Paradoxical Twist



  • Hi,

    Like many of you I am sure, I have been recently toying around with this new tool Paradoxical Outcome.

    After few testing, I have developed a first draft that I enjoy quite a bit. This is still being under testing and could for sure benefit from ideas from the community.

    It relies on Paradoxical Outcome to generate cheap card advantage but also potentially storm counts .
    Mana base is pretty fast and consistently generates 3-4 mana early game. Of course, it can be seriously shut down by null rod effect.
    Disruption is based on 5 pitch counter spells, to protect key plays plus 3 Mind Twists. Those are really strong in this build as it can generate a lot of permanent mana producers and so use those mana for a 3 -4 cards mind twist early game.
    Win condition is Tendrils or Key/Vault or Tezzeret.

    Paradoxical Twist V1.0

    1 Lotus + 5 Moxes + 1 Sol Ring + 1 Mana Crypt
    3 Mox Opal
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Grim Monolith
    1 Lotus Petal
    2 Voltaic Key
    1 Time Vault
    1 Sensei's Divining Top
    1 Engineered Explosives

    1 Tolarian Academy
    2 Seat of the Synod
    2 Ancient Tomb
    4 Polluted Delta
    1 Island
    3 Underground Sea

    4 Force of Will
    1 Misdirection
    3 Mind Twist
    1 Duress

    4 Paradoxical Outcome
    4 Preordain

    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Time Walk
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Tinker
    1 Chain of Vapor

    1 Tezzeret the Seeker
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Memory Jar
    1 Torrential Gearhulk

    Few remarks

    • Tinker is actually quite strong in this build as it can go and get various targets depending on the phase and the game state. Memory jar early game for combo, Vault for finish, Torrential Gearhulk to refill a hand mid game if the first Paradoxical Outcome was countered.
    • Preordain vs Thoughtcast => after trying 4 thoughtcasts, I decided to go with the preordain. It makes the build more resilient, solid and less 100% dependent on having 3 artifact in hand at the beginning. Note that I don t use brainstorm as I feel that 4 shuffle effects is not enough.
    • Engineer explosive is great against human and spheres effect . It can initially be dropped for 0, to fuel the engine, and then dropped again for 2 to address annoying permanents
    • Chain of vapor is really strong, both to generate storm and to take care of null rod or stony silence. If I can find free another slot in this build, I would love to add another bounce effect (repeal or rushing river )


  • Hi beder,

    I have played against a lot of Paradoxical Outcome decks on MTGO and Cockatrice (and I believe that I have played against you as well). Everyone seems to be testing Paradixocal Outcome in various different shells at the moment.

    Generally speaking, I think that there are two overall issues with these builds:

    1. They play too many do-nothing cards. The overall strategy of many builds seem to be drop a bunch of cheap artifacts, play Paradoxical Outcome, replay cheap artifacts, rinse and repeat until they find a win condition. However, this leads to most builds playing too many do-nothing cards like Expedition Map, Candelabra of Tawnos, Grim Monolith, Mox Opal etc. Stuff that only generates mana and fuels Paradoxical Outcome but don't really do much by itself. This leads to many dead draws and not enough disruption.
    2. They are very fragile and soft to hate-strategies. A single Null Rod, a Thorn of Amethyst, a Thalia etc. usually weakens the Paradoxical Outcome builds to a degree that they become almost unplayable. Most of these builds don't play enough answers to these strategies.

    I think there are a few solutions to these issues:

    1. Don't overdo the strategy. As mentioned, I see many builds playing too many do-nothing cards. Cut down on these. I'm not sure if the right approach is to go all-in on the Paradoxical Outcome, replay artifacts etc. plan.
    2. Thoughtseize. This card is amazing in these types of builds. On the play, and sometimes on the draw, it gets rid of problematic cards like Null Rod, Thorn of Amethyst, Thalia etc., and it clears the path against opposing countermagic (Flusterstorm is a real issue for many of these decks).
    3. Oath of Druids. As some have already figured out, Oath is a very good answer to the most troublesome hate-strategies like Eldrazi, Shops and Hatebears. Whether Oath should be a maindeck or sideboard strategy, I'm not sure of.

