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Against the Odds: Mechanized Panharmonicon (Pioneer)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 232 of Against the Odds. As I'm sure you know, Panharmonicon is my favorite card in all of Magic (don't tell Blood Moon), but normally, when we play a Panharmonicon deck, we don't actually win with Panharmonicon—we end by beating down with janky enters the battlefield–triggering creatures. Well, today, we're trying to literally win with Panharmonicons—eight of them, in fact—with the help of last week's Against the Odds poll winner Mechanized Production. The idea of the deck is simple: play Panharmonicon, copy it eight times with Mechanized Production and other artifact-copying cards, and win the game on our upkeep by having Mechanized Production and eight artifacts named Panharmonicon on the battlefield! What are the odds of literally winning with Panharmonicon in Pioneer, with the help of Mechanized Production? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Mechanized Panharmonicon

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The Deck

When Mechanized Production won the poll, I considered a bunch of possibilities, ranging from Paradox Engine combos to more value-centric artifact plans, but in the end, the opportunity to try to make eight Panharmonicons was just too much to pass up! 

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Our deck's primary goal is simple: play Panharmonicon and get a Mechanized Production on it to start making copies of Panharmonicon each turn. With the help of additional copying effects, we'll (hopefully) eventually get eight Panharmonicons on the battlefield and win the game on our upkeep thanks to Mechanized Production. Of course, even before we win the game, getting multiple Panharmonicons on the battlefield has value since we do have creatures and artifacts with enters-the-battlefield triggers to help us draw through our deck and find more copies of Panharmonicon and Mechanized Production and to slow down our opponent long enough that we can get eight Panharmonicons on the battlefield.

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While our main goal is to get eight Panharmonicons on the battlefield, we aren't above winning by getting eight copies of another artifact on the battlefield—Mechanized Production was the card that won last week's poll, after all. Plus, since Mechanized Production can only copy artifacts, we can't just run four Panharmonicons as our only artifacts—the risk of getting stuck with a bunch of Mechanized Productions in hand with no targets is too high. For backup artifacts, we have Prophetic Prism and Thraben Inspector. Prophetic Prism is an absurd source of card advantage with Panharmonicon and Mechanized Production. Panharmonicon turns it into a colorless, two-mana Divination, while Mechanized Production turns it into our own personal Howling Mine, drawing us an extra card each turn while also slowly building toward having eight Prophetic Prisms on the battlefield to win the game. Meanwhile, Thraben Inspector is one of our fastest ways to get eight artifacts with the same name on the battlefield thanks to the Clue token it produces when it enters the battlefield. If we can stack up some Panharmonicons with the help of Mechanized Production, a single Thraben Inspector can make two, three, or even four Clues for one mana, which means if we can cast two or three (or cast one and blink it two or three times with Charming Prince), we can get all the way up to eight Clues in just one or two turns to win the game on our next upkeep with Mechanized Production

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Along with Mechanized Production, we have a bunch of additional ways to copy Panharmonicon to speed up the process of getting eight on the battlefield. Mirrormade is the most exciting since it can directly copy Panharmonicon, or if we have a Mechanized Production on the battlefield, it can copy it, enchanting a Panharmonicon to make an extra copy every turn. Meanwhile, Clever Impersonator and Stolen Identity are just one-ofs, but they do offer some extra upside apart from just copying Mechanized Production or Panharmonicon. Clever Impersonator can copy anything, so if we don't have a Mechanized Production or Panharmonicon, we can copy a creature to draw some cards and try to find our main combo pieces. As for Stolen Identity, it's expensive, but it can technically make a copy of an artifact or creature every turn thanks to cipher. If we can cipher it to an evasive creature like Cloudblazer, it can quickly add a bunch of Panharmonicons to the battlefield to help us get up to eight and win the game with Mechanized Production

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As for the rest of our creatures, they are designed to draw us cards, slow down our opponent, and gain us life to stay alive until we get eight Panharmonicons, not to win us the game by attacking. Reflector Mage can do a good one-sided Evacuation impression if we can get enough Panharmonicons on the battlefield, buying us two or three turns of Panharmonicon copying. Cloudblazer draws us a bunch of cards to find more Mechanized Productions and Panharmonicons while also giving us some extra life. Meanwhile, Charming Prince does a bit of everything, from flicking our other creatures to gaining us oodles of life to scrying through our deck to find Mechanized Production and Panharmonicon

The Matchups

In all honesty, when it comes to winning matchups, I'm not sure that Mechanized Panharmonicon has any good matchups. The goal isn't so much to win games as it is to win games by getting eight Panharmonicons on the battlefield, which is a pretty big challenge. Against aggro, we have a lot of ways to stay alive but also have a lot of really slow cards (like Panharmonicon and Mechanized Production), and it's hard to take off a turn and spend four mana against a fast aggro deck. Meanwhile, control can counter our key pieces (although in general, it's probably a better matchup than aggro thanks to all of our weird card advantage). Our worst matchups—by far—are decks that can incidentally kill Panharmonicon or Mechanized Production, which mostly means various GBx decks with Assassin's Trophy

The Odds

Technically, we finished 1-4 with Mechanized Panharmonicon, giving us a very below average 20% match win percentage. On the other hand, the better news is that it only took us five matches to get eight Panharmonicons on the battlefield with Mechanized Production. If you had asked me beforehand, I would have put the number closer to 10—getting eight copies of a four-mana artifact that doesn't directly impact the battlefield into play is quite the task, but it's a task we managed to complete!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

Over the last few weeks there have been several cards that came super close to winning our poll, but fell just short. Well, it's time to give these runners-up a second chance at glory! Which one of these cards should be build around next week? Let us know by voting below!

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Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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