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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
As long as Static Orb is untapped, players can't untap more than two permanents during their untap steps.
3 weeks ago
Cataclysm can work against you based on opponents' picks and though Enter the Infinite is impressive & works with Omniscience, I don't see Thassa's Oracle or Laboratory Maniac, nor do I see Grapeshot. Consider instead Boros Charm + Armageddon which most people will hate & sometimes outright scoop after.
Consider Smothering Tithe instead of Mystic Remora: Remora usually only nets a few cards at beginning, and will often slow you down more than it helps. The former performs MUCH more consistently, and will net you more mana to focus on spells and counters.
Concerning your SB: If you want to go maximum lock-stax, I'd recommend Derevi, Empyrial Tactician. Use Winter Orb, Static Orb & Stasis, use Kismet and Loxodon Gatekeeper, maybe even Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines. Use fetches + basic lands, huge ramp, and Back to Basics just to spite opponents. NB: Mana Vault smacks with Derevi.
2 months ago
Retribution of the Meek might be a reasonable wipe with so many smaller creatures, ditto Elspeth, Sun's Champion. If a wipe is one sided it's not just resetting the board, not sure how many of these you're willing to run. Elspeth makes a small army, much better at blocking than the Samurai from Wanderer fwiw, but Wanderer is really strong too. Smothering Tithe is great with Stasis out, Brago, King Eternal might be fun too. If people are running obnoxious stuff, you could run Enlightened Tutor to find your Stasis/Tithe cards as needed, Muddle the Mixture can find both Stasis or Brave the Sands, while also being a counterspell. If you like Stasis, you could also try Static Orb, Meekstone, Crackdown or even Winter Orb/Rising Waters, not sure how hostile you want to be but Stasis is harsher than these. How often do you cast Approach of the Second Sun in here? I ask because there are a lot of tax effects, but if it's not trouble have you thought about running some tutors to find it? The best ones I can think of are Mystical Tutor, Personal Tutor, and Solve the Equation, they can also find other cards as needed, handy if you need removal, a wipe or a counter.
As for alternatives that can do similar things, you might look at either Zur the Enchanter or Hinata, Dawn-Crowned as alternatives that offer more offensive punch while still offering a solid route to shutting the table down. Zur can dig out enchantments like Rule of Law, Stasis (and Black Market Connections) and various ways to fairly quickly win the game, all while being able to hold up lots of mana for interaction, be it counters or removal. Hinata is another tax effect, but you get access to Red as well, and Red has some interesting additions to the Stax department, you'd definitely want Grand Arbiter in your Hinata deck, and you'd run most of the same cards, but you also have the option of running a bunch of cards that care about Hinata's discount, Hinata makes interaction better, especially if it has multiple targets, the annoying thing for both is that they're much harder to cast than Grand Arbiter, so you'd have to raise your budget to have the same consistency. The big problem with Zur is protecting him. If there are literally specific players you know are a problem you can run either Baral, Chief of Compliance or Talrand, Sky Summoner, Baral is better at playing 'Counter Everything' but Talrand can be just offensively good vs a specific player since he also is generating evasive bodies while interacting with that player's win attempts. The nice thing about he mono-Blue approach is you can just brutalize a player or two while letting the others play a smaller (but more normal) game.
Oh, if those players run specific colours (and nobody else likes them as much) there are old school colour hosers, cards like Karma can make life extremely hard. They exist for all colours, and they were so staggeringly unpopular that the developer stopped printing cards like it.
4 months ago
Cards that make it hard or impossible to play the game. It makes for a frustrating game cards like Stasis Blood Moon and Static Orb are stax so is Contamination, all three of these cards (and there are many many more cards like these) all of these cards make the game hard or impossible to play... so if you add a card like Contamination and your opponents can't play because they are not playing in black. They will feel like they should do the same to you. And then they will also play cards like these. That is a "stax and tax war" amungst your friends.
5 months ago
Standard stax/tax effects: Smokestack, Tangle Wire, Winter Orb, Thorn of Amethyst, God-Pharaoh's Statue, Damping Sphere, Trinisphere, Sphere of Resistance, Cursed Totem, Static Orb, Meekstone, Norn's Annex, Mindlock Orb
Pulled mostly from EDHrec, and I only hit the highlights. https://edhrec.com/themes/stax
7 months ago
First, what's your budget like? 'til I know that, I'll keep suggestions "standard".
Martial Law - similarly, this is just one creature, and there are bound to be so many more problems than just one on the field at a time.
Invisibility - There are better sources of evasion (getting damage through to other players). Also, getting damage through is something Augustin isn't the best at, so that might not make for a strong win-con.
Robe of Mirrors isn't bad to protect your commander, but for 1 more mana you can use Curator's Ward (because Augustin reduces it) and then get 2 cards if someone uses a boardwipe later. I call that a deal. Diplomatic Immunity is another equally costed option as well, if you find your playgroup runs an obnoxious amount of enchantment removal, since it itself is also untargetable.
Some things traditionally run in Augustin are used to basically slow the game to a crawl, and others are used to tax your opponents while this is going on to create advantages for you while you draw into your win conditions: Cursed Totem, Hushbringer, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Vryn Wingmare, Containment Priest, Reidane, God of the Worthy Flip, Hushwing Gryff, Silent Arbiter, Ethersworn Canonist, Wandering Archaic Flip, Smothering Tithe, Rhystic Study, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Sphere of Resistance, Torpor Orb, Damping Sphere, Static Orb, Karn's Sylex, Meekstone, Crawlspace... not quite an exhaustive list, but it's a really good start, and gets the point across.
