IamActuallyLvl1 won a Challenge with a new take on Bazaar of Baghdad and Paradoxical Outcome that he's dubbed The Riddler. A playlist of his videos from his Vintage Challenge win have been far and away the best resource I can find on how to pilot this deck successfully against a wide array of opponents. They can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwuY9nacrqs&list=PLuKCwwybIAue5_unP7dMBm_dWFbazdA-D

In the week plus following, I've played both with and against the deck on Magic Online. The results have been... adequate. The best analogy I can muster is that it's a Two Card Monte variant, with two divergent strategies held together loosely by a common card. With Two Card Monte, it's either Leyline of the Void + Helm of Obedience or Painter's Servant + Grindstone, both held together by the explosive mana of Mishra's Workshop. For this deck, it's Bazaar of Baghdad + Hollow One or Moxen + Paradoxical Outcome, both held together by Ovalchase Daredevil.

There is also a school of thought that this duality is instead a pivot point. Unlike Two Card Monte, The Riddler can successfully sculpt its draws and choose which one of the paths it enjoys. This is more akin to traditional Paradoxical Outcome, where you're given the option to kill with Monstery Mentor or Bolas's Citadel in the same shell, but simply draw into the line of your choosing.

Now that this deck has had a week plus to marinate in the metagame, how do you feel about it? Is it Two Card Monte? Is it the best thing since sliced POs? Have you had utter success/failure with or against it?

P.S. This is discussion thread idea started as a subtweet to all the useless crap I've seen on here lately. Be the change you want to see, etc.

I have been waiting for someone to find a shell for Ovalchase Daredevil. It seems well to strong not to be a player in the format.

@80percentbuffoon I protest this thread on the grounds of deck name infringement!


Got this beat by 15 years, and any other name thieves by a good 5 years at least 😜

@thewhitedragon69 said in The Riddler:

@80percentbuffoon I protest this thread on the grounds of deck name infringement!


Got this beat by 15 years, and any other name thieves by a good 5 years at least 😜

Planting flags on deck names is almost as interesting as fantasy cards.

So this deck does actually look pretty neat. I like the riddlesmith/ovalchase interaction. I'm not entirely sure it's better than just straight up PO (4c or Jeskai or Esper). It seems that when the engine is assembled, it will just cycle through its deck and win...but then there are times where you are faced with divergent paths in the opener and it is clunky. I think traditional PO decks (or even those backed with lavinia/teferi) are more streamlined. I suppose this has the backup plan of hollow ones, but it doesn't seem that great as opposed to mentor or tinker/BSC as far as Plan Bs go. It's not going to out-aggro hollowvine decks, and I doubt it is going to out PO dedicated PO consistently. Maybe I'm wrong, but just watching a few vids shows me hands where you have multiple hollow ones and no way to discard or multiple riddle smiths and drawing not-moxen. It looks like a solid, fun deck...but it may run into some consistency issues like divergent-path decks tend to do.

Looking at these "Vintage challenges" it's kind of disheartening to see that the only acceptable decklists come from the 42-62 weekly lists (usually the same MTGO players) and that these challenges constitute the totality of Vintage awareness for the most part (there are rogue exceptions). Are the 80ish featured MTGO players really all there is to Vintage in the world now?

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I can see why the original deck might have been called "The Riddler". It played 4 Illusionary Mask. The art on Illusionary Mask can definitely give a Riddler kind of vibe, however, upon verification it doesn't seem that The Riddler actually wore that much of a mask. So maybe The Riddler was a reference to the actual game play? Like "guess what this face-down creature is! Is it Phyrexian Dreadnaught or is it something else?"

With regards to this new Riddler, I'm assuming the title is again referencing the gameplay. In this case, the opponent doesn't know whether to expect Paradoxical Outcome or Hollow One. Very clever! Maybe there is something else. A decklist would help to better understand this choice of name.

Given that significant time has passed since the original Riddler, I'd say that Justin has a reasonable claim to the name for his deck.

I don't play on Magic Online anymore so I don't have any strong opinion about the deck in the MTGO metagame. How do you feel about it @80PercentBuffoon ? Just adequate? A real deck with staying power? Will people lose interest? Is it fun? A decklist would be good so then we can see what kind of counterspells or disruption it plays if any.

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@desolutionist said in The Riddler:

With regards to this new Riddler, I'm assuming the title is again referencing the gameplay.

i think the 4 copies of Riddlesmith might have something to do with it
the decklist is on screen in the start of the video

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@desolutionist @desolutionist Re: Original Riddler - the deck name was a nod to the game play. Face-down had the whole "what am I?" factor. Sometimes it was drednaught, sometimes it was welder (original '04 version)...sometimes it was a drednaught I payed 4 to play with mask so the opp would think they could profitably block a "juggernaut" with their 3/X. Being able to sneak in 1cmc bombs through trinisphere or chalice @1 and being uncounterable was fantastic. Then WotC killed mask's ability, and the whole strategy died. End of an era.

