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Thread: [Primer/Deck] Stax

  1. #1
    feline's Avatar
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    Dec 2011



    [Primer/Deck] Stax

    If you like strategies that take the ultimate control of the board, utterly locking your opponent out of the game, or just slowing the gamestate down enough to steal a win, going with what is known sometimes as a prison deck, or resource denial strategy, then Stax is the deck to play, while there are different variants of Stax, Mud or stompy stax that gets out a large creature after controlling the game state enough, or the extreme that is Mono white stax, or Prison Stax that is one of the more successful, giving key access to prison strategies such as more taxing effects & land destruction.

    Please note: This is about Stax decks that have more of a focus on things like Smokestack, Trinisphere, Chalice of the Void etc, whether it's Colorless or White, for decks that focus more on MUD aggro, Metalworker combo, Forgemaster, etc, go here:

    1) Playing Stax
    2) Successful decklists & trends
    3) Card choices
    3a) Maindeck
    3b) Sideboard
    4) Price guide
    5) Awesome links
    6) Previous Stax thread special thanks to Machinus
    7) 20 match ups

    1) Playing Stax:
    Version 1: Prison Stax strategies:
    Your goal is to completely lock out the opponent, kill conditions in this deck are minimal, the only reason they even exhist is because you still can't actually win until the opponent is killed somehow, therefore, 2 for 1 kill conditions are the way to go, Mishra's Factory doubles as a 2/2 animation creature & a land for mana, & Magus of the Tabernacle doubles as a 2/6 that can also block, & puts out a taxing effect on opposing creatures, making it perfectly synergetic with the rest of your deck, Magus was practically built for a deck like this. If you're running the most extreme version of Prison Stax, sometimes referred to as Dutch Stax, you'll also be running the expensive Legacy staple Moat, combined with Humility it is a lock out against any/all creature based strategies, & most all decks in Legacy kill with creatures save for some combo decks.

    Version 2: Stompy/Mud Stax strategies:
    Your goal isn't so much to completely lock out the opponent, but to slow them down just enough so that you can stall them, before dropping something like Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Hero of Bladehold or Baneslayer Angel to take them down for the kill while they are severly impacted by your lock out, taxing, & resource disrupting strategy. Destroying all lands in play with one of your kill conditions out is sometimes a 100% win if it resolves, especially with stuff out like Trinisphere. If you are running MUD Stax, then you'll be colorless, and your creatures will be things like Lodestone Golem & Wurmcoil Engine, Metalworker is another card you'll see in some MUD stax builds, since it produces mana based on artifacts in hand, & you'll have so many.

    Starting hand: Whatever your primary strategy is, you will want some sort of acceleration in your opening hand, whether it's a Mox Diamond, Ancient Tomb or City of Traitors. A general rule is this, you want to have 3 mana or more for your turn 2, since most of your deck is 3-4 drops. Another thing to take into consideration is on the play, turn 1 Chalice of the Void for 1, or even dropping a turn 1 Trinisphere after playing a Sol land (Tomb or Traitors) & the Mox.

    Early game: The first thing you will do once you have a keepable hand is what any deck does, drop your lands, and start playing something, the first things that will likely come down are your Trinisphere's & Chalice's as noted above, but in addition, you also have access to Crucible of Worlds. If it's Prison Stax, additionally Ghostly Prison against creature based strategies, basically the first parts of the game you will get yourself setting up, getting out stuff that slows the opponent down.

    Mid game: This is where things like Smokestack, Armageddon come into play, after getting down some lock out pieces, further cement the game state by restarting the game essentially with permanent disruption or even straight for land destruction. If you are stompy or MUD Stax you can then start dropping threats here, Wurmcoil Engine is especially effective against aggro strategies in that it's so hard to answer (Swords to Plowshares being the one exception) & can gain your life back that you've lost against an opposing, fast aggro strategy. As far as other creatures like Baneslayer Angel & Hero of Bladehold if you're running them, they can start to come down here as well, & if it's more Prison Stax, Magus of the Tabernacle, or even trying to complete the Moat/Humility combo if you have the pieces required in hand.

    Late game: This is where you will "finish them" in most builds, though the Stompy versions can kill during the mid game if starting out with a smooth hand. In either case. While starting to take them down, your disruption will take things even further, after getting out things like Smokestack & ticking it up accordingly, if you have a Chalice of the Void at 1 in play, cast the next one for 2 counters on it, further cutting the opponent off from doing much since most legacy decks are filled with cards in the 1 & 2 converted mana cost ratio.
    ~Stompy: After getting your permanents into play that slow the opponent down as much as you can, you'll cast your creatures & start swinging, keeping the opponent slowed enough that they cannot recover as you eat at their life total, Hero of Bladehold is especially effective here as it swings for 7 at a minimum, makes threats, then even more damage comes across the following turn until you kill them.
    ~MUD: Similar to Stompy versions of Stax, once you've disrupted the game state enough, you will drop your artifact creatures like Wurmcoil Engine or Lodestone Golem and be swinging for huge chunks of their life total, while further cementing them out of the game with your disruption that you continue to draw.
    ~Prison: This version is the slowest, at a maximum you'll only start out swinging for 2 a turn, whether it's Magus of the Tabernacle or Mishra's Factory until you draw into more of them, or do 20 damage over the course of 10 combat steps, however, this version of Stax is so focused on controlling the board state with so many taxing effects & lockout strategies, once you're in a position where you're swinging for 2 a turn & you have control, your opponent will almost never recover & is as good as dead, it's just making it actually happen on the Life counter.

    History: Stax type strategies have been around in different versions in Legacy for years, but one of the most common more recent strategies has been white/prison stax, focusing on a prison strategy that locks the opponent out of the game with what some would call, the ultimate form of control. For those most recent versions, we'll go back to the end of 2009 with a 1st place at the open series in Philadelphia.

    2) Successful decklists & trends: from here &
    1st place - Brian Peters - SCG Philadelphia (147 players) prison stax

    11th place - Alex Kenny - SCG Seattle (191 players) prison stax
    4th place - Hannes Knabe-Paulsen - Sommermercadiade 2010 (134 players) prison stax
    6th place - Mori Tushi - Japan Legacy Championships (174 players) prison stax

    13th place - Zack Strait - SCG St Louis (277 players) prison stax with stompy elements

    5th place - Hannes Knabe-paulsen - Iserlohner Magic-Treff (68 players) prison stax
    3rd place - Carson Long - SCG Dallas (174 players) artifact stax
    9th place - Matt Keefer - SCG Providence (247 players) U/B
    29th place - Christopher Yip - SCG Seattle (187 players) B/W stax
    15th place - Jacob Lombas - SCG New Orleans (92 players) prison w/out land destruction

    5th place - Alessandro Fabricatore - MLL#12-Milano, MI (74 players) prison stax

    15th place - Scott Muir - SCG Columbus (342 players)

    37th place - Joshua Taylor - SCG Philadelphia (566 players) prison w/out land destruction

    3) Card choices:

    3a) Maindeck: The prison Stax setup:
    Taxing effects:
    Magus of the Tabernacle (4) 1 of your kill conditions, synergy with land destruction & other taxing effects against creatures.
    Ghostly Prison (4) synergy with land destruction & other taxing effects against creatures.
    Stalling effects:
    Trinisphere (4) synergy with land destruction & other taxing effects.
    Chalice of the Void (4) a metagame card, your deck is almost built around it, most of Legacy's spells cost 1-3 mana while your deck starts at the 3 mana curve.
    Tangle wire non traditional seen in fewer lists, has some synergy with taxing effects.
    Can hit any permanent:
    Oblivion Ring (4) one of your only ways to hit artifacts/enchantments/planeswalker's directly as removal.
    Smokestack (4) synergy with much of the deck, & the namesake of the deck being called Stax.
    Land Destruction:
    Armageddon (4) synergy with taxing effects & trinisphere especially.
    Wasteland (4) synergy & abuseable with Crucible of worlds against most decks.
    Other advantage:
    Crucible of Worlds (4) synergy with Mox Diamond, Land destruction, sac'ing to Smokestack.
    Scroll rack non traditional seen in fewer lists.
    White mana sources:
    Plains (4) sometimes 3, sometimes 5.
    Flagstones of Trokair (4) synergy with Armageddon & Smokestack.
    Mana excel:
    Mox Diamond (4) synergy with Crucible of Worlds, helps get out Trinisphere/Chalice of the Void as early as turn 1.
    Ancient Tomb (4) helps get out Trinisphere/Chalice of the Void as early as turn 1.
    City of Traitors (4) helps get out Trinisphere/Chalice of the Void as early as turn 1.
    Other lands:
    Mishra's Factory (4) 1 of your kill conditions.
    Nomad Stadium non traditional
    Kor Haven non traditional
    Karakas non traditional
    Maze of Ith non traditional

    Other Stax strategies:
    Stompy Stax: (more threats)
    Baneslayer Angel (2-3) kill condition.
    Elspeth, Knight-Errant (1-2) kill condition with a bonus if it 'ultimates'.
    Hero of Bladehold (3) kill condition.
    Stoneforge Mystic non traditional tutor for equipments.
    Batterskull non traditional kill condition & lifegain against aggro decks.
    Dutch Stax: ($$$ money stax $$$)
    Enlightened Tutor non traditional tutor, though uncommonly seen with Chalice of the Void in the deck.
    Humility (4) half of the moat/humility combo.
    Moat (4) the other half of the moat/humility combo.
    The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale synergy with taxing effects against creatures.
    MUD Stax: (colorless)
    Lodestone Golem (4) taxing effect against non artifact spells & a kill condition.
    Wurmcoil Engine (3-4) a very effective kill condition that's also great against aggro strategies with it's lifelink & split token reanimation upon death.
    Metalworker (3-4) potentially produces alot of mana from hand in full artifact MUD Stax builds. Can also give combo option with Staff of Domination if your version runs that setup, though it's seen in more aggressive MUD decks that don't run Stax.
    Grim Monolith (4) mana acceleration.
    Darksteel Citadel indestructible artifact land.
    Phyrexian Metamorph (1 in the Carson Long list) can copy any artifact/creature in play.
    Steel Hellkite (1 in the Carson Long list) kill condition & potential removal.

    These are less common, but still noted as having some success in the past based on the history of higher placings of Stax decks:
    Splashing green:
    Savannah w/g land.
    Horizon Canopy synergy with Crucible of worlds as recurring card draw.
    Planeswalker Stax: (blue/black)
    Jace, the Mind Sculptor card advantage, potential kill condition, creature bounce, & can help prevent opponents from topdecking good stuff.
    Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas card advantage, potential kill condition, perfect in a deck with enough artifacts.
    Force of Will Legacy staple, counterspell disruption.
    Intuition instant speed tutor, as long as there's 3 copies in deck.
    The Abyss creature removal, sacrifice effect every turn.
    Engineered Explosives potential sweeper against multiple permanents based on converted mana cost.
    Chrome Mox mana acceleration.
    Academy Ruins synergy with Intuition, Smokestack, or anything that goes to the graveyard.
    Tolaria West can tutor for Engineered Explosives
    Underground Sea
    Polluted Delta
    Pox Stax: (black/white)
    Smallpox disruption in the form of discard, land, & creature removal.
    Liliana of the Veil disruption in the form of recurring discard & creature removal.
    Damnation sweeper against creature based strategies.
    Hymn to Tourach 2 for 1 discard, card advantage on your end.
    Lingering Souls blockers early, kill condition later, or both.
    Vindicate destroy any permanent that is a problem, & is targetable of course.
    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    Marsh Flats

    3b) Sideboard:
    ~Graveyard hate:
    Tormod's Crypt 0 cast mass graveyard removal.
    Grafdigger's Cage 1 cast that "neutralizes" the graveyard, but also affects things like Green Sun's Zenith.
    Relic of Progenitus 1 cast mass graveyard removal that cantrips.
    Leyline of the Void "free" mass graveyard removal that continues until answered.
    Faerie Macabre "free" graveyard targeting removal & uncounterable.
    Oblivion Ring when not in the maindeck, at a minimum in the sideboard.
    Wrath of God great against creature based strategies.
    Powder Keg great against multiples of lower converted mana cost permanents from the opponent.
    Pithing Needle great against planeswalkers, equipments, or other annoying activations from other permanents.
    Phyrexian Revoker a Pithing Needle with legs that can even target mana activations.
    ~Combo hate:
    Mindbreak Trap "free" against combo, essentially storm combo decks in paticular.
    Rule of Law 1 spell a turn, also great against storm combo especially.
    Ethersworn Canonist 1 spell a turn, same as Rule of Law.
    Leyline of Sanctity also works against discard/burn strategies.
    ~Artifact, Enchantment hate:
    Aura of Silence doubles as both a Disenchant & a taxing effect against artifacts & enchantments.
    ~Additional taxing effects:
    Suppression Field great against lots of fetchlands & creature activations.
    Defense Grid very good against counterspell strategies.
    Karmic Justice protection against artifact/enchantment hate against you.
    Sphere of Law for opposing burn strategies.
    Ensnaring Bridge great to bring in against decks that try to drop bombs, like Natural Order or Show and Tell strategies.

    4) Price guide of more common Stax cards: As of March 2013 (For the most current prices, click on the link of each card) High-Mid-Low according to &
    $50.00+ average:
    Moat $330.10 $296.30 $257.03
    The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale $359.98 $321.24 $295.00

    $20.00 to $50.00:
    Wasteland $55.95 $49.62 $41.95
    City of Traitors $36.03 $29.79 $26.99
    Mox Diamond $42.33 $30.43 $23.40
    Crucible of Worlds $29.98 $24.06 $21.50
    Elspeth, Knight-Errant $27.98 $23.30 $19.95
    Grim Monolith $26.47 $22.00 $19.31

    $10.00 to $20.00:
    Baneslayer Angel $17.99 $14.01 $11.59
    Humility $15.99 $14.16 $11.80
    Metalworker $20.59 $12.30 $8.50
    Leyline of Sanctity $17.98 $12.52 $9.95

    $5.00 to $10.00:
    Wurmcoil Engine $12.95 $10.36 $8.96
    Smokestack $12.45 $8.20 $6.73
    Chalice of the Void $10.95 $9.11 $6.48
    Ancient Tomb $27.66 $9.53 $7.41
    Flagstones of Trokair $9.98 $5.95 $4.95
    Ethersworn Canonist $10.99 $9.50 $8.00
    Ensnaring Bridge $7.49 $5.73 $4.49

