Trying hard to combat all these fast Combo decks.

Short playing guide:Mull for interaction and mana, pray, survive, slam stax, win eventually

So one of our friends on the cEDH discord, buildingadeck, made a budget version of this list and we wanted to credit him and share his efforts.

Budget Moon Keranos

The basic plan of Keranos is to get Keranos onto the field quickly followed by locking the board down with stax pieces. We then get card advantage or board control from Keranos. From that position we work to get our combo out.

For Keranos triggers, we want to point damage at removing creatures on the battlefield or planeswalkers before we target players' life totals. If there are no creatures or planeswalkers on the battlefield we would like to draw as many extra cards with Keranos as possible.

We have several heavy stax pieces aimed at competitive play. The first few are...
Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon: Nonbasic mana bases are the norm for multicolored decks. Removing their ability to cast spells can be an instant win. This can hurt us however we can lower this by actively fetching out basic Islands.
Back to Basics: This can act as a more punishing Blood Moon. This one does hurt us more though and we need to be careful with what lands we fetch for and when we deploy this.
Cursed Totem: Removing Mana Dorks from the equation slows people down even more, the fact that they require a turn before adding mana means that we can land this after a bunch of them hit the field for some extra pain on our opponents.
Trinisphere: Raising the cost of every spell to three, especially when cast on turn 1-2 can outright lock out players. If they kept a land light, mana rock heavy hand this can turn their fast start into a full stop.
Winter Orb/Static Orb: Limiting the amount of mana players have is our go to strategy, this is our primary means of attacking basic lands. One noted missing piece of redundancy is Rising Waters, this did not make the cut due to its casting cost.
Grafdigger's Cage, Torpor Orb and Arcane Laboratory: These are aimed at competitive EDH strategies as a whole, they are very catch all hate pieces and prevent most options opponents have to combo out a victory or to remove our stax and hate pieces.

This deck runs Simian Spirit Guide, Mana Vault and Grim Monolith as we actively aim at pushing out a early advantage and riding it for a while. We have a large suite of mana rocks in addition to As Foretold. Although hyped and controversial, As Foretold has a home in this deck. We can land it and a stax lock down early then ride it as a mana source into the rest of the game. Outside of mana rocks which are not hurt by the majority of our mana denial suite, we have Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal and Paradox Engine. Our planeswalkers also get to shine here. Dack Fayden can steal artifacts to both slow an opponent and accelerate us. Tezzeret the Seeker , when not tutoring us a win, can also untap mana rocks to help us break the mana parity.

We have multiple ways to address board control. From large sweepers like Decree of Annihilation, which can either by cycled or hard cast, and Cyclonic Rift to smaller pieces of target removal like Lightning Bolt, Capsize and Keranos, God of Storms which can remove creatures from the field or pressure planeswalkers. In addition to pieces of removal we have a fair sized counter suite.

The primary combo for the deck is Paradox Engine, mana rocks that tap for + mana and Isochron Scepter with a Lightning Bolt imprinted on it. We also have a soft lock with Paradox Engine, mana rocks that tap for at least and Capsize. Outside of combo, it is a very common occurance for devotion to be high enough that Keranos can attack players and pressure life totals. This is usually after a Wildfire or Decree of Annihilation has gone off. Of note, when hard casting Decree, Planeswalkers and Enchantments are left on the battlefield. As long as your Devotion to Blue and Red is not at 7+ Keranos will stick around and can either dig you into more cards or start plinking away at your opponent's life totals.



  • Gamble
  • Overburden
  • Pyretic Ritual
  • Island


  • Gilded Drake
  • Vedalken Shackles
  • As Foretold
  • Cascade Bluffs


buildingadeck says... #1

I have been testing a budget version of this deck (this is not new for me, lol) to some degree of success, but I'm nearly always the primary target. Is this just because people on Trice don't know how to combat stax, or is that typical of this deck? I'm fine with it, but ya know.

