Slavin’ Away

One of the most interesting questions in Vintage at this moment is how to best build a Mishra’s Workshop deck with three fewer copies of Thorn of Amethyst. Lowering the density of this card makes it less likely that you can stay one taxing effect ahead of your opponent and prevent them from casting spells for the whole game. However, there have been many variations on Mishra’s Workshop in Vintage’s history, and it’s possible that those iterations can inform what Workshop decks should be doing now:

One of the decks that I remember seeing people playing in local Vintage events was Control Slaver. This style of deck leveraged cards like Thirst for Knowledge and Strategic Planning to get an early Mindslaver into play with the help of Goblin Welder. You’d then work on finding a Pentavus so that you had a constant stream of tokens to weld in Mindslavers and reset your Pentavus to lock your opponent out of the game.

This deck isn’t Control Slaver, but it shares a couple elements. In particular, you’ve got a ton of mana acceleration in the form of Metalworker and recursion in the form Goblin Welder, so you’re reasonably capable of resolving a Mindslaver activation or two early on in the game to set your opponent back far enough that they can’t recover.

This is also a deck that’s way better at leveraging Metalworker than a lot of other lists we’ve seen in the past. A singleton copy of Staff of Domination makes it almost trivial to go infinite, especially with your Inventors' Fairs helping to find your missing combo piece. Then you can draw your deck and cast a Walking Ballista for enough to kill your opponent. You can also use Inventors' Fair to find the missing piece of Voltaic Key plus Time Vault to take infinite turns, or to find key prison pieces like Sundering Titan, Lodestone Golem, and Trinisphere to ensure that your opponent is locked out of the game.

All in all, this is a Workshop deck that combines the ability to use prison pieces to win a traditional game with the ability to combo off early in the game or play a more controlling game with Mindslaver. Inventors’ Fair is the card that ties all of these elements together, assuming you have enough mana to leverage the effect. If you’re looking for an exciting workshop variant to try in after the recent Banned and Restricted announcement, look no further.

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