Description

"Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire."

Welcome to the newest cEDH archetype: Paradox Scepter storm!

This deck eschews the traditional High Tide package and Doomsday piles normally associated with UBx storm. In its place we devote cards slots to a varied nonland ramp package that consists of the best mana dorks (ex. Birds of Paradise) and mana rocks (ex. Mana Crypt) available. We also utilize a few rituals too (because reasons).

This deck can win on any turn, and has an inpressive turn 2 win rate, but version of the deck aims for the consistent turn 3-5 win with counterspell protection. Turn 3 are the most common outcome in a vacuum.

The deck often wins via infinite storm and mana produced by Dramatic Reversal+Isochron Scepter, which allows Thrasios, Triton Hero to draw my entire deck, where I can then end the game with Aetherflux Reservoir. If that goes poorly I can usually steal a win condition (i.e Laboratory Maniac; Tendrils of Agony; Walking Ballista; Aetherflux Reservoir etc.) from my opponents library with Praetor's Grasp.

Note: I used to run more backup win conditions and think this is wise once your meta understands what you are doing most games, but to fully streamline the deck those options have been cut. Good backup win conditions include Grapeshot; Laboratory Maniac; Codex Shredder and Walking Ballista.

Paradox Engine provides incredible redundancy to the scepter combo and has many ways of its own to end the game early. For instance, Sensei's Divining Top+Thrasios, Triton Hero+Paradox Engine+5 mana worth of rocks/dorks will draw your entire deck like so...

1) Tap Top to draw a card

2) Pay 4 to use Thrasios's ability to bring top to hand.

3) Cast Top to untap all your rocks/dorks with paradox engine.

4) Repeat steps 1-3 until you have drawn your deck.

This may sound like a lot, but it is suprising easy to pull off on turn 3-4 since once engine is in play, Thrasios can be put into play for "free" (often generating extra mana) and every 0-2 mana spell will almost always net you additional even more mana to dig for new cards with Thrasios. Usually if you get the first untap trigger off Paradox engine and at least one card in hand that replaces itself you will win. If you have Top in play, the combo becomes MUCH easier since you can double up on Top's draw ability by casting an instant in response (i.e Dark Ritual to its activation. This draws 2 cards instead of 1, thereby bringing top back to hand where it can be recast to trigger engine again. These stack shenanighans can get us way ahead on mana so we can use Thrasios' and Top's abilities to dig deep for the rocks needed to sustain the combo indefinitely and win the game. Voltaic Key can take Thrasios' place in the combo and only costs 2 mana worth of rock/dorks to draw the deck. Aside from the obvious combo cards, there exists a large number of ways to win with Engine. For instance, Dunadain has won by looping Regrowth and Noxious Revival with Thrasios' ability.

We usually want multiple sources of ramp in our opening hand. With green we the ability to make this happen most games. Most storm decks hate mana dorks, since they are dead cards on the combo turn. For us a dork is simply a ritual spell with Culling the Weak upside once engine is in play, so we can make good use of them at all points in the game. However past turn 1-2 mana rocks are always better. As such, we avoid any 2cc dorks and prioritize dorks that tap for multiple colors.

When it comes to rocks, we want to include every 0-1 cc mana rock because they are all wonderful. The 2 cc rocks are prioritized based on the colors they can provide us on a combo turn. In terms of importance >>>

With such a high concentration of fast mana sources in the deck I burn through hands extremely quickly, even by cEDH standards.

To keep the engine rolling to its fullest capacity, I utilize a powerful card advantage package.

As with most UBx storm decks, card advantage starts with Ad Nauseam and Necropotence. To fully maximize ad naus I utilize an extremely aggressive curve (avg cc: 1.65). This allows me to win over 80% of the time off a main phase Ad Nauseam on turn 2 or 3. This deck can tap out completely for ad naus and still win that turn with no floating mana at a high rate. For dramatic scepter I simply need to generate (or +Lion's Eye Diamond in hand). For Paradox Engine I need . With the amount of rocks and rituals in this deck, both are achievable off the 25+ cards Ad Naus can net me and still have sufficient life for cards like Vampiric Tutor and Gitaxian Probe.

