Description

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

When most people think cEDH storm, Zur the Enchanter and Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge (grixis storm) are the names that comes to mind. Thrasios Doomtide is an powerful and adaptive option for the same archetype and Kess, Dissident Mage is an exciting new entrant into the UBx storm sweepstakes.

While we share some similarities to these worthy adversaries, 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) & mana rocks (ex. Mana Crypt) available. We also utilize the best rituals too (because reasons).

This deck is on the lighter side of the interaction spectrum, but it is noticeably faster (on average) than the doomsday bretheren with higher card quality than all but Doomtide (Because Reasons). Current estimates place this decks avg win turn at 3.32 (Over 100 games; See following section for details), which is more than fast enough. Among storm decks, only Sidisi, Undead Vizier is faster and unlike Sidisi we have the ability to play the long game (as evidenced by Barbechenue's success in the cEDH tournament).

Our primary win condition is Aetherflux Reservoir, which is the best way we have to win the game since we can win via infinite storm (i.e. Dramatic Reversal+Isochron Scepter) or with non infinite means using Paradox Engine. Reservoir also passively gains us life, which can be used to fuel Ad Nauseam, Necropotence, and Fire Covenant.

If that win condition is exiled we can win via Timetwister loops with Windfall/Wheel of Fortune and Tormod's Crypt. Swan Song & Deathrite Shaman can also get us there in a pinch. All the cards involved in these win conditions are high value cards with plenty of standalone value, so we minimize "dead slots" better than any other deck in the format.

If you lack the budget for Timetwister loops, Walking Ballista is a fine win backup condition as is Laboratory Maniac. You can also loop Memory's Journey if you need the extra grave hate.

To better illustrate the common paths to victory and assess how fast the deck is (in a vacuum), I recorded the results of 100 playtests (going for the fastest line available to the deck based on our opening hand). While such a method skews the results towards Ad Nauseam, this sample is an fairly accurate representation of how the deck functions (NOTE: This data is based on a prior version of the deck):

100 GAMES

Yawgmoth's Will+Lion's Eye Diamond: 1 turn 2 victory; 5 turn 3 victories; 1 turn 4 victory

Necropotence: 3 turn 3 victories; 2 turn 4 victory

Ad Nauseam: 8 turn 2 victories; 23 turn 3 victories; 12 turn 4 victories; 2 turn 5 victories

Paradox Engine: 11 turn 3 victories; 11 turn 4 victories; 1 turn 5 victory; 1 turn 6 victory

Isochron Scepter+Dramatic Reversal: 1 turn 2 victory; 11 turn 3 victories; 7 turn 4 victories

Average win turn: 3.32

It is important to realize that most victories will use multiple "enablers" to get there (ex. Ad Naus into Yawgwin+LED into engine) so just because an outlet has a low use percentage does not mean it is not essential.

Since goldfishing these numbers, I added Notion Thief and Winds of Change , which gives us even more ways to win the game. I added Notion Thief so we are less dependent on Ad Naus and can get even more value out of our wheels. Winds of Change makes thief an efficent win condition and also helps tremendously on our main phase ad nauseams by getting us a fresh 20-25 after we play all our net positive spells.

One of the primary factors that make this deck faster than most storm decks is we have access to many early game enablers that feed off eachother. This gives us the ability to win at any stage of the game with a minimal to nonexistant board presence. These lines to victory include:

1) Ad Nauseam+Fast Mana: This is the easiest path to victory as it will consistently win the game if we resolve ad nauseam. We utilize an aggressive curve to maximize our ability to win durimg pur main phase. Ideally we want at least one floating mana to all but ensure victory but we can tap out for it and still win a fair share of games during our main phase assuming most of our net positive rocks are still in our library.

2) Dramatic Reversal+Isochron Scepter+3 mana worth nonland based permanent ramp. This is our most mana efficient combo at 4 mana (Or two mana with LED in hand), but unlike ad naus or engine it requires two specific combo pieces to go off.

3) Paradox Engine+Self replacing card+Nonland based ramp: This is harder to come by with more initial points of failure. To realistically get engine to the point where it is self sustaining you will usually need at least 3 mana worth of rocks/dorks in total with 1 that can tap for all colors. You also will need a cantrip or tutor that replaces itself after the initial untap to start producing mana and to (hopefully) draw into fuel. If we get stuck with nothing but interaction after the first few spells (which is relatively common scenario) a great way to get ahead on mana is to cast a removal spell (i.e nature's claim), then counter it (i.e. mental misstep) and then counter that spell (i.e pact of negation). Since engine untaps everything on CAST, not resolution, you will get to untap everything 3 times for one mana total. This will often allow you to activate Thrasios' draw ability until you get to the spell that will end the game. This engine win condition snowballs very quickly so if you manage to untap after casting it on an ad nauseam turn, its almost impossible to fizzle.

With Sensei's Divining Top+Thrasios, Triton Hero+Paradox Engine+5 mana worth of rocks/dorks you can draw your entire deck with the following sequence:

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 suprisingly 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 even more mana which can be used to dig for new cards with Thrasios. 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. 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 are many ways to win with Engine. For instance, Dunadain has won by looping Regrowth and Noxious Revival with Thrasios' ability.

