 4 of is because it can take a little bit of time to set up and is sometimes completely dead. There is a reason why many people view Welder as one of the most powerful cards of all time. Even with the omnipresence of DRS, he is still an allstar and often times draws removal and counters or just lets you win.


    Grindstone: The other half of the combo. We can no longer use grindstone to clear away topdeck chafe with Top, but it is still a weird pseudo tutor in the context of Goblin Welder and fills the yard for Lavaman. It can also sometimes screw up opponentís brainstorms or counterbalances. Although blind milling your opponent is probably never the correct play without the intent of natural grindstone victory.

    Blood Moon: The number of moons has sometimes come under scrutiny, but the fact is that it can win the game completely on its own. Itís also not worthless as a late game play to fix your mana and stop Ancient Tomb lifeloss. One important play that I donít see a lot of people doing is to use Moon to make a land drop without losing a City of Traitors on the field even if Decay or Grip mana is being floated. Moon often serves as a haymaker of sorts that can draw out the counter or Decay, allowing your real threat, the combo, to resolve and successfully activate. It is reasonable to want your opponent to counter the Moon, and keeping hands with this in mind is critical.


    The whole reason to splash white. Even with the lost synergy between Enlightened Tutor and sensei top, e-tutor still enables instant speed tutoring for prison or combo pieces for a single white mana. The dynamic between tutor and blood moon is a non-issue, as usually when a blood moon is in play your opponent is either completely locked out or severely hampered anyways.

    Ancient Tomb is the best land in all of Legacy. Any other number than 4 is incorrect as well, since it enables the stompy curve and breaks one of the fundamental rules of magic of 1 mana per land.


    In the past lavaman was not worth the space, as Jaya was usually good enough. We lacked sufficient ways to ensure multiple activations and otherwise a 1/1 just doesnít cut it. However the format changes and with it the evaluation of cards. The Lavaman is now a relevant threat and this is due to a number of factors. He serves as an efficient way to deal with DRS. He can come down on the play turn one and deal with DRS allowing your Blood Moon to shut down an opponentís mana. When looking at him, one needs to think about Goblin Welder. Often times your opponent will feel the potential of the card and remove it long before it has a chance to have multiple activations. This is critical as he absorbs removal that may otherwise disrupt the combo. It also provides some protection against Surgical and disrupts Deathrite using our Graveyard, as we can remove the card they target as part of Lavamanís cost. The other area where he impacts the board is that he crews the Copter for an efficient mana cost. The 2 cards work together in a manner that allow the deck reach it didnít have, without sacrificing the core of Shortcake.



    Copter is the key card which allows Shortcake to be viable. It functions as a way to cantrip and put pressure on your opponent while increasing the utility of the shitty creatures we play and allowing them to have more of a presence on board. Its ability to be played off a sol land then be crewed by our summoning sickness creature turn 2 is enormous. It immediately gets rid of the worst card in your hand while starting to put pressure on your opponentís life. This is huge as dealing 6 over two turns can totally change the way that an opponent plays their cards. Unlike SDT, opponents will actually target it with discard and removal. It is a relevant clock, and can generate value through blocking. Unlike SDT, it continues to provide value in a mana efficient way and can easily blank sorcery speed removal which we see a lot on the format. As is, I think this is a card you want turn 1, and it plays a large role in future sequencing of plays. Because of this, you really need four in the deck as it has been one of the best first turn plays in the deck outside of the first turn Painter into the second turn combo kill.




    Additional thoughts on card choice:

    It's also important to address the 4 Copters vs only 3 sensei tops in previous Painter lists. My memory is hazy but I can honestly never remember testing more than 3 SDT in any version of Imperial Painter, save for Drew's personal list which also had usually 21+ lands. While going over the history of this deck and rereading the old threads there were a few brief mentions to the correct number of tops in a list. I even commented years ago that I only ever tested 3 copies, and this was backed up when I checked out my card availability at the time, with only 3 copies of the card in the collection. I think it is reasonable to think that maybe the lists we were using were not optimized at the time. I think some of the numbers, the notion that 3 was best, came from earlier lists which ran fewer fetch lands and no E tutors which made SDT seem worse. These earliest lists also were in an era when Figure of Destiny first turn was a great play because the speed in general was slower along with goblins being the best or at least one of the best decks and SDT, could not be played first in a lot of situations. The number of people testing Painter regularly also played into this. Plus since people were having success with 3 tops, there never was any real push to see whether the number was correct. Only after losing it did running 4 really seem like it would have been ideal. With that in mind, and while the Copter is not exactly the same as SDT, I feel comfortable having 4 copies in the deck serving a similar role as SDT.

    The deck is fairly defined at this time with minimal wiggle room in the main. There isn't any math to back this up but having at least 16 dudes to crew the Copter has felt ďrightĒ. Even with this many guys sometimes you struggle to resolve a creature, so I would really hesitate dropping below this number in the deck. With this in mind you are essentially left with a few deck choices that arenít wrong, and actually do have upside if you choose to customize.

    The flexible spots are as follows:

    Fast Mana

    Currently running five and I think that is the right number even after the lost petal-top-welder synergy. The 3/2 split favoring Lotus Petal was done to maximize white mana while also giving more searchable options and late game value with SSG. I could see a 3/2 split favoring SSG as being better for Copter interactions, but the extra white mana count and artifact counts also have upside. If you are finding difficulty in the late game with grinding this might be a small thing to gain a few points.