    Regarding your specific build: In line with my previous comments, I'm not a fan of 3 Mox Opal, and I'm also not sure how good Lotus Petal is here. After all, you can't tap it for mana and return it with Paradoxical Outcome. I'm also not fond of Seat of Synod, especially as you aren't playing Thoughtcast, as all they then do is turn on Mox Opal. Is Misdirection any good here? What's the use for it? On to your main innovation, Mind Twist, I'm not a big fan. I see your points, but I would rather be on the Thoughtseize plan as it makes sure you get the key card out of your opponents hand and you don't spend a turn tapping out. I do like your win package. No Yawgmoth's Will though? I would also play at least one more Sensei's Divining Top. I can't really comment on Preordain as I have no experience playing it or against it in these types of builds.

    Cheers.



  • @Griselbrother said:

    Hi beder,

    I have played against a lot of Paradoxical Outcome decks on MTGO and Cockatrice (and I believe that I have played against you as well). Everyone seems to be testing Paradixocal Outcome in various different shells at the moment.

    Generally speaking, I think that there are two overall issues with these builds:

    1. They play too many do-nothing cards. The overall strategy of many builds seem to be drop a bunch of cheap artifacts, play Paradoxical Outcome, replay cheap artifacts, rinse and repeat until they find a win condition. However, this leads to most builds playing too many do-nothing cards like Expedition Map, Candelabra of Tawnos, Grim Monolith, Mox Opal etc. Stuff that only generates mana and fuels Paradoxical Outcome but don't really do much by itself. This leads to many dead draws and not enough disruption.

    You have some very valid points but I would disagree that Mox Opal and Grim Monolith are do nothing cards. They provide fast mana and allow to play some more expansive cards reasonnably fast enough.
    Of course, if this mana is only used to play Paradoxical Outcome and return the artifacts to hand, then this is indeed not worth playing those. But when it can be used to quickly power up some other strong spells, then it may be worth it.
    Mind twist is one of those spells that can use as much of this extra mana and turn it potentially into card advantage + disruption.

    1. They are very fragile and soft to hate-strategies. A single Null Rod, a Thorn of Amethyst, a Thalia etc. usually weakens the Paradoxical Outcome builds to a degree that they become almost unplayable. Most of these builds don't play enough answers to these strategies.

    You are perfectly right and so far I am not yet fully happy with this build's speed/resilience ratio.
    It is fast, has various way of winning - which increase the resiliency - but I feel it is perhaps still a bit too fragile.

    I think there are a few solutions to these issues:

    1. Don't overdo the strategy. As mentioned, I see many builds playing too many do-nothing cards. Cut down on these. I'm not sure if the right approach is to go all-in on the Paradoxical Outcome, replay artifacts etc. plan.
    2. Thoughtseize. This card is amazing in these types of builds. On the play, and sometimes on the draw, it gets rid of problematic cards like Null Rod, Thorn of Amethyst, Thalia etc., and it clears the path against opposing countermagic (Flusterstorm is a real issue for many of these decks).
    3. Oath of Druids. As some have already figured out, Oath is a very good answer to the most troublesome hate-strategies like Eldrazi, Shops and Hatebears. Whether Oath should be a maindeck or sideboard strategy, I'm not sure of.

    Regarding your specific build: In line with my previous comments, I'm not a fan of 3 Mox Opal, and I'm also not sure how good Lotus Petal is here. After all, you can't tap it for mana and return it with Paradoxical Outcome. I'm also not fond of Seat of Synod, especially as you aren't playing Thoughtcast, as all they then do is turn on Mox Opal. Is Misdirection any good here? What's the use for it? On to your main innovation, Mind Twist, I'm not a big fan. I see your points, but I would rather be on the Thoughtseize plan as it makes sure you get the key card out of your opponents hand and you don't spend a turn tapping out. I do like your win package. No Yawgmoth's Will though? I would also play at least one more Sensei's Divining Top. I can't really comment on Preordain as I have no experience playing it or against it in these types of builds.

