Here is my group hug deck for MTGO. With this deck you are Merlin, Rocky's Mickey, a small loan of a million dollars, Patches O'Houlihan, Haymitch Abernathy, I think you get the point.

Since playing this deck one question has often been tossed my way: "What's your win con?" and I don't have one. I consider it a "win" if I come in second. Most of the hug effects affect everyone equally with a few exceptions like Varchild's War-Riders. I use the targeted hugs to keep people who are struggling afloat but only just enough to do so and not make myself a target

Even though this is a group hug deck there are a lot of interesting interactions. For example

Tempt with Reflections+Noble Benefactor

Tempt with Vengeance+Fecundity

Hive Mind+Pretty much any Instant or Sorcery

Now with 200% more hippo!

Any suggestions would be welcome, especially if I missed a great group hug card. If you do suggest something please suggest what you'd cut in its stead.




JoltsOfEnergy says... #1

Just a question. Do you actually plan to win or just make the game more interesting? I thought the idea of group hug is to let everyone set up whatever they want then suddenly turn the game around with cards like Insurrection?

February 24, 2017 12:35 p.m.

Kilrane says... #2

I don't plan on winning. I have won a few games with it before but that's not the point of this deck. Pretty much what this deck does is create an environment where every deck shines. I try to play in games with low powered decks and buff them up so they can reach an extreme board state.

If you only play to win, you won't enjoy the deck. It's designed to help others; sometimes too much.

February 24, 2017 8:32 p.m.

musicman3310 says... #3

Anyway of making this a modern deck and everything your opponent plays, you copy with things like Hive Mind?

March 24, 2017 10:53 a.m.

Kilrane says... #4

musicman3310 Yes, Hive Mind plus spells like Pact of Negation are a pretty cheese win con you can use with other redirect/spell mimic cards.

March 24, 2017 10:33 p.m.

TheRedGoat says... #5

Okay, so I do realize you ask for possible cuts, but I've honestly got too many things to list option-wise to say where a cut could/should be made. Some examples of options you may have missed:

Weird Harvest, Mana Flare, Dictate of Karametra, Howling Mine, Heartwood Storyteller, Shizuko, Caller of Autumn, Skullwinder, Horn of Greed, Helm of Awakening, Spectral Searchlight, Primal Vigor, Seed the Land, Bubble Matrix, Flux, Beacon of Immortality, Dawnbreak Reclaimer, Liege of the Hollows, Ghosts of the Innocent, Pulsemage Advocate, Orzhov Advokist, Wishmonger, Tangleroot. Storm Cauldron, Grove of the Burnwillows, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Geier Reach Sanitarium, Arbiter of Knollridge, Dakra Mystic, Concordant Crossroads, and

(my last two to mention that I cannot believe YOU don't even mention them how could you possibly have missed these and I'm metaphorically running out of air here)

Phelddagrif and Questing Phelddagrif.


whew. Okay, firstly I do not do "tldr" summaries, so I'm afraid you'll have to sift through the above the slow way (which that isn' even an exhaustive list btw).

Secondly, to help you sift through the above I would ask is there a specific manner in which you are wanting to help people? Do you like seeing certain gameplans win or hate others? By example is that I can see some cards like Hive Mind being too helpful possibly towards "storm" decks, but if you're playing a catch-all type of group hug then that's no big deal.

Another idea is are you into fringe group hug effects? By which I mean playing Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth just to help everyone mana fix that uses black. Or even playing Ink-Treader Nephilim in tandem with say Tempt with Reflections to give everybody an extra copy of literally every creature on their board and them some. Heck, if you ran Rite of Replication you could let everyone have EVERY creature on the board. The nephilim isn't directly a group hug card here but it has the potential to hug. Kinda like Guided Passage no?

Just some food for thought. ;D

March 26, 2017 12:09 a.m.

TheRedGoat says... #6

If it helps, I see your weakest cards/easiest cuts lie in Lurking Predators, Tempt with Glory, Words of Wisdom, Plea for Power, and maybe Rite of the Raging Storm. Any others seem to fit well enough for a generic group hug that they are not easily replaced without leaning into a certain playstyle or else beget wanting a personal win condition.

March 26, 2017 12:23 a.m.

Kilrane says... #7

TheRedGoat Some great additions! I've picked a few and switched out some under performers. Mass Hysteria being one because it always seemed to only benefit the guy to my left. Hive Mind would shut down a storm deck because everyone would copy him as he combos off! It's mainly in there because it makes people consider very hard about using removal, tutors, and that sort of thing because it could be used against them. That and it's pretty hilarious to see someone counterspell a creature and forgetting everyone else has counters now too.

I don't want to take out Lurking Predators because it's a passive scry and helps me to get to my creatures faster. At first I was pretty excited about Ink-Treader Nephilim but then I remembered that some Jerkface McJerkerton may call the Fun Police and cast something like Swords to Plowshares on him and then it goes from hug to struggle-snuggle.

March 26, 2017 3:22 a.m.

Lhurgyof says... #8

Fun deck, +1 from me. Have you thought of running cards like Divine Intervention to make sure that everyone wins? :)

I am a huge fan of enabler cards like Furnace of Rath or Bitter Feud in my group hug deck.

Here's my list: Gay(m) of Bones, though I built mine as more of a political control deck.

April 1, 2017 6:57 a.m.

Kilrane says... #9

Divine Intervention is very on theme for the deck. Furnace would help the guy to my left a bit too much. Feud is worth looking into because I have been wanting a little more punishment cards in case someone decides to be a douchecanoe and bulldog me the entire game (which happens pretty regularly on MTGO). Thank you very much for your suggestions Lhurgyof I'll have to consider how to make room for them.