Have you considered Ral Zarek at all? His first two abilities fit the strategy well and help deal with creatures (I find the biggest weakness in the deck is getting beaten to death by the one threat that sticks), and his ultimate would practically win the game for us at an average of 2-3 extra turns for it. I don't know what the cut would be for it, though.

I've also considered Gilded Lotus for colored mana, but I'm not sure how important that is.

March 17, 2017 1:42 a.m.

Honkytonk2 says... #2

Tips on how to play seems sweet but I'm lost

May 7, 2017 1:33 a.m.

Honkytonk2 says... #3

Tips on how to play seems sweet but I'm lost

May 7, 2017 1:33 a.m.

Honkytonk2: I was able to finally get a little bit of a write up on the deck. It goes of the basic playstyle, suites of Stax and Hate, and the eventual win. If you have any other questions tag me and I'll try to answer them.

May 22, 2017 11:50 a.m.

Ishmokin says... #5

hi! great looking deck! just a question, I saw the video of this deck against teferi, thrasios, and karador. What is Keranos's win rate vs. those decks?

May 28, 2017 12:13 a.m.

LabManiac_Sigi says... #6

Keranos does very poorly against Teferi, it's probably one of the deck's worst matchups since the Blood Moon effects do virtually nothing. However, it's very good against both Thrasios and Karador as evidenced in that video - Thrasios basically did nothing all game long.

May 28, 2017 7:03 a.m.

Ishmokin says... #7


Yes Teferi looks like its a hard matchup. How about against Yisan and other elfball mono green decks? Would be able to fare better against those? Also How often is Keranos himself cast and how soon?

May 28, 2017 11:12 a.m.

LabManiac_Sigi says... #8

As a rule of thumb: This deck is not going to have good matchups against competitive Monocolour decks, be it Yisan, Selvala, Teferi, or others. Keranos should probably come down in every game, but finding the right window to cast him can be tricky, since you only really want to spend that mana when you can either leave open enough mana to interact or you're sure that nobody's gonna try to win.

May 28, 2017 1:20 p.m.

Ishmokin says... #9

how powerful/vital is Wheel of Fortune in this deck? Possible to substitute it for a Fact or Fiction instead?

June 2, 2017 1:02 p.m.

Enral says... #10

Saw that gameplay and As Foretold did some major work! +1

June 26, 2017 7:33 p.m.

Ishmokin says... #11

I'm thinking of ways to close the game faster. Any experimental cards that you have been toying with? Also, been thinking of adding Merchant scroll. It can tutor for the key cards to end the game like Dramatic Reversal, mystical tutor into lighting bolt/time spiral/ Land destruction, mana drain, capsize etc. Perhaps Merchant scroll can be swapped in for the weakest stax piece.

June 26, 2017 10:52 p.m.

Bolsheviktory says... #12

You also have a pretty funny finish with infinite mana + deck in hand: Capsize + buyback all permanents, go to next phase to allow all mana to drain from pool, generate infinite mana again, infinitely cast, activate, bounce Dack Fayden to mill opponents with your entire deck's counterspells for backup

June 27, 2017 2:27 a.m.

Ishmokin - Wheel of Fortune is pretty big for this deck. It needs the card draw. If you are unable to get a wheel of fortune, replacing it with Fact or Fiction is functional. There aren't great other alternatives, though if you are using As Foretold, Wheel of Fate is okay in that spot.

Bolsheviktory - That.... looks just like expected with a cEDH deck. Yet another random combo I hadn't noticed but now much pull off at some point.

June 27, 2017 10:20 a.m.

KailDaemon says... #14

Watched the S2 Ep1 and As Foretold had me rolling with laughter with every single play it made. I didnt realize it was an "or less than" type of effect and it helped me to help a friend with his own Keranos list. Sweet list and +1 from me. Cant wait for more of S2 to be released

June 27, 2017 11:55 p.m.