    Lotus Petal and/or Seat of the synod allow me to consistently use mox opal and quickly generate a lot of mana, similarly to a traditionnal turbo tezz deck. This is key to power up mid size mind twist or early combo. The interaction with Paradoxical Outcome is an additional benefit of this package.
    But I am still trying to refine the number of artifacts to achieve the right balance between "consistant activation of the mox opal" (which significantly increase the speed of the deck) and "increased resiliency to disruption" (wasteland and null rod).

    Regarding the thoughtseize/Mind twist topic, I really like the fact that mind twist is disruption, is card advantage and cannot be countered by mental mistep (quite important these days).
    When I do an early mind twist for 3 - quite common with that much mana accelerant - there are 2 scenarios:

    • no fow in hand => removing 3 cards and potentially lands is a very strong play compared to thoughtseize
    • fow in hand => they must counter the mind twist and in that case, I get rid of the fow but also another blue card

    Considering that the deck produces quite a lot of mana, I find mind twist to be usually a stronger proactive play. I usually use it as a preparation turn before a combo turn.
    Still, I also play 1 duress- maybe should be a thoughtseize - so i can tutor for it to clean the way - especially against mana drain - or if I want to combo the same turn.

    Regarding Sensei divining top, because I don t have a lot of shuffle effect, it is not so strong to help me find what I need when I need it. If I end up changing the mana base, removing the seat of synod and increasing the shuffle effet, then I would surely replace at least one preordain with 1 sensei. That could also be an option.

    Finally and for Yawgmoth will, I have tried it quite a lot and was not so impressed. This deck doesn t put a lot of card in the graveyard - most of them are on the board. Then and due to the upfront mana cost of Paradoxical Outcome - you pay mana upfront, the spell gives you back some mana - it is sometimes difficult to chain a paradoxical after a Yawgmoth, especially without dark ritual.

    Cheers.



  • Have you tried balance? With the 4 opals, petal, lotus, and mox pearl, maybe one any color land should easily be enough white sources, and an early balance can be way more devastating than a singleton Duress.



  • @Serracollector said:

    Have you tried balance? With the 4 opals, petal, lotus, and mox pearl, maybe one any color land should easily be enough white sources, and an early balance can be way more devastating than a singleton Duress.

    I have been trying to add white in this build for a while.
    Balance is of course an interesting add on. As well as 1 fragmentize (great out to many problems ) and 1 monastery mentor (which would be an interesting winning road as it is very different from the other ones).
    But so far I have not been able to design a reliable manabase. It s a bit streched between 3 constraints: access to colors, usage of ancient tomb and land artifact to consistently activate mox opal.



  • @beder said:

    • Preordain vs Thoughtcast => after trying 4 thoughtcasts, I decided to go with the preordain. It makes the build more resilient, solid and less 100% dependent on having 3 artifact in hand at the beginning.

    Turn 1, yes preordain is better. But with this kind of deck, from what I've been finding, once you get past turn 2 you often have few cards in hand. I'd much rather have U - draw 2 cards than U - draw 1 card at that point.

    Note that I don t use brainstorm as I feel that 4 shuffle effects is not enough.
    Yes, shuffle effects make brainstorm better when you can shuffle away 2 cards you don't necessarily need. But if there was an instant speed that read, "Look at the top 3 cards of your library, take any 2 cards from among them and your hand and put them on top of your library in any order" would you play it? Yes. that is exactly what brainstorm is. For 1 mana you dig 3 deep and know what your next 2 draws are.

