Welcome to Augustin's $4000 Solution!

I always played Stax and at some point tried to build decks in that style in every format I played. Around 10 years ago I played it in vintage, then legacy and I also tried it in extended. I've started playing Commander early in 2016 after a break of several years and until now I've constantly built on this Stax list. I assume most people will know what Stax tries to achieve and how it's usually done in other formats. My description therefore gives an insight in my card choices for Commander and the resulting strategy.

How my Augustin shuts you down

Here is an overview on the most important aspects of Augustin's crackdown plan...

Tax Show

Upkeep Show

Disable Land Ramp Show

Summary of key combos

Helm of Obedience + Rest in Peace
Smokestack + Sundial of the Infinite
Mechanized Production + Sphere of Resistance (or Lodestone Golem, Thorn of Amethyst)
Metalworker + Staff of Domination
Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth
Humility + Moat
Land Equilibrium + Mana Breach

Card Choices (to be updated)

Some cards and why I included them or (in case of often played cards) not might need some additional explanation:

Mechanized Production Show

Chronatog/Sundial of the Infinite Show

Words of Wind Show

Aether Barrier Show


I want to include Basalt Monolith and Rings of Brighthearth because I've seen that I need another win option besides helm/rip that doesn't involve creatures. I can use Metalworker (which is also a really nice mana source with all the artifacts I have) to produce unlimited mana, life and carddraw with Staff of Domination but sometimes I need to disable creatures and then another way to use the staff would be great. With the rings I can also draw a card for 3 with Sensei's Divining Top and repeat as often as I want with the infinite mana of Basalt Monolith. Words of Wind will bounce all opponents' permanents in the process...too good to not include.

I currently have removed Adarkar Wastes and Pithing Needle for these two cards. I think I can go with 30 lands + tabernacle but I'm not sure how important the needle actually is. It's either another piece to shut down a creature based combo if I don't have Humility or Cursed Totem, or it didables a noncreature permanent, which I couldn't prevent from being cast and for which I have no removal either, for example a planeswalker. On the other hand it's just a solution to one specific card and this might be too situational in multiplayer games.

If you see anything else that I could cut instead of pithing needle, let me know!

Comments View Archive

HOPMONSTER says... #1

Crazy awesome deck. I don't know much about playing stax, but this looks oppressive. My concern looking at it would be that with a lot of cheap spells and a commander who makes them cheaper, wouldn't you want more card draw to keep you rolling through the deck?

The only card suggestions I could think of that might be somewhat relevant to your deck are: Ivory Mask, Karmic Justice, Open the Vaults, Linvala, Keeper of Silence.


May 12, 2017 5:53 p.m.

Winterblast says... #2

Thanks HOPMONSTER, card draw is indeed not too much in here...there's scroll rack, divining top, windfall. I've thought about Pull from Tomorrow, because it draws X and can turn the late game (if it gets so far).

Ivory mask is too expensive for that effect.

Karmic justice has been moved in and out of the deck several times, it mistly did next to best someone lost one permanent to it, at worst the opponents played around it anyway, for example by exiling everything important with Consulate Crackdown. Padeem is better protection imo, because he also draws cards, maybe Hanna's Custody would be an option too

Open the vaults is too expensive for a two sided effect, I think Sun Titan is a much better recovery tool

Linvala...good, but there is Cursed Totem which is an artifact (and I'd like to use artifacts over coloured spells here to avoid mana problems and to be able to cast as much as possible with workshop, tomb and city and the mana artifacts), it costs only 2 and I don't need the one sided effect of Linvala because I play no creature with an activated ability myself ;)

What I might remove is Strionic Resonator because it is too situational. Pointing out the little card draw will probably make me cut this card.

May 12, 2017 6:49 p.m.

youngfischer says... #3

What do you think of Force of Will?

May 21, 2017 8:38 a.m.

Winterblast says... #4

youngfischer too little blue in the deck and it is really bad with all the taxing spheres and stuff because it's card disadvantage and not free either.

