You read that title right. You're about to read about playing 5 C Staxx in 2019.

5C Staxx has a long and distinguished history. I'm too lazy to find it but I'm pretty sure it top 8'd at least one Vintage Champs.

Here's the oldest decklist I'm able to find, from this article by @Smmenen (who I really hope chimes in with some more history of the deck!)

In 2008, my best friend opened a game store. That first Friday, I played my first sanctioned Magic event. This lead to me building my first competitive Magic deck, Bant Aggro in Shards of Alara Standard. As soon as I experienced my first rotation, I knew that rotating formats were not for me. I built my second competitive deck ever, and my first Vintage deck, 5C Staxx. We have had long and torrid love affair ever since.

Since a Vintage scene formed in Houston a few years ago, I've toyed with a more modern version of the deck. Here's my most recent build.

The last time I played this deck, I posted a picture of the deck. A friend who had very recently said that they needed to take a break from Magic asked for a deck tech because of how fun the deck looked. But I'm very lazy.

So last night, I got two friends to podcast with me. One of them plays a lot of Workshops and the other plays a lot of EDH and wacky brews. I surprised them with our subject and asked them to discuss the deck with me as well as brewing a more up to date version. The conversation went a lot of directions and I had to look up a lot of cards. Listen if you'd like more info but here's the sketch we ended up with:

I'm too lazy to write in full English sentences so here's a non-exhaustive list of cards that are in this deck and cool things they can do and/or reasons that they've been chosen.

Karn, the Great Creator

The following cards were moved to the side so that Karn can act as an addition four copies of those cards.

  • Smokestack
  • Crucible of Worlds
  • Ratchet Bomb (Could also be Engineered Explosives)

These cards were put directly into the side

  • Mycosynth Lattice - Combo, duh
  • Chalice of the Void - With the spread of mana costs in this deck, Chalice isn't great. Grabbing it with Karn makes it much less of a liability to draw.

Oh, also Null Rod main is okay.

Goblin Welder

This is a not-at-all thorough list of sweet things you can do with Welder.

  • If your Shops opponent has an X/X in the yard, it says T:Destroy target artifact an opponent controls
  • Force an opponent to sac to Smokestack, then weld it out so it doesn't affect you. If you weld in another, you can add a counter to it, effectively making Smokestack one sided.
  • Exchange Sundering Titan back and forth to blow up lands repeatedly.
  • Turn a mox into a Lotus
  • Recur Triskelion to shoot things (this is why Trike is in the deck instead of Walking Ballista)

Quick Bullet Points

  • Sundering Titan - We're trying to be hateful. Sundering Titan is hateful as can be and is also a quick wincon. This is the Tinker bot to play. I will fight you.
  • Dack Fayden - Filters cards, the downside of discarding is significantly reduced by Welder and Crucible
  • Balance - Read this card.
  • Chromatic Lantern - Makes everything easier to cast

There's a lot more to be said but I think the decklist speaks for itself. Feel free to ask questions or tell me my ideas are terrible.

I know this deck isn't going to be the best but I also know that you'll have a hell of a lot of fun.

I've been playing red stax. It's not 5c but it does run Welder. Karn made it so insane.

// Vintage Red Shops Karn

// 60 Maindeck
// 27 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
2 Crucible of Worlds
3 Smokestack
1 Mana Crypt
2 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Uba Mask
4 Tangle Wire
1 Mana Vault
3 Sphere of Resistance

// 7 Creature
4 Goblin Welder
1 Lodestone Golem
2 Phyrexian Revoker

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

// 4 Planeswalker
4 Karn, the Great Creator

// 15 Sideboard
// 10 Artifact
SB: 4 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 1 Null Rod
SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice
SB: 1 Crucible of Worlds
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt

// 2 Creature
SB: 1 Wurmcoil Engine
SB: 1 Duplicant

// 3 Land
SB: 3 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

The ability to play Karn for 4 mana on turn 2 after a turn 1 welder, -2 for Lattice, and then weld it into play is insane.

