Challenge the Stats – Let's Get Divvy With It

(Fact or Fiction | Art by Matt Cavotta)

Playable or Jank?

Hello, and welcome to Challenge the Stats! I'm Jedit O-Jevin of EDHREC, your Article Master for the day. This series is based on the EDHRECast segment that I look forward to every week, and just like Joey, Matt, and Dana, we'll pick out cards that might be overplayed or underplayed to challenge EDHREC’s data. But remember, card choices made by you for any reason (flavor, budget, art, fun, etc.) are always most important and are what keep our format unique and awesome.

Before we start, let's do a quick two truths and a lie:

  • When I started playing I thought Crash of Rhinos was cool and Lion's Eye Diamond was dumb (I was seven, OK?).
  • My home LGS is Mox Mania in Madison, WI.
  • Last week I bruised my ribs skateboarding and it doesn't hurt at all and I'm definitely not too old to be skateboarding.

What's that got to do with anything? Well, this week, we're talking about an old cycle from Invasion. Props to CapybaraWashingMachine from the CTS Discord for an awesome name and giving me this idea. This cycle involves separating cards into two piles and having a player choose one. This was nicknamed the Divvy mechanic, and most people have forgotten about these cards, except for one:

However, there are a bunch of other cool cards in this cycle that are fun in a multiplayer game and might be perfect for your decks! Let's take a look at them, and which decks might want to play them!

Death or Glory (156 decks)

I really like Death or Glory. It's like a one-sided, half Living Death in white, and seems like it should be seeing more play. It can be similar to a Boneyard Parley if our graveyard is stacked. I could see some interest in this gem from Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Nethroi, Apex of Death, or even the new Quintorius, Field Historian. If we're doing some self-mill or reanimation and have white in our colors, let's give this one a look.

Fight or Flight (258 decks)

Fight or Flight is currently in 6% of Zedruu, the Greathearted decks, and not many others. This is a pretty sweet pillowfort and politics card that I think could find some more homes. Ghostly Prison is one less mana but 100% less fun. At the beginning of each opponent's combat phase, we separate their creatures into two piles, and only one of those piles can attack. Are they choosing not to attack us? Well, then, we have a pile of 0 and the rest of their creatures can go where they please! If they don't want to cut a deal, they can only attack with half of their army. Hellooo, Breena, the Demagogue, Gahiji, Honored One, and any other deck that wants to pillowfort and have our opponents lean over the table and say, "What is that card?".

Fact or Fiction (41,900 decks)

You know it, you love it. Fact or Fiction is a fantastic card advantage spell, even against the most antagonistic opponent. We get to choose the best 1-5 cards at instant speed, and if we can team up with someone we might be able to negotiate for what we want, or against a particularly chaotic opponent, we might just draw 5.

Do or Die (323 decks)

I have no idea why this is over $5. It seems more like a neat budget find. Its most popular commander is Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths at 8%, and it has great flavor with the commander. Do or Die is not a great targeted removal spell, but in the right deck, or against the right deck, it could put in some good work. Do or Die can potentially take out a single or a few creatures we want if there are a lot of other creatures in the other pile and we give the opponent a really bad decision.

However, I think this is at its best when we're up against a hoard of tokens or a big board and we can make them sacrifice half of them. If we think about it like a mini Vona's Hunger, we might intrigue commanders like Elenda, the Dusk Rose, Yahenni, Undying Partisan, Glissa, the Traitor, or Kresh the Bloodbraided.

We might also consider it if we're playing politics in black, like Mathas, Fiend Seeker, Queen Marchesa, Breena, the Demagogue, or Shadrix Silverquill.

Stand or Fall (90 decks)

Stand or Fall seems like a great consideration for an aggressive or combat-focused commander. It has notes of Bedlam and War Cadence. The more creatures we have, the more effective splitting our opponents' blockers in half will be, so go-wide decks will love this one. Think about commanders like Krenko, Mob Boss, Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner, Valduk, Keeper of the Flame, and Grenzo, Havoc Raiser.

Another category is commanders that like to control or disrupt combat. If we're playing Disrupt Decorum, chances are we're into that kind of thing! I'm looking at you, Marisi, Breaker of the Coil, Xantcha, Sleeper Agent, Thantis, the Warweaver, and–oh hey, you're new here–Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant.

Bend or Break (200 decks)

How this card plays out is completely dependent on the table politics that happen when it's played. Each player puts their lands into two piles and chooses any opponent they want to destroy a pile. In an archenemy situation, three players could choose each other, lose no lands, and the archenemy might get half their lands taken out. In a 2v2 situation, each player can choose their ally and no one loses any lands. In a situation where no alliances are made and everyone wants to backstab each other as much as possible, everyone might lose half their lands. My guess is, this will force alliances to be made or an archenemy to be taken down, which could be a pretty cool effect either way. But, you might want to check with your playgroup before playing this.

Let's talk more about the worst-case scenario of mutually assured land destruction.

In that case, it will be best in a deck that doesn't care about lands going to the graveyard, like Lord Windgrace or Mina and Denn, Wildborn. The player with the most lands and the ability to ramp/recur lands will recover faster, but it's going to be a grind-y win, and typically, when people are okay with mass land destruction if it's a road to a fast win afterward.

There are a few dedicated land destruction decks like Zo-zu the Punisher (in 16% of decks), Numot the Devastator (in 9% of decks), and Klothys, God of Destiny (1%). Bend or Break is in pretty low percentages on those pages and probably is a good include if your playgroup is cool with that strategy. Unrelated, have I told you guys about one of my favorite subreddits, Awful Taste But Great Execution?

Oddly enough, the text errata says "nontoken lands", so if we're playing a secret commander Orvar, the All-Form deck, we can make a lot of token copies of our lands and come out way ahead.

A few of these will make a splash in my Jared Carthalion, True Heir politics deck! Let's go to a decklist.

Politics by Jared

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Creatures (22)
Instants (17)
Artifacts (5)
Enchantments (5)
Sorceries (20)
Lands (30)

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What did you think about this cycle? Are there any decks you'll be jamming these cards into? Should I write another article about all of the non-Invasion Divvy cards? Let me know in the comments below! If you have any suggestions for future Challenge the Stats, join us in our Discord, where we chat about quirky cards on the regular.

Jevin Lortie has been playing magic on and off since Portal. He has a PhD in nutritional sciences, so he always tells people to get a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables – especially ramp-les and draw-nanas.

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