Grixis Painter for champs Discussion

Here is the deck. I'll have some additional thoughts below for the deck I plan to take to Champs. I'd love to get some constructive input and suggestions. I will have more chances to play test soon.

Dack Fayden (2)
Daretti, Ingenious Ironcast (2)
Tezzeret the Seeker (1)

Black Lotus (1)
Grindstone (2)
Mana Crypt (1)
Mox Emerald (1)
Mox Jet (1)
Mox Pearl (1)
Mox Ruby (1)
Mox Sapphire (1)
Sol Ring (1)

Baleful Strix (2)
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy (2)
Painter's Servant (3)
Sphinx of the Steel Wind (1)

Instant / Sorcery
Ancestral Recall (1)
Brainstorm (1)
Demonic Tutor (1)
Dig Through Time (1)
Force of Will (4)
Mental Misstep (3)
Ponder (1)
Pyroblast (2)
Red Elemental Blast (2)
Thirst For Knowledge (2)
Time Walk (1)
Tinker (1)
Treasure Cruise (1)
Yawgmoth's Will (1)

Island (2)
Polluted Delta (2)
Scalding Tarn (4)
Tolarian Academy (1)
Underground Sea (3)
Volcanic Island (3)

Sulfur Elemental (2)
Mountain (1)
Shattering Spree (1)
Murderous Cut (1)
Flusterstorm (1)
Grafdigger's Cage (2)
Leyline of the Void (3)
Virulent Plague (2)
Ingot Chewer (3)


I know this deck isn't optimal for champs. However, this is my first time going to a major vintage tournament and I want to play a deck I love more then play a best deck for the current meta. I do feel though this deck has game against most decks, at least, it has a chance to win. Not a high percentage, but a decent chance.

*For the most part I would consider this a stock build save for a few choices.

Daretti has been excellent in my playtesting so far. It shores up a lot of problems this deck faces. It can help get rid of a null rod or a creature. With the increase in creatures, having more creature removal is important in my opinion. Not to mention it combos really nicely with Dack Fayden.

Baleful Strix. I haven't had a chance to playtest with this yet, this was a change when I was trying 2 Goblin Welders. I like Baleful Strix more for this deck for a couple of reasons. It's an artifact, which helps Tolarian Academy, Tinker, Daretti. It's blue, so my cards to pitch with force is increased. Also a decent blocker against all the Eldrazi and various other creatures. Also provides card advantage.

*Cards I'm not sure about
Tezzeret the Seeker. I haven't play tested with this yet. During some of my play testing, one of the things I noticed was I was a bit slow in getting my combo off at times. This allows me to go get both pieces of the combo and can do a few other things in the matchup faste then I was before. My hesitation is the casting cost. Also not sure if Mind Sculptor would be better. Mind Sculptor would give me a bit of a better game against Oath. Also, Vampire Tutor might be another choice for a card in this spot.

Sphinx of the Steel Wind. I went with this over Blightsteel as it can gain me life and attack at the same time. Against a larger of creatures, I'd rather have this then Blightsteel. Though a turn one tinker I would prefer Blightsteel. Plus Sphinx is good against an opposing Dack Fayden.

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. I like that I can recast my spells but it is slow to get going. Could be split or replaced with Snapcaster Mage or split with Mind Sculptor. In some situations I Love it, in other situations I would prefer another card (though that's true for a lot of cards).

My draw package. I'm not sure if Thirst for Knowledge/etc is good as it is. Not sure if I should have more Thirst for Knowledge or switch it for Gush.

last edited by mdkubiak

Out of curiosity, how do you know that this deck is suboptimal for Champs?

In my play testing I've done I feel l've played from behind a bit. Right now I feel the stronger parts of the current meta are Gush based decks and Workshops. Or if it does what it does, Oath too. Just a feeling, no real proof beyond my limited play testing. I'm hoping to get more in to see if this is the right configuration or it needs a tad more tweaking.

Have you considered some number of Young Pyromancers? I know it is a little outside the box in a Painter Shell, but it can be a strong alternate win-con in the face of null rods and can get you a lot of extra value out of your REB's/Pyro's with or without a painter in play.

Also, how have you found Dig AND Cruise to be in this deck? Between Yawgmoth's Will, Daretti and Jace VP you have a lot of graveyard interaction. Perhaps just one of them and a Gush, Preordain or 3rd Thirst in its place?

I thought about a bit of a transformational sideboard to move towards a Young P deck, but I'm thinking that's way too many cards that would need to be switched out and would leave me no room for good sideboard hate. Especially no room for Dredge hate.

