Epic [EDH]


The Tentacled One
This is a brand new decklist I haven't tested at all, but I'm aiming to try it on Sunday...


1x Abundance
1x Academy Rector
1x Akroan Horse
1x Arbiter of Knollridge
1x Azorius Signet
1x Bant Panorama
1x Bountiful Promenade
1x Brainstorm
1x Breeding Pool
1x Collective Voyage
1x Command Tower
1x Dakra Mystic
1x Decree of Silence
1x Dictate of Kruphix
1x Dovescape
1x Eladamri's Vineyard
1x Enduring Ideal
1x Enlightened Tutor
1x Estrid's Invocation
1x Expedition Map
1x Flooded Strand
1x Forbidden Orchard
7x Forest
1x Frantic Search
1x Gilded Lotus
1x Grasp of Fate
1x Greater Auramancy
1x Growth Spiral
1x Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer
1x Hallowed Fountain
1x Heartbeat of Spring
1x Helm of Awakening
1x Humility
1x Hunted Wumpus
7x Island
1x Maze of Ith
1x Mistveil Plains
1x Misty Rainforest
1x Moat
1x Mystical Tutor
1x Oath of Lieges
1x Oblivion Ring
1x Paradox Haze
1x Peacekeeper
7x Plains
1x Ponder
1x Preordain
1x Quest for Ancient Secrets
1x Rainbow Vale
1x Regrowth
1x Sakura-Tribe Elder
1x Sandwurm Convergence
1x Savannah
1x Sea of Clouds
1x Seal of Cleansing
1x Seal of Primordium
1x Search for Azcanta
1x Selesnya Signet
1x Selvala, Explorer Returned
1x Serra's Sanctum
1x Sheltering Ancient
1x Simic Signet
1x Sol Ring
1x Soldevi Sentry
1x Solemnity
1x Solitary Confinement
1x Spectral Searchlight
1x Spore Frog
1x Sterling Grove
1x Sylvan Library
1x Sylvan Scrying
1x Talisman of Progress
1x Talisman of Unity
1x Temple Garden
1x Tempt with Discovery
1x The Mending of Dominaria
1x Tropical Island
1x Tundra
1x Veteran Explorer
1x Wall of Shards
1x Windswept Heath

You see, it's a Group Hug deck. But unlike other Group Hug decks, mine is not a trap, meant to lull gullible opponents into believing that I'm helping them only to set them up for some ridiculous combo kill. And unlike other, other Group Hug decks, it's not all fluff with no protection. Instead, I intend to help everyone while keeping them from being able to stop me from helping. I do not currently run any means of preventing opponents from decking themselves. I leave that up to them.

We'll see how this goes. I've been wanting to do something like this for a while. I love Enduring Ideal. But for this specific decklist, I was somewhat inspired by the realization that my local Commander League's rotating points system will still be rewarding players for having 10 or more tokens in a game. I outright stated that I intended to play a deck with The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and to punish token generators. Instead, I'll be actively helping everyone to get those points!

I haven't finished putting the physical deck together yet and I may make some minor changes before the deck is fully built, but this is the draft version for now...


The Tentacled One
Haven't even finished sleeving this thing up and I've made one minor change to the list I initially posted...

+1 Academy Rector
-1 Starfield of Nyx

Rector comes down a turn earlier and is better defensively before I can set up Enduring Ideal, which should be the main goal. Starfield of Nyx was something I was considering to pull enchantments back out of my graveyard, but then I decided to include The Mending of Dominaria anyway. It's bad under Humility, which could be a key card in many games.


The Tentacled One
Played this and was generally satisfied. It's fun and I got to make sure that my opponents had plenty of tokens. The Commander League implemented a new contingency for infinite combos that if a player uses one to win, that player collects the relevant points for winning, but the game keeps going with the rest of the table. In two of my games, the same guy went off with an infinite combo (Reiterate with Turnabout in one game and with Reality Spasm in another). And after we kept playing, I won both of those. We had another one that went past time and was called a draw. I have some ideas for refinements, which might come if I keep this one together...


The Tentacled One
Apparently I decided to update most of my current EDH decks on this U.S. Memorial Day. It also looks like I neglected to note previous updates to this deck and those look, in hindsight, to have been important. So let's go through them retrospectively...

Minor update from when I built "The End of Eternity":
-1 Grasp of Fate
+1 Divine Intervention

Have I failed to mention this entirely at the CPA? Seems like it would have come up. I needed my copy of Grasp of Fate for another deck, which I've also kept around. Throwing Divine Intervention in was a stopgap and initially I had no plans to make that a permanent change. But it wound up being the most important conceptual change for the deck. This is now a Group Hug deck with an end condition. And that's not a win condition. We're not trying to win. We're trying to end the game in a draw. Some would say that a tie is like kissing your sister. And if you feel that way, then I suggest not playing with this deck! Forcing a bunch of players who are all trying to win into not winning or losing, but tying instead is a fun sort of challenge. There are other ways to do it, but Divine Intervention is special.

