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 Post subject: Suggestions on how to build a "sem group hug" deck
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-18 3:43 am 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
I am looking for Commander suggestions for a new deck

I am considering Zedruu the Greathearted but it does not really have to be it.

The goal is "team up", picking one ally to help with goodstuff but with some things to keep it in check to avoid betrayals, I wish to be able to give goodies but also be able to teke them back (with homeward path effects)

I want to give good stuff that makes that opponent love me, that gives them an advantage against the other players but not against me.

Any ideas on how to make such a deck?

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions on how to build a "sem group hug" deck
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-18 5:04 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Dragon
A friend of mine pilots a Tasigur, the Golden Fang deck that does this kind of team-up. He has a lot of cards that benefit another specific player, for example Sylvan Offering. I haven't seen his deck recently but I imagine Battlebond gave it a few new toys to play with.

In exchange for him helping you out, he asks politely for you to pick the cards of his choice out of his graveyard for Tasigur's ability. Then he uses those cards to further help you and himself out. He reminds you that you don't have to pick the card, but suggests and asks you do because it will help you both.

He doesn't have a donation or take-back theme. He just picks an ally near the start of the game and starts helping them and only them. His personal win con is that his ally wins, and scoops if it comes down to 1v1 between himself and his ally.

On the other hand he suggests if you turn on him he'll come back with a vengeance for it, so please don't. Of course you don't need to turn on him because he's helping you. So the threat isn't "I can take this away again", it's "I will start helping someone else and also mess with your stuff and ask them to help me mess with your stuff."

There's no tricks to it. The deck is genuinely not designed to win itself. He will just help and keep helping. But it's still funny seeing everyone at the table trying to convince the ally there must be a trick. Especially when it's 2am and we've been drinking for a couple of hours.

It naturally turns the other players into a team against the pair of them, but they're going to turn on each other periodically and that's funny to watch or be a part of too.

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Decks: Chaos colored dragons, Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem).
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions on how to build a "sem group hug" deck
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-18 9:39 am 
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Joined: 2013-Jul-25 1:15 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Durham, England
What Spacemonaut suggested is going the whole hog for allying with another player, but even for a minorly beneficial cards, I wouldn't suggest giving things away only to prepare to take them back if they betray you. One thing about politics in commander is that betrayals do not pay off for a playgroup. When you go back on the deals you make, your opponents will remember it and won't trust you to make honest deals in future. Even in situations where someone has egregiously misjudged the deal, they're down to a 1v1 showdown and they still have to give you 3 turns without negatively impacting you in any way, they have the moral victory of dying by their own hubris.

Plus, players like me respond to betrayal by immediately declaring a campaign of revenge against the offender.

If you gave me a bunch of creatures with Zedruu, then expected me to team up against the current top player while you had a homeward path, I hesitate on any deal. Your optimal plan is for me to help you take down the other players, draw you cards thanks to Zedruu, then take all your creatures back when the 1v1 hits so that you can alpha strike me. But making political deals, where you can use Offerings and Hunted creatures to sweeten the deal, that seems like a much stronger use of your cards.

The Hunted creatures are all absurd if you can make use of all the bodies they produce without spending any extra cards or mana. That's exactly what your political deals should accomplish, a failsafe just shows that you consider back-stabbing an option. For most players, even trickiest of puppeteers, going back on their deals would be inconceivable. If they do go back on their word, then you have every other player at the table to join you in a game of archenemy and they have lost the group's trust in future.

It's very easy to get someone on your side when you've given them a token army. It's much harder when you've brought everyone on a collective voyage.

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I had a long hiatus, removed some decks, but I still love lands.
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Yasova Dragonclaw - Yasova Tinyclaw/Slightly-less-tinyclaw
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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions on how to build a "sem group hug" deck
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-18 11:37 pm 
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Joined: 2014-Jul-28 8:30 am
Age: Dragon
I built something similar to this with Angus Mackenzie. It runs a lot of group hug elements with a small control package to help keep the game from being over in the first few turns (force of will, flusterstorm, etc)as well as Aluren and Dream Halls. The true stars of the deck, however, are Phantom Nishoba and Assault Suit. Nothing like passing a spectral sabertooth around the table when you can fog with your commander or let the lifegain power up Aetherflux Reservoir. I built it to act as a deck that gives me some extra power to shape the story of the pod. Not control it, but keep it from ending too soon or going on too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions on how to build a "sem group hug" deck
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-19 8:40 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-14 4:04 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Boston, MA
One of the more interesting group hug decks I have seen tried to give everyone a bunch of 1/1 tokens while making themselves invulnerable to 1/1 beats (Circle of Flame, Urza's Armor, etc) and then would blow people out with cards like Massacre Wurm, Incite Rebellion, and Rakdos Charm.

Even when you knew what he was up to, it is very hard to resist the temptation to send your token army at one of the other players when there is a Bedlam out and the "hug" player has Circle of Flame.

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