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The Riddler: Legacy Deck Primer and Sideboard Guide

Written by Killabee, editing and writing help from NathanLipetz

About the Author

My name is Benedikt, but most of you may know me by my MTGO name; Killabee. I began playing MTG in 2001, starting with paper and now playing almost exclusively on Magic Online. I created this brew I call the Riddler and have found a ton of recent success with it. During the past few weeks, I was encouraged to be more active on Twitter to interact with players interested in my deck and wanting to better understand it. I received so many friendly and constructive messages from the community and I am super thankful for the love. It is amazing to see so many people reaching out to show support or offer advice on how to improve the deck. A lot of people are asking for a primer and sideboard guide, so here it is!

Decklist

riddlesmith combo
legacy
buy from TCGplayer $2017.36

landsLands (10)

4
Urza's Saga
171.96$
4
Ancient Tomb
279.96$

planeswalkerPlaneswalkers (1)

creaturesCreatures (8)

instantsInstants (1)

sorceriesSorceries (12)

4
Gamble
87.96$
1
Grapeshot
0.25$

artifactsArtifacts (28)

4
Chrome Mox
339.96$
4
Lotus Petal
103.96$
4
Mox Opal
279.96$
60 cards
15 cards

What is The Riddler?

The Riddler is a Legacy combo deck that abuses Containment Construct with Gamble and Breakthrough. You run a lot of cheap artifacts to help Riddlesmith quickly cycle through your deck to find your key cards to help execute a combo win.

We also play Urza's Saga to create monstrous construct tokens while being a slow tutor for Lion's Eye Diamond to help spin your wheels with Echo of Eons. The Riddler features a lot of unique little combos and cards that work really well together.

This deck will be our casino, and we will be gambling in every match. In the end, we have to ensure that the odds are stacked in our favor. There always will be times where your Gamble turns into Entomb or where your Echo of Eons whiffs. If you are not comfortable with losing some games like this, this probably isn’t the deck for you.

Deck Strategy

The game-plan for The Riddler is to cast a lot of 0-mana artifacts while drawing cards and generating mana to eventually Grapeshot or Brain Freeze your opponent for lethal. Using Containment Construct‘s ability to play the cards we discard, we can chain some serious card draw by combining it with Riddlesmith, Breakthrough and Gamble.

Lion's Eye Diamond is comparable to Black Lotus in this deck because it is so free to use and enables broken plays. Echo of Eons helps us refill our hand while also potentially disrupting the opponent’s plans. We play Defense Grid to be able to have a way to combo without being disrupted. At worst, Grid forces the opponent to use resources to get rid of it. We also enable the power of Urza's Saga as early pressure, a backup plan, and a tutor for LED.

Try to not play out your creatures before the combo turn, especially in game 1. Legacy is full of removal and you should try your best to at least get some value out of your creatures before they die. Often you want to try to open games with early Saga or Grid and test the waters, forcing your opponents to answer them. If you don’t have Riddlesmith in hand, play out your Baubles and active them in the opponents turn, this will avoid discard but also dig you closer to the combo.

The fundamentals of the deck are easy to learn, but to be competitive it is necessary to understand the complexities of lines behind the deck.

How to Combo

The combo itself is not complicated, but safely getting to go off might take some thinking. If Riddlesmith and Containment Construct are both on the battlefield, casting any artifact will trigger Riddlesmith, you draw a card and then discard a card which triggers Containment Construct allowing you to exile this card and play it this turn. The deck plays 24 0-mana artifacts that help you cycle through your deck or generate mana.

Additionally, you play 4 Gamble and 3 Breakthrough. These become insanely valuable at the cost of just 1 mana. As soon as you accumulate 3 mana, Echo of Eons goes directly into the graveyard from the Riddlesmith trigger and can be cast for 7 new cards. That leaves us with very few mediocre cards to whiff on. Containment Construct can help us get them out of our deck by exiling them when you discard them.

When to Echo

Echo of Eons is a powerful spell, but you have to keep in mind that most of the time you are not the only one benefitting from it.

Best Case Scenario:
Ideally, you want to have at least 1-2 extra mana available when casting Echo of Eons. A perfect board-state consists of a combination of Containment Construct, Riddlesmith and possibly Defense Grid or you have resolved Silence already. If you Echo with Riddlesmith and some available mana while being under Defense Grid, you should expect to win that game.