May 21, 2017 9:28 a.m.

dlamars says... #5

Hey just curious if you tried out Ward of Bones and what you think of it? I'm trying it in my mostly creatureless Teferi, Temporal Archmage deck since it can come out turn one or two, I kind of like it more than Land Equilibrium but I'm not sure about it yet

May 21, 2017 11:58 a.m.

youngfischer says... #6

That makes sense. I actually have this deck build. Play-testing it now. However, I think I am going to add Inkmoth Nexus for your blinkmoth nexus as it has infect. I also have most the ETB effects. Though I suppose it makes more sense since you are playing humility.

May 21, 2017 12:02 p.m.

Winterblast says... #7

dlamars I had it in the deck in the beginning, before I owned a Land Equilibrium, then I played them both and then I cut ward of bones. One problem is that it allows the opponents to have one more of every type than you have, while land equilibrium doesn't. If I have 0 lands with land equilibrium, no one can play a land until I do (the great part is, that according to the ruling you can't play the land and use the mana before sacrificing it). Another problem is that I usually have more of every other permanent type than everyone else, so apart from limiting the land supply the effects of ward of bones have often been completely useless.

youngfischer I play both, inkmoth and blinkmoth. Inkmoth is great with elspeth and jitte and blinkmoth is just a useful flying blocker, returning with Crucible of Worlds.

I've just bought Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and I probably put him in the deck as soon as the order arrives. Not sure what to cut for it though...maybe Cataclysm because ugin is a great mass removal too, or Words of Wind (although this helps a lot with removing certain pieces that might prevent my own plays while slowing down the opponents, for example bouncing a Cursed Totem or Ensnaring Bridge for one action then playing it again), or Sapphire Medallion because I have already reduced the coloured spells very much.

May 21, 2017 1:36 p.m.

Winterblast says... #8

I forgot to mention that ward of bones only prevents playing the cards from one's hand, land equilibrium prevents the lands from being put into play, no matter how they came into play...with ward you can still use search stuff like solemn, wood elves and with land equilibrium these won't be able to cheat extra lands into play!

May 21, 2017 2:13 p.m.

youngfischer says... #9

It is funny that you mention cataclysm because that card is actually another card I thought about replacing. I also have a Ulamog, the ceaseless hunger deck and I would have no problem with that card. There are a few other aggro decks as well that could care less about it. With our meta that we have anyway. One problem that you actually mention with this deck is that you just have to be patient with it with larger groups. Because if you play your big cards too soon, you get targeted quick.

May 21, 2017 5:48 p.m.

Winterblast says... #10

Cataclysm is awesome if you manage to get a constellation of various card types which results in a lock when everyone sacrifices. It also kills all planeswalkers (which no other spell in the deck can do). It was better in the build which included the cards of the maybe list, but it's still a reset button for when I'm not fast enough in the early game.

Cutting words of wind is an option because it's also not as good as it was with the cards on the maybe list but it's still a possible turn 2 win: for example turn 1 mana crypt, trinisphere; turn 2 words of wind...and then skip every draw and no one can play anything until all opponents have drawn their whole deck. It's also possible to do the same when cataclysm reduces the board to words of wind and some taxing sphere and/or augustin, so that's another reason for keeping both cards.

At the moment I think it will be the medallion that gives way for Ugin because it only helps in casting coloured spells and only of one colour. I might put it in my Jhoira deck instead

May 21, 2017 6:28 p.m.

youngfischer says... #11

Also. You went with irrigated farmlands instead of the celestial colonnade. Do you feel that the cycling mechanic has value?

May 22, 2017 5:29 p.m.

