Three months, two card changes, and one ban announcement later I squeak into 16th place on breakers in yet another large Legacy tournament with Strawberry Shortcake, this time in the 3/19/2023 MTGO Showcase Challenge (298 players). List is here. Compared to my 16th-place list from Eternal Weekend the changes are:

Maindeck: -1 Imperial Recruiter, +1 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
Sideboard: -1 Twinshot Sniper, +1 Faerie Macabre

After EW I forced myself to play Fable at my local weeklies because it still didn't quite make sense to me that it performs so well in mono-red Painter yet is unimpressive in my deck and I wanted to figure out why. I discovered that the problem was that I wasn't slamming it on turns one or two often enough - understandable when I'm only playing one copy. All the chapters are more impactful when the card hits play earlier and the difference is definitely noticeable. I don't think it's required to play the enchantment; the slots which in my list are Fable and Breya's Apprentice could be any of Fable, Recruiter, Apprentice, Phyrexian Dragon Engine, and maybe even Ichor Wellspring and you'll probably do fine. They each have their strengths and weaknesses and will win games that the others won't (examples below). Season to taste. I plan to test out all of these combinations eventually.

The Sniper became a Faerie Macabre simply because I was running into substantially more Cephalid Breakfast and Reanimator decks in leagues than I was three months ago.

Round 1: 2-0 vs Infect
Game 1: I keep a slightly mana-heavy hand of Engineer, Stone, Blast, Petal, Mountain, Plateau, Fetch and run out the Grindstone. He has Trop + Noble so I figure it's some kind of Zenith deck. I draw land, use Petal to play Engineer with blast backup that turns out to be unnecessary and entomb Painter for the possible win next turn. Opponent plays an Inkmoth and passes, I go for the combo on his upkeep which gets there. I look through his deck and see white duals and an Apostle's Blessing so I expect StP postboard.

-1 Lantern, -3 Karn, -1 REB
+2 Bolt, +1 Bridge, +1 Needle, +1 Blood Moon
Not happy to cut Karn since I expect StP, but on the draw I think it is too slow and not impactful enough to make up for it.

Game 2: I keep Plateau, Needle, Bolt, Painter, Grindstone, Welder which is bad against Daze/Wasteland but is very strong with mana. Opponent also kept 6 but passes without making a land drop. I figure this means Force of Vigor so after drawing a fetch(!) I play the Welder which eats FoW pitching FoW. Opponent still has no play so I figure there's still a FoV, so I try to bait it with a drawn Urza's Saga making constructs. I make two constructs and get Opal with Saga (still on 2 Plateaus as my only lands), and play the Grindstone off Opal to make them 4/4's. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Stone and the attacking construct eat FoV. Opponent finally finds a Trop for Hierarch and I've drawn a second Bolt and a Bridge plus Engineer, so I immediately bolt the Hierarch on my turn, earning an Invigorate, and again on his turn, earning another. After fetching Savannah and casting a Blighted Agent he has one card in hand. I topdeck a second Grindstone which I cast to turn the Opal back on, then play Painter to make the remaining construct a 4/4 with him at 16 and threaten combo the following turn. I get some inconsequential poison and combo on his upkeep, but he has Swords for Painter so I have to reassemble by getting a second Painter with Engineer and preferably drawing the fourth mana. I attack him down to 4 with a 4/4 construct thanks to a Needle on Nexus, then draw SSG for the win.

Round 2: 2-1 vs UB Reanimator
Game 1: I mulligan some hands with awkward mana into Mountain, Tomb, Fable, Engineer, Saga. Opponent plays Underground Sea and passes; I draw Recruiter and decide to play the Mountain in case I draw a blast. It doesn't matter as he has end-step Entomb for Atraxa then Grief taking Fable. Reanimated Atraxa finds another Grief taking Engineer so my only out is to topdeck the Bridge, which I don't.