    Lotus Petal and/or Seat of the synod allow me to consistently use mox opal and quickly generate a lot of mana, similarly to a traditionnal turbo tezz deck. This is key to power up mid size mind twist or early combo. The interaction with Paradoxical Outcome is an additional benefit of this package.

    After a few weeks of testing I just dropped the lotus petal from my build last night. Too often it did nothing. Try replacing it with candelabra of Tawnos and see what you think.

    Finally and for Yawgmoth will, I have tried it quite a lot and was not so impressed. This deck doesn t put a lot of card in the graveyard - most of them are on the board. Then and due to the upfront mana cost of Paradoxical Outcome - you pay mana upfront, the spell gives you back some mana - it is sometimes difficult to chain a paradoxical after a Yawgmoth, especially without dark ritual

    Yes, sometimes it can be difficult. But most of the time its perfectly reasonable and a great way to recover and refill. If its a problem for you often enough that you don't want to play yawg will then I'd say there is a problem with your build's ability to generate mana.

    You are running 27 mana sources but 1 is lotus petal, so its a 1 and done. 3 are mox opal so you can't have more than 1 in play. 2 dont untap as normal. You only have 13 lands and 2 of them produce colorless mana only. How often is having the proper mana early (first 3 turns, say) an issue?


  • TMD Supporter

    I have said before that I think Top is a manditory 2+ in the Paradox Deck. Especially if you have multiple keys, top can be insane. I would increase the top count, somehow.

    The Misdirection and Duress don't make any sense. Not playing Flusterstorm seems like a completely wrong call when you're trying to resolve Mind Twist. You have no way to compete against opposing Flusterstorms. I would probably cut those two for flusterstorm at the very least.

    I don't like Mind Twist at all, but that's preference, so that's your choice.

    I feel like the Tendrils doesn't serve a purpose in this build unless you're already 'going off' with Outcome. I think that spot would be filled much better by a 1x Trinket Mage or Snapcaster Mage.

    You also are stone dead to Null Rod or Stony Silence, which has been mentioned before You're running the Chain of Vapor, which is fine. I'd add probably another way to bounce them, probably an Echoing Truth.



  • Thanks for all the remarks.
    Taking into consideration some suggestions, I have been modifying and testing a new version of the build including a 3rd color, white.

    The manabase has been changed to allow a 3 colors approach and make it a bit more resilient.

    Overall, the build is slightly less explosive but more flexible and resilient. Particularly, the package to manage board threats and disruptions is now pretty solid - Engineer Explosive, Chain of vapor, Fragmentize and Balance.

    The build is fun, fast and nice to play. IMO, 58 cards are pretty fixed, 2 slots are still quite opened and I keep changing them (see at the end of the list).

    Paradoxical Twist V1.1

    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Grim Monolith
    3 Mox Opal
    1 Mana Vault

    2 Sensei's Divining Top
    2 Voltaic Key
    1 Time Vault
    1 Engineered Explosives

    2 Ancient Tomb
    1 Tolarian Academy
    2 Flooded Strand
    3 Polluted Delta
    2 Island
    2 Underground Sea
    1 Tundra

    4 Force of Will
    4 Paradoxical Outcome
    3 Mind Twist
    2 Preordain
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Time Walk

    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Tinker

    1 Chain of Vapor
    1 Fragmentize
    1 Balance

    1 Tezzeret the Seeker
    1 Memory Jar
    1 Tendrils of Agony

    +2 slots undefined, below a lot of reasonnable options depending on which caracteristic you want to enhance
    Timetwister, Yawgmoth's Will
    Monastery mentor, Notion thief
    Misdirection, Thoughtseize, Flusterstorm
    Blightsteel, Inkwell
    Snapacaster, Pre ordain, Merchant scroll, Trinket mage



  • I would play with 1 Swords to Plowshare, and 1 Path to Exile as my other cards.



  • @Serracollector said:

    I would play with 1 Swords to Plowshare, and 1 Path to Exile as my other cards.