Winterblast says... #12

Yes, it's awesome youngfischer...firstly these lands are fetchable and secondly I can play the land and use the cycling later because of Mana Breach and Overburden and with Crucible of Worlds it's even better. celestial colonnade has a really high activation cost and comes into play tapped, which is both bad for a manland...the 4/4 body is irrelevant because these lands are not suitable for a quick kill anyway, they mostly serve as recurring blockers. Colonnade also has a ridiculous price because it's played in modern and standard and here it's definitely not worth that high price. Maybe when it's out of standard it makes sense to buy one, but I don't know which of the lands it could replace. Mishra's Factory because it flies? Blinkmoth Nexus because it's a bigger blocker? Any other land that comes into play untapped? Is it better than any of the lands in the deck at all?

May 22, 2017 6:06 p.m.

VitalisStacs says... #13

Hey Winterblast

I really like the Deck you came up with.

I have a few questions I'd like to ask you: What do you think of Boardwipes la Terminus?

And maybe you could give me your thoughts on the following Cards: Clever Impersonator, Grasp of Fate, Copy Enchantment, Static Orb, Defense Grid,Winter Orb.

And what do you think about single target removal like Detention Sphere, Oblivion Ring and Swords to Plowshares?

I think Nevermore would also be a nice option in this deck.

May 23, 2017 3:30 p.m.

Winterblast says... #14

Thank you VitalisStacs!

I think I have explained somewhere in the comments why I removed winter orb. Keeping permanents tapped is worse than completely removing them, for example with mass land destruction and constant sacrificing effects and it also can't compete with the effect of Land Equilibrium, which prevents multiple lands from even entering the battlefield. Same with static orb, it isn't strong enough to be worth the two-sided effect. Both cards are very weak in the early game and that is where I want to establish control.

I don't play mass removal for creatures because it's a one time hit and doesn't prevent further creatures from being played. Also, it's often just the commander or another recurring creature, probably a combo piece, that is really a problem. I think it's more efficient to disable what creatures are supposed to do than repeatedly clearing the table.

Clever impersonator is a bad Phyrexian Metamorph here, simply because of double blue and not being an artifact (everything that can't be cast with Mishra's Workshop has to be A LOT better than an artifact alternative imo). Grasp of fate is also a problem because of double white. Copy enchantment has too few targets in the deck and defense grid is too situational imo.

As for spot removals...I play a few targetable removals, for example Engineered Explosives, Umezawa's Jitte and Karn Liberated. World Queller can also get rid of certain card types, especially when I don't have one of that type in play at the moment. The good aspect of these cards is that they are all reusable. Playing a spot removal as instant or sorcery in a game of 3 or 4 players means giving card advadvantage to all players who are not losing a spell or permanent. In this deck I never want to trade 1:1 because I wouldn't be able to control the whole table if I did so.

May 23, 2017 4:33 p.m.

elfric says... #15

hey winterblast i like your deck - especially because you use gaaIV not with the orbs but the sacrifice while (since braids is gone) azorious is in the best shape with the most sac-cards.

thank you for mechanized production as a great find.

when going for sac-stax imo green can be a problem as it is the color that has the fastest ramp and is often permanent based. have you ever tried Hibernation? maybe its not a problem for you but for me it was always worth it to have silver bullets against the own decks biggest weakness even if those cards are dead against everything else

in the same vein i wonder why you do not run Null Rod and/or Stony Silence as rockramp is the next dangerous thing besides elves.

i dont like ugin in a stax deck as its too much mana for my likes. also cutting Cataclysm is a sin in my eyes.if you want another finisher (that has no built in wipe to take over the game bu anyway)you could try Archon of the Triumvirate as its castable with gaaVI discount.


sry being offtopic - i dont get how to implement a link in my deckdescription - any help?

May 31, 2017 1:36 p.m.

Winterblast says... #16

Thanks elfric! I always thought the tapping variants are not as cool because they leave the permanents intact, so when the whole table works together and one important piece is destroyed, everything works again...keeping up with constant sacrificing and bouncing is more stressful imo because the resources actually vanish instead of just being disabled.