-3 Karn, -1 Fable, -2 Bolt
+2 Surgical, +1 Macabre, +1 Crypt, +1 Blast, +1 Bridge

Game 2: After one mulligan I see Fetch, Plateau, City, Petal, Crypt, Bridge, Painter. I bottom the Painter so that I can play T1 Bridge and Crypt with only lands left over because I'm sure there will be a Grief/Thoughtseize and I will need the second land after losing the City to the first one. The plan works beautifully as he does Thoughtseize my 2-land hand, then he concedes to a topdecked Painter.

Game 3: I keep Fetch, Tomb, Saga, Crypt, Painter, Stone, Recruiter which I'm not happy about because it is soft to discard, but there are 9 possible draws that enable a T2 combo or we can T2 recruit Faerie Macabre to reload on graveyard hate. I'm not going to mulligan a hand like that looking for one of the mere three T0 pieces of interaction since those can still be soft to discard without the upside this hand offers. Fortunately the opponent does nothing on T1 so I play Tomb + Crypt + Painter, naming red. Perhaps I should have named black, seeing as there was clearly no Grief anyway, because Painter immediately dies to Snuff Out. He Entombs Atraxa and attempts Reanimate which Crypt fizzles, then I draw Pyroblast. I decide to play the fetch and use Tomb to get Grindstone in play (i.e. safe from discard) with the plan of holding up Pyroblast to protect a Recruiter for Painter the next turn. Instead I have to use it on a Show and Tell after which he has 2 cards in hand. I draw Engineer and use it to find Painter since Recruiter would put it in hand where it could be discarded. Opponent concedes.

Round 3: 2-1 vs Doomsday
Game 1: I keep a hand with 2 Saga, Furnace, Plateau, Fetch, REB, and ET. Slow, but if Saga is good then the hand is really good and we have REB and ET against combo or to find Painter after a Saga finds Grindstone. Opponent plays Personal Tutor off Watery Grave making this hand not so great. I draw Tomb, play the fetch and pass. Opponent casts Doomsday and from the exiled cards I deduce he has a cycling pile with Cavern, which is the worst for me since Canonist doesn't stop it, and Painter + Blast doesn't stop it even if I blow up one of his two lands. So the ET isn't worth much. I decide not to use it in order to conceal information, then draw Grindstone which I hold for the same reason. Opponent Thoughtseizes me and I almost concede, but figure that on the off chance he messed up and gives me another turn I can cast and activate Grindstone which might be enough. He does not screw up so I lose.

-2 Bolt, -1 Lantern, -1 Cratermaker, -1 Fable, -1 Apprentice
+1 Canonist, +1 Grindstone, +1 Blast, +1 Moon, +2 Surgical
Since I saw Personal Tutor I am definitely interested in Surgical just to shuffle his deck.

Game 2: I keep Tomb, Petal, Opal, Painter, Blast, ET, Recruiter. It's exceptionally strong (a T2 win, or Canonist, or Moon) if the three artifacts resolve, but since the colored mana is unreliable we could get stuck waiting to topdeck a land or third artifact. I decide to jam, and painfully decide to use Petal+Blast to stop FoW (pitching Ponder) on Painter after opponent mulliganed to 6. So Opal is off, but we have plenty of live draws. Opponent again has T1 PT for Doomsday but I topdeck a Surgical! I decide to extract Personal Tutors since I need to buy time to draw mana so I want to make it harder for him to find Doomsday. It resolves and I see Cabal Rit, Consider, Misty in hand plus Chain of Vapor and Snuff Out in his deck (also no discard and no Daze). I draw Mountain and reluctantly recruit Painter since it is an artifact creature, turning on Opal so I can ET for Grindstone and win. This is almost too slow since he Brainstorms into DD two turns later, but he can't draw into the pile that turn so I get the stone and win.

Game 3: I keep Plateau, Tomb, Petal, Blast, Painter, ET, Welder. For the third consecutive game opponent has T1 PT for Doomsday, and for the second consecutive game I topdeck Surgical immediately afterward. This time he has Street Wraith in response, so I play the Petal and the Plateau expecting to need to ET for Canonist. He just Brainstorms and passes with a fetch up though, so I get Grindstone since I already have the Painter, letting me threaten the combo while still holding up Pyroblast. Instead I have to blast a FoW (pitching Brainstorm and leaving him with 2 cards in hand). But again, he can't draw into the pile after casting Doomsday so I untap and win.

