Any group hug experts here?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on May 29, 2021, 10:01 a.m. by shadow63

I'm currently working on a Kynaios and tiro meletis deck. This is my first deck like this. My strategy is going to obviously be feed everyone card advantage and ramp but also I'm going to put a few cards like Ghostly Prison that will slow my opponent's down. I'm not sure if this is a trap or not so advice of that front would be helpful. And any cards that you've found to helpful in the strategy would be great.

EleshNornsFs says... #2

I am by no means a group hug expert, but some cards to de-incentivize people from targeting you probably isn't a bad idea. Ghostly Prison, Propaganda , Norn's Annex , maybe even a Witchbane Orb . I think there is also a cycle of enchantments out of the ikoria commanders that makes creatures attack players other than you.

May 29, 2021 11:08 a.m.

plakjekaas says... #3

Disrupt Decorum is a great card to play when everyone has their deck on the table, moving in for the kills.

May 29, 2021 11:11 a.m.

legendofa says... #4

There's basically two ways to use group hug. One is to give people reasons to keep you alive, and force them to deal with wash other. Once that happens, you sweep up the broken pieces of your opponents and collect the win. The second version of group hug genuinely doesn't care if it wins or nots, as long as everyone has full hands and rich mana pools. This second type might not even have a dedicated win condition.

So, my question for this deck is: What's more important, winning or making sure everyone has a good time?

May 29, 2021 12:58 p.m.

shadow63 says... #5

I think I'm going with the first option. I like having fun but I also like winning

May 29, 2021 3:08 p.m.

legendofa says... #6

Step 1: Protect yourself. Cards like the ones EleshNornsFs and plakjekaas suggested are very solid. I might also suggest Leyline of Sanctity and Privileged Position , depending on budget. Goad cards and the Vows from Commander 2011 prevent people from attacking you. A token swarm is a good excuse to break out a Supreme Verdict or similar effect.

Step 2: Help others. You don't want want to be too threatening, so give people what they want, but not too much. If one person is able to take advantage of your gifts and dominate the table, you become guilty by association. Spread the love evenly. Add some cards that help you more than they help your opponents, like Xyris, the Writhing Storm or Fiery Justice .

Step 3: Pick a win condition. These decks are typically pretty slow and defensive, so you may be able to set up a combo win. Otherwise, keep yourself healthy and everyone else targeting each other until you can establish enough board presence to take over.

May 29, 2021 4:58 p.m.

Mtg_Mega_Nerds says... #7

Since winning with these decks are slow, you could use Approach of the Second Sun as well. Some other card suggestions: Secret Rendezvous , Tempting Contract , Collective Voyage , and Magus of the Vineyard .

May 29, 2021 8:43 p.m.

Abaques says... #8

The strategy I've used with my K&T deck (Clone Love) is clones. I give my opponents lots of cards and ramp and encourage them to deal with each other and leave me be since I'm rarely the biggest threat at the table. I then clone whatever the best thing on the table is, which is usually something pretty good since I've been giving everyone tons of cards and ramp. My deck actually wins pretty regularly but more importantly it can lead to some amazing games. It's probably my favorite deck to play too.

An important part of playing a group hug deck like mine is managing the level of hate directed at you at the table. I only really attack when I know that I'm not going to make real enemies or when I'm going to go for the win. A few cards like Ghostly Prison that disincentive attacks as well as a few gotcha cards like Reins of Power or Comeuppance can really support your goal of not being enemy number one at the table until you're ready to go for the win.

May 29, 2021 9:05 p.m.

Guerric says... #9

I haven't played this deck, but I've played against one and had so much fun that I almost built it. I know one of his win cons was Approach of the Second Sun , which he almost won with due to his draw engine. I believe the focus of his deck was on alternate win cons like this. I remember he built himself a great pillowfort, and he gave us lots of cards and ramp, but of course he got way more and was ahead of us as a result. He also switched to this deck after ruining everyone's fun with Nekusar, the Mindrazer the game before, so I think decks like this are great when you need to change the mood in the room. Contrary to the shade some people throw at them, they perform very well, and generally make everyone in the room happy because it makes their own decks run more smoothly. I'd definitely say to go for it!

May 30, 2021 8:48 p.m.

raefgall says... #10

The group hug decks I play, I think of group ramp/draw cards as the political version of Ghostly Prison and its ilk. Generally, eventually your good will runs out and you're going to get attacked, so I definitely feel like Pillow Fort cards are a good backup, especially depending on how your group handles politics. Basically, the goal of a group hug deck isn't to help your opponents hit you, so slowing them down in that regard should be fine.

I'll also say: I have a couple friends who are more competitive and have pointed out that pure Group Hug decks (no win condition) drive them crazy, so they tend to attack those players. Having a victory condition can be a form of armor against those players as well.

May 31, 2021 9:42 a.m.

shadow63 says... #11

My play group is pretty chill. So I don't have to worry about getting hated out of my table unless the deck starts putting up wins. But I'm looking at theft effects and X spells as my win cons as well as a few beaters.

May 31, 2021 10:02 a.m.

Gleeock says... #12

Another way to look at group hug is the gifting slug/hug hybrid... The type I usually play. I have Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa & Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist deck that will gift & goad and empower everyone a little more aggressively & tosses some of the pillow options. Includes fun stuff like: Oath of Druids , Crescendo of War , Oath of Lieges , Marisi, Breaker of the Coil , Nils, Discipline Enforcer , Combat Calligrapher , Shiny Impetus , Curse of Verbosity ... IMO these more aggressive effects are more worthwile than any Ghostly Prison effect. It is a more aggressive way to hose control decks at times.

May 31, 2021 11:44 a.m.

Sillvva says... #13

My Kynaios and Tiro deck involves mass ramp and card draw. I also add lots of pillowfort to protect myself from unprovoked attacks.

As a surprise win strategy, I use this combo that seems relatively harmless at first:

Infinitely make everyone draw until they lose the game, except you because you keep sending cards back to your library.

May 31, 2021 2:54 p.m.

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