I can't play null rod because that's the death of my own deck. It completely relies on the speed of artifacts and the ability to play quite freely with few or even no lands. That's why Land Equilibrium and the other cards around it are my favourite pieces here. A quick start of an opponent with mana rocks is undesired, that's why I followed the suggestions of Kiyomeii and removed some cards for a few 1 mana counterspells. I played it the first time in this version today and it's indeed cool to counter a mana rock on turn one or two, if I can't open with a taxing sphere.

I put cataclysm in my deck Chairman Meow now, it feels better there with Brimaz...It had the potential to reduce the board to a locked situation here, but just as often it would not help in handlung the biggest threats of all opponents at all. I still like Ugin despite his mana cost, because I often have shitloads of colorless mana and he has a targeted removal for +, controllable boardwipe for - and a game winning ultimate after 2 times +.

I don't think I will use color specific hate in here because I'm not having problems with a particular colour. It's also not sure if someone even plays green on the table and I don't want a completely dead card then, even less because it's a coloured spell (artifacts on the hand could at least make mana with Metalworker).

I think links in the description are made with html but I'm not sure

May 31, 2017 6:54 p.m.

Winterblast says... #17

elfric I've updated the deck again...Ugin out and Helm of Obedience combo in. Don't need another late game reset button when I play combo again (didn't want to do that here but it's too good compared to worrying about how to keep controlling the game forever). I think Ugin will go into Workshop Party when I put that deck together again.

June 4, 2017 7:02 p.m.

Snap157 says... #18

Have you considered Telepathy? It's awesome in multiplayer games and lets you see what threats you need to take care of so you can use your cards.

June 9, 2017 12:14 p.m.

Winterblast says... #19

Snap157 I play it in another of my decks Thieves of the Multiverse, which runs 20 counterspells...there it's interesting to know what is on the hands. Here I have so much global disruption that I don't need to waste a slot for looking at people's hands. What would you say is to be cut?

At this point the question is always: what will be cut and why exactly is the replacement better in the deck?

My next possible change would be Mechanized Production and Pithing Needle out and Future Sight and Cloud Key in (because that would be card advantage, cost reduction AND a possible infinite combo)

June 9, 2017 12:38 p.m.

elfric says... #20

i would swap the manlands and maybe tolaria west as they are suboptimal at their primary job: mana

crystal vein is such a good card as it gives you a much greater choice than any manland that always and only taps for a colorless. dont always blow it early. have the option for when you need them.for example Ruins of Trokair is much better than tolaria west. both etb tapped but ruins can give an additional mana once. these effects can beef up the timing flexibility.

June 10, 2017 10:42 a.m.

Winterblast says... #21

I've removed the Mishra's factory and blinkmoth nexus, thanks elfric for pointing at the fact that lands are first for mana and second for utility. The only creature I really need is the infect flyer, not the ground blocker or normal flyer.

Tolaria west is simply a tutor for tabernacle (no way to find that in this deck other than by drawing it) or for engineered explosives (which trinket mage can also find). The rest of the time it's just a slow land, that's true.

June 10, 2017 12:58 p.m.

colton815 says... #22


June 14, 2017 6:53 p.m.

Why do you play trinket mage over fabricate? In your list fabricate appears to just be superior and it avoids your anti-creature stax cards. Also have you considered mystic remora as a draw engine? It is very powerful in the early game against competitive decks because they can deploy early. Low cost to deploy, and it's cumulative upkeep can also be ignored with sundial

June 17, 2017 7:53 p.m.

Winterblast says... #24

XtremeManaFlood I've never thought about replacing trinket mage, probably because I have a cool altered card, the mage can carry jitte and can be reanimated with sun titan. In the beginning I had stuff in the deck to bounce and blink permanents but they are gone now. Fabricate could indeed replace it now as it has no mana cost limitation...or I could play both, but then there's again the problem of cutting something else. What do you think, replace or play both?

As for mystic remora, I already had it in the deck and it didn't do as much as I had expected. I could give it a try again, but instead of what? At the moment I play the deck as described in the last updates, with the additional combo and with one less land. The problem with mystic remora is that is has to be an all competetive table to draw as much as desired in the early game. I think now it's probably better than some months ago when the newer players haven't pimped their decks as much as they have now.

