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Thread: [Primer/Deck] Stax

  1. #401

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by SMRiggin View Post
    So what are people swapping out for the Spyglass? I'm running a mono-brown list (it's a little further up the page.) I'm curious to see what people are cutting to find room for it, as I want to give it a go but I only have 1 real flex slot that is currently Phyrexian Metamorph.

    Thx,
    Shawn
    I'm also runningn a mono-brown list and I cut 4 Ratchet Bomb for 4 Sorcerous Spyglass.

  2. #402

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by paradaxarada View Post
    I'm also runningn a mono-brown list and I cut 4 Ratchet Bomb for 4 Sorcerous Spyglass.
    Interesting. You haven't noticed any kind of weakness in the removal side?

    Shawn,

  3. #403

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    For those testing Sorcerous Spyglass, how many have you been running? I originally started at 2 but wanted more. I currently like running 3 copies since they can be pretty redundant in certain scenarios / matchups. I haven't tested 4 yet since I'd have to cut 1 Oblivion Ring, but it's not out of the question. For those who have been testing x4 Sorcerous Spyglass, do you like it or do you think it's too much?

  4. #404

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by Steveman View Post
    For those testing Sorcerous Spyglass, how many have you been running? I originally started at 2 but wanted more. I currently like running 3 copies since they can be pretty redundant in certain scenarios / matchups. I haven't tested 4 yet since I'd have to cut 1 Oblivion Ring, but it's not out of the question. For those who have been testing x4 Sorcerous Spyglass, do you like it or do you think it's too much?
    In Brown Stax I currently play 2 max due to Inventors' Fair. I just need it for Planeswalkers or a few critical creatures anyway, so 1-2 seems enough. The trick to shutdown fetchlands is something that does not always work and on the long run is sometimes too short-sigthed imho. So I do not feel like maximizing it. The deck usually needs many turns to establish a lock where an opponent can draw into all kinds of stuff.

  5. #405

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    I'm trimming down to two Spyglass in the side to see how that feels.

    I've been mostly running around three in the main since they became available. Was very excited to test the effect as it sure would be great to have another solid 2cmc lock piece. But in that light, I'm rarely thrilled to see it. I has come up as a key play maybe one in 10 games (in a sample of around 40).

    I'm much more appreciative of it as a Pithing Needle that dodges Chalice, as a Revoker that is immune to Fatal Push. From that perspective, it is great! But I think that relegates it to the side.

  6. #406

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    I would like to thank Michael Coyle for his contributions to the Prison Community.
    I've been Trolling my way to the top with his brew this weekend... on the "Dutch Open Series".

    I believe it was a 100+ players event. (but correct me if I'm wrong)
    I ran his same 75 that he used on the last SCG Legacy event. ( http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=17345&d=307301&f=LE)

    7 rounds of swiss:

    Round 1: 2-0 Elves (Win)
    Round 2: 2-0 Grixis Delver (Win)
    Round 3: 2-1 BUG Delver (Win)
    Round 4: 2-1 Grixis Delver (Win)
    Round 5: 2-0 Moonwalkers (Mono R Planeswalkers STAX) (Win)
    Round 6: I. D.
    Round 7: I. D.

    7 people said that they were agreeing with splitting the pot. I was undecided. I didn't really mind, what ever they agreed on whas good for me.
    So Pot was split. Then there were still some unsplittable prices... so you could play top 8 if you want. My opponent wanted to go home... so I went to the half final.
    There I faced off another Moonwalker List... Fiery Confluence wrecked me hard. Lost both games... I was okay with it. At least one person trolled his way to the top... won the tournament too.

    I got a bit lucky with my draws... You can prey on stuff that doesnt run to much non-basics. Spyglass vs Deathrite Shaman has changed the game a lot. I'm so glad they printed that card.

    I think the list is pretty good... I'm not sure if "defense grid" is better then "Winter Orb" tough. I never brought it in... neither did I board in "Tabernacle". Winter Orb is problematic with "Tangle Wire" and "Trinisphere"... so if you want to walk that path, you will have to watch out.

    You can see the deck perform on the twitch stream:


    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/200654698

    02:47:32 - Round 3
    04:51:31 - Round 5

    Michael Coyles performance can be seen on youtube, if you want to have more stax fun.
    It's from a local tournament I guess? Apperently he came in 1st and 2nd in 2 diffrent tournies.

    Round 1: https://youtu.be/ypwQg3Imfic (Elves)
    Round 3: https://youtu.be/Vp6VWAtpaJg (UWR Stoneblade)
    1/4th Final: https://youtu.be/KDZZ1paVhRU (Grixis Pyromancer)
    Finals: https://youtu.be/j-UJXEg5lYM (BUG Delver)
    Last edited by kwčk; 11-14-2017 at 04:47 AM.

  7. #407

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Yup Coyle keeps reaching good position in Big Events with Mud /Stax makes me Hope for the dream.
    Would really like to talk to him about the deck and some tuning

  8. #408

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    What goes up... has to come down.
    Got one serious Ass Whuppin this weekend... went to a local tournament. 6 rounds.
    Still played the same list (see Coyle's Deckslist top 16 in SCG)

    Round 1: 1-2 UWr R.I.P. Combo (Helminator) (Loss)
    Round 2: 2-1 Colorless Eldrazi (Win)
    Round 3: 0-2 Lands (Loss)
    Round 4: 2-0 UWr Stoneblade (Patriot) (Win)
    Round 5: 1-2 UWr Miracles (Loss)
    Round 6: 1-2 Grixis Control (Loss)



    Round 1: Opponent drew a couple of Basics, and the combo... 2 and 4 casting costs kinda ruined the great opening I had. Just death. Won the 2nd one really quick (with combo as well). 3th game I ended up facing an "Energy Flux" and "Back To Basics" ... But I had a Metalworker out... But I couldn't find a sol land to try and combo out.

