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Thread: Devil's Cake

  1. #1
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    Devil's Cake

    This is dedicated to the black splash spin-off of Strawberry Shortcake, the R/W Grindstone-Painter combo. This thread can be open to an R/B/x builds of painter.
    To start off, here is a starting list that I have been working on:



    Devil's Cake

    Land
    1 Swamp
    2 Mountain
    4 Ancient Tomb
    2 City of Traitors
    2 Great Furnace
    1 Vault of Whispers
    4 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Badlands
    1 Plateau

    Creatures
    4 Goblin Welder
    4 Goblin Engineer
    3 Painter's Servant
    1 Sundering Titan

    Spells
    4 Lotus Petal
    2 Mox Opal
    1 Lion's Eye Diamond
    3 Grindstone
    4 Pyroblast
    2 Red Elemental Blast
    2 Enlightened Tutor
    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Wishclaw Talisman
    1 Tangle Wire
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Blood Moon
    2 Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
    4 Karn, the Great Creator

    Sideboard
    1 Glass Casket
    1 Grindstone
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Mycosynth Lattice
    1 Lion's Eye Diamond
    1 Painter's Servant
    2 Surgical Extraction
    1 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Liquimetal Coating
    1 Ethersworn Canonist
    1 Plague Engineer
    2 Angrath's Rampage
    1 Wurmcoil Engine


    This is a starting point. It takes the basic design of R/W Painter, strips away recruiters and instead adds Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast and Wishclaw Talisman as a varying tutor package. It will typically also play the full 4/4 goblin welder/engineer split to fully abuse the graveyard for more explosive early lines of play. Some people will elect to play a straight B/R version of the deck, while others will also try a snow-version of the deck, adding Arcum's Astrolabe and snow lands. These are all reasonable choices. And this thread will explore all options within this basic idea. Looking forward to hearing about some new and interesting ideas regarding this flavor of our favorite 1-2 combo. Paint on!

  2. #2

    Re: Devil's Cake

    Iíd play Guardian Beast. Not only does it protect Grindstone and other artifacts, it synergizes with Talisman and you can Recruiter for it. (Especially with Liquimetal Coating.)

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    This feels like more of a pie, for a cake must have layers.

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    I donít understand the black at all. Classic Daretti just seems better on every front to me. That replaces half of the splash on its own.

    Entomb would be a better starting point if you want to force a black splash.
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    Re: Devil's Cake

    I think the list is quite interesting. Wishclaw Talisman can be used with Karn in the wishboard to get any card maindeck, not sure if that is worth it... But it actually means you have Karn to stop opponent from using it when you use it. It [running the card at all, md or Karn-board] also opens up for running niche answers to decks that we couldn't run before, I think this will take some time to figure out...

    I was adding Recurring Nightmare to my attempt at something similar, and it's actually really nice how WT helps find it. Yup, there's a lot of untapped potential in that card (Talisman). Or well, ET gets it too [not only WT], but you get what I mean..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    This feels like more of a pie, for a cake must have layers.
    Maybe pumpkin pie, referring to All Hallow's Eve which we however unfortunately do not play [the more relevant reference is to Halloween and bad stuff].

    Quote Originally Posted by Weapon X View Post
    I donít understand the black at all. Classic Daretti just seems better on every front to me. That replaces half of the splash on its own.

    Entomb would be a better starting point if you want to force a black splash.
    I've played similar lists before, inspired by Drude1's previous lists. It's easy to start out thinking that Entomb would be great, but it's often the card you end up cutting because it does nothing by itself. Now that Goblin Engineer is around there is probably less reason to run Entomb since you now already have access to the effect. Daretti II is so good at getting rid of opposition and eventually getting a game win through the ultimatum. Coupled with Karn the deck has pretty good PW value engines. I don't know how to balance the effects properly or how to complement them but it has been nice to run in the past... And now with artifact Demonic Tutor and the Welder+Entomb (Engineer), there is a lot of new synergy for building this type of list.