Round 4: 1-2 vs 8-Cast
Game 1: I keep Mountain, Tomb, 2x Saga, Opal, Painter planning to make constructs then find Grindstone, but opponent has T1 Saga + Bauble + 2x Petal which looks like 8-Cast where the construct plan isn't going to be good enough. But topdecked Welder certainly is so I play it. Opponent declines to make a construct, instead dropping a Kappa and making it a 6/6. This is awkward because my Saga will take 3 turns to find Grindstone and I may have to use the Tomb: 3x6+2=20. But in two turns I can pay for ward 4 to weld out the Kappa, unless he has maindeck Needle for Welder (turned out to be Aether Spellbomb). I play Saga + Painter, weld out a construct for a Petal, get thumped for 9, play Tomb and pass back. There's a long pause from the opponent when I weld out the Kappa in combat, but it works and I get the turn I need. He uses Spellbomb to bounce Painter in response to the Saga trigger, but I have a second Saga to be able to recast it and activate Grindstone for the win.

-2 Bolt, -1 Canonist, -1 ET
+1 REB, +1 Needle, +1 Abrade, +1 Portable Hole
Hole comes in because we may need an Engineerable answer to Chalice, a large construct, or a Needle. Karn is good enough on his own in this matchup that we don't need it in the wishboard (Chalice is the biggest concern and Karn kills it without help).

Game 2: The hand is Furnace, Tomb, City, Blast, Recruiter, Engineer, Cratermaker which stops Chalice, Needle, Kappa, FoW, and Emry, can find both halves of the combo, and has plenty of mana to cast Painter and activate Grindstone. We'll also be able to cast Karn if we draw it, maybe with blast backup. What this hand is not so great against is a fast Saga, which is what he has. I draw Grindstone and play it, which frees up Engineer to find Bridge. After he plays Seat + Bauble and passes, though, I decide to Recruit Painter instead - he may have Otawara/Dismember and if I draw an additional red source I can play Painter and combo with blast backup, or deploy Cratermaker and Engineer in the same turn or with blast backup. In the meantime, Recruiter can chump one of the 7/7 constructs he has after playing another Seat and fetching Needle on Grindstone. I draw Apprentice instead of a red source, so play Painter expecting to blast the Needle to enable the combo and shrink the constructs. He has Dismember though, and Otawara to stop the desperation block with Apprentice + Thopter so I lose.

Game 3: Keep Mountain, fetch, City, Welder, Engineer, Blast, Fable and play Welder. Opponent has another fast Saga hand, also with Lantern and Emry this time. I blast the Emry so that I don't have to worry about recurring Lanterns against my Goblin-heavy hand, which now includes a Cratermaker that I'm saving for the Needle I expect his Saga to find. I weld out the Lantern for a Bauble in response to Dismember on the Welder. I play Fable vs a 3/3 construct which I solve with a drawn Portable Hole. Fable turns a Plateau into a Painter, so I attempt to Engineer for Grindstone which gets Forced, and Cratermaker gets Hydroblasted leaving me with just Painter in hand. I draw mana, mana, mana and lose.

Round 5: 2-0 vs Mono-Green Stompy
Game 1: I keep 2x Saga, Petal, blast, Fable, Karn - a hand that would be an auto-mulligan if Fable were any other card. But we have it T2, maybe we draw mana to make constructs, and we have blast for some protection. I play Saga + Petal, opponent has OuaT for ESG, imprints Natural Order on Chrome Mox and plays Trinisphere with an Ancient Tomb. I draw Welder, slam Fable and hope for the best. Opponent has Zenith for Ouphe, which may actually help me since it turns off his Mox. I draw a second Karn, the two of which become a Welder and a Mountain thanks to Fable. Mountain lets me make one construct, and he declines to block the Fable token with Ouphe. After using the ESG to OuaT for another ESG, on my next attack he does trade Ouphe for the Goblin Shaman and I recruit Painter, just in case I finally draw some mana. But Reflection copying a 4/4 construct is enough pressure to win.

