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Saturday, July 14, 2018

What is EDH?

June 12, 2011 by  
Filed under FAQ

For formality, I guess most of you who had entered this page already knew what EDH is, but for the benefit of those who are new to the term, EDH is a casual Magic: The Gathering (MTG) variant. EDH, or more modernly called Commander nowadays, stands for Elder Dragon Highlander. While the name had changed over the years, most of us recognize it as EDH. The format of it pretty stays the same, emphasizing on social interactions (politics among multi-players), interesting games (humongous spells and creatures are possible and may even be a true threat) and creative deck building (large deck of 99 cards). No two games are the same and no one deck can truly dominate in the two games played.

How do you get started with EDH you ask? The same way you do with every other normal variant of MTG. You build a deck of course. But for EDH it’s a bit different. Instead of the normal 60 cards deck which everyone of us are familiar with, EDH decks are 99+1 cards decks. Confusing of that combination? Shocked at the huge number of cards you need to consider for a deck? Don’t worry. Let’s walk through the process of building one. You find that it is easier than you could imagine after reading the below steps.


Choosing a Commander / General:-

So you ask what this 99+1 means? That is the number of cards you be playing with for an EDH deck. To begin with any EDH deck, you need to choose a legendary creature as your “Commander” or “General”. You may choose any legendary creatures as your Commander, and on a side note, two players may have the same General in the same game. Also you are allowed to include that legendary creature in your deck even if your opponent is using that creature as his or her Commander. Commanders are subjected to the Legend rule like any other legendary creature, meaning that having multiple copies of the same creature on the battlefield, in regardless of Commander or Noncommander, will send all of them to the graveyard or Commander Zone as a state based effect. This General is the +1 of that 99+1.


Build your deck around your Commander:-

Now you had got the +1 out of the 99+1, let’s go to the 99. The 99 is number of cards in your deck. After you had chosen your Commander, it would serve as the basis of how these 99 cards are chosen. The colors you are allowed to use for your deck are restricted to the Color Identity of your Commander. This is established before the game. Game effects cannot change the Color Identity of the card. A Color Identity of a card is determined by its color and the color of any mana symbols on that card’s rule text. What does that all entirely means? Well, simply put…

  • Cards can be put into your deck as long as they share a Color Identity with your General.
  • Lands must contain same mana symbol(s) with the Commander. Even though lands are colorless, they still have a Color Identity.
  • Hybrid cards can only be play if its Color Identity is included in all of your General’s color identity.
  • Basic land words do not represent colored mana symbol and therefore is not affect by your Commander.
  • Reminder text is not consider for Color Identity of cards


With the above rules in mind, lets take for example; you had chosen Rafiq of the Many (1GWU) as your General, whose Color Identity is Green, White and Blue. You are not allowed to play the following:


As stated in the beginning, EDH is a Highlander or Singleton deck. All cards except basic lands are restricted. So with that in mind, there are clearly a lot of choices you can put into your deck. Do take note that although the card pool is huge, there is still a banned list for EDH too (check out the banned list). Other than the banned list, your choices are pretty much open up, from Sol Ring, all the Tutors, up to Shahrazad. So with the basic guidelines above, you could start building your EDH deck. Next article we shall go into how to play the game. So in the mean time, happy building your decks

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off,


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