How to beat Paradoxical Outcome

@moorebrother1 said in How to beat Paradoxical Outcome:

@griselbrother The idea that Null Rod or Stony Silence solves the artifact problem is not going to work out the way it used to. These decks and the good pilots that run them expect these cards now.

Yeah, I'm aware of that. And you're right that the PO decks played now are much more resiliant than the first iterations of the deck. I remember when the deck first came out, people would say "Man, if you just didn't have that turn 1 Stony Silence, I would win", and I would response by saying "No, if you don't win turn 1, I win".

Still, PO is not that hard to beat if you play some sort of hatebear decks packing some combination of Stony Silence, Thalia 1.0, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Gaddock Teeg, Kambal, Sanctum Prelate etc. And the good news is that those cards are also good vs most other decks in the format, but the bad news is that they are horrible against Shops and you're simply not gonna win against Shops no matter what you do.

I'm pretty confident that you could build a hatebear style deck that has a favorable matchup against the field except for against Shops (and Eldrazi but that deck has almost disappeared now) where you'll have like 25%.

last edited by Griselbrother

Don't things like Stony Silence and Knight of Reliquary and Mayor of Averbrook all give good advantage vs MUD as well tho? If your splashing green that is. Not to mention abrupt Decay, swords to plow, path to exile, assassin's trophy, fragmentize, and nature's claim all out the board or maindeck?

I think that if you build your sideboard correctly, you could probably bring your shops match-up to something close to at least 50%. In B/W you Stony Silence, lots of artifact removal like Disenchant/Fragmentize, creature removal like Swords to Plowshares/Path to Exile, and a new card which I think could really help is Infernal Reckoning. Then to top it all off you could play something like Serenity in the SB to blow up their board, allowing you to pressure them pretty heavily. Then there are all kinds of strange cards like Soltari Visionairy and Aura of Silence. Then if you decide to go G/W you have a whole other suit of options along with R/W.

last edited by Rat3dE

@serracollector said in How to beat Paradoxical Outcome:

Don't things like Stony Silence and Knight of Reliquary and Mayor of Averbrook all give good advantage vs MUD as well tho? If your splashing green that is. Not to mention abrupt Decay, swords to plow, path to exile, assassin's trophy, fragmentize, and nature's claim all out the board or maindeck?

They do (except for Abrupt Decay/Assassin's Trophy as they're too slow), and believe me I've tried all of that and much more. I've had builds that brought in 15 cards against Shops post-board, and games 2 and 3 are still not favorable. I've played 4 Serenity and 4 Seeds of Innocence post-board and games 2 and 3 are still not favorable.

The Shops matchup was much better when Lodestone Golem was unrestricted.

Anyway, we're probably getting a bit off topic here, so perhaps we should save this discussion for another thread?

last edited by Griselbrother

I still feel like the Bant Survival deck that won Asia Vintage Champs, perhaps with a few tweaks, strikes the right balance of attacking PO without sacrificing other matchups too much. Having access to five Stony/Rod after sideboard along with Chalice, Thalia, and a fast clock means the deck is well prepared for that matchup and still has game against the other decks in the format.

What's wrong with Energy Flux? Seems like it should be decent still.

@dr-j As someone who plays PO, if I think you are just going to blow up all of my artifacts and you do not have an taxing effecting on the board like Thalia, then I will just hold onto my mana until I need to go off. This strategy works way better than you think.

The survival deck puts a threat on the board and taxes just like shops. If that case I will choose to race you and I have roughly a 50/50 shot in a race.

@griselbrother The first part of this is true (the cards you named), but the second part is not. White can easily beat shops. White can still use stony, and it has fragmentize, disenchant, serenity, and other cards that I'm not ready to share yet, as it's my hot anti-shops tech. 😉

Another white ace vs PO is Rule of Law. They can't storm shit with that out, they don't run many, if any, counters to stop your stuff, and a mentor gets REAL slow at 1 spell a turn.

