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 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
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
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 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