Stasis: The unspoken elephant in my deck

Written by Ron Saikowski, November 30th, 2017

Stasis has been a staple in my deck since the beginning. There's something about this card that draws me to it. I'm not sure if it's the artwork, the unique game mechanic or a little of both. It doesn't matter...
I've kept at least one of these in my deck since discovering it years ago. I've always played a variation of a "Stasis" deck. And that's the problem.

The "elephant" in my deck
To borrow a saying from art school years ago, it had become the "elephant." During our illustration class critiques, there would inevitably be an illustration posted that worked well (for the most part) with the exception of one thing. For the artist that drew the image, this "thing" was often their most favorite part. And since it was their favorite part, there was no way they were going to take it out, change it or even think about modifying it... and for that single reason, the entire illustration suffered.

No matter how much we tried to convince them, the illustrator only dug in their heels and stood their ground. They weren't changing it even when they knew they could do better by doing so.

Now it's time to face reality... the card I love so much has become the "elephant" in my deck.

Am I playing a "Stasis" deck or not?
This is the question I finally asked myself the other day. After playing game after game and constantly finding myself needing to defend keeping Stasis in my deck despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I decided to deal with this elephant. It just doesn't work the way it should. It could be better. I'm not saying the card is bad, I'm saying the way my deck has been built does not support it to it's fullest potential. I don't have the other elements in my deck that when combined with Stasis make it a star player.

Without those supporting actors, Stasis falters every time. Drawing it often meant discarding it or trying to play it when I really shouldn't have for no other reason than I felt obligated to. It can be hard to let go of a habit like this. I like to say I was playing a "Stasis" deck, but I really wasn't playing one. I played some of the cards to make it work, but not enough of them to really make it work.

I'd come to the point where I needed to decide... was I going to get rid of the "elephant" and improve my illustration as the saying went or was I going to defend it and suffer the consequences. Was I going to get rid of Stasis and improve my deck or was I going to continue to suffer the consequences.

A difficult choice to make
I really like the way my deck plays. I really like Stasis. The two just don't work that well together. Often at odds, I'm not able to make the two work the way I'd like for them to. That means Stasis is getting the boot. I'm going to pull it from my deck and see how my deck works without it. That means a few more cards will be substituted out as well. Gone are the supporting actors to Stasis that will no longer have parts in this.

It's not going to be a huge change for my deck. I think of it more like streamlining. It's not going to change the way my deck plays in any dramatic fashion. In reality, Stasis was holding me back to a degree. Hopefully this allows me to explore a few new options that really do work with the overall idea of my deck. Only time will tell.

For now though, I'm done elephant hunting.

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IMAGE: Wizards of the Coast. One of my all time favorite cards in mechanics and artwork.
KEYWORDS: Old School Magic, deck building, blue