Paradox Engine Combo in Standard

I’ve got Paradox Engine on the brain now. I really enjoyed playing the brew in last week’s video, and I was ecstatic when my friend Jon Johnson shipped me an exciting Standard combo deck to try out! I love exploring these wild combo brews because they are so fun to play with and work on.

The deck is like a cross between Elves and Paradox Engine—which is pretty sick to be sure—and there is something unrefined and busted at play in the list:

Standard Paradox Engine Combo

Jon Johnson

At the heart of this deck we have a mono-green combo list that is fueled by Paradox Engine shenanigans. Mana! Mana! MANA!

You all know the drill—you play spells and untap nonland permanents that make mana and go crazy. Then you do it again. And, again. AND AGAIN!

The deck has lots of mana creatures to get the party started…

Cryptolith Rite turns all of the warm bodies into Birds of Paradise, which fuels the combo kill. The other cards are bit players, but Servant does some cute work here by going infinite with Greenbelt Rampager.

Assuming you can get to zero energy in your cache, you can cast the Rampager for an energy and bounce it back to your hand and tap the Servant for a G to recast the Rampager. Assuming you have any other way to net a mana in play—BOOM! Infinite manas.

The deck also has Duskwatch Recruiter, Vizier of the Menagerie, and Lifecrafter’s Bestiary to continue to gas up into spells once you get your Engine rolling…

Vizier plus Duskwatch is a cute combo that allows you to draw through your deck (since if there is a land on top you can see a new 3 with Duskwatch Recruiter). Rinse and repeat. Recruiting and Viziering from the top… feeling the flow… doing the bull dance… all good things.

The cool thing is that once the cogs start turning you will eventually loop into infinite mana with Servant. Even if you don’t start combo’ing with a Servant in play, you will eventually cantrip into your 1 copy of Reckless Bushwhacker to give all of your creatures haste to get to the endgame.

Once you are infinite on mana, you can usually win with an army of haste creatures, but assuming that you can’t, you have the option to Duskwatch into your Walking Ballista and ping your opponent to death with it.

Sometimes it’s tough to get to 88 MPH and you just need to put some mad scientist fuel into the Engine’s burner to make it go really, really fast… we’re on Amonkhet and they haven’t invented a Mr. Fusion machine yet. Kind of surprised Kaladesh didn’t invent it either, but whatever.

Commit // Memory is a pretty decent counterspell/bounce spell on the front side but comes back as a Timetwister, which is absurd. It’s cool that it counts as two spells for the purposes of netting some mana, and then fully gasses up your hand.

Note that you can use your Walking Ballista as a Dark Ritual to start going off and then Memory (Timetwister) it back into your deck later to win with. Kind of a cool interaction that came up.


The sideboard (like the deck) is kind of rough and a work in progress.

I know that I want ways to blow up artifacts and Vehicles, which makes Manglehorn and By Force auto-includes.

I also wanted a good answer to players who are going to Sweltering Suns, Fumigate, or Radiant Flames me:

I like that Intervention can stop a Wrath cold in its tracks and allow you to untap and try and win the game.

You’ve got some other nice cards against control decks to help you keep up against their permission, removal, and card draw. These can come in alongside Heroic Interventions.

The green Fatal Push?

Hardly, but I wanted something that could trade with aggressive Zombies but was still a functional part of our combo deck. Gnarlwood seems pretty good at fitting this niche.

Obviously this brew hasn’t been 100% tuned, but any deck with an infinite combo has something going for it. Paradox Engine is such a cool card to play with because it really lets you go big and win games out of nowhere. Well, maybe not nowhere, but it puts your opponent in a precarious situation when it comes down and things start to happen.

The new format looks wild and I’m enjoying trying it out. I must say that I’m really happy Felidar Guardian was banned and that there is an opportunity to start brewing crazy new decks before the PT. Get those Engines running!

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