With Necropotence I ideally always cast this card on turn 1-2 and rely upon cards like Chain of Vapor and Nature's Claim to remove that nasty exile clause after putting 20+ cards into my hand. This potentially gives me access to each card in my hand the following turn with Yawgmoth's Will.

I also utilize the best wheel effects in my color scheme: Timetwister, Wheel of Fortune and Windfall. The turn 1 wheel is the ideal opening hand most games (and quite achievable), but resolving a turn 2 wheel, will almost always get us to a winning board state on turn 3.

After wheels the best draw engine is Mystic Remora. For a minimal mana investment I can draw a great number of cards.

None of the cards I am about to discuss produce card advantage, but all are essential for card quality, hitting land drops, drawing into top deck tutors, and/or producing arbitrarily large amounts of mana with Paradox Engine. I think of them as lubrication. These include: Ponder; Gitaxian Probe; Impulse; Brainstorm; & Manamorphose. Cantrips are incredibly good in general for a storm deck. With Engine, they are much better than usual since they help me dig for my combos and sustain paradox engine once it is in play. They also let me thrive at 28 lands.

Going so light on the land count may seem risky. Indeed many of you are like "I like your deck LB, I really do, but shit man 28 lands?...I never go below 32 (or even 36) for any reason...You are just asking for inconsistency." Again, I must say something that sounds crazy, but is actually true. Having so few lands is NECESSARY to maximize the consistency of the deck. As I have already mentioned, I aim to get a turn 1-2 wheel, turn 1-2 necropotence, turn 1-3 Ad Nauseam or failing that a turn 1-2 mystic remora. All of these scenarios get me my 2nd and 3rd land drop without difficulty. When casting a wheel you want to draw at least 1-2 lands, but never more than that. Lands are slow, they are the worst possible card to draw into. We want ramp, card advantage, tutors, combo pieces, and interaction. This philosophy extends to our opening hands as well. An ideal hand (outside the occassional GOD HAND) Involves having 2 lands 2 ramp pieces, 2 card advantage/Tutor spells and 1 interaction spell. You never want to take a hand with 4 lands unless the other cards are great and get you something you need to win early. There are several 1 land hands that will work.

Thrasios is the perfect general to command a deck like this. His color scheme gives him access to a wide array of mana dorks and rocks. It also gives us the best possible card advantage and a great tutor suite, which provides tons of power and consistency to our combos. Also his mana sink wins the game as soon as we go infinite. The deck is stronger by his presence in the command zone, without being dependent on him. This passive boost and independence from the general makes the deck far more resilient than other Paradox engine commanders, such as Arcum Dagson and Captain Sissay.

While Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder is a very strong commander, he is better suited to a traditional grixis storm shell+green that wins via Doomsday since his cascade ability helps crack open the DD piles. This deck however, has little to no interest in casting a color intensive 4 drop creature or relying upon combat. To be perfectly frank Yidris is just too slow. Thrasios is the superior general for this deck by a fair margin. There are four good reasons to cast Thrasios in a game:

1) Once we go infiniteto grab a win condition from my library.

2) Restart my draw engines with Thrasios' pseudo scry1 draw ability when things go poorly.

3) Combo with Paradox Engine and Sensei's Divining Top

4) Sac fodder for Culling the Weak. Making a 2 mana general this good is just unfair. Even if I get very unlucky and have no ramp in my opening hand I can win with a line like this on turn 3:

T1) Topdeck tutor or gamble for ad naus/culling the weak.

T2) Thrasios.

T3) sac Thrasios with culling the weak play ad naus GG.

Most games the 98 does all the work without difficulty. Vial smasher does nothing but provide red and black, and I prefer red to white for this particular deck.

