Hello and welcome to the first edition of “Super Jank Bros”, a periodical column about some of the spicier piles of jank that catch our attention! Since the majority of us play Magic: The Gathering, as well as Eternal or Hearthstone, this column may include deck showcases from any of those games.
This weeks edition features a somewhat dead archetype: Mono Blue Painter
For those who do not know, the “Painter” (as it is commonly referred to, and will be going forward) combo involves two cards: the deck’s name sake, Painter’s Servant, and Grindstone. Both powerful artifacts that when combined make the opponent’s deck (includim the color of your choosing (generally Red to enable sideboard cards such as Blue Elemental Blast) using Painter’s Servant, and then milling their entire deck with a single Grindstone activation. This deck was typically Mono Red, and featured cards like Imperial Recruiter to find the Painter, Goblin Welder, Blood Moon and the now banned Sensei’s Divining Top to help dig up the missing combo pieces. The deck functioned primarily as a “prison” style deck, aiming to lock the opponent out of the game with Blood Moon, and eventually mill them out.
While this deck was not the most competitive, it was pretty fun to watch. For the most part, prison decks can be somewhat boring because the player assembles a stranglehold that can be painful to watch the opponent squirm through. Often the prison deck does not have the most effective and quick way to finish them off, so it can make for longer games. Even Lands plays like this sometimes, and can be a slog to close out games. The difference with Painter, is that it can find its pieces somewhat smoothly, and just win on the spot. It is a pretty clean combo, since it doesn’t require a combat step or, if draws allow, your opponent to have a turn to deal with any of your combo pieces.
Since the banning of SDT, the deck has all but died, and what few players were left playing it, have moved on to other decks. Not Tobias Dietrich! They have found a way to use some new technology (Whir of Invention) to breathe new life back into the deck. So much so that they managed to top 4 a 25 person event with it! There is a certain type of person that can pilot a list like this effectively, and we hope this list starts to pop up more frequently!
Some of the key things we love about this list:
- Counter magic – while the Red based list could play a Blood Moon turn 1, it could also lost to ANT turn 1. This list also includes other versatile counters such as Counterspell, Spell Pierce, Hydroblast and Flusterstorm.
- Cantrips – the lists of yore played SDT and Imperial Recruiter to help dig up the combo peices, this version plays Ponder, Brainstorm and Whir of Invention (not a cantrip, but fills the spot of Imperial Recruiter).
- Broader toolbox – since you are able to use Whir of Invention to tutor up whatever you need, you can mainboard answers to some of the various problems you might face with your artifact toolbox! Relic of Progenitus, Pithing Needle, Ensnaring Bridge, Spellskite, as well as both parts of your combo.
- Sideboard options – this list includes some serious tech: Llawan, Cephalid Empress and Thopter Spy Network. Neither of which are “Legacy Staples”, but both can definitely find a home in this melting pot of jank. I could see an argument for including Jace, The Mind Sculptor in one of those slots as well. More toolbox artifacts can be included as well, such as Ratchetbomb, Phyrexian Revoker and Hope of the Ghirapur.
The deck differs so much from its predecessor, that it plays much differently, and identifies more in the “Combo Control” category, than the “Prison with a combo finish” of the Red iteration. The reasons to play this version are just that: you want to play countermagic, you think Brainstorm is the best card in Legacy or simply the other version more or less died with the SDT banning.
Thanks for taking the time to read about our featured jank, and we hope to have you check us out in the future!
– JesterOfJank and Aphelion