Containment Construct, while being extremely powerful with the right 7, is more prone to fizzle. Do not expect to win on the spot if you don’t have 2 mana up with it. Also, consider whether you already played a land this turn or not. If you did, the remaining lands not in play or exile will be dead cards to draw.

Average Scenario:
You start the game on the play and are forced to mull to 5. You play some cards, possibly an Urza's Saga or Ancient Tomb, a Bauble and a Lotus Petal, and now it is time to pop your Lion's Eye Diamond into Echo of Eons and see what happens. Obviously, we have no protection here, but it is worth it to test our opponents hand. If we get countered, at least we still have something to work with while having removed one of our opponent’s answers.

Bad Scenario:
You start the game on the draw, having a godly hand including Lion's Eye Diamond and Echo of Eons, but you are just missing one mana for protection. You keep and your first draw step you miss mana. You lack other action and are at risk of things getting worse by allowing your opponent to cantrip more by just passing.

Slightly panicking, you decide you have try to go, maybe the next 7 will be the T1 win. You pop LED and cast your Echo of Eons, which gets instantly countered. You have 0 cards in hand and very few or no permanents in play while your opponent has 4 or more in hand. Do not concede yet, you always can come back with this deck, but is obviously going to be tough.

Worst Case Scenario:
You mull a bunch and end up with a hand that includes Lion's Eye Diamond and Echo of Eons. You have nothing better to do but jam. You go and they counter it, leaving you with nothing left. Don’t concede! It is still possible to draw out of it, even a Saga and Tomb can steal games.

Maindeck Card Choices

The core card in the the deck is Containment Construct. The deck is designed around Containment Construct‘s ability to negate the discard tax on our drawing and tutoring; namely Riddlesmith, Breakthrough and Gamble. With Containment Construct in play, Breakthrough becomes a 1-mana draw 4, Gamble becomes a 1-mana Demonic Tutor and Riddlesmith gains an additional instance of ‘draw a card every time you cast an artifact’. Note that at the end of turn, cards under Containment Construct that have not been played will permanently be exiled. It is also noteworthy, that once the trigger was activated, Containment Construct does not have to be on the Battlefield anymore for the cards to be playable.

Echo of Eons is Timetwister in the Riddler when combined with a discard outlet. With a deck that can easily empty your hand in one turn, Echo is perfect. It can also be used to disrupt your opponent’s carefully chosen starting hand. Riddlesmith, Gamble, Breakthrough and Lion's Eye Diamond help us get it in the graveyard. Occasionally, you can even hard cast it and start a new hand with it remaining in the graveyard. The deck is capable of going infinite by continuously exiling Echo of Eons with Containment Construct before casting it and cycling through the deck, but it is rarely necessary.

There are several reasons for the ridiculously low land count. When going off or Echoing, we can only play 1 land per turn so any additional lands drawn are dead. Additionally, even though you would not expect it at first glance, a lot of games go over 8+ turns following an intense fight to try to resolve your combo at the start. In these ‘Settle the Dust’ situations it is an advantage when your opponent needs to make their land drops, while you can bank cards in your hand to eventually use their synergies or drop Urza’s Saga to apply further pressure. 8 of our 10 lands only tap for colorless mana but Urza's Saga can find colored mana in LED, Mox Opal or Lotus Petal if needed in a few turns. Urza's Saga does not only provide a somewhat reliable way to win with big constructs, but also helps you find your 0-mana artifacts, especially Lion's Eye Diamond.

I play 1 Mana Confluence. The life loss can cause some issues but I value it as additional fixing for green and white. The deck should run at least 1 dual-land to make you less vulnerable to Boseiju, Who Endures. I play Tropical Island in that slot because it fits best with our colored-mana needs.

Ancient Tomb is more fast mana, and enables the option to turn 1 Urza's Saga to get the early pressure rolling. If you lead on it, you can cast Containment Construct or Defense Grid on the first turn. It also helps play better around Daze and other soft counters by producing more than 1 mana.

