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K&T Group Hug and Splinter Twin [Primer-ish]

Commander / EDH Casual Group Hug Primer Ramp RGWU Twin



This primer is meant to outline what has become one of my favorite decks to pilot, and to compose a sort of defense of Group Hug as a strategy. Please give it a read and an up vote, and lets have a discussion down in the comments. Would love to hear any and all opinions.

Link to the non combo version - K&T Group Hug

Link to the full competitive version - Primer: BluePod 2.0(I run a similar list in my own CEDH group)

Many people dismiss group hug as a strategy due to the resources it also provides your opponents. I can reward opponents for poor deck building choices and leave you in situations where you get buried in other players advantage.

However, we are coming into the battle prepared for this. We aren't in the business of losing the game on purpose.

Knowing that we plan to spoon feed the enemy resources, we bring with us to the table a suite of counter spells and board wipes to keep everyone in line, all the while packing a few bombs and compact win conditions to end the game on the spot of generate massive value very quickly.

Group Hug also helps play experiences by making sure that everyone has a good time. Non-games and mana screw are no fun for anyone at the table. With Group Hug decks we can prevent these experiences, and also be prepared to break parity on some of the strongest card advantage and mana acceleration effects available.

Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis win conditions and bombs are also incredibly flexible to your own tastes and favorite cards. For me, I love the single card bombs of the elder dinosaurs and the two color gods, and this deck provides a great shell for them. I also love the splinter twin combo lines and this deck allows the card advantage to reach them consistently with out the feel bads of aggressive tutoring for the combo.

I hear quite a lot of criticism of group hug as a strategy, and I feel like this is mostly built off of people playing group hug incorrectly. I would like to first establish that I believe any deck spoon feeding opponents cards and resources with no plan to win is a failure and against the spirit of the game. More than half of the fun of commander is in deck construction. Tweaking a deck until it has an optimal balance of card draw and ramp, and weighing each of these includes carefully against other bombs or win conditions is an extremely rewarding process. So when someone shows up with a group hug deck and rewards opponents for constructing poorly built decks with no ramp or card draw, 25 lands and all bombs, it makes for an incredibly frustrating experiance. Players who spent the time carefully tuning their deck, are punished, and that feels very bad.

This is worth taking into consideration when building a group hug deck. Cards that offer single sided favoritism, tutoring for opponents, or anything outside of symmetric ramp and draw can lead to these sort of unbalanced game experiences.

I like a sense of inevitability in my deck, and this combo when assembled will end the game if there is no interaction available.

The combo works by getting a Splinter Twin or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and making infinte copies of a Pestermite, Zealous Conscripts, Deceiver Exarch or Bounding Krasis which will have haste and can swing for lethal combat damage.

Splinter Twin or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker are also great cards in and of them self. Copying an Avenger of Zendikar for a few turns will end the game in quick fasion as well.

I like Approach of the Second Sun in this deck as it is compact, can easily be drawn into in two turns and you will always have the mana for it along with counter spell protection.

Laboratory Maniac is not in this deck, but many run it due to how much you will be drawing, especially with a Consecrated Sphinx or the like in play.

These are the "hug too tight" types of cards. Some of the common ones are Fevered Visions, Insurrection and Treacherous Terrain. I don't particularly enjoy running these cards, as they are either not enough burst to end a game or they are way too slow and too easily dealt with.

Mana Doublers like Dictate of Karametra and Mana Flare: I find these to be way too dangerous. Giving someone an extra land isn't as bad as giving them extra mana each turn. These effects will blow you out and other people at the table are way more likely to be able to abuse them than this deck is set up for.

Braids, Conjurer Adept: She is maybe good in another, more bomb heavy version of this deck, but in its current construction I would be blown out way too often by opponents to make this a worthwhile include.

Tempt with Discovery: Not only is this card slightly expensive, its upside I believe does not outweigh its strong potential down side. At its floor this is a mana Nature's Lore, or an Explosive Vegetation that gives 2 opponents a Gaea's Cradle and a Cabal Coffers. These transactions are so bad, that I believe the card isn't worth running.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest: Other people will abuse this card way better than we will. I'm not willing to give the token player a free draw ten every turn for no gain on my end.

Fractured Identity: I'm not sure why so many people run this card. If I need to deal with a threat, why would I want to spend mana just to make two more of them to deal with?

Blazing Archon: I know we are ramping hard, but this card is way over costed for the effect. It is also the easiest permanent type to deal with. I will pay or mana for this type of effect, but not .

Humble Defector: These kind of asymmetric assistance cards are one reason why people hate group hug. I try to avoid them at all costs.

Gahiji, Honored One: This card is interesting, and potentially worth running. It encourages aggro to go else where, while knocking your opponents life totals down. This is just put to the side in favor of other effects, but it is a valid include in my opinion.

Cyclonic Rift: I simply don't have another copy.. you should be running this card.

Warp World, Scrambleverse, Possibility Storm: These cards are miserable and I hate them with a passion. Unless you have a way to break parity, these cards are just a waste of everyone's time. They aren't fun or interesting, just depressing.

Arcane Denial, Counterspell, Negate, Swan Song, and Disallow: This is the counterspell suite I have included. They are in my opinion the best combination of affordable and flexible that you can have. I have bumped the number around a bit, but having five counter spell effects seems like a good balance. Be ready to assess when people are about to go off so you can stop them, opponents are likely to assemble winning lines quickly against a group hug deck.

Blasphemous Act, Day of Judgment, Supreme Verdict and Evacuation: These are great board wipes for pulling tthe rug out from under people who take the extra resources and quickly vomit them onto the board. IN a creature heavy meta you could run another one, like Wrath of God, but four of this effect has felt balanced.

Chaos Warp, Krosan Grip, Swords to Plowshares, Return to Dust: The spot removal suite. These are a little lighter in favor of counter spells, but there are many more spot removal spells that could slot in nicely depending on preference.

Windborn Muse, Sphere of Safety, Propaganda, Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs: These effects that efficiently redirect creature aggro are extremely important. Opponents boards will get threatening quickly, and if you cant clear them, you have to be ready to send the aggro another direction.

hug cards

ramp cards

asymmetry cards





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57% Casual

43% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 1 year
Last updated 4 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

49 - 0 Rares

18 - 0 Uncommons

17 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.48
Tokens 0/1 Plant, None Copy Clone, 1/1 Bird
Folders Commanders to Build, Active Decks, Decks, edh decks, Decks from Ess, EDH, Commander, snazy (EDH), Commander/EDH, edh
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