@naixin I like the idea you suggest but i am not really sure it is working. I mean welding an early lattice is the broken play when everything goes well but probability are quite low.

There is lot of tension in Red shop mana base and the one you are suggesting is more or less the usual one that balances it all.

The problem is that you can't reliably cast an early Karn with that mana base. Shop lists that are trying to use it are using additionnal tools such as metalworker or grim monolith or city of traitors. Namely, you need more colorless source to cast it since you can't use workshop for it (adding vault and crypt is needed but not enough).

To make it short, i am not sure if you can put everything in one compact mana base. Or more to the point, i am not sure if what you win because of that plan is worth what you loose because of it.

last edited by albarkhane

@albarkhane that’s a very fine assessment.
I jammed in Karn and spheres to see how greedy I can be. I may end up shaving some Karns for either more revokers, null rods, or mana. I just wanted to test 4 because the only way to see how good a card initially is is to draw it as often as possible and then slowly shave it down.

So whats the reason for the one crop rotation? Just one seems weird. πŸ€”

Came for the formatting stayed for the Chromatic Lantern. Ridin' dirty.

@john-cox said in 5C Staxx 2019:

So whats the reason for the one crop rotation? Just one seems weird. πŸ€”

Yeah, since you're not running Null Rod main, Expedition Map seems like the better choice.

I love 5c Stax and would love to see it come back, but running so many Karn, TGC seems iffy with that mana base. Running a few Maps to search for Academy would definitely help.

@john-cox said in 5C Staxx 2019:

So whats the reason for the one crop rotation? Just one seems weird. πŸ€”

To be quite honest, it's been in the list since I copied it from somewhere a decade ago. I've never felt a need to remove it (in fact, as I say in the cast, I have 2 slots that are kinda filler in the 2018 list). I've also never felt any need to have more.

It does allow some sweet lines. My favorite thing I've done with Crop Rotation is sac a turn 1 Workshop to get another turn 1 Workshop, casting multiple hate pieces or a Wurmcoil.

@dr-j said in 5C Staxx 2019:

@john-cox said in 5C Staxx 2019:

So whats the reason for the one crop rotation? Just one seems weird. πŸ€”

Yeah, since you're not running Null Rod main, Expedition Map seems like the better choice.

I love 5c Stax and would love to see it come back, but running so many Karn, TGC seems iffy with that mana base. Running a few Maps to search for Academy would definitely help.

Map is certainly an interesting idea. I'll mull it over!

@thecravenone said in 5C Staxx 2019:

@john-cox said in 5C Staxx 2019:

So whats the reason for the one crop rotation? Just one seems weird. πŸ€”

To be quite honest, it's been in the list since I copied it from somewhere a decade ago. I've never felt a need to remove it (in fact, as I say in the cast, I have 2 slots that are kinda filler in the 2018 list). I've also never felt any need to have more.

It does allow some sweet lines. My favorite thing I've done with Crop Rotation is sac a turn 1 Workshop to get another turn 1 Workshop, casting multiple hate pieces or a Wurmcoil.

@dr-j said in 5C Staxx 2019:

@john-cox said in 5C Staxx 2019:

So whats the reason for the one crop rotation? Just one seems weird. πŸ€”

Yeah, since you're not running Null Rod main, Expedition Map seems like the better choice.

I love 5c Stax and would love to see it come back, but running so many Karn, TGC seems iffy with that mana base. Running a few Maps to search for Academy would definitely help.

Map is certainly an interesting idea. I'll mull it over!

Do you do a quick ritual scarring when the Crop Rotation gets Misstepped and you Sinkhole yourself?

@nedleeds You are adorable. 😍

@thecravenone @Naixin

The new Welder creature (Goblin Engineerer) seems incredible in both shells, giving you tutoring, redundancy, and...a non-misstepable creature. It doesn't interact with the opponent's artifacts but I assume you would still play Welder. How do you see this printing impacting your lists?

