I have been obsessed with Stasis since, well basically since it was printed. I am constantly looking to improve my decks for Legacy/Vintage play, and would like some thoughts on how to streamline my main Vintage version here.
// Turbo Stasis
// 61 Maindeck
// 10 Artifact
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Opal
4 Howling Mine
3 Black Vise
1 Black Lotus
// 4 Creature
4 Noble Hierarch
// 5 Enchantment
// 17 Instant
3 Chain of Vapor
1 Echoing Truth
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Force of Will
2 Nature's Claim
// 17 Land
2 Forsaken City
4 Tropical Island
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Seat of the Synod
1 Breeding Pool
// 8 Sorcery
1 Gitaxian Probe
// 13 Sideboard
// 4 Artifact
SB: 2 Ivory Tower
SB: 2 Feldon's Cane
// 2 Enchantment
SB: 2 Propaganda
// 6 Instant
SB: 2 Ensnare
SB: 2 Mental Misstep
SB: 1 Mindbreak Trap
SB: 1 Flusterstorm
// 1 Land
SB: 1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
The basic idea is to build up lands enough to pay out the Stasis cost while Black Vise kills the opponent. It accomplishes this by attempting to quickly setup for the Stasis option (having a minimal set of components to go ahead and play Stasis successfully), and then addressing the first threat(s) before playing a Stasis (hopefully they tapped out from going all-in). Generally this strategy seems to work against a lot of decks, and because the game state appears as though I may lose my Stasis soft lock at any point throughout the game, the opponent keeps trying to play it out in futility. I feel like it makes the game more fun because I am not only playing to beat their deck, but also survive my own.
I am aware of some common Stasis cards such as:
- Ivory Tower
- Isochron Scepter
- Despotic Scepter
- Time Elemental
- Siren's Call
So I would like some thoughts on how I may streamline this deck design for a Vintage competitive format. The goal is to produce reliability and solutions expected to compete against decks like Shop (typically red), Blue Control/Combo, and Dredge. I seem to especially have trouble with combo decks like Burning Long, and graveyard decks like Mana Dredge.
@kat To beat storm combo I think you'd need some kind of Sphere of Resistance effects which are also good with Stasis due to the dual constraint on mana, although some number of Arcane Laboratory could also work. To beat dredge it may be helpful to have Thalia 2.0 to cause the army of the undead to enter the battlefield tapped. To make space for these kinds of cards I'd probably cut down on Vise and Regrowth. I doubt Thwart will ever be Vintage playable unfortunately and I don't think there are enough artifacts to support the mox opal without the rest of the moxen in this deck.
Interesting list. I would love to hear more about some of the card choices, like Howling mine.
Planewalkers are super strong with Stasis and good against Blue control in Vintage. They are better in Vintage than Legacy with power to pump them out.
You dont really have enough SB hate to beat Vintage dredge consistently. I think that MU should be easily solvable by hitting the 7-8 graveyard hate cards mark. This helps against Storm a bit too.
Shops is a tougher puzzle as your core cards, Stasis, Mine, Vice, are not great. I think you may need to splash red for Grudge, and Dack Fayden.
@Aaron-Patten Thanks! I had not considered Sphere effects in a Stasis deck, but it makes perfect sense. I do feel Arcane Laboratory may be a bit on the high side for cmc, and Thalia might cause some mana issues, but I will test them out as well. I have found the Regrowth were great in Gush shell, but it seems Gush was recently restricted, so perhaps the Regrowth should be cut too. I wanted Thwart to work, but I fully agree that it just isn't viable. As for the Opal, I find that I do get mana screwed sometimes, but I can't think of a better blue mana mox-like option. I guess I could just drop the Opal entirely. What do you think about Propaganda to work kinda like Thalia against dredge? It seems like it may work well against Fish too.
@vaughnbros I like to use the Howling Mines in some shells (like this one) to apply more pressure with Black Vise, it is classically one of the components which makes the "Turbo" part of the deck name (https://mtg.gamepedia.com/Turbo_Stasis), and it helps me get to a Stasis solution faster. Before the Stasis goes down the opponent does get advantage from the Mine first, and I have found that the Mines sometimes cause me to lose by getting my opponent too many answers at once, but I also feel like part of the fun of the deck is the struggle to not lose to myself (like how Pox plays). So I guess the Howling Mines are kinda in there for that too.
