Adding Red to Paradoxical Outcome

I have been heavily invested in PO for the past month or so since I put down Blue Moon and with Lavinia I think PO players need to add Red.

This means either cut White or cut Black. If we cut White then Mentor goes and not much else. If we cut Black then the DT, Yawg Will, and Tendrils go.

Let's look at cut White first. Without Mentor do we run Sia or Pyromancer? Probably not, we add 2 Pyroblast main and there are other answers on the board like Sudden Shock, more Pyroblast and Lightning Bolt.

If we cut Black then we still add Pyroblast and Sudden Shock and or Lightning Bolt but you may add Grapeshot main maybe 2 Grapeshots.

The largest issue with losing White is losing Fragmentize and Disenchant, but we still have bounce like Repeal, Chain of Vapor maybe Echoing Truth.

Losing Black I think changes things more but offers the most room to fight the meta-game. Keeping White with maybe Enlightened Tutor or Silence really changes how we play the deck.

I think we really need to consider Brainfreeze as a PO kill spell, I have had great success with Brainfreeze over Tendrils and it is way more Flexible. Using Brainfreeze means we may need one Tormod's Crypt main but that's not a bad thing.

I'd like to some feedback either way from PO players. I'm going to try going with Red and cutting White then cutting Black and then a Blue Red only and see what happens. I do not have a list yet, but when I do I'll post it.

last edited by moorebrother1

If you go red you have empty the warrens or grapeshot for a kill spell to replace tendrils as you said. No need for brain freeze. You also gain dack fayden for card filtering and your game against shops takes another step forward as you add dack, by force and/or shattering spree.

@khahan If we consider Empty the Warrens should we consider Past in Flames? I guess if Black goes Past in Flames gives you the I win.

last edited by moorebrother1

@moorebrother1 Time walk is already in the deck and essentially serves the same purpose as past in flames. But honestly, grapeshot is probably the better option. A few players in my local meta use it to pretty good success. I think grapeshot>empty.

I ran red splash (2 dack main, 2 volcs, 2 pyroblast board) PO at EW. While I think the traditional Uwb build without misstep would have been better for that event, I want to go back to the red splash + misstep to have answers to stuff like Lavinia and Remora. Dack also feels pretty good now.

This was what I ran. There are several changes I want to make.

1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Monastery Mentor
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Repeal
1 Hurkyl's Recall
3 Mental Misstep
4 Force of Will
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dig Through Time
1 Treasure Cruise
4 Paradoxical Outcome
1 Night's Whisper
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Ponder
1 Brainstorm
2 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus
3 Mox Opal
1 Blightsteel Colossus
1 Time Vault
1 Voltaic Key
1 Tinker
1 Mana Vault
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Island
2 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island
2 Underground Sea
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
1 Library of Alexandria


4 Leyline of the Void
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Containment Priest
1 Balance
2 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Fragmentize
2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation 
2 Pyroblast```

Changes to make:

-1 Snapcaster +1 Repeal
-1 Vampiric -1 Night's Whisper +2 Preordain
-1 Tundra +1 Island 

And then I'd change up the board a bit, put in 1 more Hurkyls and 1 Karakas. Maybe a Fluster or 3rd Pyroblast too.

@mediumsteve I know Dack is great in Vintage but I do not like him in PO. He does not win the game and PO is trying to close the game out very quickly.

I like Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast as a potential Planeswalker maybe one of main and one on the board to deal with Lavinia and help against Shops.

I also like Kaya, Ghost Assassin but at 4 CMC she is hard to play. The better strategy might be to play JVP and get back to 4 Preordain. JVP can protect himself from Lavinia and get back cards you need to win the game.

The other option is to just lean hard into Black and play Thoughtseize main deck.

I don't think that black or white are cuttable. I have looked into both.

You can play just the 1 Mentor as your only white spell off of 1 Tundra so that's sort of a given.

Black is not cuttable. DT is just too good. Yawgwill is pretty important in grindy games vs blue. Both colors also give you access to good sideboard cards.

@mediumsteve Not sure I agree with that. I have been testing a Mono-Blue list for a few weeks now with 3 main deck Erayo and you would be surprised at how well the deck plays. Since Lavinia the deck took a dive but all PO decks have taken a dive. I did see thepowernine running Paradoxical Oath in the league last night and I have that deck ready to go as well.

I think Lavinia has changed the way that PO will play. She is very good against a tier 1 deck. Xerox wants a silver bullet and so does Survival, she helps both decks.

I am not a fan of red in PO. I tried it when I was on 5 color and it was not so good. I have tried Swords to Plowshares on the Esper sideboard and it works but you need 3 or them. I tried just one last night and I could not find it when I needed it.

Adding red to the deck is essentially building a new deck. That's why I started this thread.

I haven't tested this yet, but I thought that maybe PO decks could try staying Esper and running some number of Collective Brutality. It deals with a lot of the creatures which could be problematic (Lavinia, Thalia, Revoker etc) while also being a disruption spell when appropriate. It doesn't get Mental Misstep-ed, which could be positive too.

I don't think that Collective Brutality is better than Pyroblast, but it is a good option if you don't want to lose Black or White, and you don't want to add a fourth colour.

Why do you need red? White has better answers to Lavinia /stony silence and Pyroblast while good is much weaker in a deck without MM.

@macdeath Not sure if you have been playing the deck since Lavinia has become legal but it has not been fun. There has been a lot of hate for PO but if you stick with the deck then you can play through it.