    The 19th land

    Currently we are running the Great Furnace and its upside with Welder and E tutor are pretty clear. That being said there are arguments for an additional fetch, basic mountain, Plateau, or the 4th City of Traitors in this spot. Each choice has merits but the higher ceiling of the artifact land has been preferred so far in testing

    3 Flex spots

    Currently we are running some combination of an Ensnaring Bridge, Ethersworn Cannonist, artifact Removal and additional blasts. Engineered explosives was in one of the spots but its ability to not be searched under a Chalice has led us to explore alternates. Currently it's probably not a good idea TO bring this deck to an open meta without Bridge and artifact hate maindeck. Chalice is everywhere, and Revokers are still highly played. Now what to choose is up to you. Maniac Vandal is a strong card. Hedge mage is a lot worse since we can't as reliably have access to our fetches to get plateaus with top gone, and the other options are just easier to cast off a sol land and don't require two mountains in play already. Outside of Sylvan Library there are so few enchantments in Legacy right now that you care about. Omniscience and Sneak Attack are usually just killing you that same turn. The repeatability of Heretic has been good, and Vandal is a fine card, just slightly weaker against Death and Taxes. Without Bridge it is almost impossible to beat Show and Tell decks game one. At least having an ďOh shitĒ card is nice and it does do some work buying turns against Eldrazi and Reanimator lists. I would really say Bridge is not a flex card currently. Cannonist is probably the weakest of the batch but is nice to have for storm game one, along with having value against elves, Miracles and some Show and Tell variants. I would not argue with any number of random answers in this spot as each meta is different and you need to play what makes you comfortable.


    Blast Effects

    In the past 6+ were the norm. With the ability to float and dig for them with SDT, their flexibility was incredible. Without SDT, some of their versatility is diminished. The card still is incredibly strong against numerous match ups with and without Painter on the table. In the current meta the blasts still do an excellent job at destroying Delvers, but with so many Abrupt Decays you need to be very selective with when you cast your blast effects and should view them more preciously than when we had Top around. Hitting a cantrip can oftentimes be brutal and as more straight counter spells of blue cards is many times better than waiting. The incredible upside of selective removal in a pinch is just gravy. I think a transition away from using them as permanent removal and more as a reactive counterspell give the deck a small amount of reactivity that we lost in the transition between SDT and Copter. Keep this distinction in mind when you sequence your plays and make decisions on use.


    3/2 Welder/Lavaman split

    For most of testing 3 Lavaman was used just to feel the card out and he was awesome. But in the end the general strength of Welder still wins out. The 3rd Lavaman has been moved to the board as he is incredible against Elves, Delver variants, and Death and taxes. Often times only 2 activations are needed to give you the breathing room or the opportunity to combo off. The number of one drops is really important to ensure that your curve is low enough to really take advantage of the Copter in the deck. If anything adding a 6th may be correct. But as you can see, with our race to the bottom in casting cost, Chalice is really rough on one, necessitating strong artifact hate in the main. You also couldn't argue with someone flipping the numbers around or even going 4 Welders to be honest, as each configuration has merits.



    It is from this that the Phoenix rises so to speak. The list was cobbled together with these cards in mind. The synergy of the new addition combined with the disruption of Blood Moon and blast effects along with a combo that wins without combat is something that can still contend in modern legacy.






    Deeper Thoughts


    Shortcake is and always will be a combo deck at its core. Every card you play should either work to facilitate the combo, or your ability to assemble the needed pieces. In Magic, like most things in life, we use short hand to describe plays, board states and cards. So while we will say Blood Moon locked the opponent out, or that we went the aggro route in a game, what those statements miss is the fact that the fundamental goal of the deck broke down. The failure of the combo in any one game isnít a big deal as most linear or glass cannon strategies are fairly weak in Legacy.

    The core of Shortcake is a deck based around Painterís Servant and Grindstone, interacting in a way to ensure that your opponents deck ends up in their graveyard. While Painter lists, even those running 4 Imperial Recruiters can be traced back to Lorwyn Block, it wasnít till around Jan/Feb 2012 that Shortcake and its strategies started to really distance itself from previous Recruiter based Painter strategies. It stripped away cards like Figure of Destiny and added increased tutoring to the deck to improve consistency. Welder counts went up to add increased resiliency and combo potential. So while the deck could and would still routinely resolve a first turn Blood Moon, there was a concerted effort on faster and more consistent milling action. We were able to reduce variance, and provide a consistency that few decks outside the blue cantrip shells could match. At the end of the day this is still the focus of the deck.

    Below this are some old posts from previous Painter threads which should help to illustrate fundamentals of the deck, but more broadly how to approach playing magic and deck construction and evolution in general. Even removed from their context (And approx over 6 years old like Jesus Ad Nauseum as the most powerful card is almost quaint at this point) they hopefully illustrate some of the strengths, weaknesses, and tactics of the deck.

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    Seth-

    The notion of saying the deck plays the control role should also be addressed. I do this as much as anyone else and its lazy from a game theory standpoint to say bc the deck doesnít really ever play a control role. Moon effects are really a prison type element. Iíll use Vintage as a good example. Much like workshop decks, Moon cuts off resources, in this case the correct colored mana, and in that way it can ďcontrolĒ certain elements of the game. Ensnaring Bridge is the same thing as it ďcontrolsĒ combat, but even with these cards we arenít controlling the game really, just locking out certain parts so that we can employ our own means to victory. Much like Vintage shop decks, they lock down resources then swing with any number of dudes they do. Painterís ďcontrolĒ elements function in much the same way. So I think people should look at it in a more prison sense which helps to generate tempo and window to execute your primary plan. So if you want to modify the build think more about elements to lock out resources. My advice would be to try and find cards that augment this strategy, although as I will not later I think this is in general a bad idea.

