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Thread: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

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    Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    Background

    Hey folks, just written up a little primer and short report of an MTGO league.
    A little background: I started playing legacy a little over a year ago when I fell in love with Imperial Painter. I had almost finished assembling the deck in paper when [s]the fire nation attacked[/s] Senseiís Divining Top was banned.

    A number of valiant individuals over at the Source have been trying to piece the pieces together ever since, but Imperial Painter without top feels pretty linear and loses one of its key advantages over other moon stompy decks, but still doesnít get to play chalice because, well, Grindstone costs 1, as do Pyroblast, Red Elemental Blast and Goblin Welder. Also, not getting to engage in welder-top shenanigans was just a bit disheartening, as was the feeling of playing basically a strictly worse deck.

    I toyed with various other builds, including mono red and assorted grixis builds from the Painter-Stone thread on the source. While the grixis builds were fun and had the play to them that I was missing in the newer imperial builds, they felt pretty fragile, both in terms of the combo and the mana base. Playing welder and intuition also opens you up to graveyard hate and when youíre playing fewer sol lands, the combo gets slower.

    A few mono-blue lists have shown up too, playing cantrips, Transmute Artifact and Whir of Invention. However, as exemplified by a recent deck that had Show and Tells and Emrakuls in the sideboard, these decks arenít attacking from a much different axis to Sneak and Show, and the combo, while infinitely sexier, is clunkier than just needing to resolve a single Show and Tell.

    So, the dilemma arose: why paint at all? Of course, legacy is the format for pet decks, and I was certainly still slinging stones (and painters), but I wasnít ready to stop trying to do something a little bit different. So here we are.

    It turns out that the answer lies in the first paragraph (foreshadowing!)óChalice of the Void. As it turns out, chalice is an extremely good answer to the various turbo xerox strategies running roughshod over this format. And, actually, most other things.

    Still, the problem of Grindstone remains. But as we discovered, playing blue lets you play Transmute Artifact and Whir of Invention, which put the stone straight into play, getting around chalice. It also allows you to play Trinket Mage, which increase your virtual copies of chalice and grindstone, and lets you be flexible about when you play which. Anyway, enough preamble! More ramble to follow, but firstóa list.

    DecklistóVoid Painting

    Maindeck

    4 Chalice of the Void
    2 Grindstone
    2 Mox Diamond
    2 Sorcerous Spyglass
    1 Lion's Eye Diamond
    1 Engineered Explosives

    4 Painter's Servant
    4 Trinket Mage
    2 Lodestone Golem
    1 Spellskite

    4 Force of Will
    4 Thirst for Knowledge
    3 Whir of Invention
    1 Transmute Artifact

    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    1 Tezzeret the Seeker

    13 Island
    4 Ancient Tomb
    3 City of Traitors
    1 Academy Ruins
    1 Seat of the Synod

    Sideboard

    2 Chill
    2 Ensnaring Bridge
    2 Back to Basics
    2 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Echoing Truth
    1 Llawan, Cephalid Empress
    1 Mindbreak Trap
    1 Meekstone
    1 Sorcerous Spyglass
    1 Walking Ballista
    1 Vedalken Shackles

    Card choices

    Alright, now that thatís out of the way, a bit more rambling about some of the card choices.

    Mox Diamond: Initially, I was running a full set of Lotus Petal and only 20 lands. A particularly unsuccessful couple of leagues (1-4/1-4), which nonetheless contained a large number of games that felt pretty close but involved me running out of gas at crucial junctures, led me to try something different. I considered Chrome Mox, but then decided that Mox Diamond and a couple of extra lands would probably be better. This allows you to discard extra copies of City of Traitors or Ancient Tomb, and allows you to cast Engineered Explosives for two.

    Sorcerous Spyglass is solid in many matchups, and gives you maindeck answers to a bunch of things. The information also comes in handy. Also, sometimes you get to cheese people by naming the fetchland in their hand. Dirty, but it works. Having an extra one in the board is nice in matchups where it shines or you want to cut other things that are redundant.

