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Thread: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

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    Bob Ross
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    Jun 2012

    West Coast


    Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    SCG Baltimore Legacy Open: 14th with Strawberry Shortcake

    It is a dark time for the Shortcake Rebellion. Although the DCI has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy.

    Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom painters led by Edel Fernseed has established a new secret base on the remote rain world of Baltimore.

    The evil lord Darth Brainstorm, obsessed with finding young Fernseed, has dispatched thousands of remote chimps into the far reaches of the meta...

    It was only natural that Shortcakeís resurrection would cause some furrowed brows in Renton. The deck was supposed to be dead, a relic of a bygone era. Instead, it was back in force and was posting winning percentages not seen since its combo deck cousin Thunderbluff ran the format ragged. Episode IV was dropped in the middle of the night and I can only imagine what the July 19 mid-day meetings must have been like:

    DCI Guy: Uhhhh Ian, youíre not going to believe what just top 8íd the challenge.

    Ian Duke: Donít tell me people are still playing Tin FinsÖ

    DCI Squire Boy: Shortcake. Itís back. And it even 7-0íd the swiss. Luckily it didnít make it beyond the quarters, that would have been a disaster.

    Ian Duke: What are we going to do? Why canít people just enjoy playing interactive and skill testing Sneak and Show mirrors, why do they need to play broken combo decks? Under no circumstances can we let this stand, but we also canít just emergency ban something, we just had a B&R announcement!

    DCI Guy: I have an idea, it wonít be pretty, but it has a high probability of working.

    Ian Duke: Anything.

    DCI Guy: We can delete Grindstoneís code on magic online. Weíll just claim itís a bug. That will at least buy some time for the other decks in the format to adjust to Shortcakeís presence in the meta again, while also making sure no reliable testing can take place.

    Ian Duke: Perfect. And then we can just give the usual runaround when asked about a fix date. Get Aaron and Mark in here asap for approval, tell them itís a code blue.

    So with that, grindstone was destroyed in the most hush-hush manner possible. Rumors started circling from the outer painter circles that grindstone would cause the client to inwardly collapse into a black hole, restarting the game and replaying it at warp speed up until the current activation, freezing the game and causing general chaos. I went to see for myself, and could just shake my head in disbelief upon seeing the carnage first hand.

    I knew there were only two options left if I hoped to retain the Baltimore Legacy crown. The first was to journey back into the swamps of cockatrice, but I quickly remembered I would rather be shipped off to a North Korean internment camp and be forced to goldfish miracles for 10 hours a day than to try to play Shortcake online with no rules enforcement. That left option b, go in with no testing. I contemplated the meta for a minute, figuring Dave Long in the top 8 was a guarantee, so some dark depths variant would be present. The usual mix of 3 color tier one chimpstorm stuff was also highly likely, so adding in a second blood moon would help cover that portion of the field. I also knew that people still think Death and Taxes is a good deck and would lie to themselves and sleeve it up regardless, so I slotted the Grim Lavamancer back into the 75. I wasnít too concerned with the build either way, as tier 0 > tier 1.

    With that meta analysis complete, I set my alarm and prepped for the drive to Baltimore. Morning comes too quick, and I arrive pretty late, parking at like 9:45 because a random parade caused a yearís worth of backup. I walk in to see that the player meeting had just been announced. I grab a decklist, find my seat, and quickly scribble out Legacyís premier combo deck:

    Strawberry Shortcake

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

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

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

    4 Pyroblast
    2 Red Elemental Blast
    3 Enlightened Tutor

    4 Surgical Extraction
    1 Tormodís Crypt
    1 Containment Priest
    4 Pyroclasm
    1 Grim Lavamancer
    1 Viashino Heretic
    1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
    1 Red Elemental Blast
    1 Blood Moon

    Not much has changed since the switch to 4 canonists beyond the meta calls outlined above. 7th blast is just extra blue redundancy, and the Hedge-Mage was to have a manic vandal-esque etb ability to pair with the slower Heretic. Destroying an enchantment is also a non-trivial thing, as it does sometimes hit ape attack, omnitang, counterbalance, and back to basics. I also finally forked over to get the third fbb plateau, which would slightly help in ensuring hedge mage would be active when needed. Of course the only correct choice is Italian, as itís important to show some love to our forgotten homie Cornelius and the best dual land art in the game.

    I put the finishing touches on the decklist, taking care to note the deckís name of Strawberry Shortcake, but inwardly know that itíll just get lumped into mono-red if anything comes of the tournament. Canít risk upsetting Wizards and their secret memo to Starcity of ensuring Shortcake remains on the down low. At least it wasnít called Boros Painter.

    Besides that, everything here is from memory, so I guarantee some things will be wrong or mixed. 438 Players total.

