Precon Primer - Paradox Power

Precon Primer - Paradox Power
(The Thirteenth Doctor | Art by Pauline Voß | Yasmin Khan | Art by Andrey Kuzinskiy | The Twelfth Doctor | Art By Alexander Mokhov)

Hello friends, and welcome to another Precon Primer. My name is Beth, Queen of Cardboard, and today I'll be talking about the Universes Beyond: Doctor Who preconstructed deck, Paradox Power. This Temur (blue, red, and green) deck features one of my favorite things to do: casting cards from anywhere other than your hand, especially from exile. For a long time this was considered a big Magic no-no, but has recently seen more prevalence with commanders like Jodah, the Unifier, Zhulodok, Void Gorger, and Abaddon the Despoiler, to name a few. And this deck has more than one way for you to break this Magic "rule." Like the other Doctor Who decks I've already written about, this list has 50 new cards and 10 planes for us to explore. Let's get into it now.

Paradox Power

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Commander (3)
Artifacts (11)
Instants (8)
Enchantments (8)
Creatures (25)
Sorceries (15)
Lands (37)
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The Rules Change All the Time

Exile used to be referred to as "removed from the game" before the rules update in 2010. Even though it's now treated as a "holding zone," it's still often seen as being gone forever. This deck challenges that idea and purposefully puts cards in exile to cast later. Then it rewards you for casting from places other than your hand. The Thirteenth Doctor not only loves to see cards cast from exile, your library, and your graveyard (giving target creature a +1/+1 counter when you do), she also untaps each creature that has a counter on it at your end step. It's important to read "counter" in this instance because while she may only provide +1/+1 counters herself, there are a lot of counter types in the game. Yasmin Khan is a near-perfect companion for The Thirteenth Doctor; she puts a card into exile each turn for you to cast, and can do it twice if you put a counter on her and have The Thirteenth Doctor on the field to untap her. In addition to Yasmin, you've got several other cards to help you cast from exile, like Ryan Sinclair, River Song's Diary, and The Flux.

You've also got a few Cascade cards to get the job done, like Throes of Chaos, Into the Time Vortex, TARDIS, and Bigger on the Inside. Taking advantage of this, in addition to the commander, are Flaming Tyrannosaurus, Graham O'Brien, Iraxxa, Empress of Mars, and Osgood, Operation Double. Most notably, The Twelfth Doctor gives the first spell cast from anywhere other than your hand Demonstrate. If one wasn't good enough, how about two? This is especially good if you're trying to Cascade multiple times with Throes of Chaos or have multiple combats with Last Night Together. Then if you can get enough cards cast this turn you may want to cast Surge of Brilliance from exile for a huge payoff.

Everybody Dies, but Not Today

Casting from the graveyard is more typical in Magic: the Gathering, but the alternate commander, Me, the Immortal, takes it to a whole new level. Me adds one of several types of counters on her (+1/+1, first strike, vigilance, or menace), and counters don't leave Me even if she moves to the command zone, exile, or the graveyard. If she dies, that's okay. Not only do you not lose any counters she's built up, but you can cast her directly from the graveyard by discarding two other cards. Me is one of those cards that just won't die, no matter how much your opponents may want it to. And it's not the only card that can come back from death. Lunar Hatchling has Escape, which is expensive at the cost of six mana, five cards in your graveyard, and a land sent to exile, but who wouldn't want a chance to bring a 6/6 Beast back to life? If that's not enough, you can bring any legendary creature back with Confession Dial. There's also Retrace on Throes of Chaos and Decaying Time Loop. The Fugitive Doctor and Return the Past help this graveyard exit plan by giving your instant and sorcery spells Flashback. And Nardole, Resourceful Cyborg has Undying. Nothing stays dead in this deck.

Pull the Trigger, Pay the Price

Clara Oswald might be one of the most interesting companions in the set. Her color must be set before the game starts, and she's the only non-villain commander with access to black in the the Doctor Who set. Even more interesting is that she doubles the triggered abilities of your Doctors. Double counters, double Demonstrate, double Flashback. Inside the deck this is a powerful tool, and I'm already imagining her in a 13 Doctors deck. Take note that Danny Pink gives his ability to the creature in question, meaning Clara will see this trigger if it's on a Doctor.

The Burden of Counters

In addition to casting from exile, this deck loves to put counters on your creatures. Jenny Flint, Karvanista, Loyal Lupari, and Danny Pink all want to put counters on any creature. This is important when you look at River Song and Sisterhood of Karn. These creatures both put counters on themselves, but the benefit of having more counters on them is undeniable. River punishes your opponent for scrying, Surveilling, or searching their library. Your opponents will be less likely to get these advantages if River is more powerful, as she's going to deal damage equal to her power when they do so. Sisterhood of Karn doubles the number of +1/+1 counters on it each time you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, rewarding you for doing what the deck wants. And Strax, Sontaran Nurse fights a target creature when you sacrifice an artifact, getting bigger with counters at the same time.

A Pile of Good Things

A sub-theme of the Doctor Who decks is artifact tokens, and this deck is no different. Madame Vastra, the partner of Jenny Flint, grants a Clue and Food token when she kills a creature that she dealt damage to. Osgood, Operation Double and Graham O'Brien both provide a token when you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand (a Clue or Food, respectively). Outside the norm for this deck is Frost Fair Lure Fish, which creates Fish and Treasure tokens. It's clear that this isn't the main theme of Paradox Power, but rather provides a unique piece of value in the deck.

Traveling By Plane

This deck also includes 10 new planes if you're interested in the Planeschase format. First introduced to Magic in 2009, Planechase has seen a huge increase in available planes this year with March of Machine and the Doctor Who Commander decks. While this is an optional format, if you do decide to play, it's suggested that you include the planes from multiple decks, not just the ten included in this deck, listed below.

In Conclusion

This deck feels a little all over the place, and is the one that I'm most excited to pull apart for pieces for other decks. While I am a huge fan of casting from exile, there could have been a more streamlined way to do that more effectively. Though The Thirteenth Doctor has a huge ability, letting you untap at your end step, she sits in the 99 of my Jodah, the Unifier deck, rather than the head of this one. Paradox Power feels less like a cast-from-exile deck and more of a Me, the Immortal counters deck. You'll have to see what I do with it in my Precon Upgrade guide.

If you liked this article, check out:

MrTady - Davros / Me / 11th & Amy / 4th & Sarah | Doctor Who EDH / Casual Commander

Cut-Rate Commander - Cut-Rate Commander | Paradox Power Precon Upgrade Guide

Sliver Swarm - Precon Primer

Beth is an casual Commander player who's passionate about silly decks, creating safe community spaces, and crowns. She loves to travel and play magic with friends. When not playing Magic, she's probably snuggling her dogs or playing some video games.

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