I’ve been known best for playing and optimizing (and I guess winning with) Paradoxical Outcome variants in Vintage, but a few months ago I set the goal of building a fair deck that would not only beat the consensus best deck of the format, but also fare well against Ravager Shops and be favored against Dredge over the course of a match (game one is close to impossible to win). I quickly found out that the Blue-Red shell was the way to go thanks to the power of blue combined with the efficiency of the red disruptive elements, Pyroblast and Dack Fayden specifically.
A lot of blue matchups in Vintage come down to who get’s to resolve spells like Ancestral Recall, Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time and Jace, the Mind Sculptor to pull away, and Pyroblast helps you force through your own while also dealing with the opponents’ copies at the most efficient rate. With blue permanents like Leovold, Emmisary of Trest and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria playing a bigger role in the format these days, Pyroblast is the perfect card. Of course it also deals with the card Paradoxical Outcome nicely.
The greatest thief in the multiverse does it all in Vintage. In a format full of moxen and 11/11 infect robots, the -2 ability will shine, but there is more than what meets the eye. Dredge players know that their opponents will try and beat them with graveyard hate after sideboard, so they are running four copies of Hollow One to try and win on another axis. Dack Fayden conveniently beats Hollow One while you keep down their graveyard with your sideboard cards.
The +1 ability is super useful when building a graveyard for delve and it lets you filter excess lands into spells leaving you with a huge advantage the more turns the game go. If you are lucky enough to ultimate, the emblem can do some tricky stuff with Pyroblast especially (Pyroblast can target anything where Red Elemental Blast can only target blue spells and permanents). I remember a game where I stole my opponent’s Tolarian Academy for example.
I decided to do a light splash and include three copies of Ancient Grudge in my 75. Having artifact removal is super useful these days where Ravager Shops and Paradoxical Outcome decks combined is a huge chunk of the metagame. Being able to dump the Grudge to Dack’s +1 ability and still get value later in the game is a beautiful and underrated attribute.
Asside from the obvious inclusion of Snapcaster Mage (the more Ancestral Recalls, the merrier!), I needed a cheap win condition that would fit the game plan. In a perfect world you didn’t need to play anything else aside from the Snapcasters and Mind Sculptors, but Young Pyromancer lets you close out games quickly and have some blockers against opposing creature decks to buy time. I will sideboard them out frequently, but they have an important role to play.
In the following league I play against five combo decks including four Paradoxical Outcome variants, and I think the games show quite nicely how this Blue/Red-based deck deals with opposing unfair strategies. For some reason my sound is of varying quality, but I hope you will still enjoy the video and don’t forget to check out the decklist below!
Let the games begin!
UR PyroDack by ecobaronen
This article and video were created by Andreas Petersen in a media collaboration with mtgmintcard.com