    Round 1 vs ANT

    Game 1: We open up the tournament with a solid dice roll, and fan open a really bad hand in retrospect that I just didnít really feel like mulling as it was the first game of the day. Something along the lines of 2x Grindstone, Simian, lands, and maybe one last thing. Nothing really special happened this game, as I dropped a grindstone, and then my opponent fetched up a sea to thoughtseize me, I think taking the random card or the guide. Okay so itís either combo or shadow, or lejayís show and tell build. I draw a blank, and my opponentís turn two is spent cantripping, with the second off of a basic island and involving a preordain. Well, Iím probably dead next turn because I kept a bad hand. I go to draw and itís a recruiter! I tutor up Canonist and play it, so either I drew a lotus petal as my turn two draw or the thoughtseize did in fact take the random card. The rest of the game is spent attacking with dorks while he cantrips. I get a copter out and swing to put to 1, and shortcut attacking, marking life, and triggering, which my opponent tries to get me on the copter trigger. I figure he has a case since I was doing everything at once and out of order, so I just mumble something about making sure Iíll not mark damage first next time or whatever, but also thinking it really doesnít matter as this game was already over as soon as canonist was played. ANT canít beat a game 1 canonist, and I just resolve to properly announce copterís trigger even when it didnít matter since someone would definitely call it out later if it came up.

    Side: -1 Bridge, -1 Moon, -1 Ballista, -3 Smugglerís Copter, +4 Surgical, +1 Crypt, +1 Reb

    Game 2: I open up a decent hand involving Painter, blast, surgical, explosives and mana. This game ended up being straightforward as well. He infernaled for a 2nd LED early in the game, which then let me strip his deck of tutors with the surgical. With his hand of only mana and even having EE to kill the 1st LED or as goblins protection, there wasnít much going on. I forget how I end up closing out the game, but it was certainly nice having a good matchup to start the day. Afterwards he asks me if I knew what he was on game 1, probably alluding to the canonist play, and I just say anything with preordain is usually combo, and recruiter for painter wasnít winning that game. I didnít have the heart to tell him I was running 4 maindeck.


    Round 2 vs Lil Drazi

    Game 1: I had no way of knowing it, but this was the first of many insane games. He opens up with a draz temple into mimic, which I followed up with a goblin welder. His turn two is a tiny bit better, going second temple, simian, reality smasher. I start debating how or if I will even be able to do anything this game. I have a painter, two blasts, and a copter in my hand. I block the mimic to save myself 5 life, and figure the life will be more relevant than keeping up welder for combat tricks or future topdecked chalices. I spend my turn two tapping out for Painter and name blue. He drops a cavern of souls and goes to play Endless One for 5, and I point out that the eldrazi cards are no longer colorless. He casts for 3 instead, and announces trigger for eldrazi mimic, and I remind him of Painter again. With only the smasher as a profitable attack, I tank a smasher hit to 10. I play out a copter, and think I will be able to stabilize with two blasts and a blank in hand to pitch to smasher. He thinks for a bit, drops a second endless one for three, and swings with the smasher. He remembers his trigger, and I pitch a card to kill it. With copter effectively stonewalling his endless ones, we play some draw go, and I drop another welder to start controlling the board a bit. A chalice does indeed find its way onto the battlefield, leaving me to tutor a grindstone in response and drop it into the yard through chalice. Facing an increasingly hostile board state and likely lethal, I am left with an interesting decision of playing it safe by welding chalice out or swapping my painter to get back a copter as a blocker, or to win the game and switch painter with grindstone and hope a third mana is on top of the deck. I choose to go for the win and bomb a city of traitors to welder swap win.

    side: -4 Canonist, -1 Reb, +1 Heretic, +1 Hedge mage, +1 Moon, +1 Lavaman, +1 Pyroclasm

    Game 2: The lifepad has little to go by here, all I think happened was I took an ancient tomb hit on turn one, while he used three activations of his own by turn two. Painter locking down the colorless advantage into a quick combo was likely all she wrote. After the match we quickly chat about how funky Painter is with its weird color interactions, since Painter by itself makes eldrazi a decent matchup compared to other chalice decks. There was no way I could know how often these situations would come up in the later rounds.


    Round 3 vs Aluren

    Game 1: I can tell somethingís up as soon as my opponent sits down and starts chatting with me. He starts talking about how he enjoys playing legacy for its quirkiness and doesnít play normal stuff, something I can certainly relate to as an avid shortcaker. I decide not to give away too much information during the pregame speech, and look to keep just an all-around solid hand compared to anything specific. He wins the roll and starts with a fetch into a noble hierarch. Pretty sure it was a trop, so I start to think, okay I guess infect is just enough off the radar that it can be considered weird. I play out a grindstone and we both just kind of laugh as I am sure he wasnít expecting to see or play any painters. I donít think anything from his turn two gave away what he was trying to do, so I spend mine tapping out for a Painter, threating the combo next turn. He untaps, plays a third land, and drops an aluren into play. Definitely was not expecting to see that. He plays out a white recruiter, while I look at my hand and its distinct lack of its red cousin. I tell him I know how the combo works but would like to see it played out, so quickly white recruiter finds more, leading into a manowar, cavern harpy, and parasitic strix.