    Painter is a fun deck and it is a versatile deck. But at its core it is a combo deck. The thing it does best is combo out games. Pure and simple. As I noted above it can play prison elements, although usually not as strong a strategy in this deck as the combo elements( Variance, which I address in detail later, sometimes makes the prison elements stronger than anything else, but donít worry I will address it). We shouldnít use agro when we talk about the deck bc the beat down plan is more reactive to a clear board state and a lack of ability to combo at this time. At no point is Painter a true aggro deck or plan like Zoo was years ago. Currently there is no aggro deck in Legacy. We do the beat down plan as a means to an end but you should never open up your first seven cards and keep the hand thinking Iím on the beat down plan. (Aside, one of the first lists Hollywood built was with 3 Figure of Destiny and 3 SoLS. I can not remember if this predated goyf, but I would say that deck could be said to have a true aggro plan as FoD scaled beautifully at the time and was a truly aggressive creature. With the Equipment you could play the deck in a manner where you were committing resources to the board and using your man to directly attack your opponentís life total from the beginning. Currently there is nobodyís version that actually is configured in this way. I suspect that there is a possible way to build the deck for a given meta where this is still possible. But with the increase in strength of creatures over the past five years this seems like a basically wasted idea as we could never scale the deck without losing its other elements. So it may still exist but I suspect if you found it it would be like running Burn, and overall shitty idea that is basically just a waste of your entrance fee. )

    I will be happy to address the fact that the combo aspect of the deck is the strongest and the others avenues we have are very watered down compared to other decks with those strategies, but now I want to address Variance as it directly ties into this being a Combo deck first and foremost. The strongest card in Legacy is probably LED or Ad Nauseum. The reason storm doesnít win more is due to variance. It can do the most broken things but at the same time it can just dick around trying to find the correct combination of those crazy powerful cards. The deck with the least variance would be a Stoneblade variant. They are able to use their cantrips to minimize the variance, ensure consistent draws and ensure that they have the correct card for each situation. With the exception of Jace no card they run is broken are even close. ( I am not addressing Brainstorm here. I would say probably 99% of what is written about Brainstorm on the internet is wrong. Using it first turn can oftentimes be better than waiting till turn seven bc early use may make the deck more consistent in the long run as the first couple turns may be at a premium relative to the loss of total cards seen by turn seven as seeing ten cards on turn 1 is stronger than seeing 17 cards on turn seven in setting up the rest of the game. However the more cards you see the more likely you are to find the correct card you need.) The pros and good players play stoneblade bc of the decrease in variance. If you want to do well at a large event with a varied meta and good players you choose the deck with little variance. This is why zoo was great 4 years ago. Essentially every card was the same in the deck, making it incredibly consistent with no truly powerful cards in its maindeck.

    Variance is a huge part of painter. It is one reason that it really isnít a great choice for a huge event if you really want to win. I continue to play it bc I love the deck. As a doctor I have little time to play magic anymore but I know the deck well. Due to the variance, rounds are short which I like anymore. If you really want to win with the deck you should be trying cards that minimize Variance. Diluting down the deck to do too many things will only increase said variance. By adding more prison elements( which is an overall weaker strategy), you are increasing your variance. Thus it may work for a match but that doesnít mean it was the correct play. This is why when I play storm I go all in on the combo with a hope of mild disruption. There are about a half turn to a little less than a full turn faster than us. ( the difficulty in the turn depends on if its Empty the Warrens vs Tendrils). I have been fortunate to play against some of the best Storm players in the world as the Syracuse crew comes to DC area often. Against Bryant and Royce and the rest canonist may occasionally win you the game, but a good storm player can more often then not beat that one piece of disruption. The only true way to make the canonist or thorn work would be to have it with the combo elements in hand. Once you start wasting your tutors to find the weak disruption you are watering down your overall best strategy to strengthen a weaker strategy. It is as equally likely that a good player and a terrible player will draw the nuts with storm and just beat you turn one. Its variance and it happens. But I know most of the time if I can increase my decks consistency, know my deck better, that most of the storm players I sit across from I am better than and I can leverage that small advantage to allow my combo to beat theirs.

    This post has some broad strokes, but I hope my points that strengthening the combo should be your number one priority. This is why I still feel that the white splash is the strongest version of the deck. ( I will never say that I have the best build), but I am pretty sure that the white splash is the best as it addressing everything I just posted. It cuts down on Variance giving you an incredibly strong tutor that strengthens the strongest aspect of the game. It allows the prison component to be stronger and more focused in the matchups where that will allow for the time for victory. And with the recent board it gives you access to a better beatdown plan at minimal cost if you have to shift focus away from the combo. It also uses RiP which strengthens the combo while giving you more combo pieces overall. Which again this is a combo deck first and foremost.

    I mentioned the Dojo before bc without these fundamentals understood nobody can hope to do well in magic. You may win one tournament or have a hot run just based on matchups or luck, but you will never be able to advance the deck or your play without it. Painter will never be a deck to beat, even if recruiters were five bucks. Its due to variance, but I love the deck and will try to continue to make it better. Nobody has to listen to anything I said but if you do I promise that after time you will have more success with this deck and any other deck you play.

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    Major Finishes, Tournament Reports, and Useful Links ---- (Under Construction)


    SCG Baltimore January 26, 2014

    http://sales.starcitygames.com//deck...p?DeckID=62808
    Jack aka Kapn Cook -- 5/402
    Seth aka Sroncor -- 36/402


    Glen Burnie MD February 9, 2014
    Seth -- 8/114


    Grand Prix Paris February 15-16, 2014
    http://wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Ar...ppar14/welcome Jean-Mary Accart aka Lejay -- 5/1587


    Tales of Adventure BOM Trial February 22, 2014
    Jack -- 1/173


    SCG Seattle March 16, 2014
    Brenden Mcbain -- 23/320

    SCG D.C. August 24, 2014
    Sean Park -- 13/285

    SCG Somerset August 31, 2014
    Jack Kitchen -- 4/443

    SCG Minneapolis October 26, 2014
    Daniel Rude -- 15/247

    SCG Baltimore IQ, March 2, 2015
    Jack -- 1/230


    MTGO Legacy Challenge, May 14, 2016
    Jack -- 1/60+






    Match ups

    Below are just some reference points for how to attack certain match ups. Currently due to newness of the deck and the potential for a shake up in the meta in the next two weeks, we are holding off on more detailed sideboarding strategies as we work through the match ups and final deck construction.