    Lionís Eye Diamond: I keep going back and forth about LED. On the one hand, it enables some of your quickest kills. It also lets you discard your hand and hide behind a bridge in postboard games. Oh, and it confuses the hell out of people. On the other hand, it often does nothing, and you donít exactly love discarding your hand. I think that as things stand, itís ok to have as a Trinket Mage target and Thirst for Knowledge discard fodder.

    Trinket Mage is excellent. I find that a lot of the time Iím actually not fetching Grindstone, but instead going for a chalice. Your first frequently gets forced, and itís still great on turn three or four. The utility of fetching Seat of the Synod is also pretty neat.

    Lodestone Golem can be surprisingly hard for decks to deal with, particularly when accompanied by a chalice on 1. He prompts concessions from storm players, is a quick clock on an empty board and trades with Gurmag Angler.

    Spellskite: Again, a card that Iíve gone back and forth on. I think having one somewhere in the 75 is good, and the utility of having it in the maindeck is probably just about high enough. Making them find two answers to your lock or combo piece can be backbreaking.

    Thirst for Knowledge: Iíve tried a few options for card advantage and selection, including Search for Azcanta. Search is a good card, and often prompted countermagic from control opponents, but without cantrips youíre not proactively filling your graveyard and flipping it often takes a long time. Iíve considered Glint-Nest Crane, but we donít actually run that many artifacts, the difference between 2 and 3 mana in a deck with 7 sol lands isnít as great, and frequently youíd rather have a whir or a force than any artifact.

    Whir of Invention and Transmute Artifact: Whir might look clunkier than Transmute, given that it requires UUU, but instant speed and not having to sacrifice an artifact more than make up for it. There arenít actually that many artifacts that you particularly want to sacrifice, and having to pay for the difference sometimes leads you to pay more than you would with whir given that whir has improvise. I had been playing with four copies of whir, but it is pretty clunky, and itís no fun getting stuck with a whir when all you have is sol lands.

    Tezzeret, the Seeker: His +1 doesnít have much utility in the deck aside from granting pseudo vigilance to your creatures, or maybe untapping your singleton Seat of the Synod (note: Iíve actually never done either of those things). However, his -X is a repeatable Whir, and his -5 represents a plausible win condition.

    Sideboard
    Chill might be a bit cute, but it has utility against decks like burn and mono-red storm. Iím undecided as to whether it warrants a spot.

    Ensnaring Bridge is pretty good against cards like True-Name Nemesis, as well as against Sneak and Show and Reanimator, although the latter can answer it via Tidespout Tyrant. Even though itís fragile, I think itís a good one to have, particularly as you can tutor for it.

    Back to Basics is excellent against greedy decks. They sometimes donít expect it because youíre running sol lands.

    Tormodís Crypt is good against various graveyard decks (obviously) and also lets you combo against decks with Emrakul. I think the case could be made that three is the right number, because the decks you want it against donít always give you the time to tutor for it.

    Echoing Truth is a good multipurpose card against Young Pyromancer, Mentor, and big beasties alike. A recent addition, I think I liked it enough to add another if I can find the space.

    Llawan, Cephalid Empress might seem again a bit cute. But youíre not siding this in hoping to get Ďem with a Painter naming blue. Against Czech Pile and BUG, itís frequently good enough on its own, and is surprisingly hard for them to deal with. I was running two, and wouldnít mind finding space for the second again.

    Mindbreak Trap for storm, high tide, and so on. Again I think a second might be reasonable, although the storm matchup is pretty good between Chalice of the Void, Force of Will and Lodestone Golem.

    Meekstone: Meant as a tutorable answer to TNN, Batterskull and Gurmag Angler, Iíve found that it sometimes doesnít really do enough because them hitting you once and destroying it end of turn is enough to get you.

    Walking Ballista: Great against Death and Taxes, and decent at shooting other small critters and Planeswalkers. Was formerly in the maindeck, but Iím not sure it does enough in enough matchups.

    Vedalken Shackles seems cool, but should probably be something else. Iíve never found myself in a position to use it.

    League report

    Anyway, I took this pile of cards to a 5-0 finish yesterday and Iíve done a short write-up of the matches. Unfortunately it doesnít look like it was selected for the 5-0 lists that were published today. Iím holding out hope that it might count as a 5-0 from today given the timing of when I finished the league, but I guess weíll see.