4) Yawgmoth's Will+Lion's Eye Diamond, rituals, and tutors: Usually we want another ritual (i.e Dark Ritual), Ad Naus or a card like Demonic Tutor/Dark Petition. This line is fairly difficult to describe in typical situations so I will simply describe the first game where I realized the potential of yawgwin and LED. I was playing in a 4 player pod and I drew my second seven after using my free mulligan:

Lion's Eye Diamond, Mystical Tutor, Yawgmoth's Will, Pact of Negation, Nature's Claim, and two fetchlands. My initial thought was "Damn another shit hand." I did not want to go down to 6 and I had something to play on turn one and two so I kept the hand. I went first and drew my first card Tainted Pact. At first I was a bit irritated, and then in a flash of insight I came to the realization "shit I could win on my next turn." I played my fetchland and passed turn. Each of my opponents played a land and tapped out for a 1 drop spell (2 dorks and a mystic remora), so with the coast likely clear and a free counterspell to boot, I crack my fetchland for an Underground Sea and use Mystical Tutor to topdeck Dark Ritual.

Turn 2: Play my second fetchland, Play LED, Tap Sea to play dark ritual. Use my BBB to cast Yawgmoth's Will hold priority crack LED before yawgwin resolves, put BBB in my mana pool. From my graveyard I cast ritual from my graveyard to go to BBBBB then play and crack LED to go to BBBBBUUU and one untapped land. Yeah thats 9 mana...I then proceed to topdeck Ad Nauseam with Mystical Tutor, "draw" it with Tainted Pact then cast it with one untapped land available. Now this deck is built to win off a main phase ad nauseam, but I was kind of a newb and despite drawing into enough cards to produce 7 mana post ad naus I never did get the cards necessary to play engine or dramatic scepter. I ended up fizzling and rewarded my Mystic Remora opponent with 19 cards of a first turn U spell.

While that particular attempt did not produce a turn 2 win it opened my eyes to the possible lines within my deck. The beauty of yawgwin & LED is that a number of different combinations of tutors and rituals can produce a similarly explosive start. As the game goes on, this path to victory gets much stronger. Worst case scenario you pay for 2 Black Lotus and the ability to play every card from your hand and graveyard for the rest of the turn.

5) Necropotence: This is our worst early game enabler due to its restrictions. However, it is cheap enough that we can usually play it very early and/or float mana for Nature's Claim or Chain of Vapor to have access to the cards we discard the following turn for a massive Yawgmoth's Will. The addition of Dark Petition makes this a far more viable path to victory.

6) Mystic Remora: This is easily the second best card in cEDH behind ad naus. It does not win the game immediately but the amount of cards this enchantment can draw in the early game is incredible. Dropping this card on turn one and farming the table for a couple turns can put you so far ahead you will be very hard to stop.

We usually want multiple sources of ramp in our opening hand. With green we the ability to make this happen most games. We have 25 slots devoted to ramp in total. I have experimented with more and less. Adding more (up to 30) has had good, if somewhat inconsistent results. I would not suggest going with less.

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. As such, we can make good use of them at all points in the game. However past turn 1-2 mana rocks are 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. This is one package you do not want to skimp on. Self replacing cards are the key to success. For instance, Merchant Scroll is kind of a bad card in general, but it is cheap, has several relevant targets, and replaces itself with another useful card. When dealing with budget restraints you really can go wrong with a card that checks this box.

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 us dig for my combos and sustain paradox engine once it is in play. They also let me thrive at 27 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 27 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. I aim to get a turn 1-2 wheel, turn 1-2 necropotence, turn 2-3 Ad Nauseam, turn 2-3 Yawgwin line, or 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 turn 1 ramp pieces, 2 card advantage/Tutor spells and 1-2 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 0-1 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 red offers much more than white for this particular deck.

We have plenty of flexibility in how we fill out the last 5 or so slots. For instance, If you are in a Tymna hate bears/Raz Reanimator/creature heavy meta you can slot in cheap board wipes and like Pyroclasm Toxic Deluge in addition to Fire Covenant and Cyclonic Rift to repeatedly blow out the table with little to no consequence for our own gameplan. Another option is play more creatures like Baral, Chief of Compliance, which can block Tymna and live to tell the tale. Rule of Law and Null Rod effects got you down? You can slot in cards like Natural State and Into the Roil or add Bloom Tender+Freed from the Real to go infinite without any artifacts or spells. In a meta where racing is the best policy, up that turn 1 ramp, and add some Waste Not for good measure. If you are dealing with alot of instant speed disruption you could supplement the core counterspell package with Dispel, Red Elemental Blast, and Delay. Or you could instead add more cantrips, which gives the deck more card selection and flexibility and play a slower gameplan. This style of paradox storm is based off a dominant strategy in vintage called turbo Xerox, that replaces lands eith cantrips to maximize card selection. This deck allows us to play fewer lands and still hit our land drops. This deck is still in the hyperexperimental stage, but has considerable promise:



In short, we have nothing but powerful and aggressively costed options at our disposal. There is not a meta that exists, where Paradox storm won't be one of the more powerful decks. It is the lovechild of layered and focused combo as it has many overlapping paths to victory and no combo only peices.

