Conditions Allow - Triad of Fates
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Hello, and welcome back to Conditions Allow, the article series where we build around legendary creatures with a drawback and try to turn it into a strength. This week I'm talking about an underappreciated legend from the original Theros block. Or rather, a legendary trio, sinceworks best as a team. In homage to the three Fates of Greek mythology, has three activated abilities. The second two rely on activating the first, and all three require the Fates to tap. This makes the cadence of the Fates naturally very slow and easy to predict. But just because our opponents can see their future coming doesn't mean that they'll be able to avoid it.
There is no removal more permanent than exile. Having the ability to remove any creature on the board, especially when it's found in the command zone, is powerful, and your opponents will likely be wary of your commander, no matter how slow it is. I don't want to focus on flickering our own creatures, either, since there are better commanders for that. I think's true potential lies in its third ability, but not necessarily from the exile. Letting other players draw cards is the foundation of a the Group Hug archetype in EDH. I've never seen an Orzhov Group Hug deck, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Before diving into free hugs, however, we're going to need a way to speed up Fate, or we'll be left behind.
Foresight is 20/20
That is, of course, assuming we don't have access to any other Magic cards. But we have access to 99 of the best ones we can find. First on my list areand . Both of these let us untap for a single mana, once a turn. even gives our commander pseudo-haste, letting us use their ability as quickly as possible. This is extra valuable for since it is naturally slow.
Another valuable effect for our commander is. We can only flicker one creature at a time, and usually not even every turn. Doubling the effect that creature has when it enters is extra important to help us keep up with the rest of the table. Creatures like and make sure we don't get left behind by faster decks, while and ensure we find all the answers that we need.
We can also take a page from's book and try to untap our commander during every turn. makes this possible, either paired with or . actually does turn into , as all our lands will be artifacts, as well. This ensures that we have the mana to activate every turn, and really puts our strategy into motion.
Keep Your Friends Close
To play Group Hug, we're going to rely on' third ability to let other players draw cards. Rather than try to mitigate the card disadvantage with effects like and , I want to lean into it. Besides, naturally embodies that sort of give and take. In order to let a player draw cards, we're going to have to exile a creature they control.
But exiling our opponents' valuable creatures is decidedly not in the spirit of Group Hug, so we're going to need to give them something a little more expendable.is great in this role. The extra Myr tokens creates are perfect fodder for exiling with , and the Chamber provides us with plentiful chump blockers if any aggression comes our way. is another way to give away tokens, but the real powerhouses are and . Whenever these creatures enter the field, an opponent gets two 3/3s or a 4/4, respectively. These are not only free creatures to exile and provide card draw, they are relevant in combat. Playing politics and setting our opponents against each other is an important ability for a Group Hug deck to have, and both Hunted creatures do exactly what we need.
While we're giving players 4/4s to throw around, we can make sure that no one has to die from combat damage.seems like a great way to keep important players alive. can revive everyone's favorite creatures, and it keeps the game moving at a decent pace through the most egregious of creature removal. Finally, helps ramp everyone at the table, but should ramp us the most. creates a lot of artifacts, especially when you are giving other players extra chances to draw cards.
Speaking of, I also want to mention . This Bird Cleric is a superstar in mono-white decks, and it makes sure that we get to draw cards with 's ability too. , on the other hand, is a mini version of our commander. It helps us trade creatures for cards, but more explicitly punishes our opponents for those cards. Normally, this damage should stack up slowly, but as we begin to activate more and more, it will start to stack up. If we can exile enough creatures at once with , Ob Nixilis might even become a win condition.
And Your Enemies Closer
I've already mentionedand , both of which help kick our commander into gear. They also form the core of a combo that mills our opponents out. First, though, we're going to need the rest of the pieces. and are key pieces, as well as either or .
Within your hand, and all the other pieces in play, you can tap to put a fate counter on , then cast to untap and use them to flicker . As reenters the field, it will exile and . When they reenter, use to give haste, and activate it before each of the untap triggers from , flickering to continue the loop.
As described, this combo will get you infinite enters-the-battlefield triggers which allows you to win with aor in play. By adding in and , as well, we have the ability to mill our opponents with ' exile ability. This works by having instead target and . will then target and , while provides the creatures for our commander to exile.
Each loop gives us the chance to activatethree times: once before the first trigger, once before the second, and once after the second. That is exactly enough to place a fate counter on , a fate counter on the token created by , and then flicker to continue the loop. Once each opponent has enough tokens with fate counters, we can then instead exile them and mill each opponent as they draw through their deck.
The final piece of the loop is the mana to pay for all thoseactivations. The solution is simply to play artifact creatures that tap for mana. Myr are excellent candidates, as they feed into our backup win condition, . The damage potential from can take opponents off guard, especially in conjunction with and . We're not playing many other token-producers, but I think and are good enough reasons to include it.
Facing the Unavoidable
A few final cards I want to mention areand . Both of these cards help pad our life total against the tokens we give out. This helps always have a good target and ensures that we survive long enough to put our combo together or to find an and realize that there is a much simpler way to get infinite activations with and a couple of mana dorks.
We also need to be prepared for whatever our opponents are doing. Letting them draw cards means that they'll be trying to win the game quickly. Wraths are our best friend, so we're playing the best we can find.and are both cheap to cast, while presents extra flexibility. and are both additional sources of exile if we need to hit non-creature permanents.
Season to taste with card draw, a couple tutors, and ramp, and we get a final decklist.
Triad of Fates
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really took me by surprise while building it. I expected them to be slow, unwieldy, and uninteresting. Instead, I found a fun commander with unique options in their color combination. The Group Hug EDHREC Theme page is dominated by Blue and Green cards. Of the few White and Black cards present, I included almost none. I think my favorite cards for this deck are and . They're what really make the Group Hug strategy work, and they are both strong creatures in their own right. A two-mana 7/7 with trample should never be underestimated.
But what do you think? Have you thought about buildingbefore? Let me know how you would play them in the comments, and thanks for reading!