    side: -1 Moon, -1 Bridge, -4 Copter, +1 Reb, +1 Hedge Mage, +4 Pyroclasm

    Game 2: Now that I know what Iím playing against, I know to prioritize and play around canonist locking down the game. Aluren is always a weird matchup for Shortcake, as his Aluren helps me out almost as much, letting me respond to his recruiter with my own chain and combo off in response, or lock it down to slow mo with canonist if you donít have three mana available when shit goes down. My opening hand doesnít have a grindstone, but it has enough in a Painter, blast, and canonist or something along those lines. I am always on the backfoot this game, yet am still able to progress with a weird sense of stability because of those three cards. I let multiple things resolve, like a leo, strix, shardless, therapy, and even an aluren, figuring all I have to do is not die to beats and protect the canonist as much as possible. The game keeps going, with me unable to draw a grindstone or an enlightened tutor, but dropping second copies of Painter and Canonist means Iím pretty locked up except for a parasitic strix beating down through the air. I finally do draw a grindstone, and start debating with myself whether I can kill him through his Volrathís stronghold basically acting as a demonic tutor for him during his upkeep. I end up going for it and he misses the line. The game would have certainly been interesting, as he probably would grab rec sage to hit grindstone, then a new aggro subgame would emerge where he has to stronghold every turn or he dies, and I just need to find a blast or a new grindstone to mill after the stronghold. Luckily I didnít need to worry about it.

    Game 3: I open up a really good hand, your classic abc gg of turn one stone, turn 2 painter off sol land with blast protection, turn three activate. Turns out the extra blast safety wasnít necessary as my opponent mulled to six on the play, scryed, and said go. I hesitated for a second, making sure he passed without playing a land, and play out my hand. A basic swamp as his next draw offers no help, and I might have blasted it just to be safe. He scoops after, and shows me his keep of two brainstorms, a decay, and a couple other color intensive spells. We talk a bit about aluren and I ask if he likes the white build over the red build, bringing up my concern of man-o-war as a choke point compared to dream stalker, and whether white sideboard cards like Mr. Teeg or Orzhov Pontiff are worth running the less G 1/1 for 3.


    Round 4 vs Maverick

    Game 1: A solid 3-0 start and the hope that any bullshit already got filtered out in the early rounds. After some weird and long grindy games in rounds 2 and 3, I hope for a steamroll round so I can get some time to chill. I lose the roll, and look at Land, petal, simian, sol land, stone, painter, other. He opens on savannah into Mom or some other dork, and I wonder if itís secretly 2012 again. I lead out stone and play the petal to win through turn two thalia. He does in fact play said Thalia, so I just drop Painter turn two and exile anaba spirit guide for the kill.

    side: -4 Canonist, -1 Moon, -1 Bridge, -1 Welder, +4 Pyroclasm, +1 Lavaman, +1 Heretic, +1 Hedge Mage

    Game 2: An early welder goes farming, but nothing else really happens. I combo off with 16 life remaining, probably all the damage done by lands.


    Round 5 vs Death and Taxes

    Game 1: Not sure if I won the roll or not, but I lead out on a Smugglerís Copter, which elicits a perplexed look from my opponent, as it does most of the time. Based on life totals, I think I also had a painter, which let me start fixing my hand. Copter connects three times, before a batterskull undoes a lot of my work and puts him back to 15. More creatures make an appearance, making attacking a risky proposition. I ended up drawing a bunch of lands and all four petals this game, but Copter helped me recoup some of that garbage into gas, and I combo out at 6 life. I will give my opponent props because while he did stoneforge up a sword of fire and ice, he didnít equip and realized that he probably shouldnít use Mom to target his germ token and give it pro blue with a painter out.

    side: same as mav

    Game 2: I mulligan and keep a hand on the back of a Heretic. There was also a welder and a stone in there, and probably a blast, so I know any tutor, recruiter, or natty painter are basically game over. He starts on vial, while I play a welder, which again meets a swords. That actually ended up being a really good trade for me, as the heretic then had free reign to start going Rambo. Except that he also had a follow up path to exile for my heretic. I flood out, and donít draw anything else of relevance and scoop to his commanding board position.
    Game 3: I keep a slower hand with a copter and a grindstone that can deal with heavy mana denial, but loses to an aggro start. Which is what happened. He taps out basically every turn for creatures, which quickly start working me over. I get hit to 12, and then to 3. Where I needed to draw essentially any creature to start blocking and looting, instead Iím drawing all lands and blasts. I draw and itís finally a painter. I look at the board, I have a Tomb, Fetch, and 4 lands. He has two white sources untapped, so I know it is probably a swords. Sadly, I am one life/one mana short of being able to cast painter, activate stone, and be able to blast the removal through Thalia. I have to go for the unprotected kill, and he does in fact have the removal response. Unfortunate to not see any of the pyroclasms in either of these games either.


    Round 6 vs Death and Taxes

    Game 1: Canít remember this game very well, all I have is my life total going from 20 to 16, and his from 20 to 17, which probably means a T1 copter, T2 Painter+swing, and combo off shortly after.

    side: same as both

    Game 2: Another drawn out game against Death and Taxes where normal dnt and painter stuff happens. I connect with copter twice before having to stop or use it to block, and I am pretty sure that another sword of fire and ice case came up this game, although playing dnt back to back for 3 long games each match has me pretty hazy. I do remember talking to my opponent about the interaction at some point, mainly because it happened in round 5 as well. I lose.