With the rise of decks like Razaketh Reanimator, Blood Pod, and Hermit's Breakfast Paradox Scepter Storm has had to make a number of adjustments. These include increasing our turn 1 ramp, replacing narrow tutors with more universal tutors, decreasing our dependence on ad naus and storm lines, and becoming more interactive. Our card choices reflect this more balanced approach:

-Fabricate

+Dark Petition

Fabricate is slow and limited. It was a relic of my original drafts that were devoted to manual paradox engine wins (which is our plan c/d strategy). Dark petition can do that while also being useful to our other lines to victory. The consistency petition offers way outweighs the downside of 2 extra cmc off ad naus.

-Transmute Artifact

+Intuition

Transmute is even worse than fabricate most of the time as it forces us to blow up the very ramp we need to power engine or scepter. It's also double blue, whichmakes the card frequently dead in hand. Intuition simply offers way more flexibility in how we approach the table and being instant speed matters a great deal.

-Everflowing Chalice

+Tormod's Crypt

Chalice was merely a necessary evil. It was a free untap off ad naus into engine with some minor utility as a ramp peice. Crypt gives us a free untap, while also serving as some much needed gravehate. What made this switch permanent was Sigi's discovery thatCrypt is also a backup win condition via timetwister and windfall/Wheel of fortune loops. This triple value marks a nice upgrade over the old placeholder Lightning Bolt as our backup to Reservior. Sigi also showed me how to use swan song to do the same thing (albeit slower). Yalpe discovered we can also win with deathrite shaman and timetwister loops. As such we have numerous options if our primary path to victory gets exiled.

-Lightning Bolt

+Cyclonic Rift

Without the need for a backup win condition bolt provides we can replace it with a catchall bounce spell that doubles as a powerful board wipe. With our ramp package overloading rift is quite doable early in the game and unlike bolt rift is never irrelevant.

-Bloom Tender

+Llanowar Elves

Bloom tender has always been kind of bad for this deck. While many can point to times where she tapped for 4 colors and won a game paradox storm simply lacks the colored sources for her to shine without warping our gameplan around her (i.e. casting vial smasher...I just threw up in my mouth a little). In short, she is a trap card. Llanowar Elves has far less upside but gives us turn 1 ramp and is expendable, meaning we don't feel bad about saccing him to Culling the Weak.

-Tainted Pact

+Notion Thief

I long resisted adding notion thief as I was blinded by my love of main phase ad nauseam's but eventually the versatility the card offers the deck was too much to pass up. Simply put, this is not a great time to be a devoted Ad Nauseam deck as the meta has shifted towards creatures that can wreck our life totals. Notion thief reduces our dependence on ad naus and artifact based wins while also weaponizing our trio of wheels. Tainted pact is a self replacing card and instant speed for just 2 mana. At times it is great, but the temptation to dig just a little deeper has lost games and exiling 10 cards and being forced to put a combo peice we don't want in hand to prevent autofolding feels bad man.

-Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip

+ Winds of Change

This one is likely going to be a headscratcher for some, and to be perfectly frank, JVP is the far more consistent option. The reason I (personally) am playing winds of change is it is wonderful Ad naus tech, that can help us be successful with a fatter avg cmc. It also makes notion thief shenanighans mana efficient enough to go off on turn 3 at a reasonable clip. Also JVP is slow (2 drop with summoning sickness) and the deck already has 3 other recursion spells so its hardly a necessary card.

In early versions of paradox storm, this was always the weakness of this deck. However,this is no longer the case.

Our counterspell package is fairly standard. We devote a relatively modest 8 slots to this effect as counterspells are not great with Paradox Engine. Nonetheless we play the ones best suited to our aggressive gameplan

Force of Will; Pact of Negation; Mental Misstep; Swan Song; Flusterstorm; Spell Pierce; Pyroblast and Mana Drain

Our spot removal package is also small, but contains the three best possible spells.

Chain of Vapor; Nature's Claim; Abrupt Decay

Where this package shines is its trio of one sided board wipes. While all grixis decks can play these cards they cannot utilize them as effectively as we can, since they cannot match our concentration of ramp (Green Boii!). Rift and blast also function as reasonably costed spot removal spells. This allows us to slow the table without having to sacrafice our own board position.

Cyclonic Rift; Vandalblast; Fire Covenant

Our last two slots have various other functions within the deck but also do good work as interaction pieces that target the current meta wonderfully

Notion Thief; Tormod's Crypt

In total this amounts to 16 slots for interaction, which is very respectable in a vacuum. However, since we have the best recursion spells at our disposal, and many of our interaction pieces check multiple boxes, the cost of our interaction package is minimal (deckslot wise), while our ability to play the long game is much better than what our numbers would suggest.

What this affords us is the ability to play reactively and proactively at the same time. In other words, we can disrupt the table while also getting ourselves in a position to end the game.

I always strive to create "meta free" decks. All this means is I run as many objectively powerful cards as possible that can deal effectively with a wide range of different decks. This is why you never see cards like Trickbind in my lists. It is far to narrow and specific to a handful of strategies. However, as your playgroup adapts to your gameplan adjustments will be needed. Here are the cards least essential to the deck:

Talisman of Indulgence: Our worst 2 mana rock alot of the time. I don't love this card but its faster than a signet and we need a fairly high density of rocks.

