Commander and You: A Beginners Guide to EDH

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Commander and You: A Beginners Guide to EDH

This week we learn a little bit about EDH.

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Another good article though I didn't see mention of the commander recast penalty. And in my group we do play as shuffles and bounces allow you to return your commander back to the command zone if u wish. But the penalty as mentioned about is 2 colorless gets added to his casting cost every time (but only from the command zone playing him from your hand goes as normal).

Encaen:
Commander and You: A Beginner's Guide to EDH

This week we learn a little bit about EDH.

Read Full Article

Nice job on the article. I do love commander games because you can do some pretty broken things in the games and it's just taken as a laugh. Also my set of oringial Elder dragons was actually worth something now despite them being pretty bad generals.

We fully expect to see pictures and match reports along with a decklist/cardpool list from the pre-release this weekend as next weeks article! It will be an epic adventure into the heart of darkness :P

Encaen:
unless it had both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters at the time it died.

Which is impossible, If a permanent has both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters on it N of both get removed where N is the smaller number of the two, this is a state based action.

Hmmmm... Now I have to ask myself if I want to inform my friends about the recast penalty. Seeing as my friend with the best commander deck hardly uses his commander, I may not tell them. I really like my commander. Riku is fucking badass.

fanklok:

Encaen:
unless it had both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters at the time it died.

Which is impossible, If a permanent has both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters on it N of both get removed where N is the smaller number of the two, this is a state based action.

Unless the number of -1/-1 counters being put on it is enough to kill that creature in which case it dies before the annihilation of both counters. At that point it has both on it at time of death.

TheGuy(wantstobe):

fanklok:

Encaen:
unless it had both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters at the time it died.

Which is impossible, If a permanent has both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters on it N of both get removed where N is the smaller number of the two, this is a state based action.

Unless the number of -1/-1 counters being put on it is enough to kill that creature in which case it dies before the annihilation of both counters. At that point it has both on it at time of death.

Nope, that is also a state based action, when state based actions are checked they all happen simultaneously as one event so if a 1/1 creature has four +1/+1 counters on it and an effect puts five -1/-1 counters on it the next time state based actions are checked four of each counter will be removed and it will be sent to the graveyard for having 0 toughness.

fanklok:

TheGuy(wantstobe):

fanklok:

Which is impossible, If a permanent has both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters on it N of both get removed where N is the smaller number of the two, this is a state based action.

Unless the number of -1/-1 counters being put on it is enough to kill that creature in which case it dies before the annihilation of both counters. At that point it has both on it at time of death.

Nope, that is also a state based action, when state based actions are checked they all happen simultaneously as one event so if a 1/1 creature has four +1/+1 counters on it and an effect puts five -1/-1 counters on it the next time state based actions are checked four of each counter will be removed and it will be sent to the graveyard for having 0 toughness.

Sorry but you're very wrong.
http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/faq/dka

Wizards of the Coast:
If a creature with undying that has a +1/+1 counter on it receives enough -1/-1 counters to cause it to be destroyed by lethal damage or put into its owner's graveyard for having 0 or less toughness, undying won't trigger and the card won't return to the battlefield. That's because undying checks the creature's existence just before it leaves the battlefield, and it still has all those counters on it at that point.

State based effects are checked and resolve simultaneously which is what causes this. The creature dies while having both +1/+1 counters and -1/-1 counters on it at the same time as it attempts to remove counters to get to a state where it only has one type. At Last known information for card abilities (which is what all current card abilities reference) it still has both types of counters on it.

Good article, solid overview of EDH.

My personal favorite commander is Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind.

There are quite a few instant win infinite combos that one could run with Niv-Mizzet, such as slapping a Curiosity, Ophidian Eye, or Mind over Matter onto the field, but I don't run those, as with most quick instant win combos, they don't really fit in with the casual EDH spirit.