I play 4 of each of our powerful 0-mana artifacts; Urza's Bauble, Mishra's Bauble, Lion's Eye Diamond, Mox Opal, Chrome Mox and Lotus Petal. Once Riddlesmith and Containment Construct are online, these essentially draw a card, that you can play that turn. The Baubles can be used as delayed redraws if you have them by themselves. They also help turn on Mox Opal early and provide important Information about the opponent’s hand or top deck. Mox Opal, Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox are all +1 mana artifacts with some minor draw backs. Chrome Mox is the weakest because it requires a colored non-artifact card to exile to make it work but can also just be played out to enable Mox Opal without having to pitch a card. However, the only possible alternative we have in Legacy would be Mox Diamond, which will often not stay on the battlefield to turn on Mox Opal, given the deck’s low land count.

Lion's Eye Diamond is not only a 2-card Combo with Echo of Eons, but effectively works as a Black Lotus when combined with Containment Construct or pays for Karn, the Great Creator targets.

That leaves us with 4 slots. I use 3 of them on win cons; Grapeshot, Brain Freeze and Karn, the Great Creator. Karn also doubles as a lock piece or tutor in very fashions. In a pitch, if out of action, we can use Brain Freeze to try to mill ourselves into another Echo.

The last slot is used on a single copy of Pithing Needle. This is a bit of a deceptive 1-of as you basically play additional copies in the ability to tutor it with Urza's Saga. Needle is really helpful to name cards like Wasteland, Boseiju, Who Endures, Otawara, Soaring City or any other problematic cards your opponent’s may have. This is definitely our most flexible slot and can be replaced by something like Shadowspear as a different Urza's Saga target to gain life and trample for your construct tokens.

Other cards worth mentioning

Burning Wish:
The idea is derived from Wishes being great in Ruby Storm. However, our deck has a much tougher time in creating sustainable mana, so investing 2 mana just to grab a sorcery from the sideboard is a big ask. You will often either end up being short mana to cast it or the card you want to find. Passing the turn allows your opponent to untap, and get a chance to mess up our plans. The same argument can be made for Birgi, God of Storytelling, just being too expensive to cast and win same turn.

Narset, Parter of Veils:
Awesome card to combine with Echo of Eons, and can dig for missing non-creature combo pieces. Unfortunately, the UU mana cost can be rough. For me it just barely did not make the cut.

Other Saga targets:
I will not list all the targets for Urza's Saga, but you can try anything that you think fits best here.

Currently Testing

I am trying out Faithless Looting, Quiet Speculation, and Walking Ballista. Faithless works well with Containment Construct and provides additional ways to discard Echo of Eons. It also works decently well with Lion's Eye Diamond to flashback Looting while Containment Construct is in play for extra value.

Quiet Speculation may be better than Brain Freeze. I just started trying it and it seems alright so far. It essentially acts as additional copies of Echo and can help ensure one of them resolves. It could also be convenient being able to search up Looting sometimes.

I am testing Ballista over the 4th Chrome Mox. Chrome Mox isn’t a consistent enough mana source to need to play 4, and Ballista has been helpful maindeck removal for creatures.

Sideboard Choices

My current sideboard is: 1 Surgical Extraction, 1 Silence, 1 Hurkyl's Recall, 1 Mindbreak Trap, 2 Chain of Vapor, an additional copy of Karn, the Great Creator and 3 Thrasta, Tempest's Roar. The other 6 slots are Karn, the Great Creator wish-board targets that can either be left in sideboard or brought in depending on your needs. This is the options that I have found to work best in the past few weeks of extensive testing, however there are a lot of other options to adjust to your own personal preference which I will briefly introduce in the next section.

Silence:
I love Silence, the card catches opponents off guard and can steal a lot of games unexpectedly. It can be used both offensively to protect you in your combo turn or defensively against other combo decks to hopefully stop them dead in their tracks. Note that it doesn’t stop activated abilities like Faerie Macabre and Boseiju, Who Endures.

Surgical Extraction:
Surgical is instant speed and free graveyard hate. It can also be used to defend yourself from opposing Surgicals by targetting what they target and only removing that 1 copy. It is tempting to sideboard this card against Force of Will decks, but I would not recommend it unless there is something else you can do with it.

Chain of Vapor:
Easily the most frequently sideboarded card. It is a reliable way to remove any permanent based hate against you for one turn. When not needed to bounce hate, it can be used to buff up your storm count when your own permanents or even bounce a couple of artifacts for Riddlesmith by sacrificing lands while going off. Leyline of the Void is the most frequent card opposing card bounced by it.

