Last time, in Eternal Warrior #57, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of several different card packages that could be included when building Painter’s Servant + Grindstone combo in Vintage. This week, we’ll be putting some of those to the test!
One of my weaknesses as a deck builder is that I can often become fixated on cards and strategies that I find fun or cool to play, but which are likely suboptimal choices for the deck in which I’m including them. I don’t always know if I’m falling into that trap, but when I’m leaving a ton of powerful restricted cards out of a Vintage deck, that should give me pause.
Let’s look at the list I originally played, 74/75 of which I cribbed from a list MTGO player unrestrictedgifts successfully ran in a Daily Event:
Painted Stone by RexDart
I liked this list, and sleeved it up mostly as-is. But I have to admit that part of why I liked it is that it’s a bit different from the normal blue combo-control deck. Some of those differences are also its strengths. But some of them should at least raise the question of why it deviates from how you would expect such a deck to be configured. After all, the commonly-played cards absent from this list are commonly-played in decks of a similar archetype for good reason.
Why is an artifact-based combo deck with Tinker in it not also playing Vault-Key? Why is a combo deck with a black splash not playing Demonic Tutor? Why is a black-splashing deck of any sort not playing Yawgmoth’s Will? These are powerful, flexible cards that are easily capable of winning the game when your back’s against the wall.
For this iteration of the deck, I wanted to try out as many of the alternative card packages as possible to see what worked and what didn’t. But I also needed the new additions to work well together. So what I’ve done is add in the Vault-Key combo along with several additional tutors, making it much more of a pure combo deck than before. To make room, I’ve cut the Fastbond + Gush draw engine, as well as the Mana Drains which some players feel are poorly-positioned in the current metagame.
Here’s the list I ended up with for today’s videos:
Grixis Painter by RexDart
In making these changes, I had to pay careful attention to my blue card count to make sure I had access to Force of Will on Turn 1, especially on the draw against Shops where it’s truly critical. This resulted in my decision to try out a Trinket Mage package, and is also the reason why I have Transmute Artifact instead of the Vampiric Tutor I was originally planning to include in this version of the deck.
For more discussion of this new build, you can check out a video walkthrough of the deck here:
Then check out the match play videos to see it in action:
Thanks for joining me this week! If you have any thoughts about other builds of the deck, card choices or strategies related to Painter Combo in Vintage, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.