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The Bourgeoisie Life: Karametra $t4ks

Commander / EDH GW (Selesnya) Hatebears Multiplayer Primer Ramp Stax

Enral


Description

The Bourgeoisie Life: Karametra $t4ks

This is my death and taxes creature only stax deck that aims to gain incremental advantage the more creatures I play while making my opponents make inefficient plays and decisions through taxation and hatebear effects. This asymmetrical play makes the deck very resilient and incrementally difficult to deal with the longer the game goes. A little more than half of my deck are creatures on purpose to increase the odds of getting more ahead the more creatures I put on the field (as I will be pulling more lands out the more creatures I play to increase the odds of me drawing into more gas). The ability to ramp so quickly allows me to play bigger hatebears like Iona, Shield of Emeria early in the game.

The beauty of a creature-based stax deck is that it doesn't fall into the typical stax strategy where you practically try to lock everyone down and find a combo piece to end the game which can last a long time and makes it unfun for everyone to play against. With a creature-based stax build, I can end the game quickly by just turning my beefy creatures sideways.

Warning: Please ask your friends if they are okay to play with a Stax strategy deck like this and DO NOT bring this to a random commander pod as the amount of salt induced will not be worth it. Only play it with people that are able to anticipate and interact with it like a mature adult.

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What Is Stax? Stax came from the original name of the deck which was "The $4,000 Solution," or T$4KS in Vintage. A literally deck built to beat other $4,000 Vintage decks. In the commander sense, Stax is designed to put multiple people on lockdown. Stax is basically a deck strategy that mostly relies on taxing effects, resource denial, disruption, and sacrifice enablers to potentially lock down opponents and make it difficult to cast spells and/or have any kind of reliable board state. The goal is to build my Rube Goldberg contraption of denial as fast and efficiently as possible thus allowing me to set up your win cons unopposed. Stax decks use an "inefficient equals efficient" mentality. What this means is that I'm turning cards that normally would hinder everyone to my advantage. A simple example is playing Hokori, Dust Drinker with Gaea's Cradle in play, effectively negating its tax effect while my unprepared opponents suffer. Traditional Stax pieces include Smokestack, Tangle Wire. Static Orb, Trinisphere, Sphere of Resistance, and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale which I will be playing a creature equivalency of.

Stax's basic mechanic comes down to the following:

  • Tax: Makes basically anything cost more and restricting what a player can do. Lethal when combined with sac and tap effects.
  • Tap: Forces resources and threats to either tap or not untap and therefore rendering them close to useless.
  • Sac: Creates mandatory loss of resources, threats, and effects.

What advantages does Karametra, God of Harvests bring to the Stax strategy and why is Karametra, in my opinion, the more superior creature based hatebear Stax commander?

  • The innate ramping ability effectively breaks parity on any self-imposed tax effects.
  • The innate ramping ability in combination of mana dorks also allows me to play fat hatebears like Void Winnower and Iona, Shield of Emeria with relative ease by as early as turn 5 or 6.
  • Indestructibility and high devotion requirement allows her to stay on the field longer and is resilient to most removals which makes her a reliable commander to stay in play often. Even if she gets removed, the amount of ramp will allow me to get her out again with ease.
  • She is in , the colors containing the most effective hatebears in the format.

Stax is not for everyone. It will not make friends. It usually ends up in a game of archenemy. It is not for the faint of heart. But fortunately, unlike traditional Stax, I can actually end the game relatively quickly since my Stax pieces are actually creatures (which can turn sideways).

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Early game (turns 1 to 4): Set up early tax or hatebear effect like Thalia, Heretic Cathar and play a big mana dork like Somberwald Sage if possible to get Karametra into play next turn. With tax effects online, getting Karametra out later is not a big deal as everyone is slowed down which allow me to set up my boardstate effectively

Mid game (turns 5 to 8): Get Karametra, God of Harvests out on the field whenever possible and start casting more creatures and ramping. This is the turn where I usually take off and spiral out of control if nobody stops me. Every creature I play increases the one-sided asymmetrical board advantage to my favor as more taxes kicks in (I get more resource as my opponent's resources get increasingly taxed). In addition to having my opponents having mana inefficient turns, the taxation effects also provide a natural barrier for interaction and removals.

Late game (turn 9 and beyond): At this point I should have a pretty solid lock in place through a combination of Gaddock Teeg/Sanctum Prelate/Void Winnower/Iona, Shield of Emeria/Brisela, Voice of Nightmares in addition to other hate effects and taxes. I should be able to close out the game with one of the finishers listed in the Combos and Synergies section below.

Path to Natural Creature Recursion Engine

The optimal pathway to getting to the 7 plains requirement for Emeria, The Sky Ruin's recursion engine is to get the following in order:

The first creature to tutor for should be Knight of the Reliquary in order to grab Emeria, The Sky Ruin and other important lands. Once the recursion engine is setup, it basically gives me the inevitability against multitude of non-exile removals.

Boardwipe and Removal Protection Strategy

Everything in this deck is carefully chosen to interact with each other harmoniously and none of the cards in the deck are affected by Gaddock Teeg at all. It is also interesting to note that I can technically use Gaddock Teeg as my alternative commander with a different kind of playstyle.

Getting Gaddock Teeg/Sanctum Prelate/Void Winnower/Iona, Shield of Emeria/Brisela, Voice of Nightmares online is the best proactive defense against removals and boardwipes. The best boardwipe catch all is always Gaddock Teeg and should be the first card to get out and protect ASAP. The general rule of thumb for cmc numbers for popular boardwipe depending on the colors represented in the pod is ( spells like Black Sun's Zenith/Gaze of Granite are best taken care of with Gaddock Teeg):

Assembling Brisela

Assembling Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is very easy and should only be attempted if there is a way to protect them via Grand Abolisher/Dragonlord Dromoka:

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Strengths:

  • Natural ramp from Karametra allows me to pull ahead of everyone in most games
  • As described in the "Strategy" section, Karametra is one of the best creature-based Stax deck supporting commander
  • Unlike traditional Stax strategies which usually have trouble handling early game aggro, this deck has a natural defense against aggro since all I run are creatures
  • Ability to end the game quickly and effectively unlike traditional Stax strategies
  • Shuts down combo decks
  • Shuts down mana hungry decks

Weaknesses:

  • Folds to creature hate cards like Humility with the only way to remove it via Oblivion Stone/Beast Within
  • A timely boardwipe, especially exile effects like Merciless Eviction can wreck my board and put me behind
  • MLD strategy can neuter my progress significantly if I haven't gotten my Stax pieces setup already
  • Repeatable Strip Mine loop on my key lands like Gaea's Cradle can slow me down and prevent me from effectively breaking parity from self imposed tax

Ramp Show

Death & Taxes Show

Utility Show

Interaction Show

Protection Show

Karametra is a versatile commander that encourages people to think out of the box to utilize her ramp ability. There are several popular builds which include Enchantress, Timmy stompy with Eldrazi titans and big green creatures, landfall matters, as well as Aluren combo. I've never seen a dedicated creature Stax build before and I think that this is a new area for Karametra players to explore. The asymmetrical effect is insane and has proven to be so effective in shutting down multiple deck strategies that I believe this is a completely viable playstyle in a 75% format riddled with unfair combos and shenanigans.

"Nothing is certain except death and taxes."

Please upvote to support the bourgeoisie life!

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