    $2.00 to $5.00:
    Armageddon $7.47 $4.99 $3.70
    Hero of Bladehold $9.20 $4.84 $3.66
    Tangle wire $5.98 $4.75 $3.75
    Phyrexian Metamorph $7.99 $3.62 $2.89
    Trinisphere $4.45 $3.72 $2.95
    Ghostly Prison $4.49 $3.32 $1.69
    Mishra's Factory $4.04 $2.86 $1.75
    Powder Keg $5.15 $2.65 $1.40
    Mindbreak Trap $7.98 $4.18 $2.85
    Karmic Justice $4.98 $3.55 $2.81

    $1.00 to $2.00:
    Darksteel Citadel $1.98 $1.55 $1.19
    Aura of Silence $2.04 $1.21 $0.94
    Defense Grid $2.35 $1.45 $1.05

    $1.00 or less average:
    Magus of the Tabernacle $1.98 $0.51 $0.15
    Oblivion Ring $1.04 $0.53 $0.20
    Lodestone Golem $2.01 $0.79 $0.43
    Steel Hellkite $1.98 $0.95 $0.46
    Tormod's Crypt $1.02 $0.47 $0.14
    Pithing Needle $2.05 $0.81 $0.43
    Phyrexian Revoker $1.98 $0.71 $0.37
    Suppression Field $0.75 $0.27 $0.08

    Plains $129.98(Guru) $5.07(Unhinged) $4.47(Unglued) $3.99(Beta) $1.00(Zendikar) $0.03(Basic)

    5) Awesome Links: In relation to Stax & Legacy
    Price trends of Singles:

    Stax articles/reports/etc:
    2012: Deck Tech, Planeswalker Stax, from SCG Providence (Matt Keefer)
    2011: Deck Tech. Prison Stax, from SCG St Louis (Caleb Durward)

    Stax decklist sources: Stax decklists

    Legacy metagame:

    For more on Dutch Stax:
    For -non stax- MUD decks that focus more on aggression & things like Metalworker:

    6) The previous Stax thread: by Machinus Special thanks to them, & to everyone that helped fill the thread over the past 6 years.
    Last edited by feline; 11-23-2015 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Update
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

  2. #2
    feline's Avatar
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    Dec 2011



    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    7) 20 match ups: (Based mostly on decks that have performed with some level of consistent, higher placings since Return to Ravnica Legacy)

    01) RUG (Moderate-Heavy playtesting recommended, a more common match up)
    Pre sideboard Get out your disruption early, & if they don't play a threat early, you can even wait a turn or 2 so you can better play around Daze & Spell pierce. Their deck is more reliant on non basic lands, some versions running only 1 basic Island if any at all, so getting out the Crucible of Worlds + Wasteland soft lock is very helpful against this deck mid game, early game however they will play almost everything since the mana curve of their deck is basically 1 or "free to cast" with the exception of Tarmogoyf or a hardcast Daze. Chalice of the Void for 1 is also very effective here, however they have counters so try to bait out a counter with something else before attempting to resolve, Trinisphere is good bait since if they burn a counter on it that eats 1, and if Trinisphere resolves, then they have to pay 3 to be able to counter your stuff at that point. Once you get enough disruption out, take them for the win, whether you're Prison Stax running Magus of the Tabernacle, or more aggressive versions with stuff like Hero of the Bladehold or Baneslayer Angel.
    Post sideboard Defense Grid is something you can bring in since it can be a taxing effect against their counterspells or anything else they try to do on your turn, and resolving your permanents is important. They will likely bring in something to be able to answer your permanents, artifact hate like Ancient Grudge & Krosan Grip if they're running it even though it's converted mana cost is 3, a bit high for RUG, but still seen sometimes.

    02) Stoneblade (Moderate-Heavy playtesting recommended, a more common match up)
    Pre sideboard Chalice of the Void for 1 hits their discard, brainstorm & Swords to Plowshares, & stopping swords can help prevent them from removing your kill condition later game when you start swinging. They are a control type deck so they won't have a fast clock, the first parts of the game will be spent trying to disrupt eachother's game plans, whether it's you resolving your permanents to slow them down, or them countering your more effective disruption. Land disruption is more vital here so try to bait a counter if you can before attempting to resolve Armageddon or Smokestack depending on which version you're running. Also if you're more Stompy of Mud stax, they have access to sweepers like Supreme Verdict if they are running, as well including Engineered Explosives & 3 colors from their deck that can hit your lower converted mana cost permanents, but will be less likely to hit stuff with converted mana cost 4 or higher. Prison stax's strategies can have a bit of harder time here since they can kill you with a Jace ultimate, so use your Oblivion Ring accordingly or keep them off of mana if you're pushing for more control elements, as far as more aggressive stax setups, you can just swing into a Jace to kill it, backed up with a Chalice for 1 that prevents Swords.
    Post sideboard Between their Equipments, Stoneforge's, Jace & Engineered Explosives, Suppression Field can be helpful here, but over that make sure you have Oblivion Ring in the main deck if it's in your sideboard game 1 for their Jace's. A note on Dutch stax, Humility is less effective here on it's own since they have Batterskull & Lingering Soul tokens, & Moat is less effective on it's own because the Lingering Soul tokens are flyers. They may possibly increase their hate for your permanents in the form of Artifact/Enchantment destruction, or in the version that still run Detention Sphere expect the number of those to increase from the sideboard if they're running them.

    03) UW Control Variants (Moderate-Heavy playtesting recommended, a more common match up)
    Pre sideboard Whether they are running the Helm of Obedience Rest in Peace combo or their kill is more reliant on Entreat the Angles you are going up against a control deck, the only exception is that the combo version might be a little more explosive or a little harder to stop. Also Rest in Peace can affect your Crucible of Worlds recurring lands like wasteland. If you're maindecking Oblivion Ring it will help against this strategy especially. Early game both sides will be presenting some sort of disruption, one package they are known for is Counterbalance Sensei's Divining Top. Chalice of the Void for 1 can prevent that from coming into play if you can get it off early, but luckily even if they get it going, the Counterbalance won't hit as much since your deck isn't full of 1 and 2 converted mana cost spells like most decks in the format. If you're pushing a more aggressive version of Stax, try to have a Chalice in play resolved with 1 counter so they can't Swords to Plowshares your kill condition, however still be aware of Terminus tricks with Top or Brainstorm draws during your turn especially. Land disruption is key against control decks as well, so if you can get a Smokestack to resolve while keeping them off of too many other permanents, or if you're running Armageddon it will go a long way if resolved. In the end whatever version you're running, they will be a deck that has a focus on creature removal & counterspells as their main game plan. Also to note, this is another deck that can kill with an ultimate from Jace, the Mind Sculptor because they run it as well, so even if you can control the state of creatures on the board, if a Jace resolves, you'll either have to Oblivion Ring it or manipulate Smokestack to get rid of it, or if you get to the point of enough control, swing at it with a creature depending on your strategy.
    Post sideboard Pithing Needle if you're running it, though it's anti synergetic with Chalice, can hit Top & Helm, half of either "combo", Oblivion Ring if you have access to white should at a minimum be in the sideboard if not maindecked already. Defense Grid is also a card to note from the sideboard since they are a blue deck and you resolving your spells is important as always. They will likely bring in something to answer artifacts/enchantments like Disenchant or Detention Sphere, they also might bring in a little more counterspells in the form of Spell Pierce if it's in their sideboard.

