As a forward I want to say that this list lingers on the border between optimized high power and fringe cEDH. As I've played some other heavy stax decks, they are often non-threatening and tend to win by circumstance. So while Estrid can and has won cEDH games and has answers and effective stax pieces for cEDH, it could be qualified as a parasitic deck relying on meta or other players' interactions to get wins. I feel this is a necessary caveat before anyone gets their hopes up of achieving a 25% winrate in full cedh metas with Estrid as it will likely fall short of that.

However, I also believe that this list is close to "optimized" for a stax built Estrid, plays to her strengths, and is able to answer the question "what can this commander do that others can't?"
1. You want a commander who can ignore Humility and other creature hate cards
2. You want to play Stasis and still be able to untap things
3. You want to play lots of enchantments which typically see less hate than other card types
4. You want to play an unusual set of Stax cards that other decks can't run
1. Stax decks in general tend to be topdeck reliant and thus more inconsistent
2. It can't run black, arguably the best color in EDH
3. Estrid's abilities are weak
4. You want to win quickly
Squeeze - This card is nice in general, but great against very specific decks (storm). It doesn't hinder us much at all, only becoming a bit of a hassle with Supreme Verdict and Idyllic Tutor .

In the Eye of Chaos - Another card that can do work against otherwise tough matchups. This can help jam other cards through countermagic. Importantly it taxes Cyclonic Rift by 2 and Ad Nauseam by 5, making them harder to pull off. Also interestingly its one of the few cards that will actually "stack" with Trinisphere .
ex: Player casts brainstorm
Trinisphere + Sphere of Resistance = 3 Mana
Trinisphere + In the Eye of Chaos = 4 Mana (3 initially 1 to avoid counter)

Estrid's Invocation - At first it seemed like a meh Copy Enchantment since it can't copy other players' Mystic Remora s/ Rhystic Study / Sylvan Library , but it’s both versatile and a decent draw engine when combined with either Abundant Growth or Ground Seal . Copying up on other enchantments at need is really pretty cool. Can be a second Pendrell Mists if you need a board wipe, then a turn later be useful even when all the creatures are gone.

Sphere of Safety - I really dislike including this, but I feel like it’s a necessary evil. At 5 mana it’s steep, but by itself prevents attacking you and the commander. Considered Moat in its place, but there are occasionally flyers used and we can't guarantee Humility is on the board.

Damping Sphere - Someone asked about this so I thought I'd clarify. Damping Sphere does not prevent extra mana from Utopia Sprawl / Wild Growth / Fertile Ground because they are triggered abilities of the enchantment that add mana, it's not the land that is producing the additional mana. This is essentially just a 2 mana Rule of Law that can occasionally hit opponents' Gaea's Cradles. It is a non-bo with Serra's Sanctum but it's rarely an issue.
The Chain Veil - As many are aware this card can combo with Estrid. The requirements are: enchanted land(s) or artifact(s) that can add 5+ mana total, an enchanted Chain Veil, and a mana outlet. This lets you use Estrid's untap for infinite mana.
The second infinite combo would be to use her untap ability over 2 activations to create enough mana to recast her once, then at 7 counters, ult her. After that recast her. Chain Veils activations modify the game rules so it treats the recast Estrid as a new object, and the previous activations will effect her. This means you can loop through your deck with her ult after gaining mana from her first ability. This requires much more mana and setup than the first scenario but doesn't require a mana outlet.

Here are my issues with this combo:
1. Teferi does this much better and Estrid's colors don't bring enough to the table to justify running her over Teferi
2. It requires too much support which changes the nature of the deck. Adding mana outlets, mana rocks, and additional tutors removes slots for
     Stacks pieces. It also likely necessitates having additional auras that are really bad outside of the combo such as Power Artifact
3. Means we can't run Null Rod & Stony Silence which are excellent hate cards
4. Estrid can't recur Chain Veil, so if it's destroyed or countered you need additional support cards to bring it back.