    I guess in a creature heavy metagame - human, eldrazi, shop - that would make sense to consider those.
    Right now testing with a Timetwister and a 3rd preordain in those slots. Quite smooth



  • I would consider a second Tezzeret instead of the Tendrils. It's a dead draw and you only want to see it when you've already won anyway--where Tezzeret is great at anytime you can cast it. I run 2 Tezzerets and a Blightsteel and I have not yet found the need for more win conditions. I've won games where my Blightsteel was Swords'd and my Time Vault was Grudged--but Tezz ultimate still got me there.



  • @Pox22 said:

    I would consider a second Tezzeret instead of the Tendrils. It's a dead draw and you only want to see it when you've already won anyway--where Tezzeret is great at anytime you can cast it. I run 2 Tezzerets and a Blightsteel and I have not yet found the need for more win conditions. I've won games where my Blightsteel was Swords'd and my Time Vault was Grudged--but Tezz ultimate still got me there.

    I believe we have experienced quite different situation then.
    Tendrils has saved me a lot of games where Tezzeret wouldn t have done it. Especially in situation where I had only one turn to win, one short window of opportunity and/or some opposing creatures ready to kill the planeswalker...
    Let s not forget that there are many games where you will not go nuts, chain several paradoxical outcome, but you can still reach 8 -9storms through alternative way of generating storm. And that is often enough to win now, vs winning next turn.



  • @beder Tezzeret is an instant-kill a surprising amount of the time--especially during a turn in which you have cast 8-10 spells. Time Walk or an untapped Voltaic Key make Tezzeret a kill--which is not unreasonable to put together even without chaining 2-3 Outcomes.

    Tezzeret is a bomb that demands a counter and can be played before going off. Tendrils is a dead draw that requires an Outcome or Hurkyl's Recall to function.



  • Over the last 10 days, I have been testing the main deck, with a full suite of 4 preordain, 1 Merchant scroll, no Brainstorm, no timetwister and a sundering titan instead of the memory jar as an aggressive mid game tinker target.

    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Grim Monolith
    3 Mox Opal
    1 Mana Vault

    2 Sensei's Divining Top
    2 Voltaic Key
    1 Time Vault
    1 Engineered Explosives

    2 Ancient Tomb
    1 Tolarian Academy
    4 Flooded Strand
    1 Polluted Delta
    2 Island
    2 Underground Sea
    1 Tundra

    4 Force of Will
    4 Paradoxical Outcome
    4 Preordain
    3 Mind Twist
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Time Walk
    1 Merchant Scroll
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Tinker

    1 Chain of Vapor
    1 Fragmentize
    1 Balance

    1 Tezzeret the Seeker
    1 Sundering titan or Myr Battlesphere
    1 Tendrils of Agony

    I am very happy with how fun, fast and resilient this build is.
    Few remarks below:

    • The full suite of preordain helps being very consistent, fixing those hands that are not too broken and finding some broken spell to play. Preordain in this deck plays a very similar role as in a gush deck.
    • So far, Sundering Titan or Myr Battlesphre are good option to play an early and aggressive tinker . Memory jar as a tinker target was quite good too but not ideal as it forces to pass a turn + exposes you to all the counters during the next turn. Finally, it was not synergistic with the mind twist.
    • Mind Twist are a spectacular way to use the variable high number of available off color mana. This has definitely been an all star in this list
    • Mana base is solid and fast. Having two island is very solid against mana denial strategy. Ancient tomb main deck is also great. Combined with all the mana accelerant, it consistently gives you access to a lot of colorless mana to play broken spells - Paradoxical or Mindtwist or Artifact (sensei, key, vault)
    • The package made of "Engineered explosive + Chain of vapor + Fragmentized + Balance" is versatile and offers at least two outs against most of the main disruption strategies. Also it can be used aggressively against opponent s mana sources.

