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Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Style for Each – Group Hug

December 24, 2011 by  
Filed under FAQ, In-Depth FAQ

Sub Themes

Welcome back and a Merry Christmas to you all who had been following our Play Style introduction. Last article we looked at the genesis of life, creation of Tokens. We talked about how Tokens use the advantage of horde to attack and sacrificial effects to sacrifice those Tokens you created to your advantage. As with any creature horde theme, over development is always the unavoidable weakness, a timely board sweep spell or effect would render you totally useless. That is why some non-creature permanent ways to generate Tokens is needed as a backup plan to help you recover from a board sweep. With that recap done, let’s go on with today Christmas bonus article. In theme with the festive season, today article is also about giving and sharing. A Sub Theme nicknamed Group Hug.


Group Hug:-


Highly political Play Style. As the name implies, this Sub Theme is all about giving. It is an unconventional but highly political Play Style which actually helps out your opponents while setting them up for the eventual kill. So if you like politics, this is Sub Theme which enables you to argument for help with your peers. As you are always “helping out” everyone, you will be the most unlikely player to be targeted at the table. Everyone likes freebies and this Sub Theme is packed full of it, from extra card draws and mana to free Creatures and spells. With so much free stuff, everyone might consider otherwise taking you out; some may even try to protect you for the benefits and rewards you would provide as long as you stay in the game. Below are some cards along this line of play:-

  • Arbiter of Knollridge – Help out the player who had been taking the beating. Does not help against poison counters and General damage though
  • Boldwyr Heavyweights – A huge body (8/8) with trample and low cc (2RR). Free Creature Tutor for all your opponents, even to the point of letting them put that Creature onto the battlefield
  • Braids, Conjurer Adept – Help everyone to develop their board faster by allowing them to put either an Arifact, Creature, or Land onto the battlefield during their upkeep. Combo with Paradox Haze to gain an extra upkeep speeding the whole process
  • Charmed Griffin / Enslaved Horror / Hired Giant / Hunted Wumpus / Indentured Djinn – A cycle of Creatures which provides all your opponents with some benefits as they enter the battlefield. The Creatures and their respective “rewards” are as follow:






Charmed Griffin




Put an Artifact or Enchantment from hand onto battlefield

Enslaved Horror




Recur a Creature from graveyard to battlefield

Hired Giant




Search for a Land and put onto battlefield

Hunted Wumpus




Put a Creature from hand onto battlefield

Indentured Djinn




Draw up to three cards






Hunted Dragon


Flying, haste


Three 2/2 white Knights with First strike

Hunted Horror




Two 3/3 green Centaurs with Protection from black

Hunted Lammasu




One 4/4 black Horror

Hunted Phantasm




Five 1/1 red Goblins

Hunted Troll


G: Regenerate


Four 1/1 blue Faerie with flying

  • Iwamori of the Open Fist – Low cc (2GG) with body of 5/5 and Trample. Good way to negotiate with your opponents, offering to aid them to cast that uncastable legendary Creature lying in his or her hand for so long
  • Jace Beleren – The most typical case of helping your opponents and slowly building up to the eventual kill. Gives everyone a card and slowly building up to milling twenty cards off one library
  • Join Forces – A mechanic which is made for EDH, each of these cards effect is according to the amount of mana paid, meaning everyone could make an effort to make the spell more powerful. Couple of those which fit well into the Sub Theme are; White, Alliance of Arms which gives out 1/1 white Soldier tokens; Blue, Minds Aglow which draw cards; and Green, Collective Voyage which fetch basic Lands onto the battlefield
  • Kamahl’s Summons – Provides an army of green 2/2 Bears to anyone who had been having trouble casting their Creatures
  • Noble Benefactor – A free tutor for everyone when it dies
  • Questing Phelddagrif – The activation of each of its abilities reward one of your opponents. Abilities are as follow; G: +1/+1 until end of turn, 1/1 green Hippo token to target opponent; W: Protection from black and red, target opponent gain 2 life; U: Flying until end of turn, target opponent draw a card
  • Rites of Flourishing – One additional card draw and Land play for everyone. Help speeds up development for everyone
  • Runed Servitor – One free card draw for everyone when it dies
  • Shizuko, Caller of Autumn – Provides three green mana, which does not empty from the mana pool as steps and phases ends, to everyone during their turn
  • Temple Bell / Mikokoro, Center of the Sea – Repeated way to let everyone draw a card
  • Tempting Wurm – The most ultimate way to play political role at the table. Allow your opponents, if they so wished, to put all their Artifacts, Creatures, Enchantments, and Lands in their hand onto the battlefield. Instant friendship gained, let them be enemies among themselves
  • Upwelling – Mana boosts for everyone. Allowing even players who are Land short to be able to store mana to cast spells
  • Veteran Explorer – Up to two Land boost for everyone when it dies
  • Weird Harvest – Free Creatures Tutor for everyone
  • Wild Evocation – A free spell or Land play during their turn for everyone



The danger of backstabbing from your opponents is ever present. Sometimes the bonuses and benefits you gave opponents might lead to them to develop till the point where they are unstoppable. With so much power given to everyone, the table tends to be very chaotic and uncontrollable. It may seem fun at first but tends to get old fast, and heavily dislike by everyone as the board advantage swings chaotically from players to players. Not an easy Play Style to play with and not recommended for EDH beginners.


Generals of Choice:

  • Phelddagrif: – The purple Hippo from the expansion set Alliance is the poster child of this whole Sub Theme. Like Questing Phelddagrif, its set of activated abilities also gives your opponents all sorts of rewards, but with a slight differences as follow; G: Trample until end of turn, giving target opponent a 1/1 green Hippo token; W: Flying until end of turn, target opponent gain 2 life; and U: bounce itself, target opponent draws a card. Color Identity also consists most of the freebies cards for the Sub Theme.


  • Zedruu the Greathearted: – A new added Commander from the Commanders set who totally embraces the Sub Theme. Comes pack with the ability to give away stuff to your opponent. She gives you the political means to interact with your opponents, helping out opponents while you benefit from them controlling your stuff. This ability makes it easier for you to control what to give to opponents. Best part of all these giving away of stuff is that you gain life and card draws from it. Color Identity consists of White and Blue for control. Pack your deck with Homeward Path to get back all your stuff and prepare yourself for the final strike.


As a whole, Group Hug is all about politics. You help out your opponents while setting them up for the eventual kill. Giving them extra card draws, extra mana, and even free spells. Fun as it may sound the downside to all these is that opponents might develop overboard and become more powerful than you can handle them. The balance is hard to grasp for this Sub Theme and each of your play could easily swing the board advantage from one player to the other, creating hatred towards you eventually as you are the source of all the chaos.


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.



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  1. […] back from the holiday seasons. A small recap from last article, we showed you Group Hug, a very political Play Style which focuses on helping out your opponents by giving them extra stuff […]

  2. […] up your army but rather to pump up your “allies” army to finish off a tough opponent. More of a Group Hug style of card instead of self […]

  3. […] high cc. But if you are one who likes to give out boons then the Guardian is actually a very good Group Hug […]