    Edit: on the other hand, that's quite few cards for a splash and running Daretti SS to build further on the reanimation theme may seem better, as yo suggest. The thing is, perhaps, that with black you get answers to threats and tutors that give the deck a lot of flexibility in meeting hate and grinding out wins, while without black you focus more on doing what the deck already does, by adding recursion in Daretti SS. I think this is a playstyle question, I always prefer being able to adapt to the interaction my opponent brings and grind out wins rather than trying to ignore the opponent and threaten them with more of the same. The latter makes me feel uncomfortable and just doesn't work as well for me. ;) But that's a different approach that people are already running, typically if you go for monored with Daretti SS you try to maximize payoff from reanimating large creatures and you probably end up with a so called Daretti Spaghetti list. That's nice too. I like how the black list can run one Sundering Titan and still have that strategy (like any painter list with red) while also having Plague Engineer for TNN's and swarm decks and Daretti II for board control and an ET + WT tutor package to get what you want when you want it.
    Last edited by pettdan; 10-14-2019 at 12:59 PM.

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by Weapon X View Post
    I donít understand the black at all. Classic Daretti just seems better on every front to me. That replaces half of the splash on its own.

    Entomb would be a better starting point if you want to force a black splash.
    Plague Engineer and Angrath's Rampage are good effects in black you can't get elsewhere. Also Wishclaw Talisman (i.e. Demonic Tutor, then Weld it away). Interested to see what OP says.

    Entomb seems much worse than Goblin Engineer (Entomb can't weld or use the combat step). It's only relevant with a Welder in play, so in general it seems worse than the other tutors (Karn, E Tutor, Talisman).

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Keller View Post
    Iíd play Guardian Beast. Not only does it protect Grindstone and other artifacts, it synergizes with Talisman and you can Recruiter for it. (Especially with Liquimetal Coating.)
    Yeah, I think I'd personally cut the Sundering Titan and Enlightened Tutors, (and something else, Tangle Wire?) then put in Recruiters, a Beast, and focus more on trying to abuse Wishclaw as a Grim Tutor of sorts. I'd think that would, at least in theory, make things a little more consistent.
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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by H View Post
    Yeah, I think I'd personally cut the Sundering Titan and Enlightened Tutors, (and something else, Tangle Wire?) then put in Recruiters, a Beast, and focus more on trying to abuse Wishclaw as a Grim Tutor of sorts. I'd think that would, at least in theory, make things a little more consistent.
    Edit: not disagreeing, but to provide some context for these card choices.

    It's good to be aware of here that Sundering Titan seems to be used by a couple of Painter players in mono-red builds that seem to be working pretty well, according to discussion, so it's not an isolated suggestion for this version but something that is seeing a small uptick of play or, rather, testing. Also it's a reanimation target that's decent vs control and aggro and ok vs combo decks due to taking their mana and preventing them from going off which can be game-winning [edit: rephrased that], few alternatives have such a wide applicability, I think. Otoh, playing a giant reanimation target is very much optional, have to agree on that..

    The argument for keeping some amount of E Tutors is that they are faster and require little setup, also they give you hate-piece t2 which is very important vs some combo decks, most notably Storm variants. I think if you cut E Tutors then it's tempting to add some discard, slowing down the game a bit (if you can't go fast then you try to slow down your opponent). Edit: in addition to this, playing without E Tutor makes Blood Moon as a one off much less useful.

    Tangle Wire is something I cut too, or actually I never tested it but I agree there.
    Last edited by pettdan; 10-14-2019 at 01:31 PM.

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    @Micheal Keller: totally another way to go with the list. I actually did consider this as I have seen some other people play the wishclaw/guardian beast combo online. For me, it just feels a little clunky. I've kinda moved away from the recruiters in this list because I really wanted the combo to come out swinging. However, if I do ever move back to recruiters in this list, I definitely thing a guardian beast is worth considering. The only other problem is that, if I wanted to play this list on paper, guardian beasts are up to over $400, so I better be sure!

    @Weapon X: This list has already gone through some significant iterations. I had started with a pure black/red version of the list, but the problem was that wishclaw on it's own is just way to slow to set up on it's own and is kinda bad without a way to not let your opponent use it. I did try a copy of reanimate (switched to animate dead when I added the e.tutor back). I found it stranded in my hand a good amount of time and eventually it got cut. I have tried entomb in the past as well, but that card was just trash if you didn't have supporting pieces. I've also played with both Darettis as well, and I guess you will just have to trust me that the B/R Daretti is much better. It protects itself.
    It kills pretty much anything that gets in your way (and kills literally anything on the board with liquimetal coating. It provides fodder for welder/engineer. It kills the talisman if you have to activate talisman without a goblin active. And it's ultimate usually just wins the game, as your opponent typically doesn't have removal for 3 x painters suddenly in play, etc.