Well you are in luck ladies and gentlemen. Here is a white version that plays very similar and requires a slight modification to the deck. Both colors offer a handful of great cards to our mostly BUG shell. For your convenience I have summarized the VialSmasher, the fierce to Tymna the Weaver makeover:

Gamble-->Enlightened Tutor: Enlightened tutor is safer but gamble has way more upside and is much more useful on our ad naus turn. Red is better here.

Wheel of Fortune-->Whispering Madness/Jace's Archivist: Red is much better here again.

Manamorphose-->Noble Hierarch: White wins here since hierach taps for theall important blue.

Pyroblast-->Silence: White has the advantage here as locking out the table is pretty great.

Fire Covenant-->Swords to Plowshares or Toxic Deluge: I prefer Red here because covenant can take take out multiple targets while sparing our dorks.

Vandalblast-->Auriok Salvagers: This is really the best reason to run white, and man is it a good one. Aside from bomberman, which gives this deck 3 extremely compact and distinct combos to end the game off that early ad naus, Salvagers also goes infinite with any self sacraficing rock (i.e Lotus Petal) and Engine.

Talisman of Indulgence-->Talisman of Progress: Slight advantage for white since is more useful than most games.

Badlands Steam Vents; & Volcanic Island-->Scrubland, Savannah & Tundra: Literally the only changes to the mana base.

You may want to build this deck and make it your own. You have my blessing. You also may not possess an unlimited budget to afford the hefty $4,000+ price tag. Fortunately there exists a wide range of cards that will allow you to cater the deck to meet your budget needs and playstyle preferences. Below is a summary of cards that would be good fits for what this deck is trying to accomplish. While Timetwister and Imperial Seal are great cards you can definitely do just fine without them. BarbeChenue has tested this deck under an extreme local banlist that quite literally butchered the core of the deck (i.e no vampiric tutor, demonic tutor, sensei's divining top, ad nauseam, mana crypt etc.) and he still has had a great deal of success against a variety of matchups

TUTORS: Dark Petition, Muddle the Mixture, Trinket Mage; Whir of Invention; Inventors' Fair; Bring to Light; Tezzeret the Seeker

INTERACTION: Beast Within; Chaos Warp; Vandalblast; Cyclonic Rift; Snap; Fatal Push; Ancient Grudge; Force of Will; Dispel; Spell Pierce; Raven's Crime

RAMP: Elvish Spirit Guide; Simian Spirit Guide; Bloom Tender; Elvish Mystic; Fyndhorn Elves; zur-taa druid; Aphetto Alchemist; Izzet Signet; Talisman of Impulse; Cabal Ritual; Squandered Resources

ADVANTAGE/MANIPULATION : Plunge into Darkness; Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip; Jace's Archivist; Whispering Madness; Frantic Search; Serum Visions; Opt; Faithless Looting; Thirst for Knowledge; Reforge the Soul Time Spiral

RECURSION: Wildest Dreams; Past in Flames Snapcaster Mage

COMBO: Notion Thief; Winds of Change; Leovold, Emissary of Trest; Waste Not; Power Artifact

This deck has been a blast to create and test. I hope your experience with it is equally rewarding. While I always appreciate critical/constructive feedback I need to specifically appreciate iamyoona, Megalomania, and enpc. Without ENPC's insights and ideas, MEGALOMANIA's deckbuilding perspective, and IAMYOONA's testing, criticisms and suggestions, this deck would not exist. I would also like to thank Neunviertel, Frank_Glascock, Dandelion_PuffballSavant, and BarbeChenue for helping me fine tune this list.

Updates


Yawgmoth's Engine

Commander / EDH* Lilbrudder

SCORE: 14 | 10 COMMENTS | 1107 VIEWS | IN 5 FOLDERS


I am keeping two lists now. Yawgmoth's Engine is my all in fast combo build. This list is my no greed list designed to do better in slower games

Edit: Tested 3 games so far. 1st game was a good turn 5 win. Had the cards to disrupt on turn 2, 3, 4, and went off on turn 5 with protection. The other two were turn 2 wins off a main phase Ad naus and one of those had Force of will protection. I think this is a good omen, if one believes in such things.