It's an interesting idea. I could try play testing it, but but I feel there may be too many artifacts for the deck to really make it go. I think Mentor would be better for that idea, but that would be a fourth color.

Dig I love and is an absolute must in the deck in my opinion over Cruise. Cruise is good too, since you know it's another Ancestral Recall, but I like Dig more in the deck as it really digs deep in the deck. That's more important then three cards for me. There is certainly a number of ways to put cards in the graveyard, which is why I thought having both of them are good.

@Soly I understand going in this isn't as good as a Therapy Pyromancer deck. I'm not under any delusions that it's at that level.

I'm glad you consider those garbage cards, you're welcome to your opinion, but I do not consider this constructive help. Not trying to start a fight or an argument. You're right, this is not on the same level currently as a Young P. deck. However, if I wanted to play a Young Pyromancer deck, I would play a Young Pyromancer deck. It's not like I don't have the cards. I want to have fun and I consider this deck fun. If that means I don't top 8, so be it.

I do, however, think the deck is better then you're giving it credit for. But you are welcome to your opinion, surely.

last edited by mdkubiak

I've played something similar to this locally where I just went harder on the combo, and mentor/pyro weren't really the problem. I played Key/Vault to back up Painter/Grindstone, along with Vamp Tutor, Seal, and Transmute to find the right half. I won't pretend it was amazing, but I did fine in local vintage stuff. This was before Daretti, fwiw.

I also prefer Battlesphere as a tinker target over Sphinx. It's easier to cast, the tokens buy a ton of time vs mentor or pyro, and it supercharges Academy. It threatens walkers just as well, and is a roughly equivalent clock.

Mark, I would ditch the Tezzeret, Sphinx, JVP, and Red Elemental Blasts for 1 Notion Thief, 1 Blightsteel, 1 more Thirst, and 2 more Pyroblasts (Pyroblast much better with Dack Fayden's ultimate if/when things go awry). Also, 1-2 Sensei's Divining Top goes really well in these decks if you can find further room (like better than Ponder here).

I don't see a sideboard listed here. It's important to keep in mind you are designing 75 for Champs, not 60.


I purposely left out my current side board, as it's an ever changing beast. I don't have it on me, but since you're asking for it, I will post it as soon as I get home.

Also, can you explain why you don't like Tezzeret, Sphinx, and JVP? Tezerret I was up in the air about, but it was an idea for testing. I can never seem to settle on Sphinx or Blightsteel. I've had a hard deciding which one is better over all. Against certain decks Sphinx is awesome, but Blightsteel can be an instant win but is weaker against certain strategies and can cause you to lose more likely.

I do like the idea of Sensei's Divining Top over Ponder, that I think I will certainly switch out.

last edited by mdkubiak

@mdkubiak Tezzeret seems too expensive. And I really like JVP in most versions of this deck, but there should be a bit more diversity in the sorceries for it to be stellar (like shattering spree in the side board, duress, and gush in addition to REB/Pyroblast).

Yeah, I was going to ask the same question. Is there a reason you're going for an even split of REB/Pyroblast? I originally thought maybe it was due to Gifts, but you don't seem to be playing that. With Dack in your deck, I'd suggest just going for Pyroblasts instead, unless there's something that I'm missing here.

last edited by Hrishi

Note: Added my sideboard to the main post. Please see if you want to comment on it. Especially @JACO 🙂


Well, I think that came from when I originally tried the deck out that was the split I saw. I think the main use of it anymore, and possibly not good enough, is it protects against Cabal Therapy ripping both out of my hand on a single go. Situtationally good yes. I can see everyone's point on wanting Pyroblast. However, since I can make everything blue, is it still better just to go with 4 Pyroblast?

@mdkubiak Well it's just when everything is blue, I don't think it matters what you have. Both work. You do have to keep in mind about what your gameplan is when you haven't made everything blue. In that situation, with Dack in your deck, Pyroblast is going to be better, especially since Misdirection isn't seeing much play these days.

@spook The deck originally had a split between Gush and Thirst for Knowledge, but I skewed Gush in favor of Thirst and the Daretti's. It would be hard to make room for both at this point, as I really do like Daretti in the main.

The part that I've had a hard time figuring out and this just requires more testing, is finding that balance for cards to get me to the combo or cards that help me control the board. I finally in a spot where I get to play test and play (which wasn't something I got to do months ago).

@Hrishi You're absolutely right. I'm not disagreeing with you there. 🙂 There are times I don't name blue for the sake of not turning on someone's force of will. It's just that situation with Cabal Therapy. Which is probably too small to consider for a reason to do the split.

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