@thewhitedragon69 They have Tinker and a bunch of Tutors. I don't think they're going to be as bothered by Rule of Law as other storm decks. Once they have Blightsteel Colossus out it's going to be pretty hard to get rid of it as White, since they run many many counterspells. IMO Tendrils would not be the main win condition against taxing decks.

Serenity is also not good. They can just cast PO, Hurkyl's, or flashback either with Snapcaster before Serenity goes off. And chances are, if you are at a point where you want to blow up all of their artifacts, they have a lot of them in play. If they have a lot of artifacts in play, they are likely ready to cast PO.

last edited by Nower1990

@nower1990 Serenity is the anti-shop tech, not anti-PO. My white tech is good vs BSC and shops. The fact that any deck can jam 4 missteps means you can also path/plow BSC and have just as much chance of removing it. There's also things like forsake the worldly. Many chalk that card off as a 3 mana disenchant, but it exiles and also cycles. It's NEVER dead, and can do some neat top-deck-tutor -> cycle tricks later game.

My point being, white has PLENTY of tools to handle PO and other blue menaces as well as shops and dredge. Problem is, nobody on the VSL is playing such a deck online...so that means nobody will try it or think it's viable to do so.

@thewhitedragon69 I thought you were talking about those cards in relation to PO. I agree with you that there are many ways to deal with PO. As much as I like watching VSL every now and then, many decks featured there are not ideal for dealing with various decks that you will come across in a less limited setting than VSL.

PO is not as difficult to deal with as some people here make it seem. Traditional artifact based blue hate like Thorns and Sphere isn't going to do much, but it is often weak to creature and enchantment based hate. PO decks usually run maybe 1-2 Repeal, 1-2 Fragmentize, and a single Engineered Explosives. Players who are at least decent at playing their white decks aren't going to have a huge problem with those. Tinker and Mentor are probably most difficult to deal with, but as long as one plays their hate cards at the right time, instead of dumping them all in one go, they're probably not that bad to deal with either. This is all assuming that PO doesn't just win T1.

last edited by Nower1990

@nower1990 That is a problem...you can sometimes just draw 7 cards and lose on the die roll.
For this reason, I think even a white-based deck needs to cheat and add 4x misstep. You also have another white answer against the storm kill - leyline of sanctity. That card is better in other formats, but it stops oath too, so there are worse cards to run.
Outside of that, the only way to NOT die on turn 1 is FoW. Not even shops, dredge, or anything else can deal with that. PO can even lotus out a mentor, dump moxen, tolarian, PO, and time walk and go nuts again...or tinker/time walk...so you lose on "turn 1" anyway. Sometimes they just have the nuts and you can't do anything.

edit - I suppose there's also mindbreak trap. Cheating on being "white" again, but a white deck can cast it vs PO.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

@thewhitedragon69 said in How to beat Paradoxical Outcome:

@nower1990 That is a problem...you can sometimes just draw 7 cards and lose on the die roll.
For this reason, I think even a white-based deck needs to cheat and add 4x misstep. You also have another white answer against the storm kill - leyline of sanctity. That card is better in other formats, but it stops oath too, so there are worse cards to run.
Outside of that, the only way to NOT die on turn 1 is FoW. Not even shops, dredge, or anything else can deal with that. PO can even lotus out a mentor, dump moxen, tolarian, PO, and time walk and go nuts again...or tinker/time walk...so you lose on "turn 1" anyway. Sometimes they just have the nuts and you can't do anything.

edit - I suppose there's also mindbreak trap. Cheating on being "white" again, but a white deck can cast it vs PO.

Yeah, actually I think Leyline of Sanctity would be pretty good for MUD right now. I don't like it in White builds however.

It's more about a strategy than individual cards. The best strategy I've discovered has been counters supplementing permanent-based hate.

Without counters, you can end up losing before you cast it or having your hate pieces countered/bounced and then the opponent just goes off. Or they randomly drop a Mentor or Colossus and suddenly you have to deal with that.

Without permanent hate pieces, you end up getting out-attritioned by the xerox-engine most PO decks run now.

