Playing around with Stax



  • My metagame is usually heavy on blue, and heavy on contration style workshop decks. So I've been futzing around with this list, and given my utter lack of sleep wanted to get a second opinion or two.

    Artifact (30)
    1x Black Lotus
    1x Chalice of the Void
    3x Crucible of Worlds
    1x Mox Emerald
    1x Mox Jet
    1x Mox Pearl
    1x Mox Ruby
    1x Mox Sapphire
    1x Null Rod
    2x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
    3x Smokestack
    1x Sol Ring
    4x Sphere of Resistance
    4x Tangle Wire
    4x Thorn of Amethyst
    1x Trinisphere

    Land (22)
    4x Ancient Tomb
    1x Inventors' Fair
    4x Mishra's Factory
    4x Mishra's Workshop
    3x Mutavault
    1x Strip Mine
    1x Tolarian Academy
    4x Wasteland

    Creature (8)
    1x Karn, Silver Golem
    1x Lodestone Golem
    2x Phyrexian Metamorph
    4x Phyrexian Revoker

    Sideboard (15)
    1x Ensnaring Bridge
    2x Ghost Quarter
    4x Grafdigger's Cage
    2x Null Rod
    1x Ratchet Bomb
    2x Spine of Ish Sah
    1x Steel Hellkite
    2x Wurmcoil Engine

    Thoughts thus far: moat doesn't completely kill me, which is happiness. (We had a surge of eldrazi so Moat became a more common sight).

    I'm not claiming anything original or groundbreaking here- these are all solid cards in various workshop builds, I just wonder if I 'm getting too cute.

    Cheers,


  • TMD Supporter

    I'm not a Stax expert, but I believe most Stax decks do not play Black Lotus. The Stax experts can correct me if I'm wrong (I may be), but I believe the reason is you want to get your lock pieces down and you want to keep on drawing lock pieces and the Black Lotus is a one turn use. Non Stack Shop decks want to get the Triskelion, Fleetwheel type cards out as quickly as possible, so a Black Lotus allows for that explosive turn the Stax doesn't need as much.

    I could be wrong. I'm fine with that. :)


  • Administrators

    I wouldn't say cutting Black Lotus from Stax is conventional at all. Some of the recent Smokestack decks are running 3-4 Null Rods which make Lotus worse ... but I'm still not convinced it's worse than an off-color Mox, which this deck runs 5 of. The 1-of Null Rod in this list kind of makes the decision uglier all around

    The first thing that comes jumps out to me is how hard it's going to be for you to crew a Skysovereign (there's only a single creature in your deck that can crew it on it's own). I'm sure you'll figure out whether or not that's an issue after just a handful of games

    Consider giving Tabernacle of the Pendrell Vale a try - it might be hard to keep Smokestack online against creature-based decks without it (particularly anything running Monastery Mentor or Young Pyromancer)



  • why only 3 stax? if you want to go prison, play 4
    why only 1 rod? go ezither 0 or 3/4 but not a good combo with vehicles....


  • TMD Supporter

    @Brass-Man Well, I'm wrong then! ha



  • Usually, in stax.dec you only want to play permanents to optimize your stax strategy.



  • I agree with most of what had been said above :

    • Null rod is either 0 or 3.
    • 3 stax is the right number i think. In the current meta (mentor, pyro) i like ratched bomb as a split with stax. It is even better in lists where you can get it back after use.

    Some months ago, before chalice was restricted, you could play 4 chalice + 3 null rod which gave you great chance to shut down opponent's moxen on turn 1. Playing black lotus in that case was not a very good idea because most of the time you would not be able to play it unless you got it in the opening hand. Now things are a bit less clear. If you are not playing null rod i would play black lotus. If you are running 3 null rod, you should balance the explosiveness versus the number of times you can't use it because of null rod. Only lots of tests can give the answer i guess.

    Skysovereign, Consul Flagship is definitively a great card for shop decks but i don't think you can use it properly in that list. If your problem is Moat there are several alternate solutions. Spine of Ish Sah is great but when playing 9 sphere effect, i would like to have a way to cheat it into play. Another possibility is barbarian ring or even better staff of nim, or triskel + hangarback if you want a more agro way.



