Brewing Stella Lee, Wild Card in cEDH

Josh LeBlanc • April 24, 2024

Stella Lee, Wild Card by Fajareka Setiawan

"I kill with my heart, for it is the true weapon of the gunslinger" - Stephen King

There's a new sheriff in the cEDH metagame, and her name is Stella Lee, Wild Card. Stella is one of the new face commanders from the Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander decks, and with a suite of simple yet powerful combos and synergies she's quickly captured the minds of cEDH players and brewers alike. I guess you could say she's taking the cEDH scene by... storm. 

Stella Lee, Talk of cEDH Town

Stella has a lot going for her besides just wearing a cool hat. Starting at three mana makes it easy to consistently cast her on turns one and two every game, and having four toughness means you won't have to re-cast her as often, as her backside is big enough to not be bothered by Bolt or Bowmasters for the most part. Heck, she can even block most common attackers in the format, such as Tymna and Ragavan, with total ease, but her toughness and casting cost aren't what has the cEDH community chomping at the bit to brew with her. The draw lies in her abilities. 

Stella is designed to encourage "storm-esque" gameplay. She isn't particularly synergistic with cards that use the actual storm mechanic, but she does reward the play patterns of the storm archetype, such as casting multiple cheap spells in one turn. Because she comes down so quickly at three mana, you can get her into play while you're still building up to your storm turn. Then, once you get started slinging spells, Stella has a few ways to help you storm off. 

Storms A-Brewin'

Her first ability triggers off the second spell cast each turn and exiles the top card of your deck, allowing you to play it until the end of your next turn. This means if you exile a spell you don't want to cast on the turn you see it, you have a whole turn cycle to plan your sequencing around it. This ability can trigger each turn, too, not just on your own, so getting into stack wars on opponents' turns can reward you with more cards for your storm turn as well.

Between instant-speed cantrips and draw engines, such as Mystic Remora, allowing you to keep your hand full, it isn't uncommon to have two to three spells sitting in exile with Stella at any given time if the game goes on long enough. That is, assuming you don't use Stella's second ability to just win on the spot. 

Stella's second ability is the real power behind the card. After casting three spells in a turn, you can tap Stella to make a copy of a spell you control on the stack. At the surface level, this means you can copy a spell in response to an opponent interacting with it, or copy a big payoff spell, such as a Jeska's Will, after ramping up to it with rocks or rituals. Most cEDH decks that are brewing with Stella don't bother with that, though. They're largely interested in using her ability to copy an untap spell that has an additional effect, netting infinite of that effect and generally winning on the spot.

Surprisingly, there are myriad instants and sorceries that fit this criteria, and quite a few that are cEDH-viable. Let's take a look at some A + B combos that can be easily assembled and executed with our Wild Card.

Shoot First

The primary combo card for the deck is Cerulean Wisps, a one-mana blue instant that makes Stella blue (irrelevant) and then untaps her and draws a card (very relevant), which in turn can be copied to draw our deck. The sequence is simple:

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From here there are a few different ways to win, which we'll cover a little later in this article. As a note, there are two other spells that do the same thing as Wisps: Refocus, for two mana, and Twitch, for three. Twitch has the added upside of untapping The One Ring as well, but besides that these cards are all functionally the same for the deck. Redundant, instant-speed combo pieces like these are what make the deck so appealing to cEDH brewers.

Besides drawing our deck, we can also just kill the table with Twisted Fealty, a Threaten-style effect from The Wilds of Eldraine. This effect was most likely originally intended to be used to seize an opponent's creature and attack with it in Limited games, but Stella brewers have gained control of it permanently to use as our primary combo finisher.

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By copying Fealty with Stella and targeting her with it, we can untap her and give her a Wicked Role. When we do this a second time, the old Wicked Role falls off and our opponents each lose one life. We can repeat this until we win the game. Another cool upside of this card is it gives haste, which means if we have the mana we can use it to burst out a Stella combo all in one turn. 


There are a few other notables that combo with Stella as well; some are being used widely by brewers, and others are a little more niche. While these cards don't win the game outright, they still can set us up for victory. 

With Dramatic Reversal, Stella, and a mana rock, we can make infinite mana. This is also a great "ritual" for storm turns or a "counterspell" for stack wars. 

Shore Up can give Stella infinite power and toughness for when you really want that one annoying player out of your pod. The main reason Stella players use it is because it's a one-mana untap spell that gives hexproof, which makes it very hard to interact with Stella on our combo turn. 

Hidden Strings generates infinite mana and taps down all your opponents' stuff. It can also be a "free" spell or a ritual if you target your own stuff with it. Cipher gives it some minor usefulness, although most lists aren't running enough creatures to have it be relevant. 

Involuntary Employment is a bit pricey, but think of it as an investment since the payoff is infinite Treasure tokens. 

Mark of Munity permanently buffs our commander with +1 +1 counters.

