Vintage 101: The Ultimate Paradox!



  • @PeAcH said in Vintage 101: The Ultimate Paradox!:

    @Griselbrother

    Obviously, there is a big difference betweeen playing solo and facing an opponent, however goldfishing gives you an idea of the turn you can win. For me a combo deck that can consistently win by turn 2 is really broken (Dredge in G1 for example). If you are trying a Vintage combo deck and you cannot win before turn 4 I guess you should try another thing. You don´t need an opponent to prove that. Additionally, goldfishing allows you to practice and improve the range of hands you can keep or the lines of play you can take so once you are under real fire, you have some experience to help you take the decission tree needed to find a win.

    For me the deck can win T1-T2 with an opponent thanks to the combination of FOWs and Defense Grid.

    I have been playing with Paradoxical Outcome since it was released in many testing sessions as well as played it in 2 LCV tournaments so far. Reid's list has experienced some updates since it was published (Randy Buhler P9 Challenge list for reference has these kind of adaptations) that show how it is facing hate (additionally hate has been metagamed and even maindecked to fight PO, that is a real hint of the power of the shell).

    I think the archetype will evolve really slowly and it will take a lot of time for it to become a top contender with an optimal list (if that ever happens) because people prefer to play an easier approach to Vintage like playing Unrestricted Black Lotus lands and Resistors or Monks and a gazillion cantrips. So less people playing PO storm and more people playing Jeskai Mentor means PO lists do not evolve as quickly as Jeskai lists.

    As for myself, my list has been evolving in the last 3 months due to my testing and tournament experience and I like to try different things in order to fight what I experience as "issues to be dealt with" when playing the deck.

    Finally I would greatelly appreaciate if you can provide additional info to your final comment:

    I just don't think that Paradoxical Outcome is optimally

    Thanks for your input!

    "I just don't think that Paradoxical Outcome is optimally abused in this shell." is what I wrote. I don't know if you missed the last part or not, but what I meant is that I think there are better shells for Paradoxical Outcome. Like in Mentor shells, Bomberman shells and other deck types that plays stuff that actually does something besides being returned to hand and providing mana (Snapcaster Mage for instance).


  • TMD Supporter

    "I just don't think that Paradoxical Outcome is optimally abused in this shell." is what I wrote. I don't know if you missed the last part or not,

    I did not copy paste it fully but I read it correctly.

    but what I meant is that I think there are better shells for Paradoxical Outcome. Like in Mentor shells, Bomberman shells and other deck types that plays stuff that actually does something besides being returned to hand and providing mana (Snapcaster Mage for instance).

    If we don't try it we will never know.

    Which is my point in my previous post. That's why I was asking for further input apart from "maybe we should try it somewhere else".


  • TMD Supporter

    First off, I don't have the experience with the deck as much as other people have. So maybe I'll be a bit off with my opinion here.

    Anyway...

    I have played this deck a grand total of 6 games, as I tried Reid's list this weekend (basically version 2, not the champs one). I wanted to try out storm (haven't played it in years and barely at that - basically haven't). I loved the deck, it was such a blast to play. However, it is a bit glass cannon-ish. While not as much as a Belcher deck, I did find times where all it did is draw into more mana off of a paradoxical outcome. Moments like this I feel it would be more suited to Mentor.

    What I like about storm is you have more room to put more broken spells in the deck, leading to faster kills. Sure, having only one win condition (typically) in the main can be an issue, generally, it's not. I do like the opening the three spots gives me. I would love to try a transformational sideboard with P.O., but I'm not sure how well that works. @PeAcH can talk about that better than I can.

    Though, in my opinion, if you are going to play Mentor, I feel you might as well just play Gush Mentor. It's much more resistant to hate, more consistent, and has a better match-up against Null Rod / Shop decks. Certainly it's not generally as explosive, that is the weakness, comparatively.

    I think Storm is an excellent place for it, but I think Reid's list just need more and more tweaking to find the right deck.


  • TMD Supporter

    @mdkubiak said in Vintage 101: The Ultimate Paradox!:

    I loved the deck, it was such a blast to play. However, it is a bit glass cannon-ish. While not as much as a Belcher deck, I did find times where all it did is draw into more mana off of a paradoxical outcome. Moments like this I feel it would be more suited to Mentor.

    The difference with other Glass Cannon archetypes is that you play with 4 FOWs and enough blue cards to support them (not like when TPS played with 4 FOWs and a total of 16 blue cards). This gives some consistency and protection versus other decks.

    Mentor does not consistency kill on turn 2/3 unless you have the absolute nut draw. Obviously if you open all the games with Black Lotus into Mentor and Ancestral with Fow backup, all I can do is applause and GG :))))

    What I like about storm is you have more room to put more broken spells in the deck, leading to faster kills. Sure, having only one win condition (typically) in the main can be an issue, generally, it's not.

    There are only 2 marginal problems: One is TKS and the other is Memory Jar.

    I do like the opening the three spots gives me. I would love to try a transformational sideboard with P.O., but I'm not sure how well that works. @PeAcH can talk about that better than I can.

    I came to the idea of a transformational sideboard after having to overboard heavily vs. Rod decks and thought Why not?

