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Against the Odds: Legacy Stasis

Hello everyone and welcome to episode sixteen of Against the Odds. This week, in what may be the most against the odds thing to ever happen on the series, we are playing Stasis in Legacy. I've had a week for this to sink in. I still can't believe it happened. The Legacy option on our Against the Odds poll always comes in dead last and has never been in contention to finish first. Until this week, when Stasis snuck past Shadowborn Apostle to win by one percent of the vote! I'm going to chalk this one up to the holiday spirit and assume that voting for Stasis was a Christmas present from all of you to me. I've been pretty upfront about my love of the card and my desire to play it. So thanks everybody!

We'll talk more about Legacy Stasis in a minute. First let's get to the videos. A quick reminder. If you enjoy Against the Odds and other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up with the latest and greatest.

Against the Odds: Legacy Stasis Intro

Against the Odds: Legacy Stasis Games

The Deck

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First we need to talk about Stasis, one of the most powerful lock pieces ever printed. Stasis makes both players skip over their untap phase, so nothing untaps — not creatures, no lands, not artifacts, nothing. Of course, even in the old days Wizards knew better than to print a card like this without a draw back. So to keep it on the battlefield we need to pay one Blue mana every turn, which is tricky since every time we use a land to pay for Stasis that land no longer untaps. Thankfully, we have a couple of tricks to keep Stasis on the battlefield and keep our opponent locked out of the game.

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It's almost like Ral Zarek was printed to be a one card combo with Stasis. Not only does Ral's +1 ability provide the one Blue mana necessary to keep Stasis alive for infinity, but it also taps down one of our opponent's permanents (typically a land) as well. The most common way for an opponent to beat the Stasis lock is to keep making their land drops, store up their mana, and eventually use the mana to either destroy Stasis or play some sort of threat that can win through the lock (e.g. Jace, the Mind Sculptor). Ral Zarek's +1 removes this option by making sure our opponent only has one land to work with at max. Eventually we +1 Ral Zarek enough that we can either take a bunch of extra turns with his Ultimate, or win the game by using his -2 to Lightning Bolt our opponent's face enough times in a row to close out the game.

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Forsaken City is the other one card combo with Stasis. While it is typically a horrible, horrible Magic card, with the Stasis lock in place, it suddenly becomes amazing. With Forsaken City on the battlefield and more than one card in hand, we can keep Stasis alive forever by exiling one of the cards from our hand to untap Forsaken City and then using Forsaken City to pay the one Blue mana required to keep Stasis alive. A word of warning. In this deck, you can't enact the Forsaken City plan with only one card in hand. I made that mistake in one game while I was building the deck. While we could keep Stasis alive for infinity, we could never do anything else.  

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While the rest of the deck is pretty typical for a blue control deck in Legacy, featuring a ton of counters like Force of WillSpell Pierce, and Counterspell and card draw like Brainstorm and Ancestral Vision, there are a couple other cards I wanted to mention individually. Chain of Vapor is important because it allows us to play Stasis even when we don't have a Forsaken City or Jace, the Mind Sculptor. We can use whatever lands we have on the battlefield to keep Stasis alive for a few turns, and when we run low on mana we can cast Chain of Vapor at the end of our opponent's turn to bounce the Stasis, take our turn, untap, and then play Stasis again on our turn to keep the lock going for a few more turns. Thwart does something similar by allowing us to counter a spell and pick up three lands that are tapped under the Stasis, then replay them over the next three turns to keep Stasis alive. 

Meditate is a really broken, instant speed card draw spell. Typically it's hard to play since it requires skipping a turn. When we have the Stasis lock in place, skipping a turn isn't much of a cost. 

The Matchups

Matchups in Legacy are weird, partly because there are so many viable decks, and partly because of the power level of the cards in these decks. Fast combo decks feel like one of our worst matchups because we have eight slots in our deck dedicated to the Stasis package (counting Ral Zarek and Winter Orb). This package is really bad against decks that can just drop a few Lotus Petals or Lion's Eye Diamonds and go off without untapping. On the other hand, we have a ton of counterspells, and a well timed Force of Will can beat these decks on their own. So is the matchup good or bad? I don't know. 

One thing I do know is that we have a really hard time beating a True-Name Nemesis. Our only out is to lock our opponent's lands under Stasis and then to get a The Tabernacle at Pendral Vale on the battlefield to make our opponent sacrifice the True-Name Nemesis to the upkeep cost. On the other hand, Miracles seems like a super great matchup since they are so mana-intensive and don't have many ways to beat a resolved Winter Orb or Stasis

The Odds

Surprisingly, the deck performed fairly well for a untunned Against the Odds deck. We managed to win just about 50% of our games and 50% of our matches — much better than the 30 or 35% I predicted beforehand. In a format like Legacy, I'm very happy with this rate. It makes me think that maybe, just maybe Stasis could be a real card in Legacy. I'm certainly planning on continuing to play and tune the deck on Magic Online. At least for me, Stasis is incredibly fun to play. 

Vote for Next Week's Deck


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck and thanks again for letting me play Stasis in Legacy! Leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestion in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive.

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