    Round 2: Opponent lost to Bridges. Strange thing is that he won game 1 even tough there was a Bridge out. Apperently some endless ones + Eldrazi Scions (go go warping wail) beats a hand that gets flooded with Ancients Tombs.

    Round 3: Got pretty much obliterated here.

    Round 4: My opponent made mistakes first game... I made some mistakes too (I wasn't proud of myself). But I ended stealing game 1. Game 2 I just locked it up.

    Round 5: Game 1 got overpowered by a Mentor. He just ran 1 mana spells into chalice, the tokens + A Tombs did the rest. Won game 2 super quick. Lost game 3 because my opponent naturally draws Engineered Explosives + Dissenchant (no ponder / brainstorm / jace) ... The Chant was just brutal, cause without it, I would have probably won in the next turn since I had the combo, metalworker just needed to get rid of summon sickness.

    Round 6: Lost Game 1, Locked Gamed 2, ... and game 3 I kept a 5 card hand: Wasteland + Ancient Tomb + Inventor's Fair + Ensnaring Bridge + Staff of Domination. Scried "Serum Powder" to the bottom. Then I drew 6 lands, including 2x Ancient Tomb + 2x Inventors Fair and no wasteland... Opponent made Jace in turn 6, faith sealed 2 cards to the bottom... 8 draw steps later I ended with 11 lands and 2 spells... and opponent had bloodmoon out.

    That was pretty much it.
    A lot more basics today... and the lands player just Quartered + Wasteland my entire plan.
    A lot of games that I lost were still super close... Except for the lands and the few decks that I lost by extreme mulliganing.

  9. #409

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Greetings fellow prison lovers! I have always been a lurker of this thread, but this is my first time (I believe) posting here. My main gig in Legacy is playing 12Post, but I have always had an appreciation for Stax variants. Today I took an older style list to a small local tournament. Even though the data I got was small (3 rounds played), I feel like there is still a lot to think about and I would like to contribute to the discussion here. This was my list:

    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 City of Traitors
    4 Mishra's Factory
    4 Mutavault
    4 Wasteland
    3 Rishadan Port
    3 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

    4 Lodestone Golem

    4 Chalice of the Void
    4 Sphere of Resistance
    4 Ratchet Bomb
    4 Tangle Wire
    4 Crucible of Worlds
    4 Smokestack
    3 Mox Diamond
    3 Ensnaring Bridge

    Sideboard:
    4 Phyrexian Revoker
    4 Leyline of the Void
    4 Metalworker
    2 Sun Droplet
    1 Ensnaring Bridge

    The maindeck is exactly the same as the man-land list that has been floating around for a couple years, except the three land flex spots are Tabernacles. The card has such a unique and powerful function for the mana denial gameplan, and ranges from being completely devastating to just useful in most non-combo matchups (and some combo matchups as well). I know most people don't have access to three of the card, but I am lucky enough to be able to, so I went in with all of them.

    In the sideboard, the four Metalworkers should probably not be there. Honestly, I was late leaving for the tournament and couldn't find anything else to put in the slots that might be useful in time, so I stuck the workers in. The Sun Droplets were also to be a test as an answer against Burn. As I tune the sideboard, I will probably be looking to make the 4 Metalworker and 2 Sun Droplet spots into 3 and 3 of midrange answers (if there are any) and burn answers (thinking either Sun Droplet or Zuran Orb).

    Matches

    Grixis Delver (Won 2-0)
    The deck did its thing perfectly here. Game one, I got a Chalice at one down on the play first turn. In the second game, he managed to get a Delver and Young Pyromancer out, but Tabernacle kept him taxed until I was able to play Crucible and Wasteland him out the game.

    Nic Fit (Won 2-0)
    I got very lucky here, as this should probably be a terrible matchup. The first game, he mulled to oblivion. The only cards I saw were a basic Plains and a Phyrexian Tower (which gave away that he was Nic Fit) but I didn't side anything in. Game two, he didn't find a Veteran Explorer and I was able to land a turn two Smokestack.

    Maverick (Lost 1-2)
    Another dreaded midrange opponent. The first game, he played a Thalia to restrict me and do most of the damage to me. He also had Noble Hierarchs and Qasali Pridgemages, both great cards against the strategy of the Stax deck. I eventually got an Ensnaring Bridge out, but couldn't dump my hand fast enough against Thalia. I boarded out four Sphere or Resistance (in light of his Thalia) and a Lodestone Golem for four Phyrexian Revokers and the fourth Bridge. I didn't see Life from the Loam after a long game, so I didn't bring in the Leylines. Game two went long, but I was able to reach my late game of Waste-lock and Smokestack combined with a Bridge and Tabernacle to overcome a 10/10 Knight of the Reliquary. Revoker was also great here, stopping his Knight activations. Game three, he was simply able to get lots of permanents out fast enough (Noble Hierarch and two Mother of Runes) and I couldn't find a Tabernacle. Revoker was helpful again, but I needed to name a Pridemage with one of them instead of Deathrite Shaman. At least the games I lost still felt reasonably close and winnable.