Modern Horizons Update:
-1 The Mending of Dominaria
-1 Bountiful Promenade
-1 Sea of Clouds
+1 Kumena's Awakening
+1 Talisman of Curiosity
+1 Hall of Heliod's Generosity

I knew right away that Hall of Heliod's Generosity was perfect for this deck. So I formalized the Divine Intervention change and made a few other adjustments. Kumena's Awakening was of particular interest because it felt like a better version of Dictate of Kruphix for this deck, with the additional upside of sustaining Solitary Confinement indefinitely. Actually, Solitary Confinement has been a tricky card for this deck. I didn't build the deck around it, but it's so powerful that I've often found myself using it. And yet, I've found it difficult to play around because, again, I didn't build the deck around it. So yeah.

Ikoria-ish Memorial Day Update:
-1 Dictate of Kruphix
-1 Quest for Ancient Secrets
-1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
-1 Seal of Primordium
+1 Assault Suit
+1 Awakening
+1 Benefactor's Draught
+1 Orzhov Advokist

I don't play this deck too often, but I've gotten some games in and learned some lessons. At first, I was running both The Mending of Dominaria and Quest for Ancient Secrets as ways to get dead enchantments back in my library for Enduring Ideal. Both clashed with Solemnity, which was annoying. So I cut The Mending of Dominaria and was only using Quest for Ancient Secrets. The card is fine and might make it back into the deck. But for now, I'm hoping that having both Mistveil Plains and Hall of Heliod's Generosity will be enough. Unfortunately, this does mean I no longer have enchantment recursion immediately fetchable with Enduring Ideal. For now, I'm willing to accept that. Also, this deck felt a bit too much like a dedicated enchantment-themed archetype, and I wanted to make the Group Hug nature of the deck more apparent. So I cut some utility for more overt Group Hug stuff. I'm excited to try out Assault Suit and Orzhov Advokist. They seem like fun cards.
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The Tentacled One
Sorted through the new cards from Commander Legends that I opened, and it's time to update some of my decks.

-Azorius Signet
-Selesnya Signet
-Simic Signet
+Arcane Signet
+Crop Rotation
+Kwain, Itinerant Meddler


The Tentacled One
Unlike my changes to "The End of Eternity" I did take the time to go back and pull some of the Commander precon cards from their decks and slot them back into this deck. I also made some changes to my list...

-1 Tempt with Discovery
-1 Talisman of Curiosity
-1 Talisman of Progress
-1 Talisman of Unity
+1 Harrow
+1 Kami of False Hope
+1 Roiling Regrowth
+1 Sanctum Weaver

After winning a three-hour game with "Unsavory Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by replacing 38 card draws with Abundance triggers and using zombies to quickly eliminate my opponents with "The End of Eternity" I still had enough time for one more game. It was a three player pod. The player who'd used The Scarab God in the previous game was on Willowdusk, Essence Seer. The player with Chatterfang, Squirrel General switched to Veyran, Voice of Duality.

I got away with keeping a one-land hand, then built up to use some of the group hug cards in this deck. Veteran Explorer and Spectral Searchlight both helped my opponents. I didn't draw much that I could use and was left mostly relying on Phelddagrif itself. Eventually, the Willowdusk player lost 57 life using Spoils of the Vault to find Bolas's Citadel, then used Repay in Kind to bring us all down to 5 life. He intended to attack the Veyran player and finish him off, but I reminded him that my Moat didn't allow that to happen. Shielded by my Moat, the Veyran player stormed off with Mind's Desire and gained enough life from Aetherflux Reservoir to kill both of us.
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The Tentacled One
Abundance, one of my favorite cards ever
The card put in work. In that game, I had Life from the Loam + Manabond, so I kept cycling lands and choosing "land" on Abundance, getting all of my lands out. And then in the end, the guy with the Phelddagrif deck realized that he could never deck me and could never get commander damage through on me, so he decked himself to end the game.


The Tentacled One
This deck was fun and I want to bring it back. My first round of changes...