    Miracles: I want to say this is favorable, but that sometimes depends on a the flavor that people are playing. Going for the early combo now is probably more correct than it has been since we canít out grind them anymore, making them have the removal and accepting losses more when they do. Smugglerís Copter is really strong here helping to speed up your clock by putting pressure on their life total which was something in the past we struggled to do. This helps reduce the total cards they see in a given game, making it harder for them to slow roll cards. Blood Moons effectiveness is variable. Shutting off shuffle effects is always good, but newer trends have seen more basics to the point where it is sometimes difficult to shut them off od double blue, which was always a strong play in the past even if they fetched a basic plains and island before you could cast it. The Cannonist is really strong here, reducing the ability to string cantrips and allowing us to win counter wars much easier. Calling blue is a real gamble in this match up as allowing them to pitch trash to FoW instead of their good blue cards is brutal, as one of the worst feelings is seeing a Terminus pitch to FoW. aS a result you probably should call black most of the time and use your blasts to fight counter wars. While you can not really grind with them you can trade cards for a couple turns, putting pressure on them, slowing their cantrips, which should allow you a window to win. Copters ability to improve your draws over three turns is also enormous here.

    BUG/x Piles: A matchup which will vary depending on play/draw, but on the whole is probably slightly favorable matchup given the presence of Blood Moon. DRS has made the matchup not as favorable as it was in the past, but the Lavaman and sideboard help. BUG is the weakest of the bunch as it lacks the red of the piles lists. But in general they all have shitty manabases. LEading with Moon is very strong but due to the 3 plus colors sometimes on the play you are better served playing it turn 2 with counter back up. On the draw, just slam it and make them have an answer, then develop your board bc they have to respond to a Moon. Copters really shine here, as does the Pyroclasm in the board as Strix can just be a headache. Calling blue is a gamble here. Much like Miracles making them pitch good blue cards to FoW is much better then letting shit like Young Pyromancer do it. In these match ups there are plenty of great options to get insane value from the blast just targeting blue cards and spell. I would say less than half the time you will call blue.

    Lands: No longer the cake walk that the deck was 3 plus years ago. Between the more traditional variants and the newer turbo depths lists they can kill you with frightening speed. Blood moon in general does a great job slowing them down, but it is hardly game ending anymore. With Mox Diamond and ESG they can easily get the mana they need to resolve K Grip and Decays to break the lock. Luckily the mill approach still messes with them. The key is making them spend the Decay and Grip early allowing the combo to win the day. Bridge helps stop the attack and Welder is a huge creature here. Grave hate is sort of hit or miss in the match up, sometimes you destroy the engine other times they create a 20/20 and just laugh. Remember the Copter draws cards with blocking as just buying a couple turns can allow you to assemble the combo and win. You can safely call blue against Turbo Depths, traditional lands it is probably safe also, although I have seen some real weird lists lately, but I doubt they have REB in their board, although that could change if Back to Basics sees more play as that card is really underplayed in the current meta.

    Elves:
    A favorable matchup since we are faster. Beyond turn 2 and the advantage tips in elves favor. Moon is good on the play and early but after a mana creature is down moon is basically useless. While DRS is good, Natural Order is the most important card to worry about. Cannonist is awesome here and it ensures your combo is faster than theirs. After boarding, the match up is much more in your favor bc while they can bring in Decays and other targeted artifact hate, you have additional Lavaman, pyroclasm, and Cannonist, along with a possible 3ball. All of these cards if used smartly will easily buy you 2 plus turns which should be more than enough time to assemble your combo and win. Wirewood Symbiote, Heritage Druid and Birchlore Rangers should be killed before DRS as they are more critical to the big NO turn. You can safely call blue every game.

    Tendrils: ANT is probably even to slightly positive now since we canít protect the top of our library with top. TES is definitely a bad matchup as long as the pilot isnít braindead. Chrome Mox nullifies Blood Moon and empty on turn 1 is usually too much. ANT is way slower and its reliance on early turn cantrips gives us time to blast their cantrips and combo before Past in Flames lines are set up. Maindeck canonist is also game over, whereas TES can wish for answers. Overall you do not want Moon in this match up. Be aggressive with Blasts on cantrips. I find that the RiP/Helm package is awesome here as RiP can really fuck with their end game killing Past in Flames and Cabal Ritual, which buys time. Also while I would not think that actively beating down with dudes is viable unless a 3 ball or Cannonist is on the table, 2 turns of attacking with the Copter can make Adnauseum kills much harder as you are basically giving them 10 life or so. You can safely call blue every game as countering a key spell often is the only path to victory although hitting early cantrips can be back breaking also.

    Reanimator: Inherently a bad matchup because of their disruption suite and speed. Usually if they are successful in getting a creature onto the field then you will lose, although rarely you will be able to pull a win out of your ass. Be careful of running out a naked painter as Iona will become the hardest lock in the history of the game. RiP is super strong against the non blue variants, however with the blue variants you will also need to game plan for Show and Tell. The good news is that non blue variants can't Grisslebrand into FoW, so you will at least get a turn in which you should be able to do stuff unmolested allowing a small window for victory. Against blue shell reanimator you will call blue much less than 5o percent of the time as there ability to get multiple Fow is fairly high. Against the RB lists you should be able to safely call blue, although they may have REB in their board, that is something I do not know and I personally have not experienced, but I would play the card if I was them.

    Death and Taxes: Painterís weird stepbrother no one likes. One day, both decks were driving down along the shitty creature road, DnT chose to branch off and take the exit towards prison while we took the cool kid route towards combo. Fast hands are usually good enough to win, but the longer the game goes the more bullshit youíll have to put up with. Lavamancer has helped a bunch, but there are also subtle ways to outplay them using Welder. Pyroclasm is an allstar here. As are the Copters and Heretic. Copters ability to be colorless is really relevant with Mom on the table. Jitte is a nightmare. Moon is sometimes awesome and other times terrible. You can safely call blue all the time.


