This came about because of a conversation I had with Lenny Wooley-Broder. We had finished playing a game, and were talking about group hug decks. He told me they were secretly control decks. This intrigued me at the time, but I have always pretty much hated group hug type cards, because the net effect is negative (howling mine example).
Sidenote: This is the kinda stuff we are always thanking the patrons for, and it really means something to me. I just wanted to thank the following patrons for kinda nudging me in the right direction for this deck:
Micah the Lunarch (He suggested Zurzoth)
“I think you could help your opponents have more meaningful attacks with Bedlam”
This was hilarious, but also caused me to really think about Group Hug in a different way.
Fast-forward a couple months: I’ve got the itch to build a deck, and I’m trying to decide between mono-red group hug or Codie, and the mono-red deck, and some patrons are intrigued by the idea of mono-red group hug.
So, I decided it would be an interesting thought experiment to just make a list of ALL of the group-hug type effects that were available to mono-red (This is where I started to get REALLY excited about the deck). I made a scryfall list, and found over 120 cards!
I decided I had to embrace “group hug”, even though it was out of my comfort zone. This is something I often try to do when I play mono-red. I actually wanted to just turbo-charge my opponents (and also hope I’d be seen as less of a threat, as I’m playing a fairly unpopular commander with 499 decks on Edhrec.com)
Helm of Awakening (This card really speeds games up!)
Hey, who turned out the lights? (Group Hug)
Explosion of Riches
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
Geier Reach Sanitarium
The devils are in the details
Indomitable Creativity (Pairs well with Devils!)
Grab the Reins
Adamaro, First to Desire (Sad that Anvil of Bogardan is on the reserved list)
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Jaya’s Immolating Inferno (4 legendary creatures aside from Zurzoth)
We’re all drawing a bunch of cards, now what? (Wincons)
Diaochan, Artful Beauty
Molten Psyche (22 artifacts in the deck)
Contested War Zone
The beach is that way (Flex)
Zack, what do you think about this deck? Did you ever think you’d see me playing Howling Mine & Company?
Summary - This ended up being a pretty sweet deck! It was really fun to think about and brew. If you want to see this deck in action, check out Andy Hull’s Commander Night Live (you should definitely check this out!)https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1035362399 .https://www.twitch.tv/andyhullboneWhat do y’all think about this deck? Have I convinced you to give Group Hug a try? Got any sweet recommendations for this deck?