    Game 3: Easily the most insane game of the entire tournament. We spend the early turns trading removal back and forth. This game was defined by an early Jitte which I was really struggling to play around. His board consisted of two moms and a vial, while I matched with a Painter. He swung in and connected while I had a painter out, giving me one turn. I had a tutor in my hand already, but unfortunately I was only on three lands, so I instead needed to use it for an explosives to clear his one drops. He followed up with another mom, while I drew a recruiter and fetched up the Heretic. He swings, and shoots down the painter. On my turn I play out the heretic, which put him in a weird spot of having to attack with his mom into my recruiter, but then also not being able to save it through pumping, as then my heretic would live. He decides to kill the heretic, leaving us both hellbent, but with the Jitte lurking. I draw, and itís a blank, while he topdecks the nut batterskull. I draw, and itís another blast. Iím so screwed. Batterskull connects, and Jitte goes to two. I draw on my turn and itís another Painter! I quickly play it and blast the Jitte, while batterskull starts doing work on my life total. 14. 10. 6. I draw another blast during this, and he taps low during his second main which lets me kill the batterskull. The only thing left to worry about at this point is a Thalia backed by a Karakas, but it canít hold up to a recruiter into Lavaman. With my graveyard at 20+ cards and him at 35, I start machine gunning every creature he plays. Prelate/Stoneforge/Thalia, dusted. He doesnít find another removal spell, and eventually I draw a grindstone and activate to get there.


    Round 7 vs Miracles

    Game 1: This match ended up being a continuation of the November Baltimore classic, as it was a rematch of the finals from that event. I knew he was on Miracles, and he knew that I was playing Painter. I get ruined game 1, as I draw the bad half of the deck like bridge, and I never really get anything going. A back to basics also locked me out of most of my mana, removing a lot of my outs. Funny how bad Shortcake is against that card now.

    side: -1 moon, -1 bridge, -2 tutor, -3 petal, +4 surgical, +1 reb, +1 hedge mage, +1 Lavaman

    Game 2: This ends up being a very long and drawn out game. Smugglerís Copter puts in serious work, dealing most of the damage. I lose something early to a swords to plowshares, which I then surgical. I see his hand of Island, Karakas, Snapcaster, Predict, and two jaces. I fortunately topdecked a second red blast the prior turn, and was able to win the counter war over the first jace, as he also had a blue blast. This tapped him out, and I then used the second surgical to snipe the other jace from his hand. From there, Copter and some other dorks were able to take it home before snapcaster and predict could drown me in card advantage.

    Game 3: The rubber match, for all the pseudo marbles. We stay chillin in the early turns, before the jig is up and he puts me under the gun with a mentor. The critical turn comes down to him swinging with the mentor, while I fire up my copter and move to block it. He had already cantripped earlier, but I figure forcing him to cast another spell to save the mentor will likely be a priority. In my hand I have a second Painter, plus an etutor, and an additional mana source to be able to lay everything out at once and combo in the same turn. He predicts me to save his Mentor and names Arid Mesa, and hits another copter. Thankfully I am not playing the basic plains, which allows you the freedom to run OG fetches. I tutor up grindstone, and go for it on my turn. He doesnít have an answer.

    Also want to shout out the excellent banter we had during the match, and also Danís painter friend who apparently gets stomped on the reg. All I can say is keep painting friend.


    Round 8 vs Grixis Control

    This match is near one of the top tables and we get called over for an off-camera feature. My opponent is wearing some kind of team jacket, so I put him on a grinder special deck

    Game 1: This game was defined by the random luck aspect of Hymn to Tourach. It gets cast on turn two or three, when I have only three cards left in my hand: Painter, Blast, Moon. The painter and blast get binned, which opens the door for blood moon if I can rip a mana source off the top. I draw a petal, and it and the moon both resolve, locking down his dual, while leaving him with a swamp. Some riveting draw, go action takes place, until the point I draw a Copter and then a creature and start crewing. The superior card selection Shortcake offers compared to the rest of the format shines through and finds me a painter and a blast in time for a Kologhanís command, and artifact delver beats get there.

    side: -2 Petal, -1 Tutor, +1 blast, +1 Lavaman, +1 Hedge Mage. Not entirely sure?

    Nick Miller had been wandering around checking out the matches, and during our sideboard he just smiles and laughs a little after asking about our game 1, and mentions to my opponent that he should have done his research.

    Game 2: I open up a stacked hand. Welder, Stone, Painter, Tutor, Recruiter, Plateau, Sol Land. Land pass to start. I draw an engineered explosives which I forgot to side out, and play Welder turn 1 and drop the ee as well for welder fodder. I want to say turn two my opponent missed his land drop after cantripping, while I just played out both combo pieces turn two, leaving up Welder for protection. Nothing of consequence happens turn 3, so I just activate for the win on my turn and it gets there. We briefly talk about his sideboarding as no one usually knows what to do against Painter, and he just wonders to himself why he brought in Flusterstorm and not needle as an example. I tell him not to worry, that my draws were pretty lucky/stacked, and that the grix long game lines up well with Painter. Either way, I felt fortunate to get an easy win against a matchup that can go downhill fast.


    After another quick match, I left the hall and went to chill outside, where I was talking with my dude Copenhaver, who was 8-0, and his carmate Dylan Donegan, who was also 8-0, myself feeling shame for having a loss.