    Finally, I added the white back for e.tutors for exactly what pettdan said. Turn 1 e.tutor into turn 2 hate piece (Blood Moon, nihil spellbomb, ensnaring bridge, canonist, etc) is just a necessary evil against other combo heavy decks. And before I put the card back in I was really struggling with those decks. It also opens up the sideboard a little.

    Regarding tangle wire, that is definitely a card that could be cut. I've just personally had a lot of success with that card in certain match-ups. I've posted clips in the past of games where it has been amazing. But again, just a personal pet card more than anything. Could easily be anything else (for me would probably be second bridge or canonist main).

    p.s. Devil's cake is obviously just a play off of Strawberry Shortcake, and Devil's pie isn't a thing.

  10. #10

    Re: Devil's Cake

    I think there are three Distinct ways to build this deck.
    1. A Shortcake / Imperial derivative splashing Black instead of White (or as RBw)
    2. A Midrange deck that tries to leverage Planeswalkers / utility creatures / whatever into a game that goes beyond forcing the combo.
    3. Something that tries to leverage Welders and Wishclaw into an efficient and fast combo

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    With only 3 Painters main and zero Recruiters, how good are the 6 blasts? Could 2 be cut to make more room for support (e.g. +1 Wishclaw/E Tutor, +1 Blood Moon)

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    With only 3 Painters main and zero Recruiters, how good are the 6 blasts? Could 2 be cut to make more room for support (e.g. +1 Wishclaw/E Tutor, +1 Blood Moon)
    Yeah, that's where I started. I thought the format in general was less blue so I went down to 4 pyroblasts. Then I started losing all the time to U/W control, which is very popular right now. It's something you can consider though.

    Also, I had an epiphany regarding the straight R/B lists. If you don't want to splash white, run 3 x LED's. It interacts very well with wishclaw as you can sac the LED for mana with wishclaw on the stack. This way it's much easier to activate wishclaw to go find something like Karn and then sac LED in response and play Karn so your opponent can't use the wishclaw. I've been having some success with this list:

    4 x Tomb
    2x City of Traitors
    2 x Badlands
    4 x Bloodstained Mire
    3 x Great Furnace
    2 x Mountain
    1 x Swamp
    1 x Vault of Whispers
    3 x LED
    4 x Petal
    2 x Mox Opal
    3 x Grindstone
    1 x Nihil Spellbomb
    1 x Reanimate
    4 x Welder
    4 x Pyroblast
    3 x Painter
    3 x Wishclaw
    4 x Engineer
    1 x Bridge
    3 x Blood Moon
    1 x Daretti
    3 x Karn
    1 x Titan

    You could build this in a number of different ways (eg fewer Blood Moon), but I think 3 x LED and 3 x wishclaw actually makes the most sense.

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Sometimes I'm so slow. I just realized my favorite record for the past 21 years is Devil's Pie. That's what I'll call the Rbw version for now.. ;) Not that it matters..
    Edit: Ah, it's not the album name, it's the album's "promotional single"..

    On the topic of the new list, I was also considering the nice wishclaw interaction with LED, and you can use LED as a discard outlet for welders too. In fact, with active welder you can even use wishclaw to tutor for your one of monster, then crack led to discard it so you can weld it back in. I guess then you need to make sure the opponent doesn't tutor up their answer to the monster with the talisman during their turn.. Which may actually influence which monster to run, you then want domething that creates value immediately or that the opponent cannot deal with.. Hmm if there was an artifact monster that destroyed a permanent or two when it etb's, that would be good.

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by pettdan View Post
    Sometimes I'm so slow. I just realized my favorite record for the past 21 years is Devil's Pie. That's what I'll call the Rbw version for now.. ;) Not that it matters..
    Edit: Ah, it's not the album name, it's the album's "promotional single"..

    On the topic of the new list, I was also considering the nice wishclaw interaction with LED, and you can use LED as a discard outlet for welders too. In fact, with active welder you can even use wishclaw to tutor for your one of monster, then crack led to discard it so you can weld it back in. I guess then you need to make sure the opponent doesn't tutor up their answer to the monster with the talisman during their turn.. Which may actually influence which monster to run, you then want domething that creates value immediately or that the opponent cannot deal with.. Hmm if there was an artifact monster that destroyed a permanent or two when it etb's, that would be good.
    The only thing I could find was Meteor Golem and Reaper King (with Painters) and those are both pretty bad.

