Who doesn’t love an absurd combo deck? I, for one, am a big fan, and this Paradox Engine deck is big mana, big game, and big fun…
The deck comes courtesy of Stephen Boggemes (cousin of Kyle Boggemes), whose rogue deck building skills (as you will soon see!) are pretty darn epic. Stephen has been tuning the deck since the release of Aether Revolt when the flagship card, Paradox Engine, was first printed.
Gentlemen, start your engines!
He’s played the deck in some local events and had some consistent finishes, which says a lot for a completely buns-wild combo deck!
Go Big or Go Home, Kid
Let’s get straight to the list because this one is going to take a lot of explaining:
Paradox Engine Combo
Well, now that you’ve gotten a chance to look over the list, everything is pretty self-explanatory, right?
When Stephen showed me the deck, I was lost while he was explaining how it worked. At one point, I said: “Can we just goldfish some games? Because I don’t get it…”
The easy explanation is that the deck has a ton of artifact mana sources, tutors for Paradox Engine, and then draws the entire deck and does whatever it wants. How the pieces work together to achieve this truly awesome endgame is a little more complicated.
So many charge counters—a deck where your phone battery never goes dead!
Aside from the Engine, Everflowing Chalice and Astral Cornucopia are the glue that holds this deck together. There are a myriad of ways to add a sickening number of charge counters to these powerful artifacts in order to generate absurd amounts of mana. The mana production of this deck makes Tron look like Manaless Dredge.
More counters than Mono-Blue Draw Go!
To be perfectly honest, I barely even remembered what Coretapper or Surge Node even did. The short story is that they add a lot of mana to these mana rocks. The interaction between Paradox Engine, Surge Node, and Everflowing Chalice is pretty sweet since you can keep untapping both and pump the Chalice multiple times in the same turn.
The deck also has great redundancy at achieving the “combo” of Paradox Engine and a ton of mana.
We want the world and we want it NOW!!!
The deck basically does two things really, really effectively—generate mana and draw cards. You dump a ton of mana into play and then dig or tutor for Paradox Engine to start going off.
For whom the bell tolls…
Temple Bell is basically game over once you have Engine in play, since it continues to untap and draw an additional spell (alongside your mana) whenever you cast a spell. It’s easy to draw your entire deck and generate copious amounts of mana. Once the deck is “doing its thing,” the game is essentially over—it feels like dividing by zero.
Return to Spiderskull Island…
So once you have Paradox Engine you can cast Batterskull, bounce it, and replay it to generate infinite mana (like Palinchron + High Tide combo), which is grand. It is also worth noting that Batterskull is just a turn-3 play against aggressive decks, which can be difficult for them to beat.
These are the typical ways in which the deck actually wins. Once you “go off” you can just cast an infinitely large Ballista and machine gun the opponent. Or, you can play Reservoir and go HAM. It is important to note that Reservoir tracks the number of spells that have already been played, and so you need to keep track of that on a turn when you can potentially go off. The life gain from Reservoir is also a pretty great way to stay above water against some beatdown decks.
An encroaching waste of space in this deck?
The first thing I noted when I was looking at the deck was “these can’t possibly be correct.”
But the first game I played against Stephen, on turn 3 he Encroaching Wasted my lands on turn 3 and 4 on the play and it seems pretty gross… as is the case with any good big mana deck—the key is to leverage mana. There could easily be better lands for the list, but the Wastes are pretty solid.
The sideboard is geared toward beating specific hate cards, specifically Stony Silence.
ELO sums it up pretty well, “I turn to stone.”
The deck is basically all activated abilities of artifacts, and you cannot do jack when the enchantment is in play. There are a lot of cards that specifically deal with Stony.
You have to have answers to this card.
Going off the grid.
Counterspells are also a problem. The general premise is lots of mana and a few key haymakers. Defense Grid makes it problematic for an opponent to interact with you on your turn, which is basically the only time you do anything. I could actually see more Grids in this sideboard moving forward.
Like a bridge over troubled water.
With quad Inventors’ Fair and Stirrings, it’s pretty easy to find this card when you need it. You also have Academy Ruins to buy it back in a pinch. It’s just a solid card against attacking strategies.
Board into a Tron deck!
You also have the option to just board into a ramp deck that casts threats after sideboard, which is a good way circumvent Slaughter Games.
It’s unlikely that people will have Path to Exile post-sideboard, and they may struggle to beat these resolved threats. It’s also possible to just reset the game and start over in a pinch.
It has been a while since I’ve piloted a deck like this and I’m pretty down to turn this into a pet project. It reminds me a lot of the Steel City Vault deck that I like to play in Vintage: Make a ton of mana, draw a ton of cards, and go arbitrarily huge!
I mean, who doesn’t like to make infinite mana and draw every card in their deck? I sure do!