VVDoom says... #15

LabManiac_Cameron, suggestions for a more casual build if it's even possible. Deck looked disgusting but it was against cEDH decks. So.

June 28, 2017 12:16 a.m.

VVDoom - I'd need more info regarding what you mean by 'more casual build.'

This deck really does not play on the lines that most casual games like to play against. It is also designed to poke holes into Competitive EDH strategies. A perfect example of this is Anger of the Gods. It is a very effective and efficient board clear in Competitive EDH but is very lackluster at most casual tables.

This deck was built from the ground up to prey on a competitive meta. It would need some serious rework to function in a casual environment. However, if people are playing budgeted Competitive EDH, there are budget friendly versions of this that can still work well.

June 28, 2017 10:37 a.m.

Winterblast says... #17

I watched your video and was quite surprised how much value As Foretold generated throughout the game. I was wondering if it would do any good in my own deck Augustin's $t4ks (Primer).

Do you think the card is only good when there are a lot of instants to play in the opponent's turn, or is the one free spell per turn enough to justify a slot in a rather proactive stax? I do have some counterspells and instant tutors but in total only 10 and not 18 as you have.

Another question: how well does gemstone caverns work? is the chance of having it on the starting hand when not playing first worth having an otherwise completely useless land in the deck?

July 1, 2017 4:11 p.m.

Scogy says... #18

love the Laboratory Maniacs i have seen every match you guys have posted im just curious on why Keranos out of all the izzet commanders ?

July 2, 2017 12:36 a.m.

Scogy - Keranos, God of Storms is used as both board control and card advantage. Keranos either draws you cards, lets you remove key creatures opponents have in play, or pressure life totals. This is enhanced even more if you get Sensei's Divining Top in play. He also lives through most of the board clears and rarely needs to be recast. So once he is on the field he is a threat to anything with three or less toughness or is a source of perpetual card advantage. He allows you to land a lock piece and get ahead of other players while being locked out of playing the game.
Wildfire is probably the biggest example of a reason to run Keranos over any of the other UR legendary creatures. Keranos lives and either starts pressuring life totals or drawing cards to get back into the game. The deck is really built to function with a perpetual source of board control and card advantage that we don't have to worry about recasting. We want to dump him on the field, lock everyone out of being able to do anything, then gain advantage from him. The longer we can do that the better our game plan goes.

July 2, 2017 11:28 a.m.

Scogy says... #20

aw i can see that now why he good thanks for getting back to me =]

July 3, 2017 12:20 a.m.

Ishmokin says... #21

How important is Chaos Warp in the deck? I've been thinking of replacing it with a 2 CMC bounce spell that can be imprinted to Isochron. I'm thinking to use Boomerang so i can use it as another semi-lock with ishochron and paradox engine if ever bolt and capsize are gone. thoughts?

July 5, 2017 2:40 a.m.

Ishmokin says... #22

How important is Chaos Warp in the deck? I've been thinking of replacing it with a 2 CMC bounce spell that can be imprinted to Isochron. I'm thinking to use Boomerang so i can use it as another semi-lock with ishochron and paradox engine if ever bolt and capsize are gone. thoughts?

July 5, 2017 2:41 a.m.

Ishmokin says... #23

Another thing I noticed, when trinisphere or arcane lab (or even both) is in play, Isochron scepter- Dramatic reversal won't work. How much of that have you encountered and prevented yourself from winning? Also why not include another infinite mana outlet? I really like the deck however I find it very clunky and quite frankly, really has a hard time closing the game. Numerous times i had static orb out and really slowing the game down but no way of winning in sight.

July 12, 2017 11:26 a.m.

Razawaza says... #24

Has Counterbalance been considered for this deck?

July 13, 2017 3:08 a.m.

Razawaza As far as I know, no. That may be an oversight. I'm going to give it some thought.