Instead, I choose to run a sort of "hand cycling" deck with Niv-Mizzet. I use spells like Wheel of Fortune, Time Reversal, Teferei's Puzzle Box, and Windfall in order to draw huge amounts of cards at a time. Add in to those cards a Thought Reflection or a Consecrated Sphinx, and I can sometimes draw my entire deck. All the while dealing huge damage with Niv-Mizzet or a Psychosis Crawler, (Or sometimes 2 Niv-Mizzets thanks to Sakashima the Imposter).

Basilisk Collar and Neko-Te (seen above) are really fun to put on Niv. The collar turns him into a death dealing, life gaining machine. And Neko-Te essentially doubles his damage output to players.

However, the crown jewel of this deck is without a doubt, Dream Halls.

This schnazzy lil enchantment is capable of some pretty incredible things. It turns everyone's hand into a resource for casting spells. And since Niv-Mizzet is pretty fond of a well stocked hand, it is pretty hard for me to lose if I can stick a dream halls into play. Overall, it a really fun deck, and if anyone is interested in the full list, I would be willing to post it here.

fanklok:

Encaen:
unless it had both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters at the time it died.

Which is impossible, If a permanent has both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters on it N of both get removed where N is the smaller number of the two, this is a state based action.

There I was specifically referring to the corner case in which there are already +1/+1 counters on a creature and sufficient number of -1/-1 counters are placed on it to kill it. The creature is put into the Graveyard as a SBA, while still having both types of counter on it, no? Since both SBAs would be performed simultaneously, the counters are still considered to have been on the creature at the time it died, as I understand it.

Revnak:
Hmmmm... Now I have to ask myself if I want to inform my friends about the recast penalty. Seeing as my friend with the best commander deck hardly uses his commander, I may not tell them. I really like my commander. Riku is fucking badass.

I'm intrigued as to what kind of deck your friend is playing where he rarely uses his Commander, who does he use(or not use, as the case may be?) Also, Riku is amazing. I've put together several of my own EDH decks, but I still find myself drawn to playing Riku with surprising regularity.

TheGuy(wantstobe):
We fully expect to see pictures and match reports along with a decklist/cardpool list from the pre-release this weekend as next weeks article! It will be an epic adventure into the heart of darkness :P

I don't know about pictures, but I am planning to attend a Sunday pre-release event with Kross and s0osleepie, so I'll definitely let you know how that goes next week!

Shynobee:
Good article, solid overview of EDH.

My personal favorite commander is Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind.

There are quite a few instant win infinite combos that one could run with Niv-Mizzet, such as slapping a Curiosity, Ophidian Eye, or Mind over Matter onto the field, but I don't run those, as with most quick instant win combos, they don't really fit in with the casual EDH spirit.

Instead, I choose to run a sort of "hand cycling" deck with Niv-Mizzet. I use spells like Wheel of Fortune, Time Reversal, Teferei's Puzzle Box, and Windfall in order to draw huge amounts of cards at a time. Add in to those cards a Thought Reflection or a Consecrated Sphinx, and I can sometimes draw my entire deck. All the while dealing huge damage with Niv-Mizzet or a Psychosis Crawler, (Or sometimes 2 Niv-Mizzets thanks to Sakashima the Imposter).

Basilisk Collar and Neko-Te (seen above) are really fun to put on Niv. The collar turns him into a death dealing, life gaining machine. And Neko-Te essentially doubles his damage output to players.

However, the crown jewel of this deck is without a doubt, Dream Halls.

This schnazzy lil enchantment is capable of some pretty incredible things. It turns everyone's hand into a resource for casting spells. And since Niv-Mizzet is pretty fond of a well stocked hand, it is pretty hard for me to lose if I can stick a dream halls into play. Overall, it a really fun deck, and if anyone is interested in the full list, I would be willing to post it here.

I love using this

in my Blue commander decks as it's just freaking hilarious to watch everyone tap out to prevent you doing stuff with their mana allowing you to move from Main phase 1 to Combat/ain Phase 2 to do whatever youw ant without them being able to interfere. If they don't tap out in response as you ahve priority you have acces to every untapped land on the table to add mana to your pool.

