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Staxing and Taxing: Glissa cEDH Primer

Commander / EDH Artifact BG (Golgari) Competitive Primer Stax




This helps the deck out ALOT. We no longer get gimped as much if a deck runs only a few creatures. This also makes the mainboard Compost trigger more since every other player in my pod has a black commander.

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:

  • Squirrel Nest and Earthcraft is a two card combo that wins on the following turn. We can't recure it with Glissa, but with some tech choices we can set up a way to protect the investment a bit.

  • Grindstone and Painter's Servant to mill opponents out. This usually only mills one person a turn, but if Clock of Omens is out you will have the ability to untap multiple times.

  • Win through combat damage and attrition. Umezawa's Jitte is there to help speed things up.

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. Getting Forbidden Orchard on the battlefield is a huge help, and is what I suggest you grab with Crop Rotation, so you can make sure you have creatures to kill.

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. Every once in awhile you will have an opening hand that contains a combination of win cons and tutors which would line you up for a turn 3-4 win. While these hands are very enticing, they have never led me to victory but instead fizzling out early and never making a come back. Glissa is not a deck that has ways to come back quick, so if you go for a win without a backup plan, you will feel bad.

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. With Flash being banned, the losing portion does not happen as often and stax is in a much better place. If you enjoy this type of play style do not hesitate to give Glissa shot.

Taking all this in consideration, and especially after aquiring both Nether Void and Chains of Mephistopheles, this deck performs very well and can be tailored to your specific meta due to the number of interchangable stax pieces.

Why these combos:

Painter's Servant and Grindstone are back on the menu boys. This two card combo has been performing very well with how its currently built, and after playing a dozen or so games they have yielded me more wins than any other combo I've had in here. Being able to recur them with Glissa makes this incredibly safe.

Earthcraft and Squirrel Nest are both good cards and is a reliable combo. With the addition of Destiny Spinner and Veil of Summer we now have a way to protect the combo when attempting to go off.

Why not this combo:

Metalworker and Staff of Domination never once happened. While this deck runs a bunch of artifacts, most of the artifacts we draw we want to play right away for either card advantage or to slow our opponents down.

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 impressed 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.

Bolas's Citadel/Sensei's Divining Top/Aetherflux Reservoir were tested for a bit and did nab me a few wins, but the combo was hurt too often with my own stax pieces. Trinisphere,Sphere of Resistance, Lodestone Golem and Grafdigger's Cage just shut the combo down completely. Took it out because if I'm not playing stax pieces in the off chance I will tutor or draw into the combo, then I will most likely lose anyways.

Mycosynth Lattice and Karn, the Great CreatorJA performed well but my meta started becoming even more creature heavy (Golos, Medium Green, and Niv) so even if I had both pieces of the lock on the board Karn never lasted a round because of all the creatures. Mycosynth Lattice also was one of the weaker cards in the deck on its own (even though it did turn off Niv Miz Paruns draw ability), so it didnt make sense for me to keep it in the deck.

Wishclaw Talisman: Another tutor. This one should also be used if you are ready to win or if you can abuse it. With Clock of Omens on the battlefield and enough artifacts, this will let you tutor up to three cards for three mana. With Karn, the Great CreatorJA on the battlefield, you can give this to your opponents and not have to worry about them using it. Lived the dream and was able to tutor for 7 cards, but like Icarus I flew too close to the sun and crashed down back to earth in a firey heap. Not my finest moment.

Blinkmoth Well: Another way to break parity with Static Orb,Winter Orb, and Trinisphere while also making our opponents second guess playing Grim Monolith and Mana Vault. Card has been performing decent and does what I want it to, but I might try replacing it with Geier Reach Sanitarium to help with the number of Thassa Consult decks in my meta.

Destiny Spinner: After aquiring the two big stax enchantments, I am giving this card a shot. Not only will it help us get Nether Void and Chains of Mephistopheles down on the board, it will also allow us to dodge the Nether Void tax on all our creatures and enchantments. This card also allows us to cast both Earthcraft and Squirrel Nest without worrying about counter magic.

Veil of Summer: Like Destiny Spinner this will help protect our investments, but this has the added bonus of protecting our stuff while on the battlefield. If we wanted to, we can even use it to dodge the Nether Void tax if needed.

Chains of Mephistopheles: Finally saved up enough to get this bad boy. The Granddaddy of stax pieces is finally in the deck and I expect it to do work against all the UGX and Thrasios decks in my meta.

