Mutha-Truckin' Traxos

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Post by OCPunisher » 4 months ago

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Introduction

Traxos is one of the most unique decks in my box. Unlike most of my decks that focus on subtlely and value, this one focuses on raw in-your-face aggression, attacking, and even a few equipment. Traxos comes out fast and hits like a truck. The play-style is similar to what I envision Legacy MUD decks to look like: generate colorless mana in bulk, play an early fatty and smash it up.
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Why the TRUCK would you play Traxos?

Why the TRUCK?
1) You like raw power.
2) You enjoy voltron strategies, or equipment, or the combat phase.
3) You like big trucks, and you cannot lie.
Why the TRUCK wouldn't you play Traxos?
1) You hate combat.
2) You hate equipment.
3) You hate aggression.

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The Deck

Keep on truckin'!
Approximate Total Cost:

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Card Analysis

A brief explanation of some of the 99 finalists in the current deck
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A few quick notes on some of the sub-themes of this deck.
- Mana ramp comes in the form of colorless "bulk" rocks that can produce multiple colorless mana each time. Since this deck has no colors, it can make better use of quantity over quality than others can.
- Traxos naturally wants to take advantage of effects that untap artifacts. This also benefits bulk mana rocks by allowing them to be used multiple times per turn.
- Equipment serves mostly to protect Traxos. There are lots of equips out there that could make Traxos bigger or better, but require more expensive equip costs. Generally, anything that costs 3 or more to equip isn't worth it, but 2 or less is acceptable.
- A lot of the lands in this deck provide "free" value. Nearly every set in the game has one or more colorless value lands that go largely unnoticed because they don't fix your colors. As a colorless deck, we get to reap all of these extra benefits.

Creatures:
- Metalworker: A Legacy staple. Capable of producing 6 or more mana all by himself.
- Foundry Inspector, Jhoira's Familiar: I've grown more and more fond of cards like these that can reduce casting cost of each card rather than just make one or two extra mana. When you can draw extra cards and cast extra spells, this type of effect really adds up in the long run. They also stack extremely well in multiples, or if they ever get cloned.
- Silent Arbiter: A must-have for this type of deck. Makes Traxos hard to block, and makes it harder for opponents to crack back at you.
- Endbringer: An incredible utility creature in a multi-player game. Capable of drawing many cards per "turn", keeping planeswalkers in check, or messing with combat.
- Kozilek, the Great Distortion: I chose this version over the previous for the upside of drawing more cards and the random counter-ability.

Artifacts:
- Mask of Memory: Cheap costs, sees two new cards per combat.
- Champion's Helm: My favorite equipment. Very cheap to equip, grants hexproof not shroud, and gives a p/t boost as well. What's not to like?
- Crucible of Worlds: A utility staple in many decks, this particular list focuses on re-using lands that sacrifice themselves, of which there are many. Unlike traditional lists, there aren't many fetch-lands to re-use, nor basics to dig up. Still, it pulls enough weight to merit a spot.
- Sword of Fire and Ice: P/T boost, extra draw, protection from the most common anti-artifact color, reasonable costs.
- Unwinding Clock: My own personal Seedborn Muse.
- Vedalken Orrery and Shimmer Myr: My love of the "flash" keyword is well-documented.
- Trading Post: Another do-it-all card. Makes fodder to pick up equipment, brings back important pieces from the yard, draws an occasional extra card.
- Mirrorworks: I run a lot of good artifacts, so making second copies of them with all of my extra colorless mana seems good. This hits over 80% of the spells in this deck, which is more than enough.
- The Immortal Sun: One of my favorite new cards. Everything about this card is awesome. The drawback of shutting off a few planeswalkers (three at the time of this writing) is not nearly enough to stop me from playing this everywhere, including here. I only wish it wasn't legendary so that I could clone it.

Lands:
- As mentioned above, there's a lot of "free value" here.
- Arch of Orazca, Cryptic Caves, Geier Reach Sanitarium, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Sea Gate Wreckage, Throne of the High City: Extra draws.
- Ancient Tomb, Mage-Ring Network, Shrine of the Forsaken Gods, Urza-tron lands: Extra bulk mana.
- Cathedral of War, Forge of Heroes, Opal Palace, Ruins of Oran-Rief: Extra counters on Traxos.
- Inventors' Fair, Phyrexia's Core, Radiant Fountain, Tomb of the Spirit Dragon: Extra life gain.
- Buried Ruin: Brings back any artifact.
- Blast Zone: Extra removal.
- Field of the Dead: Extra bodies.

