Fat Guy Gaming Presents: BEND THY KNEE!

The second deck in the "Fat Guy" deck series, BEND THY KNEE! is a Political Hugs deck centered around Kenrith, the Returned King , the Throne of Eldraine Buy-a-Box promo.

To be effective, the deck takes a political spin on traditional hug themed decks. Every time you take an action, you want to benefit yourself AND an opponent. You won’t have any group hugs, so choose who you hug carefully! “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer!”

BEND THY KNEE is a casual deck designed to have fun; there are no infinite combos or “gotcha” win conditions. When you play this deck, plan on having a good time. If you win, great. If you lose, we hope you had fun making people work for the win. So far, every time we've played this deck at our LGS, everyone in the pods had a great and interactive time!


Updates Add

With a fun game in mind, let’s get on to the description!

Throughout the game, you want to focus on ensuring everyone has an opportunity “to play magic.” To this end, you will have two goals early game, ramp and counterplay. Help others survive against aggro threats, or slow down midrange set up.


Ideally, you want to look for an opening hand that has some form of turn one or turn two ramp. Birds of Paradise , Bloom Tender , Farseek , Sol Ring , etc. That’s pretty obvious. But, in this deck, getting ahead on the mana curve early will snowball late game since you’ll be using Kenrith, the Returned King ’s abilities often and consistently.

(An early game Smothering Tithe will just about net you the win every game if it goes unanswered.) Keep an eye out for newer players or someone using a Commander Pre-Con; they are great candidates for Pendant of Prosperity .


If you can ramp great. But sometimes, it may be more important to start hugging your friends and politicking against board threats right out the gate! “The Choice is yours, and Yours Alone!”


The Friend or Foe cards really shine. It is tremendously important to help your allies survive an early aggro presence. The Hunted creatures, particularly Hunted Horror and Hunted Phantasm , are huge in this aspect. You get a big body on the board, and an ally gets smaller blockers on board.


You’ll want to slow down the game. Use removal or stall tactics to prevent key combo pieces from sticking to the board. The removal kit has good coverage, but I can’t stress this enough… do NOT be afraid to Force of Will early game threats. It’s not ideal, but if you can stop a turn 2 Urza, Lord High Artificer or other essential combo pieces, you probably should.

A note on Aven Mindcensor and Ashiok, Dream Render . These cards are great at preventing midrange decks from setting up. If you play them, you MUST make it clear that the action is essential to stopping a specific action (e.g., flash in Aven Mindcensor to prevent tutoring for another half of a combo piece or playing Ashiok, Dream Render to stall or answer a Hermit Druid combo). If non-threat players seek to remove these cards, don’t fight it after you’ve accomplished your goal.

Okay, we’ve made it to the midgame. This is where the deck gets beautiful and really, really fun. It goes without saying, let’s get Kenrith, the Returned King down! For the remainder of the game, you will really want to focus on the theme “Every time you take an action, you want to benefit yourself AND an opponent.” Mostly, you’ll do this by abusing Kenrith.


What does it mean to abuse Kenrith? Abusing Kenrith, the Returned King ’s abilities doesn’t mean you gain 1,000 life, draw your deck, and recur your entire graveyard. Abusing it means, you react to the benefit of your opponents as needed. “Every time you take an action, you want to benefit yourself and an opponent.” So, look to create opportunities to disrupt one opponent by enabling another opponent. Don’t simply look to eliminate a “lethal win condition.” Look to create “survival.”

For example, if opponent A swings at opponent B with lethal damage, don’t use Kenrith to simply give opponent B enough life to survive. Two things happen if you do: you don’t benefit yourself, and you simply stopped “lethal”. (Opponent B will still probably die next combat.) Instead, before blocks, reanimate one of your hunted creatures and give the tokens to Opponent B, so he/she can block. You’ve benefited yourself, and if lucky, Opponent B may survive and keep something on his/her board for the next attack! This is just one of many examples of how you can disrupt one opponent by enabling another opponent.


The Ability Enablers and Abuser cards serve two purposes: To give us more activations and more untaps. The two are similar, but there is one key distinction.

  • Biomancer's Familiar , Heartstone , and Training Grounds pretty much ensure we can activate any of Kenrith’s abilities at any time, especially if you have generated treasures with Smothering Tithe .

