Friday, 24 July 2015

A Stasis Warden Primer - Or How I Stopped Worrying and Broke the Meta

Hey everyone, Pwndnoob here, I want to start off by apologizing for breaking the meta. For everyone playing Stasis Warden decks or who have been inspired, I expect a world full of counters. For everyone else, sorry about bringing "boring" pure control into the meta. I swear it's fun for me, or I wouldn't have been playing it for 2+ years. I'll be going through the techs in the list I played for the Golden Gauntlet, alongside metagame analysis and general tips and tricks in piloting the deck.

3 Ambriel's Edict
1 Barrier Soldier
3 Energy Surge
2 Glacial Crush
3 Ironmind Acolyte
3 Lucid Echoes
2 Nanoswarm
3 Oratek Battlebrand
2 Oreian Justicar 

1 Perilous Insight
3 Stasis Warden
3 Static Shock
1 Valifrax, Iztek's Champion

Deck Tech:

Shout-out to Piquadore for the inspiration. Justicar does a very good job against Bron, whom I considered the safe meta pick going into the tournament. With Justicar down, Bron becomes a very unappealing play, and Stasis decks are otherwise strong against the other big vanilla dinosaurs. For the Golden Gauntlet, it was more effective against Spiritstone Sentries and, surprisingly, Leyline Demons. 

Valifrax is a late game bomb that, unlike other bombs like Iron Maiden, has tons of utility early game. Particularly when the rest of a hand is rubbish, having a reasonable body and quality spell is great. The bigger deck really isn't that big of a concern given the amount of draw in the deck.

Piquadore plays 2. Every card but Edict levels very well, and the greediness of the play is covered by Edict and Stasis. Like Valifrax, great with dud hands.

Tech against things with reach like Howl, Windspark, and Crypt Conjurer. It really is a late game security blanket that also can prevent a lot of early incidental damage if played early. Barry is the real MVP.


The deck was adjusted to beat Dinos, but I only faced one Dinosaur deck in the tournament. Against my team mate Link, I got a Justicar down very early, warding off Bron plays. Stabilizing at 30 health compounded by the fact that the only reach Link had were underleveled Bron secured the game despite very sloppy play from myself.

Stasis is very well set to beat "fair" decks like Zombies, where a large board of creatures gets beat by one Edict, and then Stasis dominates with a storm of late game powerhouses and free cards. 

Stasis has strong matchups against other control decks which don't push enough damage early before lockdown, namely A/U Lucid.

Other than running into the Stasis Mirror, I didn't see A/T which can contain Ator and Korok that really put Stasis on back foot with their Aggressive. 

There wasn't any Lifedrain, which has both threatening reach and a scary monster in Wegu, and I was able to best the Heraldbomb deck with high amounts of gnomes protecting me against Phytobomb. Stasis has a lot of tools against these decks, particularly Nanoswarm, but because games go long there's plenty of opportunity for them to draw their combos.

The most common matchup was A/N, with 5/10 people I fought were on A/N Leyline Bots (or whatever you want to call it). However, this deck has some serious weaknesses. 
  • Majority of A/N decks chose Duskmaw over Relic Scout, despite being on an armour build. Duskmaw is probably better against Dinos, but the deck is low attack and I could afford to take my lumps awaiting an Ambriel's Edict. 
  • Most people built greedy. In 5 A/N decks I saw 1 Howl. Prior to the final I saw no Arbiter despite almost everyone in the tourney playing either Duskmaw or Relic Scout. 
  • I'm not sure everyone was comfortable on their deck choice. I was playing Stasis versus Robots on experience, while opponents played on intuition.
It all went swimmingly until I ran into Eon. Game 1 I drew terribly including the classic no creature board with all spell hand, wasting good Edicts. Game 2 I pulled out comfortably as got all Gnomes down without being blocked by Arbiter (including a sweet Nanoswarm an Arbiter into Surge-Gnome-Surge chain). Game 3 Eon drew well, played well, and had matchup advantage. And with that, congratulations to Eon for winning the third Golden Gauntlet , and keeping the title under Battlebrand's name.

