Paradoxical Oath (4-0 MTGO Daily Tournament Report)

I went 4-0 on MTGO daily last night with a Paradoxical Outcome brew that I had never tested before, using Oath, which I had never played before, even in practice games. I give credit to @Soly whose bluntness on the PO thread, even though I usually find it repulsive, helped me to see that Oath is just clearly (well, pretty clearly) where the deck wants to be over Wishes which I had been touting, even with success. Thanks, Soly.

That said, this list is not perfect; it hedges a lot between Outcome/artifact goodness, and avoiding vulnerability to Null Rod. Notes included below, then report.

2 Misty Rainforest – I had advocated for Glimmervoids (+Orchard maybe), but Brainstorm/Top issues plus not committing a Wastelandable land is pretty strong too. I think Fetches are correct.
2 Polluted Delta
2 Underground Sea
1 Tropical Island
1 Tundra
1 Seat of the Synod – good card, but this deck is sporting 4 colors, and if my Repeal is going to get rid of maindeck Rods, I can’t afford too many.
1 Tolarian Academy – no Minamo which is generally win-more, and bad in a 4-color deck
1 Expedition Map

Fast Mana
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Chrome Mox – again, hedging
3 Mox Opal – more hedging, but 3 is a solid number here
1 Lotus Petal – weak, but not terrible, great with Balance
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Vault
1 Grim Monolith – debatable, but 1 seemed right all night (note, 3 Keys)

1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm – cuttable in some P.O. versions, but with Oath, no way
2 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Vampiric Tutor – powerful, esp. since deck is playing 2-3 different game plans (storm, oath, combo)
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll – I prefer Demonic, despite so little black, but this is very solid
1 Snapcaster Mage – sideboarded out for Oath games
1 Timetwister – I saw someone cut this in their list – inexplicable to me
1 Tinker – a way to help the combo g.1/colossus g.2
1 Thoughtcast – hedging vs. Thirst – 2-2 split would be my starting point from now on, but none of the 4 slots are guaranteed (one could easily be Jar, for example)
3 Thirst for Knowledge
4 Paradoxical Outcome – more of a support card than a main feature (Tezz), but a darn good one

1 Time Walk
1 Time Vault
3 Voltaic Key – the SDT combo is of course strong
2 Tezzeret the Seeker - the #1 all-star tonight by a mile
1 Brain Freeze – possibly a wrong call; it was way better in the Wish builds

4 Force of Will – sided out vs. Dredge and even blue mirror (some copies)
2 Flusterstorm – I suspect 1 main plus one in the board is the right number until more storm/big blue shows up
1 Repeal – a catch-all
1 Balance

Sideboard – Oath package
4 Oath of Druids – coming in only for the Thorn/Rod/Dredge decks
1 Blazing Archon – conceptually an all-star for fighting off Eldrazi/Dredge
1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind - almost certainly should be Elesh Norn or a 2nd Blazing Archon
1 Blightsteel Colossus – I had the pleasure of hardcasting this vs. Rich Shay’s Stax deck
1 Forbidden Orchard – importantly, tutorable by the black tutors and Map

Sideboard - Other
1 Nature's Claim
1 Chain of Vapor – might be better than Repeal in the main
1 Tormod's Crypt – tutor luxury
1 Rest in Peace – same
1 Flusterstorm
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Hurkyl's Recall – very good vs. Stax against which the Oath plan is suspicious with only one Orchard

Rd. 1 – vs. @IslandSwamp playing Pitch Dredge Depths (2-1, 1-0)

G.1 – I conceded pretty quickly when he had a fast start, with Therapy wrecking my hand.

I brought in RIP, Crypt, Chain (for Marit Lage), and the Oath package minus Colossus. I sided out all 6 counters, Synod, Mage, and a Tezzeret.

G.2 – We both kept 7s, mine being Sea, Ruby, Scroll, Demonic, Thirst, RIP, Time Vault. I Tutored for Lotus, and cracked it for RIP, buying me at least three turns if no Force; resolved. I drew Ancestral into Mox, Mox, Brainstorm, and Thirsted into Outcome, Thoughtcast (bye Mana Vault). Meanwhile, he would assemble turns 1-3 lands of Depths, Urborg, Stage. On my t.3, first, however, I did Outcome for 4 (costing only one mana), and assembled Vault-Key for the win. Except, since I’d never played with it before, I accidentally skipped my turn before closing the deal one turn later, getting Tezz for the win in about 2-3 extra turns.

G.3 – We also kept 7s, mine being Lotus, Delta, Orchard, Oath, Demonic, Brainstorm, Sphinx, drawing into Petal. He had Bazaar this time. I Tutored for a t.1 RIP, and ran it into a FoW. Fortunately, double Therapy in his yard but no Narcs. I Oathed (Orchard), this time he got the Narcs, but I brainstormed into land Archon, dumping the creatures with Archon on top. Archon held off everyone, he failed to assemble Marit Lage but I’m not sure what he would have done if he had as I could deck him or get Repeal or just combo off. It took several turns, but Archon got there by himself.

