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Author Topic: [Deck Discussion] Drain Servant  (Read 6278 times)
Implacable
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« on: April 30, 2008, 11:48:57 pm »

The new two-card combo of Grindstone + Painted Servant seems pretty obviously good.  It costs  {6} to win the game, and at no time must more than {3} be paid.  So it seems that the imperative of any designer is to at least attempt to make the combo playable. 

As I believe I've said in these forums, I think the combo may fit more into a Drain-based control-combo deck, e.g. FlameVault Gifts, than into the Shop decks into which the combo was originally put.  A heavy load of disruption and card draw comprises the entire deck, with the combo as a pair of one-ofs that can be found in a myriad of ways (DT, VT, Gifts, raw draw).  In that vein, here's my first shot at how the deck might appear:

Combo:
1 Grindstone
1 Painted Servant
1 Darksteel Colossus

Protection:
4 Force of Will
4 Mana Drain
2 Misdirection
1 Echoing Truth
1 Pyroblast
1 Rebuild
1 Red Elemental Blast

Advantage:
4 Brainstorm
3 Merchant Scroll
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Gifts Ungiven
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Recoup
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will

Mana:
4 Island
3 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
2 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Library of Alexandria
5 Moxen
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring

Card Explanations:

- The protection suite is constructed to be heavy and is chiefly designed to beat blue decks.  I think that this deck, with its high mana count and simple combo, will have a strong natural game against Shops.  Therefore, the Misdirections and REBs are placed in an attempt to equalize the advantage that other decks garner from playing the Gush engine (an engine which I do not feel is as a whole excellent right now, because of the heavy presence of Shops). 

-The card advantage suit is such that there is an array of powerful, late-game options for "winning" the game through sheer card advantage/quality, i.e. Gifts, Fact, Scrying.  The early game is, as it was in traditional gifts, defined by Scroll -> Ancestral and Brainstorm.

Thanks in advance for any comments.
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 06:40:52 am »

My comments are on the terse side, but you didn't give a lot of commentary yourself.

Quote
Gush engine (an engine which I do not feel is as a whole excellent right now, because of the heavy presence of Shops)

I guess metagames differ, but with Flash and Ichorid making a comeback, workshops have been pretty scarce in NE.  What's in abundance are blue based combo or combo-control decks, which this would seem to suffer against.  The other builds are leaner (lower land count) have faster one card combos than DSC, and can sometimes even take advantage of being grinded (Oath).

Sure this runs lots of good u/b cards, but it strikes me as a deck fit for a past metagame.  Can you tell us about the testing?  How is this superior to something similar, like Drain Tendrils?
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 07:54:06 am »

I too believe that the painter/stone combo does best in a drain build, prefferably as a kill in control slaver.  The problm is that the majority of drain decks are simply too slow right now.  Indeed even Drain tendrils posts poor numbers against flash and ichorid, which are two of the most popular decks around right now.

That said here was the list I was testing, it put up a great game at turn 3+ but the first 2 turns are sketchy on their power.  Many decks right now are designed to have explosive turn 1s and ride that for game, drain decks can't really capitalize on those strategies IMO.

// Lands
        4 Island
        2 Flooded Strand
        1 Library of Alexandria
        2 Polluted Delta
        2 Underground Sea
        3 Volcanic Island
        1 Tolarian Academy
// Creatures
        1 Darksteel Colossus
        3 Goblin Welder
        2 Painter's Servant
// Spells
        1 Ancestral Recall
        4 Brainstorm
        1 Echoing Truth
        1 Fact or Fiction
        4 Force of Will
        1 Gifts Ungiven
        1 Intuition
        4 Thirst for Knowledge
        1 Vampiric Tutor
        4 Mana Drain
        1 Demonic Tutor
        2 Merchant Scroll
        1 Time Walk
        1 Tinker
        1 Yawgmoth's Will
// Artifacts
        1 Grindstone
        1 Mana Crypt
        1 Mana Vault
        1 Sol Ring
        1 Mindslaver
        1 Black Lotus
        1 Mox Emerald
        1 Mox Jet
        1 Mox Pearl
        1 Mox Ruby
        1 Mox Sapphire
// Sideboard
SB:  1 Duplicant
SB:  2 Engineered Explosives
SB:  1 Hurkyl's Recall
SB:  4 Leyline of the Void
SB:  1 Pyroblast
SB:  2 Rack and Ruin
SB:  2 Red Elemental Blast
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008, 09:06:13 am »

My comments are on the terse side, but you didn't give a lot of commentary yourself.