    04) BUG Variants (Moderate-Heavy playtesting recommended, a more common match up)
    Pre sideboard The difference between BUG aggro to BUG control builds, is that if you see planeswalkers & more disruption, it's likely control, if you see faster creature drops, Delver of Secrets, it's aggro, Daze is commonly seen in tempo, aggressive strategies. Aside from that, you can expect to see the same between most in the form of some sort of discard, some counterspells at a minimum, Abrupt Decay & creature staples like Tarmogoyf & Deathrite Shaman. There is also the potential for Shardless Agent if it's more midrange, and Baleful Strix if it's more control. For you, whether you're more aggressive or more prison stax based, you'll want to cast your disruption as in al strategies early, resolving stuff like Chalice & Trinisphere, then getting to a point of the midgame, if they are aggro, any additional slowing effects are especially effective, while Smokestack is more effective against more control versions of BUG. If you're running white in your deck, then Armageddon is also helpful, & of course, against aggro strategies Ghostly Prison early. If you are MUD Stax then you'll have more threats, & they can't so easily deal with things like Wurmcoil Engine once resolved, & Lodestone Golem can't be hit by Abrupt Decay either. If it's more aggressive white stax, then Hero of Bladehold & Baneslayer Angel naturally. 1 thing to note, Abrupt Decay can still hit Chalice at 2 counters because of it being uncounterable.
    Post sideboard Oblivion Ring if you're running white should be in the maindeck at this point if not already, & Defense Grid can help whether you're White or Colorless stax, like against any blue strategy. Expect to see them bring in more disruption like Duress or Spell Pierce, while some versions might to try and answer things more directly like Krosan Grip from their sideboard for your permanents since you'll have so many that are targetable by it.

    05) Jund (Moderate playtesting recommended, a more common match up)
    Pre sideboard They are a more mid range strategy with a focus on card advantage & efficient creatures like Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant Bloodbraid Elf, spells like Hymn to Tourach Liliana of the Veil & the newer legacy cards Abrupt Decay & Deathrite Shaman. Early game they will try to impact you with disruption, however it will be more difficult for them to answer your permanents once they hit the field, with the exception of Abrupt Decay, which even then can only hit stuff converted mana cost 3 or lower. If you are more Prison Stax it's an all out race for control, while if you're more aggressive Stax then you will want to stall them out & drop a threat to start taking them down once you've disrupted their gameplan enough. They will fight back with their discard which includes Thoughtseize as well.
    Post sideboard Leyline of Sanctity can be effective since it can stop both their burn against you & their discard. They will likely bring in more disruption in the form of either more discard like Duress or removal like Maelstrom Pulse in which, some Jund lists will maindeck a Maelstrom Pulse or 2. They also may be packing Ancient Grudge.

    06) Dredge (Combo, Light-Moderate playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard From the graveyard based deck like Dredge that casts everything for free or, maybe 1 to cast at most. You'll want to resolve a Trinisphere as soon as possible, a Chalice of the Void for 1 if you're on the play turn 1 can also be very effective. Smokestack doesn't do as much since the way dredge is setup, they will benefit from it more than you will because they don't care about sacrificing permanents near as much & can swarm an army of 2/2's out. If you're running more aggressive Stax, get enough disruption early to slow them down, though it might be more difficult to race a bunch of 2/2 Zombies from Ichorid & Bridge from Below every turn, as far as more prison Stax versions, you'll have access to Ghostly Prison & Magus of the Tabenacle, however even against these versions, Dredge also has access to Cabal Therapy so get your stuff out before they start attacking your hand regardless.
    Post sideboard Graveyard hate is made for match up's like these, Tormod's Crypt Leyline of the Void or whatever your graveyard hate strategy is, usually however it's these options, because other graveyard hate has a converted mana cost that will likely be hit by a Chalice of the void for 1. They will likely bring in something like Nature's Claim to answer your hate if it's artifacts, on top of the fact that it can also answer your enchant's/artifacts that are problematic for them. They also have the transformational sideboard option of going Painter's Servant + Grindstone with back up from Enlightened Tutor & Unmask.

    07) Maverick (Light playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard They are an aggro deck, as well they are another example of a deck that Chalice of the Void for 1 can hit a nice number of things, Noble Hierarch Mother of Runes Swords to Plowshares & even Green Sun's Zenith for 0 if they attempt acceleration on turn 1 aiming for a Dryad Arbor. The other option is to just lock out the first couple turns with a turn 1 Trinisphere After that, they will have access to things like Qasali Pridemage and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben in addition to a few other 2 drops, so a second Chalice for 2 would likely set the game about done with an almost assured win, also a key note on 2 drops is Gaddock Teeg which can actually stop enough of your deck coming down to fight back with their own slowing effects to the game state, in which will affect you more than it will affet them. If you are more aggressive Stax, slow them down just enough to be able to start swinging with your threat & take them down, & if you are more Prison Stax, then get control of the board from the beginning & drop as much disruption & slow effects as you can, Ghostly Prison & Magus of the Tabernacle are especially effective to their strat full of so many creatures. If you are running the more extreme version of prison stax with access to Moat & Humility, Humility is especially effective against Maverick because so many of their creatures have so many abilities.
    Post sideboard If you are Mud stax, Prison stax, or anything in between, they will bring in more answers for your artifacts / enchantments, more Qasali Pridemage or something similiar will come in, as well as more Gaddock Teeg. They will also have access to more 1 converted mana cost removal if they have Path to Exile in their sideboard, in addition to having Swords to Plowshares maindeck, so getting a Chalice to stick with 1 counter on it is important once you start swinging with a threat so that they cannot answer it so easily. You'll want to bring in anything that is mass removal, whether it's Powder Keg or Ratched Bomb from the artifact section, or even Wrath of God if you're running straight mass creature removal in Prison stax versions, luckily however, the prison stax decks are more equipped to handle Maverick, especially the ones that run Humility so you might be the same even after game 1.

    08) Ad Nauseam Storm decks (Combo, Moderate playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard Turn 1 Chalice of the Void / Trinisphere, whatever version of Stax you're running doesn't matter, these 2 cards are your goal! just that alone can buy you the game, even a Chalice for 0 which stops Lion's Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox & Lotus Petal alone can hit them pretty hard depending on their hand. Their ultimate goal will be to cast an Ad Nauseam and draw a ton of their deck to finish you off, however it means little if they draw a bunch of cheap stuff only to have to pay 3 for each one, or have a bunch of them countered by Chalice of the Void. They will either aim for Storm count to Tendrils of Agony or Empty the Warrens & sometimes even Grapeshot. Chalice for 0, 1, or 2 are all good, as 0 & 1 hits most of their deck, & for 2 cuts them off of Infernal Tutor & Burning Wish. They will try to fight back with discard, and maybe Silence effects if they are running TES, though the discard is more impactful against stax since it's all non instant stuff. Again your key cards are Trinisphere & Chalice of the void.
    Post sideboard Graveyard hate can be decent because of Past in Flames but you want to prevent them from going off at all, Leyline of Sanctity is a bit more effective in that it protects you against their discard, & it can prevent them from targeting you with some of their final kill conditions if they don't draw something that gives them access to bounce the Leyline. Another option if you're using them is Mindbreak Trap. They will likely be roughly the same even after sideboarding, since they are setup with a half wish sideboard, and the other half will be more dedicated to the anti blue match up which will not affect you. The one thing you might see is Chain of Vapor or Abrupt Decay but that's the extent of it. Also if Ethersworn Canonist is in your sideboard, it's a 1 card combo stopper against storm combo decks, if colorless, Sphere of Resistance.

