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Staxing and Taxing: Glissa cEDH Primer

Commander / EDH Artifact BG (Golgari) Competitive Primer Stax



The game plan for this deck is to well, stax out and control your opponents until you draw into one of your win conditions. For this deck I am focusing on trying to achieve one of the following:

Now in the world of cEDH Glissa is really not a threat because when she hits the board she doesn't put you ahead or lend herself to a combo. This can be used to our advantage in such a way where we can safely cast her most times without worrying about an opponent countering or removing her. Getting her out ASAP is usually the play, but if there are no stax pieces on the board (or cheap removal in hand), it is usually better to take care of the latter first. Once you have some pieces down, get Glissa out, and she'll add a sort of pseudo stax/protection to your pieces. Obviously this deck performs better in a creature heavy meta, but with Tymna/Tana being popular, recurring artifacts shouldn't be that hard.

Using tutors early to find relevant stax pieces should be something you need to consider. Stax in the current meta isn't super strong, so slowing down the opponents in the first few turns will decide whether or not you will have a chance at winning. Cursed Totem, Tangle Wire, Static Orb, and Sphere of Resistance are great pieces to get out in the first few turns as it stops dorks and slows the game down substantially. Grafdigger's Cage and Torpor Orb should also be considered but these are more of a meta call (example: I have a Yisan and Animar in my meta, so these would also be good). Once the game is slowed down, its important to capitalize on this by playing cards that will help put you ahead. Draw spells, removal, equipment, should only be played once you are in a safe enough position so you do not fall too far behind. From there its about putting on pressure and hoping that you land your combos or an Ugin to take over the game and win.

Your opening hand should consist of at least two land cards and at least one or two stax pieces. For the remaining three cards I tend to favor the following in this order: ramp, draw, then removal. I hate not drawing. Like really hate it.

Slow games

Constant sighs from opponents (bring breath mints just in case)

Losing: This deck is "strong" but bad hands and dead draws usually spell doom. If there are Sushi Hulks popping up in your meta, you will need to rely on the other pod members to stop them or side in a few hate pieces tailored specifically towards that deck (Praetor's Grasp as an example).

Taking all of the above into consideration, I still think Glissa can stand her own in a cEDH meta. This deck is disruptive and resilient and I expect her to perform even better once I pick up the more expensive pieces such as Nether Void and Chains of Mephistopheles.

Why these combos:

Metalworker and Staff of Domination is a combo that most people should know, and now makes more sense in this deck with the addition of Walking Ballista.

Why not this combo:

Painter's Servant and Grindstone used to be in this deck, but the individual cards were very weak without the other. Both cards did nothing to put us ahead of the opponents until they were both out. The only positive this combo has over the other two is the fact they are both artifacts, which means both pieces can be brought back from the graveyard. If I were to switch it in, I would lean more towards removing Squirrel combo as it is more mana intensive and I can only win on my next turn after all the little bastards untap.

Bloodchief Ascension and Mindcrank were replaced with the Karn/Lattice combo because after playing many games with these pieces in, I became less and less with how they performed. Bloodchief was still amazing when it was finally online, but after my opponents got screwed with it once or twice they usually don’t let it live that long. With the new combo, once they hit the board that’s it. Mindcrank came out A LOT, but while it did mill cards, it didn’t do a whole lot due to the fact we are playing a format that has 100 card decks. In the end, I cut these two basically because of speed. When I get both Karn/Lattice down, the lock is in place. If I put both Bloodchief and Mindcrank down, it was not a win, and I had to hope they both survived long enough to finally get the win.

Combos still on my radar

Earthcraft and Squirrel Nest are both good cards and was a good combo. Currently testing out a heavier stax version of this deck.

Awakening Zone: This was originally in the deck, then removed due to not being as important against my opponents. I put it back in to help us ramp through our Orb effects and also for chump blockers for Animar. Skullclamp also needed more friends because it wasnt doing as much as I wanted it to.

Llanowar Elves/Elves of Deep Shadow: Focusing more on ramp early game to help me speed up. Also having more bodies for Skullclamp never hurts.