    Round 9 vs Infect

    Game 1: We get paired at table 2, and either side of us gets feature matched. The die roll basically foreshadowed how the match was about to go. He just bombs out a 12, while I think I get a 10 trying to match. I look at and keep Copter, Painter x2, blast, lands. He starts on Trop, go, while I play out copter. He taps out for a Blighted Agent using an inkmoth nexus, while I go to my turn and cast the first painter. That meets a force, and I figure heís low enough on cards for me to wait to cast Painter next turn. This is another punt, and a mistake I also know I commonly make against infect. I always assume I will have enough time for another turn, but infect always has it. I donít blast the blighted on my turn, waiting to get some value. He goes to attack and invigorates, so I blast, and he has the second invig plus a blossoming defense. Iím not even sure why I blasted after the first invigorate, as he might have gone for the full lethal, allowing me to get the blowout. I chalk it up to playing too fast and general carelessness.

    side: -1 Bridge, -4 Canonist, -1 Welder, -1 +4 Pyroclasm, +1 Lavaman, +1 Moon. Iím really not sure what I boarded, I havenít played infect at all post ban.

    Game 2: He mulligans while I look at Copter, Recruiter, Painter, Blast Tomb, land, and something else random. I play tomb, copter, go, which matches his inkmoth, pass. I play recruiter, which resolves, and I fetch up a painter. He plays a trop and says go. I drop the first painter, which meets another force, while I decide to forego blasting that, or his endstep brainstorm as I had drawn a blood moon I wanted to cast the next turn, and I wouldnít have been able to pay for daze or blast a force, and figured getting Painter out with the blast was a better line. He untaps, drops a third land, activates inkmoth and swings. I fire up the copter and block, which meets a double invigorate plus berserk to trample through.

    I just sit there and think to myself, wow that was basically the absolute double nut draw, because my hands were really good for the matchup. He does mention thatís the best heís drawn on the day, and I couldnít really say anything to the contrary. He also started to apologize a bit for how good his hands were, and I just laugh and say you donít need to apologize, that Iíve been comboing people out and had a ton of non-games all day too, thatís legacy.


    I left after that, a little down with how close 8-1 was, and lament the mistake I made in game 1 against infect, as I knew it was greedy and that I have been burned by that exact situation before. Iím not sure if it would have mattered, but you never know. I drive back home for the night, rain pouring down, and start thinking about day two.

    I made sure to arrive and leave myself more than ten minutes before the day starts this time. I talk with some homies and see how day 1 went, and start to prep for round 10, hoping for an easy start to the day. Instead, pairings go up, and they announce I got a feature and that it would be on camera.

    Round 10 vs 4c Loam

    Zack though...

    We sit down, and we get told that we can shuffle and resolve mulligans, but that we had to wait since they were starting the stream at 10 and that it would also be a few extra minutes on top as Starcity had to do their intro. So basically we end up sitting there watching the match next to us for 10 minutes while we wait to start.

    Game 1: As for the actual game, I lose the roll and look at 2x Recruiter, Explosives, Mountain, 2x Fetch, Plateau. I begin thinking how itís a safe hand, but it loses to too many decks, and that this is also on camera and I really didnít want to just get stomped. Had I known he was on aggro loam, I would have kept. He announced he was going to mull, and I said I was too before giving myself a chance to think more. Probably correct in that case to keep as Iíd be up in cards 8-6 already. I look at my 6 and keep Welder, Painter, Blood Moon, Mountain, Fetch, Sol Land. He starts on catacombs, while I drop the welder. He plays a second catacombs, thinks for a second, and then fetches up badlands and savannah to punishing fire my guy. I drop the solitary Blood Moon and start the waiting game hoping I get there in time. Watching the replay I did catch that the judge pointed out my city when i played a tomb the next turn and i reminded of the moon, just another random painter thing people forget sometimes. Anyways, he draws a forest a few turns later, and green suns, but I guess they arenít running maindeck rec sage, so he gets a scooze to stonewall my double painter beatdown. A chalice on 1 locks down the 4 cards in my hand, but I draw a copter which hits too hard and too fast to catch back up.

    side: -4 canonist, +1 Moon, +1 Heretic, +1 Hedge Mage, +1 pyroclasm or something

    Game 2: I start on a turn 1 painter with petal+blast backup, while he only has a land. His turn 2 is a tap out for bob, while I play another land and shoot it with a ballista for 1. His turn three is a rec sage, which I blast. The last last two cards in hand are a tutor and another land, so I safely end step tutor for grindstone and win on my turn.


    Mad respect though because obviously after this match he didn't lose again, going 5-0 then 3-0 to win the entire thing

    Round 11 vs Grixis Delver

    Game 1: This game ended up being a classic Delver-Shortcake matchup. The early game is spent trading blocks and countermagic, while I established combo pieces and mana. His delver didnít flip for three turns or so, which let me save my blast for something more important. Eventually, I am able to cast a painter to turn on copter, but end up two mana short of activating grindstone after having to blast his force of will. The only thing left in my hand is a second copy of copter, which is a blank against his delver and angler. On his turn, he attacks, while I block and loot with copter drawing a redundant grindstone and pitch the copter. I go to 6, and second main he wastelands my sol land leaving me on two lands. I just need to draw a mana. I donít get there.