Vandalblast: In the right meta, this card is flat out devastating. However, not every deck needs this effect.

Gemstone Caverns: I love this card as it enables explosive starts, but its clearly the first cut when basic lands matter.

Llanowar Elves: Our worst 1 drop dork is still really good and one can justify running more, but if you must trim your dork count, he is the one to go.

Merchant Scroll: Our worst tutor. Its working well for me now but it is hardly essential.

Winds of Change : This is my spice include. It is great on an ad naus turn and makes Notion Thief wins efficient enough to occassionally serve as our Plan A. Outside of those two roles it is as close to a dead card as this deck runs unless your ballsy enough to cast this turn 1 to disrupt everyones carefully chosen hands. Truly red at its finest...

Notion Thief: Another favorite of mine, but hardly essential. He's better for us than most decks because we can get him out earlier than anyone else (on average) and he improves our wheels significantly. For main phase ad naus purists, Thief is chunky and needs to go.

You are proably thinking Astral Cornucopia...bruh? No dead cards? Please...

Cornicopia is great. Y'all crazy! 0cc for naus. Free untap for engine. Easily turned into ramp that you can use the turn it comes into play, with double counter upside. This is probaby the one deck where this card is not a hot pile of garbage. Getting to 3 mana on turn 2 then using a counterspell or removal on your opponents turn or simply top deck tutor at end step to win the game the following turn is lit. I know many of you want to run candlesticks instead. Do yourself a favor and save that card for your high tide decks as it is significantly worse than cornicopia for this deck.

The key to consistent early wins is knowing what hands to keep. As I have gotten better at mulliganing my turn 2-3 win rate has skyrocketed. I have found that you can almost always find a useable hand out of the first 3 tries (Initial, Free 7, 6+scry 1). Going to 5 or below is somewhat risky given our low land count so go past 6 at your own peril.

In general, our ideal opener wants 2 lands, 2+ fast mana sources 2 card advantage/tutor spells, and 1 interaction piece, or a clear I win button like Mystic Remora . Worst case scenario we want the means to cast a turn 2 wheel (This is the equivalent of punting, but it can often put us in position for a turn 3 win), turn 2 Necropotence, or a turn 3 Ad Nauseam/Waste Not+Wheel of Fortune effect. We do not want to generally keep a hand with our only ramp piece being a 2 mana rock and NEVER keep a 4 land hand unless the other 3 cards are incredible (like dark ritual, mana crypt, and ad nauseam). 0-1 land hands are viable as long as we have plenty of fast mana and a way to dig deep.

If you have the other essential cards dont fret about missing a land drop early as lands are not always essential after turn 1, what truly matters is nonland sources that tap for mana.

Note: Please keep in mind that this advice is meant to teach you how to pilot this deck in playtest mode. In a competitive pod you can't slam down a combo on turn 2-3 and expect to succeed. Picking your spots is often necessary, hence our interaction suite.

Its important when choosing hands to "Know thy enemy." For instance, if we are going before a fast deck like breakfast hulk, we want a hand capable of a turn 2-3 win. This usually means a clear path to ad naus, dramatic scepter, or Yawgwin nonsense. Ideally we want to be be able to at worst hit our first two land drops and play some kind of ramp on turn 1. Now this could be as simple as an imperial seal/vampiric tutor/gamble for mana crypt or mystical tutor for dark ritual in addition to simply playing a dork/rock/carpet of flowers. If we are playing after breakfast hulk, the approach really doesnt change much in terms of turn 1 accelerants but we want a more interactive hand and since we are going slower manual storming with paradox engine or notion thief+wheel become more viable plan A's. Interestingly enough the approach to something like blood pod is similar. We either:

A) Win before Blood Pod's stax pieces shut off our primary win conditions or

B) Ramp early to ensure we can cast our answers to blood pod's threats when they come down.

As I have mentioned multiple times in this primer this deck is built to win off a main phase ad naus, which makes us a turn faster than it otherwise would be. You may be wondering what allows this deck to pull this off. The most important factors include:

1) An avg cmc of 1.67: This allows me to draw 25 to 30 cards if done early enough and with a fairly intact life total. You will generally want to stop around 5 life because its much easier to win if you still have access to cards like Vampiric Tutor and Gitaxian Probe.

2) Every playable ritual and net positive rock: Aside from the obvious cards, combo pieces such as Voltaic Key become net positive with either Mana Vault or Grim Monolith in play. Chain of Vapor acts as a powerful "ritual" allowing you to bounce up to 4 net positive rocks on turn 3 by sacraficing your lands.You can even bounce Carpet of Flowers and replay it to add its mana to our second main phase. Culling the Weak can be used to sacrafice Thrasios for a net gain of 1 mana if you cast him post ad naus but one drop dorks are preferable targets.

3) Numerous cards to end the game: The most obvious is engine. Get to 5 mana cast engine untap with a 0 mana spell and its gg since you will have tons of fuel necessary to sustain the deck indefinitely. However you are not guaranteed to draw engine. In those situations a number of cards become important. These include:

Gamble: With 25-30 cards in hand the downside becomes almost entirely negligable and this becomes a one mana Demonic Tutor.