    Chalice stompy : A turn one chalice will usually be game over if we havenít been able to land a Welder or a Grindstone beforehand. The rise of these decks is the main reason why a Recruitable artifact destruction spell is needed. Otherwise, these decks are pretty easy to navigate if one of those are down, as we can cast other artifacts into it to weld into play. Eldrazi is a little different because of the presence of Thought Knot acting as hand disruption, but Ensnaring Bridge is usually king. Red chalice is probably the hardest version since moons are ineffective and theyíll run planeswalkers and other big mana removal. Otherwise, we are faster and can usually combo out without worry of instant speed removal. You can safely call blue in these matchups. However you oftentimes side out some number of blasts on the draw, so it becomes much less important.

    Show and Tell Variants: There are many flavors adn I am grouping all those that run either Show and Tell/ Sneak Attack or some other dumb combination of Mark Rosewaterís disaster of a wet dream. Eldraziís ability to reshuffle is one of the worst things for our deck. They basically make you need a three card combo to win through that. The match up is winnable but it is rough. Game one is basically unwinnable with current deck configuration. But a timely Bridge can allow for a window to win with Lavaman, and Copter beats using Welder for recursion to slowly push through damage. Sometimes you can get a blast on Show and Tell which when backed up with a couple turns of Copter attacks, you may be in a position for victory. Games 2 or 3 the match up improves but is still unfavorable. Get rid of Moons and bring in gravehate, the RiP/Helm package really shines in this match up. Calling blue is a gamble here also. Being able to get a Sneak Attack without open red mana is the dream, although I feel only a bad player would allow you to do so. It is with this in mind that you will most of the time call black here also, although it is reasonable to sandbag the Painter longer in this match up than others for the upside of hitting a naked Sneak Attack.

    Burn: An insanely terrible matchup. If the person playing burn is playing it because they view it as a solid metagame choice and know what they are doing, you canít win. Fortunately, you probably wonít face any competent burn players, so youíll end up with a 20% chance of winning, itís just that hard. You can occasionally squeeze out a win, those numbers go up if you run the RiP/Helm package. While I still stand by the claim that you build the deck and board without Burn in mind, the fact that our grave hate actually gives us an avenue to victory against our worst match up is a nice little plus. Hopefully you win the first two rounds and you stay multiple tables ahead of the burn players. Game one call blue, then it becomes a mind game. I would doubt they would bring in REB against you as they are already favored so much, but people are stupid. Be warned.



    Shortcake will always be able to survive in some capacity because the format will always revolve around bad manabases and blue. Brainstorm will never be banned, so this will allow our bad cards to at least have a shell. How competitive the deck remains will basically be a question of how many stupid blue shell cards Wizards keeps printing while simultaneously having no clue how to manage the banned list. Anyone with a brain could have seen that hard control as a deck should be allowed to survive. The way to manage it is to allow aggro to be able to go underneath it. An instant speed one mana wrath should not exist. Control should need to have to use the traditional 4 mana sorcery speed sweepers, which would re-institute the rock-paper-scissors meta on the macro level, with the push and pull of early game interaction vs high mana answers keeping stronger decks in check. It is this complete inability to comprehend the legacy dynamic that led Wizards to ban our glue card Senseiís Divining Top. Instead, people who donít play legacy get to make high level decisions about the banned list and also print idiotic garbage like True-Ape Nemesis, Terminus, Deathskill Shaman, and Leovold Emissary of Anal Pillaging without testing.




    Iíll finish with it really is a shame that so many new painters wonít be able to experience Shortcake in its tuned iteration. Although we talked a bit recently that even with how good we felt the list was at the time of the banning, we were only running three tops which was probably wrong in hindsight. That is also one of the reasons Shortcake is so much fun. The community is very small, since most donít want to buy cards for a niche deck where the cards donít overlap and few will put in the time to learn it. You can see that Painter lists from 10 years ago are still basically the same 55-56 cards just with slightly different numbers here or there. The ceiling of the deck was astronomical, since without the crutch of brainstorm to fix horrible keeps, knowing weird lines and probabilities and utilizing the stompy manabase and fast mana were the only way to leverage the deckís bad yet synergistic cards over the course of tournaments without punting. The speed and resilience the deck demonstrated while being able to switch between fast combo, prison, aggro, and even hard control at a whim. Someday top might be unbanned, but until then, weíll have to resort to re-thinking a lot of the basic principles of shortcake and test a bunch to get it back to its proper spot as the #1 Legacy Deck.

    Until then.


    Special thanks go to:

    Seth (sroncor1) who co-wrote this and anyone else who fucks with Shortcake


    Shortcake is dead, long live Shortcake and Fucking Free Nedleeds already.
    Last edited by Kap'n Cook; 09-24-2018 at 12:34 PM.
    Strawberry Shortcake

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Reserved for Later
    Öno matter how much you think you love somebody, youíll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Reserved for future lists
    Öno matter how much you think you love somebody, youíll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Reserved for future thoughts
    Öno matter how much you think you love somebody, youíll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Thank you for this, it was a very interesting read. Always been interested in Painter tho I have never played it (my main deck is Pox). Love the idea that it has a lot of power and explosivity, but can also grind games away. And Goblin Welder is a hell of a card.

    My question, and I'm sure you expected it, is how is Shortcake different from the mono-red lists and the blue lists (with or without chalice) that are going around? Or more specifically, why play shortcake over those? It seems you're more focused on the combo than the mono-red lists, which are largely a lot like mono-red prison with the combo in the place of chalices. In relation to the mono-blue lists, you seem faster but also somewhat less protected? And you have moon where they have chalice (sometimes).

    If you could say more on these points I'd love to hear it.
    Don't recall, Don't imagine, Don't think, Don't examine, Don't control, Rest

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Can we get a section for all of your reports Jack?

    In tears laughing at the last paragraph, nicely written. Let's get back to "blood mooning bitches into barrels."
    Quote Originally Posted by nedleeds View Post
    Dat 1/1 with built in pump. Watch out Griselbrand here comes lizard mid range.
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitefaces View Post
    It's amazing people still get a kick from pointing out how good fetchlands are with DRS and cantrips etc. It's like it's some secret that they're graciously unveiling for the rest of us.