    For my sideboard, if I were able to find the cards I wanted in time, I believe I would have replaced the four Metalworker with a third Sun Droplet and three Spellskite. With Sun Droplet, getting one down early enough against Burn will help gain life all on its own. Compare it to Zuran Orb, which kind of requires a Crucible or enough lands drawn to function well.

    The Spellskites seem decent against the midrange decks, being able to redirect Abrupt Decays and block smaller things on the ground. Another option for those matchups might be Hangarback Walker, although the thopter tokens would not play well with my Tabernacles. One issue I have in sideboarding against midrange is finding enough cards to take out. I am usually always bringing in the Revokers against them (for Deathrite Shaman as well as many other threats). Having another three cards to bring in would probably be too much. I will be working in the future to try and find some better answers for these quandaries.

  10. #410

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    @ into play:

    Either take the "Lodestone Golem" OR take the "Metalworker".

    Metalworker = More explosiveness
    Lodestone Golem = Bigger Clock on prison piece.

    I'm not a fan of the Gollem. I tried it out for a while... but Kinda gave up on it.
    The reason why? ... Because your deck's synergy is kinda strange.

    Gollem + Bridge ... is a bit of a strange combination. Your Gollem is often blocked by your own bridge... and then you will stax them out (get them to 0 permanents, where they are literally in prison... and then you can beat them to dead. In the meantime, the gollem just acts as a really expensive sphere (since you don't run "trinisphere" ... your gollem costs 5 or more with "sphere of resistance").

    If you put someone in a prison, and they can't do anything anymore... 5 damage or 1 damage... really doesn't matter. Unless you are in "time".
    ... it's of course a choice, and you need to play what you feel good with. But I've changed my ways, and I believe it's just better. An unanswered metalworker turn 1 ... can be devestating turn 2 for your opponent.

    I'm also not the biggest fan of the Lands. I know what you are trying to do... but I'm not a fan of it. Been there, done that... and the consistency just isn't there for me. But I'll happy to listen to more players over this issue.

    Biggest asset printed for "chalice" - prison style decks... is "Sorcerouss Spyglass". That card is just amazing: Knight of the Reliquary, Death Rite Shaman, Planeswalkers, Jitte (no 0 power creatures boosting under bridge), fetchlands... ETC ETC... it just answeres a lot of problems STAX may encounter. so if you want to push something in the sideboard... think of "spyglass".




    I went to play with Michael Coyle's strategy again this weekend... for those that are intrested.
    I ran the same 60 cards (see above) and changed the sideboard.

    3x Grafdiggers Cage ... Is a bit of a metagame choice I guess. I wanted to try out 3x Tormod's Crypt in this spot.
    3x Ratchet Bomb... I changed 1 ratchetbomb to tabernacle number 2. Since I disliked blowing up my own chalices and mox diamonds (to take out tokens). I can still tutor up a bomb if I need it for something else.

    I'm pretty much in love with the list Coyle is using. Even tough I believe that (depending on the metagame) the mono R deck maybe superior in a lot of sitations.
    The fact that you can tutor up stuff + get things back with "buried" ruins is soooooo good. And the Metalworker + Staff plan is great for the match ups where stax suffers from incompatible match ups. Deck is still metagame depended... and some match ups are still horrific. But Metalworker can just give you the edge to squeeze out a win. I'm still working on how to sideboard... and I make mistakes. Still learning, but it's an incredible fun list.

    Results were:

    Round 1: 1-1 Grixis Control (Draw - Lost the die roll)
    Round 2: 1-2 NiC FiT (Loss - Lost the die roll)
    Round 3: 2-0 Elves (Win - Lost the die roll)
    Round 4: 2-1 The Epic Storm (Win - Lost the die roll)
    Round 5: 0-2 UB Delver (Loss - Lost the die roll)
    Round 6: 2-0 Aluren (Win - Win the die roll)
    Round 7: 2-1 Slivers(Win - Win the die roll)

    17th place of 66 players... with a 4-2-1 record. Not good, not bad... still learning.
    The matchs ups were really diffrent... I faced a lot less controll, which helps a lot. Black is still the most wonky splash colour for tempo decks to play against... cause it attacks your hand, and that can be super important if you only play 1 spell a turn (because of trinisphere). Your long term plans can be twarted by some pin point accurate discard spells.


    Game 1: I should have scooped game 1. But I wasn't loosing yet. I wasn't sure if he could answer my board, even tough he was ahead. I still had outs... but they were slim. Should have just scooped game 1... I got game 2, and then I got in a strange position that could have gone either way game 3. So it ended in a draw.

    Game 2: Loosing the die roll here is terrible. Cause having a quick Veteran Explorer out generates 2 permanents. Which you don't want. Just like pox, stax needs to get away from card advantage + permanent advantage on board. I won game 2 by combo playing. And lost game 3 by mulliganing to 5, and he had 2x Cabal Therapy in hand. He opened with therapy, and said "chalice of the void". My hand was: Chalice, Chalice, Wasteland, Rishadan's Port, Crucible of world. (sigh) ... then he played another therapy in turn 2, naming crucible... removing 2 of them out of my hand, because I picked one up during the draw step (I scried smokestack to the bottom). So that was the game. I think I made a mistake boarding here... but oh well, still learning.