Gitaxian Probe & Manamorphose: Can turn our topdeck tutors into one mana demonic tutors. Top in play is equally useful here.

Yawgmoth's Will+Lion's Eye Diamond: If you get to three with mana with both these cards in hand you will jump to a minimum of 6 mana of any color (but often way more) and you will have access to every card that was in your hand and your graveyard. LED alone lets us win with Dramatic scepter for just 2 mana.

Dramatic Reversal: If you have what you need to win, but lack the fuel, your best option is to tutor for this card if you do not already have it. It can sometimes mean the difference between 4 and 5 mana. Other times it will allow you to play every rock in your hand (including the net negative ones and then untap everything for 8 to 12 mana. Even outside its role as a combo piece, this card is simply incredible.

Merchant Scroll: tutors for dramatic reversal fairly quickly

Windfall: Why not draw a fresh 25 cards for 3 mana after playing all your net positive spells?

Winds of Change : why not draw a fresh 25 cards for 1 mana?

While I personally think sans white is where its at having two functional commanders in your deck along with bomberman may be more appealing to you. As such, I have two builds that may interest you.

The first is a brew by pawelkata that examplifies the traditional 4 color storm shell. This is a devoted ad naus deck with a ridiculous avg cmc of 1.49. It also has bomberman and angels grace/ad naus in addition to the lines offered by sans white. His playgroup has nicknamed this brew the "salt mine" for good reason.

The next alternative is a wide divergence from the storm gameplan. Paradox Scepter Bomberpod utilizes more creatures to make Tymna beats a reality also has a sick Birthing Pod line into bomberman. This deck has boatloads of turn 1 ramp and can attack opponents from many different angles. If Paradox Engine ever gets the ban hammer, this could be a possible alternative given how uninportant engine is to this brew, which is more of 2 card combo infinite mana deck. Please feel free to make this deck your own, just as pawelkata did with sans red storm.

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, LabManiac_Dan was kind enough to write a budget deck series about paradox storm.

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

Yeah this list is horribly outdated but I am tired so give me a day or two

TUTORS: Fabricate, 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 LabManiac_Dan, Frank_Glascock, LabManiac_Sigi, and BarbeChenue for helping me fine tune this list.

Comments View Archive

Frank_Glascock says... #1

This was a necessary evolution. I am glad all the discussion will be focused on one list with you leading.

May 26, 2017 9:44 p.m.

fatdroid13 says... #2

How's Astral Cornucopia working? Seems like you'd either be casting it for 0 to get storm up, or for 3 as a bad rock.

May 29, 2017 9:26 p.m.

mmcgeach says... #3

Heya. Nice to see the update. And I'm glad to hear that Baral was tested thoroughly. I tried it and it was marginal, but it is a tempting card. Good to get the verdict on it solidly one way or the other.

Also I have similar feelings about Sylvan Library: it seems really good but paying 8 life twice is too much life, basically. People send their dorks at you and you'd rather be using that life on an Ad Naus or a Necropotence, and it all kinda adds up. I feel like Sylvan Library is frequently basically a one-time draw-2.

I have to say, I'm sad to see Waste Not go. It was a pretty strong engine; I played a lot of games with early Waste Not, then set up a protected Wheel a few turns later. Also got a bunch of draws of someone else's necropotence when they drew ~15 cards then discarded a handful. It always felt like one of the strongest cards in the deck, but one that other people undervalued, or let sit until it became a problem.

May 30, 2017 11:03 a.m.

Frank_Glascock says... #4

Have you reconsidered cutting Gemstone Caverns for another basic?

May 30, 2017 9:23 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #5

fatdroid13: The card is suprisingly decent in this deck. We can often produce plenty of mana quickly so paying three for a rock that can tap for any color that can be used that turn cycle is usually worth it. I often play it for 0 early to Transmute Artifact it into something like Mana Crypt or as a way to activate Mox Opal turn 1. I don't usually care about the storm count as we almost always just go infinite. Where the card shines is that it serves as a free Dramatic Reversal after I play engine or as a massive color fixer for 6-9 mana after we have untapped a few times post engine and are drowning in spare colorless mana.

mmcgeach: Hey man good to hear from you! Your experience with Sylvan Library is pretty dead on with mine. I ultimately would rather just run something like lim duls vault that will easily win me the game the turn after I cast it than a draw engine that costs life I would rather spend on better cards.

I am a big fan of Waste Not, but it is too narrow for this particular list and feels bad if I dont have windfall or wheel of fortune handy. It does enable some really early victories, but not as consistently as other enablers available to us. With that being said I could see replacing a big money card like timetwister or inperial seal with waste not if budget is a barrier. It is incredible in my budget list that runs both whispering madness and jace's archivist, and in wheel heavy metas it becomes too good to pass up. Either way if you love it, by all means play it. It does offer some extremely fun and complex lines to victory.

Frank_Glascock: Not really. I know alot of people hate gemstome caverns, but I love its explosiveness. The only reason to go with more basics is nonbasic hate and that is a meta decision. I aim to make meta free decks, but if you feel the need for it, however, please dont hesitate to sub a swamp in as Gemstone Caverns is the right swap.