There are some weird cards that you can use as win conditions to go with the "stax" style, like Azor's Elocutors.
If you're interested, https://edhrec.com/commanders/grand-arbiter-augustin-iv has some more suggestions as well - in my opinion, it's not a terrible place to start as a new player, although I'd encourage you to switch it up as you and your wallet like from what's listed there.
https://scryfall.com/ can also be a really good tool if you like to go full nerd and search for alternative cards with similar effects to really expensive cards - I've stumbled across a few hidden gems over time by using it.
Hope that helps, and Happy building!
7 months ago
9 months ago
Glad you enjoy seeing the decks I make. I will answer your questions and give some insight into my decision making. First, I considered Expedition Map a long time ago and decided to go with more normal tutor cards such as Demonic Tutor etc. The map only grabs a land so it is limited in use. Mindslaver is one of those cards that can definitely cause all kinds of chaos but I chose to go for a faster win condition and less of cards like this. It takes too long to set up and get going. Lethal Vapors isn't a card I would run honestly. I would prefer a card like Spreading Plague or The Abyss instead. I chose exile as my main removal in this deck. Doing so counters graveyard strategies somewhat and indestructible. As for Static Orb and Winter Orb, these also interfere with my own win conditions. I'm trying to cast Approach of the Second Sun as fast as possible. This deck is very much control based and not really built to be a stax deck. Lastly, I've been asked before about why I don't run Yawgmoth's Will. I just don't think this particular deck is built to get value from it. It's an amazing card but I just didn't build this deck to support using such a card. Honestly, it would be more of a filler card for me.
Now, for the next set of questions. You are correct when you say that someone can still play one creature with Ward of Bones in play. The idea is to stop people from flooding the board with more than one. It is just a card to stall my opponents until I can draw or tutor my win conditions. This is the same reason why I use Portcullis. It keeps more than two creatures from being on the battlefield. Any creatures played on the battlefield beyond two get exiled until Portcullis leaves the battlefield. Again, I'm just slowing down and stalling my opponents so I can tutor or draw my win conditions. I feel that any creatureless deck should always run Portcullis. The value is just too insane. Energy Field is a card that I use to stall as well. It may last a couple of turns and that may be just enough to survive and tutor/cast my win condition. Null Brooch is such a fantastic card. A colorless artifact ability that just counters a non-creature spell is insane. It also combos crazy good with Ensnaring Bridge so that no creatures can attack because you have zero cards in hand. Witchbane Orb is just nice to have. It prevents a lot of bad things targeting you. It comes in handy more than you realize. You can't die to Grapeshot or other things with it in play. Norn's Annex forces people into a bad decision. They either pay white mana, lose life, or they can't attack you at all. Also, because of the Phyrexian Mana cost, you can play this fast to get value out of it quicker. Remember, if you make someone lose at least 8-10 life just to attack you, they are more vulnerable to other players killing them. The only other card I would put in place of this is No Mercy. Lastly, Mox Tantalite and Lotus Bloom are great for this deck. If I play them early enough, they allow me to cast Approach of the Second Sun very fast. Also, both suspend cards synergize with Tolaria West. Since the cards have a mana value of zero, you can use transmute from Tolaria West to search for them. I hope that shows you some of my reasoning and decision making. If you need to know anything further, feel free to ask.
9 months ago
hootsnag +1, nice deck, always a pleasure to see the decks you make.
Mindslaver - Combo/synergy with academy ruins to effectively lock out one player out of the game given enough mana. While I understand your goal is to stop all opponents, usually in my experience, one opponent has a better position than another. Utilizing mindslaver with the mentioned combo is great, but its on it's own regard should not be discounted. Being able to effectively not only skip their turn at worst, but being able to make their commander unnaccessible, tutor for their necro for suicide, etc.... highly versatile card.
Lethal Vapors - While this does not stop ETB's, it can be a very useful tool. At worst, it eat removal. Normally, 1 of 3 opponents will skip their own turn. At upper ground, in conjunction with mindslaver 1 of 2 things will happen with vapors on board and mindslaver on cast..... 1) They will sac their turn in response to cast so they lose on turn, then you can activate mindslaver to take their next, effectively denying them of two turns 2) They don't respond and you activate mindslaver, take their turn, then on their turn activate the effect of vapors and hold priority to do so X amount of times to lock them out of their turns indefinitely.
Yawgmoth's Will - While I understand your potential concern of GY exile, I feel the ceiling of this card is high enough to warrant that risk. Thoughts?
Portcullis - I don't understand how this works, but its potential in creatureless decks is good. Can you explain it to me simply? Moreover, what symergies if any do you have with this card, or do you utilize it simply for value? I really want to add this card to my deck but don't understand it.
Energy Field - I know this synergizes with auto GY exiling, what synergy with other cards, if any, is there in this deck? Or do you use it simply as a one of use?
Null Brooch - How has this played for you?
Witchbane Orb - Meta call? How often do you need hexproof?
Norn's Annex - Given you already removed various propoganda effects, why does this one stay, especially given you have no walkers? Won't most opponents pay the life, what way do you have to take advantage of their life loss if any?
Mox Tantalite/Lotus Bloom - How have the suspense cards worked for you, the suspense is killing me!
Please be sure to let me know what you think of each idea, looking forward to your response.