    09) High Tide (Combo, Moderate playtesting recommended, however a less common match up)
    Pre sideboard You have to be the aggressive deck here, whether it's your plan to be aggressive stax already, or prison stax, Moat & Humility are utterly useless here, as well as anything else that affects creatures. Your best bet is to get Trinisphere & Chalice of the Void into play, along with Smokestack which is key, because it will almost always eliminate a land from them and their goal is to get lots of Islands into play. The hard part is that they can wait till the end of your turn, Cunning Wish & then the following turns, wait for a while if you don't pose a threat, then Rebuild all the artifacts away and go off without any problems. So if you're aggressive stax, get a threat out early & keep your Chalice & Trinisphere out accordingly while pushing for Smokestacks, if you're more prison stax, you'll be relying more on armageddon instead of your threat's because they will be too slow.
    Post sideboard They will likely have the same game 2-3 plan against you, save for maybe bringing in a maindeck bounce target for Merchant Scroll. As far as what can help you, take out the dead stuff, anything that affects creatures globally & go more for control against spells, stuff like Defense Grid so you can resolve your Chalice's & Trinisphere's more safely, & if Ethersworn Canonist is in your sideboard, it's a 1 card combo stopper against storm combo decks, if colorless, Sphere of Resistance.

    10) UR Delver (Light-Moderate playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard They are just another aggro deck, though their focus is more on burn & counterspells, Lightning Bolt Spell pierce & anything that compliments such strategies, one key card to look out for here is Price of Progress as it can do tons of damage, based on non basic lands you have out of course, so if you get high on non basics & low on life, keep an untapped Wasteland ready to nail one of your own lands to reduce 4 damage if it means being killed. Chalice of the Void for 1 here is another match up that hit's a LOT, like Goblin Guide Grim Lavamancer Spell Pierce Brainstorm Ponder Chain lightning Delver of Secrets & Forked bolt which can be the majority of their deck when it comes to their non lands. Complimenting that of course is also Trinisphere as it slows down 1 converted mana cost spells so significantly. Whether you're aggressive Stax or Prison Stax, those 1st couple turns getting out Chalice/Trinispheres will go a long way against this deck. Also be mindful if they get you low, if you're aggressive / Mud type strategies, Wurmcoil engine will gain you life back & eat at their life total fast, while prison setups can lock them out with Trinisphere & Armageddon resolved.
    Post sideboard Leyline of Sanctity & maybe even Defense Grid, depending on what's in your sideboard, they will likely bring in Submerge if you're more aggressive Stax to further tempo you out, while whichever version you are, always watch out for anything that hits artifacts from red, like the potential for a Shattering Spree.

    11) Show and Tell variants (Combo, Moderate-Heavy playtesting recommended, a more common match up)
    Pre sideboard They are a combo deck, & their goal will be to cast things like Show and Tell & either Sneak Attack or Burning Wish depending on the version they are running, wish which can obtain a Show and Tell from their sideboard, or even a Petals of Insight with an Omniscience out, so if they Show and Tell & they are the Omnitell version, putting a Trinisphere into play can be very effective in stopping those tricks. Aside from that, whether you're aggressive or prison stax, they will attempt to dump out a Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn early & then use their bomb to kill you, both creatures being extremely effective in their own way against almost any strategy once hitting the battlefield. If you are aggressive stax, you will need to rely more on slowing them down while trying to kill them before they get to a point of Show and Tell'ing the game in their favor, while if you're prison stax & have access to white, especially if you're maindecking [cards]Oblivion Ring[cards] and/or Humility you can actually ride the Show and Tell itself, dropping one of those into play to turn one of their bombs into a 1/1, or remove them from the game before they can use it properly to attack you.
    Post sideboard Defense Grid & Ensnaring Bridge are colorless, Oblivion Ring is 2W, whatever options you have, whichever version of Stax you're running, you should at a minimum have one of these 2 to bring in. They will likely have less to bring in if much at all, so their game 2-3's will look almost the same, Omnitell specifically has a Burning Wish half sideboard, so they will be even more focused on things that will not come in against a Stax match.

    12) Belcher (Combo, Light-Moderate playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard Turn 1 combo kill deck of the format, or at least, turn 1 combo for a bunch of 1/1's and swing over some combat phases, whatever the case may be, a turn 1 Chalice of the Void / Trinisphere are as important here as ever, since most the rest of your stuff will be less effective, the only secondary out would be only if you're running prison stax, & only if they Empty the Warrens for creatures, in which I'm referring to Magus of the Tabernacle / Ghostly Prison / Moat if you're running such cards. After that, unfortunately, especially game 1, it will likely come down to the die roll, they just might kill you right there and game 1 will end, & your death right off the bat will be how you find out what they're playing.
    Post sideboard Leyline of Sanctity can help against the Goblin Charbelcher but it doesn't help against their army, Ethersworn Canonist if you're running it is a bit more effective, if you have the W to cast it. Ratchet Bomb or Powder Keg if it's in your sideboard can help against the token army strategy. They will likely not change much since their sideboard is mostly wish targets & stuff for the anti blue match, not really anything that would come in against Stax.

    13) Goblins (Light playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard They are an aggro deck with a huge focus on card advantage & overrunning, If you're more aggressive stax, you need to play the aggressive deck & kill them before they overrun you. If you're prison stax, you need to gain as much control of the board state to the point of them not even being able to attack you, Ghostly Prison Moat whatever your setup may be. Trinisphere & Chalice of the Void as weaker against goblins than other creature based decks because of Cavern of Souls Goblin Lackey & Aether Vial.
    Post sideboard Any sort of sweepers from your sideboard if you run them can help, Ratchet Bomb or Wrath of God, but really you'll still have to focus on killing them before they kill you if you're aggressive stax, & take complete control of the boardstate if you're prison stax. They could bring in anything from Shattering Spree to Blood Moon.

    14) Elves (Combo, Moderate playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard They are a tribal deck & a combo deck, which can take an aggressive route of action with lots of creatures to try and swarm you, or go combo with stuff like Glimpse of Nature or Natural order / Green Sun's Zenith for a Regal Force to draw a ton of cards, or a Craterhoof Behemoth to attack you for lethal with a small army. Chalice of the Void & Trinisphere are better in this match up because it really slows them down, so many of their elves are so cheap to cast. After that, start swinging with your creature if you're aggressive stax, & continue to take control of the board state if you're prison stax, Humility is especially effective against Elves if you are running it in your White stax setup.
    Post sideboard Any sort of sweepers from your sideboard, Powder Keg or Wrath of God whatever options you may have can help. They will likely bring in Abrupt Decay / Cabal Therapy if they are splashing black, which will be noted by their land base and whether or not they cast Deathrite Shamans, they may also have access to Gaddock Teeg, Viridian Zealot & Viridian Shaman as a Green Sun's Zenith target to attempt to answer your permanents or prevent you from casting non creature stuff with X or cost of 4 or higher (Teeg).