Hurkyl's Recall:
Somewhat of a flexslot, Hurkyl’s is strong vs 8cast to buy time while also being good vs prison or stompy styled decks with artifact based lock pieces such as Chalice of the Void or Trinisphere.

Mindbreak Trap:
Mindbreak gives us an edge against storm or other fast combo especially when on the draw. Do not board in if you leave in Defense Grid.

Thrasta, Tempest's Roar:
I was getting extremely frustrated, when playing against Moon Stompy. Their ability to shutdown the graveyard with Leyline of the Void turn 0 and then basically winning the game on turn 1 or 2 by slamming lock pieces made me look for a card that fits in the deck and can win the game early without using the graveyard.

As it turns out, Thrasta is decent against most decks, that do not run Swords to Plowshares. While the full 3 copies only come in against Moon Stompy and sometimes other Leyline of the Void decks, occasionally I sideboard 1-2 in and more often than not win a game due to it.

Alternative Sideboard Options

Monastery Mentor:
You can play Mentor instead of Thrasta, Tempest’s Roar. It is easier to cast but doesn’t win same turn. I have found it less impactful and easier to remove.

Portable Hole:
Cheap removal for anything below 2 mana. It is fetchable with Karn, the Great Creator but can be hard to cast because it requires white mana, which can sometimes be difficult to find when the primary targets would be Collector Ouphe and Null Rod which shut off your artifact mana leaving your only white source as your 1 Mana Confluence.

Malevolent Hermit:
This card can be helpful with longer grindy matchups, where you have to protect your spells or counter a threatening planeswalker like Narset, Parter of Veils or opposing Karn, the Great Creator

Veil of Summer:
You can play Veil over Silence to help protect your combo. Veil is also nice because it beats Chalice of the Void on 0, and Counterbalance. The downside of Veil is not being able to stop Endurance, Surgical Extraction, most creature removal and Force of Vigor. It can be fine vs some opposing combo decks, but Silence is more often stronger there.

Boseiju, Who Endures:
This can be used to deal with any artifact or enchantment based hate, while being un-counterable. I have not tested this card yet, as I haven’t found space for it.

Echoing Truth:
You can bounce multiple of the same hate piece, like Leyline of the Void with it. The higher mana cost over Chain of Vapor can be tough in some situations though.

Wishboard targets:

  • Ensnaring Bridge:
    While it may look like it makes sense to run Ensnaring Bridge as a Karn target, I haven’t felt the need for it yet. I feel favored vs most creature decks and our saga tokens will often be bigger than opposing creatures.

Sideboard Guide

Disclaimer: This is just how I do things. This is based on what has worked best for me when testing but easily could change with more trials. Feel free to try things differently if you feel I am wrong or there are better options.

UR Delver:

Playing against Delver is a race where we get a head-start, but they will try to catch up to us. To stay in front, we try to go for as many 2 for 1’s as possible by making them cast Force of Will or Force of Negation (post-board) on our threats and protection spells. Basically every creature they drop is a clock for us, but it also means they are down one card in defense. Do not get Dazed! This deck has a lot of mana and if you sequence things well, you can easily avoid Daze.

If we manage to resolve Defense Grid, you will have a very good chance of winning, especially game 1. It can also buy us a bit of time if we need to take it slower. They will bring in Meltdown, so keep most of your 0-mana artifacts in hand, until you need them. It is unlikely to win with constructs in Game 2 and 3, but it is still useful to pressure them and maybe bait their Meltdown. If they show Null Rod or Counterbalance in Game 2, bring in Chain of Vapor for Game 3. This matchup feels fairly even.

InOut
+1 Silence
+1 Defense Grid
+1 Thrasta, Tempest's Roar
-1 Pithing Needle
-1 Karn, the Great Creator
-1 Brain Freeze

Moon Stompy:

Welcome to Hell! Game 1 will often depend what lock piece they open, and who has the play. Try to win as fast as possible to avoid further lock pieces. If you drop Thrasta, Tempest’s Roar in Game 2 or 3, they should have very few outs to it unless they bring in Dead (using Gone to bounce it the following turn). Do not keep hands, that do nothing on turn 1.

