Spreading the Love - Giving Gifts... Literally

(Gifts Given | Art by Jason Chan)

Bringing a Little Magic Back to Peoples' Lives

Hey, everyone! Kya here once again! Welcome back to Spreading the Love, the series where we show that EDH is more than just about the deck or the game itself. Here, we focus on how to use EDH to expand our communities for even more spellslinging action!

If you've been been following my previous articles, you've probably discovered that I've slowly been going insane over the last few months from being locked in my house all day. Things have been tough for a lot of folks out there (thank you, health care workers!!!) and even our ability to sink into our hobbies as an escape has been limited, due to the lack of face-to-face interactions. What is one to do? I can't say that I have any fancy plans for fixing the world myself, but there is one thing I can do: give things away!

That's right! For the last few weeks I've been working hard trying to formulate a way to give as much as I can away to random Magic: the Gathering players for as long as I can! Why? Because I know I'd be happy if some stranger gave me a pack of cards!

How have I been giving them away? I've been streaming on my Twitch account for the last two weeks, cracking booster boxes and packs. All the packs I opened then get randomly given away to viewers on the stream. After the stream is done, I mail out all the rares, uncommons, and special arts to the winners, and then I give the bulk away locally.

Why crack the packs? Simply because I was told that people like to watch packs being opened. This way, even if someone doesn't win, they can still enjoy their time. A win/win I say! Oh, and I'm a little obsessed with opening packs... so there's a little selfishness in there, too.

Okay, I'm not a saint. This pack hurt to mail out. Look at that beautiful art for Cultivate!

We Have a Winner!

I'm sure that I can guess what some of you are thinking: seems too good to be true, right? I thought you'd say that, so I waited until people started posting their winnings online before making this article. Let's take a look of some of the packs posted by the winners themselves!

Yes, you are looking at a Grim Tutor! That was actually the first pack opened from a box. Why are you seeing multiple rares in some of these photos? I greatly dislike streaming, so my viewership is always small. As a result, there were quite a few people who won more then once! Regardless of what was won, though, a single box created over 30 winners! What that means is that, just for a week, there were a number of people excited to open their mailbox. That's got to be a little, tiny speck of good added to this world, right? I'd like to hope so.

Why Post This on EDHREC?

Two reasons.

The first and most shameless reason is that I'm a little proud of myself. I've had a lot of feelings about the state of the world and the Magic: the Gathering community, but this is a way of actually doing something about it. I'm not just sitting at my computer and complaining like I normally would. I'm involved in something that helps others joyfully engage with their hobby. I'm a little happy about that.

The second and more important reason is that you can do this, too. It doesn't have to be booster boxes or on streams. You don't have to run around online mailing out packs across the country. It's a stupid amount of work and very expensive. However, you can buy your pod a few packs when shops reopen. You can buy a few cheap staples for a friend on Card Kingdom and have them delivered to their house. If money is tight, you can draw or paint them some custom tokens. There's a lot of very small things that can be done locally to make a person's day a little better. I'd imagine that you can probably imagine one or two people who need that right now.

Plus, if you do it, you might even feel a little less guilty for playing Winter Orb and Tangle Wire every time you see them!

Get On With the Deck Already!

Okay, enough of the mushy stuff! Let's get on with making an actual EDH deck! This week I'm excited because I've had my eyes on this commander for years and never made it. As some of you know, I have a history of making silly decks for silly reasons, but this time I wanted to actually try making a Group Hug deck that actually wins. So who's going to be our chosen Commander?

The queen of mean, Selvala, Explorer Returned! She was, at one point, probably known as the commander for deceitful Group Hug. What does she do? For a simple tap, she makes everyone reveal the top of their deck and draw the card, potentially gaining mana and life in the process! How kind of her to let people get cards in their hand! A perfect representative of Spreading the Love! Now, of course, mana is the obvious benefit here, but note the first part of her ability carefully. She makes the table reveal the top card of the deck. Now you know exactly what your opponents have in store! That can often be far more valuable then the mana she gives!

So what are we going to do with all this extra mana?

BUAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, hold on my editor wants to talk to me.