  • Similarly, Seedborn Muse and Wilderness Reclamation will give us more activations with Kenrith. But most importantly, the extra untaps enable us to be proactive and play selfishly on our turn. If you can untap on an opponent’s turn, it is to our benefit to maximize value as selfishly as possible. Here, you will draw to max hand size (almost never giving someone free draws), restore your life total to comfortable, and use excess mana to pump your creatures. This is the only time where you should not be concerned about benefiting others. Sometimes, you’ll need to be proactive to help another player deal with a threat, but usually extra untaps = your time!


That’s okay! We aren’t not dead in the water without Kenrith. While you work to get him on the field, you still have plenty of “Disruption through Enabling” tools.

  • Removal: If you don’t have Kenrith, here you are actually looking to simply prevent “lethal”. Use your removal to ensure players live. The more players alive when you’re ready to win, the more likely, you’ll actually win. Also, start conversations with your Vote cards. Council's Judgment and Split Decision , specifically, are great for tailoring conversations in a collaborative way. The more players that feel they were enabled to stop a threat, the more likely the table will collectively continue to disrupt the threat. Use your board wipes. Without Kenrith on the board, you really don’t have anything to lose.

  • Be Proactive: If you don’t have Kenrith, stall until you can get Kenrith on board. Use Pramikon, Sky Rampart to enable players to swing at a threat or disrupt a threat from swinging at weaker targets. Use Reins of Power to disrupt combat or a turn entirely. Perplexing Chimera is a GOD when it comes to ensuring Kenrith will stick or disrupting almost all threats. Again, don’t abuse the disruption Perplexing Chimera gives you. Once you’ve accomplished your goal, there’s no need to go out of your way to prevent its removal; (or once you have Kenrith, there’s no need to prevent it from swapping controllers).

  • Use Your Offerings: Benevolent Offering and Intellectual Offering excel at disruption through enabling. You should aim to use these cards in the same way you use Kenrith (creating survival, instead of eliminating “lethal”.)

Typically, the deck will win through traditional combat. Let the board wither itself down slowly, then swing for the last few points of damage. You’d be surprised what the occasional +1/+1 counter and well-timed trample can do.

If you need to force a game to end, look to Expropriate and Reins of Power . These are great closers, especially if you shared the +1/+1 counter love with opponents’ creatures. Use Illusion of Choice to secure your votes.

You forgot Chromatic Lantern: Chromatic Lantern is a great addition to any 5-color deck. But with the full set of fetch lands and shock lands at our disposal, the chances you won’t have the mana you need are slim. It’s very convenient to have any mana you want when you need it, but with a comprehensive mana base, Chromatic Lantern is a “nice to have”, not a “gotta have.” (It’s even more so true if you have the original duals as well.) If you don’t have the shocks and fetches available, then it probably is worth it to run Chromatic Lantern and maybe even Prismatic Omen .

Magister of Worth and Coercive Portal: Magister of Worth and Coercive Portal are strictly political cards. It’s important to understand that you should almost never play these cards when you have superior board state. As stated earlier, if you don’t have Kenrith, you have nothing to lose if you need the board wipe. But if you do have Kenrith, play these only if you know they won’t result in a board wipe or you can protect against a board wipe. You only have two forms of protection against a board wipe, Heroic Intervention and Teferi's Protection . Use them wisely.

“What happened to Zacama!?: We did include Zacama, Primal Calamity in this initial build, and she was a lot of fun to have in the deck, especially with the ability abusers and enablers. Ultimately, it went against the “Every time you take an action, you want to benefit yourself AND an opponent” theme. So sadly, Zacama went back into hibernation.

“Why No Lab Man?”: Everyone in EDH has lost to Laboratory Maniac , and it feels bad. We want this deck to facilitate a fun pod. Win or lose, when you walk away from the table, we want you to feel like “that was fun” or “that was worth my time”. Losing to Lab Man doesn’t give players either of those feelings.

As always, thank you for checking out the deck! We will continue brewing new decks and renovating older decks as we can. Please feel free to check those out as well! All questions and suggestions are welcome. All upvotes are appreciated.



100% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 1 week
Last updated 1 day

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.97
Tokens 3/3 Centaur, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Goblin, None Treasure, 2/2 Knight, 1/1 Faerie
Folders Uncategorized, Commander, COMMANDER, Inspirace, All time favs, Kenrith, the Returned King EDH lists, 5 colour commander, Other Player's
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 5 See all

1 day ago)

+1 Gilded Drake main
-1 Gilded Drake main