For an example of how I'd implement this strategy, I've had a lot of success recently with my Kaya control list. While I don't know my exact record against PO, I've gone 15-2 overall in leagues, which have been pretty PO heavy. Losses were to Lands and White Eldrazi...

FYI, I do not board in Energy Fluxes against them. Between Stony and Kambal, and the tutors and cantrips, you have plenty of ways to find your hate and I in testing Fluxes are a) not as impactful as other pieces and b) dilute the deck's proactive elements.

@thewhitedragon69 Leyline of Sanctity might be great, since it does stop T1 kill. But it doesn't do much after T1 if you're only sideboarding it to deal with PO; if I were playing PO against White Eldrazi, or some enchantment/non-artifact based taxing deck, I wouldn't want to take the storm finish route anyway. Also, Leyline type cards usually require that you have 4 of them in the sideboard, but there are probably much more consistently effective cards that could replace them.

T1 kills are annoying, but how often does PO get to execute them? Probably much more than most other decks in the meta right now, but still not enough to use up 4 sideboard slots for a card that is dead if you draw into it, or doesn't do much after the first turn (assuming you're mainly using it to deal with PO). It's uncommon that you face 2 or 3 T1 kills in a row. So it's more likely that you win the match even after a T1 kill in a game if you have consistent hate cards, rather than ones that just slow down the first turn.

Mental Misstep could be good, since it doesn't require blue commitment to be used. It stops SDT, cantrips, Ancestral Recall, etc. FoW is probably not a good idea unless you plan to use many blue cards. Mindbreak Trap is just bad. You would probably surprise your opponent the first time you use it, but after that, they will just play around it. It doesn't stop Tinker, and would more often feed Mentor than hinder your opponent. If you run all 3 counterspells, Mindbreak Trap could be good. But then, you would want to run 3-4 of each card, which would dilute your game plan too much. Plus, at that point, why not just play a full-on UW deck, with Ancestral, Time Walk, etc?

I mostly play UB, and the hardest things to play around when facing White is early game Cavern of Souls with Thalia 1.0/Glowrider, 2.0, and a well-timed TKS. If you set them back a turn or two behind their normal pace, and you keep pumping out those creatures along with other hate pieces, they usually aren't capable of winning through them. Considering how dependent PO decks are to artifacts, if you cast Stony Silence and the like, backed by taxing effects so that it can't be countered easily, you would most often have the game in control.

@nower1990 Yeah, I definitely don't think Leyline is a good card to run in Vintage. It's great in Modern, but not Vintage. I was just listing it as a white answer against turn 1 kills. It does have utility vs oath, and it also stops hurkylls if you are on null rods in addition to stony, but those are fringe uses.
Missteps are more useful in general and help dodge T1 kills at times. Mindbreak may only work once, but you are SBing it in G2, so if it works once, that's all you need. Then they also play in fear of it maybe in G3 when you maybe have it or maybe side it back out.
T1 kills aren't all THAT common, but PO can certainly pull it off and not with difficulty. I've lost plenty of times with a G1 on the draw where I drew 7 and died, won G2, then drew 7 and died on G3. PO can just be nuts like that.
Stony, Thalia, Rule, etc. are certainly the better white cards to use in general and will be great turns 2 and beyond. They just won't help turn 1 when you're on the draw.

Why isn't Chains of Mephistopheles being used more often? That's one scary sideboard card against blue decks. Probably hoses PO more than any other blue deck.

@nower1990 It doesn't "do" anything and there aren't a ton of decks that would want to suffer that effect themselves.

I guess think about the best deck Chains could go in, and then wonder from there if that deck would really be any good.

@aeonsovarius I get what you mean, but wouldn't Chalice 'do' anything either in a similar way? A creature-centric deck that splashes black could use it without much impact to itself. It also happens to be well costed and an enchantment, which tends to be harder to remove.

@nower1990 i've played chains in the SB of Survival before. It was good when it landed. It does mess with your own bazaars, however. Definitely a good card that might not have a real home.

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