    Game 3: Elves... I had an extremely bad opening hand... and played annyway, because I mulliganed to 6 and I had some answers against random decks. When he played "nettle sentil" ... I already went "darn". I scried a "serum powder" to the bottom. My sequence of draws were: "Chalice" , "Trinisphere" , "Staff of Domination" ... and I had a metalworker in hand, and enough mana to cast everything. That was pretty much GG. Game 2 was just a walk over.

    Game 4: Opponent made goblins turn 2 ... I couldn't empty my hand for bridge. After sideboard I kinda won on the play (which was expected) and then there was a finger crossing for the play again. The only way he can stop most hands in this deck is either storm for 10 with tendrills turn 1 , or some amazing discard. I mulliganed to 5 aggresively, and I had a superb hand of: "Chalice, Sphere of resistance, trinisphere, Sol Land, Ratchet Bomb". It's a 1 lander, but I have a turn 1 play (chalice or sphere) , I can blow up tokens... and if I draw a land trinisphere is in. He didn't pull the trigger on turn 1, and just played ponder + probe. I guess he didn't find what he wanted... and I just took over from there. I even drew the second chalice so it was: "chalice for 1 , chalice for 0" on turn 1 , Trinisphere on turn 2 (because I drew a land) ... from there on I got a crucible and a wasteland going... and I slowly got myself out of the "what could be"-mess

    Game 5: UB Delver... was super intresting game. I put my opponent in a position that he had to top deck to get out of a lock. He had 2 turns to get out, and chalice on 1 was active (so no brainstorm or ponder). I was missing bridge... but I had a crucible + smokestack going. Stack is just slow... and I counted out it would take 2 turns to get rid of the gurmag angler that was on the other side of the table. In his first draw step he got a "true name nemesis". Which is not only a permanent, but also a creature that changes the clock by 3 points of damadge. I got a bridge in my 2nd draw step (the one just before I was going to die) but my opponent had a FoW that he drew AFTER the TNN. Perfect cards for my opponent... since he needed to change the clock to make it worst (only giving me ensnaring bridge as an out) and then he drew FoW to counter anny bridge I might top deck. 2nd game I mulliganed to 5, and my opponent had a thoughtzeize + cabal therapy. He had a 7 card hand... it happens I guess.

    Game 6: Aluren... well, you have to have a trinisphere out, and protect it. Or have your chalice on 2... which I did. I felt a bit sad for my opponent, cause he didn't know the interaction of trinisphere and aluren. Which came up the first game. He was sure that his cavern harpy costed 0 (which it does) and he was sure he shouldn't pay annything for it (which is right)... but I couldn't seem to explain that he should pay the trinisphere... Cause trinisphere demands some respect... even from aluren. He asked the judge, which was a young guy that apperently was still in his learning face of becoming the best judge ever. Judge kinda made it worst... cause he ruled against me, and I wanted to call the headjudge, because I didn't agree. It went a bit like this:

    Judge: "Aluren says creatures with casting cost lower than 3 can be cast for 0 mana with flash."
    Me: "You are correct, the creature costs 0 and has flash... and then you have to pay 3 for trinisphere."
    Judge: "No, Aluren says that creatures cost 0"
    Me: "Again... you are correct... and then you pay 3 for Trinisphere. The creature costs 0, and trinisphere demands you pay 3.".
    Judge - *get's busy on smartphone*
    Opponent: "I'm sure my opponent is not correct, cause there is only 1 card that can disrupt this combo... and that's "Ethersworn Canonist"."
    Me: "I can name you at least 5 cards that disrupt your combo from the top of my head"
    Opponent: "There is only one card that can disrupt Aluren, that's "Ethersworn Canonist"".
    Me: "Ethersworn Canonist, Sphere of Resistance, Trinisphere, Rule of Law, Arcane Laboratory" (and I forgot Lodestone Gollem)
    Opponent:
    Judge: "Oh, I found it... apparently "Trinisphere" is the exception to the rule"
    Me: "No, it's not an exception... it's just the rule. You apply cost increase, then cost decrease... and then trinisphere checked if you payed at least 3 for the entire cost. If you didn't, you will have to pay up to 3.".
    Judge:

    Anyway... at the end of the discussion I felt bad because my opponent felt bad... and the judge did his job... and cavern harpy still costs 0 but trinisphere demands respect. RESPECT DAMNED!
    So everyone payed at least 3 for almost all of their spells, and trinisphere had a great day.

    But I can understand the opponents point... since he doesnt know the interaction, and he was super sure of his case. And then someone agrees with him, because the judge made the mistake by just looking up the oracle text of "aluren", while "trinisphere" is actually the rulling we are looking for. So he got support for his conviction, even though it was the wrong one. Everyone understands aluren... you can flash in creatures all day, but you have to pay 3 for the sphere. Luckely for anny of them I wasn't playing Humility + Opalescence + Parallax Wave combos... that could have been some real fun.

    Round 7: Friend of mine played the sliver deck. After sideboard ... I should have everything I need to compete with this. Loads of slivers don't do annything... and I just need to get them away from 3 mana for "Harmonic Sliver". Once Harmonic, gets a shot at the board... things go down pretty badly for me. I raised him in game 1 and 3 ... and I'm pretty sure I made some terrible sideboarding error in game 2.



    Still love the deck. Super fun, and you have some back up plays with "buried ruins" and "inventors fair".