July 13, 2017 10:28 a.m.

buildingadeck says... #26

It can still win through Trinisphere if you have enough mana rocks. It's much harder, but still possible.

July 13, 2017 7:07 p.m.

wesley1183 says... #27

not playing propagandas or pillowforts? many people will just start attacking you :d

September 7, 2017 1:29 p.m.

wesley1183 - This deck is designed for competitive EDH. Dealing with consistent attackers is not a typical issue in a competitive meta. You are usually dealing with either game wins on the stack or through something like Aetherflux Reservoir. We have a few sweepers and we use Keranos's damage to take out the vast majority of threats that exist in the competitive meta.

September 7, 2017 7:48 p.m.

Alright lads. Long time fan and cEDH junkie here. I've been playing a list pretty similar to BigLupu's GAA4 for quite some time. Looking to transition to this as a meta call with a few tweaks to make it better vs. Elfball (pyroclasm style effects etc) Question is: Whilst I have pretty much all the other staples for the list, I'm currently missing the big three (Twister, Tabby & Shop) what would you replace them with?

Also why unsubstantiate? Does the flexibility make up for the card disadvantage?

What are the fringe cuts/includes?

September 13, 2017 10:53 p.m.

deadmanwaltzing - replacing tabernacle and shop would probably be just basics. Twister, is hard, you really want the shuffle and draw. The down side is that your other options aren't really great. You have Memory, Time Reversal or Day's Undoing.

September 14, 2017 5:03 p.m.

toodaloo says... #31

Have you considered land equilibrium in the list or does it not do enough? Im sure it's better in a Meta with fair decks over a competitive one which doesn't need a mass of land for combos. Just curious.

October 5, 2017 10:29 a.m.

toodaloo - Land Equilibrium is just too slow for us. It would be a solid card to land after a board wipe but you are already where you want to be there. It places it in a Win-More category of things for this deck. Right now the meta has mostly shifted away from Keranos being a solid anti-meta deck. It is struggling a bit. Lots of creature decks out there with Tymna being so strong, it really stresses Keranos's ability to control the board.

October 5, 2017 9:55 p.m.

I've started running more Pyroclasm style cards, cut a lot of utility lands for more basics. (I really think this list is pretty greedy with the amount of utility lands it runs w/ B2B... Although I did add Shivan Reef.) in order to deal w/ bloodpod variants. Cut some of the greedier, low impact cards like Dynamo for this too. Added Staff of Domination so that with an active Iso/dram - any artifact tutor wins the game for us. So far has been doing well.

Will post list if you guys are interested in my variant.

October 6, 2017 6:06 a.m.

deadmanwaltzing - with dramatic scepter, any artifact tutor already won you the game through Sensei's Divining Top. You can draw your whole deck with it to get you the cards needed. It won't get you life or tap down other creatures but those are rarely relevant.

October 6, 2017 3:23 p.m.

LabManiac_Cameron Oh of course! I'd totally forgotten. Yeah - Staff is totally redundant, my mistake!

  • What about into the roil over unsubstantiate as another sceptre outlet?
  • I'd also be very interested as to your thoughts RE: no. of non-basics included w/ B2B.
  • Why Thran Dynamo?
  • How often does Decree sit in your hand and do nothing? (Obviously it's a house when you cast it)
  • Pirate-clasm/Kozilek's Return as ways to deal w/ blood-pod? (Or other similar cards)
  • Would you think about including Copy Artifact for the Swan Song line/extra stax/accelerant?
October 7, 2017 3:41 p.m.

Enyeez says... #36

Why Decree of Annihilation over something like Obliterate?

November 17, 2017 9:14 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 10 months
Last updated 6 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.40
Tokens 3/3 Ape, Dack, 1/1 Bird
Folders cEDH, EDH, inspirational decks, EDH ideas, Fun Ideas, Keranos, cEDH Gods, EDHs, STAX decks, EDH Collection, See all 35
Top rank #30 on 2017-07-05
Views 15476