Any ideas what might not be so important in the deck? Maybe something about the choice of counterspells and removal?

June 18, 2017 5:33 a.m.

Coalition relic (seems out of place) and pithing needle, since it is very narrow and, more importantly, you can't reliably bounce it for repeated use.

June 18, 2017 12:18 p.m.

Winterblast says... #26

XtremeManaFlood I've already removed needle and a land for the rings/monolith combo, at least I'm currently testing that change. I'll make that change in this list when I think it will stay as it is.

Why do you think the relic is out of place? It's a great colour fixer because it can save mana for a turn and then produce two coloured mana...for example when I only get three colourless on turn one it enables Augustin on turn 2, no matter if I have coloured mana from lands. I'd rather not cut any of the mana rocks at all because that's what makes up most of the reliability. If any mana artifact really has to go, I'm more inclined to remove Mind Stone because it doesn't help over color screw and doesn't accelerate either.

What's your opinion on the counterspells Negate and Swan Song and the removal Revoke Existence? Is a normal Counterspell better than one of these even though it costs double blue? Maybe Mana Leak instead one of these?

June 18, 2017 2:38 p.m.

Winterblast says... #27

colton815 thx, changed the title!

June 18, 2017 2:52 p.m.

I'd cut wasteland tbh. Honestly I don't know if mana leak or Counterspell is a better choice. If you are having mana color issues, then Counterspell isn't ideal. Mana leak or disdainful stroke could fulfill that role with a simpler mana requirement.Finally, I prefer disenchant because it is instant speed- but in my list the card is slightly better because I can hit my own winter orb esq spell. Honestly it is a card that I want to cut too, but every time i drew it I was always happy to have it.

June 18, 2017 4:47 p.m.

Winterblast says... #29

Wasteland? Then I would only have 29 mana producing lands left (adarkar wastes already went out for the rings combo, along with pithing needle)...also I think it's really important because it can ruin certain decks here just like a strip mine, because they play no or very few basics. With crucible it's a sort of hardlock against some.

I'm not even sure about revoke existence, I had Fragmentize there instead...I took the exiling effect now to get rid of Purphoros. Maybe I don't need a targeted artifact/enchantment removal at all (There's still Aura of Silence which can be brought back with sun titan for repeated removal), that would clear one slot for something else.

The counterspells are all relatively new in the deck, I only used mental misstep once and it's hilarious. People usually don't think anyone reacts to a t1 sol ring and then I can say "wait! In response..." and they are just like wtf is this shit now? Swan song and negate can't do this trick so I'm not sure yet how much they really matter.

June 18, 2017 5:12 p.m.

I think my problem is I am still looking at the old list, which lists 32 lands. I totally missed your newest section, so my bad about that. I still think wasteland is weak though. Rings and Basalt/grim is a very powerful combo and definitely deserves being added into your list. Negate is also very powerful, and helps protect your more potent pieces while being versatile enough to effectively disrupt other powerful cards. Swan song is more narrow, but is very good at disrupting storm like deck and of course protecting your stuff. Leak might be better. It is really meta dependent, i'm not sure what you are trying to beat or are struggling with.

Disenchant is basically fragmentize with arbiter out, just fyi. But it might warrant cutting.

June 18, 2017 8:37 p.m.

Winterblast says... #31

I think I can make the change with the additional combo in the list because it's indeed too good to leave it. I'll tag you when I have corrected it!

My main opponents are a 5c hermit druid deck and arcum dagsson, which are both combo decks and just as fast as I am, Purphoros, Teferi and a lot of not competitive but still well built decks that can randomly win when the top decks on a table struggle with each other. I don't have such a big problem with the decks and players that are actually good because I can predict their plays better and my deck is built to combat what they try to achieve. What's annoying is midrange aggro when the player can't be convinced that I am the only one who keeps him from losing immediately against a combo deck, which often happens when that player simply has no understanding of how exactly said combo works and how it could possibly be disrupted. In such cases I need to wipe all lands, then it's usually over.