-1 Lantern, -1 Canonist, -1 Blast
+2 Bolt, +1 Abrade

Game 2: Keep Fetch, Saga, Tomb, Bolt, Abrade, Welder. I assume he has FoV or similar so Welder will help, Abrade deals with Trinisphere since I already have more permanent mana than in the entirety of the previous game, and Bolt deals with the Ouphe I assume he will play. He has a T1 Hearse off City and uses SSG to play Ignoble Hierarch, which seems like a weird play so I immediately Bolt the Hierarch. I leave the Hearse in play for a while to discourage him from deploying Ouphe, which seems to work as he casts GSZ for 2 to get another Hierarch, using a Turntimber. I draw Recruiter and with a Saga on 2 counters already I recruit Painter to win next turn, using SSG to Abrade the Hearse on his end step so that if he has FoV I can weld the combo back. The plan works...except he has Gaea's Blessing in the deck now. He follows up with Ouphe and some hardcast ESGs that can't get through the 1/3 Painters. I draw a Blast that I hold for Natural Order, he has a second Ouphe. I draw Engineer which isn't worth much and, having no great options, decide to get Apprentice just to accumulate resources and maybe start attacking in the air. I blast a Dismember on Welder and get surprised by NO -> Tyrranax Rex which knocks me to 5. I rip Karn and have enough mana to cast it and a wished-for Bridge, which stops his attacks but lets me attack with my thopters. Thopter beatdown gets there!

Round 6: 0-2 vs Fiend Artisan Elves
Game 1: I recognize this player as someone who plays Elves, so when I see Mountain, Petal, SSG, Painter, Grindstone, Canonist, Bridge I keep because all those cards are excellent against Elves. Surely I'll draw the mana, right? Turns out he's playing the Fiend Artisan version against which these cards are not quite so good, but I didn't draw any more mana to cast them anyways.

-2 Karn, -1 Blast, -1 Fable, -1 Apprentice, -1 Canonist
+2 Bolt, +1 Abrade, +1 Needle, +1 Bridge, +1 Blood Moon
I haven't played against this version much so I'm still figuring out how to board against it. Maybe you can tell.

Game 2: Mulligan to Fetch, Saga, City, ET and play the fetch. Opponent has OuaT for Cradle and plays Ignoble Hierarch. I draw Grindstone and play it off Saga. Opponent plays Fiend Artisan and some Reclaimers and I draw Cratermaker. I assume he is going to Artisan for, Zenith for, or cast an Ouphe, so I play the City and the Cratermaker with the plan of using it to kill the assumed Ouphe, untap, get Painter with ET on upkeep and LED with Saga to win, but he shows an Endurance off OuaT and uses Artisan to get Grist, so the combo will not win and after I combo Grist can kill the Painter and establish control. So I ET for Bridge instead to buy time to draw relevant cards, but forget to tap Saga for mana so I can't cast it. I concede in order to have more time to eat.

Round 7: 2-0 vs BR Reanimator
Game 1: Keep Fetch, 2x Tomb, Welder, Painter, Karn, Lantern. Opponent has Thoughtseize and when he takes the Lantern I figure he must be on Reanimator. I draw a second Painter, play the first off Ancient Tomb and hope he doesn't go off next turn. A Faithless Looting puts Griselbrand in the graveyard, but apparently he can't return it with the one mana left to him, so I get to untap, Tomb -> Karn -> Crypt and he scoops.

-3 Karn, -1 Fable, -2 Bolt
+2 Surgical, +1 Crypt, +1 Macabre, +1 Blast, +1 Bridge

Game 2: Keep Plateau, Saga, Macabre, Painter, Grindstone while opponent mulligans to 4. He Thoughtseizes the Faerie, I draw Opal and play Grindstone off Plateau, being mindful of possible Serenity. He has no T2 play, whereas I draw REB which I can hold up after playing Painter thanks to the Opal. He draws and concedes.