Quote
Gush engine (an engine which I do not feel is as a whole excellent right now, because of the heavy presence of Shops)

I guess metagames differ, but with Flash and Ichorid making a comeback, workshops have been pretty scarce in NE.  What's in abundance are blue based combo or combo-control decks, which this would seem to suffer against.  The other builds are leaner (lower land count) have faster one card combos than DSC, and can sometimes even take advantage of being grinded (Oath).

Sure this runs lots of good u/b cards, but it strikes me as a deck fit for a past metagame.  Can you tell us about the testing?  How is this superior to something similar, like Drain Tendrils?

The meta at the last Mox tournament was Gush decks and Shops, with everything else fairly underrepresented.  This is because, I postulate, Flash and Ichorid have been hated out - certainly, every deck in the field, save perhaps 1 or 2, played 6 graveyard hate spells in the side, with 4 Leylines almost always present.  Consequently, I'm trying to take advantage of a metagame that has slowed down considerably, almost to the Shops v. Drain (with a little combo on the side) meta of mid-2K6.  It should also be noted that the counterspell suite of the deck is relatively heavy, which alllows it to usually combat early and broken starts, and that suite is also the advantage that Drain Servant has over the relatively disruption-light Drain Tendrils.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008, 11:11:23 am »

Has anyone thought about adding an Argivian Find and Ritual of Restoration to the deck to be able to create a Gifts package that could always get the combo?  It could work nice with Intuition as well.
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 11:41:48 am »

Has anyone thought about adding an Argivian Find and Ritual of Restoration to the deck to be able to create a Gifts package that could always get the combo?  It could work nice with Intuition as well.

It'd be dead weight and weaken the mana base. Even assuming you were always trying to Gifts for the combo, there are already ways to ensure you get them with the current list. Will + Recoup + Combo pieces, or simply a pile of tutors works. The main issue is that you aren't always going to be Gifting since it's a singleton, and in any other instance Find and company are dead weight. Recoup alone feels clunky when you draw it, but does much more for Gifts than the cards you suggested would. Upping the Intuition count would help somewhat, but you'd still hate drawing them.

By dedicating more slots to the combo, you also start to shift the deck away from a control shell towards pure combo. The inevitable result of that is "Why play this over Flash?" By staying a control deck with a combo finish you at least try and find your own niche.
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 12:05:07 pm »

Why run off color when you can run Reconstruct?

Painter, Grindstone, Will, Recontruct.  That's either {6} {U} or Yawgwill.
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 11:48:13 pm »

Why run off color when you can run Reconstruct?

Painter, Grindstone, Will, Recontruct.  That's either {6} {U} or Yawgwill.

I like Reconstruct.  On the other hand, I'm going to run red no matter what for Blasts and for the SB in general, so I may as well run Recoup, which has more general utility and lets me do the classic Gifts for mana, mana, Will.
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2008, 04:22:10 am »

I've been testing the combo in a drain build too. Obviously my list is very close to yours but I have been trying to incorporate a playset of Transmute Artifact, reasoning that both combo pieces only cost 1 and 2 mana. Of the 12 games I played, Transmute Artifact won me 4 games (one of which I used it to get Lotus and cast Will). It's too early to tell if I'm better of playing I-seal and some more disruption.

To make sure I can get a Grindstone or Painter back I added Academy Ruins (and cut LoA). So far it has been good but nothing spectacular.
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2008, 11:40:07 pm »

I have built a Servant Deck for a local Tourney this coming Saturday.  It goldfishes rather well and seems like it will be relatively stable.  I'ld run drains but don't have any. Otherwise it pretty much runs like gifts but with the added bonus of Painter set to blue is just awesome.  As mentioned earlier Scrolling for almost your whole deck is potent as well as everything pitchable to FoW.  I tried it with welders but that seemed to hold it back.  Any ideas?