April 1, 2017 8:06 a.m.

cabbagemaster says... #10

Have you thought of adding Leyline of Anticipation? Then you can really enable other players.

April 1, 2017 1:32 p.m.

Kilrane says... #11

cabbagemaster That's interesting but only affects me. I have Vernal Equinox which is pretty much the same thing. Thank you for your suggestion though.

April 1, 2017 6:18 p.m.

Comfordor says... #12

Leyline of Anticipation or Vedalken Orrery?

I noticed you said "deck helps people who are struggling" & "cards that benefit the guy to your left more"

I would imagine these cards will give you more control of how and when your cards operate? Enabling underdogs to take the most advantage from your spells.

I am liking the deck +1 =D

April 6, 2017 3:23 a.m.

Comfordor says... #13

FYI I am not familiar with group hug decks... So forgive my ignorance xD

Would cards like Propaganda or Archangel of Tithes be any good? Because they give you that attack buffer and longevity, but also may be taken as an aggressive gesture I suppose =\

I was wondering why there is no counter spells or removal in the deck? I guess it goes against "group hug" theme, but I imagine it would be handy (to the other players) to counter/remove a win con or infinite combo? Summary Dismissal exiles the stack on an infinite combo.


Do you rely on other players to do that, by enabling them to do it?? Just curious is all =D

April 6, 2017 3:44 a.m.

Kilrane says... #14

Comfordor Well, some cards are there to help people that are struggling but most help everyone equally. Leyline and Vedalken are great cards but I typically cast things when I can get them out of my hand due to wheels and other such shenanigans that take my hugs out of my hands. Pillow Fort cards are very much something that is a good idea and the bigger creatures in my deck and my hugs tend to deter people from coming after me. My thought on putting a lot of them in is that in order to make a suite of pillow fort I'd have to remove some hugs and I'm not really a fan of that idea. Unless of course you see something that you think is not very good.

There are a few philosophies when building group hug decks (GHDs). Usually GHDs play politically while quietly setting up a win con playing the roles of referee and gift giver. For example a friend of mine has a Phelddagrif deck and in it he has several infinite mana generating combos that allow him to either punish or reward players as he sees fits, he calls it his King Maker deck. He'll select a player he wants to help win and keep it to himself while gifting things to the players at the table. If someone starts blowing up his stuff he'll make a billion mana and swing in with massive hydra and tell the table, "No no. He did the bad. He had to be punished." In this one though I follow the philosophy of "pure group hug". I don't care about winning with this deck. I don't really care about how others win. I just want to have fun in getting there.

There are no counterspells because people tend to take care of that for me. Everyone wants some of the goodies I bring to the table and they'll have to fight to get them. I have one bit of hard removal in Council's Judgment and even then it's up to the other players what we're getting rid of so I'm not completely to blame for something's removal. I hope I answered your questions! Please let me know if you have anymore. :)

April 6, 2017 7:24 a.m.

Comfordor says... #15

That was great, i love the concept of "pure group hug" style deck. just chill and enjoy the ride.

April 6, 2017 9:32 a.m.

Hamster2558 says... #16

I do not know why, but I have always loved to play Commander decks that help everyone out, and make the game more interesting for everyone. Commander is a format that you should just have fun in. And I feel this deck shows that perfectly. +1

April 6, 2017 10:34 a.m.

Kilrane says... #17

Thank you very much for the up vote. We have similar philosphies in building EDH decks.

April 6, 2017 10:49 a.m.

trixster87 says... #18

You build decks just like I do. We both Skip the I must try to win and we amp up the interesting factor! Many of the cards you use I thought about but wanted to take my deck in a different way.
Here's my group slug-

It's Your Choice

April 9, 2017 11:52 a.m.

TheRedeemed says... #19

You could actually have a win condition in here. You seem to have a nice mill strategy within here so maybe add Laboratory Maniac?

May 2, 2017 10:35 a.m.

Kilrane says... #20

Thanks for the suggestion but any wincon purposely put in the deck would be off theme. I plan on building a more offensive version of this deck soon and Maniac definitely has a place in it.

May 5, 2017 2:12 a.m.

freakingShane says... #21

I'm thinking about building a group hug deck around Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis because I really only play super spikey decks and my playgroup sometimes hates me, haha.

Maybe it is my Spike mentality seeping through, but since you have Hive Mind, why not run the Pacts? Pact of the Titan and Summoner's Pact are both group hug if your opponent has the mana for it, and if not then you have an alternative win condition! Pact of Negation is a solid card regardless of Hive Mind, but the combo exists there as well. Intervention Pact is the most "eh" of the possible Pacts, but even still, it does support a group hug strategy with a little lifegain.

This may be far too mean for a proper group hug deck, but I wanted to see what you thought about it!

May 31, 2017 12:14 p.m.

freakingShane says... #22

Of course I read the comments after I post this suggestion, haha.

Nice deck, nonetheless, and more power to ya! :)

May 31, 2017 12:16 p.m.

Kilrane says... #23

Hahaha! Thanks man. It's a bit of a departure from my usual play style too. I tend to build around redundancy, synergy, and toolbox. As such, my decks usually win through hilarious mechanics and being hard to keep down.

May 31, 2017 4:19 p.m.

trixster87 says... #24

Here's my build of your deck idea: The Enabler: Faster and Funner

June 28, 2017 1:27 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 10 months
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.25
Tokens 1/1 Survivor, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Hippo
Folders Fun Decks, Interesting, Commander Decks, One day, maybe?, Cool Ideas, YES, Group hug
Top rank #23 on 2017-04-13
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Views 2076

Revision 6 See all

8 months ago)

+1 Guided Passage main
-1 Long-Term Plans main