As for Planeswalkers, I really haven't looked into many, I will have to go through them and see what I can find. Dack seems to be a neat option for Shop matchups, but I am not sure how I feel about splashing a 3rd colour (especially an off-colour). What sort of sideboard cards were you thinking for grave hate? Tormod's Crypt seems nice with the 0cmc, maybe Grafdigger's as well.
In a stasis list I had, once upon a time, I ran 8 mana dorks (4 noble/4 birds) and instill energy. You are very likely to have a mana dork out when you draw instill energy, and then you can untap for U forever. This way you can do something like mox, birds, land...then land, instill energy, stasis on turn 2.
I'd cut the howling mines and regrowths, and add a 4th black vice and 4x misstep. You want to capitalize on your ability to kill before they ramp up on mana, so you need 4 vise imho. To push them through vs misstep, and to stop bolt/plow on your mana dork, you'll need your own misstep (the derpstep back-and-forth is so dumb). Then you'll need something like Thalia 2.0, Kismet, etc. to lock them out. Playing something like Prophet of Kruphix is fun too. You could play Frozen Aether and that would allow you to get a hard lock with just running blue/green. Other options put you into white.
Some number of ancient tombs may be useful to boost your mana ahead of the opponent. Another option is null rod, running only lotus/ring/sapphire/emerald. You need a fast play vs storm, it helps vs mana build-up, and you use 8 creatures as moxen.
You basically need to protect your mana dorks and drop stasis followed by other lock pieces. I'd try 4 chain of vapor, because unless you have instill energy, you'll need to bounce your stasis a fair amount.
The biggest problem I see is that the deck is fairly slow, people have ample free counterspells just like you do, and something like workshops can just plop out a revoker or balista to axe your mana dork and then stasis becomes fair (actually probably more one-sided in the opponent's favor). Similarly, you can go land, mana dork, and they'll go land, mox, oath...and then you're up a creek.
It's a fun concept, but in reality, there are just too many good things to do in vintage that don't care about stasis. You can basically lose before you really get started. At least you have 12 free counterspells, but I don't know if that's enough.
Time Vault is a really good card in a Stasis deck from my experiences a while ago. You can freely skip your next turn to untap Time Vault (since your opponent is tapped out and cannot do anything anyway). Then, when you want to kill your stasis and get an untap step, you can cash in the extra turn and untap before resetting the lock. I definitely recommend finding a place for this card.
I'd probably run Voltaic Key as well for the random "oops I win" draws you can get. Of course you'd need a Planeswalker or something to leverage the infinite turns, but they work really well with Stasis anyway, as Lance earlier pointed out.
Also from my experiences earlier I never liked Thwart as a card. I understand why it's there but it just seemed like it never did what I wanted it to do. Your mileage might vary though, but I thought I'd mention.
When I built a Stasis deck, I didn't bother with Howling Mines. I felt like it drew my opponents into answers when a soft-lock that I had created was enough to leverage that position into a game win, either by just getting ahead through a Planeswalker of some sort, or by disrupting my opponent enough to do so. I know it's the reason behind the name "Turbo Stasis" but I felt like drawing my opponent deeper into their deck was just asking for trouble.
Also another point I just noticed, you're playing Tolarian Academy + Minamo (a combo that I absolutely adore), but you're only playing Mox Sapphire + Opal. I feel like those Howling Mines could turn into the full suite of Moxen perhaps?
Good luck with your deck!
@kat Thanks for the explanation on Mine.
Two Walkers that I'd definitely look into are (without additional colors) are:
Garruk the Wildspeaker (massive synergy with Stasis)
Any of the Jaces (2 mana or 4 mana are the best, but Jace Beleren might even be an option here over Mine).
Freyalise was the other purely UG planeswalker that I've played in Stasis, but my mana base was much more acceleration driven than this one.
Yes, Tormod's and Grafdigger's seem like your best options in UG for graveyard hate.