If on the play, you don’t need to side in Hurkyl's Recall because we don’t plan on giving them a turn. On the draw, you may need Hurkyl’s to bounce Chalice or Trinisphere. If they mulligan low, hands that with Urza's Saga and Ancient Tomb become much more valuable. Note that Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon destroy all Sagas in play and any that would enter play immediately die.

On the play:

InOut
+3 Thrasta, Tempest's Roar
+2 Chain of Vapor
-1 Pithing Needle
-1 Brain Freeze
-3 Defense Grid

On the Draw:

InOut
+3 Thrasta, Tempest's Roar
+2 Chain of Vapor
+1 Hurkyl's Recall
-1 Pithing Needle
-1 Brain Freeze
-3 Defense Grid
-1 Echo of Eons

GW(r) Depths:

I am not an expert versus this deck, but you want to avoid their Deafening Silence and Collector Ouphe. Since they play so much interaction, it is probably best to try to win really early to avoid getting locked out. Make sure to watch out for their graveyard hate in Endurance and Bojuka Bog through Crop Rotation or Elvish Reclaimer. See Tips and Tricks for some help with that. Mull for fast hands, winning before turn 2 or 3 would be most ideal.

InOut
+1 Chain of Vapor
+1 Aether Spellbomb
-1 Karn, the Great Creator
-1 Brain Freeze

Death and Taxes:

Dnt can be a challenging matchup post-board. They have a ton of lock pieces that can be played turn 1 including Deafening Silence and Grafdigger's Cage. Letting them get a turn 2 can be pretty scary as well because it opens up options such as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Spirit of the Labyrinth which can both stand as powerful road blocks against our deck.

You want to try to win as soon as you can, and hopefully dodge their Mindbreak Trap, Surgical Extraction and/or Faerie Macabre. Try to find hands that can Echo on turn 1.

InOut
+2 Chain of Vapor
+1 Aether Spellbomb
-1 Karn, the Great Creator
-1 Chrome Mox
-1 Brain Freeze

Lands:

Lands will try to lock you out early and play a grindy controlling game against you post-board. Common sideboard cards they will bring in versus you are: 4 Sphere of Resistance, 2-3 Force of Vigor, 3-5 Blasts (Pyroblast & Elemental Blast”]), 3-4 Endurance, and possibly some number of Surgical Extraction and/or Mindbreak Trap. You should play based on how they open.

InOut
+1 Chain of Vapor-1 Brain Freeze

8cast:

8cast will fight you mostly on the stack but also with permanents such as Chalice of the Void and grave hate like Soul-Guide Lantern or Tormod's Crypt. In the maindeck, they play 4 Force of Will, and in sideboard you should expect to encounter: 3-4 Force of Negation, 2-3 Faerie Macabre and possibly a few copies of Flusterstorm.

Defense Grid is fairly strong against them but they can sometimes pay for 1 or 2 spells because they play a lot of fast mana. Our Karns act as a 1-sided Null Rod and will completely shut off most of what they are trying to do. Keep in mind, they also play Urza's Saga and their constructs can often outgrow yours even through a Karn. Sometimes you should consider holding onto Echo of Eons slightly longer than normal because 8cast can also benefit greatly from a wheel. Like you, they also can dump their hand on board very quickly. It would be really bad to whiff on your Echo, pass and let them have a new 7, which potentially allows them to draw even more cards with Thoughtcast or Thought Monitor.

Note that 8cast may put Chalice on 1 instead of 0 because 0 will shut off a ton of their deck too. This is pretty ideal for us because it allows us to cast out all our mana and still echo. It does stop Gamble and Silence but you can still resolve Breakthrough by casting it for X = 1 or more.

InOut
+1 Hurkyl's Recall
+1 Karn, the Great Creator
+1 Silence
-1 Brain Freeze
-1 Pithing Needle
-1 Chrome Mox

Jeskai Control:

Playing against Jeskai Control is similar to Delver. They are slower but they have way more hate. They play maindeck Force of Negations, answers to Defense Grid with Prismatic Ending, and Narset, Parter of Veils. These cards can make the game 1’s a lot tougher than facing Delver. They don’t play Daze which is a plus, but Daze is a lot easier to beat than something like Narset.