    Overall, 50-60% of the game are won through key vault, 15-20% through tinker creature and 20-30% through tendrils.
    The deck is very fast and consistently wins turn 2 or turn 3. It also consistently powers a large mind twist early game that puts opponents way behind and give you time to start comboing.



  • @beder Looks interesting! What's the sideboard plan?



  • @darkquarterer

    So far I am not 100% clear about the sideboard. At the moment, this is what I am considering .

    1 Plain
    1 Fragmentize
    2 Sword/path effect
    1 Hurkyl's Recall
    1 Toxic deluge
    1 Moat
    2 Flusterstorm
    1 Thoughseize
    3 Tormod's crypt
    1 Grafdigger cage
    1 Repeal

    But I could also consider a more transformational approach, with monastery mentors or with oath. I definitely haven't made up my mind yet.



  • Excepting Dredge probably, the inherent synergy of the shell pieces and draw engine make it more important, compared to other decks, to identify which cards you would consider taking out, and in what numbers, before you really want to identify what to bring in. The deck could always use counterspells/removal, but not to the point the deck is too diluted.

    For example:

    • -1 Land, whenever not playing a Wasteland deck

    • -1 LED (Petal, Chrome Mox) when playing a Null Rod deck so as to remove your weakest artifact

    • -1 Balance, when playing other artifact-hungry decks on the draw

    • -1 Snapcaster, if on Oath plan, or maybe against Shops

    • -1 Storm card, if any, if against Shops

    [etc.]. Now that I got the ball rolling, can anyone finish the list?



  • @BazaarOfBaghdad said:

    Excepting Dredge probably, the inherent synergy of the shell pieces and draw engine make it more important, compared to other decks, to identify which cards you would consider taking out, and in what numbers, before you really want to identify what to bring in. The deck could always use counterspells/removal, but not to the point the deck is too diluted.

    This is a very valid remark. And this is why the construction of the sideboard is actually pretty tricky.

    If we put aside the "Transformational Sideboard" approach and adopt more classic approach of sideboarding, here are the main objectives to address:

    A) Address opponent disruption:

    • 1st liability - Null rod effect
    • 2nd liability - Artifact sphere effect and Creature sphere effect
    • 3rd liability - Creatures with a highly disruptive effect on draw and/or storm
    • 4th liability - Wall of counters - flusterstorm, blast and/or drain - from control oriented blue deck

    and of course B) Disrupt opponent strategy

    In the end, here is what I would do

    Blue Gush deck (mentor or pyromancer)
    -1 Fragmentize, -1 Chain, -1 Creature Tinker target
    +2 Flusterstorm, + 1 Thougtseize, +1 Toxic Deluge

    Mirror Combo or other aggressive blue-black spell based deck
    -1 Fragmentize, -1 Engineer, -1 Balance, -1 Chain
    +2 Flusterstorm, + 1 Thougtseize, +1 Repeal

    Oath
    -1 Balance, -1 Tinker Target, -1 Ancient tomb
    +1 Graffediger cage, +1 Fragmentize, +1 Repeal

    Human (or other disruption focus creature deck)
    -1 Ancient tomb, -1 Mind twist, -1 Sensei, -1 Grim, -1 Merchant scroll
    +1 Plain, +1 Fragmentize, +2 Sword/path effect, +1 Toxic deluge

    Strong aggro such as Eldrazi with 4 spheres
    -2 Mind twist, -1 Merchant scroll, -1 Preordain, -1 Tezzeret
    +1 Plain, +1 Fragmentize, +2 Sword/path effect,+1 Moat

    Shops with 8 spheres
    -3 Mind twist, -2 Preordain, - 1 Tezzeret
    +1 Plain, +1 Fragmentize, +2 Sword/path effect,+1 Moat, 1 Hurkyll's,

    Dredge
    -3 Mind twist, -1 Sensei, -1 Creature tinker target
    +1 Moat, + 3 Tormod s crypt, +1 Grafdiger cage,


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