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If your opponent has a standstill on an otherwise empty board, is there a way to remove it without your opponent drawing cards?

krosan grip doesn't work because split-second doesn't apply to triggered abilities, and stifle or trickbind don't work either, because they themselves will trigger the ability.

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  • The only thing I can think of is to counter it. Even if you try and exile it in response to it triggering, it will just trigger again and go back on the stack.
    – Pow-Ian
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 20:11
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    Honestly the best strategy is probably to play into it. Standstill decks don't mind the stalemate. The cards that answer it are prohibitively narrow and overcosted for Legacy play. Or force them to break their own Standstill by being a lands deck yourself, I suppose. ;)
    – Alex P
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 22:58
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    as Alex says, play into it. The way to deal with standstill is to ask yourself "Can I comfortably win the game without casting another spell". If you cannot answer "Yes", then play as if the standstill isn't there and accept the card draw.
    – Patters
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 8:01
  • There are ways to beat Standstill, but the question currently doesn't ask about those; it asks about ways to remove Standstill without opponent drawing cards. Might want to edit the title.
    – Allure
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 1:37
  • @Allure I think the title is fine. No need to be pedantic. Commented May 25, 2023 at 20:44

5 Answers 5

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You need to look for abilities that can be activated from places other than the 'field, since abilities don't trigger Standstill.

You can cycle Resounding Wave targeting Standstill and a land, as cycling is an activated ability it won't cause Standstill to trigger.

702.28a Cycling is an activated ability that functions only while the card with cycling is in a player’s hand. “Cycling [cost]” means “[Cost], Discard this card: Draw a card.”

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  • Kederekt Leviathan (unearthed) will also get it off the board.
    – Brian S
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 14:19
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Okay, I think I've found another solution.

first, when it's your turn, play Alchemist's Refuge, and then when it's your opponent's turn, you activate it, and flash in Genesis hydra for at least 4.

Since it's your opponent's turn, your trigger goes onto the stack last, and resolves first.Then,

genesis hydra would have to find a notion thief, and it will put that directly onto the battlefield.

At that point, standstill gets sacrificed, and you draw the 3 cards

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  • This won't work. When you cast Savage Summoning, Standstill's ability will trigger in response and go on the stack above it, and so your opponent will draw 3 cards before Savage Summoning resolves.
    – jwodder
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 22:21
  • @jwodder fixed. Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 23:14
  • Still doesn't work. Whenever you cast a spell with Standstill on the board — be it a flashed Genesis Hydra or anything else — the Standstill trigger will always go on the stack above it, and your opponent will draw the cards before your spell resolves.
    – jwodder
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 0:27
  • @jwodder but the triggered ability of genesis hydra will go on top of that, because both genesis hydra and standstill trigger off of casting the spell Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 0:44
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    What a beautiful Rube Goldberg machine
    – Zags
    Commented May 2, 2015 at 16:21
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You can counter it when it is being cast.

If you wanted to ensure that if it triggers it does not get a chance to be sacraficed, then you need to use an ability that wipes the stack like the one found on Sundial Of the Infinite.

Another way would be to destroy it without casting a spell. You could use the ability of a creature already on the battlefield to destroy it after it is played.

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    If your opponent has a standstill on an otherwise empty board Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 20:17
  • oh wait you are saying you have an empty board also? if so I don't think there is anything you can do. because everything you are going to do is going to trigger it's ability.
    – Pow-Ian
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 20:34
  • @Pow-Ian, you need to look for abilities that can be activated from places other than the 'field. As Akedren points out, Resounding Wave has such an ability.
    – ikegami
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 21:44
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Removing a player from the game removes their permanents along with them. Attacking with man lands such as Stirring Wildwood or with tokens from Decree of Justice will either kill the player or pressure them to break standstill themselves. Standstill decks will usually run 2/2 man lands, so having lands bigger than that (such as the 3/4 Wildwood) can win that battle (though do watch out for Wasteland; you will probably need a set of these yourself).

Also, if you have an effect like Boseiju, Who Shelters All (since Standstill decks are usually chalk full of counterspells), you can nullify the effects of standstill with cards like Wit's End or Mind Twist.

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EDIT: Below answer actually won't work, because Standstill is only sacrificed when its triggered ability resolves. It will trigger again from the Stifle and the second trigger will resolve before Stifle does.


Play any spell so that Standstill triggers. Then play Stifle to counter the trigger.

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