May 30, 2017 10:52 p.m.

Decrepit_Angel says... #6

I see quite a few updates to the list since I was here last and quite frankly, I do not understand them.

Llanowar Elves seems out of place in a 4 color deck primarily splashing R and G. Even at 2 mana, I feel that Bloom Tender would be better at least 90% of the time due to the fact it can actually make more relevant colors. I understand the Notion Thief, but I strongly feel that cutting Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip is a mistake. Also, what purpose does Winds of Change serve without Notion Thief in play? If Leovold, Emissary of Trest wasn't banned and you wanted to build the list more around resource denial to give you more time to set up, I could see it, but I just don't get it. Also, Dark Petition was abhorrent in testing for me. The most comon way that I lose with the deck is by hitting poorly off of an Ad Nauseam, resulting in me drawing too few cards from it and not having enough resources to win. Every single time I ever hit Dark Petition of of an Ad Nauseam or just had it in hand while trying to win, it was an entirely dead card, or directly caused me to lose.

I could definitely be wrong about the changes, and it is possible I have just had bad experiences with some of these cards and are therefore judging them unjustly, but without an explanation, these changes do not feel like the appropriate direction for the deck to evolve.

August 19, 2017 5:49 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #7

Decrepit_Angel: Thank you for the excellent questions/observations. Have no fear an updated primer is in the works that will explain these decisions and more.

Llanowar Elves is significantly better than Bloom Tender for a variety of reasons. The biggest is simply that bloom tender is a trap. Its one of those cards that is great in theory, but is often counterproductive in practice. Whenever I play Bloom Tender in any list I feel a strong urge to warp my gameplan around tapping for absurd amounts of mana, which is usually way slower than playing rocks and tutors. The other issues are also important. Turn 1 ramp is fantastic. Turn 2 ramp that cannot be used the turn you play it is bad. Also paradox storm has nowhere near enough colored symbols to support the card. If I were running Kess, leovold, and notion thief (along with several other solid colored permanents) it might be worth it, but 90% of the time it is strictly worse than a turn 1 dork. This deck has no trouble casting a dork on turn 1 and that essentially guarantees a turn 2 wheel or turn 3 ad naus.

Cutting Jace was sort of an accident. I remember now that I did it to see if I miss him and come to find out I forgot I had cut him so I guess he is not an essential card, merely a very good one. Jace can be phenomenal if you play him early enough, and I will likely find room for him, but he is significantly worse than my other 3 recursion spells.

Dark Petition is about 100 times better than Fabricate. At the end of the day I could no longer justify a really slow and limited tutor simply to save 2cc for Ad Naus. Petition is fantastic with necropotence, yawgwin lines, notion thief shenanighans, and dramatic scepter combo. It is only slightly worse for ad naus as it is something I would actually cast post ad naus (unlike fabricate). It also tutors for ad naus (unlike fabricate). So while I am kind of weakening the main phase ad naus, it makes every other aspect of my deck stronger. With creature based decks taking over cEDH (blood pod/hulkweaver/Raz decks) this is not a good time to be a dedicated ad naus deck. We need to be more adaptable. That is the reason for my changes.

With that being said, I hope you don't think I am abandoning main phase ad naus all together. In addition to making Notion Thief a 5 mana win condition, Winds of Change is absolutely one of the best cards to have in hand post ad naus. It allows us to play all net positive spells then draw a fresh 25-30 cards for . So while we occassionally draw less cards off ad naus we have the tech (between this and a number of other tricks I will explain soon) to still get there consistently without having to pass on really good cards at the top of our curve. With that being said, if you want to keep your curve low then do it! Its a hell of a lot of fun to draw 35-40 cards off ad naus after all. The updated primer will explain how to cater paradox storm to any meta and playstyle. I hope I answered your questions sufficiently.

August 20, 2017 9:29 p.m.

Frank_Glascock says... #8

The difference between you and Sigi's list is down to four cards if I counted right. If you had to add three of Baral, Chief of Compliance, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip, Delay, or Sylvan Library which three woild make it and what would be cut?

Was Dan's and Sigi's experience with Tainted Pact the tipping point or did you come to the same conclusion through experience? It seems like a more all in card which fits your style.

August 20, 2017 11:43 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #9

Frank_Glascock I like JVP the most by a fair margin. As for pact, its certainly good enough most of the time, but I agree that if I am not using it as an alt wincon it is sometimes too risky to justify. Merchant scroll gets me what I need without risk even if I cannot do it on my endstep. I still think if you aren't greedy it will work out wonderfully more often than not, but its hardly an essential card.

August 20, 2017 11:54 p.m.

Lilbrudder Thank you for the response and explanations. I have not encountered much in terms of the creature based cEDH decks so those changes make far more sense to me now. I'll try out the new changes and see if I end up agreeing with them after some testing. Also, I forgot to mention, I tried out Copy Artifact because I had one lying around. In the 15 or so times I have seen it, it has been absurdly good. It usually just copies a mana rock, but it does absurd things if you use it to copy an Aetherflux Reservoir if you are trying to storm off the "fair" way by just casting a bunch of spells. And a few days ago, I used it to copy an opponents Chromatic Lantern while there was a Blood Moon in play which actually allowed me to play that game. If you haven't already tried it, I would give it a shot.