    'Brainstorm and DRS are very powerful cards...'

    'ACKSHUALLY'

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    @Steve- Shortcake is much different than mono red painter and has continued to diverge in the post SDT meta. The old thread does cover lots of this but I will try some broad strokes to sum this up.
    1. We are centered on increased consistency to reduce variance. Instead of the random 2-3 counts of cards with high end haymakers, we look to resolve the combo and then add in ways to increase redundancy through out the deck.
    2. We are focused on achieving and resolving 3 mana for our spells. I actually think most of the mono red lists need to rework their mana base as they have added more and more high end cards with double red in the casting cost. This allows us to use a mana base that is different than other stompy lists. The mono red lists should probably be transitioning to more Chome Mox t this time, we don't need that.
    3. In the last 5 plus years Shortcake has been the most consistent high performing version of the deck in Legacy.
    4. Besides the above points, I hope the primer spells out the other advantages/reasons for Shortcake vs other versions.

    Now with respect to that blue version, it is a different beast all together. That is more a variant of Painted Stone than it is a Imperial Painter variant. From its mana base, to the tutors, through its end game, the entire deck is different. Now I haven't played the deck, but there is no way Shortcake could ever run a spell with 3 colored man in the casting cost. I am not sure I can address the less protected as I think that is the opposite actually. Welder and blast probably give our combo more protection and resilience than theirs I would have to think.

    In the end Shortcake wants to mill to win and the deck is designed to increased how often we do that, and to do that as fast as possible while dropping the variance. I am not the best person to talk about those other lists as I have never really played them, but from the construction you can tell that isn't their number one goal, or they are built to have other avenues. We felt that was a weakness in the current meta and has been a weakness for some time as the format has continued to become faster and more consistent across the board.

    Seth
    Öno matter how much you think you love somebody, youíll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Nice work on the new thread, guys! Looking forward to seeing further developments with Shortcake and Imperial Painter in equal measure.

    Looking at both your lists (and this is something that was always discussed with the old lists too), I'm wondering whether any consideration has been given to the addition of a basic Plains? As a related question, how often do you find yourself locked out of white mana by a Blood Moon with an Enlightened Tutor in hand?

    +1 for Jack's reports, those things are hilarious.

    Regarding the section on Smuggler's Copter, I did a minimal bit of maths in the Imperial Painter thread. Just in case anyone's interested, the probabilistic difference between 16, 17 and 18 creatures isn't that large. Your chances of having at least one creature in your first 8 cards (turn two on the play) is 93.07% with 16, 94.33% with 17 and 95.39% with 18 creatures respectively. It's worth noting that the differences obviously become more pronounced if you're looking for two creatures, assuming that the first will eat removal. Conversely, the probability of having at least one Smuggler's Copter in an opening hand with four copies is 39.95%, dropping to 31.54% with three copies. The chances of having two copters in your opener is only 6.32% even with four copies.

    This would lend support to the idea that 4 Copters is the right number for the deck and that 16 crewing creatures is a reasonable number. I really like the Ethersworn Canonist in the main of Seth's list as a tutorable hedge against a wide variety of decks and, in the failcase, a way to crew the copter.

    Are there plans for a section on sideboarding? That seems to be where the two lists diverge the most, with the RiP-Helm plan in Seth's list eschewed in favour of more flexible solutions in Jack's. Given that burn is such a bad match-up, we could go back to running Sphere of Law as a tutorable (if a little slow) answer. CoP: Red might be worth testing as well, although the constraints on mana that it places are not inconsiderable.

    I also think that a section about Enlightened Tutor would be very usefulóin my opinion, it's one of the most difficult cards to play correctly in the deck. Sometimes it's correct to get a Moon to lock your opponent out, but knowing when you should just go for the combo is vital.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    I only managed to read a small fragment of this yet but it's all very nicely put together, thanks for the effort!
    Currently playing/brewing: Grixis Painter, all Maverick versions, Planeswalker Nic Fit, Cloudpost Fit, MOST and then some.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    @Jasper- Thanks for the kind words and math. Those numbers sort of back up the testing. I would love to get the creature up to 18 but its really hard.

    With respect to E tutor, plains, and getting stranded: I agree the card is very difficult to play. But I think the best way to to think of the card is as a augmentation of the plans that the decks wants to accomplish. That being said sometimes it isn't needed, sometimes you can win without out or in spite of it, and other times its just a dead draw. Its sort of like a prospect in baseball. Some have high ceilings, but often those with the highest ceilings also have the lowest floors with a high chance of busting. But the upside is so tantalizing you have to take the chance. This is how I see E tutor. Along with that you really can't afford to run a basic Plains in the deck. You already run so few red sources, that cutting more is really hard. Compounding that, you really don't want to ever fetch it before a Blood Moon as that delays deploying Blood Moon by too many turns. So you are on the drawing into it randomly which is a thing for sure, but that upside is too small I feel for the downside of having the basic Plains in your opening hand as the only source of permanent colored mana. A general rule of thumb is that if you properly played Blood Moon, locking yourself and your opponent out of colors beyond red, then you should win that game even with a couple dead draws in your hand. Copter continues to help mitigate this also. There is also the whole needing to run non Onslaught block fetch lands which just feels bad...

    With respect to playing the card, I do not know if I can offer any specific advice. It is highly situational and I think the best way to figure it out is to just sling the deck to be honest. I wish I could create a list, but there are so many variables. I do think I probably get Blood Moon less these days. Outside of the combo pieces the most likely target is probably either Great Furnace or Ensnaring Bridge to be honest. I personally like to use the card two ways. Either fire it off immediately bc I have already sort of figured out my first 2-3 turns and want to maximize mana efficiency, or wait till the last possible second to minimize the impact of card disadvantage( as -1 card when you have seen 14 is much different from -1 card when you have only seen 10 cards). So for me it's either I know my sequencing over the first several turns and I use E tutor to get there or I let the game develop, build my board and then wait and see what I need at the end. Both of these lines in simplistic terms show the incredible versatility of the card. Outside of that I do not know exactly how to answer this bc it is so specific to board state and what your opponent is doing.

