Tuesday Night Takeover

Avacyn, Angel of Hope Stax Brewed EDH

You wont be making any friends with this one!

Art: Avacyn, Angel of Hope by Jason Chan

Avacyn is an extremely powerful angel who gives all of your permanents indestructible, when we combine this with Stax effects we can effectively lock our opponents out of the game nearly completely. Even without Avacyn we can typically lock our opponents out of the game. Stax is by no means a fan favorite in EDH and you will be probably get some stares from your opponents when you put your first stax piece down, but I thought Avacyn worked really well for a Stax commander and would be a fun build!

The Deck:

Avacyn Stax!

Commander (1)
Avacyn, Angel of Hope

Creatures (22)
Walking Ballista
Archivist of Oghma
Drannith Magistrate
Ethersworn Canonist
Grand Abolisher
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Archon of Emeria
Aven Mindcensor
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Heliod, Sun-Crowned
Recruiter of the Guard
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Vryn Wingmare
Archangel of Tithes
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Archangel of Thune
Geode Golem
Wandering Archaic
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

Spells (11)
Enlightened Tutor
Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
Teferi’s Protection
Settle the Wreckage
Wrath of God
Approach of the Second Sun
Vanquish the Horde

Artifacts (21)
Chrome Mox
Jeweled Lotus
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Sol Ring
Lightning Greaves
Pearl Medallion
Sphere of Resistance
Thorn of Amethyst
Torpor Orb
Weathered Runestone
Winter Orb
Mana Web
Static Orb
Grafted Exoskeleton
Nevinyrral’s Disk
Nyx Lotus
Thran Dynamo
Unwinding Clock
Mind’s Eye

Enchantments (13)
Authority of the Consuls
Deafening Silence
Land Tax
Blind Obedience
Darksteel Mutation
Rest in Peace
Aura of Silence
Ghostly Prison
Monologue Tax
Phyrexian Unlife
Rule of Law
Smothering Tithe
Lands (32)
Ancient Tomb
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
Inventors’ Fair
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
25 Plains
Strip Mine

Why Avacyn, Angel of Hope?

Avacyn fits perfectly into a stax shell since we can use her to make destruction effects like board wipes not effect us in any way! Avacyn does come with a high mana cost but we have many artifacts that can allow us to cast her as early as possible. Avacyn is by no means the best stax commander ever but she can present herself as threat once we completely limit and clear the board! Avacyn is one of our main combat wins, in testing I found that after casting Avacyn, I would tutor for Worldslayer as soon as I could and then once the board is completely empty swinging till I got the win! Avacyn overall is just a very hard creature to deal with since no destroy effects can hit it.

Deck Overview:

Since we are a stax deck pretty much all of our deck is filled to the brim with stax pieces, lets get into it!

Our creature package is highlighted but some great stax pieces and combo pieces! Archivist of Oghma is one of our best pieces of card draw which we definitely struggle with since we are in mono-white! Opponents search their library quite commonly in EDH so this card is always good for a few triggers! Drannith Magistrate is another great stax piece and is great against unfair decks or decks trying to cast spells from other zones for free. Hushbringer is one of our best stax pieces since it stops a bunch of decks strategies stopping both ETB’s and LTB’s. Geode Golem is not one of our stax pieces but allows us to cast Avacyn early so can be a big asset, and since Geode Golem is colorless we can cast it as early as turn 2! Wandering Archaic // Explore the Vastlands is another way for us to cast our opponents draw spells or really anything our opponents cast, through our stax pieces we are heavily limiting what is being cast so with wandering archaic we can gain a lot of value by casting a copy of a spell our opponent has especially if they can only cast one per turn. Since we are a stax deck we of course have both Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thalia, Heretic Cathar these cards can come down early and really mess up the early turns of the game! Spirit of the Labyrinth is great against decks that attempt to draw a lot of cards but since it effects us too we need to be careful and in testing games where I had Archivist of Oghma or Wandering Archaic // Explore the Vastlands I typically held spirit of the labyrinth and only played it if opponents were going crazy with card draw!

Just like our creature package our spell package is pretty mean, full of fun spells like Armageddon and Wrath of God while both of these boardwipes are going to make your opponents hate you they are really strong especially with Avacyn on the field so you don’t lose anything! Settle the Wreckage is a card that is not played very often in commander which is surprising since it exiles the attacking creatures, while it does give your opponents the benefits of getting basics when you combine that with a bunch of our stax pieces it is a great way to permanently get rid of annoying creatures! Approach of the Second Sun is a very slow win condition but in testing I had a few games where I won through staxing our opponents until we get to the 7th card and cast approach again. For ultimate protection we have the format staple Teferi's Protection which is an amazing card at any stage of the game. Our spell package is rounded out by single target removal like Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile which are both EDH classics and are great ways to deal with the few creatures your opponents can resolve!