    15) Merfolk (Light-Moderate playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard Another tribal deck, though this one is more focused on backing up their strategy with some card draw like Standstill & counters like Force of Will Daze They will attempt to drop a bunch of "Fish Lords" that give eachother +1/+1 and the more that are out, the larger they get. Aside from that, try to drop a Trinisphere to make their counterspelling more difficult against your most vital spells, however they don't have alot of counterspells, mostly just Force, Daze, & Cursecatcher which cant hit anything but Armageddon, & that's only if you're running white. After that, get out your threat & start swinging if you're aggressive stax, they cannot properly answer creatures in play being a mono blue deck. While for prison stax you'll want to get out as many control elements as you can to stall the board state, until they can't even attack you anymore, Ghostly Prison Magus of the Tabernacle at a minimum go very far in slowing them down.
    Post sideboard Defense Grid can help really put a taxing effect on their spells when they try to counter your own. They will likely bring in Submerge if you're aggressive stax, while if you're Prison stax it will more likely be some sort of counterspell increase, though counters can work against both setups.

    16) Zombies, Zombardment, Walking Dead (Light playtesting recommended, however a less common match up)
    Pre sideboard They will take advantage of synergy with the following cards Goblin Bombardment Cabal Therapy and Carrion Feeder, abused by recurring Gravecrawler Bloodghast & 4 creature from 1 card in Lingering Souls, backing up their gameplan by more discard potentially, including possibly Tidehollow Sculler. If you're more aggressive stax, get out your threats after droping your disruption, Chalice of the Void for 1 & Trinisphere are especially effective against this deck as most of their stuff is cheap. If you're more prison stax, then getting control of the boardstate may be more difficult because even stopping their creatures from swarming you, they can sac to Bombardment to finish you off over & over, so relying on Chalice of the Void & Trinisphere is even more vital, while backing it up with land destruction. Smokestack is weaker here since they can just lose a permanent much more easily with it affecting them less.
    Post sideboard Leyline of Sanctity is a decent option to bring in, if you're running Pithing Needle in spite of running Chalice at the same time, it can hit Carrion Feeder & Goblin Bombardment as well as Deathrite Shaman. For them, Disenchant since they splash white means you can see this card, while they may also bring in cheap removal like Swords to Plowshares.

    17) 12 post (Light playtesting recommended, however a less common match up)
    Pre sideboard They are a ramp deck with combo elements, either they'll be focused on getting out as many Cloudpost as they can, or just dropping a bomb through Show and Tell. Based on the list that won San Diego back in January, Chalice of the Void can hit Crop rotation Sensei's Divining Top Pithing Needle Brainstorm Candelabra of Tawnos & Expedition map. After that they will have bigger stuff like Primeval Titan to Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and other eldrazi in between. If you're aggro stax you'll have a harder time against this decks since racing them will require you to really slow them down, or really come out blazing because they can simply just start dropping their bombs from their hand the longer the game goes on, & they have so many ways of abusing getting out multiples of Cloudposts. Prison stax will have an easier time, however Emrakul still makes you sacrifice 6 permanents so if it swings, it can change everything, so try to control the board state as much as possible with as many permanents as you can to prevent that from happening, as Ghostly Prison & Magus of the Tabernacle mean little when they can just pay for it with so much mana from their lands, so Armageddon is a very good card here, & they are not big on disruption in the form of counterspells.
    Post sideboard They will likely not have much to bring in against you based on the San Diego list, unless they change something specifically for a match up as such which is very unlikely. As far as your options, like Show and Tell combo elements, you can bring in Oblivion Ring if you are sideboarding it to ride their Show and Tells. While Ensnaring Bridge can be huge against this strategy, & is colorless to boot fitting into any stax, or any deck at all against Show and Tell setups.

    18) Junk/The Rock (Light playtesting recommended)
    Pre sideboard Another home to Knight of the Reliquary & Tarmogoyf aggro strategies, backed up by the newer Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay They are another aggro deck that will try to be disruptive with their discard taking key cards out of the opponents hand, then attacking the battlefield with their threats that are cheap, efficient & powerful fast. You'll want to slow them down as much as possible with your early disruption, then drop your threats if you're aggro stax, & drop more devastating control if you're prison stax. Also be mindful of a Chalice of the Void at 1 because they can still abrupt decay it, then use swords on your kill condition.
    Post sideboard Ensnaring Bridge can affect enough of their creatures since they grow fast, while Leyline of Sanctity can help against their discard if you feel they will have more against you after sideboarding, which is a definite possibility since they're already likely running maindeck Thoughtseize & Hymn to Tourach, in which Duress or something else that can target & is cheap discard will probably come in, as well as artifact / enchantment hate, and Gaddock Teeg as a target for Green Sun's Zenith.

    19) Death and Taxes (Light playtesting recommended, however a less common match up)
    Pre sideboard They are an aggro deck with a stalling effect, but they are much more aggressive, running things like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben & Ethersworn Canonist, then even things like Karakas + Mangara of Corondor to start eating away permanents, abused even more with Aether Vial tricks. They will also have more disruptive creatures like Phyrexian Revoker, & Flickerwisp to take advantage of Mangara & Vial even further. Put our your disruption early with Chalice, Trinisphere, then start dropping your threats if you're aggro stax, & continue dropping more control permanents if you're prison stax, Thalia will be especially annoying, luckily however you have access to much mana. Also watch out for the Mangara sitting & eating your permanents by tapping, targeting, then bouncing with Karakas or Flickerwisp, it can actually do what you're trying to do, and you can be locked out of the game by their own version of stalling the opponent out with control elements that white does so well.
    Post sideboard Wrath of God is great against a heavy creature based deck like this, while colorless sweep options rely more on Ratchet bomb Powder Keg if you're running them. They will likely bring in more answers to your artifacts/enchantments in the form of Disenchant stuff, whether it's Disenchant itself or a similar namesake spell or ability from their sideboard.

    20) Stax The Mirror Match! (Moderate playtesting recommended, however a less common match up)
    Pre sideboard If you actually go against a mirror stax match, you're probably the only 2 people playing the deck in the tournament as the deck is one of the rare'st decks you'd run into, aside from that, if it happens, it all depends on which versions you are running, if you're both aggressive, more prison based, or whatever in between, you'll have to base each game off of itself, the game state, cards in hand, what they're doing -vs- not doing, when to play more aggressively to steal a win, & when to play more control'ish so you don't lose. If you are aggressive stax, you will want to try and steal a win early if you're against control/prison type stax, since the longer the game goes, the harder it will become because they will have more control in the long run than you.
    Post sideboard Remember their sideboard will be similiar to your own especially if you're both the same type of Stax deck, so you'll have to judge accordingly, maybe even "next level" them, try to figure out what they're doing based on what they think you're doing, and then 1 up them by doing something else that gives you an advantage in that regard. Anything from the sideboard that gives potential card advantage will help you most especially here, Wrath of God if you're white stax & against aggressive stax is about the biggest difference I can see between the sides, as aggressive stax will likely have a harder time winning against the more control'ish stax builds
    Last edited by feline; 03-31-2014 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Update

  3. #3
    razvan's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Toronto, Canada


    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    First, great article so far.
    Secondly, first article ever that I can think of that listed prizes.
    Third, Armageddon is criminally underplayed. That card belongs in more decks.

  4. #4
    feline's Avatar
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    Dec 2011



    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    I assume you meant Prices instead of prizes? ^,^
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

  5. #5
    razvan's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Toronto, Canada


    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Yeah, well, I have immigrant English, you get what you pay for! :)

  6. #6
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    Sep 2012



    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    You have the Mishra's Factory prices wrong, as it is unacceptable to play with anything other than Winter Anitiquities Mishra's Factory.