June 19, 2017 1:05 a.m.

Winterblast says... #32

Alright XtremeManaFlood, now the list shows how I play the deck at the moment. Fabricate might arrive just in time before my next commander session on wednesday because I've ordered it yesterday. It would replace trinket mage then, unless I cut something else to play both.

I think about cutting Revoke Existence and Mind Stone for Mystic Remora and Windfall or something else on the maybe list or to play fabricate AND trinket mage. By now it's really just fine tuning the deck and some exchanges won't even show in most games. It's mostly stuff like Academy Rector or Tezzeret the Seeker , which show me when something is missing in the deck because when I have the option to put something on the board for free and I can't find a solution for the current situation or set up a kill it means I need to change something.

June 19, 2017 4:51 a.m.

Makes sense. I also recommend testing on cockatrice, which gives you a wider test meta and helps you play more games.

June 19, 2017 2:07 p.m.

VitalisStacs says... #34

I've been playtesting a similar deck for quite some time now with many keycards u also run, but no combos ;) and also no counterspells, because they are very meta dependant.

So, I wanted to show you some cards:I know i already told you about him, but Clever Impersonator is a really versatile card. It can copy a staxcard or a planeswalker. I think planeswalker always benefit from having a lock on the game and i find it really hard to get rid of them when an opponent controls one. And with a manland in play you can almost me sure the cast the ult before you opponent can.

Other cards I consider playing are Balancing Act, I dont own it yet, but i think it can be really strong and i will playtest it in the near future.

Then there is Damping Engine. I think its too costheavy, the effect is too weak and it often will target yourself because you floot the board with artifacts thus have the most permanents.

Yeah, then there is of course Sculpting Steel almost always nice, cheap card and it can become a second Smokestack for really fast Stax.

I also think about getting Paradoxical Outcome because my playgroup plays alot of shit like Vandalblast and other artifacthate. But i dont know yet..we'll see how good this card does.

Inspiring Statuary is also a really solid card. It itself taps for the improvise effect and every nonmana artifact does mana now, yay. so casting GAAIV for the 3rd time is with this card not really that hard anymore;)

June 20, 2017 9:50 a.m.

VitalisStacs says... #35

Oh, and i have one more question:

How do you play World Queller? Every time i play it, it feels clumsy and slow. Is there anything I'm missing? How do you play it?

June 20, 2017 9:54 a.m.

Winterblast says... #36

VitalisStacs I'll start with the last one because it's easy: world queller can name anything I don't control at the moment, effectively killing planeswalkers a turn after they come into play...if there's no need to name something else, it's always a land sacrifice. It's basically a second smokestack, which forces everyone to sac a certain card type instead of just any permanent and it comes with a solid body.

I have removed all the clone and copy cards because they need something useful to copy. These cards seemed like must plays at first but now I am more inclined to play mostly cards that are good on their own, even if nothing else is in play. I already have some cards that I don't ever want to see in the opening hand and clones are part of that category too. I only use mechanized production because it has an inbuilt win option and it can help reaching that goal when copying a taxing sphere.

Balancing act looks interesting but I think counting all permanents will hurt me more than every other player because I'm usually the one with the largest board. The discard aspect is cool though.

Inspiring statuary is basically a mana rock but only for nonartifact spells and it only provides colorless mana of which I have plenty. It's exactly doing the wrong thing...mana for artifacts would be great or coloured mana for nonartifacts. I think I've even tested it in the deck when aether revolt was new.

June 20, 2017 11:17 a.m.

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Date added 9 months
Last updated 4 days
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.52
Tokens 1/1 Bird
Folders Great Decks, EDH Stax, Good Ideas, Others', EDH, sigarda, STAX Commander, Yo, Control, EDH Grand Arbiter, See all 11
Top rank #37 on 2017-06-16
Views 6101