This last section is for cards I consider "necessary evils" or "required because I'm colorless". Most of them are pretty expensive and/or slow, but serve a purpose that has few alternatives. If a better solution gets printed, I'll be happy to add it in.
- Kuldotha Forgemaster: Requires haste or an untap step and three pieces of fodder to use, but if you want to cheat a Darksteel Forge into play...
- Duplicant: Very few removal spells can actually exile a creature instead of destroying it, and this makes a relevant body as well.
- Steel Hellkite: An evasive beater that can also remove a number of permanents, if you have the mana.
- Meteor Golem: Removes any type of permanent and leaves a reasonable body behind.
- Scour from Existence, Spine of Ish Sah: Orzhov mages have no idea how lucky they are. At leas the Spine can be copied and comes back.

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Maybe-board

Spare parts that could get added in the future
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- Arena of the Ancients: Props to the EDHRECast for mentioning this one. Traxos already doesn't untap the normal way, so the downside of this card is largely mitigated.
- Assault Suit: Allows Traxos to attack on other people's turns and get in more damage. Unfortunately, the cost to cast and equip is pretty high.
- Kusari-Gama: One of those cards you'll probably have to read when it gets cast. This basically threatens to wipe someone's board if they choose to block Traxos. It didn't make the final cut because of the equip cost.
- Mystic Forge: The colorless version of Future Sight. I'll probably never use the activated ability, and it'll probably still draw 1 or more extra cards off the top each turn, which is still great.
- Sword of Feast and Famine: Another great all-around card. It didn't make the final cut because this deck favors artifact ramp to land ramp.
- Sword of Sinew and Steel: Very similar to Sword of Fire and Ice...basically just trades an extra draw for up to two removals and slightly better protection against opposing removals. In as soon as I can acquire it.
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Changelog

Changelog
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2019-05-07:
- Deal BrokerCoercive Portal
- Finally picked up a Portal, which mostly functions as a colorless Phyrexian Arena.

2019-05-08:
- Ulamog, the Infinite GyreKozilek, the Great Distortion
- Urza's BlueprintsUgin, the Ineffable
- Koz offers more much-needed draw power, plus the upside of countering a random spell. Ugin was an easy include once I bought them.

2019-05-10:
- Wayfarer's BaubleBasalt Monolith
- The abundance of untap effects and the scarcity of basic lands makes the Monolith more effective in this case.

2019-05-24:
- Winding CanyonsBlast Zone
- Yet another new card I finally acquired.

2019-05-30:
- Oracle's VaultSilent Arbiter
- Finally acquired an Arbiter, and got tired of the Vault randomly exiling expensive things.

2019-06-24:
- Dreamstone HedronMetalworker
- Metalworker adds the same amount of mana, if not more, at a reduced casting cost.

2019-07-26:
- Mystifying MazeCryptic Caves
- Urza's FactoryField of the Dead
- Picked up some new M20 lands.

2019-07-30:
- Voltaic KeyManifold Key
- ScarecroneMirage Mirror
- Key upgrade, and the Mirror is infinitely more versatile than Scarecrone.

2019-08-29:
- Worn PowerstonePalladium Myr
- As mentioned, this version of the card that costs 3 and taps for 2 next turn can also pick up equipment.

2019-09-24:
- Coercive PortalKarn, Scion of Urza
- Karn is a slightly less conditional draw engine that can also make robots who can in turn pick up equipment.
Last edited by OCPunisher 2 months ago, edited 13 times in total.
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Titles & Recognition

Post by benjameenbear » 3 months ago

I recently played with my brother's Kozilek, the Great Distortion deck and I had way more fun than I thought I would have. It inspired me to think about creating my own Colorless list so that I can have a deck that's filthy casual and easy to upgrade over time. However, in order to be different from his Eldrazi tribal and because I love the art on Traxos, I want to make a budget Traxos Smash deck!

This is the tentative list that I'm thinking about. Note that my budget is roughly $100 and I really don't want to spend any more than that on the deck, particularly since I have relatively few of the cards that would make Traxos good. I do have some of them (such as Greaves, Sol Ring, Duplicant) but not all of them.

Traxos Smash Budget

Cost Reducers (2)


1 Jhoira's Familiar
1 Ugin, the Ineffable
Approximate Total Cost:

The general idea is to rumble in with Traxos every turn as often as possible and to accrue huge amounts of mana in the background so that Traxos can keep on Smashing. I particularly like the idea of Gruesome Slaughter with Ugin, the Ineffable in play with an active Traxos to eat the field after casting a bunch of cards from my hand. Otherwise, it's a typical Voltron list.

EDIT: Because I can't help myself, I'll post an optimized list for future reference.
Optimized Traxos Prison Stax
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Decklist
Approximate Total Cost:

Combos of note are:
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Post by OCPunisher » 3 months ago

@benjameenbear One thing I noticed in your list is the inclusion of a couple mana rocks that produce colored mana, but the color-fixing doesn't carry as much weight in here as in other lists. Specifically, I'm looking at Prismatic Lens, Gilded Lotus and Coveted Jewel.

