I did some goldfishing with Vortex before taking it out on the road.
First, Eternal Witness was replaced with a Worldspine Wurm in an attempt to up my threat density.
Then I realized that Raven's Crime wasn't doing what I wanted it to. Repeatable discard is really good but I'm only running 22 lands. I need to get to four lands, getting to five is certainly helpful and pitching those lands isn't helpful. Worse, now that I've added Hissing Quagmire, getting rid of lands is an even worse idea.
So, out they went. 4 Duress and 4 Cabal Therapy will have to do. As replacements, I tried to think of a few options, including Liliana Vess. It doesn't seem like a bad idea, since that card does much of what I want (discard, tutoring) and the cost is not out of this world. However, I wanted to keep the mana curve cheap and I discovered that I had two Worldly Tutors in the binder. Worldly Tutor in response to Gamekeeper's triggered ability is a pretty good idea.
With the last two slots, I added in a Swamp, as the deckstats.net evaluation said I needed more black mana, and a Garruk Wildspeaker because I had no Liliana. I'll have to fix that soon! But for now: Garruk fits in reasonably well and I can test Liliana Vess online for now. In the meantime, Garruk can perform some mana ramp, or just produce 3/3s for me to use.
My first test was in a four player chaos game against Matt, Caitlin and stonethorn. This is actually a really, really bad situation for Vortex, because the discard in the deck is not multiplayer-appropriate. That cuts off a portion of my control and the games played out along those lines.
The Pernicious Deed allowed me to play politics in the game, directing attacks away from me under threat of having everything blow up. However, my inability to properly disrupt my opponents coupled with my low threat density meant that I couldn't make a go of it in the two games. I wouldn't be the first player out but I couldn't be the last one standing.
That's OK: I cannot blame the hammer for failing to do the job of a chainsaw. I got some practice in with this deck and that's what matters.