    side: -1 Tutor, -1 Ballista, +1 Reb, +1 Lavaman

    Game 2: I mulligan to 6 or 5. He starts slow as well, and I am able to build my hand back up to 3 blasts, while having a sol land and two plateau as my manabase. He gets out an angler which starts wrecking my life total, and a turn or two later I find a painter and cast it. On his turn he drops a land, and swings with angler, while I tank the hit. On his end step I cast an enlightened tutor. He forces, going to 1 card, and I begin a classic debate with myself. I can blast back and go to win on my turn, or let that resolve and on my turn blast the angler and leave myself with Painter+blast and both of us in topdeck mode. Iím at 3 though, so there are a ton of things I would need to counter, like Bolt, Delver, another creature, removal and I have a lot of really bad draws. I choose to blast back on the force. E-tutor resolves, and I put a grindstone on top of my deck. Still in end step, he abrades Painter while I donít have any red left. Damn.


    Yea losing to grix delver in that fashion was definitely frustrating, and I am not sure whether it was a misplay or not to go with the line I did. Usually I will choose to just go for the kill and make them have it, as playing shortcake just comes down to evaluating whether your current combo window gives you the best odds to win compared to any future window you might be able to navigate towards. The prospect of also picking up my third loss and losing that last security blanket made it all the more tough. I hoped for another easy match as I head to round 12.

    Round 12 vs Death and Taxes

    Game 1: I open up your classic high variance Shortcake hand and roll with it. Painter, Grindstone, Tutor, Recruiter, Blast, Copter, Ancient Tomb. I start on the play and lead out Tomb into Painter on blue. He drops a wasteland and plays an aether vial, and I dodge the first bullet. I peek and hope for the sol land kill, but instead get a plateau. I play stone off the tomb, and blast the wasteland, making his outs a second wasteland, or white+swords. He has neither and scoops it up. Definitely nice winning in under a minute before our neighboring match is even done resolving mulligans.

    side: same as before

    Game 2: This game highlighted how flexible Shortcake in its new iteration can be. I open the game on a copter into a (non-painter?) dude, while he plays a turn two revoker naming grindstone. I stay on the beats, leading him to flickerwisp his revoker and change it to copter. I finally play out my sandbagged grindstone, and recruit up a walking ballista, which I am able to play for two the following turn. Another flickerwisp changes the revoker again to ballista, and I shoot something in response. With grindstone unlocked, I play a painter that I have no clue how it ended up in my hand and combo off, maybe blasting a swords at some time.


    Round 13 vs Sneak and Show

    Game 1: I sit down, and think to myself if I can win this match, that my next one would likely be a win and in, draw last round (maybe?). He starts on a nice Hong Kong island into a preordain. I think well shit, hopefully itís ANT again who drew one of their basics. I power out a turn 1 canonist using a petal, and he seems a bit taken aback by it. All I do is play Canonist and Painters this game, while he cantrips and drops basics, 3 island and a mountain. I beat him down while he doesnít do anything.

    side: -1 moon, -1 ee, -3 grindstone, -1 copter, +4 Surgical, +1 Priest, +1 Reb. My boarding was all over the place for these games, a lot of it is just lack of experience still.

    Game 2: I punt away my top 8 chances here. I didnít know specifically what he was playing in game 1, but figured it was the usual new sneak+omni hybrid that most people are playing. Also, there had been another Show and Tell player in my bracket for most of day 2 who was always sitting a table or two away from me, so I got to see most of his deck, and it was what I expected out of the matchup in omni/cwish/ants/etc. Anyways, after my opponentís initial reaction to the game 1 canonist and 3 basic island + 1 basic mountain landbase, I figured my read was right. I start game 2 on an early copter that gets abraded, and on turn 4 he drops a land and passes. At this point my hand was double blast, surgical, e tutor. Looking back at this match I am not sure why I took the line I did, it was definitely too cautious and lost to any form of griselbrand. I started thinking I can handle show and tell and blue spells, so I have to stop sneak attack. I tutor up a bridge and play it, saving the surgical for something like cunning wish into removal. Instead, he end step abrades the bridge, plays sneak attack and griseldraws. He sneaks in emrakul and I surgical in response to dying to see his deck. I look through and realize he was stone dead to surgical on abrade into bridge, as he was running omniscience but no cunning wishes or artifact removal beyond abrade. I debate with myself afterwards what I was doing there, as it makes no sense to tutor first. I could have just surgicaled for information and made the best tutor decision, either game winning bridge or even a Painter for my two counterspells. Iím just not really sure, and I know I donít play the matchup very well, as usually itís a blowout win for them, or nothing special happens and they durdle.

    Game 3: I know I lost my chance of stealing a win against a horrible matchup and mulligan two bad hands down to 5, and accept my fate. If I can draw a third mana I can maybe do something, but I donít in time and it canít beat a sneak attacked emrakul on turn 4 or 5. Felt like shit.


    I know at this point Iím done for top 8, and it also sucked because Copenhaver ran into some bad matchups and bad variance for dredge (which is also what makes it awesome) and started day 2 0-4 and was now in my bracket. We see standings get put up, and it shows that we are still alive for top 16 at least, so I just decide to play tighter and try to win these last two.