  7. #7
    Greatness awaits!
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    Berlin, Germany


    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by lithiux View Post
    You have the Mishra's Factory prices wrong, as it is unacceptable to play with anything other than Winter Anitiquities Mishra's Factory.
    Now THAT was helpful *facepalm* - Your Source for The Epic Storm - Articles, Reports, Decktech and more!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  8. #8
    Keep Calm and Brainstorm
    (nameless one)'s Avatar
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    Apr 2009

    GTA, Ontario


    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    You have to rename this as Armageddon Stax as there's also Dutch Stax (or are we just gonna put them in the same umbrella?)
    I am convinced that WotC is "dumbing" the game because of all the stupid posts they come across on MTG-related forums
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
    13NoVa plays Force of Will from his hand.
    Finglonger plays Spell Pierce from his hand.
    [10:22:43]  13NoVa: lol
    Finglonger points from his Dack Fayden to 13NoVa's Sol Ring.
    [10:23:04]  13NoVa: lol dumb ******; nice draws with retard.dec
    stupid cocksucker
    You have been kicked out of the game.

  9. #9
    RaZe's Avatar
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    Apr 2012

    Mississauga, On


    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by (nameless one) View Post
    You have to rename this as Armageddon Stax as there's also Dutch Stax (or are we just gonna put them in the same umbrella?)
    Elaborating on that. What is going to be the primary focus of this forum as you mentioned a lot of variations for stax? Mono white? Mud prison? All?

  10. #10
    feline's Avatar
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    Dec 2011



    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    I tried to note all stax strategies on some level, since any version of the deck is uncommon to see at the higher tables of larger events. and I believe I did that version of Factory's, they are averaging that price according to the sight, unless I actually did one incorrectly, I'll double check now.

    -edit- Yes it's the same version of Factory that's the correct price according to the links.

    & yes, an emphasis on Stax as a deck, since the most popular has been prison stax, while Dutch stax, stompy & mud type strategies, & even planeswalker (Blue/Black) & a Black/White stax deck have had success, so they got noted as well but the focus isn't so much on the 1 of rogue versions, they're just there for reference because people like stuff like that and technically, it did have success the 1 time it did.
    Last edited by feline; 03-20-2013 at 03:11 AM.
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

  11. #11
    Keep Calm and Brainstorm
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    U/B Tezzeret Stax has a thread in New/Developing subforum. Sure that deck needs a threads in Estalished.
    I am convinced that WotC is "dumbing" the game because of all the stupid posts they come across on MTG-related forums
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
    13NoVa plays Force of Will from his hand.
    Finglonger plays Spell Pierce from his hand.
    [10:22:43]  13NoVa: lol
    Finglonger points from his Dack Fayden to 13NoVa's Sol Ring.
    [10:23:04]  13NoVa: lol dumb ******; nice draws with retard.dec
    stupid cocksucker
    You have been kicked out of the game.

  12. #12
    Thinking about Magic...
    kingtk3's Avatar
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Good work Feline!
    When you refer to MUD Stax do you intend this one:
    Because I think that the decks discussed over there are combo or tempo oriented instead of a real prison deck like in this thread.

  13. #13
    feline's Avatar
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    No this isn't so much the combo MUD, it's more the versions that focus more on Trinisphere, Chalice of the Void, Smokestack, stuff like that.
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

  14. #14

    Join Date

    Jan 2013



    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax


    Friday night i partecipated at a DCI tournament with the deck we talked about these days.People were surprised and seemed to appreciate how the deck worked.No other staxx were playing.We were something like 18/20 people. I'll go more in detail later since I don't have time now.
    My deck:
    4x chalice
    3x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    2x Nether Void
    3x Braids, the Cabal Minion
    3x Dismember
    4x Trinisphere
    4x Ancient Tomb
    4x City of Traitors
    4x Talisman of Dominance
    3x Dimir Signet
    4x Wasteland
    3x Smokestack
    4x Crucible of Worlds
    4x Mishra's Factory
    1x Underground Sea
    2x Underground River
    1x Watery Grave
    x4 Tezzy and x3 Lilly

    Sideboard (was crap i assemble it with no time):
    4 leyline of the void (never used it)
    2 extirpate (never used it)
    2 serum powder (sideboarded once)
    1 ensaring bridge (never used it)
    2 enginnered plague (never used it)
    2 Massacre (sideboarded twice)
    2 perish (sideboarded once)

    Yes no helm . Didn't have them.I'll try the combo next time,fortunally no reanimator played against me.Or combo decks.

    round1 lost 0-2
    against GREEN/WHITE weenies,deathrite shaman, greensunzenit ,kor, stoneforge mystic, equipments, GADDOCK tegg (MAIN!) deck. How do u call this deck?Maverick right?
    HATED CARDS: deathrite shaman,gaddock tegg

    round2 won 2-1
    against mono white weenie,with some artifacts such as Phyrexian Marauder , batter skull, serra avenger , aether vial,stoneforge mystic, Squadron Hawk
    karakas,flying creatures

    round3 won 2-0
    can't say i saw his deck cuz i completly blocked him from the beginning both games. However it was white blue deck ( think it was a BANT) with counters stoneforge mystics and dont remember what else.. many duals i can say due to the 3 color.
    none i can say

    round4 draw due to points (played friendly and lost 2-1)
    against team america if that is his name. Had Delver of Secrets , counters, burn spells, tarmogoyf
    Delver of Secrets (he killed me with the flying bastards without no other permanent on the ground.Forced me twice when i tried to remove it)

    TOP8: passed

    top8 quarterfinal lost 0-2
    Against WhiteBlu Enchantress /Helm deck. (he never did the combo)
    Lost after a 40 minutes first game due to the flying MIRACLED 4/4 creatures.
    Jace (free brainstorm to draw lands permanents is to strong)

    I can only say what the deck suffered the most are CREATURES. Sounds strange but its like this.
    BEST CARDS: braids,chalice,trinisphere
    MAYBE WORSE: liliana, nether void. ( ill explain later why liliana)



    pithing needle for planeswalkers ( i forgot them)

    Bye guys.I'll edit this post later with further explanations.Happy for the results.

  15. #15

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Feline; awesome that you put the effort into writing and starting this Stax thread. I just started looking around for stax lists a while ago. Have a Soldier stompy deck with Chalice, Trinisphere, Suppression field, Chrome Mox and 2 mana lands so it's a kind of stax deck. So this intro to the stax gameplay is fantastic for me.
    Right now my project is an Aggro stax deck with Hero of Bladehold witch I'm about to test during upcoming weeks. I'll post a decklist and some comments after testing.

  16. #16
    feline's Avatar
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    Dec 2011



    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Thank you Crust ^.^

    As far as Stax goes, it's definitely one of my favorite decks, if it was more viable in the format & I played a little more I'd consider pushing it at the Open Series as well, but mostly I just play it at the local level, it's just fun to play a prison style lock out deck, I absolutely love non traditional stuff.
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

  17. #17

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    First of all, thank you for the amazing work put into the Primer.

    Back in the day (some 8-9 years ago) I used to play/have a vintage Stax deck which I loved. I'm considering making a legacy version though I would love to put some new spin on it.