  11. #411
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Hey there folks,

    I played Stax a couple weeks ago in my LGS (I keep trying different combo or prison decks this year). I ended 3-1 and I happened to win the tournament due to weird tiebreakers. My only loss was a 0-1 against a GW Zenith deck (bad pairing, I think). This line on the above post (nice report kwčk, I LOLd with the Aluren/Trini RESPECT) sums pretty well the situation:

    Quote Originally Posted by kwčk View Post
    Game 1: I should have scooped game 1. But I wasn't loosing yet.
    I was struggling during all game 1. I wasn't winning, but I wasn't losing neither. And when I was really losing, there was no time left to try a comeback. What do you do in this kind of situation, when game stalls and you are not really in control?
    Real men play colorless
    http://ooh---shiny.blogspot.com

  12. #412

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by gRR!! View Post
    I was struggling during all game 1. I wasn't winning, but I wasn't losing neither. And when I was really losing, there was no time left to try a comeback. What do you do in this kind of situation, when game stalls and you are not really in control?

    The situation on board came down to:


    I had 3x Ensnaring Bridge on board
    I had 1x Spyglass on board , which was keeping "Jace the mindsculptor" at bay.
    I had Crucible + Smokestack (but my smokestack was on 0 because of an enormous amount of 1/1 tokens from young pyromancer)
    I had some lock pieces... and we both had an enormous amount of mana.

    My opponent had Jace... some cards in hand (probably counterspells, since I wasn't doing much) ...
    He had an enormous amount of Tokens + Young Pyromancer (which I can't really deal with EXCEPT for smokestack... but it was way to late for that)
    He had a gurmag Angler and a True Name Nemesis.
    He had a pithing needle (1 mainboard) which said "staff of domination".

    Annyway... this is a fairly stalemate game UNLESS he can remove ALL the bridge or the needle. If he removes the spyglass, I can try to buy it back numerous times and hope jace never gets to 13.
    If he blows up all the bridges... (at once) ... I just get an attack in for lethal.
    He already spend a "Kologhans command" on the spyglass... used it to brainstorm. I bought spyglass back and recasted it, because back then, he didn't have a counterspell.

    So 1 removal spell for artifacts is gone.

    So his outs are:

    - Kologhans command + Loads of counterspells to keep spyglass from doing it's thing
    - Something that kills every bridge... the only out I could think of during the game is "engineered explosives" since I can't see Grixis controll running a massive bounce spell like "echoing truths".
    - Direct damadge... but I had a lot of lives... I don't think he would have made that, even with flashing back bolts. Chlice was on 1 by that time annyway. At some point it sticked on the table.

    Not everyone plays E.E. mainboard... so I took the risk in playing it out. I had nothing to do but draw and play... since he pondered , brainstormed his deck to less then 30 cards. I still had a 30+ card deck at the time, because I draw less stuff. The combo (on my side) was out of the equation since he had a mainboard pithing needle, which at some point hit the table and named "staff".


    These decks sometimes run long... so you have to know when to walk away from a game.
    This counts for everything you are playing. IF there is nothing more to do then wait for the final blow... just scoop. Don't take the risk that he doesnt have a win condition unless you are absolutely sure (then it's not a risk)... or it's game 3 and you need to win it what ever the cost. Then you don't nescesarily need to walk away from a game. I think it comes by experience... you only have 50 minutes... and you need to win 2 games. That's how it works. If you have outs... then play to your outs. If only your opponent has outs left... (like my game) ... then it's sometimes just hard to see if you have to call it quits or not. It also depends on how much time you spend playing your first game.

    What I like about the metalworker + staff build... is that if a game takes super long... you have a good chance in killing someone turn 3 / 4 even turn 2 if you have the perfect hand... just watch out when you go for it... cause a "fatal push" + "surgical extraction" , can kill off your enire game plan before your metal worker looses summoning sickness. Try to have chalice back up unless you are sure or have to go for it.


    Annyway... things were looking way better for him then for me. I should have scooped and gambled on the fact that he had a "Engineered Explosives".
    I can't sacrifice my own spyglass to smokestack and buy it back... cause that would just make me loose to jace.
    My only gameplan was decking my opponent, and that could only work out if the things didn't happened as mentioned above.

    At the moment I only played 3 tournies with the deck.

    1: 5-0-2
    2: 2-4-0
    3: 4-2-1

    So only 1 real draw... since the first 2 were itentional draws to lock me in for top 8. For a slow grinding deck like STAX, that's pretty okay I guess. You just have to feel when to walk away. Cause a draw in the beginning of the tourney is kinda bad... unless that guy goes for 1st or 2nd place after your swiss rounds... which is great for your tie breakers (I guess).

  13. #413

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    @kwek - Great report and even better analysis. I loved reading it.

    This is really important point...