Rest in Peace - Great hate card, but seals off a big part of the deck which is Estrid's ult. The ult gives the deck a strong grind game and I didn't want to lose it. Grafdigger's and Ground Seal do a relatively good job on graveyard hate.

Eidolon of Blossoms - So this card has some nice upsides. It draws when it comes into play, is a draw engine with Estrid's masks (unlike Presence or Argothian), and is a body. The main reason it isn't included is its mana cost and small body. If it could stop a swing at Estrid without dying it would be better. 4 mana is too much mana for the one thing it does well.

Various enchant lands - Any land enchantment that costs more than 2 mana is already outside of the cost I would want to ramp for anything. Its nice to have a land for Estrid to untap when she comes in, but isn't a big deal if not. I will still +2 her usually.

Sterling Grove / Greater Auramancy - These don't do anything is my main reason for not including them. Sterling Grove can potentially be a 3 mana enlightened tutor, and for that reason I'll continue to consider it. Currently I'd rather just have another Stax piece over this slot.

Replenish - The only reliable way to get cards in the graveyard is Estrid's ult, and she has a built in Replenish, so this would be a dead card a lot of the time.

Estrid's main win cons are concessions or Squirrels. Earthcraft + Squirrel Nest are both recurrable with her ult, so even if it gets shut down initially it can be brought back later. Sometimes getting them out under a few Stax pieces is enough.

The more common win is resolving Stasis . Kismet / Root Maze make it a hard lock which draws a lot of concessions because nobody wants to watch you play solitaire. If they do want to wait it out, you can use Estrid's ult or tutors to dig up Earthcraft + Squirrel Nest to make infinite Squirrels and win the game on the next turn. At this point they're locked out but you have to play slowly to set up a safe win. Stasis will prevent you from untapping your Squirrels and attacking.

  1. Get out a Trinisphere or Sphere of Resistance first. This will prevent opponent interaction.
  2. Get Aura of Silence or Nature's Claim (just natural draw, don't dig with Estrid's ult)
  3. End of last opponents turn destroy Stasis, then use the combo to create a million squirrels and swing for the win on your turn.

While that seems like a lot setup, your opponents are already locked out of the game and its just a draw-go waiting game to get the pieces.

The Stax pieces included are to prevent other players from winning too quickly. Specifically combos we want to hate out are Storm, Hulk Flash, Food Chain, Razaketh Reanimation, Dramatic Scepter. Taxing effects such as Sphere of Resistence, Trinisphere, etc. work great to slow all of them down, while cards such as Humility, Cursed Totem, Null Rod, etc create actual barriers they have to remove before they can continue.

While there's dis-synergy in using mana rocks like Mana Crypt, Moxen, Sol Ring alongside Null Rod and Stony Silence , & mana dorks like Birds of Paradise alongside Humility & Cursed Totem , their ability to drop a game saving piece a turn before a player would normally win is crucial. Getting out a turn 2 or 3 Estrid means you can get her ready to ult before there's much out on the field.

Gameplay often goes 1 of 3 ways.
1. Play Stax pieces each turn in succession, then play Estrid (good route if you have strong pieces in hand)
2. Play a single strong Stax piece on turn 2. Turn 3 Estrid and use a mask to protect the piece, or +2 to get her ready for ult asap
3. Fast hand with Turn 1 or 2 Estrid. If this happens its good to get her out ASAP and go from there.

Using Estrid immediately when she hits 7 counters is often the right call. Its one of the few ways the deck has to gain advantage and quickly advance its board state. Its more common to do this if you have Serra's Sanctum available as it makes recasting Estrid in the same turn considerably easier.


Updates Add

With this update I just wanted to say I will likely not be touching this list too often any more. As a frequent brewer I've moved on to other stuff. I still like Estrid but for competitive have moved onto other things and no longer have time for this list. I play it very rarely now and when I do its in high power environments.


Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 7 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

3 - 0 Mythic Rares

60 - 0 Rares

15 - 0 Uncommons

18 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.00
Tokens 1/1 Saproling, 1/1 Squirrel, Aura, 4/4 Angel
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