Another thing you want to pay attention to is your equip costs. Whether you're re-equipping Trax after he dies, or just suiting up the next man available, you're going to pay those costs over and over again. I've found that anything with an equip cost of more than 2 is usually not worth it.

How have the various vehicles worked for you? I always thought that Traxos was kinda light on creatures, so finding enough of them to get into a vehicle would be difficult to pull off, but if you make it work, I'll have to reconsider them.

Finally, artifact untap effects can have a lot of extra utility value in addition to just making more mana, and they're usually pretty cheap to acquire for your budget. Manifold Key is an incredible card for Traxos, and even its much older brother Voltaic Key does good work...actually, all of the cards that start with the word "Voltaic" are solid options.

One last card I'll toss in that no one seems to run is Endless Atlas. I don't quite have enough basic Wastes to turn it on, but you might be able to shave one or two utility lands and get it to work. Otherwise, Staff of Nin is always solid. Hope this helps!
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Post by benjameenbear » 3 months ago

OCPunisher wrote:
3 months ago
benjameenbear One thing I noticed in your list is the inclusion of a couple mana rocks that produce colored mana, but the color-fixing doesn't carry as much weight in here as in other lists. Specifically, I'm looking at Prismatic Lens, Gilded Lotus and Coveted Jewel.

Another thing you want to pay attention to is your equip costs. Whether you're re-equipping Trax after he dies, or just suiting up the next man available, you're going to pay those costs over and over again. I've found that anything with an equip cost of more than 2 is usually not worth it.

How have the various vehicles worked for you? I always thought that Traxos was kinda light on creatures, so finding enough of them to get into a vehicle would be difficult to pull off, but if you make it work, I'll have to reconsider them.

Finally, artifact untap effects can have a lot of extra utility value in addition to just making more mana, and they're usually pretty cheap to acquire for your budget. Manifold Key is an incredible card for Traxos, and even its much older brother Voltaic Key does good work...actually, all of the cards that start with the word "Voltaic" are solid options.

One last card I'll toss in that no one seems to run is Endless Atlas. I don't quite have enough basic Wastes to turn it on, but you might be able to shave one or two utility lands and get it to work. Otherwise, Staff of Nin is always solid. Hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply! I'll answer your points in turn.

1) Prismatic Lens is a 2 CMC rock that enables a T3 Traxos. That is all. I don't ever need the color fixing. The same rationale applies to Gilded Lotus; it's a 5 CMC rock that taps for 3, all of which are premium mana rocks for a Budget colorless deck. Coveted Jewel is in there mostly for the Card Draw and to encourage Combat. This deck is meant to be filthy casual with big swingy attacks. The Jewel is easy to trigger/regain with Traxos, making it a pretty consistent "Draw 3" effect over the course of a game while also gaining me some political goodwill. This deck will be going up against decks like Golos Dinosaurs, Thantis Spider Tribal, and Lazav 2.0 Goodstuff; it's more important that each player gets a good chance to play their deck and create memorable plays and the Jewel helps facilitate that.

2) One of the reasons there's an F-ton of mana rocks is because I recognize how mana hungry this deck will be. Those Equip costs are no joke, as you rightly state, so I have nearly 1/5 of the deck as mana rocks or mana effects so that I can consistently Equip my Stuff to my Dudes. They also work to untap Traxos and help recast him when he inevitably dies, so they're never really dead cards. I think that the Equip costs will be manageable over the course of a game, but that remains to be seen since I've only drawn a few of them in the game that I've played with Traxos.

3) The Vehicles are actually super awesome in the deck. Consider this: 1st Main Phase I'll usually Crew one of the Vehicles with Traxos, cast an Artifact to untap him, and then swing in with the Vehicles and Traxos during Combat. Because Traxos has a really awesome untap trigger based off of casting spells in this deck, the actual crew cost nearly irrelevant as long as Traxos is alive because I can simply untap him by casting a spell. They essentially act as big beatsticks that aren't vulnerable to Wrath effects and I've been really pleased with them. I'm pretty sure Traxos can crew basically any Vehicle because of his stats, so maybe that's a direction to go? Hmm...

4) Endless Atlas is a great card! I'll probably tweak my mana base to include it actually since that card will probably be really consistent draw. I too like the Voltaic artifacts and I want to squeeze in the Voltaic Servant since I like an untapped Traxos a whole lot.

Thanks for the reply!
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Post by OCPunisher » 3 months ago

You make a great point about the vehicles and the interaction with Traxos's untap ability. Might have to reconsider some of those myself. Hmm...
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