    Round 14 vs Miracles

    Game 1: I sit down and my opponent is wearing a starcity hoodie, so naturally I go towards a brainstorm percentages blue deck. It is important to keep in mind the first law of painting in times like these, tier 0 is still better than tier 1. I keep a hand that doesnít line up well against Miracles, especially an enchantment heavy RIP-Energy Field-Helm build. Nothing exciting really happens this match, Welder has to start beating down because Rest in Peace comes into play (not that I was going to have anything to weld anyways), and we both just keep making land drops until he casts and activates helm. I pick em up.

    side: -1 Bridge, -1 Moon, +1 reb, +1 hedge mage. Rip miracles makes the boarding pretty crazy, since I would usually want to bring in surgicals, but now the graveyard can just be locked out. If I had karns in there, I would have trimmed some welders, but had to roll with this.

    Game 2: I start on a better hand, with Canonist, blasts, and copter. I think copter gets killed at some point, all the while I just start the beatdown train with a welder and two canonists. His life total starts dropping into the single digits when the turning point of the match happens. Heís at 5 after combat on my turn, and on his turn drops a humility in play. I look at my hand and think it wonít be a problem at all, as I have both grindstone and Painter in play, and I can just combo through humility or keep up the beatdown. I go to my turn, cast grindstone, resolves, cast painter, resolves too. I say I am going to name blue. My opponent tells me that I donít get to name a color, and I respond by saying I am pretty sure I do. That gets met by an emphatic no you do not. I start wondering if/when this rule changed, since I knew before that we were still able to combo through humility already in play. I just say I am going to call a judge, who gives the ruling that I donít name a color. I ask to appeal to the head judge, who agrees with the floor judge as well and shows some updated rules to me. Thatís on me then, as I wasnít paying much attention to legacy last summer. After getting the ruling and seeing the updated changes, I wasnít surprised that Shortcake got another nerf on top of Blood Moon-Dark Depths. Anyways, after that whole fiasco I swing and get him low enough so that my next turnís attack will be lethal. He plays an Energy field in an attempt to stall my dork combat and says go. I just activate grindstone on his end step to mill two cards and destroy Energy Field. I swing and we move to game 3.

    Game 3: My opening hand is good, but has no ability to grind out a long game. Grindstone, Blast, Painter, mana, maybe a welder or canonist. He cantrips early, and I canít remember for the life of me whether I played a creature and it died or not on the first or second turn. Either way, I play a Painter turn 2 off a sol land, and name blue to try and win the following turn. He drops a flooded strand for land number 3, and plays a seal of cleansing. I debate with myself how I can win this game, and figure if I let it resolve the game will go too long and get too out of hand. I decide to blast, figuring if he has a swords to plowshares it would be a major blowout as seal would resolve too. He doesnít have a swords, and says go. I draw, play a third land, cast grindstone, and he gets visibly annoyed that I naturally had the combo. I activate on the spot after that, figuring there isnít any removal to play around, and that locks it up.

    After we had finished the match and were scooping up our cards, my opponent started talking to the match on the other side of us about humility, as they had laughed earlier during the judge call saying thereís some crazy stuff going on. My opponent talks to them saying the layers and rules of Humility had always made it so you don't name a color. I just kept my mouth shut and looked at Hollywood, who had a similar expression on his face. I really didnít feel like saying anything else, so I let it be. Some people just donít like losing to offbeat decks like Shortcake. The head judge wandered over a little bit later and was talking to Hollywood and I about the interaction a bit more, figuring out if Humility came into play second whether Painter still Ďworkedí. The more you know I guess.


    Round 15 vs Big Drazí

    Game 1: I fortunately know what he is on after hearing about it towards the tail end of day 1. I lead on a Painter naming blue, into a turn two copter, while he matches that with two eldrazi temples and attempts to cast a thought-knot seer. I point out the interaction with Painter, which gets met by some laughs after we confirm it with a judge. He says it would have changed his play had he known, and asks if I would like to hold him to his land drop, which I tell him yes. Staving off TKS for one turn let me drop the 1-of Ensnaring Bridge into play, which I thought should all but lock it up. I keep bashing with copter, while he plays some dudes and a chalice on 1. No matter, I think, I drop a Canonist and then another copter to be able to bash for 6. I slightly misplay during this, as I sequenced a turn somewhere where I couldnít also bash with Copter through the bridge. I still didnít think it would matter, but oh how wrong I was.

    *Inspired by Ace/Homebrew

    Wow. Just wow. What a blowout. The entire board gets binned. His Matter Reshaper hits an Ancient Tomb off the top, while he follows up with a City of Traitors into a Grim Monolith. I draw, and cast a Painter off of a City, but itís no match for his next turn, a Reality Smasher, which does the rest.

    Iím kind of in shock as I thought there was a 0% chance I could lose that game. I know I need to not make any more mistakes and I search for spiritual guidance to guide me in these last two games:

    Dear Utley26,

    I don't know if you took a break or have just been keeping a low profile, but I'm very happy to see your name again. Your dedication to both Painter's Servant and brewing is admirable, so please continue doing what you do, which is apparently milling your opponent's deck.

    Your admirer,


    P.S. I really like Smuggler's Copter.

