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I've been playing magic since the beginning. I like destroying peoples will to play, so I made a weird stax hybrid that seems to encourage hate.

Why play Arbiter?

Easy arbiter is all about control. I've literally locked people down with this deck and then forced them to play out 90 turns or so before decking out.

Play Arbiter if you:

  1. Enjoy controlling board states
  2. Like slowing down the pace of the game
  3. Enjoy making enemies in your play groups
  4. Often find yourself thinking that you would like to see it all burn

Don't Play Arbiter if:

  1. you like creatures or rely on them to win
  2. you don't enjoy land destruction
  3. you find yourself coming out on the winning side of politics at the table
  4. you don't like being hated off the table
  5. you rely on combos
  6. you think there's something wrong with being the only one at the table able to cast things
  7. you value your group of friends


There are four ways this deck wins

  1. Getting everything locked down and just face beating with something like Avacyn- This is arguable the most difficult, but if you get the lockdown early it can be done
  2. Rest in Peace+Helm of Obedience combo.
  3. Making game conditions so miserable that people fold and give up. This is the most fun to me.
  4. Infinite mana with Dramatic Reversal+Isochron Scepter+ something like Gilded Lotus then ping everyone to death with Walking Ballista


So early game we want to focus on ramp and rocks and laying down things like Propaganda so you can make it difficult for people to target you. Things like Fatespinner can help you get an early lead. One of my favorite plays is to wait till someone tries to crack a fetch land and then flashing in an Aven Mindcensor so they can only search the top cards of their deck. Ultimately we are trying to get to our tax pieces like Glowrider, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Lodestone Golem, and of course our commander GAAIV. It is important to note that I use the counterspells defensively. In other words I'm usually only going to counter something if it is a direct threat to my board state or it is interfering with something that will allow me to pull off a combo. There's a handful of removal that I mostly use if someone is attacking me. It's amazing how fast people will learn to not target you if you simple destroy or remove the creature they are attacking you with a few times.


At this point in the game, you have resources and at the very best its costing everyone else 2-6 more to cast anything. It's time to let them see the real shine in this deck!

There's an array of nastiness just waiting to be played

Want something particularly nasty? Try Solemnity + Decree of Silence to counter everything the opponent does.


If you really need to reset things Teferi's Protection+Balancing Act for a total board reset for everyone else except you, then pull tereri's with Pull from Eternity and cycle it back into your hand with Flood of Recollection. Play it again and lay down an Armageddon

Avacyn, Angel of Hope+Nevinyrral's Disk so you can just disk everyone each turn and have nothing happen to you

In my opinion the best play of all Karn, the Great Creator+Mycosynth Lattice to make all of their land useless.

Need infinite mana? Try Dramatic Reversal+Isochron Scepter+ something like Gilded Lotus

want to ping someone to death? Use infinite mana as described above +Walking Ballista

with infinite mana and Capsize you can effectively bounce the entire tables boards and lock them out of anything that costs more than 0 with GAAIV out on the board

Generally speaking whenever you drop any of these, its common to have at least one scoop. I've had an entire table scoop before because I was just disking every turn. These are the plays that will make your table hate you. The fun is that the next game they will try to counter or destroy one of your pieces, but you could conveniently just be holding a Mana Drain or Force of Will specifically for the occasion.


Because this deck takes a few turns to get online it will fold to fast combo decks. Generally speaking if you are playing against a deck that can combo out by turn 4 your going to need to use your counters and removal more so that by midgame when you putting out your combos you may have no counters or removal left. Now, that's ok if the other person isn't ready for your deck to come online. If they have answers you might just have to accept that you wont win and sit back and make the game as miserable as possible before you're hated off the table. Another deck type to look out for are the huge creature stompy decks. There's only so much you can do if you are getting attacked by a 12/12 Craterhoof Behemoth with trample each turn. Generally speaking one giant creature is a problem that you can solve with removal. When you have entire decks that spit out whole board states full of giant creatures you are probably going to get stomped into the dirt. One last deck type to look out for is another player also playing a different stax deck. If they can get the lock in before you, then it is difficult to get anything going. Even if they don't get a solid lock in, paying 4 more to cast a sol ring can become very frustrating. If they run cards like Mana Vortex or Smokestack it can spell huge problems for this deck


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99% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 8 years
Last updated 1 year

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

10 - 0 Mythic Rares

30 - 0 Rares

17 - 0 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.54
Tokens Ape 3/3 G, Bird 2/2 U, Frog Lizard 3/3 G
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