Land
2xIsland
3xVolcanic Island
2xUnderground Sea
2x Flooded Strand
2x Polluted Delta
1x T. Acadamy

Creatures
1x Darksteel Collosus
3x Painter's Servant

Everything Else
1x Timewalk
1x Ancestral
1x Gifts
1x Burning
1x Yawg Will
1x Fact o' Fiction
2x Merchant Scroll
1x Vamp
1x Demo
1x Mystical
4x Brainstorm
4x FoW
4x REB
3x Thirst??? Maybe ponders
4x Counterspell
1x Echoing Truth
5x Moxen
1x Lotus
1x Mana Vault
1x Mana Crypt
1x Petal
1x Grindstone
1x Tinker
1x Recoup
1x Sol Ring

SB
2xtormod
2x Extirpate
4xPith
4xpyro
1xTendrils
the rest dependant
 
I'm finding Intuition lacking,which is why I'm not running it, maybe upping the Scrolls to 3.  The mana Base isn't bad but I may go +Underground -Island.  Any thoughts?
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2008, 04:08:42 am »

Last sunday 2 Painter.dec have split in the finals of, respectively, a 35 and 42 players tournament. So you might want to take a look Wink

Scarecrow @ ICBM Open #4 TO Report and top 8 lists

Picasso @ [04/05/2008 - TPC#9 - Roma] - Results (yes, I know it's in italian)

The second one was piloted by me, in a sea of unfavorable matchups Very Happy
Round 1 - Goblin R/b [2-1]
Round 2 - Mana Ichorid [2-1]
Round 3 - Gift [0-2] !!
Round 4 - Aggro Workshop [2-1]
Round 5 - Goblin R [2-1]
Round 6 - i.d.
Top8 - TPS [2-1]
Top4 -  Pentastax Aggro [2-0]

For sure, I'd recommend the following changes:
-1 ponder +1 mana drain
-3 threads + whatever

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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2008, 08:46:09 am »

That deck sure is a pile.   Fabricate? REALLY?   

I would cut the Fabricates and Gushes before I cut the other stuff, though there is obviously some optimization to be done. 
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2008, 09:41:02 am »

looking at your pile i can really only see one problem and that is the lack of rebs and pyroblasts mb. with painters servant out reb and pyroblast read "counter target spell or destroy target permanent of the color of your choice". also with the additions of 8 counterspells to the mb making the deck have a total of 12-16 counterspells, you can pretty much stop anything with any sembalence of blue in it. i just see pyro and reb mb as an absolute must. i would actually look at the new berlin list on MOrphling.de for the build that came in 1st at the event. good luck with painter. Smile
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2008, 05:11:00 pm »

I ran the ICBM build on Sat. at my local tourny and what a pile.  I ended up going 3-2 and then pulling it through the playoffs to win the tourney.  I found some inconsistencies in it which I think could be solved with ponders and eliminating REB's to the board or cutting down on MS.
The sad part was in game 3 of the finals I had to hard cast Colossus and swing for the win.  My final matchup was against UR landstill and had a hard time protecting my servants from bolts because I would exhuast my hand trying to set up the grindstone.  All in all I did not enjoy this build and am thinking something more along the lines of a Belcher build.
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2008, 05:49:37 pm »

I ran the ICBM build on Sat. at my local tourny and what a pile.  I ended up going 3-2 and then pulling it through the playoffs to win the tourney.  I found some inconsistencies in it which I think could be solved with ponders and eliminating REB's to the board or cutting down on MS.
The sad part was in game 3 of the finals I had to hard cast Colossus and swing for the win.  My final matchup was against UR landstill and had a hard time protecting my servants from bolts because I would exhuast my hand trying to set up the grindstone.  All in all I did not enjoy this build and am thinking something more along the lines of a Belcher build.