    With respect to the sideboards, they are very close. I want people to see the RiP/Helm as really just 4 RiP in the board. I choose 4 gravehate, and my hate of choice is RiP as I think it is the strongest. The Helm is just there as an oops I win which sometimes steals you a couple games. The issue with gravehate is that I do not think there is a best one to be honest. I do think that Faerie Macabre probably isn't what you want. But Relic, Surgical Extraction, and Crypt all have strengths and weakness which I could see working, and all adequately answer Eldrazi shuffling, which I think at baseline you need from your gravehate.

    Seth
    Öno matter how much you think you love somebody, youíll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

  11. #11

    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Have you guys tried out walking ballista yet? I cut my 3rd lavamancer in favor of it and it's been great. I was finding that even with 2 lavamancers I was barely just having enough to use multiple lavamancer activations while still trying to keep up welder activations. It also doubles as a very good threat/large burn spell towards the end of the game.

    It's unfortunate but I think that you are 100% correct and want some sort of artifact destruction dude maindeck now.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatDeleuzeGuy View Post
    I want to play as close to possible a 100% reactive deck that also approached 0% variance in how it played. I want to play magic with as little variance as possible. Also had a foiled out miracles deck that was an investment of about 6 grand that is now nearly worthless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Secretly.A.Bee View Post
    My original post did that.

    I'd love to have a battle of wits with you but I see you lack the necessary equipment.

    Good day.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Quote Originally Posted by CptHaddock View Post
    Have you guys tried out walking ballista yet? I cut my 3rd lavamancer in favor of it and it's been great. I was finding that even with 2 lavamancers I was barely just having enough to use multiple lavamancer activations while still trying to keep up welder activations. It also doubles as a very good threat/large burn spell towards the end of the game.

    It's unfortunate but I think that you are 100% correct and want some sort of artifact destruction dude maindeck now.

    Funny that you mention ballista as Seth and I were briefly discussing him yesterday when we were finishing up the post. Obviously its definitely a lot of upside as we can find it with both tutors and it is a variable threat. I think it definitely merits further investigation, just not sure over what spot, although the lavamancer slot could very well be it. It is true what you say about the lavamancers being harder to sustain if you can get two out, although I've been finding that its nearly impossible to have one stick around as they eat removal almost instantly. For that reason I am still happy with the current split and running 3 overall as it is such a house against Delver if we are able to stick one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stevestamopz View Post
    Can we get a section for all of your reports Jack?

    In tears laughing at the last paragraph, nicely written. Let's get back to "blood mooning bitches into barrels."

    That's the hope mate. Gotta put all of these Turbo Kinko's deathrite trashcan abominations in all the barrels. Most of the actual painter reports are linked in the reports section, although I should comb through and see if there are any other reports by me or anyone else that were just posted in the old thread itself and add them


    Quote Originally Posted by sroncor1 View Post

    There is also the whole needing to run non Onslaught block fetch lands which just feels bad...

    Seth

    Quoted for the motherfucking truth
    Strawberry Shortcake

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  13. #13

    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    I see no mention of Chandra at all. Was she not good enough in your testing ? I don't know I could not play her, Having a way to dig that doubled as a non-mill win con for sneak/tin-fins was really amazing.

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Quote Originally Posted by rabidw0lf View Post
    I see no mention of Chandra at all. Was she not good enough in your testing ? I don't know I could not play her, Having a way to dig that doubled as a non-mill win con for sneak/tin-fins was really amazing.

    I think her Ultimate was a super reasonable win condition when we could chain Sensei Tops together, and obviously her other abilities were great when we had control of the game behind a bridge or painter and blasts. With trying to run copters, the space to ensure that the copters are best built around doesn't really allow room for a planeswalker like Chandra like it did in prior shortcake lists. we had better control over the cards we saw with top, so obviously we could find Chandra quicker than usual. I think if the meta shifts with the banned announcements soon then we could explore the planeswalkers further, but as of right now, having to contend with Grixis Delver and how wide they go doesn't really allow room for a 4 drop that kind of contradict the higher pressure the copters allow.

    Granted, a slow shortcake build with walkers could probably be built, it would just feel weird since we are then trying to both combo quickly and also cautiously navigate the board to assemble walkers. I just don't think we have the card selection anymore to really make that a consistent strategy.
    Strawberry Shortcake

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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    @Chandra- Basically what Jack said. She is a strong card for sure, but she is not what we want to do. As I have mentioned in the previous thread, our mana base is not constructed in a manor to reliably cast her aggressively which is a real issue. Double red can be real tough to get. She also really struggles against Delver variants as we can not reliably protect her.

    I will admit I never tested her in the newer version of Shortcake, as I never saw the need to have a card with that effect. Moving forward, you would need to figure out which match up and when she is really needed. From there you would have to figure out what cards to cut to add her to the deck. That last part is really tough as spaces are so tight. While toy can argue some of the dorks we use are the weakest cards, she really can not compete with Lavaman.

    I will say that I will probably test out the new Karn though. I do doubt the artifact creatures he creates will get too big, but those are some great effects on a 5 loyalty body that can be cast off 2 sol lands. That being said I am not sure what match ups I want him in, but his ability to easily crew the Copter and give us some cards is nice amount of power for a card.