Clock of Omens: Works great with breaking parity on Static Orb/Trinisphere/Winter Orb while also helping us untap Grim Monolith, Metalworker, and Mana Vault. This has been a much better addition than I could have ever imagined.

Karn, the Great Creator: Being a one sided Null Rod/Collector Ouphe is great but he also helps us get back any combo pieces or important artifacts that might have been exiled. On top of that his plus ability can destroy our opponents 0 mana artifacts which also has the added benefit of letting us recur something if Glissa is on the field.

Static Orb: We have a harder time breaking parity than other cEDH stax commanders, but with Seedborn Muse and Clock of Omens we should have opportunities to gain a huge advantage over our opponents.

Eldritch Evolution: In the deck purely to get Seedborn Muse onto the battlefield. Glissa being a 3 CMC creature helps us out with making sure we have a creature to sacrifice.

Uba Mask: Chains will be out of my price range for quite some time, so I was thinking that I could use this to help stop Tymna from generating so much value. Currently in the deck for testing to see if it performs as well as I want it to.

Chromatic Sphere/Scrabbling Claws/Memory Jar: Added more draw spells that work well with Glissa's ability to recur. If Memory Jar proves to be too mana intense then it will be replaced with another egg.

Cabal Pit/Bojuka Bog: With Crop Rotation back in the deck, these lands were added for more options to choose from based on the current situation. Cabal Pit can take out Tymna (pairs with Crucible of Worlds beautifully), and Bojuka Bog hurts those pesky graveyard decks.

Crop Rotation: Added to help get utility lands.

Liliana of the Veil: Repeatable discard and removal if left alive seems nice, but my playgroup is branching out to other deck types, one of which is GY focused. On top of that, sacrifice isnt as strong as targetable removal, and discard doesnt affect people THAT much if its only for a single turn. Not sure if its worth a card spot currently.

Entomb: Another instant one mana tutor that can put an artifact right into my hand. Seems good? I guess?

Worldly Tutor: Probably the most "controversial" card here, but I never felt good casting it. Since none of my creatures help me win on the spot, wasting a draw step on that sucks. Replaced with Green Sun's Zenith for the time being.

Sword of Feast and Famine: If Static Orb sticks around this could be another way to help us break parity.

Blinkmoth Well: Another way to break parity with Static Orb,Winter Orb, and Trinisphere

Painter's Servant: This card was originally in my deck with Grindstone but I eventually removed them because by themselves, they didn't really do anything. Painter's Servant was just a 1/3 creature, and Grindstone was an expensive yet ineffective mill spell. If Ugin, the Spirit Dragon works out, Painter's Servant might be tested out again as a way to exile all lands on the battlefield. Another reason to think about Painter's Servant is that it works well with Compost.


Below are just notes about cards I need and my meta


Nether Void: Just a good stax card. Played late game while ahead should put me in a position where my opponents cant make a come back.

Chains of Mephistopheles: Another good stax card that hurts people who draw too many cards (looking at your Tymna)

Gaea's Cradle: Not sure if it will be worth it as I have removed all token creators and I only run between 13-15 creatures.

The Abyss: Nice stax card that pairs very well with Glissa. Not being able to sac an artifact creature hurts, but it still might perform well.

Bazaar of Baghdad: Solid card draw with a minimal downside

My public notebook on how cards perform against the decks in my meta


Cursed Totem: Stops all win conditions as they are creature activations

Trinisphere: All spells costing three helps stop Momir lines


Dismember/Snuff Out: Good to side in on decks based solely or mostly around non black commander

Yahenni's Expertise: Clears board of Momir and lower toughness creatures

Grafdigger's Cage: Stops Vizier of the Menagerie

Hope of Ghirapur: Stops him casting counters, tutors, color changing spells

Thorn of Amethyst: Taxes most cards that help him win

Carpet of Flowers


Phyrexian Revoker: Naming Thrasios, Temur Sabertooth

Plague Engineer: Naming elves, keeps dorks in check

Golgari Charm: Mostly for dorks


Nihil Spellbomb: No/very little graveyard interaction

Ravenous Slime: Grows when creatures die, but at cost of no recurrsion through Glissa.