Bloody Betrayal can make infinite Blood tokens to filter to our real combo.

Bond of Passion deals infinite damage to the table, but at six mana it's difficult to cast. 

The majority of these aren't better than a generically good cEDH card in the list, such as a counterspell, but they are good to keep in mind when brewing. My personal list, which is linked below, is on the cantrip untappers plus Twisted Fealty, Shore Up, and Dramatic Reversal. I tested Hidden Strings, but being a sorcery made it awkward to cast a lot of the time. This deck really likes to play at instant speed. 


Speaking of instant speed, this deck can win very comfortably on an opponent's turn, or even in response to their own win attempt. Having the versatility to pick a window not on its own turn is one of the things that makes this deck so initially appealing. All our draw combos are instants, which means we can put them on the stack and win after or during a counterspell war. All we need is a single blue mana open for Borne Upon a Wind, which we can cast using a Simian Spirit Guide after drawing all our cards. From there we just drop fast mana and begin copying Twisted Fealty to win out. 

It won't always be better to combo off on an opponent's turn. The longer you wait, the more cards and mana your opponents have access to, but if you untap on your turn and feel like you're staring down the barrel of a Force of Will, you can simply pass the turn and wait until your opponent uses it on something else before you win in response. You can even bluff it and throw some counterspells at your opponent's win attempt to get your spell count up before resolving a draw combo, winning at instant speed, and removing your opponents' spells from the stack by killing them. 

Rounding up our Wincons

Now that we know how to win, we gotta figure out how we can get there. Luckily, the play patterns for this deck are surprisingly simple. In opening hands, you want to look for a way to stick Stella early, turn one or turn two, and also have some kind of follow up, whether that be a win, a tutor, or some other payoff, like a wheel. Generally, by the time turn four rolls around, you want to have a win attempt loaded in the chamber, ready to fire when the timing is right.

Stella's first ability can really help here, too, netting us extra cards from our setup turns that we can use on our storm turn. Interestingly enough, this deck rewards "slow rolling" out our fast mana so we can use it to trigger Stella. It's often correct to hold a zero-mana rock back for the turn we cast Stella instead of dropping it in the first turn of the game. If Stella is spell number one, then something like Mox Opal as spell number two will get us a free card for next turn. 

This play pattern can also help us if we suspect we won't be able to untap with our commander. Using cards like Crimson Wisps, we can give Stella haste and try to win right after she hits the table. Stella as spell one, Crimson Wisps as spell two, and Cerulean Wisps as spell three is only five mana. That's fairly reasonable for a win combo. On top of that, Crimson Wisps as our second spell not only draws us a card upon its resolution but exiles a card upon it being cast via Stella. This means that even if we don't have a win in hand we can haste our commander to net some cards and then use her to copy a value spell such as a cantrip. 

Being able to target our commander with haste spells or untap spells, even if they don't win on the spot, is extremely useful for dodging interaction as well. With extra untap spells, we can use Stella's ability to aid us in stack wars or double copy a value spell such as a wheel with Breach out, or even just have three copies of Consider on the stack.

Because of the extreme usefulness of this effect, many lists are running Twinflame, Molten Duplication, Cursed Mirror, and even Heat Shimmer as a way to both "untap" Stella and give it "haste". Just clone her and sac the original.

This strategy is certainly risky, but a win is a win, and with a deck that has as many options as Stella, utilizing versatile spells that can support those options is essential. Many lists are also on Dualcaster Mage as an alternate wincon that layers nicely with these effects. Some lists, like my own (at least right now) eschew it since Stella can also go infinite with Twinflame on her own. 

Alternate Wincons

Besides the "classic" Stella combos, this deck has a few other ways to win as well. Dualcaster Mage + Twinflame and friends is one we already mentioned that slots in nicely, but the best secondary wincon the list has to offer is by far Underworld Breach. Breach is a standard issue wincon in many decks that contain the colors blue and red, so it should be no surprise to see it here.

Stella supports Breach particularly well as she encourages spamming cantrips that fill the graveyard and can copy breach tutors to protect them or use them to find multiple pieces. We do also have an Intuition pile in the deck (consisting of our three infinite draw effects) and that tutor layers nicely for Breach as well. The deck runs Muddle the Mixture as a consistent way to find Breach, as many cards in the list can search for blue instants. 

Twinflame, as mentioned above, also can combo with Stella. Start with three spells being cast and a Twinflame on the stack, strived, targeting Stella plus one other creature. Copy Twinflame using Stella. Copy resolves and makes a new untapped Stella and a hasty version of your creature. Tap your new Stella and copy Twinflame. Repeat and attack for lethal. This combo is useful as it can be found off Spellseeker and gets around effects such as Notion Thief and Narset Parter of Veils. 

