Paradoxical Outcome - Deckbuilding Primer

@moorebrother1 I wonder, has anyone tried Candelabra in the vintage version? Especially when playing Trinket Mage. Obviously super powerful with Academy, pretty good with Library in the early turns. Gives you a way to filter colorless into U when chaining.

@wfain In my early builds of PO, I used to play one Candelabra but it was never as good as I thought it was going to be. Trinket Mage is clutter in deck that just wants to draw cards and play broken stuff. I am working on an alternate version of PO that is not so dependent on tapping artifacts so I may try Candelabra again for a deck that plays similar to the old Academy deck but that style of deck is just not as good in today's meta-game.

If Fastbond ever gets unrestricted this may work since you ramp quickly in early turns and play things like Helm of Obedience but right now you are racing the Control and Aggro deck so the "play broken stuff" is very important.

last edited by moorebrother1

Anyone have any good links to articles about in game strategy? How to win through stony silence? Etc? I’m just getting into vintage and I feel like I can never tell when I should be doing anything (holding back ba going for it).

Also curious about how people feel about playing with Fragmentize vs just going naked for more gas.


When you are playing the deck, you need to pick a lane. The deck usually has 3 main win conditions in Mentor, Blightsteel Colossus, and sometimes Tendrils of Agony. The match ups against the deck will dictate how you play out the game.

I found that playing any combo deck against control requires 2 modes of play. You are either pushing into everything to exhaust them or you wait for a critical mass and beat them on the stack. If you are against Shop or Aggro you need have to race their tempo or disrupt it. If you are in a combo mirror you have to time it out very carefully.

I know these are very generic tips but there is no one size fits all with this deck. This deck is full of nuance that makes each hand different and difficult to play. I personally find that you must be very careful when you mulligan because losing any cards really hurts this deck.

When you commit to a strategy you need to fully commit. If you are going to race a deck you cannot take your foot off of the gas. If you are going for the battle on the stack you must read every card played on the stack and be very tactically about your goal.

I found at SCG Con I lost games where I lost my focus and changed my strategy. I had outs in my matches that I lost and I did not commit to those outs and I ended up losing winnable games.

The good thing about this deck is that you are rarely out of the game even against Stoney Silence and Energy Flux. Against Stoney Silence your Tolarian Academy is critical and you need have a mix of Fragmentize and Disenchant or a bounce spell. I personally played one Echoing Truth and one Fragmentize main deck.

Disenchant on the sideboard does cost one more and this is a big deal but it cannot be Mental Misstepped so it is a good card to use against decks that depend on Null Rod/Stoney Silence. The Echoing Truth helps a lot against multiples which players will stack against you.

There are always going to be hate cards you have to play through and every player that is trying to stop you will name some card that they will use to stop you. You must just commit to playing through and have a clear strategy to do so.

last edited by moorebrother1

Thank you very much for the detailed reply! As much as you say you can’t get too deep on the nuances, I found your broad descriptions of macro strategy very helpful.

I’m going to be playing my first paper event with the deck in a couple of weeks. I’ll try and take some good notes and report back after.

I have found 3-4 Cloud of Fairies to be a good card. It turns off Color Moxen into blue, is "free", and obv synergy with Academy. Helps a little vs Rod/Stony as Mana enabler. Can be a chump blocker in dire scenarios. Pitch to FoW. Get around Misstep.

last edited by Serracollector

@pnutbutrsangwich said in Paradoxical Outcome - Deckbuilding Primer:

Thank you very much for the detailed reply! As much as you say you can’t get too deep on the nuances, I found your broad descriptions of macro strategy very helpful.

I’m going to be playing my first paper event with the deck in a couple of weeks. I’ll try and take some good notes and report back after.

Oh no. Are you bringing this to an event in about a week? I am too - and I'm similarly new to the deck.

Anyone have any good play video of the deck? I'm still trying to figure out the ideal lines and watching always helps

@walked I am streaming all my challenges on twitch and loading the vods to youtube. The PO decks I stream are a little gimmicky but the lines are the similar. Maybe they will help you out.

I'll post my PO list here in a bit

Would never claim it's the best way to build the deck, but the goal was to make the most fun way.

One card I put in that I was surprised not to see in any other lists is Minamo, School at Water's Edge, ok I get it's more "wastelandable" than Island but it has one me games with it's interaction of academy & boseiju.

2 [EMA:232] Sensei's Divining Top
1 [ATQ:43] Candelabra of Tawnos
2 [JUD:37] Cunning Wish
2 [MM3:50] Snapcaster Mage
1 [C13:259] Sol Ring
1 [FUT:173] Tolaria West
1 [VMA:303] Library of Alexandria
1 [MM2:56] Repeal
1 [NPH:35] Gitaxian Probe
3 [MM2:223] Mox Opal
1 [8ED:91] Merchant Scroll
3 [UST:213] Island
1 [VMA:287] Time Vault
1 [AER:169] Paradox Engine
1 [CHK:279] Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 [VMA:2] Time Walk
1 [VMA:4] Black Lotus
1 [VMA:5] Mox Emerald
2 [M11:219] Voltaic Key
1 [VMA:6] Mox Jet
1 [VMA:7] Mox Pearl
1 [EMA:40] Brainstorm
1 [EMA:225] Mana Crypt
1 [VMA:8] Mox Ruby
1 [CHK:273] Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 [VMA:9] Mox Sapphire
1 [KTK:239] Polluted Delta
4 [SWS:34] Preordain
4 [C16:323] Seat of the Synod
1 [VMA:319] Tolarian Academy
4 [EMA:49] Force of Will
1 [VMA:1] Ancestral Recall
4 [MM2:64] Thoughtcast
3 [KLD:60] Paradoxical Outcome
1 [VMA:274] Mana Vault
1 [M10:68] Ponder
1 [ULG:126] Grim Monolith
1 [SOK:164] Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
SB: 1 [ZEN:57] Mindbreak Trap
SB: 1 [C15:108] Stroke of Genius
SB: 1 [C16:84] Chain of Vapor
SB: 1 [MM2:56] Repeal
SB: 2 [DKA:149] Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 3 [CMD:46] Flusterstorm
SB: 1 [KLD:60] Paradoxical Outcome
SB: 1 [EMA:240] Karakas
SB: 4 [10E:88] Hurkyl's Recall

There's a lot of fun interaction with the lands and Tolaria West is a pretty great non counterable way to get your academy or Boseiju,

(yes I know it's not the optimal tournament build, no tinker blightsteel/ no other colour) but it is a lot of fun and would be interested to see if any thing in it might ever do well at a tournament, mana base/ candleabra, paradox engine etc.

Who needs Tendrils when you have Stroke of Genius ! 🙂

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