Our artifact package is just as large as our creature package and is full of stax and mana! Since we want to cast Avacyn as soon as possible we have fast mana like Jeweled Lotus, Mana Crypt and Chrome Mox just to name a few. In testing our fast mana allows us to cast Avacyn as early as turn 3 and I had a lot of success in games where I was able to cast Avacyn very early! Mind's Eye is a good way to draw 1 – 2 cards a turn depending on how many stax pieces we have on the field, and helps us draw in a deck where we really struggle to draw! Grafted Exoskeleton is one of our win conditions since with Avacyn we can one-shot our opponents. Mana Web is one of our best stax pieces, it is an absolute disaster for mono decks and is still very effective against multicolor decks. Since Mana Web only effects our opponents we can cast this on turn 1 and just let it ride for the rest of the game. Torpor Orb stops any ETB and can be very disruptive to any deck that relies on them, one of the biggest benefits of the orb is that it does not effect us really at all. We are playing stax staples like Thorn of Amethyst, Winter Orb and Static Orb. In addition to stax staples we have some specifics like Worldslayer and Nevinyrral's Disk these are both board wipes for only our opponents when we have Avacyn out!

Our enchantment package is highlighted by Smothering Tithe which is a great mana producer and can help us cast Avacyn very early using rocks to cast Smothering Tithe on turn 1 or 2 before we get stax pieces down can allow us to have a turn 2 or 3 Avacyn. Monologue Tax is another great way to get mana but this card can be dead in the late game when have a bunch of stax pieces down. Land Tax is a great way to shuffle / thin the deck and get some lands out of the deal! Deafening Silence and Rule of Law are both great early stax effects that slow the game down and absolute ton! Rest in Peace is one of our best defenses against any kind of reanimation or recursion after we cast a board wipe or destroy any permanents!

Our land base is very simple we are mono-white, since we are a stax deck we have some pretty mean lands like Strip Mine and Wasteland which are great to take care of problematic non-basics. Boseiju, Who Shelters All is a situational land but can come in handy against blue decks packing cheap counterspells and can really help when trying to resolve a Wrath of God or Farewell. Overall our land base is pretty simple with not very many nonbasics and mostly plains, we supplement this with our artifact mana to resolve Avacyn as soon as we possibly can!

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Stax effects allow us to control the pace of the game
  • Combo wins can end games quickly
  • Very strong against combo / spellslinger decks

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Without Avacyn deck can feel winconless
  • Since we are mono-white we cannot draw many cards
  • Weak to artifact hate

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

We can typically win through combos but also have a few lines that allow for combo wins like Avacyn, Angel of Hope + Worldslayer and Avacyn, Angel of Hope + Grafted Exoskeleton.

For our primary combo wins we have:

Heliod, Sun-Crowned + Walking Ballista

Result: Infinite damage. Infinite lifegain. Infinite lifegain triggers.

Requires: All permanents on the battlefield. Walking Ballista has at least two +1/+1 counters on it. 1W available.

Steps: Activate Heliod by paying 1W, giving Walking Ballista lifelink until end of turn. Activate Walking Ballista’s second ability by removing a +1/+1 counter, dealing 1 damage to any target. Walking Ballista’s lifelink triggers, causing you to gain 1 life. Heliod triggers, putting a +1/+1 counter on Walking Ballista. Repeat from step 2.

Archangel of Thune + Walking Ballista + Heliod, Sun-Crowned

Result: Infinite damage. Infinite +1/+1 counters on all creatures you control except Walking Ballista. Infinite lifegain. Infinite lifegain triggers.

Requires: All permanents on the battlefield. Walking Ballista has at least two +1/+1 counters on it. You have a way to give Walking Ballista lifelink.

Steps: Give Walking Ballista lifelink. Activate Walking Ballista’s second ability by removing a +1/+1 counter from it, dealing 1 damage to any target and causing you to gain 1 life. Archangel of Thune triggers, putting a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Repeat from step 2.


In conclusion I think that Avacyn is a really fun stax commander! Avacyn fits really well into a stax shell and is a ton of fun to play, well your opponents may not think so! While stax isn’t the most liked archetype in EDH Avacyn fits really well into a stax shell and is a ton of fun to pilot!

Thanks for reading to the end!