Round 2 vs. @The Atog Lord playing Stax (which I had seen in his stream the previous night with a nice 4-0 finish) (2-1, 2-0)

G.1 – We kept 7s, mine being a great: Synod, Jet, Time Vault, Tezz, Demonic, FoW + Snappy (blue card). I countered his t.1 Trinisphere, drew Ruby, and played out Vault over Tutoring for Key since Revoker, if he had it was less important naming Vault, and otherwise keeping Tutor for who knows what. Crucible-Bazaar from him immediately lost to my Sol Ring draw into Vault/Key combo.

I brought in Chain, Claim, Recall, RIP, Orchard, and Blightsteel (Tinker). I sided out 2 Flusterstorm, 1 Tezz, Repeal, Brain Freeze, and Balance. I should have probably kept in Balance on the play g.3.

G.2 – I mulled a spicy one-lander (no artifacts), and kept a dubious Tropical, Key, Mana Vault, 2 black Tutor, Force. No blue card and dead to Rod or Trinisphere. I played the Delta I drew (he had played Thorn) and passed. He played t.2 Rod, and I scooped soon thereafter.

G.3 – Again I mulled a one-land, no artifact hand. We both kept 6s. I kept a sketchy hand of 3 lands, Recall, 2 Paradoxical Outcome, putting Lotus on bottom. I played Delta; he played Thorn. I played the Map I drew. He neutered it with Revoker (right call?) and Wasted something. Like a champ, I drew Mana Crypt, and played it and a 3rd land. With 5 mana, he could only muster a Bridge. Like a champ, I drew a Sapphire, and EOT cast Hurkyl’s on his board. I drew Key like a champ, and now had a very good double-Paradoxical turn. First, a free Paradoxical for 4, then for 7 (counting the Top-trick), then I got 9 artifacts into play, let Map find Academy, and hardcast Blightsteel with Lotus still left untapped, and Force-Blue card in hand, for the Bridge he replayed. He still managed a Revoker, which combined with an Orchard token, bought him one turn on the double block. I had kept Vampiric on top, drew it and passed after the initial attack. This time he found a Metamorph, after having Wasted my Academy first main phase. Nevertheless, I just Vamped for Force of Will, with plenty of mana to hardcast it after drawing it off Top.

Round 3 vs. Anselan playing White Eldrazi (2-1, 3-0)

G.1 – I had a good hand on the play, keeping Academy, Opal, 2 Keys, Pearl, Force, Tezz. He kept. I played Pearl, Key, Opal, Key, keeping Academy back in case he had a Wasteland. He Revokered my Keys off a land-mox (saving him from t.2 combo). I drew Ruby like a champ, played Tezz into Divining Top, looking for gas. I found Ancestral, Monolith, Brainstorm; used top to get Ancestral, and replayed Top, now with FoW fodder in hand for shenanigans. He wasted my Academy and got out a 2nd Revoker. I forced it since I needed to play the Top game. Tezz went down to 1. Top found Time Walk and Timetwister, which allowed me to get Tezz up to 2 and draw 7 new cards with Monolith also in play. I drew: 2 lands, Brain Freeze, Flusterstorm, Ring, 2nd Tezz, and Paradoxical with 3 mana. That equals draw 8 more cards. I could have easily Brain Freezed his entire library, but used Tezzeret/Time Vault instead.

I brought in the entire Oath package, Chain, and Claim. I sided out Snapcaster, 2 Flusterstorm, Map, Vampiric, 1 Tezz, Brain Freeze, and 2 Thirsts, leaving me a little light on blue cards.

G.2 – We both kept 7s, but mine was pretty bad. It had Oath, Force, Thirst, Thoughtcast, Key, and 2 Opals. He played Cage t.1, which struck me as very odd, but worked well of course. I let it resolve, but did pitch Force to stop Chalice. I played a Sea and Key, but he had Thorn and Waste. I sputtered and he played Priest (how did he know I was Oath? or was he lucky?), TKS took a balance I had drawn but couldn’t cast, and I lost quickly.

G.3 – We kept 7s, and I had a hand of Sea, Academy, Petal, Mana Vault, Key, Force, Chain. I played out Sea, Vault, Petal, Key, untapping Vault. I let his Thorn resolve. I drew Orchard, and played it, keeping Academy safe in hand. I let his Cage resolve t.2, and his Thalia came in under Cavern. I drew Timetwister like a champ, and used the Chain on Thalia before Twisting. I drew Tundra, Synod, Opal, Mox, Demonic, Chain (again), and Tezz, simply passing with the intent to play Chain on Thorn EOT. He played 2nd Cavern into TKS. I thought Chain was the most critical card, so I played it on Thorn in response, he sacked a land returning Key. He had an untapped Mox, but apparently no other Moxen in hand so, I had a forced win, no matter what he took. He took Key, but I just dumped Synod, Opal, Emerald, played Demonic for Time Vault, played Vault, tapped Academy for 5, played Tezz, untapping both Vaults for the win.