August 21, 2017 3:16 a.m.

mmcgeach says... #11

Weird, Bloom Tender was basically a game-winner everytime I cast it. Tapping for 4 mana is just so good with paradox engine or thrasios, I can't imagine cutting it. Although, I like it better in the white version where you get more value out of playing Tymna, so having both generals in play is more common.

August 21, 2017 11:27 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #12

I love Bloom Tender in sans red, but sans white us a different beast altogether imo.

August 21, 2017 11:38 a.m.

So here is some hopefully useful data about my experience (25 or so games) with the updated list:

Notion Thief + Winds of Change/any other wheel effect: has been decent but fragile and I rarely ever want to tutor for one of these. Winds of Change in particular has been incredibly bad when I did not have the Notion Thief or if it was not cast post Ad Nauseam to mix up my hand. This is to be expected but I am still not sold on this card. For now, I will continue testing it to see if my opinion changes.

I still think this combo needs some more redundancy in case Notion Thief gets hit by removal or is taken by a Praetor's Grasp effect. If only Leovold, Emissary of Trest wasn't banned. The removal spell problem happens a lot considering this deck does not run a lot of relevant creatures to remove so I have noticed a lot of the time the rest of the table ends up "stockpiling" on creature removal. I can usually Force of Will my way through one or even two, but when there are 4+ removal spells that have been dead against our deck the whole game finally being useful again, it is hard to get this combo to work.

Tormod's Crypt: even with a bunch of graveyard decks floating around my meta, I have been incredibly disappointed by this. Although it is good as a free untap after a Paradox Engine, I would almost always prefer another source of acceleration or at least a card that cycles upon use. Relic of Progenitus is bad because it hits our own graveyard so I recommend Nihil Spellbomb. I feel the 1 extra mana is entirely justified because it can replace itself when it is not needed or to keep you up on resources if it is needed.

Llanowar Elves: I understand why turn 1 acceleration is important, but this card has been terrible for me in testing. Green mana is almost always irrelevant so it might as well just make colorless and mana dorks are mediocre on Paradox Engine lines because they are far more vulnerable to removal and cannot be used the turn I play them. If this was a more dedicated mana dork deck that could abuse Gaea's Cradle, I would like it far more, but I am not a fan. I would at least consider Candelabra of Tawnos as a potential replacement due to how good it is on Paradox Engine lines to just filter away the abyss of colorless mana we make into actually relevant mana. Candelabra of Tawnos can also help you fight through Back to Basics effects which are incredibly good against this deck (and have picked up in popularity since all of the 4 color flash+hulk decks took over).

Dark Petition: I finally actually had some good experience with this card and I do believe it is better than Fabricate. Although the 5cmc hurts on Ad Nauseam lines, the explosiveness of this card on Necropotence/Yawgmoth's Will lines is very good. Not a fan of it for Notion Thief/Wheel of Fortune lines considering the BBB is not particularly relevant but it is at least reasonable.

September 5, 2017 2:48 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #14

Decrepit_Angel: Thank you for the feedback. I will be the first one to admit that winds of change is a spice include. I have a love for powerful and cheap cards even if they aren't always useful in every situation (i.e. culling the weak).

As for redundancy of noton thief it does not exist, unless you mean waste not which is ok but different. Since Notion Thief+wheel is like plan C/D and all the wheels but winds are autoincludes for the deck anyways I don't feel the need to have backup to this "wincon."

I have to disagree with your assessment of llanowar elves. It has consistently been good for me but to each their own. If you do decide to cut it that is totally fine as its a flex spot, but candleabra of tawnos is a poor choice imo. Literally Anything that ramps would be better or you could just play more removal (i.e red elemental blast; into the roil)

I am suprised to hear your experience with tormod's crypt. Rarely is there a win condition with more utility than crypt. If you want a card that replaces itself that is fair however. The good news is that there are like 15 cards that work nearly as well or better based on meta.

September 5, 2017 4:36 p.m.

I am betting that I have quite a bit more stax and control decks in my meta and that is why I am getting such drastically different results for cards that should be better in practice than they are ending up for me. There is a lot of creature and land hate in my meta, hence why Candelabra of Tawnos seems better than a mana dork that is just going to die to a random removal spell before I get to do anything relevant with it. Also, Back to Basics and Winter Orb are annoying and Candelabra of Tawnos is really good against these.

I never meant to say that Tormod's Crypt is bad, just that when playing against multiple control decks, keeping my hand full or resources is far more important than having the spell cost one less. And as for the Notion Thief redundancy statement, it was more of just wishing that it existed than a requirement for the combo to work. If that is your plan C/D, I can understand it.

September 5, 2017 5:25 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #16

That is the impression I had as well. Im suprised Null Rod isn't an issue for you as that card is more damaging to our gameplan than land hate.

September 5, 2017 6:33 p.m.

It definitely is a problem, but a lot of the stax decks in my meta are artifact based decks so they do not run Null Rod/Stony Silence and also have trouble functioning through them. Although these cards are impossible for this deck to win through, they don't tend to stick around too long.