Comments View Archive

Frank_Glascock says... #1

Which tournament was this and how did you do? I read something about a deck stealing a win with Praetor's Grasp.

Carpet of Flowers is an auto include. I am assuming Force of Will is too big a hit to take with Ad Nauseam.

February 24, 2017 11:11 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #2

Frank_Glascock: Its the cEDH reddit tourney and its ongoing. I am not the pilot actually. I was watching BarbeChenue playing an adjusted version of my list and he (?) won last night in epic fashion. Basically his card choices and his theft of Linvala, Keeper of Silence with grasp bought him the time needed to fight through multiple stax pieces to win the game. That was merely one of many huge plays and aside from one gaffe early :-), his performance was a thing of beauty. After seeing his card choices in action I am planning on adjusting the list accordingly.

Carpet is great. I didnt use it because it doesnt tap for value, but linvala and null rod are things so a more varied ramp package is nice.

I hear you Daedalus19876, but as Dunadain pointed out the main phase ad nauseam is a fragile thing. It often doesn't work if your cc is in the 1.7s. Also counterspells are somewhat meh for this build it wasnt a super hard cut.

February 25, 2017 2:58 a.m.

Frank_Glascock says... #3

Lilbrudder, you stated that you eliminated additional means to victory in favor of streamlining the deck. Now you have one in Aetherflux Reservoir with Praetor's Grasp being a pseudo and less consistent means to victory. Yet you state:
"I used to run more backup win conditions and think this is wise once your meta understands what you are doing most games, but to fully streamline the deck those options have been cut. Good backup win conditions include Grapeshot; Reality Shift ; and Walking Ballista."

What card would you remove to be replaced with one of the three additional wincons? This is relevant as many of us will be playing this deck at a store or online with a somewhat consistent group.

February 25, 2017 3:43 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #4

Probably Candelabra of Tawnos since it is just color fixing or Urza's Bauble/Everflowing Chalice since they are fairly low impact.

Of the three grapeshot is a better removal spell outside the finisher role but ballista can be a free untap and is better off ad naus. Reality shift is too dependent on opponents having a creature unless you keep candelabra and untap the forbidden orchard you put into play with Thrasios' ability

February 25, 2017 3:53 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #5

What I meant say grapeshot is better than ballista as a removal spell. Reality shift is the best removal spell

February 25, 2017 4:03 p.m.

trancer99 says... #6

Which is the better Thrasios deck against massive counter magic?

February 26, 2017 10:27 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #7

I would say its a toss up. If you have multiple opponents tryingn to disrupt you then go white (silence), but red has better tools to deal with blue (pyroblast). If you need additional counter protection, Force of will, spell pierce, dispel, unsubstantiate, and red elemental blast are all solid options

February 27, 2017 6:27 a.m.

trancer99 says... #8

The last few nights I have run into a lot, almost ready to just play Prossh with all blue hate.

February 27, 2017 3:46 p.m.

marsthesoos says... #9

This deck looks sweet, might just be the shell for my next combo deck!

February 28, 2017 8:49 a.m.

Lilbrudder, am I correct that the only graveyard hate (pseudo in this case) in the deck is Deathrite Shaman? Has this been an issue? If your meta has either a Karador/Boonweaver or Hermit Druid (seeing some 4 color builds lately) build, what would you advise? I am assuming Everflowing Chalice would be the cut and Tormod's Crypt would be the addition.

March 1, 2017 10:15 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #11

I try to make my online decks meta free, so specific hate cards are almost never included. If you were to add some gravehate tormod's crypt would be an ideal inclusion. Another solid option is Shred Memory as it can double as a tutor for dramatic scepter.

March 1, 2017 10:26 p.m.

BarbeChenue says... #12

The game Lilbrudder mentionned is here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/124305547

The mistake he mentions is a severe tilt/brainfart on my part, in which I forgot to cast Chain of Vapor before the End Step, with an active Jin Gitaxias in play, as well as a Null Rod and an Eidolon of Silence.