Editior's Note: To be fair, even if he did win, Battlebranded would still keep the title. 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Know your opponent's win conditions. For example, against U/A control the only way you are likely to lose is if you get hit by 3.1 Othra, so prioritizing levelling Stasis to be able to get a level 3 Stasis on board ASAP is key. Prioritize Barrier Soldier against decks likely packing Howl of Xith. 
  • Keep track of Ambriel's Edict's. If you see all three Edict on turn 1 you are going to have to remove more aggressively than if you didn't see any Edicts for 3 turns. It has Overload, you don't have an infinite supply, use them wisely..
  • Hide your Stasis in front of non-threats. For example, against Dinos a common play is to put Stasis in front of Behemoth where it's safe from Bron and Duskmaw. 
  • X.4 Lucid Echoes are good. Seeing 7 cards on 3.1 wins games.
  • Note the difference between a true threat, a good defender target, and a non-threat. Against Wegu, for example, Crypt Conjurer is a real threat, Oros is a defender target, and Stag is a non-threat. Guys like Ebonskull and Othra 1 are fantastic defender targets, since they go away on their own.
  • Take your lumps. The biggest mistake you can make with Stasis is worrying too much about your health, it's the biggest resource you have. A fully locked down A/U deck has Jet Pack, Cavern Serpent, Vault Welder as the potential outs, you can afford to win with 1 life.
  • Use Static Shock on creatures. If something has 7 life shock it to get it in Battlebrand range. If something has 6 life shock it to get it in Gnome range. This is Stasis, it might take 4 turns till you actually get to killing the creature, and unless it means preventing Sludges from coming down there isn't much of a difference with not shocking face early.
  • Lastly, take your time! The deck is pretty straightforward most of the time once you learn the patterns, but there is opportunity for clever plays. For example, auto pilot mode states defender everything but Gnomes, but against Ator or Heraldbomb might want to defender Gnomes to keep lanes full, or against burn start attacking with everything to start a race.


Stasis is the best card in the game and just needed 27 other good cards to go with it. Also, I wouldn't have made it out of Swiss if every Alloyin deck ran 1 Jetpack. Don't tell anyone though. This build is notably only running 7 Legendaries so it's relatively cheap to build, but be warned that it's not the most intuitive to pilot. 

My IGN is Pwndnoob, please reach out to me if you have any questions regarding the deck. In the meantime, I look forward to many a Stasis mirror.

P.S. Stasis Warden mirror matches are the kookiest matchup in the game. I beat Piquadore fairly comfortably in Swiss after spending my 2.4 turn hard leveling two already free level 2 Glacial Crush. I was getting really excited to get some Stasis mirror action on film, until Eon spoiled everything.


  1. I always enjoy reading your write-ups on stasis Pwndnoob. You prove that the most meta decks aren't the only viable options. People need to be more creative!

  2. I love the write up. I love stasis warden control. I've been running a nearly identical build since set 5. The only difference is that I run 2 arbiters instead of Valifrax and Barrier Soldier. I've found them to be useful in mirrors and against other decks that play more than 2 cards a turn (I'm looking at you, Duskmaw.) I look forward to experimenting with Barrier Soldier. Late game reach has been my biggest problem, given the amount of life I sacrifice to get the ball rolling. Thanks again for the great article.

  3. what would you add to deck if you only had 2 lucid echos?

  4. Since you wrote this article, I've been playing a "Shock and Draw" deck. It's the most fun I've ever had playing Solforge. I don't have all the cards to replicate your list, but I've been having a lot of success with a similar version:

    3 Stasis Warden
    2 Ironmind Acolyte
    2 Barrier Soldier
    2 Metamind Archivist
    1 Oreian Justicar
    3 Oratek Battlebrand
    3 Energy Surge
    2 Static Shock
    2 Ambriel's Edict
    2 Perilous Insight
    2 Nanoswarm
    2 Glacial Crush
    1 Energy Prison
    1 Uranti Bolt
    1 Lucid Echoes
    1 Draconic Echoes

    Thanks for turning me on to this FUN deck!