Matchup Mulligan: Painter

Final 4C “Snow” Control Hand Answer

Hand No. 10: (on the draw)

Dark Ritual Dark Ritual Thoughtseize Infernal Tutor Lion's Eye Diamond Lion's Eye Diamond Rite of Flame


I guess I’m a risk taker, I would gamble on not being hit by Thoughtseize and drawing a black source off the top of our library — which is about 43 percent (23 outs in 53 cards). The risk is worth the reward to me here as protected turn one win that doesn’t care about Plague Engineer is huge! Sign me up.




Hand No. 1: (on the draw)

Brainstorm Ponder Chrome Mox Rite of Flame Rite of Flame Dark Ritual Burning Wish


What does this hand really do? Realistically, you’re looking to cast either Brainstorm or Ponder to fix this hand against the deck with anywhere between 6-8 Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast effects. Even if your cantrip resolves, this hand is pretty far off from winning. I think your best bet with a hand similar to this is to make Goblin Tokens with Empty the Warrens. In general, I’m not a fan of Goblin Tokens in this match-up due to Painter’s Servant plus Grindstone just winning the game or Goblin Tokens being answered by Karn, The Great Creator into something like Ratchet Bomb or Engineered Explosives.

Hand No. 2: (on the play — Mulliganed Once)

Ponder Volcanic Island Defense Grid Bloodstained Mire Thoughtseize Dark Ritual Chrome Mox


While Defense Grid does stop Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast, that’s not really what the match-up is about. I would bottom the Defense Grid due to the mulligan, then lead off on Ponder before my opponent has an available red source in play (Note: They could still have Simian Spirit Guide). With Ponder, I’d likely shuffle if it didn’t contain some sort of action such as Infernal Tutor or Burning Wish.

Hand No. 3: (on the draw)

Lotus Petal Bloodstained Mire Brainstorm Lion's Eye Diamond Chrome Mox Mox Opal Badlands


You can’t play afraid of Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast all of the time, not to mention, you don’t just lose the game if Brainstorm is countered. Ideally, your opponent would tap out on the first turn allowing a first turn “perfect” Brainstorm to resolve. Even if they don’t, I wouldn’t mind sitting on the Brainstorm and selecting my spot to cast it.

Hand No. 4: (on the play)

Ad Nauseam Dark Ritual Lotus Petal Infernal Tutor Burning Wish Thoughtseize Rite of Flame


This hand is really close, under the Vancouver Mulligan I probably would keep it. That said, the London Mulligan offers the deck a lot more mulligan stability, and I think I would prefer my odds on six cards rather than possibly losing the game to not interacting. Our opponent could easily just lead off on Painter’s Servant paired with a “blast” effect or Karn, The Great Creator and then we do nothing.

Hand No. 5: (on the draw)

Burning Wish Burning Wish Thoughtseize Lotus Petal Badlands Swamp Polluted Delta


This is a “playable” hand, it just doesn’t do anything. You can Thoughtseize into Pulverize, but then what? You’re pretty far away from Dark Petition into Ad Nauseam, and good luck with resolving Echo of Eons, assuming that you do draw Lion’s Eye Diamond. This leaves a rather weak Empty the Warrens where you’re just praying that your opponent can’t recover with Goblin Welder or Goblin Engineer. I can see why anyone would want to keep it. In fact, I think if my opponent mulliganed, I’d be more inclined to keep this seven card hand.


Recommended sideboarding:


Crash Crash Duress Chain of Vapor Chain of Vapor


Defense Grid Ponder Ponder Ponder Ponder

Hand No. 6: (on the play)

Chain of Vapor Crash Thoughtseize Dark Ritual Dark Ritual Polluted Delta Bloodstained Mire


I think this hand has enough interaction where you can fend off threats and possible death until you draw your “Tutor” effect. I think some people are afraid of keeping these sorts of hands due to not having an action spell. I just don’t feel that way, however, as you’re roughly 33 percent to draw a live spell every turn that will win you the game. Over a few turns, your odds become very good. A cool thing with Crash is that if your opponent does try to Karn, The Great Creator lock you with Mycosynth Lattice, you can sacrifice a Mountain to destroy Karn, The Great Creator!

Hand No. 7: (on the draw — Mulliganed twice)

Badlands Polluted Delta Empty the Warrens Lion's Eye Diamond Lotus Petal Mox Opal Polluted Delta


At some point you need to keep a hand that gives you a chance of winning, right? We’re unable to cast Empty the Warrens this turn, and it’s fairly weak in this match-up regardless. I’d put Empty the Warrens and Badlands on the bottom of my library. From here, I’d play out all of my artifacts to avoid Thorn of Amethyst. I like keeping the pair of Polluted Delta over a Badlands for mana-fixing, shuffle effects for theoretical copies of Brainstorm off of the top, and the ability to play around a possible Blood Moon.

Hand No. 8: (on the play)

Dark Ritual Dark Ritual Infernal Tutor Infernal Tutor Burning Wish Badlands Thoughtseize


This hand is the definition of a “trap” hand — it doesn’t do anything. On the first turn, you are able to Thoughtseize our opponent, but after that? Nothing. Even if you draw a land on the second turn, the best thing you can do is search up another copy of Dark Ritual. From here, you can’t Dark Petition for Ad Nauseam or even Empty the Warrens on turn three without drawing consecutive mana sources. I know it looks good, but it’s crucial to consider how games play out!

Hand No. 9: (on the draw)

Rite of Flame Rite of Flame Lion's Eye Diamond Burning Wish Burning Wish Volcanic Island Brainstorm


You can’t play afraid! We’ve spoken about this a couple of times. With a hand like this, before our draw step, my goal is to bait our opponent with Brainstorm to see if it resolves. I don’t like Empty the Warrens on the draw, meaning that I have my eyes set on Echo of Eons. If Brainstorm resolves, there’s a decent chance that they don’t have Pyroblast and/or Red Elemental Blast. Based on what we hypothetically draw, I would look to pivot towards Dark Petition if possible.

Hand No. 10: (on the play)

Crash Dark Ritual Dark Ritual Infernal Tutor Infernal Tutor Lion's Eye Diamond Burning Wish

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!