Just a quick comment: Lightning Bolts?  That's certainly an unusual problem to come up against.  What sorts of decks did you play against in the Swiss?
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2008, 07:33:34 am »

U/R Standstill was where I faced the Bolts (he went 5-0 in Swiss).  Extremely hard matchup if you battle through the counterspells to resolve a painter, you have to battle through burn (along with superior card advantage)  to protect him, my other loss (it was a bad loss) was to Oath.  It was a small tourney with a real hodgepodge of decks, no defined meta to speak of.
Either way I see the potential for this deck, it just needs more refinement.  I think the bazaar build is probably the way to go now that I've seen some testing and results.
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2008, 11:25:24 pm »

I've been thinking of a way to using this combo in a gifts shell for some time already. Seems made for a drain based deck since the combo pieces are all artifacts. I am planning on building this deck using the Probasco style Gifts Belcher shell something like:

Land: 24
3x Island
3x Volcanic Island
2x Underground Sea
2x Flooded Strand
3x Polluted Delta
1x T. Acadamy
5x Moxen
1x Black Lotus
1x Mana Vault
1x Mana Crypt
1x Lotus Petal
1x Sol Ring

Creatures/Artifact: 4
1x Darksteel Collosus
2x Painter's Servant
1 Grindstone

Blue: 25
1x Time walk
1x Ancestral
1x Gifts
3x Merchant Scroll
1x Tinker
4x Brainstorm
4x FoW
4x Mana Drain
1x Mystical
3x Thirst for Knowledge
1x Echoing Truth OR Chain of Vapor

Black: 5
1x Yawg Will
1x Vampiric Tutor
1x Demonic Tutor
2x Duress
 
Red: 3
2x REB
1x Recoup


In comparison to the deck posted by arctic79 (you listed 2 Y. Will's by the way), I cut:

-1 Painter
-1 Fact
-1 Burning Wish
-2 REB
-4 Counterspell

Add:
1 Island
1 Polluted Delta
1 Merchant Scroll
2 Duress
4 Drain

I believe that even if 4 REB's are god against any blue decks, Duress shouldn't be left behind. Not all decks are blue ie: Shops so Duress or even Thoughtseize are good to include. Running a control suite of 4 Drains, 4 Fow's,2 Duress and 2 REB's are enough to out muscle your opponent even w/o Painter in play. Also I noticed you used 4 Counterspells instead of Drains. Is that  a Typo or you really used them? How was it? I am also thinking bout the TFK's if Ponder is a better substitute but isn't the deck already cluttered with 1cc spells? How about Fact or Fiction? I cut the FoF for the 4th TFK. Let me know what you think
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008, 09:44:02 am by smbdy_182 » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2008, 01:42:00 am »

Donīt you think Grindstone would be strong in your deck?  Very Happy
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2008, 01:53:38 am »

Looks awesome, could use some more combo pieces though in my opinion.
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arctic79
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2008, 07:44:37 am »

smbdy_182,  Sorry typo on the will, and yes I had to run counterspell I had no drains for that tourney.  I think you are right on the changes, I'm going to mess around with it a bit and see what happens. 
Overall impression though is the deck has strong potential just need to make it more consistent.
Off your list I would go with the echoing truth over CoV, you don't really want to risk losing a piece of the puzzle while bouncing something of your opponents.
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2008, 09:49:34 am »

@MMD

Silly me. I did forgot to list Grindstone. Edited it already. Thanks

@Artic79

I didn't see that you also ran Burning Wish. What's it target usually? I like B. Wish for added utility like a SB Duress or Thoughtseize and even Empty for additional Win conditions? The deck does not storm often as by the Painter + Servant build but it seems possible to string 4 spells for an average ETW? Will try to play this in the upcoming tourney's. That is if I can get the pieces together. I cannot fit other bullets such as Hurkyl's or Rebuild for the Stax match-up. The list is already tight not like the gifts deck of old.
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arctic79
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2008, 12:27:46 pm »

I have the tendrils in the board, but primarily  I'll go for the old gifts into yawg, tinker, recoup, timewalk, which gives you lots of options post Will. If I can't get painter+grindstone online.
I'll wait to see your results.  I'm not quite ready to give up on playing this deck yet.
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