    Quote Originally Posted by kwčk View Post
    These decks sometimes run long... so you have to know when to walk away from a game.
    This counts for everything you are playing. IF there is nothing more to do then wait for the final blow... just scoop. Don't take the risk that he doesnt have a win condition unless you are absolutely sure (then it's not a risk)... or it's game 3 and you need to win it what ever the cost. Then you don't nescesarily need to walk away from a game. I think it comes by experience... you only have 50 minutes... and you need to win 2 games. That's how it works. If you have outs... then play to your outs. If only your opponent has outs left... (like my game) ... then it's sometimes just hard to see if you have to call it quits or not. It also depends on how much time you spend playing your first game.
    You have to know your deck very well and whether or not you are built to handle situations like these. Stax is sometimes quite poor at getting out of situations where the opponent has a distinct board advantage (i.e. tokens flooding the board). Unless you have the ability to ramp your Smokestack to 2, it can be very difficult to dig yourself out and, as kwek points out, you have to play to your outs and look for virtual card advantage wherever you can get it. If you have nothing left, it's best for everyone to scoop and win the next two. [Obviously don't do this if you are down a game or it's game 3]

  14. #414

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    I'm not that good
    ... so don't take it from me... but knowing the field is important... you need to play around stuff, need to think what the outs of your opponent are... sometimes just blindly slam a spyglass, look at their hand... and say something completely diffrent then annything you see, cause you know there are certain cards you need to avoid in the later game.

    Most of the time (unless a quick metal worker goes unanswered) you need to plan in the long run. Knowing when to get up your stack is super important. If you know the opponent has more permananents then you have... then it's quite tricky to go stacking for 2 or 3 ... you can see one of the games Coyled played (see link I posted above). He has a game somewhere where he has 2x smokestack in play for 3 turns , and doesnt add a counter... just keeps it on 0. His opponent is WAY ahead on permanents, and has 12 tokens that came out from shaman... getting your stack up is just a loosing battle in this position. He only added (or started to add counters) when he blew up all the counters with ratchet bomb.

    Knowing when to stack, and when not stack is important. Everything that craps out permanets against smokestack (or anny other resource denial plan like POX) is just bad.
    - Balefull strix, leaves a permanent + draws a card
    - Veteran explorer, is basically 3 permanents to sack to smokestack
    - Pyromancer is terrible if left unchecked if you are on the stack plan
    ...

  15. #415

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by kwčk View Post
    I'm not that good
    ... so don't take it from me... but knowing the field is important... you need to play around stuff, need to think what the outs of your opponent are... sometimes just blindly slam a spyglass, look at their hand... and say something completely diffrent then annything you see, cause you know there are certain cards you need to avoid in the later game.

    Most of the time (unless a quick metal worker goes unanswered) you need to plan in the long run. Knowing when to get up your stack is super important. If you know the opponent has more permananents then you have... then it's quite tricky to go stacking for 2 or 3 ... you can see one of the games Coyled played (see link I posted above). He has a game somewhere where he has 2x smokestack in play for 3 turns , and doesnt add a counter... just keeps it on 0. His opponent is WAY ahead on permanents, and has 12 tokens that came out from shaman... getting your stack up is just a loosing battle in this position. He only added (or started to add counters) when he blew up all the counters with ratchet bomb.

    Knowing when to stack, and when not stack is important. Everything that craps out permanets against smokestack (or anny other resource denial plan like POX) is just bad.
    - Balefull strix, leaves a permanent + draws a card
    - Veteran explorer, is basically 3 permanents to sack to smokestack
    - Pyromancer is terrible if left unchecked if you are on the stack plan
    ...
    I don't know, this is pretty solid advice.

    Stax is really a meta-deck and that means you have to know the match-ups better than your opponents to have success. You have to see the lines you have open at any given time and how to maximize your percentages given the cards in your hand (and left in your deck).

    I think that is one of the things I like the least about mono-brown - the lack of 'catch-up' cards. White has long used taxes and Armageddon to wipe permanents faster than an opponent can play them. Mono-brown has things like Ratchet Bomb or Powder Keg, but they are not as flexible as you sometimes want...

    Still, great advice!

  16. #416
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Sorry for the dumb question, but aside opponent's conceding and attacking with metalworker, how does this deck win?

    Are there any video of this deck in action? It would be great to in order to understand how the games usually flow.

    Thanks.
    Ignorance is strength

  17. #417
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    It depends on how you build it. I tun with either a single Ballista or a single Factory. Both offer a way to win much faster. Both are not required.
    It is better to ask and look stupid then keep your mouth shut and remain so.
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  18. #418

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtk3 View Post
    Sorry for the dumb question, but aside opponent's conceding and attacking with metalworker, how does this deck win?
    Isn't that enough?
    Once the hard lock is established (super important) you can grab more metalworkers... so damadge can go up to 4 a turn (maximum) before sideboard.
    After sideboard... your Walking ballista can become super big... So you can speed up the clock. It has the potential to go infinite.
    Next to that... don't forget "decking" ... or getting beaten up by your opponent (physically), calling the judge for bad conduct... that's like a game win

    Also... I've put all the videos, switch streams in my posts. Michael Coyle's games + my games... if more people have games, it would be nice to have them posted here, so we can all learn from eachother.

    Also... similair decks can be found on youtube too. Just look up "Stax".
    A great example is the "much abrew" series from mtggoldfish... this link is a great place to start looking: https://youtu.be/KxU3ejYFMjo
    The build is diffrent... but the idea is the same. Prison them out, then go beat downs... how you beat down? That depends on you... at the moment I'm folowing the metalworker plan... but I tried "Lodestone Gollem" and the 8x Manland tactic too. You can also play colours... like "white" is great for token planeswalkers (Gideon AND/OR Elspeth) , and "Blue Black" gives you access to "tezzeret". You can also go for "stax on a stick" in mono black with "braids cabal minion" and "plague spitter"... (http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=13004)

    This is a "stax" primer... which is more then just "prison". You either have a big pile of soft locks (which give you time) so you can either evolve the board to a hard lock OR beat downs. The first tactic is full out "prison" where your opponent can literally do nothing OR you can go stompy ... where you buy time by casting annoying soft locks and beat your opponent to pulp with big creatures (like Soldiers) OR combo them out with "mogg catcher".