-1 Akroan Horse
-1 Arbiter of Knollridge
-1 Assault Suit
-1 Awakening
-1 Bant Panorama
-1 Collective Voyage
-3 Forest
-1 Frantic Search
-1 Gilded Lotus
-1 Growth Spiral
-1 Gwafa Hazi, Profiteer
-1 Helm of Awakening
-1 Hunted Wumpus
-3 Island
-1 Orzhov Advokist
-3 Plains
-1 Ponder
-1 Preordain
-1 Rainbow Vale
-1 Sheltering Ancient
-1 Soldevi Sentry

+1 Arid Mesa
+1 Bala Ged Recovery
+1 Beast Within
+1 Bloom Tender
+1 Crawlspace
+1 Crucible of Worlds
+1 Dance of the Manse
+1 Dueling Grounds
+1 Eternal Witness
+1 Generous Gift
+1 Idyllic Tutor
+1 Marsh Flats
+1 Mox Diamond
+1 Polluted Delta
+1 Scalding Tarn
+1 Silent Arbiter
+1 Simic Ascendancy
+1 Solve the Equation
+1 Spirit Link
+1 Strip Mine
+1 Terminus
+1 Verdant Catacombs
+1 Wargate
+1 Wasteland
+1 Wooded Foothills
+1 Wrong Turn
+1 Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth


The Tentacled One
New version of the deck is looking pretty good. I kind of stalled out, but was able to protect myself and turn my opponents against each other. Locked the last opponent down and closed the game out with Divine Intervention. The game was a blast. I'm so glad that I revisited this deck.


The Tentacled One
Played this deck for the first time in a while. Unfortunately, one of my opponents set up a loop with Sun Titan + Haywire Mite. He could exile one of my enchantments for every turn cycle, and I was not in a position to deal with that. Any tool I'd get to deal with the Sun Titan would get exiled by the Haywire Mite. Any tool I'd get to neutralize the Haywire Mite would just get exiled once Sun Titan brought it back again. I ended up conceding because I wanted to actually play, and this combo had me completely shut out, seemingly by accident.


The Tentacled One
Took this deck to a five-man pod, which was awkward. The player who ended up eventually winning was seated so far from me that I had little idea of what was going on with his board state. If I'd played this one differently, I could have saved myself, but I wasn't really trying for that. In fact, once I got Enduring Ideal, I immediately tried to cast it and threaten to draw the game with Divine Intervention, rather than fetching protection of some sort. My four opponents all seemed like they were going to try to gang up on me to kill me before Divine Intervention could end the game. I figured that it would be fun to either get eliminated in this way or to actually draw the game in this way. Unfortunately, I was actually giving one opponent the distraction he needed to combo off. If I'd fetched Solitary Confinement first instead of Divine Intervention, he would have been unable to kill me (I had Greater Auramancy, Kumena's Awakening, Paradox Haze, and Dueling Grounds all on the battlefield already). Whatever. It was still fun.


The Tentacled One
After a bit of a hiatus, I guess I've been playing this deck every week. Last week I did eventually lose, but got to mess around and have fun. This week, after an exhausting game with my Titania deck, I invited my opponents to choose one of my deck boxes at random for one more game. Ended up playing this deck again. By deploying a first-turn Eladamri's Vineyard and a second-turn Heartbeat of Spring and Spectral Searchlight, I was able to accelerate the rest of the table, but had little in the way of defenses or ways to progress my own gameplan. About all I could do was use Phelddagrif's abilities. I was becoming increasingly convinced that one of my opponents would win soon, but none of them could break the stalemate or find a source of significant card advantage, and they didn't target me very much, so I survived. I topdecked Enduring Ideal and had the mana to cast Humility first, then fetched Moat with Enduring Ideal. I already had Paradox Haze out from earlier in the game, so on my next upkeep I grabbed Dovescape and Sandwurm Convergence. My opponents used their turns to make bird tokens with Dovescape. Then I grabbed Sterling Grove and Divine Intervention. No one could break the lock, and the game ended in a draw.


The Tentacled One
I already stated that I felt like I worked too hard last year to build a new deck every week, and had no interest in repeating that performance. Well, I think I've kept up a pretty good pace so far of building new decks and revising existing ones. After some testing and organization, I've scrapped the more ambitious plans I had for this week. I came close to changing nothing, bringing the same decks to Commander Night tomorrow as I did last week. Well, I will do that on purpose in the future, but this week, I will have a minor adjustment to one deck.

The 2023 version of my "Epic" deck leans into the enchantment heavy role, and there are three new enchantments that I've had my eyes on. Swapping out some cards that I just don't really end up using in this deck for some enchantments that I hope will spice up both the enchantment theme and the group hug theme.

-1 Simic Ascendancy
-1 Crawlspace
-1 Dance of the Manse
+1 Norn's Decree
+1 Smuggler's Share
+1 Tenuous Truce


The Tentacled One
Fittingly, I used all three of the new inclusions tonight over the course of a single game. I held off two opponents that both had impressive creature armies, using Peacekeeper, Maze of Ith, and Dueling Grounds to protect myself. Ultimately, it came down to me against a single opponent with a token-based hoard trying to find ways around my defenses. Once I set up Solemnity + Decree of Silence, he conceded. Tenuous Truce and Smuggler's Share put in work here. Excellent cards for this deck.