    Round 1: UB Reanimator Ė DNSolver
    I lost game 1 fairly comprehensively to a flurry of countermagic countering key spells, including a Daze on a turn 1 Chalice of the Void, followed by Griselbrand and the gang. In game 2 I had chalice on turn 1, accompanied by a sideboarded Tormodís Crypt if memory serves. Game 3 I had another turn 1 chalice, and although my opponent had a fairly spicy Pack Rat, I had the Sorcerous Spyglass to shut it off and thereby seal the deal.

    Round 2: ANT Ė TrollSlayer
    Lodestone Golem was enough to prompt a concession in game 1. I should have, and would have, lost game 2 were it not for my poor opponentís misfortune with the ever-delightful MODO client which caused him to fail to find a second Duress off an Infernal Tutor. I had kept a 5 with one land, Force of Will and Mindbreak Trap, and two Duress would have cleared the way for him to combo off. I was able to put the combo into play piece by piece, but then floundered on finding a third land to activate Grindstone. We went back and forth, me plugging away with Painterís Servant and him with Xantid Swarm, and I was eventually able to find a third land before he was able to find more disruption for my Force of Will.

    Round 3: Sneak and Show Ė apshawa
    I had double Lodestone Golem in the first game, accompanied by a Force of Will for his Show and Tell. In game 2 I had an early chalice. He was able to resolve a Sneak Attack, but couldnít find a monster to sneak in before I was able to combo him.

    Round 4: Czech Pile Ė TeamGameCorpsOnline
    I was able to resolve a chalice in game 1 but failed to find much else other than lands as I got Hymn to Tourachíd and then beaten down by a motley crew of Baleful Striges (apparently that is the plural of strixówho knew?), a Snapcaster Mage, and a Deathrite Shaman. Game 2 brought the ahem lock of Painterís Servant naming blue, Llawan, Cephalid Empress, and Chalice of the Void on 1. The final game was fairly back and forth, but I think my draws were overall higher quality. A resolved Jace on my side and a healthy dose of Force of Will were able to hold him off until I eventually found the combo.

    Round 5: BR Reanimator Ė nomadiccynic
    This was an intense match that I thought was going to scupper the 5-0 dream at multiple points. My opponent started game 1 by revealing not one but two Chancellor of the Annex. Fortunately for me, their only reanimation spell was Animate Dead, leaving me on a 5 turn clock. I cast a Chalice of the Void for 0 into the two upkeep triggers and was then able to assemble the combo through the onboard Chancellor and combo off with two turns to spare. In the second game, I keep a 7 with a turn two combo kill but not much else, and, being on the draw, they makes a turn two Griselbrand and proceeds to Tidespout Tyrant me out of the game. A mulligan to 5 in game 3 leaves me on a hand including Force of Will and Tormodís Crypt, but only one land. I drop the Crypt on my turn one, but my opponent casts Pithing Needle on his and names Crypt. Uh-oh. On their next turn, they casts Dark Ritual into Entomb with two cards in hand. I decide to Force the Entomb on the basis that they have more ways to reanimate things than bin them. A turn or two later, they reanimate a Chancellor, again with Animate Dead. I have Echoing Truth in hand, but still no second land. I get hit down to seven before finding an Ancient Tomb, which allows me to bounce the Chancellor. Unfortunately for my opponent, they seemed unable to draw much other than land for a good few turns while I cast Trinket Mage to find a chalice. I slowly beat him down with Trinket Mage and a Painterís Servant, having put a chalice on 2 for good measure.



    Right, I think this is probably more than anyone actually wanted to read about my weird anti-synergistic little brew, but this was my first time writing any kind of primer or tournament report and I think I got a little carried away. In any case, Iíd love to hear any feedback on the deck, my writing, or how much you hate chalice of the void.
    Last edited by jasper; 02-03-2018 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Added missing card: Spellskite

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    Re: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    Hell yea. While Red will always be better than Blue, still nice to see random painter shit like this representing. Nice work dude. The Painter utility is kinda lacking (do you just name blue for your forces anyways?), which I think would always be a problem when not being able to run blasts. A trash card that is hilarious you could consider is Mana Maze as protection since it is basically a silence as soon as you cast your first spell, or you could get screwed by them casting instants on your upkeep haha. Other than that looks dope, although finding room for a maindeck bridge is likely the nut.