Note that none of the combos discussed so far care about Orcish Bowmasters. Yes, you do draw your deck often, but no, the Bowmaster can't hurt you. With a Bowmaster out and a draw combo on the stack, you can respond to the Bowmaster triggers by activating Stella to draw again. Then you can find Borne Upon a Wind (at which point you will need to let the single Bowmaster trigger on Borne resolve) and combo off with the remaining Bowmaster damage still on the stack. 

Some iterations of the deck also play Expansion // Explosion as a Fork effect for counter wars or to "steal" a tutor from an opponent. Those doing so can make infinite mana using Dramatic Reversal and then kill the table by casting this spell targeting two opponents (to kill one with damage and make the other draw out) and then copying it with Stella to target the last player. 

If you prefer to win with something more obscure, this deck has access to a really crunchy Timetwister loop. It's complex, niche, and often worse than other ways we have to win, but we got it so I'll explain it here. Start with three spells having been cast, Borne Upon a Wind active, and Timetwister on the stack. Hold priority on Twister and put an untap/draw spell on the stack. Hold priority on that and use Stella to copy Twister. Hold priority on that and cast Lightning Bolt or whatever spell you want to loop (Swan Song or Twinflame can make for infinite creatures too) and then let the stack begin to resolve.

Your payoff spell resolves first dealing three damage to a player or whatever, then your twister copy resolves, shuffling your payoff spell back. Then your untap spell resolves and you draw your deck again, leaving the original Twister on the stack. Repeat this loop by putting another untap/draw spell on the stack until you win somehow. Alternatively, you can just use Breach to recur Twister which makes you lose some cards each time, but still can kill the table with Lightning Bolt

Besides just cards that win outright, there are lots of other hypothetical ways to use Stella's abilities to surge ahead in games. Extra turn spells might be powerful here, as Stella can copy them after we ramp into them. Big payoff cards, like Mind's Desire, Den of the Bugbear, or X spells, could also be strong. Magecraft cards, such as Storm-Kiln Artist and Archmage Emeritus, also have merit here as they work with our copies too. There is a lot of brewing space still unexplored. 

Stella's List of Wild cEDH Cards

Lastly, since this is a brewing article, let's highlight some of the cards that are "unique" to Stella that you might not see in other decks. Not all of these will likely end up on final iterations of lists for her, but they're great to keep in mind when brewing. 

General consensus among the community is that Personal Tutor card kinda stinks. Stella, however, can make great use of it if it's our first spell cast this turn. We can put Twisted Fealty on top and exile it with our second spell. This and Mystical Tutor are some of our most reliable ways to find a win. 

Strike It Rich allows for a turn-two Stella, which is the main reason it's in the deck. It can also filter red mana into blue mana which is helpful when using cards like Jeska's Will or Rite of Flame, and is a "free" spell if we just need to get the count up or exile something for later. Jeweled Amulet is another card in this vein that is helpful for turn-two commanders and a free storm count booster if we see it later. 

Finale of Promise is our best way to recover from a failed win attempt. Not only does it instantly satisfy our "three spell" criteria, it also can bring back a combo spell from the grave on the following turn, or even the same turn if we have the mana. 

Valakut Awakening is pretty fun to copy, and can be a mana source in a pinch. Silundi Vision is another MDFC that's worth a consideration, depending on how greedy you want to be on lands. As a note, we have one Mox Diamond which needs a land to pitch and significantly more Chrome Mox, Forces, and other spells that require colored cards to exile as part of their cost. As such, an argument can be made that more MDFCs is stronger. 

Tidal Bore is just a "free" untap spell for Stella. It can copy something for value or act as a pseudo counterspell on our combo turns. 

Minamo, School at Water's Edge is an untapper for Stella that not only is very hard to interact with, but it can also go infinite with Snap and Frantic Search using Stella's copy ability.

Into the Sunset

That's more or less everything you need to know before brewing with Stella. There are a lot of lists floating around out there, and you can even find some on edhtop16 if you wanted to see which ones are being entered in tournaments. You can read my list below, it's been on an absolute tear in my cEDH leagues as of late. 

Stella Lee, Wild Card cEDH Deck by Josh LeBlanc

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Commander (1)
Lands (24)
Enchantments (3)
Artifacts (17)
Instants (33)
Sorceries (17)
Creatures (5)

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There are a lot of players brewing Stella Lee in cEDH, a lot of cards being tested, and a lot of opinions being thrown around about the commander. I wouldn't be surprised if the community consensus on Stella shifted even more in the next few months as more people begin to experiment and brew with her. One thing is for certain, though: with such easy access to cheap and efficient combos right out of the command zone, Stella Lee is here to stay in the cEDH scene. Why not take a shot at brewing her? 

If you'd like to hear more from me, check out Elder Drunken Highlander!

Josh LeBlanc is a cEDH deckbuilder, tournament grinder, and content creator who has been playing the format for over a decade. When he’s not bringing his various brews to tournaments, he can be found jamming “optimized jank” casual commander decks both online and at commander events.