    Though, in my opinion, if you are going to play Mentor, I feel you might as well just play Gush Mentor. It's much more resistant to hate, more consistent, and has a better match-up against Null Rod / Shop decks. Certainly it's not generally as explosive, that is the weakness, comparatively.

    Well, quite a different reason to play Mentor. The idea is to board into Mentor (as Reid did in the VSL) as your opponent will have sided out all the creature removal (almost all for sure). Once you land Mentor, you should win on the following turn :)

    I think Storm is an excellent place for it, but I think Reid's list just need more and more tweaking to find the right deck.

    Reid list is really powerful in terms of raw power and I think was a great choice for EW. Some months later my approach is that the list needs to be updated to face the changes and swifts the meta has applied to approach the matchup.


  • TMD Supporter

    @PeAcH

    Just a note. Not talking about side boards specifically when I mentioned Mentor, I meant Outcome Mentor vs. Gush Mentor. I'd prefer to play Gush Mentor. Now siding into Mentor from Paradoxical Storm is a different beast. :)

    I'm trying to toy with a BUG Storm version right now. Not sure how well it will do, but should be interesting.



  • I dont think reid dukes list is even close to being the optimal paradox list honestly.
    For one 6 protection spell (4 fow+2 grids)vs blue decks is way too light. (I added 3 flusterstorms)
    Chrome mox is embarrassingly bad and high variance in my opinion (all the cards you'd pitch are often very valuable) and this kind of deck(or any other for that matter ?) can't afford to 2 for 1 itself so often. Especially considering you only have 9 md lands (including only one basic) which makes you a lot softer to null rod + wasteland and any thorn deck. (I Cut the moxes for 3 lands)
    Draw 7s are extremely unreliable, especially in the mirror and it's not like they really help to avoid reliance on PO.
    Chain of vapor is silly vs stony silence when every deck is playing 4 missteps (Replaced it with Echoing Truth).
    Playing preordain and ponder over additional copies of sensei seems very ludicrous to me.
    Only one storm wincon as the unique path to victory in the maindeck is very optimistic imo.
    I personally believe you are better off hedging by including tezzeret and time vault in your PO deck. Voltaic key already has so much synergy with a lot of cards in the deck and helps fuel outcome.
    Tinker for Torrential Gearhulk is also another possibility to hedge a little bit as it is bigger than most of the creature threats vs eldrazis and shops, while having strong synergy with outcome and pitching to force.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Macdeath said in Vintage 101: The Ultimate Paradox!:

    I dont think reid dukes list is even close to being the optimal paradox list honestly.
    For one 6 protection spell (4 fow+2 grids)vs blue decks is way too light. (I added 3 flusterstorms)
    Chrome mox is embarrassingly bad and high variance in my opinion (all the cards you'd pitch are often very valuable) and this kind of deck(or any other for that matter ?) can't afford to 2 for 1 itself so often. Especially considering you only have 9 md lands (including only one basic) which makes you a lot softer to null rod + wasteland and any thorn deck. (I Cut the moxes for 3 lands)
    Draw 7s are extremely unreliable, especially in the mirror and it's not like they really help to avoid reliance on PO.
    Chain of vapor is silly vs stony silence when every deck is playing 4 missteps (Replaced it with Echoing Truth).
    Playing preordain and ponder over additional copies of sensei seems very ludicrous to me.
    Only one storm wincon as the unique path to victory in the maindeck is very optimistic imo.
    I personally believe you are better off hedging by including tezzeret and time vault in your PO deck. Voltaic key already has so much synergy with a lot of cards in the deck and helps fuel outcome.
    Tinker for Torrential Gearhulk is also another possibility to hedge a little bit as it is bigger than most of the creature threats vs eldrazis and shops, while having strong synergy with outcome and pitching to force.

    I really like this Gearhulk idea actually. It is pretty easy to cast, and couldn't you do something crazy like Hulk an Outcome using a mana vault and opals to cast hulk, bounce all of that stuff including hulk to maybe replay something else? I don't know, maybe that's too win-more.



  • @Islandswamp

    Yeah that's the idea you either hardcast or tinker it up to function as 2 additional outcome copies. I don't know if it's really win more when you hardcast it, it's like scrolling for outcome and casting it the same turn. And since you are bouncing the gearhulk and casting each copy of outcome 2 times you are pratically guaranteed that you will never fizzle, although you probably need tolarian academy or opal + sapphire to chain it this way.
    It's extremely versatile as it can be used as a combo engine, a control threat or just your force of will fodder, that's more than any other tinker target can say.


  • TMD Supporter

    I don't pretend to be a storm expert, but aren't you making yourself weaker to Workshops by adding in three flusterstorms? With how high percentage of the field being workshops is, it doesn't necessarily feel right to me. Or at least not in my local meta where I faced 50 percent Shops on a Sunday (though one of them was an incredibably odd Shops list).

    Your build makes it more resilent but it sounds less explosive.

    I do understand cutting Chrome Mox. I haven't been impressed with the card, really. But it has its moments.

    While I understand wanting sensei's divining too, it doesn't always do the same thing as ponder and preordain. But of course that doesn't necessarily make it weaker.


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