    Side: I think similar to other draz

    Game 2: On the play, I open a grindstone, which gets met by City into Monolith. I add a sol land, cast a painter, and have the blast ready, in a commanding position. He goes to his turn and goes into the tank. He leads a Chalice on 1, for which I go into the tank. If I let this resolve, can I beat a follow up removal of any kind? If I let it resolve, I lose the blast for nothing? I figure that should he have something else, I lose to pretty much everything if I let chalice stay. I decide to blast and brace for the Warping Wail. Rather, a sorcerous spyglass makes an appearance, naming grindstone. I have a follow up recruiter to grab big pimpin heretic. Which blows up the spyglass two turns later and next turn and lets me combo off safely. I felt fortunate to get through that, and for the time his monolith and city manabase bought me and for not having any shuffle-drazi in his deck.

    Game 3: I keep a hand that can combo but is just stone dead to chalice. He opens with the patented City into Monolith, while I drop the stone. Step one complete. His turn two is again the Reality Smasher, putting me to 15, which I answer with land into painter. Step two. He bashes me to 10, and warping wails Painter. I lay a sol land, and have a recruiter for the second painter. Better lucky than good, I also had the lone spirit guide in my hand, which let me play out the painter to dodge TKS and turn off any random colorless things. He moves to his turn, and thinks for a minute. At this point Iím guessing I lose to wasteland or any removal, but if he is pausing then I might have it. He swings and I decline to block, while he drops a ratchet bomb and plays a land. I could only die to a dismember now, but I donít have a choice and have to go for it. I activate on upkeep, and he extends the hand.

    11-4, 14th Place

    So there you have it. Shortcake rose to the occasion yet again, with barely any testing able to take place. Since the bannings, I think I have only really played a handful of leagues, the online challenge, two four round locals, and then this tournament. I also wanted to mention that I always find it a bit funny when my opponents show me how they sideboarded and ask me for my opinion. I usually just respond by saying I donít really know how to play other decks, only how to play Painter against them. The addition of Copter and Canonist have really changed the dynamic and create a lot of interesting subgames people arenít prepared for. Do you bolt the Copter and then just die to a Painter or Welder? Do you swords canonist because it slows down the cantrip velocity? Fun stuff. The list will definitely get tweaked further once goblin cratermaker comes out, but I am banking on him being a complete house for us between shooting delvers, destroying Chali, and even dumpstering the big colorless Chimp.

    Overall it was a good showing, although it did feel like a missed opportunity with the misplays.

    Either way Iím not sweating it. Until next time friends, keep painting and Free Nedleeds
    Strawberry Shortcake

    What a brainstorm do? Draw card and activate on draw effects fix hand, removing woods

  2. #2
    Land Destruction Enthusiast
    Megadeus's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jul 2012

    Kennesaw, GA


    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cheese View Post
    I've been taking shitty brews and tier 2 decks to tournaments and losing with them for years now. Welcome to the club. We meet for cocktails after round 6.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevestamopz View Post
    Top quality german restraint there.

    If I'm at the point where I'm rage quitting, you can bet your kransky that I'm calling everyone involved a cunt.

  3. #3

    Join Date

    Nov 2017

    SKILL INTENSIVE branches


    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Top shelf report, P3K mountains are money.

  4. #4

    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Awesome job, Jack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brainstorm Ape View Post
    Top shelf report, P3K mountains are money.
    Damn right! Thereís a power in them...(scroll down to ďPropsĒ section).
    The Night HE Came Home.

  5. #5
    Bob Ross
    Kap'n Cook's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2012

    West Coast


    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Keller View Post
    Awesome job, Jack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brainstorm Ape View Post
    Top shelf report, P3K mountains are money.
    Damn right! Thereís a power in them...(scroll down to ďPropsĒ section).

    Thanks, and I agree the P3K really do pair nicely with the recruiters, and every mountain art is fresh.

    That report was basically the start of painting. More than ten years ago now. and I remember reading it way back when I started along with all your guys work in the oldest thread. A brew paradise
    Strawberry Shortcake

    What a brainstorm do? Draw card and activate on draw effects fix hand, removing woods

  6. #6
    Site Contributor

    Join Date

    Sep 2009

    Vienna, AT


    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Thanks for this entertaining report; I really enjoyed it to its very end :)

  7. #7
    Whitefaces's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2013



    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Thanks for another great report! You've inspired me to trade out some other decks into this.
    Quote Originally Posted by CutthroatCasual View Post
    Storm was killed by Leovold
    Quote Originally Posted by LegacyIsAnEternalFormat View Post
    The power of blue is overrated...I personally play Jund and I consistently top 4 FNMs with it.

  8. #8

    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Good stuff!!

  9. #9
    Bob Ross
    Kap'n Cook's Avatar
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    Jun 2012

    West Coast


    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitefaces View Post
    Thanks for another great report! You've inspired me to trade out some other decks into this.

    Welcome friend, we are always in need of more good folk to spread the truth
    Strawberry Shortcake

    What a brainstorm do? Draw card and activate on draw effects fix hand, removing woods

  10. #10
    plays Mountains
    Ace/Homebrew's Avatar
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    Mar 2011

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    Re: Source Wars: Episode V Ė Wizards Strikes Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Kap'n Cook View Post

    *Inspired by Ace/Homebrew

    Congrats Jack!
    You're the only one that can post a wall of text that never disappoints.

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