Post-board, you can expect them to have either Ethersworn Canonist or Deafening Silence, the latter comes down sooner and is much harder for us to beat. I would also not be surprised to see some number of Surgical Extraction. They will also have a similar counterspell suite to Delver with copies of Flusterstorm, and Blasts (Pyroblast & Elemental Blast”]) in addition to the FON’s and FOW’s. Jeskai sometimes also plays Mystical Dispute in the sideboard which is something to be aware of.

You need to bring in Chain of Vapor because they often have 1-2 Null Rod or Stony Silence and Rest in Peace. Like Delver, they also may have Meltdown. All together this is a lot of hate, but most of it is fairly slow. Approach this matchup as you would with Delver, except sometimes it may be smart to not play out Grids before the combo turn. You can consider swapping 1 Thrasta, Tempest's Roar for 1 Brain Freeze, but it may not be worth it because it takes multiple attacks to win, and will lose hexproof after the first attack which means it can then be plowed on following turns.

InOut
+1 Silence
+1 Chain of Vapor
+1 Defense Grid
-1 Chrome Mox
-1 Karn, the Great Creator
-1 Pithing Needle

Reanimator:

This is a pretty favorable matchup for The Riddler. You don’t need to win turn 1, but be sure to keep a hand that can Echo on the first turn. Echo both messes up their graveyard and hand. Their sideboard is a bunch of medium cards versus you. Theirs answers like Serenity are too slow for the way the matchup plays out and cards like Faerie Macabre and Coffin Purge barely do anything either.

Wear may come in as it is a flexible card that can kill saga or your Tormod's Crypt but also isn’t that impactful. Aether Spellbomb really shines in this matchup by being able to be tutored by Saga and also naturally drawn to bounce their threats. If you can, try to keep hands that play around discard spells as much as possible, and play out your mana to avoid more discard.

InOut
+2 Chain of Vapor
+1 Surgical Extraction
+1 Tormod's Crypt
+1 Aether Spellbomb
+1 Silence
-3 Defense Grid
-1 Karn, the Great Creator
-1 Brain Freeze
-1 Urza's Bauble

Doomsday:

Doomsday is known to be very strong vs opposing combo decks. They are very consistent and play a ton of protection. They can choose to win fast or switch to a more controlling role with sideboard Force of Negation and Leyline of the Void. This matchup is likely very challenging.

Urza's Saga is the most scary card for Doomsday out of our deck. They can’t counter it and will allow us to pressure them while they try to counter everything we cast. Similarly, you should try to cast out your creatures, they generally don’t play removal and they will help pressure their life total which is crucial to their combo.

Make sure to always dump out your LEDs and other artifacts to avoid discard from hitting them. Brain Freeze can also steal a win after they cast Doomsday by milling them out after they reduce their deck size to 5 cards. Karn is a bit slow but does stop their Lion's Eye Diamond and Lotus Petals which will make them a little more likely to have to make more pass the turn piles, which buys us a turn to either try to win or possibly find Brain Freeze or Echo of Eons to deck them.

Echo won’t always beat them, but if they have less than 2 or less cards in hand when Echo after a resolved Doomsday, they will draw 7 and lose in their draw step on their next turn. This won’t work if they have 3 or more cards because they shuffle their hand in and will be able to not die in draw step, but it can mess up their pile if they have quite a few cards in hand.

Most lists are down on Daze at the moment and won’t play the full 4, and it is also possible they side them out versus you, but especially in game 1, it is a card to be aware of. Try not to play into it! Focus on Urza's Saga knocking their life total low enough to push through a Thrasta for the win if Saga alone is not enough.

InOut
+1 Silence
+1 Defense Grid
+1 Thrasta, Tempest's Roar
-1 Pithing Needle
-1 Mishra's Bauble
-1 Echo of Eons

Reclaimer Elves:

Reclaimer Elves is the more midrange version of Legacy Elves. Almost all players now consider it better than Nettle Elves and you are way more likely to face it in an event, especially online. I will only discuss Reclaimer Elves here but if you are interested in the Nettle matchup, you can join the discord linked at the end of this article and ask me. While Reclaimer is generally slower than the Nettle version, they are still capable of making Collector Ouphe on turn 2, and will aim to win by turn 3 or 4.