  • I really like the list that performs 2nd as the US eternal week end

    You cannot play ratchet bomb if you are playing null rod (which might be either 3 or 4 in your deck)
    If you are not playing null rod, for sure you will have to play ratchet bomb to deal with moxen or tokens. However, combo (dps or paradoxical) decks have to be taken into account... this is where null rod shines.. as well as versus ravager shops



  • I'm a big fan of ensnaring bridge and blinkmoth nexus in these lists. Also a 1 of tabernacle is very good, but not as needed if you play 4 ensnaring bridges.
    If you are only playing a couple of null rods, I'd still run lotus. I think the trade off is 3-4. Null rod / 0 lotus. Just 1 null rod main, I'd still be playing lotus. And I think I'd still have lotus in the sideboard even if I had 2-4 null rods main because decks like eldrazi don't care about null rod and lotus is explosive



  • Thank you all for input!

    I'm still futzing around- and many of you hae chimed in with reasons that highlight my own lines of thought regarding certain cards.

    This is what I'm currently playing around with. It's less stax and more a s"inspired by terra nova" hybrid:

    Artifact (30)
    1x Black Lotus
    1x Chalice of the Void
    3x Crucible of Worlds
    1x Mox Emerald
    1x Mox Jet
    1x Mox Pearl
    1x Mox Ruby
    1x Mox Sapphire
    3x Null Rod
    3x Smokestack
    1x Sol Ring
    4x Sphere of Resistance
    4x Tangle Wire
    4x Thorn of Amethyst
    1x Trinisphere

    Land (22)
    4x Ancient Tomb
    1x Inventors' Fair
    4x Mishra's Factory
    4x Mishra's Workshop
    3x Mutavault
    1x Strip Mine
    1x Tolarian Academy
    4x Wasteland

    Creature (8)
    1x Karn, Silver Golem
    1x Lodestone Golem
    2x Phyrexian Metamorph
    4x Phyrexian Revoker

    Sideboard (15)
    4x Arcbound Ravager
    2x Chief of the Foundry
    2x Foundry Inspector
    3x Hangarback Walker
    1x Mana Vault
    2x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
    1x Steel Hellkite

    The board is to completely shift gears. Post board the deck looks something akin to:

    Artifact (23)
    1x Black Lotus
    1x Chalice of the Void
    1x Mana Vault
    1x Mox Emerald
    1x Mox Jet
    1x Mox Pearl
    1x Mox Ruby
    1x Mox Sapphire
    2x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
    1x Sol Ring
    4x Sphere of Resistance
    3x Tangle Wire
    4x Thorn of Amethyst
    1x Trinisphere

    Creature (19)
    4x Arcbound Ravager
    2x Chief of the Foundry
    2x Foundry Inspector
    3x Hangarback Walker
    1x Karn, Silver Golem
    1x Lodestone Golem
    2x Phyrexian Metamorph
    4x Phyrexian Revoker

    Land (18)
    4x Ancient Tomb
    4x Mishra's Factory
    4x Mishra's Workshop
    1x Strip Mine
    1x Tolarian Academy
    4x Wasteland

    Sideboard (15)
    3x Crucible of Worlds
    1x Inventors' Fair
    3x Mutavault
    3x Null Rod
    3x Smokestack
    1x Steel Hellkite
    1x Tangle Wire

    Blinkmoth nexus is a really interesting idea. I could see that in place of the mutavaults, shoring up the moat issue rather nicely.

    The downside to this board approach is the abandoning the dredge match up to only trying to execute a stax plan (which I've had pretty decent luck with). Eldrazi and Mentor feel like it becomes a "go aggro" strat. There is also always the feeling like by making this transition, you are inevitably missing things out of the 75 for either a more pure aggro or stax plan.



  • @Winterstar
    Blinkmoth doesn't just deal with moat, it allows you to basically attack through an ensnaring bridge (you draw a card on your turn) or a board of ground creatures (like eldrazi) if those creatures can't attack.

    I only like it with ensnaring bridge though.

    Another card worth considering is inkmoth nexus. Which actually is slightly faster than blinkmoth



  • @gkraigher Any thoughts on the switching gears board?

    I'm happier with the main decck- it looks more like a terra nova/stax build, and plays a lot closer to one.

    I'm still debating if the option to turn into an aggro shops deck is worth it. It hasn't been bad in the limited testing I've been able to do.



  • @Winterstar

    I don't really see the purpose of it. You have a really lose, almost unwinable matchup va dredge because of it.

    Switching roles is cool if you juke your opponent into playing stuff that is bad when you switch. But changing from control to Agro shops doesn't have many advantages to it except maybe in the Oath of druids matchup.

    Here are the two lists I would consider playing right now, and they are completely different decks:

    http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/vintage-mud-3/

    http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/ensnaring-vintage/


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