The game is a bit long (1h40+), but is well worth the watch.

--

As far as changes to the deck are mentioned, I have to keep my own tournament list intact until the end (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/paradox-scepter-storm/), since no changes are allowed after registration. I'm still closely watching Lilbrudder's changes.

I like the idea of playing Everflowing Chalice in place of Urza's Bauble. My problem with both Mishra and Urza's baubles are that they draw the card the turn after, which is only good if you drop them on the turns before going off. The problem is that you also want them in your hand when you play Paradox Engine, play them for 0 to untap your rocks, and go off the same turn. I also found I wanted more 'Sol Rings' in the deck to go with Isochron Scepter (which requires at least 2+ mana to go off). Everflowing Chalice is just as good as the baubles on combo turn (since you are never going to draw that card), but can help setup the win as well.

I'm of the opinion that more wheels is really good, even at 4 CMC, so Whispering Madness is really a card I like in principle. IMHO, card draw + discard adds consistency, fill the grave, and acts as a pseudo-tutor for solutions. I just don't know what to cut for it, since I also want Candelabra and Lim-Dl's Vault, and I've already cut Llanowar and Urborg. I might end up cutting the weakest mana rock, like you did, but at the same time I find myself wanting slightly more rocks, not less. I like Candelabra on combo turn, since it fixes my colors, and I owe a few wins on Lim-Dl's Vault's "mega scry". YMMV.

I'm also unsure about Waste Not. It seems like a card I'd love to have before resolving a wheel, but not one I'd be enthusiastic to top deck. My fear is that since our deck is utterly vulnerable to Null Rod, tax effects, Rule of Law effects, Gaddock Teeg, and Spirit of the Labyrinth effects, I'd rather have polyvalent answers/removal for them than more explosive results. Targeted removal can also trigger Paradox Engine only if it finds a target; I really wish there were more cards like Abrupt Decay!

March 1, 2017 10:27 p.m.

Lilbrudder and BarbeChenue, five counterspells is fewer than I am used to seeing for competititive lists. Dan's Doomtide Thrasios plays eight and Skuloth's Zur list uses eleven. BarbeChenue, are you finding that number sufficient in the tournmanent? If I wanted to add two additional counters which cards would you guys remove?

March 3, 2017 7:55 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #14

BarbeChenue: Thank you for posting the video and good luck this week :-) I am not a huge fan of candlestick but it hurt to cut lim dul's. If waste not proves to be too situational then I will probably bring it back but having more removal may be better. What do you think about Ancient Grudge and Pyroclasm? They are super cheap and can take out many of the big threats to our gameplan. I know you use Vandalblast and it has dome good work for you.

Frank_Glascock I already gave my opinion on this issue on the discord so I will let BarbeChenue provide his experience as he has more hands on experience with the deck than me. Im more of a magical theorist.

March 3, 2017 8:57 p.m.

BarbeChenue says... #15

Currently 2-2 in the cEDH tourney after last night's win! I did however notice quite a few misplays on my part post-game.

Highlights: Bloody hell is the deck resilient! Despite the setbacks, I managed to pull through once more. Fire Covenant is an absolute all star choice, destroying everyone's hatebears and mana dorks, creating a nightmare scenario. Following it immediately with Vandalblast is just pure undiluted schadenfreude, with both opponents reduced to two lands each.

A common theme of the deck is getting bogged down by hatebears for a while, but still managing to pull through. Having a ton of mana rocks and dorks makes it hard to cut into the mana base all at once. As a more midrange player, I feel very comfortable with games going longer. Certain hate pieces scare me more than others, but what I'm really afraid of is someone comboing ahead of me despite stax in play, while I'm left unable to react. If I can sculpt a hand with decent answers to the worst hate cards, I'm forcing the others to deal with me rather than develop their board or further their game plan because I threaten to win.