Unlike Nettle Elves, you are unlikely to see Leyline of the Void out of their sideboard but it is still something they may play so just be aware. They have 1 Collector Ouphe in the maindeck and it can be tutored early with Green Sun's Zenith which they play 4 of, or technically Natural Order but that may take a bit longer and by then they are more likely to just go for Craterhoof Behemoth for lethal.

They typically play 1 Endurance maindeck, with an addition 2-3 coming in from the sideboard. They will always have 4 Thoughtseize post-board as well. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Mindbreak Trap too. Similar to that, it is not crazy for them to also play some number of Force of Vigor. Keep in mind that Force of Vigor can be used on Urza's Saga with the first chapter ability on the stack, this will deny you tapping it for mana.

Most players copy hellonewton‘s lists, and his most recent one plays Chalice of the Void. This could be an issue for us but is only a 1-of luckily. An active Elvish Reclaimer is always representing Bojuka Bog. Try to avoid creating triggers from Construct or Smith to allow them to nuke your graveyard with Echo in it. You can do this by simply not playing out your creatures, see more about this in Tips & Tricks.

The biggest problem in this matchup by far is Collector Ouphe. You either need to have a bounce spell ready for it or win before it comes down, keep that in mind when looking at opening hands and play accordingly. Silence is fairly good vs them as you cast it on their upkeep to time walk them or save it for your turn as protection versus their interaction.

InOut
+1 Silence
+2 Chain of Vapor
-1 Pithing Needle
-1 Karn, the Great Creator
-1 Brain Freeze

Storm (ANT + TES):

The storm matchups are mostly a race; who can win faster. This is especially true in game 1 where you can’t interact with them. ANT notably plays discard spells which can slow you down. They also have Surgical Extraction and Dress Down in the sideboard which may or may not come in versus you depending how confident they feel about winning faster than you.

TES has nothing versus you besides Abrupt Decay which is unlikely to come in. That matchup is just a pure race where you have some interaction but they don’t. Karn is excellent vs both, but especially TES. DO NOT cast Echo of Eons unless you are confident you will win or are desperate.

TES:

InOut
+1 Silence
+1 Karn, the Great Creator
+1 Mindbreak Trap
-3 Defense Grid

ANT:

InOut
+1 Silence
+1 Karn, the Great Creator
+1 Mindbreak Trap
+1 Surgical Extraction
+1 Tormod's Crypt
-3 Defense Grid
-1 Pithing Needle
-1 Brain Freeze

Tip & Tricks

  • Using Lion's Eye Diamond is a mana ability, and thus does not give your opponent priority after use. You can safely use it and then cast Echo from the graveyard without being interrupted. Also you can “undo” this ability on MTGO but it will flash your hand to your opponent so be careful
  • The Containment Construct trigger however allows your opponent priority, so if you discard with LED, all the cards discarded will create separate triggers and your opponent can then use Endurance or Surgical to get rid of your yard. Similar happens if you discard Echo with Riddlesmith’s trigger; there will be a spell on the stack and your opponent gets priority. In some cases, you do not want to play Construct or Smith before using Lion's Eye Diamond to cast Echo of Eons to play around this.
  • Do not exile Grapeshot or Brain Freeze to Containment Construct if you think you are likely to fizzle.
  • Urza's Bauble and Mishra's Bauble should be used in opponents turn to protect against discard spells or on your own turn, to play around effects like Narset, Parter of Veils or Spirit of the Labyrinth
  • You can Brain Freeze yourself to help find Echo
  • Ideally, you don’t want to Echo with no mana in play, especially if you have made your land drop already. Be mindful, that you are more likely to have to pass if you have no mana floating or in play when you put Echo on the stack.
  • To save time, when playing on MTGO, set hotkeys for yes and no, and also yield to the triggers of Riddlesmith and Containment Construct.
  • To thin out your deck for further Echoes, you should exile useless cards, especially lands that would be dead draws off another Echo.

Extra Information

Thank you for reading my Riddler primer, I hope you enjoy and find this helpful!

If you want even more information about the deck or have questions, you can join the discord: https://discord.gg/nX77q3SneB

You can also find me on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/Stahlkarnickel1

I am so thankful for all the love I have been receiving for my creation and I wish you the best in your games!


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