Lavinia is attacking the deck from a different angle and the crazy I counter everything - Xerox decks are playing 2-3 copies of her with infinite counters. It is making the game play a bit dull.

I was looking at red for a different way to attack and protect the go off. There is no one size fits all with PO. There is still a debate over whether or not to play Vault/Key and or Library of Alexandria.

last edited by moorebrother1

@jeb-springfield So, I looked into this a bit and Collective Brutality is a Sorcery, which is very relevant. Moment of Craving is a garbage Standard card but it is an instant which may work better.

Obviously, Swords to Plowshares does more work but it cost 1 so, I am thinking of testing Snap.

Snap is not great but it is an instant and you get to untap on resolution so, you get value on main phase or EOT. Thoughts?

I'm not sure that's the route to fight Lavinia. When I played it in my bug survival list, it was completely useless the games it would come in because the PO player had karakas. A simple solution to Lavinia, Leovold and other legends (such as oath targets). If you will splash more colors to deal with that, I think simply adding more karakas to the SB (having 2 is enough, and if things get out of control you could have 3 I guess) is enough. Also, it's not counterable and if you would play REB/Pyro to kill it, your opponent would probably have some combination of misstep/fow/flusterstorm to counter that spell you spent a splash to fit in, instead of the land that in the worst case scenario is a plains. And I think the odds of your opponent drawing the 2 land destruction uncounterable spell is less than they countering your REB. Or simply having the second lavinia in hand (which would be useless against karakas).

And against shops to kill revoker, you will have counters and 3 hurkyl's recall, which I think sounds like enough. I don't think for PO the artifact destroying cards are better than recall, as you want 2 things: use it to avoid dying or to just bounce every piece of hate they got so you combo on your turn. And dack sounds pretty bad for it too, you are not a xerox deck that when you dack one of their artifacts you can also kill other or have some blocks, so that you grind them out. It's not your gameplan and I don't think it will work. And also, if you steal revoker or something like that, it still does it's job.

That all being said, I don't think the splash is discarded as a good idea. I'm just saying that for those problems, there are better solutions which don't require an extra color.

last edited by GutoCmtt

@gutocmtt Thanks for that analysis. After some more testing, it looks like I can play cards like Snap or even just more Swords to Plowshares on the board to get rid of her. What is interesting is I switched Blightsteel Colossus for Inkwell Leviathan and it is working very well

The Esper mix is probably the best mix for now.

@moorebrother1 Whoa, that's some cool tech. Against jeskai xerox seems like all you need to do is avoid mentor getting on the field, and it also kinda tricks on them letting you resolve tinker when they have dack/stp for blightsteel.

The problem is it is straight up worse against some decks like shops, dredge, survival. I mean, it can be testing well, but against survival for example, colossus is usually game (unless you played it too late or you can't target their phantasmal on colossus), while leviathan would take 3 extra turns to maybe close out the game. Maybe it's a good card to leave on the SB and make tinker better against fair blue decks?

@gutocmtt I usually do not even play Blightsteel against shops because of meta-morphor. The Xerox decks are really annoying right now and I can usually fight to resolve a tinker. Dredge can usually stall through a Blightsteel and I usually do not win unless it’s turn one.

last edited by moorebrother1

Lavinia is just another hate card that you must answer in order to go off. Stony Silence has a similar effect on the deck and was already pretty much ubiquitous. All you have to do is diversify your answers /Threats.

Aren't Karakas and STP better than what red brings to the table though? Also, Mentor is really good in the matchups where Outcome isn't as good and white is better at helping you fight Stony Silence.

I personally wouldn't want to play the deck without Key Vault and LoA.
Key naturally synergizes with the deck and key vault is far more resilient than tendrils (especially when Lavinia slots replace Stony slots).
Library can make or break a game and even if it's only relevant 10-15% of the time, still worth the inclusion over another random land.

If you think Xerox is "really annoying right now", you probably weren't playing when Mentor, Gush, Probe and Dig Through Time were unrestricted. The current versions of Xerox have way less inevitability due to having worse win conditions and being far less consistent at outdrawing other decks (which limits their ability to maintain a counter wall and to find their silver bullets).

Shop lists rarely have more than 1-2 Metamorphs in a deck that lives of the top of its deck. You also have more Hurkyl's recalls than they have metamorphs to help make your Blightsteel effective in the matchup.
Tinker has never been a great answer to dredge and isn't in the deck for that matchup. It's meant as a backup plan when facing hate.
Inkwell is better vs blue decks, but again that's not the matchup where you want Tinker. It's a lot worse than BSC in the matchups where you tend to rely on tinker.

@moorebrother1 The way I see it, the appeal of Pyroblast is that it is a removal spell for a resolved Lavinia, whilst also being a counterspell - meaning that it is less likely to be a dead card in your hand.

I thought of Collective Brutality because it is similar in that regard. As a removal spell, it hits a wider variety of hateful creatures than Pyroblast does which is positive, but it is certainly limited in this respect. I think it's real appeals is that it can double as a way to take counterspells from your opponent's hand - something which a dedicated removal spell - like Swords - can't do.

Not being an Instant is certainly a drawback, but I really don't want to put removal spells in to a PO deck. Sideboard, sure, but not in the main deck.

It could be that I'm totally wrong, and it turns out that it's correct to run main deck removal, but that would surprise me given that the deck is so focused on being as efficient as possible in its current iteration.

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