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Thread: [Deck] Smog Stax - Feedback Appreciated

  1. #1

    [Deck] Smog Stax - Feedback Appreciated

    I am in the process of brewing a new and interesting twist on Stax. I appreciate any and all feedback.

    Why did I build this deck?
    First off, I am not a meta player. I love fringe decks that are not main stream. I also love brewing new decks.

    The main reason I built this deck is that I always wanted to see how Karn, Scion of Urza and a little known card called Torment of Scarabs would do.

    From playtesting I found that Karn, Scion of Urza did amazing. I will definitely continue to use it.
    A.) It synergizes well with Smokestack and Braids, Cabal Minion, by providing sacrificial tokens.
    B.) The tokens it creates also act as a great win condition by creating beaters, which can get pretty big because of how many artifacts we are running.
    C.) It provides card advantage, which Stax desperately needs lategame. (If the deck is working properly, there will ALWAYS be a late game.)

    Torment of Scarabs on the other hand is a bit odd.
    A.) It synergizes well with Smokestack
    B.) However, since many opponents end up with a large hand size, due to the deck controlling on-board resources, they have plenty of fodder to discard to Torment of Scarabs trigger.
    C.) I am looking to test it with Liliana of the Veil, but will need to see how Liliana's manacost will work with the deck. (Double black on turn 3 may be a bit tough for this deck to pull off.)


    Smog Stax

    Where did the name come from?
    A colleague of mine came up with the name.
    I really liked it, so I kept it.

    Why Smog Stax and not Black Stax?
    It's true, this is a Stax deck that has black in it.
    Smog isn't purely black, its more of a grey. The deck has just enough black to give it that smoggy feel.

    1.) Unlike most Black Stax lists I seem to run more of the core Stax list, then black cards.

    2.) Another core component of most Black Stax decks is running 4x Braids, Cabal Minion.

    From playtesting I have found that 4 Braids seems to be too many. 1-2 seems to be the sweet spot.
    At times I end up in odd situations where I do not wish to play her.
    A.) I do not have that extra permanent available, which I want to sack to her.
    B.) The permanent count is not in my favor.
    C.) Or because I already have a smokestack on the board.

    3.) Another interesting feature of this deck is that I do not run Ensnaring Bridge main deck.
    Instead I run 4 Toxic Deluge

    I found that sometimes I am unable to sacrifice the ensnaring bridge, and am therefore unable to attack with my Karn, Scion of Urza tokens.
    Therefore it is much more efficient to wipe the board.
    Additionally, a majority of the time, the tokens survive, while my opponents creatures do not, so it allows me to quickly turn the tables and begin applying an immense amount of pressure.z

    If needed, for example against against show and tell decks, I side in the Ensnaring Bridge's as they are much more efficient then Toxic Deluge.


    The List

    // 60 Maindeck

    // 21 Artifact
    4 Chalice of the Void
    4 Tangle Wire
    4 Smokestack
    4 Trinisphere
    1 Crucible of Worlds
    4 Mox Diamond

    // 5 Creature
    1 Braids, Cabal Minion
    4 Ophiomancer

    // 4 Enchantment
    4 Torment of Scarabs

    // 3 Planeswalker
    3 Karn, Scion of Urza

    // 4 Sorcery
    4 Toxic Deluge

    // 23 Land
    4 Ancient Tomb
    3 Wasteland
    4 City of Traitors
    2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1 Drownyard Temple
    9 Swamp



    Some cards I am looking at testing out.

    Trading Post
    A.) This card would synergize well with Ophiomancer as I would be able to sacrifice the snake token, on my opponents turn and then return a much needed artifact back to my hand.
    B.) It provides me with life, which allows me to discard dead cards. Or I can discard a needed artifact, and use the above combo to get it back.
    C.) If I do not have a Karn, Scion of Urza, it provides me card draw.
    D.) When running Ensnaring Bridge, it more easily allows me to manipulate my hand, or even sacrifice the birdge, so that my Karn, Scion of Urza's tokens can attack.
    E.) It also synergizes well with Smokestack and Braids, Cabal Minion as I can quickly create a permanent to sacrifice to it.
    F.) Or I can use the token as a simple chump blocker to absorb damage.

    Peat Bog
    This is a bit slower then the Sol lands, but it provides double black mana, which could open up new avenues for me.
    For example, it would allow me to more easily play Braids, Cabal Minion.
    Or, it could allow for a turn 2 Liliana of the Veil.

    Bloodghast
    This is another beater that synergizes well with Smokestack and Braids, Cabal Minion.
    It can also lead to some fun with a Smokestack at 2 counters, a Crucible of Worlds in play and a Swamp.
    However, it cannot block, and is difficult to play early game, due to its double black manacost.


    Why not run Chains of Mephistopheles, Nether Void or The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale?
    Sadly, these are not currently in my budget.

    Additionally, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale does not synergize well with the creatures I run or the tokens created by Karn, Scion of Urza.
    (However, Tabernacle would be a great sideboard card against creature heavy decks like Death and taxes.)

  2. #2

    Re: [Deck] Smog Stax - Feedback Appreciated

    I have played a very similar deck to this and it is quite fun. Its traditional name is Mono Black Stax. I have never tested Karn, but he seems like he would have great synergy with the rest of the deck. Check out this list, it was the foundation for my list http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=13004. Braids is fantastic with Ophiomancer. Holding up a snake to block scary threats and just sacking that is brutal for a lot of decks. Keep working on it and testing, I think with the right amount of work this deck could hold up well in the meta.

  3. #3

    Re: [Deck] Smog Stax - Feedback Appreciated

    I played Braids Stax at the last Eternal Weekend I went to. Had a blast. Trading Post was hands-down amazing for me. Gaining life, making tokens, recurring destroyed Bridges, it does everything you want. I was very surprised.

    Sideboard I was also impressed with Collective Brutality. Yeah the card disadvantage sucks if you want multiple modes, but it is good cost considering Chalice, kills annoying utility creatures, and acts as nice discard against combo when they might have answer to Chalice/Sphere effects.

  4. #4

    Re: [Deck] Smog Stax - Feedback Appreciated

    very nice write-up, however i did prefer the "tar" name...

    Quote Originally Posted by King_Yoshi View Post
    Some cards I am looking at testing out.
    Guardian Beast! the beast will protect your Karn constructs...
    Last edited by non-inflammable; 04-08-2019 at 04:13 PM.

  5. #5

    Re: [Deck] Smog Stax - Feedback Appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    very nice write-up, however i did prefer the "tar" name...



    Guardian Beast! the beast will protect your Karn constructs...
    Guardian Beast seems pretty awesome. I would think it would be better in the board, only because board wipes are not super prevalent. But, I could see him in a funny build work great.

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