MTG Commander / Elder Dragon Highlander EDH Rules
Some of these EDH rules are more like guidelines. My play group usually goes by the ban rules because cards on the ban list can be really annoying and or too good for EDH Format. An example of a card being too good would be Griselbrand. It is easy to abuse Griselbrand’s ability in EDH because you start with 40 life so losing 7 life is nothing then you can get a huge edge by drawing 7 cards at a time. Although I would love Griselbrand in my Kaalia of the Vast Deck it just makes the game more fair by playing by the rules of the official ban list.
My play group is a little more lenient on the Mulligan rules because even with an adequate amount of lands in your deck lands somehow manage to bundle together. In a 100 card deck bundled lands make it very easy to draw too many lands or not enough.
Now, to first understand EDH rules you must first understand the EDH Deck rules.
EDH Deck Rules
To build your EDH deck:
1. Select a general, this general MUST be a legendary creature.
2. All cards in your EDH deck must have the same colors used in your commander’s casting cost or abilities. No other colors can be used in your deck. Even if you have a card with an ability that uses a different color then your General’s you can not play the card in your deck. An example of a General would be Kaalia of the vast, with Kaalia you can only play cards with , , and in the abilities or the casting cost.
3. The total count of the EDH deck should be 100 cards this is including the General.
4. You can not use cards with the same name except for basic lands.
5. You can not use cards from the ban list in you EDH deck.
EDH Play Rules
1. Generals are announced and placed in the command zone before shuffling at the start of the game. Being a General is not a characteristic[MTG CR201], it is a property of the card. As such, “Generalness” cannot be copied or overwritten by continuous effects, and does not change with control of the card.
2. Each player starts with 40 life.
3. As an alternative win, If a player is dealt 21 combat damage in total from a commander they lose. This damage must be done by a specific General, General damage is counted normally as well. For example if your commander is Chainer, Dementia Master and you do 3 unblocked damage your opponent takes 3 regular damage and 3 General damage, assuming this is the first combat damage you have done your opponent would have 37 Life points and have 3 General damage done to them.
4. Other alternative win conditions such as poison counters remain the same. You would still win the game from doing 10 poison damage. Some groups like my own have changed the poison damage rule to requiring 15 poison damage to keep the game fair.
5. While a General is in the command zone, it may be played. Every time you play the General this way, you must pay an additional for each previous time you have played it this way. For example if you are playing Kaalia of the vast for the second time you would have to pay compared to the normal .
6. If a General would be put into a graveyard, or exiled from anywhere, its owner may put it in the command zone instead. (This is a replacement effect.. the creature never goes to the graveyard and will not trigger abilities on going to the graveyard) If you were to choose to send your commander to the graveyard in hopes of using Animate Dead and it is countered you can not send your commander back to the command zone. The decision to put the commander in the command zone or graveyard if it dies is determined immediately.
7.The first time a player takes a mulligan, they draw 7 cards (instead of the usual 6). The second mulligan is to 6, and so forth.