Round 4 vs. i_b_TRUE playing Gush Delver (2-0, 4-0)

G.1 I basically won first turn. I kept Ruby, Sapphire, Vault, Top, Monolith, Ancestral, Paradoxical. Vault even got Misstepped, but Ancestral found Delta, Tezz, Lotus. I dumped the rest, with Paradoxical for 4, plus Top bonus, which was Scroll, Thirst, Tinker, Mana Crypt, and Petal. I used Top to get Key, and had enough mana for the t.1 Tezz which I +1’ed, leaving up Thirst mana and threatening lethal on the ultimate. I probably should have played Scroll into Brain Freeze instead for a lethal storm count of 18, but oh well. He putzed, and we sideboarded.

I sided out Tinker (card disadvantage), a Force, and a Tropical. I brought in Claim, Flusterstorm, and Mindbreak Trap.

G.2 – We both kept 7s, mine being: Academy, Synod, Tundra, Opal, Flusterstorm, Scroll, and Tezz. He Probed me, then played Lotus into Preordain, Brainstorm, Pyromancer. My Top got Misstepped and my Synod got Chewed on his turn. I drew Freeze and Demonic, but no way to cast them with Opal being my lone artifact. Scroll got Forced, it looked loose, but that allowed him to get enough yard to Cruise, still with a lone Volcanic. A 2nd followed, then Delver, and I went down to 10. I resolved a Key, and passed. He attacked me down to 4, cast Gush, and I Flustered it. He could have paid for it, but decided to replay a land and cast Dack, stealing my Key. Now happens my favorite play of the night. I have only Academy with one useless Opal and a Tundra in play. I only have Tezz, Brain Freeze and Demonic in hand. I only have 4 life and he has Dack, Pyromancer, Delver, and 4 Elemental tokens. I draw Mana Vault like a champ and somehow wiggle out! Vault resolves, giving me 5 mana. I cast Tezz and use his search ability for Black Lotus. Finally, that’s my 3rd artifact so Opal is now live, which I tap for White. I then sac lotus for BBB, and use Tutor to find Balance, casting it to reset the board with dueling Planeswalkers. His Dack finds baby Jace, but my Tezz trumps it with the Time Vault I find next turn for the game.

I hope you all enjoyed the report! BoB

last edited by BazaarOfBaghdad

What's your verdict on the oath package? To me it seems kind of strange that you dedicate 8 cards to the oath package, and do not bring it in vs stax, i understand that it's because the lack of orchards but still, that's a lot of sb-space.
If i read correctly, it seems like you only oathed once during the daily. I wonder if those 8 sideboard slots would have been better as something else?

Excellent questions, and I feel amiss for not having answered them initially in some conclusory manner at the end. Thanks for calling me out on this.

  • Colossus and the Orchard did come in in various matchups even if the full Oath package did not.

  • I consider Stax not to be worth metagaming for. Quite a good deck, but I'm probably more likely to see Ravager Shops and/or White Eldrazi on an order of 5:1. Stax is just about the only Thorn deck without its own creatures making it unique. Not bringing in an Oath package (needing to keep an Orchard alive) does not invalidate the Oath package.

  • I felt Oath was unnecessary in the blue decks as i felt like a huge favorite in those already with the fast mana and a long litany of backbreaking card draw spells. Just answer any spare rods that show up.

  • In the Eldrazi game I felt very unlucky that he brought in Cage, and maybe Priest g.2. Maybe options were limited but tinker into Time Vault makes that plan look silly, and I don't know how he could have known I was playing Oath. Of course, surprise factor is highly diminished now, but it's still a plan vs. creature decks that are pressuring my life total and crimping my mana sources.

  • To be a bit redundant, my other possible plan for these decks is to bring in sufficient quantity of creature and artifact/enchant removal kill. But that's hoping to have the right answer at the right time, or just to get lucky. The feeling of being proactive with Oath and to keep them guessing instead is quite serene. To answer your question in three words: it felt right.

Have you considered Monastery Mentor in place of Brainfreeze? One Paradoxal Outcome should give you a wall of blockers, a second one should be fatal. This gives you a win con vs Rod/Thorn as well as a defensive condition vs dudes.dec

@Serracollector Had I considered it? Not really, as I said, I kind of threw this together and it was totally unpracticed or planned. That said, I can appreciate some of the benefits and losses.