The Tentacled One
Well, I had Mystical Tutor, but I blew it messing around. I never topdecked a single way to get card advantage, so I sat on Dueling Grounds + Sandwurm Convergence. This kept me safe from combat, but the same Themberchaud deck that wrecked my Kasla deck last week used direct damage to finish me off, and I was helpless against it. Well, not completely helpless. I was able to use Phelddagriff to give another player, running an Elas il-Kor deck, enough life, tokens, and cards that he ultimately won the game.

It's not revenge, but I'll take it. If I'd been more serious, I wouldn't have used the Mystical Tutor to grab an early Terminus when I wasn't being directly threatened. Oh well, got to slow down some board states and mess with the game. It's fun.


The Tentacled One
So, I'd forgotten this, but if an opponent takes control of my Academy Rector and sacrifices it, then my opponent can exile it and search his own library for an enchantment to put onto the battlefield. Ouch. If I'd been playing any other deck I'd have sought to punish him for this affront, but Divine Intervention forgives all. I thought that losing the Rector might ruin the game for me, but topdecking Humility bought me enough time to set up a Divine Intervention end state. So no one had to lose!


The Tentacled One
Playing a group hug deck like this can be a gamble. Heartbeat of Spring often helps my opponents expend resource fighting each other while letting me sneak in for big spells like Enduring Ideal or Sandwurm Convergence. But it can also backfire and let an Imoti deck accelerate into a bunch of extra turn spells. That's what happened tonight. Oops.


The Tentacled One
Pulled a couple of cards from one of the new "Doctor Who" precons. Swapping out some cards that were a bit too situational for this deck.

-1 Benefactor's Draught
-1 Oath of Lieges
+1 Everybody Lives!
+1 Wedding Ring


The Tentacled One
I didn't have the energy to build a Thanksgiving deck this year. I had tentative plans for one, but I essentially ended up going to bed early on the evenings when I would ordinarily have built the deck. So, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving, I offered my Phelddagrif deck as a suitable contender.

First game of the night was kind of fast-paced and scary, with two of my opponents presenting some pretty egregious board states while drawing tons of cards. Still, despite initially stalling out, my deck recovered and put up a pretty good fight. For most of this game, I was probably just one turn behind, and if things had gone a bit differently, I could have gotten my engine going.

I pulled this deck out again for the final game of the night, which ended up being a five-person "Kingdom" table. Pretty sure I mentioned this variant before, but I don't think that I went into details. So this is something that a few people have done at my LGS to make multiplayer tables more dynamic when there are five or six players in an EDH pod instead of the normal four players. Players are dealt "role" cards (basic lands can be used for this). One player gets the "King" role, two players get the "Bandit" role, one player gets the "Guard" role, and one player gets the "Assassin" role. If there's a sixth player, then a "Usurper" role is added as well. The player with the "King" card reveals his role at the beginning. The king starts at 50 life and always goes first. All other players keep their roles hidden. Gameplay then proceeds normally, but the other roles each add their own twist. The guard wins by having the king win, regardless of whether the guard survives. The bandits both win if the king loses and at least one bandit is still in the game. The assassin, probably the most difficult role, wins by eliminating the king after all other players have already been eliminated. If there's a usurper, then that player attempts to strike a killing blow on the king, at which point the usurper becomes the king (at 50 life) and the previous king becomes the new usurper (at 1 life).

For this game, I was a bandit. Since my deck is built to cause the game to end in a draw, I have no real capacity to kill the king. I was banking on my deck successfully doing its thing, while making it seem like I was probably either the guard or the assassin. This confused the other players at the table, who might have already been confused anyway. I topdecked and deployed Greater Auramancy and Sterling Grove, so my enchantments were protected from targeting effects. Eventually, I cast Solitary Confinement to protect myself, then used Phelddagrif's abilities to keep the other players protected from the king's attacks (he was hitting pretty hard). The king knew that he could probably wipe the rest of the table out if I was out of the way, so he tried to use Xantcha, Sleeper Agent as a clever way to bypass my Solitary Confinement. I convinced another player to block Xantcha with hippo tokens. I was going to neutralize Xantcha with Humility, but Selvala revealed that another player was about to topdeck Farewell, and I couldn't let that resolve, so I had to go for Dovescape instead. No one at the table could break my lock at that point, so I was clear to fetch Humility followed by Divine Intervention. Happy Thanksgiving! :p
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