Let's Talk About Stax (Maybe)



  • @BandsWithOthers My first thought is, why not just in the main? I mean, I feel like I'm biting into a fishing lure here. You've obviously thought about why not the main already. I just like building decks to have as large a chance and possible to win via an idiotically good opening draw, and Chalice on the play sure does that. You can always Smoke it away when it's bad too... IDK. I just think in general its better than a SB card in terms of power level. (I mean how does Tempo-Blue even beat a Chalice at 1?)



  • Here is an updated list on my Uba Stax. Or should I say, a different approach. When I played my Uba list, I realized Uba Mask + Titan was REALLY good against the light mana cantrip blue decks.....until they had Dack. Then it was a HUGE liability. I decided to change the approach of my deck.

    Mask + Bazaar effectively let me draw 3 cards per turn. However, with Welder and Crucibles, I figured my graveyard was already wide open. I decided to cut mask to add room for more Thorns and Tangle Wire. Now Tangle Wire is nuts. So now, I have 2 main decks I play. An Uba version when I feel like trolling, and this version that feels more consistent and closer to "real" shops. Any opinions or changes you'd make?

    // Vintage Red Shops

    // 60 Maindeck
    // 30 Artifact
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Trinisphere
    1 Chalice of the Void
    4 Sphere of Resistance
    2 Null Rod
    3 Crucible of Worlds
    3 Smokestack
    1 Mana Crypt
    4 Thorn of Amethyst
    4 Tangle Wire

    // 8 Creature
    3 Goblin Welder
    1 Sundering Titan
    1 Lodestone Golem
    3 Phyrexian Revoker

    // 22 Land
    4 Mishra's Workshop
    3 Bazaar of Baghdad
    3 Barbarian Ring
    3 Mountain
    4 Wasteland
    1 Strip Mine
    1 Tolarian Academy
    3 Ancient Tomb

    // 15 Sideboard
    // 11 Artifact
    SB: 3 Ensnaring Bridge
    SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
    SB: 3 Grafdigger's Cage
    SB: 1 Null Rod
    SB: 1 Pithing Needle

    // 2 Land
    SB: 2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

    // 2 Sorcery
    SB: 3 Shattering Spree



  • @Topical_Island This could be why he came 9th. I'm really not sure why it's there, so I wish I had a stronger answer. I was hoping this might be one of those "Vintage Moments" where a questionable decision is actually brilliant. It seems he might be taking it out to hang on to the 4th Ensnaring bridge or the third Null Rod? I Might also prefer to see Chalice instead of one of those Factories.


  • TMD Supporter

    Not saying I agree with this, but maybe he expected a lot of mirror matches, and when going 2nd it's largely a dead card in the mirror?



  • @joshuabrooks Yeah, I feel like we could do some math to figure out what is the best choice there in a pretty objective way.



  • @Naixin How frequently are you resolving Welder against decks with Misstep? This seemed to be the critical point people were making earlier about Welder as a strategy. I also love the little guy but haven't had a whole lot of luck playtesting against Mentor, but then I haven't really done much of that since before the Gush restriction.

    The big question remains whether non-token strategies will start coming out of the blue woodwork that would allow more diversity in the Workshop archetype.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Topical_Island said in Let's Talk About Stax (Maybe):

    All time great thread title. I like big thread titles. I cannot lie.

    How does having 4 Null rods interact with this deck? Can it really beat the decks that just want to play Null Rod themselves... Like JacoDrazi or something of that sort?

    I feel like the card I would want against this deck would be Null Rod so it's odd to see it as a 4-of, am I missing something?

    Usually the Stax decks traditionally rely on Null Rod as an equalizer. You have a 50% chance of going first G1, so having >the ability to lay a null rod and assumedly something else next turn can almost be GG against a lot of decks. It's a >permanent that stunts your opponents mana that you can eventually sac to Smokestack. It even works in the mirror as >you will get to use your mana first before you play it.

    Yeah, I feel like Cavern of Souls can be pretty necessary here (and it also works great with some of the other shops creatures too). It creates some dilemmas post G1 as they have to decide whether to keep any MM in after boarding, but I do think as long as MM is around, Welder is going to have problems. I feel like Welder-Stax was stronger when there were four Golems, as you could occasionally get the Cavern-Golem going and that would give you the occasional easy win. Running stax all day can be time consuming and brain taxing. Right now Stax doesn't have a quick win, and I think you occasionally need those to stay relevant. Winning the hard way EVERYTIME is tough these days. Every other deck has the occasional "oops, I win" Vintage hand. Stax rarely does (unless you get a Golem-friendly hand).



  • @joshuabrooks Heh! Good point. Though one of the things I love about Stax is not the "Oops, I win" but the "Don't worry, you'll lose eventually" hands.

    I've always felt control is rewarding, even when it doesn't go off quickly or feels bit more midrange...but only if it actually pays off. If there are decks that just swamp you while you are waiting patiently for them to die of asphyxiation, then what's the point.


  • TMD Supporter

    @BandsWithOthers said in Let's Talk About Stax (Maybe):

    @joshuabrooks Heh! Good point. Though one of the things I love about Stax is not the "Oops, I win" but the "Don't worry, you'll lose eventually" hands.

    I've always felt control is rewarding, even when it doesn't go off quickly or feels bit more midrange...but only if it actually pays off. If there are decks that just swamp you while you are waiting patiently for them to die of asphyxiation, then what's the point.

    Yeah, I should have prefaced that by saying "for tournament play or maybe online play." (note: I think Shops players "earn" a little more time in MTGO as you have the clocks to keep things honest). If you have unlimited time or are playing for kicks, Stax is awesome. But I think right now, it's a little too slow (literally) to win round after round without going to time or exhausting yourself.

    Having to win each game as I said "the hard way" can be difficult in a tournament setting. The older Stax versions had the occasional quick win (Golem + wastelands, Golem + Tangle Wire, Construct + Cavern). Right now there is so much removal that you rarely coast to victory on your first bomb :)



  • @BandsWithOthers I usually try to run something else out before going for Welder. If I don't reveal red, most people would pitch the mental misstep to FoW.

    However, with STP, MM, and FoW everywhere, Welder isn't in a hot place. That's partly why I altered my list to be less reliant on Welder as a whole, and more so having it as something fun. I've won more games with recurring Barbarian Rings, Smokestack locks, etc than welder shenanigans.


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