Deck Tech: Planeswalker Stax with Matt Keefer
What started as a dedicated Helm of Obedience-Leyline of the Void combo deck has turned into a full-fledged beast after a pretty large overhaul.
Planeswalker Stax designer Matt Keefer.
Out went the combo, and in came The Abyss and Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, giving the deck a multitude of powerful draws that take full advantage of a whopping 15 accelerators. Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors power out Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and The Abyss to jump start either a prison-style game or beat down with a 5/5 mox. That The Abyss doesn’t affect those Tezzeret-crafted 5/5s adds another layer of synergy to the machine while wrecking almost all of the creatures in the format—there just aren’t a lot of effective black creatures running around right now.
The rest of the deck is fleshed out by effective support pieces, including one of Matt’s key plays: Chalice of the Void. It does exactly what the deck wants to do by shutting down the early game and giving him the breathing room he needs to deploy his bombs and lock up the game, and Intuition lets him find a Slaughter Pact to off the deck’s biggest problem: Gaddock Teeg. In fact, Intuition can get three copies of Tolaria West to tutor up a number of sweet tools: Engineered Explosives, Slaughter Pact, Chalice of the Void, Academy Ruins, Wasteland, or any mana fixing it might need via land or mox.
Of course, Matt couldn’t quit his pet combo cold turkey. The four Leyline of the Void still exist in the sideboard as a powerful card against Dredge and other graveyard decks, and there’s some value to having a singleton Helm of Obedience to Intuition for and Academy Ruins back to the top. That gives him the ability to trump an opponent who wants to interact with his less explosive but more resilient Plan A, while the rest of the sideboard is an exercise in toolbox strategy.
I couldn’t let this sweet little number go without a Deck Tech, but the deck is so intricate that I may be doing it a disservice to keep talking about it without full knowledge of the process it took to arrive at its current form, so I’m just going to leave the decklist here for you all to analyze and discuss amongst yourselves. Enjoy!