Ugh, fine... I'll be serious....


More Mana!

True story: I once helped someone achieve a turn two Blightsteel Colossus thanks to cards like these. Little do our opponents know that, after that precious moment of fate, I've decided to fill my own deck with little game-enders... but more on that later. For now, let's just appreciate for a moment that Magic: the Gathering is full of amazing cards like Magus of the Vineyard. I really have a heart for cards that provide more then just an increase of pure power level or selfish advance throughout the game. Group Hug and Chaos cards really do help bring a new experience to the 'same old' sometimes.

More Cards!

Heartwood Storyteller is a hidden gem. It provides just enough of a presence to make people think about casting noncreatures and have them second-guessing themselves. Of course, a simple draw isn't going to stop anyone, but it's just enough to potentially throw someone off-balance. It's moments like these where we strike! Some of you may be wary of providing your opponents with so many cards and the ability to cast them; the great part is that you'll often find that your other opponents are also your opponents' opponents! Let them deal with each other as you build your empire. After all, you're just the innocent Group Hug player who wants to give gifts!

More New Cards!

One of the biggest traps I fall into with Group Hug is that I keep forgetting that new cards eventually come out for it! Almost every other Group Hug player that I know has decks that haven't been edited in the last 3-4 years because they don't realize that cards like Pendant of Prosperity or Victory Chimes exist now. A true Group Hug master realizes that their journey to becoming the best is one that never truly ends! Also, they basically made a card of Clementine with Nine Lives.

Oh! Speaking of gifts. A while back, the artist for Nine Lives, Paul Canavan, was kind enough to give the Magic: the Gathering community a template to add their pets on! I'd love to see what your cat would look like surrounded by the legends!

Want to see my version of Nine Lives that someone was kind enough to make for me? No? Well, too bad, here it is anyway:

Not impressed? Don't you worry, I have something for you now that we've built up all this mana!

More... Opponents Being Knocked Out?

Oh my, this is hilarious. Imagine using Vivien, Monsters' Advocate to get both Blightsteel and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre on the field at the same time! Twelve mana may seem like a lot, but let's break it down. Surely by turn 5-6, you must have received a few extra lands from cards like Cultivate or Collective Voyage. Then, with our little helper Shizuko, Caller of Autumn on the field, we have three more mana just waiting for us! Finally, with our commander, we should at least get two more mana, right? Seems to me like twelve mana to hard-cast a biggie like Blightsteel isn't too unreasonable! Sure, that's a few cards to count on, but, remember, we're getting some drawing in with various cards throughout the deck as well! Impressed now? I thought so. Let's put it all together!

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

Closing Thoughts

I hope everyone enjoyed this month's article! Strange topic today, I know. However, if a single person read this and decided to do a little gift-giving, all this will have been worth it! Just remember that you have the power to do more than just cast zany spells and counter zany spells cast by opponents. You can also make people laugh and smile outside of your game pods as well! Also, I cannot stress enough that you can always bring more to someone beyond just monetary items!

Closing with a little story to illustrate my point: some random person at the grocery store complimented my grandmother's hat years ago. She still talks about it with pride to this day. A silly little comment as a random person walked by did all that. Just think about that the next time you walk by someone who has a cool playmat or deckbox!

Finally, I wanted to take a moment to thank a lot of people who donated money and resources into the packs that I've been giving away. While a lot of this has come out of my pocket, a lot of people stepped up and helped people get even more goodies. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Until next time!


P.S. Disclaimer on the prizes. While anyone can win packs, only Clementine's top fans win extraordinary content such as this:

Send enough love her way, and one day this can be you! Later!

Never fear! Kya's here! Kya has been a long time EDH player and hobbyist. With an extended history of blacksmithing and 3d printing various MTG related items for fun, she has turned her attention to sharing her mad scientist brews to the public. Although a competitive player by nature, her aim is to provide fun and silly deck ideas to those looking to spice up their play groups. Kya is here to scratch that demented individual's itch for pure chaos and show everyone that a Warp World can be a fun experience! Except when you have a Hive Mind and Eye of the Storm out...

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