  15. #15

    Re: Devil's Cake

    @drude1: Thank you for starting this thread. I know most people discussing here are on Discord as well, but this just feels like a much more efficient way to discuss things more in-depth. I have a hard time understanding the popularity of Discord - to me MTG is a game too complex to be seriously discussed in a chat...

    I have been testing Devil's Cake (I have also been calling it Burnt Cake) for a few weeks now and I believe the deck has legs. As Hisa mentioned, there are probably a few different approaches, out of which I like the "Shortcake derivative" most. My issue with Shortcake is that it trades card advantage for speed and consistency, i.e. it is not well suited for the long game. I feel black fixes this through Wishclaw Talisman and Daretti, and it surprised me how many times I managed to outgrind the grindiest decks through Welder effects paired with Talisman / Arcum's Astrolabe / Ichor Wellspring. Between Welders, Daretti, Karn and Blood Moon, the deck is very heavy on must-counter threats with little air (I trimmed fast mana to just two Lotus Petals and one LED). The issue with the BR version is that it is the opposite of Shortcake in that it is great for the long game, but it lacks in explosivity. Fast combo decks are the deck's largest weakness.

    Because of this, I eventually ended up going back to white same as drude1. Below my current list which I am quite happy with. I like that the deck has both a grindy and a turbo element through the two splashes, and is well-equipped to position itself anywhere between ultra-fast combo to ultra-slow grind depending on the matchup, while also having a strong prison plan in Blood Moon. The largest difference between my list and the others here is that I play the full playset of Arcum's Astrolabe. I see that Drude1's list instead plays Mox Opals and the full playset of Lotus Petals, which is essentially the same approach in that it enables the splashes.

    Lands
    4 Ancient Tomb
    3 City of Traitors
    1 Badlands
    1 Plateau
    5 Snow-Covered Mountain
    6 Red Fetchlands

    Creatures
    3 Goblin Welder
    4 Goblin Engineer
    3 Painter's Servant
    1 Ethersworn Canonist

    Spells
    4 Arcum's Astrolabe
    2 Lotus Petal
    1 Lion's Eye Diamond
    3 Grindstone
    4 Pyroblast
    2 Red Elemental Blast
    2 Enlightened Tutor
    1 Wishclaw Talisman
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Blood Moon
    2 Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
    4 Karn, the Great Creator

    Sideboard
    1 Grindstone
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Mycosynth Lattice
    1 Painter's Servant
    1 Liquimetal Coating
    2 Surgical Extraction
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Trinisphere
    2 Lightning Bolt
    2 Abrade

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by pettdan View Post
    Hmm if there was an artifact monster that destroyed a permanent or two when it etb's, that would be good.
    I can't tell if this is sarcasm, given Sundering Titan is already in the deck. Destroying a few lands seems good.

    But why do you need to worry about them tutoring something if you are Goblin Weldering your monster into play? What will they tutor with? The Talisman in your graveyard?

    @peko: I like quite a few things about your list.
    -More Blood Moons
    -4 Arcum's Astrolabe. Seems amazing for a deck with 7 Welders and 2 splash colors, and it stops Blood Moon from screwing you.

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    @FTW: Sundering Titan is good, but risky if you give your opponent a one mana demonic tutor next turn in a format with stp in it (and dark ritual and show and tell, etc), so we tried to find a similar threat that would destroy the Talisman upon its arrival on the battlefield.

    Ah, read your second question too. In the scenario I described, the goblin welder is tapped so when the opponent untaps with demonic tutor you can't use welder again to protect your monster. Read again, talisman isn't in your graveyard, this was the misunderstanding I think.

    The scenario then, a bit more detailed, is that you have active welder, activate talisman searching for monster, put it into your hand. Opponent gets the talisman. Crack LED, put monster into graveyard, activate welder to bring monster back in and random artifact you control out. This scenario was for using talisman and led together for an entomb-effect.