All that said, my assessment may very well change depending on future matchups. Stax decks playing blue like Grand Arbiter and Teferi seem very well positioned to counter the deck, and faster combos -- like Food Chain Tazri -- might prove to be difficult to interact with. Time will tell!

March 14, 2017 4:37 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #16

Awesome! Thank you for the Update and GG.

March 14, 2017 5:27 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #17

Frank_Glascock & BarbeChenue: Here is my completely untested no greed list for more interactive games

March 24, 2017 6:34 a.m.

Lilbrudder, do you have plans to combine both lists? Better put, are you working towards making a list that you would play in a competitive tournament. I realize BarbeChenue is in the process of doing this.

March 24, 2017 10:54 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #19

I think if I were to enter a competitive tourney this would be my go too list. It has more answers and more ways to fight through disruption. Every game Barbechenue has played in the tourney has been a grind so a more resilient deck is needed that can answer multiple stax pieces and disrupt other people's combo turns. I will keep both lists, because I love the all in nature of yawgmoth's engine. It will likely be my Trice list for random pods as it is more explosive. Having 2 lists gives people more idea of what changes to make to cater thier deck if they want to be more proactive or reactive. In other words, having two lists deliniates the essential vs. borderline cards.

March 24, 2017 11:49 a.m.

trancer99 says... #20

I want to build a competitive deck, but I am not sure which one, I have most of the pieces except Twister/Seal/Candelabra/Grim. I really like your lists, I was tempted to play your FC Sidisi, but it looks like you have moved past that one. In your opinion which would be the most competitive without the 4 expensive staples I listed above, and don't say Yisan, my meta is heavy creature hate, so that would not would not work at all.

March 24, 2017 7:02 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #21

trancer99: Thank you :-) Yeah in the end food chain sidisi is just a bad food chain Tazri. Now that does not make it a bad deck by any means as FC Tazri is amazing, there is just no reason to play Sidisi over Tazri besides novelty and suprise factor. My Paradox storm decks are almost a full turn faster on average. Yawgmoth's Engine is a legit turn 2-3 deck whereas food chain sidisi is a turn 3-4 deck. It is better in almost every possible way.

Losing the 4 cards you mentioned does not hurt the deck much at all as none of them are essential and all of them have budget replacements.

Timetwister is my least favorite wheel by a wide margin. It is easily replaced with Whispering Madness which goes better with Waste Not.

Imperial Seal can be replaced with Lim-Dul's Vault.

Candelabra of Tawnos Isn't even worth a spot in this list imo so replace it with literally anything.

Grim Tutor can be replaced by Dark Petition or Praetor's Grasp, which goes in and out of my list.

These changes simply make the deck a bit slower and less consistent at times, but you will still have the ability to pull off turn 2-4 wins with great consistency as well as grind out slower wins. It is so much better than any other deck I have made. It also makes for a very competitive budget brew

March 24, 2017 9:33 p.m.

Lilbrudder, can you go over the rationale behind the changes from Yagmoth's Engine to this decklist? For example, I assume Copy Artifact was omitted because it can be situational.

It would be of great benefit to me to learn which of the interactive cards was your last to include. So, if I wanted to add Lim-Dul's Vault, the weakest removal card could be taken out of the list.

How much of BarbeChenue's experiences in the tournament shaped the transition from the Yagmoth's Engine list to this more interactive list?

Your percentage of counterspell backup in your combo turns was around 15-20% with Yagmoth's Engine. Did you find that was to inconsistent outside of gold fishing?

March 26, 2017 12:34 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #23

Yeah the color requirement for copy artifact makes it uncastable at times. The reason why I updated this list had less to do with being unhappy with Yawgmoth's Engine and more with giving people a playstyle option. Not everyone likes to play so aggressively and yes the tourney has heavily influenced this list. The biggest factor though is if you look at the top combo decks in the format, they have plenty of interaction, so I wanted to make the deck on par with the best on that dimension. If you want to cut a card for lim dul's vault I would suggest into the roil or natural state.

March 26, 2017 5:50 p.m.

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