Round 8: 2-1 vs Artisan Elves
Game 1: I ship a lackluster 7 and an unkeepable 6 and stop at City, Opal, Lantern, Painter, ET which looks bad but is "only" one mana away from comboing if nothing goes wrong, and with Lantern backup against Endurance even. He plays Ignoble Hierarch off a fetched Forest so I assume the Artisan Elves deck and play Painter off City, but not Opal because I don't want to encourage Collector Ouphe too much. Instead he has Grist, so I use the Opal to play a drawn Welder rather than hold up ET with it, since I still need to draw a fourth mana anyway. But it's all moot since he has NO -> Craterhoof with five other creatures.

-2 Karn, -1 Canonist, -1 Fable, -1 Blast
+1 Needle, +2 Bolt, +1 Bridge, +1 Blood Moon
Despite losing to NO, based on the cards I saw previous match I expect the game to be more of a midrange creature battle than a combo drag race so I tweak the sideboarding accordingly.

Game 2: Keep Mountain, Plateau, Tomb, Engineer, Grindstone, Karn and run out the stone. After he has no T1 play besides a fetch, I draw Bridge and Engineer for Painter to possibly combo the next turn. He fetches Dryad Arbor, then plays another fetch and passes. I draw a blast and decide to go for the combo on his upkeep which meets StP. Since time may be important, I play Karn without playing the Bridge first and recur the exiled Painter. This prompts him to GSZ for Ouphe, but with one more mana I can blast the Ouphe and still combo, or just make constructs thanks to a Saga. Instead I draw Bolt, so I Karn for Crypt and play Painter holding up Bolt/Blast with Saga and 2 red sources and Engineer up (with Grindstone in the graveyard from the earlier attempt). After a Fiend Artisan I bolt the Ouphe on his end step, then in response to my Saga trigger he casts an Opposition Agent. Since I need the artifact from Saga in order to leave up Crypt for possible Endurance, I kind of want to blast the Agent. But he has only two cards in hand and if they're FoV + green card, I would rather blast that and just choose not to search for Saga. So I respond to Agent by exchanging the Crypt for Grindstone and comboing, but this person also has Gaea's Blessing. I decide to blast the Agent and get Needle for Artisan with the Saga. I draw another Painter, and then the on-board Painter and the Needle do eat FoV. He cashes in the Arbor and the Artisan to get Grist and kill my Engineer, so I use Karn to animate the Grindstone and kill Grist, then deploy Bridge with just Painter left in hand. One of his lands is Lair of the Hydra, which he makes into a 1/1 to peck Karn down to 2. I draw a Welder, then a Blast, but keep Painter in hand since I don't want to expose it to StP. This turns out well as instead a construct eats StP in the opponents irrelevant hassling of Karn. Once I untap with Welder I cast the Painter, return the Crypt, and combo through the Blessing.

+1 Karn, +1 Fable
-1 Apprentice, -1 Blood Moon
Still experimenting here. Having seen StP and the need to get a Crypt effect, I want more than one Karn. With the games going long the Reflection could be very valuable, and Apprentice isn't so strong when the opponent has about 12 ways to find Ouphe. On the draw I'm not sure I want Blood Moon in general, and since Saga may need to find a Lantern I definitely don't want to shut down my Sagas.