I have built a LOT of stasis.
hard to kill people with a black vice in a world full of moxen and a deck with no taxes.
here are my suggestions.
you need 4 forsaken city. especially if you run howling mine.
agree with the above, time vault is necessary.
replace the noble hierarc with garruk wildspeaker. the hierarc is the only creature in your deck and it will eat STP all day. ramanup excavator or crucible would be good too to play misty rainforest and fetch all your trops and islands.
replace regrowth with elvish spirit guide to enable t1 stasis
ditch the mox opal and seat of synod for 2 basic island
ditch the thwart for a root maze
replace natures claim for jace beleren and a maindeck mindbreak trap
for zombie infestations, I'd go with a crop rotation plan and get the tabernacle or possibly a glacial chasm. this would make ramanup better too by cycling the glacial chasm and never paying life.
ill try to find some of my old lists that I lost a lot with....
I played Stasis a lot back in the days; very cool prison deck. Statis is one of the Magic cards that just changes rules of the game. So glad to see some interest.
Since you already have green mana base, you can try Root Maze. It doesn't help against creatures though. But if you want to add some white mana base Authority of the Consulate can be useful against creatures, especially in combination with Ghostly Prison (instead of Propaganda).
I think it is impossible for Dredge to pay (2) for each attacking creature. Shops can pay, even by inflicting some damage from Ancient Tombs, but Shops need only one creature to deal damage in combat and Walking Ballista will finish the game. Both decks are fast, so Authority of the Consulate can be very helpful against them to slow them down.
Combo decks are much tougher opponents as cancerous Menatal Misstep will handle your Black Vise, Root Maze, Authority of the Consulate, and all other 1CMC spells. A good news is that there is a wonderful card Arcane Laboratory. It works very well with City of Solitude, but this is an expensive combo to put into the game.
No Icy Manipulator!?
Forgot one more card - Suppression Field. With 2CMC it is possible to put it into game early on so many decks will be hosed. And with active Stasis afterwards there will be very difficult for them to break out. Since your win condition is passive, Black Vise, you will be fine.
And finally, on a personal note, the deck needs more Chronatogs; the metagame is stagnant without them.
Wouldn't Tezzeret the Seeker + Seat of Synod be a lock. Tezzeret the Seeker just seems very good for a deck like this one.
I like Orb of Dreams over Kismet. I tried Root Maze to stop combo before and that had to descent results.
My question is why not Reset. I have a Turbo Stasis Old School deck similar to this one and Reset is a staple.
@chronatog Dredge can very easily beat a Propandga effect with Dread Return and Therapies.
@moorebrother1 Ah Tezz is one that I forgot. He is great. Alt win with Vault too.
@Thewhitedragon69 Instill Energy is a great idea! I kinda recall something along those lines back in the early days of Stasis (like Time Elemental/Kismet). A related combo is the Forsaken City + Howling Mine combo. Perhaps putting both in the same deck? I looked at the Prophet, but perhaps I misunderstand the use. There is not an untap step for anyone, so the first ability would not trigger, unless I am mistaken. You brought up a good point that the Noble Hierarch may be less than favourable in an Oath matchup.
@Hrishi I really love the Time Vault idea. I like to use Chronatog in some Stasis decks too, which is kinda the same principle. Which Planeswalker(s) would you suggest? I ended up dropping the Opal because I just couldn't reliably get it to work.
@vaughnbros I thought about Garruk, but I feel the 4cmc may be a bit steep in this particular shell. I feel like he would fit better in something running lands like Ancient Tomb maybe. I like the Jace Beleren idea, and it synergises with the Mine and Vise effects. I'll take a look at Freya again but I'm not sure how she would fit in a Stasis deck. I believe the elves make green mana, and Stasis requires blue. What did you have in mind with her?
@elusive You bring up a good point with the creature removal. Though I would prefer cards under 3cmc where possible, because of the lack of fast mana (full moxen, sol ring, crypt, etc.). I also considered Null Rod to address my opponent playing fast mana, but then I feel like I might as well play a Null Rod deck and forget about Stasis (which would defeat the purpose of a Stasis deck). So I am curious what you mean by "tax". Do you mean like cost effects (Tabernacle, Propaganda, Sphere, ...)? I have found that Root Maze tends to run poorly in this style Stasis deck. Since my Islands comes into play tapped as well, it makes it difficult to pay out the Stasis which forces me to take a more combo approach, which is a different deck concept. Crop Rotation is a great suggestion! I agree that tutoring straight into a Tabernacle would be pretty devastating. I also considered black splash just for tutors (Vampiric/Demonic/Seal). I am not sure what you mean by "cycling" Glacial Chasm.