Re: New Riddler - the name seems to be a nod to Riddlesmith, which is a key card in the deck. It uses ovalchase as the card to discard to riddlesmith so that every moxen you cast is a straight-up cantrip. Really good with PO. It also activates the mana reduction on hollow one (which cantrips itself on riddlesmith). The deck appears to be fun and has divergent, but somewhat synergistic lines. The issue comes when you draw multiple ovalchase when you want gas and have no bazaar or riddlesmith...or bazaar and riddlesmith when you have a single moxen and no PO or hollow one. You'll dig into what you need eventually, but should be dead by turn 3 if you haven't won by turn 3.

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I'd like to see the decklist if anyone is willing to type it up. I cannot watch the video for personal reasons.

@desolutionist said in The Riddler:

I'd like to see the decklist if anyone is willing to type it up. I cannot watch the video for personal reasons.


@desolutionist @Ten-Ten

looks like:
4 bazaar
1 academy
3 blue fetch
3 underground sea
2 island
8 SoLoMoxCrypt
3 mox opal
1 sensei's divining top
1 expedition map
1 manifold key
1 mana vault
1 ancestral recall
1 gitaxian probe
4 riddlesmith
1 time walk
1 demonic tutor
1 time vault
1 merchant scroll
1 tinker
1 yawgmoth's will
4 PO
4 ovalchase daredevil
4 force of will
4 hollow one
1 treasure cruise
1 citadel
2 repeal

2 tabernacle
4 surgical extraction
fatal push
4 hurkyl's recall
mindbreak trap

Didn't @chubbyrain1 invent this deck when riddlesmith came out?


Riddlesmith came out a long time ago. 10 years ago. Before Vintage was on MTGO. I remember testing with the card on MWS.

But Matt definitely has used him a bunch of times over the last few years in online events. I don’t think he used Hollow One or any other aggressive, “madness”, elements.

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Chubby's riddlesmith list from last year didn't play any POs and was based around echo of eons + riddlesmith as an engine. Wheels were a lot better when Narset was unrestricted. Here's a list he played in a challenge.

Good gosh it’s like Dredge Outcome. Just all the card advantage.

I wonder if a Candelabra of Tawnos is good in this list, or just win more? Being able to untap Bazaars, and Academy, bounce with PO, and repeat the process seems very very strong, especially if your return those Daredevils each time to chuck back with multiple bazaar activations.

@vaughnbros said in The Riddler:

Good gosh it’s like Dredge Outcome. Just all the card advantage.

My two favorite decks in one!

Adding Saheeli, Sublime Artificer to "The Riddler"


I believe "The Riddler" can benefit from adding one to two copies of Seheeli, Sublime Artificer for the following reasons:

  1. After playing the deck, I found that the deck did not have a sufficient amount of creatures required to win the game in the vintage format when paired up with other agro decks. I looked at similar decks that do well with casting numerous spells in a turn and I found that Monastery Mentor worked well with Paradoxical Outcome decks as a win condition of overwhelming an opponent with Monk tokens. Though having Monastery Mentor in this deck would look good, I feel that the deck would not consistently produce enough white mana needed to cast Mentor even if additional white sources were added. Also splashing in white mana for just Mentor may not be a good idea. Adding Seheeli, Sublime Artificer to the deck would not take any alterations of mana sources. After testing this deck with Seheeli in it, I found that I had generated sufficient Servo tokens to win games against agro-heavy vintage decks.

  2. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer's activated ability in combination with Time Vault is of great advantage. You can turn another artifact you control into an untapped copy of Time Vault and gain an extra turn with it. You can do this twice with a new Saheeli and you can even gain more than two additional turns by bouncing Saheeli with Paradoxical Outcome and replaying her. A couple of extra turns should be enough to win the game with this deck.

  3. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer's activated and triggered ability in combination with Bolas's Citadel is an alternative win condition. Saheeli can generate a large amount of Servo tokens in this deck that can be sacrificed to Bolas's Citadel to make the opponent loose ten life. To make the opponent loose an additional ten life to win the game, use Saheeli's activated ability to copy Bolas's Citadel and use it's activated ability. There usually is enough leftover Servo tokens and other permanents available to sacrifice to the Citadel copy.

  4. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer can be exiled to Force of will if you choose to do so.

  5. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer can also be used to copy Hollow One on something like a Mox if needed or copy Blightsteel Colossus.

I believe that only one or two copies of Saheeli are needed since the deck has a massive amount of card draw.

Any feedback is welcome.

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