MTG’s EDH / Commander Format: Rules, Strategies, and Tips

EDH / Commander Format

Welcome to MTGJunkie.com, this site is dedicated to the Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) / Commander format of Magic the Gathering (MTG).

Find everything you need to know about EDH rules to Commander strategies for your EDH deck.

MTGJunkie.com EDH Website

Check out the EDH blog to:

    • Find new cards and combos to improve your EDH deck.
    • Find EDH Deck builder commander strategies and General suggestions.


EDH / Commander Format Vs. Standard Format

Most MTG players are more familiar with playing standard format with 60 card decks.  In EDH you play with 100 cards with different rules.  EDH / Commander Format deck strategies are incredibly different from Standard Format. MTG’s EDH Format makes 1v1 games and multiplayer games last much longer than they would in standard format. Since the game play lasts much longer in EDH you can play more powerful cards with higher casting costs that you would not normally use in Standard Format. Because you can play cards with higher casting costs the EDH Format expands the amount of playable Magic Cards in your deck.

When building your commander deck most consideration should be put in picking your General. The casting cost and ability costs of your General are the basis of what colors you can use in your deck.  The focus strategy for your deck will be based around your General. You can play your General at any time during your turn as long as you have enough mana.  You must pay an additional mana for every time your General is put back to the commander zone.  Because your General is readily available in the command zone you can build a whole strategy revolving around your General to enhance your deck.

Another big difference between EDH and Standard play is that you can only use one of each card in your deck this is called “singleton” format. “Singleton” format means that there can be no duplicates of cards with the same name except of course for basic lands.  The “singleton” format makes it more important to do research when creating your deck.  Because of the large deck size you will have to choose between 62-65 single cards that will best to benefit your deck (not counting lands).  As many long time EDH players know, it can be hard to figure out what cards you should take out and put into your deck to optimize your deck as best as possible.

EDH Generals

EDH Commander Deck Building Guide

1. If you do not know the rules for EDH already then make sure you learn them before creating your deck. Click here for EDH Rules

2. When first building your EDH Deck determining your EDH General helps determine your strategy and what colors you use. Check out the EDH Generals List for ideas.

3.  After select your General and know what colors you are using in your EDH Deck you will find that some Magic Cards will work well in most EDH decks with the same colors. Check out the list of EDH Staples.

4.  If you are having trouble determining what deck strategy to use for your EDH Deck try looking at other deck with the same EDH General this will also give you an idea of what cards you can use.  I suggest checking out http://tappedout.net/ to check out different decks.

Also when building an EDH deck many strategies revolve around specific abilities or creature types. The best way to find all the alternatives for these types and abilities is to do some research at http://gatherer.wizards.com/ and use the search function to your advantage.

5. When you are using a Multicolored deck you need to make sure you have a good variation of lands that produce different color mana. Check out some multi colored producing lands.(If you have a monocolored Commander you can skip checking out the multicolored producing lands of course)

6. After you find multicolored producing lands to make sure your mana base is sufficient check out lands that will support your deck strategy.

7. Test your new EDH deck out with your friends to best decide what your deck needs.

A very important part of EDH deck building is card balance. You need to learn how to best balance destroy cards as well as, creatures, enchantments, lands, artifacts, etc. Card balance is important because you do not want to have too much or too little of any one type of card in a 100 card deck.

The best way to balance your EDH deck is to test your deck by trial and error.  Trial and error can help you figure out what cards you need more or less of when playing EDH with your friends.  I use trial and error tactics when playing with my friends. I noticed my Kaalia of the Vast EDH deck was too centralized around my General so I have added cards like Quicksilver Amulet and Sneak Attack as well as reanimation cards in case Kaalia is destroyed too many times.  Through this trial and error process I try to make my deck better to win more games against my friends and other opponents.

Check out suggestions in the EDH Blog to help you figure out what will help enhance your EDH / Commander deck.