@Chronatog Your name... <3. I do love Authority of the Consulate. It's like a 1cmc mini-Kismet. I was afraid initially to splash a 3rd colour, but after testing black splash I feel that the deck can easily handle it. I just ordered a playset of Authorities. I would think Propaganda may fit better than Ghostly Prison even though Authority is white, mainly because the primary deck colour is blue, and Stasis runs on blue mana. Also Propaganda can pitch to Force. A couple of people have suggested Arcane Laboratory, but I guess I am just not seeing the benefit to justify a 3cmc cost. I guess the idea is to stop people from storming, but it seems that by the time I could bring it online the game would already be over. So I'm not really sure whether to run it or not. Suppression Field is an excellent suggestion! I was not aware of the card before, and I don't think it even negatively affects anything in my deck currently.
@moorebrother1 Tezzeret + Seat would be a lock, but the idea is to actually play the game out. I would like to avoid just comboing into a hardlock and then waiting. The goal is to engage my opponent in a control environment where the rules of the game have been changed (no untap in this case). Consider this playing more like a Pox deck, or perhaps using Null Rod or Chains of Mephistopheles to disrupt decks through an altered game state. The idea is to approach Stasis in this deck in a similar manner. As for Reset, I don't know I keep adding it then taking it out, then adding it again. I have a love/hate relationship with it I guess. :P
@kat Reset may not work with the interactions you are looking for in today's meta game. Like I mentioned previously, I play the deck in Old School magic and it works there since there is no Force of Will.
Okay so I scrapped the whole Howling Mine + Forsaken City combo. Since what I originally wanted was a deck that is more tempo/control as opposed to combo, I decided to look into something more along the lines of a Fish shell which led me to this...
Tropical Island x3
Flooded Strand x3
Misty Rainforest x2
Curse Catcher x4
Noble Hierarch x4
Imposing Sovereign x4
Tempest Drake x3
Ancestral Recall x1
Mystical Tutor x1
Crop Rotation x1
Force of Will x4
Muddle the Mixture x1
Chain of Vapor x3
Nature's Claim x3
Echoing Truth x1
Time Vault x1
The deck focuses mostly on playing creatures which either are unaffected (e.g. Curse Catcher) by the Stasis, or have a way to bypass it (e.g. Tempest Drake). In my eternal search for the perfect 2-drop Stasis-friendly evasion creature, the best I could come up with is a choice between Zephyr Falcon (et al.), and Tempest Drake. I did find another creature, Sylvan Advocate, which seems to possibly be a faster clock (8 turns versus the 10 for Tempest Drake, and 20 for the Falcons) but the lack of evasion leads to my damage just being blocked. I also found that most games are over before I get 6 lands into play. I would like some suggestions on replacements for the Tempest Drake which are 2cmc.
The Imposing Sovereign and Stasis compose the soft lock of the deck, comparable to the Null Rod/Stony Silence cards in a Fish deck. While I understand that Vintage may not be as creature heavy as it is artifact heavy, this is mostly for playing at my LGS and they tend to have aggro and tempo/control decks. I had considered putting both the Null Rod and Stasis effects in the same deck, but it just didn't work out well. Thanks @Hrishi for the Time Vault tip! I believe I recall using it years back, but I had forgotten about it. It's a great way to get about the effects of the Stasis when I can't pay/bounce it any longer.
The counter package is pretty standard for a Stasis deck with exception to Muddle the Mixture which lets me tutor for any 2cmc card in the deck (basically 1/3rd of the deck) and it provides a stronger counter as compared to Daze for some situations.
If you play with mana creatures (Noble Hierarch), you might add Quirion Ranger / Scryb Ranger (to bounce Tropical Island and untap Noble H.) to fuel your Stasis.
Where’s Garruk and Ral Zarek??