    Seth
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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Hello all. I like the new digs. Jack and Seth well done on the spoiler. Thanks for putting in the work.
    On to business, Seth I'm glad you brought up the new Karn. I immediately thought of this deck when I saw it spoiled. It's very good in this deck for all the reasons that you mentioned. And I easily think you could cut a couple dudes for Karn as he does also power copters as you mentioned. Having said that, I still think Chandra is a viable option for this deck as well. I say that for two reasons...
    First, the copter is pretty good at playing defense is you want it to. It trades with delver, leovold and most other legacy creatures pretty well and nobody wants to keep attacking with young pyro tokens or similar just to let you loot every turn. So, copter actually can do a decent job of protecting Chandra.

    Second, I don't think shortcake as a deck necessarily has to go in the copter direction. This might be the one issue I have with the spoiler. I think "shortcake" as a deck is referring to red/white imperial painter lists in general and i do think it is reasonable to build the deck with lots of fast Mana, more copies of bridge and 3-4 copies of Chandra. Chandra is basically a turn 2 or 3 Planeswalker in this deck which is pretty good. She packs very good creature removal, ok card advantage and is actually a pretty fast finisher and if she ultimates it's usually game over. I really think copter lists are still a work in progress as you guys haven't had a ton of luck with the list yet and it's not unreasonable that you eventually scrap it or something better comes along (eg. Maybe Karn is the missing piece). Don't get me wrong. I've always liked smuggler's copter and tried to make it work with Daretti for a long time (it took me a long time to move away from the deck after top ban). I'm just not 100% sold on it yet. (I will say I like Karn with copter way more than Chandra work copter just because of the obvious synergy).

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  17. #17
    Bob Ross
    Kap'n Cook's Avatar
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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    Sup homie. I completely agree that the copters may end up not being correct or as good as something else at some point. As of now though the copters have kind of felt the best so far compared to what we were with top. Thereís also a reason that this primer is in the new and developmental for now. Itís pretty unestablished as you mentioned so we are just trying a bunch of stuff. Going towards more of a fortress build could also work im sure, it would just have to build with all those factors in mind and probably slower conboing

    Really excited to try Karn too as itís kust a really big versatile dude weíll see how it has to be built around.
    Strawberry Shortcake

    http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...erry-Shortcake

    What a brainstorm do? Draw card and activate on draw effects fix hand, removing woods
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  18. #18
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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    @drude-I think Chandra is strong and viable, I am just not sure she is what the deck needs. While I agree with your points on her strengths there are a few issues with them. In general you want to be swinging with the Copter each turn. While the blocking is nice to get the looting effect, you really want to ensure that you are seeing those two cards every turn. So in reality holding it back is fairly bad. I also feel that to truly take advantage of a Planeswalker with double red, we would need to rework the mana base. I have spent a lot of time thinking about Planeswalkers and I think there use is really hard to evaluate. The power level on the high end is so great that I think, that their variance makes it had to see there strengths and weaknesses without stepping back.

    If you were to use her I, you would have to cut something. I am open to evaluating it, but what would you remove?

    With respect to Shortcake and going the Copter direction, that is more of a way to increase the consistency of the deck. Shortcake was always focused on the combo, and reducing the Bridge and other board controlling elements. The actual colors are not really important. Yes we run Rw, the colors do not define the list, its the focus that designs it. As the primer stated, really the first list was mono red and I was really just lazy in not desleeving the mana base for the first month. Adding more Bridges and 3 plus Planeswalkers really changes the direction of the deck. We really need only three mana to really function in this deck, and those other lists run a much higher curve which dictates a differently constructed mana base, which would be one more designed for multiple turns of more colored mana than we are. If you go that route, you really want a more traditional stompy mana base, which we are happy to not play.

    As to the success, I actually have to disagree with that. I did not have a great finish at a larger event I played in, but that was more just bad luck in facing so many Chalice of the Voids. The maindeck Heretic fixes that, and had I had him I would have most likely been able to top 8 the event had I had something to tutor for in those match ups. Online the deck has consistently been doing quiet well for me. I need to start doing some more weekend events, its just been really fucking hard to set aside a Sunday. I also think performance will start to improve games 2-3 as we can now start to fine tune the board in general. It took over 150 matches just to sort out the main deck. Karn may be a viable piece for the deck, but it will not replace what Copter does. The speed that you can deploy it, the ability to finally pressure an opponents life total as a resource, along with the ability to choose the cards you keep all all things that Karn can't do.

    Seth
    Öno matter how much you think you love somebody, youíll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

  19. #19

    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    aight y'all sold me on the deck. and then some other dudes sold me the cards, looking forward to taking it all for a spin. gotta tap some white-bordered bois.

    150 matches is a solid number. did you keep track of your record or matchups? could be interesting.

    RE adding bridges - I am obviously new but it seems like with 3x E tutor and 1 Bridge we're at an effective 4 bridges, should that turn out to the card we need. So in bridge-relevant matchups we have just as much chance to get it as we would in a monored list (though we can't just topdeck it save our skins, true enough). I honestly like this more lean and tool-boxy approach, it seems more flexible and has more combo potential via 3 extra copies of all the pieces.
    Don't recall, Don't imagine, Don't think, Don't examine, Don't control, Rest

  20. #20
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    Re: [Deck] Strawberry Shortcake

    To be honest I didn't keep a running excel sheet, but I sort of wish I did. The issue was that the first 50-100 matches I was constantly tinkering with the maindeck and the sideboard. SO while they were super helpful in working through sequencing and validation of ideas, they aren't so good right now as the deck has changed significantly.

    While I was working on the primer I spent a lot of time rewatching the matches that I did play to help figure out different lines and if they were the best. I do think that was very helpful. So while I will admit the deck hasn't performed at any large event the list is fairly well tuned from a deck design standpoint. I know Jack just went 4-1 in a league and the game I was playing with him, he made a misplay that should have had him being 5-0, beating Sneak and Show lists 2-1. While I will not say a league result really matters, I think we will continue to see similar results moving forward now that the maindeck is fairly well developed, the sideboard is rounding into shape, and we have a better grasp of the sequence of plays that need to happen over the first three turns.

    Enjoy the deck and have fun!

    Seth
    Öno matter how much you think you love somebody, youíll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

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