Nether Void: If Chains the Granddaddy than this is the Grandma of stax pieces. Usually what I will aim to tutor up if I find myself ahead to slowly grind out the game for the win. Helps against storm decks, and anything looking to cast multiple spells a turn. Destiny Spinner helps us break parity with this card to gain a ton of advantage.

Damping Sphere: The other stax player has moved more towards both a Food Chain deck and Medium Green, so this has taken the spot of Grafdigger's Cage.

Viridian Longbow: Testing this over Ulvenwald Tracker as a repeatable way to kill creatures.

Guardian Beast: I know this card isnt the best, but I love it. Yet another way to help protect my artifacts and is a good body to block attackers.

Utopia Sprawl/Wild Growth: Replaced two mana dorks for these. Cursed Totem was slowing us down too much, and with Winter Orb and Static Orb being major stax pieces these help us gain more from untapping one land at a time.

Pithing Needle: Replaced Nihil Spellbomb due to graveyard decks not being a thing. I needed more ways to stop activations so lets see how this works together with Phyrexian Revoker.

Lifeforce: Flooding sucks in this deck and I was looking for a way to spend my mana when that happened. Since all the decks in my meta run black for tutors and Pact/Consult, this is a great way at stopping wins at instant speed.

With the recent printing of Allosaurus Shepherd (AS), it got me thinking how it would perform in my deck when compared to Destiny Spinner (DS). Normally Allosaurus Shepherd is a clear winner, but I feel like in this deck that relies more on artifacts and some enchantments, it might not be the case. The main reasons AS is considered better (in my opinion), is that the card itself is uncounterable and that it protects ALL green cards unlike DS which only cares about creatures and enchantments. Lets take a look at the numbers before we continue:

Eight creatues (Not including AS), eight enchantments, one sorcery, and six instants (it would be 7 but Abrupt Decay is already uncounterable). This comes out to a total of 23 cards that AS can protect.

The biggest cards that AS protects over DS are Assassin's Trophy, Beast Within, Nature's Claim, Finale of Devastation, and Veil of Summer. I think AS gives us more types of protection by making removal, tutors, and stack interaction uncounterable which can help us out significantly.

A negative about AS though is its booty. I cant really serve as a blocker against Tymna and her attackers. On top of that, being a 1/1 its also much easier to remove. Where it falls short in blocking power, it makes up with its activated ability. While not game winning, it is better than the ability DS offers us.

Fourteen creatues (not counting DS), and eleven enchantments. This gives us a total of 25 cards.

The biggest cards that DS protects over AS are Nether Void, Chains of Mephistopheles, Necropotence, Dark Confidant, Painter's Servant, and Phyrexian Revoker. Unlike AS, we dont have as many forms of protection but are more heavily invested in making sure our stax pieces land as well as our main forms of card draw and one of our combo pieces.

DS also has a better body so she makes a much better blocker, and while its activated ability is cheaper, I do not think it will make that big of a difference. The body being a 2/3 also makes it harder to remove with proclasm effects as well as having a greater chance to dodge my board wipes.

As we can see, even though the numbers look roughly the same they both help our decks a bit differently. AS gives us more instant speed protection while DS helps us land heavy hitting stax pieces. In the end, I think both would work but as always its a meta/personal call. Both protect one of our wincons, both help us break parity with Nether Void, and both protect our commander. Right now I am running with DS as making sure my stax pieces land is a must as I am the only remaining stax deck in my pod. On top of that, having more blockers and sturdy bodies has a better chance at slowing down card draw and remaining on board after a wipe.

Autumn's Veil: Lets see how Veil of Summer performs.

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician/Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons: Removal and card draw sperately and a psuedo adnaus together. Not sure if it would fit in this deck but it seems interesting.

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale: Amazing

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


Below are just notes about cards I need and my meta


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


Torpor Orb: Turns off second part of Kiki combo + Food Chain combo

Trinisphere: All free spells cost now cost three

Cursed Totem: Stops Golos combos, activations, and Kiki lines

Dismember/Snuff Out: Good removal

Juntu Stakes: Stops dorks from untapping

Phyrexian Revoker: Turns off Kiki, Golos, Food Chain

Pithing Needle: Turns off Kiki and Golos

Damping Sphere: Stops Iso Rev + Food Chain

Lifeforce: Does hit tutors, removal

Sylvok Replica: Keeps Golos off field and recurrable with Glissa due to new rule changes.


Grafdigger's Cage: Doesnt do much

Hex Parasite: Doesnt do anything

Thorn of Amethyst: Not the worst as it stops tutors and counterspells, but can be sided out if it doesnt help against other decks.