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by pettdan View Post
    @FTW: Sundering Titan is good, but risky if you give your opponent a one mana demonic tutor next turn in a format with stp in it (and dark ritual and show and tell, etc), so we tried to find a similar threat that would destroy the Talisman upon its arrival on the battlefield.

    Ah, read your second question too. In the scenario I described, the goblin welder is tapped so when the opponent untaps with demonic tutor you can't use welder again to protect your monster. Read again, talisman isn't in your graveyard, this was the misunderstanding I think.
    Oh you can't Weld the Talisman into the fatty.

    I thought the point of Welder + Talisman was to Weld the Talisman before the opponent gets it, but I see in this scenario due to the timing you have to let the opponent get Talisman before the fatty ever enters your graveyard, forcing you to Weld something else. That's awkward. Tutoring Meteor Golem just to kill your own Talisman seems really really bad. You're just durdling instead of really creating a threat.

    In that case Goblin Welder/Goblin Engineer + Wishclaw Talisman + LED is MUCH better if you just tutor for Karn:
    -Crack LED for 3 mana
    -Activate Talisman
    -In response, Weld Talisman into LED
    -Crack LED again for 3 mana
    -Resolve Tutor
    -Cast Karn

    You could also get any 5 mana spell (with Welder). Or tutor for Grindstone and activate it. Or tutor for Painter's Servant and activate a Grindstone already in play. All of these lines seem much better than making some artifatty and giving opponent the Talisman.

  19. #19
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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Oh you can't Weld the Talisman into the fatty.

    I thought the point of Welder + Talisman was to Weld the Talisman before the opponent gets it, but I see in this scenario due to the timing you have to let the opponent get Talisman before the fatty ever enters your graveyard, forcing you to Weld something else. That's awkward. Tutoring Meteor Golem just to kill your own Talisman seems really really bad. You're just durdling instead of really creating a threat.
    Yes, I think that is what we concluded above, we discussed it without describing the scenario or conclusions with great detail (probably because we are so used working with Welder, LED, etc). IF there had been an artifact creature doing what I asked for, then this could have been another great scenario for Talisman + LED, further motivating playing 3-4 LED's and 3-4 Talismans like Drude1 was trying above. To repeat, if you have an active Goblin Welder and can turn two of your cards into functionally an Entomb, that is a great opportunity for you as a player and deck builder. This doesn't mean that this is what you'll mostly be doing with those two cards, just like you suggest you would often be using welder to get a free demonic tutor every other turn, or whatever. But sometimes there are reasons to do things differently, maybe your opponent plays a fast combo deck and you're afraid that they will go off next turn or something, I didn't spend time considering when you want to do this, just if you could..

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    Re: Devil's Cake

    Quote Originally Posted by pettdan View Post
    further motivating playing 3-4 LED's and 3-4 Talismans like Drude1 was trying above.
    But the scenarios I described motivate it too. It's very strong even without the fatty play.

    To repeat, if you have an active Goblin Welder and can turn two of your cards into functionally an Entomb, that is a great opportunity for you as a player and deck builder.
    No it's not. Even if you could it's awful card disadvantage. You use LED (without using the mana) + some other artifact + Talisman (have to kill it) + discard your hand just to Weld into play a fatty, losing 3+ cards. It'd have to be a hasty Blightsteel/Emrakul to be worth that investment. Why take card disadvantage to turn cards into Entomb when you already have Demonic Tutor + mana?

    just like you suggest you would often be using welder to get a free demonic tutor every other turn,
    That's possible but unnecessarily slow. I suggested using Welder+LED+Talisman to get a planeswalker or combo piece in play immediately, maybe winning this turn, without even tapping lands for mana. You could be tapped out to cast Talisman or something else. (e.g. as early as T1 Welder, T2 Talisman + LED -> tutor -> Karn -> play an answer from the SB).

    But sometimes there are reasons to do things differently, maybe your opponent plays a fast combo deck and you're afraid that they will go off next turn or something, I didn't spend time considering when you want to do this, just if you could..
    Welder+LED+Talisman, the same combination of cards you two discussed, lets you tutor and immediately cast any 1-5cc card in your deck without even needing another card as Welder fodder or untapped lands. How often do you need to do things differently than Demonic Tutor + 5 mana? You can already grab and play any card you need to react to the opponent. If they could go off, you tutor for some answer and cast it. If they have a dangerous threat out, get Daretti, play it, and immediately kill the threat.

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