Massacre: No plains, weaker that Yahenni's


Torpor Orb: Stops Animar combos

Trinisphere: All free spells cost now cost three

Beast Within: Instant speed removal that can hit Animar

Cursed Totem: Stops Animar combos


Hope of Ghirapur: Stops tutors and counterspell/removal interaction

Carpet of Flowers

Yahenni's Expertise: Clears board of weaker Animar and lower toughness creatures


Golgari Charm: Hits 1/1 Animar

Plague Engineer: Literally only here to name Elemental to stop Animar from coming down

Death Cloud: Untargetable removal, but mana intensive if a lot of creatures on board

Thorn of Amethyst

Dismember/Snuff Out: Cant hit Animar, but can remove other problematic creatures.


Nihil Spellbomb: No/very little graveyard interaction

Ravenous Slime: Grows when creatures die, but at cost of no recursion through Glissa.

Massacre: No plains, weaker that Yahenni's


Cursed Totem: Turns off Yisan and other dorks

Grafdigger's Cage: Creatures cant enter after Yisan activation

Phyrexian Revoker: Turns off Yisan


Yahenni's Expertise: Clears board of Yisan and lower toughness creatures

Dismember/Snuff Out: Good to side in on decks based solely or mostly around non black commander

Golgari Charm: Hits dorks, sylvan library, carpet etc

Torpor Orb: Stops a lot of creatures ETB effects




Nihil Spellbomb: No/very little graveyard interaction

Ravenous Slime: Grows when creatures die, but at cost of no recursion through Glissa.

Carpet of Flowers

Thorn of Amethyst


Hope of Ghirapur

Massacre: No plains, weaker that Yahenni's


Compost: Amazing with three other black decks:


Yahenni's Expertise: Clears board of Yuriko and other unblockable creatures

Thorn of Amethyst: Yuriko runs a lot of counterspells (good when at least one other deck runs a lot of instant/soceries)

Compost: Good when two or more black decks

Carpet of Flowers

Torpor Orb: Stops win through Thassa's Oracle

Hope of Ghirapur: Stops tutors and counterspell/removal interaction


Thorn of Amethyst: Might not be worth spot if only one deck with a lot of instant/soceries

Compost: Not worth spot if only one black deck

Nihil Spellbomb: Very little graveyard interaction


Dismember/Snuff Out: Can only hit blue unblockable creatures. Not worth the spots.

Massacre: No plains, weaker that Yahenni's

Cursed Totem: Does not turn off Yuriko

Ravenous Slime: Grows when creatures die, but at cost of no recurrsion through Glissa. Also not that many creatures in Yuriko

Golgari Charm: Hits some unblockable creatures, most likely not worth spot

Grafdigger's Cage


Grafdigger's Cage: Stops Reveillark combo

Nihil Spellbomb: Stops Reveillark combo if required creatures are in graveyard

Massacre: Free boardclear that hits Tymna and most problematic creatures/dorks

Compost: Amazing with three other black decks:


Torpor Orb: Turns off Karmic Guide and Reclamation Sage

Cursed Totem: Turns off creatures that can be sacced to destroy artifacts/enchantments.

Yahenni's Expertise: Kills Tymna, dorks, and creatures that can destroy artifacts/enchantments.

Compost: Good when two or more black decks

Golgari Charm: Hits dorks, can hit stax enchantments

Phyrexian Revoker: Turns off piece of combo. Might not stop it completely but should force them to look for another way.


Compost: Not worth spot if only one black deck

Hope of Ghirapur: Stops tutors and instant speed interaction


Carpet of Flowers

Thorn of Amethyst: While it will slow down instant speed interaction, it wont do enough to warrant a spot.

Dismember/Snuff Out: Single target removal that cant hit Tymna. Yahenni + Massacre make up for these two.