The benefits:

  • A different kind of win con, that needs a different kind of answer, really stressing their interaction points

  • Isn't embarrassed by Emrakul, unlike Freeze (although something else may be better than either

The losses:

  • not findable by Scroll

  • demands to be played towards the beginning of the sequence instead of the end

  • one extra mana, and WHITE mana, and our fast mana usually comes down ASAP, so fewer bonuses

  • turns on their maindeck Swords

All things considered, I think it is wrong for an Oath build, but would probably be good as an alternative to Oath as a sideboard package if Oath is deemed to be insufficient. Despite the title, I'm not married to Oath.

@BazaarOfBaghdad said:


I would have blocked the thing and you would have ran out of time, that's what I would have done with Marit lage. I had ten minutes on my clock, you had two. I also was one mana short from just casting a Stinkweed imp to block the Blazing Archon.

Unfortunately my draws were godawful, so I didn't get what I needed. Good job on winning the event.

@Islandswamp I was aware of that, but I realized it was not going to be too hard to F6 for 15 or so turns real fast until you decked yourself, should you find a blocker. So I wasn't really worried. Thanks for the good wishes.

@BazaarOfBaghdad said:

@Islandswamp I was aware of that, but I realized it was not going to be too hard to F6 for 15 or so turns real fast until you decked yourself, should you find a blocker. So I wasn't really worried. Thanks for the good wishes.

You're very welcome.

Playing Mentor G1 also gives a lot less chance of ur opponent thinkn Oath g2.


To Quote "even though I usually find it repulsive".

Way to put a personal attack into it even though I gave you a list that doesn't auto-lose to the permanent-based decks in the format. You may not like my blunt attitude, but I usually know what the fuck I'm talking about, more than most randoms at least.

@Soly said:


To Quote "even though I usually find it repulsive".

Way to put a personal attack into it even though I gave you a list that doesn't auto-lose to the permanent-based decks in the format. You may not like my blunt attitude, but I usually know what the fuck I'm talking about, more than most randoms at least.

Q.E.D., Also, what list?

(Edit: To expand, you were not the first to suggest Oath, but it was only your bluntness that impressed upon me the idea may be worth pursuing to the point of scratching out a list. Thus, that is why I chose to give you some credit.)

last edited by BazaarOfBaghdad

Might sound dumb, but how is 4 Oath and X orchard any different than running X number of disenchants/swords that also answer all Spheres/Dudes?

@Serracollector said:

Might sound dumb, but how is 4 Oath and X orchard any different than running X number of disenchants/swords that also answer all Spheres/Dudes?

You can play Oath proactively vs. the creature decks (and maybe the Gush decks but you might want a bigger Orchard complement). Disenchants could be dead draws vs. a creature rush or simply a timely TKS, or their Rods may tie down your mana sources for Disenchants (you can play around that by not tapping out, but that is unnecessarily hamstringing yourself). Having Sword when you want Disenchant and vice versa can be awkward. Neither, unlike Oath, helps the Dredge matchup.

The truism usually holds here: it's better to be asking the right questions than holding the wrong answers.

@Serracollector said:

Playing Mentor G1 also gives a lot less chance of ur opponent thinkn Oath g2.

Also, playing Mentor is 20 damage or bust, as 19 won't cut it, as it is otherwise inconsistent with a combo or Freeze-based storm plan.

You dont have to combo out all in one turn tho. Even one outcome with 4 mana rocks is at LEAST 5 new tokens they have to answer in one turn.

@Serracollector said:

You dont have to combo out all in one turn tho. Even one outcome with 4 mana rocks is at LEAST 5 new tokens they have to answer in one turn.

A couple of problems here: (1) if I have PO and Mentor in hand, I'm going to want to start with PO over waiting a turn, unless I happen to have WU5 available; (2) sounds win-more; (3) if the team gets swept off with opponent at 1 life, this was a huge waste.

last edited by BazaarOfBaghdad

All fair points. I just know if I was running white in a PO deck, with access to 3 mana turn 1/2 a fair amount of the time I would be running Mentor maindeck in some numbers. It honestly seems "better" than Tinker.

@Serracollector said:

...maindeck in some numbers. It honestly seems "better" than Tinker.

For the purposes of our conversation above, we had been discussing about a replacement of ONE copy over Brain Freeze. The analysis changes if you start committing more resources to the Mentor plan. If that's what you had meant, you should have stated such.

Tinker is nice with the combo and sideborad Oath targets. Tinker is one of the best replies to the Rod decks, as for three mana, you can get in a game0winning monster that is not answered by Rod itself.

last edited by BazaarOfBaghdad

True true. Sorry. Im just thinking even as a one of, the surprise value and raw power of the card will win a plethora of games.

My list is pretty similar main but I'm running Mentor side and not the oath plan for the games where the opponent sides out all of their removal. I'm also playing Yawg Will over Timetwister and I've been loving it so far.

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