    Has a blue spash for the counter top combo been considered? (I assume it would have to run without the namesake card, but I figured a mix of scroll rack and divining top with chalice maindeck might make for an impressive lock. Good ol' JtMS could easily become the decks "finishing move")

    In terms of a rough draft deck list I was looking at:

    4x Mishra's Factory
    10x Island
    4x Ancient Tomb
    2x City of Traitors
    1x Academy Ruins
    3x Wasteland
    (24 lands)

    4x Chalice of the Void
    2x Crucible of Worlds
    4x Tangle Wire
    2x Engineered Explosive
    3x Sensei's Divining Top
    3x Scroll Rack
    4x Counterbalance
    4x Counterspell
    4x Daze
    4x Trickbind
    2x Jace the Mind Sculptor

    Conceptually the goal would be to land a turn 1 Chalice@1 to shut off the majority of legacy decks (until they can answer it) and utilize a very high 2CMC curve with CounterTop to shut out the remainder of what filters through. Crucible + Waste locking would be used to slow them down even further while Factories or Jace goes to town. My only thought is that Abrupt Decay may just make this entire idea null. But thoughts are always appreciated

  18. #18

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    Hi all, I've always loved Stax decks, for a long time played all versions of white stax (even once played and t8d with Dutch Stax playing 3 armaggedon and 2 Ravages and 3 moat maindeck). I've also tested all colored versions and built different versions but lately I'm trying to build a consistent colorless lock stax. The following is my current build:

    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 City of Traitors
    4 Wasteland
    4 Cloudpost
    4 Glimmerpost
    4 Vesuva
    1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
    4 Chalice of the Void
    4 Mox Diamond
    3 Trinisphere
    3 Smokestack
    3 Crucible of Worlds
    3 Sphere of Resistance
    3 Lodestone Golem
    3 Trinisphere
    3 Tangle Wire
    3 Winter Orb
    2 Phyrexian Metamorph
    1 Karn Liberated

    4 Sun Droplet
    3 Damping Matrix
    3 Oblivion Stone
    1 Crucible of Worlds
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Phyrexian Metamorph
    1 Tangle Wire
    1 Smokestack

    Card Choices

    The 12 post lands
    I was reluctant at first, but I've been more than impressed with the performance of this manabase. Cloudposts will easily produce more than (without other drawback than entering tapped) and lots more which is just what we need since we play six sphere effect and 3 Trinisphere and our spells have high casting cost, the point is we'll be able to pay 6 mana for a 3cc card but most of other decks won't. Also the life gaining from Glimmerpost is really noticeable, some games it may be the difference between victory or defeat since we can take so much damage until we get control of the game and gaining 3 or 4 lives is easy but the fun comes at late game when you have like 4 locus on play, Crucible and Smokestack at 1 and sac Glimmerpost to replay it and gain life again and again (in extreme situations you can Wasteland your own Glimmerpost to replay it). Also we play Winter Orb and untapping just one Cloudpost we can get lots of mana (classical manabases can't do that and our mana denial needs this assimetry of mana production).

    3 Sphere of Resistance - 3 Lodestone Golem
    With CotV gives us 7 easy outs for unabling your opponent's turn 1. As for Golem: we need something to kill too! Also adding +1 to cc is just what we need ;)

    3 Tangle Wire - 3 Winter Orb
    Denying all this mana alongside the sphere effects really wrecks our opponents.

    2 Phyrexian Metamorph
    We can copy nasty threats from our opponent or duplicate our own threats (can copy 32 cards in maindeck)

    1 Karn Liberated
    Thanks to the Post manabase it's actually castable even under hard Winter Orb lock. Removes threats, with stalled game it's gg, in 3 turns can restart game with 2 permanents under your control (maybe Trinisphere and Smokestack ;)) You can also exile cards from your own hand to help Ensnaring Bridge.

    3 Ensnaring Bridge
    Forget that Emrakul, forget all those big creatures so easily! Almost definitive lock vs creatures when 0 cards in hand and topdeck mode with enough mana on.

    4 Sun Droplet
    I've even tested this card maindeck... I really like it. Works great with Ancient Tomb and with 2 or more Sun Droplets you actually gain life (tap tomb, 2 droplets get 2 counters each, pass turn +2 lives at opponent's upkeep and +2 at yours!). Maybe it should come back maindeck, please test it and let me know what you think. Really wrecks monored and similar decks.

    3 Damping Matrix
    This one I'm not really sure, but it comes handy vs Maverick and some other decks.

    3 Oblivion Stone
    Best out vs decks with lots of permanents, specially elves which is a horrible MU.

    Other possible cards
    Some of them are for maindeck, some are clearly for SB, some can be either maindeck or SB:
    Academy Ruins (maybe this one should be a 1of again but I took it out since most of the time it was just a land that only produced but when it's on, recurring Tangles and so on are really good ;))
    Static Orb
    Culling Scales
    All is Dust
    Witchbane Orb
    Thorn of Amethist
    Sundering Titan
    Spine of Ish sah
    Wurmcoil Engine
    Defense Grid

    Match up analysis
    Coming soon...

    I think this build can be effective, colorless deck trying to lock the opponent first then making itself way to finish the opponent once locked if they dont concede first. I really like the post manabase and the Tangle, Orb, Spheres sinergy sinergy. I'm still looking for new ideas both for maindeck and SB so all feedback will be kindly appreciated! Please test it and let me know!

  19. #19
    Viva la pimienta!
    Anarky87's Avatar
    Join Date

    Feb 2005

    Danville, IL


    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    I have a tournament on the 20th that I was thinking of playing Armageddon Stax in. But I've been doing some testing in my off time recently and I'm just getting destroyed by RUG Delver. Out of the handful of 10 game sets I've done, I'm only winning like 2/10 pre-board and maybe 5/10 post. I'm not keeping bad hands by any means (usually a mixture of lands and bombs), but the constant combination of Delver > Counter-any-card-you-play is making me second guess my choice. I try to play around Daze all the time, but usually when I do, there's just a Spell Pierce or FoW in the waiting anyway and I get annihilated by flying Nacatls. It seems the only games I win are where they have an atrocious hand, or I manage to land the Chalice @ 1&2. Any advice? I don't have much of a Legacy collection anymore, so I think my choices are either between this, Dragon Stompy, or Affinity. I really like the Stax-Prison strategy. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burton
    What does that mean? Huh? "China is here." I don't even know what the hell that means. All I know is that this Lo Pan character comes out of thin air in the middle of a goddamn alley while his buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds, and he just STANDS there! Waiting for me to drive my truck straight through him, with LIGHT coming out of his mouth!

  20. #20
    feline's Avatar
    Join Date

    Dec 2011



    Re: [Primer/Deck] Stax

    In pushing Prison Stax myself, I have had to go against RUG often enough, what is your list? I don't recall RUG being one of the harder match ups, but it's not one of the easier match up's either, just because it's RUG.

    In either case, I pushed this against it, and it did help if I won the die roll, especially against RUG.
    4 Plains
    4 Flagstones of Trokair
    4 Wasteland
    4 Mishra's Factory
    4 City of Traitors
    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 Mox Diamond
    4 Chalice of the void
    4 Trinisphere
    4 Crucible of worlds
    4 Smokestack
    4 Tanglewire -then switched after awile for- 4 Humility
    4 Ghostly Prison
    4 Magus of the Tabernacle
    4 Armageddon
    - SB -
    3 Tormod's Crypt
    4 Oblivion Ring
    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    4 Stony Silence
    Last edited by feline; 04-11-2013 at 06:55 PM.
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

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