Game 3: Keep Saga, Tomb, Petal, LED, Painter, and ET, a hand super-soft to Ouphe but which can combo on T3 with Lantern or make some impressively large constructs. The latter turns out to be the path, as I draw another Saga and another Petal, which looks really bad against the Ouphe he Zeniths for but does represent damage nonetheless. I make two constructs, drop the artifact mana, get Needle on his Reclaimer, and crash in with a 6/6 putting him at 12. On the next turn he hardcasts Gaea's Blessing (which means I don't have to find Lantern anymore), and channels Boseiju on an attacking construct giving me the Plateau I need to start casting real spells - Welder and ET. With the second Saga I replace the construct against a 3/4 Reclaimer, Ouphe, Endurance, Arbor, and a stream of Grist tokens. Drawing Pyroblast, however, gives me an answer to the Ouphe so instead of making a third construct I float mana, get Grindstone, and combo after attacking with two lethal attackers. I had to name blue, so Snuff Out stops the combo but puts him at 2 life. I draw a replacement Painter, then a Recruiter which has to get Engineer which has to get Lantern since he Enduranced himself to put Blessing back in the deck. More combat pressure drains his resources so that a second combo gets there.

Round 9: 2-1 vs Jeskai Stoneblade
Game 1: Keep Fetch, Saga, Petal, Engineer, Recruiter, Karn. This hand is excellent if the top card is a land, good if the second card is a land, and pretty bad otherwise. Unfortunately they are a Grindstone, which ends prismatically, and a Pyroblast. So after his Stoneforge fetches Kaldra I get Lantern with Saga and immediately crack it to draw ... City of Traitors! Now I can recruit Painter (Engineer got Forced earlier), and maybe ET for Grindstone and win before the Kaldra Compleat kills me. I draw a fetch which is good, but means I have to give up the City before drawing the card from ET, so ET for Grindstone doesn't work. I decide to play Karn instead, and get the exiled Grindstone back so that next turn I can play it, then ET on his end step for LED, get Painter and cast it with my two lands and crack LED to win if he has absolutely nothing. But he has Force of Will for the Painter so I lose.

+2 Bolt, +1 Surgical
-1 ET, -1 Petal, -1 Lantern
We need to kill Stoneforge ASAP, and possibly also Teferis. I like Surgical over Lantern because it can foul up a Snapcaster, and because extracting StP leaves him with almost entirely sorcery-speed interaction. Even a random Surgical on Force of Will can clear a path for a key card or give you valuable information.

Game 2: Keep Plateau, Mountain, Bolt, 2x Blast, Karn. This hand doesn't really do anything unless we draw serious mana, but we have the answer to SFM, can protect it against opposing counters, and have two blasts for any funny business like Counterbalance or Back to Basics. And I really don't want to mulligan to 5 in this matchup so I keep it. I draw another Karn and we both play out lands and for a while. I draw a third blast and a Saga, blast a Teferi and start making constructs. A second Saga helps, but when Prismatic Vista fetches a Mountain I suspect a Meltdown and decide to get Opal instead of Grindstone. Indeed, there is a Meltdown so Sagas #2 and #3 create some more pressure while I draw even more blasts. I miraculously draw Tomb which lets me push Karn through a Force of Will, and I decide to get Coating since there's not going to be any action for a while and I would really like to cut his white mana before deploying the combo pieces I don't have yet. The first Karn dies to a Snapcaster after the last construct ate Prismatic Ending, but the second one takes over to eventually cut all his red and white mana. I eventually draw Painter so once he's left with only Islands I recover an exiled Grindstone and win.

Game 3: Keep Mountain, fetch, Saga, Petal, Grindstone, 2x Blast. With about 5 minutes left on my clock I'm happy to see a hand that can make constructs, but I'm worried that it can't stop a fast Stoneforge. Opponent shuffles off a Ponder, and after drawing Painter I decide to play Grindstone to either entice him to delay Stoneforge by a turn to Prismatic the Grindstone or set up my combo earlier, the catch being that if he delays by a turn I get to Painter + Blast the Stoneforge on the stack. Instead he has no T2 play, so I play Painter + Petal to hold up a blast for what has got to be a Meltdown. Instead it's a Back to Basics, which I blast, after which he concedes.

I think the list is great and I would play it again, with or without Fable. The main lesson from this event is that Lantern should not be boarded out against slow green decks now that they have adopted Gaea's Blessing. It's much easier to find Lantern off a Saga/ET/Engineer than it is to draw Karn, resolve Karn, and wish for Lantern/Crypt so it should stay in the deck.