Cursed Totem: Turns off Oona

Thorn of Amethyst: Oona is very heavy on instant/sorceries

Compost: Amazing with three other black decks:

Phyrexian Revoker: Turns off Oona


Compost: Good when two or more black decks

Torpor Orb: Stops win through Thassa's Oracle

Nature's Claim: Kills problematic enchantments and artifacts that speed up her winning

Carpet of Flowers


Compost: Not worth spot if only one black deck

Nihil Spellbomb: Very little graveyard interaction

Golgari Charm: Hits faeries, can hit necropotence


Yahenni's Expertise: Hits Oonas fairies, but it might be too late at that point for this card to have any impact.

Massacre: No plains, and also doesnt hit many creatures in Oona

Grafdigger's Cage: Stops very little.

Ravenous Slime: Hardly any creatures in Oona

Dismember/Snuff Out: Cant hit most/all creatures in Oona.

Personal reference section regarding rulings on certain interactions.

601.2e The player determines the total cost of the spell. Usually this is just the mana cost. Some spells have additional or alternative costs. Some effects may increase or reduce the cost to pay, or may provide other alternative costs. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. The total cost is the mana cost or alternative cost (as determined in rule 601.2b), plus all additional costs and cost increases, and minus all cost reductions. If the mana component of the total cost is reduced to nothing by cost reduction effects, it is considered to be {0}. It can't be reduced to less than {0}. Once the total cost is determined, any effects that directly affect the total cost are applied. Then the resulting total cost becomes "locked in." If effects would change the total cost after this time, they have no effect.

First strike damage is dealt in a completely different step than normal damage. After combat damage resolves in the first step, the Jitte's triggered ability is put on the stack. It resolves, still in the first step, and you get priority to play the activated ability. If you play it, that ability also resolves during the first step, killing the creature before it gets a chance to assign damage in the second step.

Creature equipped with Jitte will keep the power boost even if Jitte is killed

Jitte retains counters even if unequipped and can be activated just the same.





Updates Add

After playing around with different combos, I felt myself playing the deck incorrectly. Often times I would get tempted to try and "combo off" too early, or keep an opening hand with the intention of winning by turn 3/4. In the end, this is a stax deck. I like stax. I want to play stax. So the following changes were made with that in mind. In the end the deck is just as powerful but is just focused more on grinding your opponents down.


Necrotic Ooze/Phyrexian Devourer: Removed this combo in favor of adding more stax pieces.

Survival of the Fittest: Great card, added to sideboard and will switch in every now and then. I want to play a few games to see how the deck performs without it.

Krark-Clan Ironworks: Out but not forgotten.

Golgari Charm/Yahenni's Expertise: Didnt perform as well as I hoped. Sideboarded

Smokestack: God I love this card, love the art, love how it makes people annoyed, but sadly it was too slow and we didnt have enough fodder to get the numbers high enough.


Static Orb: I want to slow the game down. This does just that.

Clock of Omens: There to help break parity with Static Orb/Trinisphere/Winter Orb and help us untap key artifacts Grim Monolith/Mana Vault/Metalworker.

Eldritch Evolution: Added to help us get out Seedborn Muse

Cranial Plating: Turns Glissa or any of the other creatures into power houses. Not rare for it to add 6+ power.

Mycosynth Lattice: Soft lock piece

Exploration/Compost: FLEXSPOT not a permanent card in the deck and will be switched out very often.

Dismember: Oona is harder to remove with the previous boardwipes so this is back in.



95% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 6 months
Last updated 1 week

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

12 - 0 Mythic Rares

54 - 4 Rares

15 - 2 Uncommons

12 - 1 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.14
Tokens 3/3 Beast, 1/1 Spirit, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn, 3/3 Wurm
Folders Excellent Primer, to try, Commander, cEDH decks
Ignored suggestions
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Revision 12 See all

1 week ago)

+1 Awakening Zone main
+1 Chromatic Sphere main
-1 Damnation side
+1 Darkblast maybe
-1 Dryad Arbor main
+1 Finale of Devastation main
-1 Force of Vigor side
-1 Green Sun's Zenith main
+1 Memory Jar main
-1 Praetor's Grasp side
-1 Priest of Titania main
+1 Reap side
+1 Scrabbling Claws main
-1 Shred Memory maybe
+1 Uba Mask main
-1 Worldly Tutor maybe
-1 Yahenni's Expertise side