    Mr. Keefer said to me once: "If you live on soft locks, you have to be aware that they will eventually get broken up... therefore your creatures need to be fast, furious, big, painfull and preferably buying more time so they can do their job. If the soft lock gets broken up (which will happen eventually) your hand will not be able to whitstand the flood of cards that are stuck in your opponents hand.". He loves to play stompy and prison-control more then full out stax-prison.... but he's super good at it.

    The deck we are discussing here is the hard lock... you buy time to hard lock your opponent... if they can't do annything annymore... it really doesnt matter if you ping them for 1 damadge a turn, or 5 damadge. Once the lock is established, the game is over... so your opponent scoops or you slowly beat him to crap while he plays "draw - go". The cool thing about metal worker... is that you can go "combo" with staff of domination + walking ballista. Which is a great plan B... but plan A is still locking your opponent up with the combination of "Crucible of Worlds + Trinisphere + Smokestack" (those 3 cards, will eventually go into hard lock mode... but you need to buy yourself time to get there).



    EDIT:

    For those that want to be lazy... I kinda listed this up for you guys:

    Clarification of terminology: Diffrence (for me, pure subjective) between “prison” and “control”.

    Prison: The Hardlock, your opponent can’t play spells. Nothing he does matters. He’s just stuck. They usually don’t run a lot of answers that are not prison prieces. Their answer is usually the total lock down.
    Control: Your opponent can play spells, things he does need to be answered… but your deck is created to generate answers (therefore control) to everything your opponent plays.

    There is a difference (for me) in prison strategies, which are the “grey zones” on the axe between “prison” and “control”.

    Pure Prison: Locks all decks out of the game 100%. (Examples: Smokestack strategies)
    Prison Stompy: Wins time, kicks ass in the meantime (Examples: Soldiers, Angel stompy, Dragon Stompy, Faerie Stompy, Green Plug, Big Red, Eldrazi, Big Eldrazi)
    Prison Control: Combines prison pieces with control pieces (Examples: Mono R Prison, Lands)

    … The last 2 prison style decks, usually don’t put in a hard lock. HOWEVER… they have the possibility to hard lock some opponents by just playing one card. For instance, the mono R prison style deck that you find here: http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=17624&d=309165&f=LE , has the potential of locking out some decks by just playing “blood moon” or “chalice on 1” … but for a lot of other decks this will just be a “soft lock”. Hence he reaches for control (removal, mass removal, like “pyroclasm”) to control the board. His opponent still has the opportunity to do stuff… so they are not fully locked out of the game.

    In a “trinisphere” – “Crucible” – “Smokestack” lock… the game is just over (as I said before).

    There is of course a lot more out there... like "Death And Taxes". A deck I love a lot... but it doesnt really know what it is. It has this prison element in "Thalia" + "Revoker" + "wasteland" + "Rishadan's port" ... but it also controlls the board... and in some games it just wants to hit people's faces in. All the Prison elements are either on "creatures" or "lands" ... the control elements are Whisps and Equipment... its just a bizar hybrid of a lot of things, but super fun to play.

    Enchantress... also depending on the build, can be super prisony. They always use prison elements early... most of the time stopping people from attacking or targetting them... Sometimes they go full combo style, other time they assemble a lot of 1/1s under humility. It's still not fully control cause a lot of the opponents options become "blanks" , casting them really doesnt matter. Sometimes they just full on lock you out of the game with enchantments (see video below).

    These decks usually work (again) by “winning time” in the early game, by putting in soft locks… then developing their board to either “hard lock” or “beat the crap” out of people. There are “prison control decks” that take their time and actually put in planeswalkers that will eventually kill their opponent… Or control the board with “jitte” by tutoring it up by playing “stoneforge mystic” (see the UR prison deck below). Another great control piece is “Punishing Fire” + “Grove of the burn willows” which stops early threats.

    Here are some streamers I listed up.
    BEWARE, not everyone is piloting there deck well... mistakes are made. I guess we all make them (I admit I make a lot of them). But you can see what happens when you forget triggers, or use smokestack wrong, or tanglewire at the wrong time. Learn from the mistakes, they happen.


    Hard Lock Stax
    https://youtu.be/Z05TJpGQIuE (GP 2015 - MUD vs Storm)
    https://youtu.be/SDH9YQ7jIyI (2016 MUD – Chemfy MTG Stream)
    https://youtu.be/fIOV8FPZsRU (2016 MUD – Chemfy MTG)
    https://youtu.be/aTNWbT_FET4 (2016 MUD – Chemfy MTG)
    https://youtu.be/FvouksdQfZM (2016 MUD – Chemfy MTG)
    https://youtu.be/XzvLrjIuFUw (2016 MUD – Chemfy MTG)
    https://youtu.be/cm06W-3PfF8 (2017 Stream from Atog_lord - there is some vintage mixed into this, it’s kinda messy… but you can scroll between vintage Gifts and Legacy MUD games)
    https://youtu.be/x2b200mo4h4 (2017 MUD - The Library At Pendrell Vale)
    https://youtu.be/zX_ne1xcbJQ (2017 MUD - The Library At Pendrell Vale)
    https://youtu.be/Mwi_q5Kd_oY (2017 MUD - The Library At Pendrell Vale)
    https://youtu.be/NQCB_nWz5CQ (2017 MUD - The Library At Pendrell Vale)
    https://youtu.be/ntkre1fER1k (2017 MUD - The Library At Pendrell Vale)
    https://youtu.be/MbhMnZ5QnSQ (2017 MUD - The Library At Pendrell Vale)
    https://youtu.be/mNxUWX0JAVc (2017 MUD – MTGGoldfish)
    https://youtu.be/-O4Aa3VW7h8 (2017 MUD – MTGGoldfish)
    https://youtu.be/bmTTUuOJvXw (2017 MUD – MTGGoldfish)
    https://youtu.be/50Nf8kUhO_8 (2017 MUD – MTGGoldfish)
    https://youtu.be/IUqh5ly9K4k (2017 MUD – MTGGoldfish)