Nihil Spellbomb: No/very little graveyard interaction

Massacre: eh

Juntu Stakes: Doesnt run enough dorks


Phyrexian Revoker: Stops Necropotence/Helm of Obedience activations

Pithing Needle: Stops Necropotence/Helm of Obedience activations

Torpor Orb: Stops win through Thassas

Juntu Stakes: Stops Zur from untapping which would help slow down his tutor ability

Thorn of Amethyst: Helps due to number of instant/sorceries

Lifeforce: Can counter most scary things


Grafdigger's Cage: bad

Damping Sphere: Doesnt do much

Massacre: doesnt hit many creatures

Grafdigger's Cage: Stops very little.

Nihil Spellbomb: Little to no graveyard recursion

Snuff Out: Cant hit most/all creatures in Zur.

Hex Parasite: No counters

Cursed Totem: Doesnt do anything


Phyrexian Revoker: Stops food chain

Torpor Orb: Stops win through GW zombie dude, cant remember

Damping Sphere: Stops food chain

Grafdigger's Cage: Only stops Squee if in GY

Thorn of Amethyst: Helps due to number of instant/sorceries

Cursed Totem: Hits dorks

Juntu Stakes: Hits dorks

Lifeforce: Can counter win con creatures, tutors, and removal


Massacre: doesnt hit many creatures

Grafdigger's Cage: Stops very little.

Nihil Spellbomb: Little to no graveyard recursion

Snuff Out: Cant hit most/all creatures in Niv.

Hex Parasite: No counters


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

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

Dismember/Snuff Out: Can't hit Animar, but can remove other problematic creatures.

Grafdigger's Cage: Does help with GSZ and Vizier of the Menagerie, not required

Hex Parasite: Helps keep Animar in check if it comes down early enough.

Juntu Stakes: Stops dorks from untapping

Phyrexian Revoker: Only for Kiki


Thorn of Amethyst: Not the worst as it stops tutors and counterspells, but can be sided out if it doesnt help against other decks.

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

Damping Sphere: Not too much storm here

Pithing Needle: Only for Kiki lines, one version of these abilities is enough

Lifeforce: No black


Cursed Totem: Turns off Yisan and other dorks

Grafdigger's Cage: Creatures cant enter after Yisan activation

Phyrexian Revoker: Turns off Yisan/Temur

Pithing Needle: Turns off Yisan/Temur

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

Torpor Orb: Stops a lot of creatures ETB effects

Juntu Stakes: Stops dorks from untapping.

Hex Parasite: Can keep Yisan in check

Snuff Out/Dismember: Good removal


Nihil Spellbomb: No/very little graveyard interaction

Thorn of Amethyst:

Damping Sphere: Usually doesnt cast that many spells a turn

Trinisphere: Doesnt really hurt Yisan that much due to his ability being an activation.

Lifeforce: No black


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

Torpor Orb: Stops win through Thassa's Oracle

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

Juntu Stakes: Stops a lot of creatures in deck from untapping, specifically Yuriko

Phyrexian Revoker: Doesnt hit much, but can hit isorev

Lifeforce: Hits turors, but not the best


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

Grafdigger's Cage: Very little graveyard interaction

Nihil Spellbomb: Very little graveyard interaction

Pithing Needle: Just need one

Damping Sphere: Usually doesnt do much


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.

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

Juntu Stakes: Stops mana dorks from untapping.

Lifeforce: Hits tutors and Tymna


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

Snuff Out: Single target removal that cant hit Tymna.

Pithing Needle: The ability doesnt do that much to require duplicates

Damping Sphere: Doesnt do much


Cursed Totem: Turns off Oona

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

Phyrexian Revoker/Pithing Needle: Turns off Oona

Torpor Orb: Stops win through Thassa's Oracle

Damping Sphere: Stops isochron mana combo

Lifeforce: Counters Oona and forbidden tutors


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

Grafdigger's Cage: Stops very little.

Nihil Spellbomb: Little to no graveyard recursion

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

Hex Parasite: No counters

Juntu Stakes: Pointless

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.






Top Ranked
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 week

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

17 - 1 Mythic Rares

44 - 7 Rares

21 - 3 Uncommons

11 - 4 Commons

Cards 96
Avg. CMC 1.87
Tokens 1/1 Snake, 1/1 Squirrel, 1/1 Spirit, 4/4 Beast
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Revision 30 See all

1 week ago)

+1 Lithoform Engine maybe
+1 Unwinding Clock maybe