    Either way, fuck wizards, RIP Shortcake.

    #FreeNedleeds
    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
    #FreeNedleeds

    Quote Originally Posted by aslidsiksoraksi
    kinda wanna say free ned leeds since that seems to be the thing here but to be honest I have no clue who he is. so i'll just say keep on painting!

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    Re: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kap'n Cook View Post
    Hell yea. While Red will always be better than Blue, still nice to see random painter shit like this representing. Nice work dude. The Painter utility is kinda lacking (do you just name blue for your forces anyways?), which I think would always be a problem when not being able to run blasts. A trash card that is hilarious you could consider is Mana Maze as protection since it is basically a silence as soon as you cast your first spell, or you could get screwed by them casting instants on your upkeep haha. Other than that looks dope, although finding room for a maindeck bridge is likely the nut.

    Either way, fuck wizards, RIP Shortcake.

    #FreeNedleeds
    Painter utility is lacking for sure, although some of the sideboard cards do play fairly nicely. Also, the utility of your opponent feeling like Painter's Servant is a deadly threat and must die immediately can't be underestimated. Yup, I usually name blue for Forces, Black to hedge against Snuff Out or red because why wouldn't you want everything to be red?

    Mana Maze seems fairly horrendous but also a lot of fun. Finding room for a maindeck bridge seems reasonable although it feels like everyone has an answer to bridge nowadays. What would you cut?

    Anyway, agreedófuck wizards, RIP Shortcake but long live Painter.

  4. #4

    Re: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    Quote Originally Posted by jasper View Post
    Painter utility is lacking for sure, although some of the sideboard cards do play fairly nicely. Also, the utility of your opponent feeling like Painter's Servant is a deadly threat and must die immediately can't be underestimated. Yup, I usually name blue for Forces, Black to hedge against Snuff Out or red because why wouldn't you want everything to be red?

    Mana Maze seems fairly horrendous but also a lot of fun. Finding room for a maindeck bridge seems reasonable although it feels like everyone has an answer to bridge nowadays. What would you cut?

    Anyway, agreedófuck wizards, RIP Shortcake but long live Painter.
    Hi, i love painter too. I played the deck since 3 years, i Want to play it. Actually i am on mono blue (you can see my list in the topic).
    I am surprised, to saw calice in your deck. I need to exchange with you about the deck.

    I test many other deck but i was always trying to play painter. I am preparing the birmingham GP.

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    Re: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanhur View Post
    Hi, i love painter too. I played the deck since 3 years, i Want to play it. Actually i am on mono blue (you can see my list in the topic).
    I am surprised, to saw calice in your deck. I need to exchange with you about the deck.

    I test many other deck but i was always trying to play painter. I am preparing the birmingham GP.
    Sure, always happy to talk about painter decksóshoot me a message on here or on reddit (u/itsjustjasper) if you like. I've seen your list, but I think that it's actually pretty different to this one in terms of how it plays even though they have some shared elements.

    I'm thinking about going to GP Birmingham too, and would love to play a deck with painter.

  6. #6

    Re: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    Quote Originally Posted by jasper View Post
    Sure, always happy to talk about painter decksóshoot me a message on here or on reddit (u/itsjustjasper) if you like. I've seen your list, but I think that it's actually pretty different to this one in terms of how it plays even though they have some shared elements.

    I'm thinking about going to GP Birmingham too, and would love to play a deck with painter.
    Private Message send

  7. #7

    Re: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    Quote Originally Posted by jasper View Post
    In any case, Iíd love to hear any feedback on the deck, my writing, or how much you hate chalice of the void.
    I just wanted to chime in congrats, I enjoyed reading, and I really hate chalice of the void.

  8. #8

    Re: Painting the town blue [Mono-blue chalice painter primer and 5-0 league report]

    i saw your article on mtgo, i really want to try your list.

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