    I forgot if this guy ever plays a smokestack… but he has the potential to hardlock his opponent (depending on their deck choice) with “Wasteland” + “Crucible” + “Lodestone Gollem”. If he runs Smokestack you might as well totally ignore this comment.

    https://youtu.be/sTwnkzj-1Xo (2017 White Splash – Second Chance MTG)
    https://youtu.be/I5ZqF4Me9yA (2017 White Splash – Second Chance MTG)

    Other prison style decks that usually don’t “hardlock” and that are not really stompy-style decks:

    https://youtu.be/5Bu7HFWlrhQ (2009 Tezzeret Prison - SCG)
    https://youtu.be/Y_oKOrcN2ZA (2017 Humility Prison – Brainstorm MTG)
    https://youtu.be/-mNthNPARyk (2017 4c Prison – Brainstorm MTG)
    https://youtu.be/bS-HthefJNc (2017 WR-Prison-Control – Brainstorm MTG)
    https://youtu.be/NCT4Y1c6CKE (2017 WR-Prison-Control – Brainstorm MTG)
    https://youtu.be/NQ66fE2rAto (2017 WR-Prison-Control – Brainstorm MTG)
    https://youtu.be/a_k3EcIiHoQ (2017 WR-Prison-Control – Brainstorm MTG)
    https://youtu.be/EFfJe93q_a4 (2017 WR-Prison-Control – Brainstorm MTG)


    I’m not going to spam “Lands”, "Creature stompy", "Enchantress Prison" in this threat… Since most people over here want to see chalices and spheres. However… I would like to notice a video that a lot people might have missed. It’s a sweet NiC Fit Enchantment build that is actually less known then most builds you find online. It was piloted by a British player called “Henry Kay” … and he makes people cry… A LOT.

    He puts in soft locks, and ramps with "Veteran Explorer" and in the sideboard "Carpet of Flowers"... then he evolves into locking people out by a number of 1 off lock pieces with great synergy. Like "Living Plane" + "Doomwake Giant" OR "Parallax Wave" + "Starfield of Nyx" ... annyway, it gets pretty wacky, and he attacks diffrent strategies. Most of his lock pieces are tutorable with 3x Sterling Grove, and he gets card advantage by casting the 3x Eidolon of Blossoms and recurring enchantments with "Starfield".

    https://youtu.be/MUN9_jkguxU (2017 Nyx Fit - Britisch Magic Time)
    https://youtu.be/CUMJcJvdsMk (2017 Nyx Fit - British Magic Time)

    I'm open for the discussion if Enchantress is actually a combo deck... but a lot of decks have to have a combination of cards to work. Fact is that "Enchantress" and "Mogg Catcher" are both trying to put soft locks in in the beginning. And in the end they combo off (just like metalworker + staff of domination). But some of the grindy Enchantress decks. just put you in spot where nothing you do matters... and then they kill you wth some fliers after you are done playing. That's "prison" for me. They have some control elements like "Pernicious deed" ... but not being able to do annything afterwards is pretty cruel. LOL

    Also ... thanks a lot for all the streamers out there ... I love the content.
    Last edited by kwčk; 12-07-2017 at 06:43 AM.

  19. #419
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Wow, thank you for the extended feedback!

    It's very nice to see a full lock deck in contrast to soft lock (which i play a lot), but I have to notice that many of the video in your link are defeats of the Staxx player, making me question about the actual strength of the deck and if its results are lucky spikes: if you suffer so much vial and cheap creature Legacy is a tough spot to be in... sadly...
    Ignorance is strength

  20. #420

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtk3 View Post
    Wow, thank you for the extended feedback!

    It's very nice to see a full lock deck in contrast to soft lock (which i play a lot), but I have to notice that many of the video in your link are defeats of the Staxx player, making me question about the actual strength of the deck and if its results are lucky spikes: if you suffer so much vial and cheap creature Legacy is a tough spot to be in... sadly...
    I haven't watched all the streams, so you'll have to forgive me if I misunderstand, but a Stax player has to know what their plan is for their particular opponent. That's not a knock against any of the streamers, of course, but I believe that's been one of the issues with particular builds. One of the real advances in the deck, in my opinion, is being able to be more aggressive in setting up your lock as opposed to playing a more reactive game (which I have always felt mono-brown is poor at). The newest build combines several features to really open up a lot more lines of play. You are still weak to a couple of strategies, but there are more tools to fight them. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it's in a better spot than it was.

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