Sunday, December 23, 2012

[JT] CGC: Holiday Edition

Happy Holidays, all!  So, my original intent was to do a holiday themed Group Therapy with everyone.  Unfortunately, that fell through at the last minute.  Not wanting to give up on doing something special for my very first Christmas holiday season with you all, I racked my brain for a long time (it's amazing how long two minutes can feel ~_^ ) about what I could do until it hit me like a brick: Holiday CGC!  So let's unwrap what I have for you today...

Commander: Karona, False God

Creatures (31):

Agadeem Occultist
Akoum Battlesinger
Bala Ged Thief
Bojuka Brigand
Graypelt Hunter
Hada Freeblade
Hagra Diabolist
Halimar Excavator
Harabaz Druid
Highland Berserker
Joraga Bard
Jwari Shapeshifter
Kabira Evangel
Kazandu Blademaster
Kazuul Warlord
Makindi Shieldmate
Muramasa Pyromancer
Nimana Sell-Sword
Ondu Cleric
Oran-Rief Survivalist
Sea Gate Loremaster
Seascape Aerialist
Stonework Puma
Tajuru Archer
Talus Paladin
Tuktuk Grunts
Tuktuk Scrapper
Turntimber Ranger
Umara Raptor
Vastwood Animist
Mana-Charged Dragon

Spells (9):
Vow of Flight
Vow of Duty
Vow of Lightning
Vow of Malice
Vow of Wildness
Alliance of Arms
Minds Aglow
Collective Voyage
Shared Trauma

Artifacts (12):
Conjurer's Closet
Coat of Arms
Signets x10

Lands: X

That's right.  I brought you a Karona, False God EDH deck.  I will be perfectly honest and tell you that I did what EVERYBODY does and got this for you at the last minute; meaning I thought up this skeleton in about as much time as it took me to decide to do a holiday CGC.  Now before you ask for a gift receipt, let's take a closer look at the deck for a bit, because while the deck itself was quick, I've been brewing it in the back of my mind for a while now.

My first thought when coming up with a holiday deck was a Red/Green Santa Claus themed deck with a heavy group hug feel.  The problem with this was that there weren't any Santa-esque R/G legendary creatures.  Soon after I realized this, I also realized Santa-esque is too restricting.  A general holiday gen- commander would be much more fitting (and politically correct), which lead me to five colors.  I looked at the 5 color legends for a group hug commander, and found Karona.  It has a nice little twisted group hug feel that I have loved for a while now (hence the "I've been brewing..." line above).  Now I had an excuse to try and flesh it out a bit more.

Karona's form of group hug is a lot different than others.  Instead of giving other people some kind of bonus (a la the most ubiquitous group hugger, Phelddagrif), Karona give herself to your opponents.  This can be a huge problem if it comes back at you, hence why I included the full cycle of vows, the ones that give the enchanted creature a bonus and keeps it from attacking the owner of the vow.  These will keep Karona from coming back at you in retaliation.  Karona's title as the False God is also a small play to my cynicism about the holidays and shopping, because, let's face it, a large number of people have forgotten the true spirit of the holidays: coming together to celebrate with your friends and family...

Which is why I decided to go ahead and include the cycle of Join Forces cards as well; the ones that when cast, everyone can add in any amount of mana they want, and all players get the sum of the rewards.  Everyone pulling their resources to better themselves and/or the group; becoming allies for a brief moment.  Speaking of which, as you can see, I took the camaraderie to another level by making the creature base the full suite of Ally-typed creatures, even the puma (it's the family cat).  What I love about these guys is that they rely on others to bolster their [very versatile] effects; i.e. the more the merrier.  I originally picked the Allies because I wanted a fun tribe that spans all five colors, and while there might have been others, I'm not sure anyone can argue with the flavor of this band of bros.

The last thing I want to discuss is that if you notice, I left the land base open (with 47 slots to fill).  The reason is that I fully expect that anyone who wants to give this deck a try to tweak the spell base; take out certain allies that don't fit into a certain game plan, include more instants and sorceries (removal, draw, tutor, etc).  If you enjoy giving yourself some restrictions and taking the camaraderie to another level, I have a suggestion:  if something exists as part of a cycle, use the ENTIRE cycle (as I did with the signets, the vows, and the Join Forces).  This goes for lands too, although that might be the most expensive part of the deck that way (unless you want to go all out on the holiday feel and use the Holiday Promos)...

Here are some ideas that popped into my head:

 Zeniths!  Absolutely.  Sweeper?  Creature tutor?  Draw?  Burn?  Dudes? Re-usability and versatility?  Great.  These are the first five cards I am adding.

Guildmages!  There are 20 now total, or at least there will be once Gatecrash drops.  They sort of breaks the tribal theme, hence why I probably won't be using them (I enjoy tribal way too much), but I can see why anyone else would.

"Hunted"!  These larger-than-normal creatures add an extra dimension of group hug to the deck by giving your opponent something in return for allowing you successfully cast the guy. Again, though, breaks the tribe vibe.


Titans!  No.  Primeval is banned :(  If you have a play group that would allow you to use him though, go for it!  I would be willing to break my love of a mono-tribe creature list (Mana-Charged Dragon alone makes me want to sadface, but he is there for the sake of another cycle) for them since they have synergy with Conjurer's Closet and any other blink effects you may want to include.

Medallions!  Could be fun, but I prefer the signets since they can always be used as colorless sources for the spells that don't fit into the color.

Kamigawa Patrons!  Again, if you want to break the tribal theme for them, and think it would be fun (I do), go for it.

As I said, this is a skeleton that I rushed together, and I think it shows.  However, I think for a rough skeleton, this could turn out to be really fun, especially once you add in your own little twist.  Have any other ideas for cycles or holiday themed cards to include?  Just let me know in the comments.

So with that, and on behalf of Caitlin, Jas, and Stevie, Happy Holidays from NerdPop! ,,v. ^_^

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