For reference:
0_1558668662809_b420c092-9353-4e85-a773-d43c2a652b6b-image.png

@chubbyrain

I’m 100% going to test it. I may even play vault key now as an alternative win con. I think having 8 goblins will make cavern better too.

Turn 1 welder, turn 2 this for insert busted artifact is insane. Having Karn is also great. Man I’m so happy.

last edited by Naixin

@thecravenone This is what I plan to test out next week. (Blatantly stealing your excellent formatting)

A few minor changes from your list;

Main

  • -1 stp, -1 karn, -1 dack, -1 crop rot / +2 dreadbore, +2 expidition map

  • I am going to try out dreadbore since you need an answer for an opposing karn/dack as well as creatures.

  • The singleton dack doesn't seem like the best choice, since if you are tutoring you just go for karn/power. I also don't think the deck has enough draw power/card selection to utilize him as a singleton.

  • The crop rotation is a leftover from back in 2005, before there were an extra 4 free counters for it. Changing to map just seems like a much better call.

  • 4 karn plus 2 tutors seems like a bit much, plus one less means slightly less stress on the mana base. Plus in this list there is no dack to discard extras.

Side

  • -1 Jester's Cap, -3 Grafdigger's Cage, -1 Ratchet Bomb, +1 Wurmcoil Engine, +2 Abrade, +1 Ensnaring Bridge, +1 Witchbane Orb

  • Cap is not the awesome sauce it once was, fight me.

  • Cages are the most suspect cut, but bridge is an excellent answer to both oath and dredge, especially since it will be followed up with more lock pieces that eventually lead to lattice lock.

  • Ratchet bomb does little for you as a singleton, it is not something you will karn for as there are just better options. Plus it is stax, let the smokestack and wires do the work. If anything add a blast zone to the main.

  • Added an extra wurmcoil so you can side one in v shops and still karn for the other.

  • More abrade means more creature kill and the ability to put more artifacts in the yard to abuse welder.

  • Not having bridge in a karn deck is strange, it is an overpowered lock piece against everything except the 1/1 army from pyromancer. It buys a huge amount of time to set up smokestack/crucible, which is also a win con with b ring. This should be an auto include, possibly even over lattice.

  • Witchbane Orb is robbed from the brass city vault decks recently, it is an excellent hedge against hurk, and protects from tendrils, oath of druids, jace activations etc.

Has anyone considered Channel as a combo piece with Karn G.C.? For 10 life, you can Karn + Lattice on the same turn.

@billcopes said in 5C Staxx 2019:

Has anyone considered Channel as a combo piece with Karn G.C.? For 10 life, you can Karn + Lattice on the same turn.

Although Karn + Lattice is by no means a instant win, it's actually not a bad idea.

@griselbrother

Yes. I brewed a r/g eldrazi list at the monthly vintage event that I attended last month. I based the idea around r/g eldrazi from modern.

I used channel to karn-lattice lock and cast eldrazi.

last edited by chikararyuu

@chikararyuu Seems like this idea may have a great addition with Force of Vigor. Care to share a list? πŸ™‚

@griselbrother said in 5C Staxx 2019:

Although Karn + Lattice is by no means a instant win, it's actually not a bad idea.

How do you get out of it? I mean, unless you already have more creatures in play than he does.

last edited by fsecco

Elvish Spirit guide + Nature's Claim, Simian Spirit Guide +Shatering Spree. In about a month Force of Vigor
Thats about it.

@john-cox Force of Vigor doesn't work under Lattice. Spirit Guides are cool but if we're playing that it's because the meta is pretty warped toward Karn/Lattice. Winning list this week doesn't even pack Lattice.

@john-cox Crash, Pulverize, and Abolish work. Force of Vigor doesn't, as with lattice in play the cards in your hand are colorless.

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