September 5, 2017 7:15 p.m.

mmcgeach says... #18

I can confirm that Candelabra of Tawnos is not good in this deck... although if I was sure I was going to play against Back to Basics and Winter Orb, then it gets pretty tempting. Also Winds of Change is not good. :P

September 7, 2017 10:45 a.m.

FrateIndovino says... #19

Was reading your really good primer. I'm new to storm decks and i couldn't figured out this statement: "If that win condition is exiled we can win via Timetwister loops with Windfall/Wheel of Fortune and Tormod's Crypt." Surely tormod offers a free storm count/untap (paradox), but could you explain me how do it generate a loop for the win? Also I can't realize this other win condition: "We also have some new tech (courtesy of Neunviertel). If we lose reserviour, we can win now with infinite swans by either timetwister looping Swan Song or imprinting it on scepter".

September 8, 2017 10:16 a.m.

FrateIndovino says... #20

  • how does it generate... Sorry for my poor english :)
September 8, 2017 10:20 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #21

FrateIndovino: Its a little convoluted so bear with me.

1) Produce infinite mana

2) Draw with Thrasios/Tutor until you get windfall/wheel of fortune, tormods crypt in hand. If you draw into timetwister make sure you have brainstorm to topdeck it.

3) play tormods crypt

4) cast windfall/wheel of fortune to make opponents discard hands

5) Nuke someone's graveyard with crypt

6) play timetwister to reset all libraries

7) draw into regrowth/noxious revival and bring twister back to hand or topdeck

8) Repeat steps 3-7 until each opponent has a sufficiently small library that a big windfall will kill them.

Most of the time though people will concede once you go infinite or demonstrate the loop once

September 8, 2017 11:37 a.m.

FrateIndovino says... #22

Lilbrudder Beautiful combo! Thanks for your explanation. I think I got the other two process. 1) Swan Song: counter one of my spell before reshuffle effect--> create a flyer, and 2) Deathrite Shaman: eat a creature in opponenet's gy between a wheel and a reshuffle. Does a switch between Timetwister and Time Spiral bring to the same combo? (With benefit for my wallet too). Although convoluted is better ;) Maybe the deck can run Walking Ballista and save some cards for more interactions or Ballista is a dead card out of the combo?+1 for me.

September 9, 2017 5:14 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #23

FrateIndovino: You got the other lines correct. Time spiral does not work, but Memory's Journey does. You would need something like Lightning Bolt and Regrowth to loop it. Walking Ballista is actually decent. Some versions of Dramatic scepter decks use ballista instead of reservoir.

September 10, 2017 12:20 a.m.

FrateIndovino says... #24

Lilbrudder Yes... Time Spiral exiles itself. The Memory's Journey's line seems a litte fragile.1) Produce infinite mana

2) Draw with Thrasios/Tutor until you get windfall/wheel of fortune, tormods crypt in hand. If you draw into timetwister make sure you have brainstorm to topdeck it.

3) play tormods crypt

4) cast windfall/wheel of fortune to make opponents discard hands

5) Nuke someone's graveyard with crypt

6) play Memory's Journey and put in your library A) a wheel effect a Crypt and another card or B) Bolt, regrowth and another card. Line A is impracticable, because you don't gain a reset, losing to draw. So Line B sounds like:

B1) bolt, regrowth, (an additional bolt for the first time)

B2) then Memory those two cards and another one.

B3) Draw and then regrowth for Memory's

B4) Repeat B1 and B2

This line seems so easy to disrupt. You have a limit number of counters in your hand, even with one recursion due to Memory's Journey. I don't think three opponents would be manageable.

September 10, 2017 7:17 a.m.

Lilbrudder says... #25

Nah bud. Memory's Journey works different.

1) Draw deck

2) Bolt opponent

3) memory's Journey bolt

4) Regrowth Journey

5) bolt opponent

6) Memory's journey bolt and regrowth

7) repeat until all are dead

Its actually less flimsy than timetwister loops as you keep a full grip throughout and your opponents don't draw any cards.

September 10, 2017 8:40 a.m.

FrateIndovino says... #26

Yes, sorry for my vagueness. I didn't mean that 6 as a consecutive step of the other route involving Twister/crypt/wheels, but as a new route. Two different lines and different card choices. A or B. Question to keep in mind, choosing route B, is the value of the single cards.Memory's journey is anti gy. Regrowth combos with Noxious Revival with Paradox on board. Lightning bolt is more a french card out of the combo.

September 11, 2017 6:24 a.m.

mmcgeach says... #27

Yo Lilbrudder, wanted to stop by and say, after I saw your change, I started playing Dark Petition in my (white) build and it'd been great. I dropped merchant scroll for it. I was resisting the change because lower total CMC is the best, right? But the yawgwill lines are just too good with another Demonic Tutor in the deck.

October 19, 2017 2:29 p.m.

Lilbrudder says... #28

mmcgeach Yeah this is the perfect deck for petition tbh. I have a few changes in mind after my third article comes out. Merchant scroll, grim tutor are among my possible cuts

October 25, 2017 9:37 p.m.

bchan says... #29

How come no Past in Flames?

You might cover it somewhere in the descriptions of the deck, but I missed it.

It sucks that it's on top of the mana curve, but it seems too good to not include.

October 28, 2017 12:29 p.m.

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