Encaen:

fanklok:

Encaen:
unless it had both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters at the time it died.

Which is impossible, If a permanent has both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters on it N of both get removed where N is the smaller number of the two, this is a state based action.

There I was specifically referring to the corner case in which there are already +1/+1 counters on a creature and sufficient number of -1/-1 counters are placed on it to kill it. The creature is put into the Graveyard as a SBA, while still having both types of counter on it, no? Since both SBAs would be performed simultaneously, the counters are still considered to have been on the creature at the time it died, as I understand it.

I don't know about pictures, but I am planning to attend a Sunday pre-release event with Kross and s0osleepie, so I'll definitely let you know how that goes next week!

Yeah you have it correct. They clarify that this is what happens in he Dark Ascension FAQ to prevent people trying undying shenanigans beyond what is normally available.

For the pre-release all I can say is sweet. I'm going to both a Saturday and a Sunday one as I need my magic fix. May you open well and have good draws!

Encaen:

fanklok:

Encaen:
unless it had both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters at the time it died.

Which is impossible, If a permanent has both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters on it N of both get removed where N is the smaller number of the two, this is a state based action.

There I was specifically referring to the corner case in which there are already +1/+1 counters on a creature and sufficient number of -1/-1 counters are placed on it to kill it. The creature is put into the Graveyard as a SBA, while still having both types of counter on it, no? Since both SBAs would be performed simultaneously, the counters are still considered to have been on the creature at the time it died, as I understand it.

I see that now, my mind is still full of fuck but I see that now.

TheGuy(wantstobe):

I love using this

in my Blue commander decks as it's just freaking hilarious to watch everyone tap out to prevent you doing stuff with their mana allowing you to move from Main phase 1 to Combat/ain Phase 2 to do whatever youw ant without them being able to interfere. If they don't tap out in response as you ahve priority you have acces to every untapped land on the table to add mana to your pool.

That is actually really hilarious. Though, I don't think I could get away with running it in my Niv Deck, as it already draws so much hate from my global hand reset stuff, and most people do everything in their power to try and murder me if I so much as consider trying to play Niv-Mizzet while I'm tapped out.

I will definitely consider it though if one of those pops up for trade in my area.

Normally I'm a Standard player, though I mess around with varying decks with my friends. They got a couple of the Commander decks and I tried it out. It didn't seem all that fun, but we only had two decks so that might have been a limiting factor.

Anyway, I'm curious how the Exalted mechanic will help in an EDH multiplayer where your benefit is one creature attacking alone, instead of attacking with many. I wasn't around for Alara block, so I missed a lot of the gameplay that goes with that mechanic.

I mean, I can understand something like Phyrexian Obliterator with that, but he's black and Rafiq is UWG.

Shynobee:

TheGuy(wantstobe):

I love using this

in my Blue commander decks as it's just freaking hilarious to watch everyone tap out to prevent you doing stuff with their mana allowing you to move from Main phase 1 to Combat/ain Phase 2 to do whatever youw ant without them being able to interfere. If they don't tap out in response as you ahve priority you have acces to every untapped land on the table to add mana to your pool.

That is actually really hilarious. Though, I don't think I could get away with running it in my Niv Deck, as it already draws so much hate from my global hand reset stuff, and most people do everything in their power to try and murder me if I so much as consider trying to play Niv-Mizzet while I'm tapped out.

I will definitely consider it though if one of those pops up for trade in my area.

Other ones to look out for in pretty much any Blue commander deck are these


The three of them are especially hilarious with a Riku on the field but blatant thievery being copied once or twice with reverberate, M12 Chandra, Riku, Increasing Vengeance and being flashed back with snapcaster mage to do it again the next turn gets me quite a few dirty looks at our local commander games haha.

Encaen:

Revnak:
Hmmmm... Now I have to ask myself if I want to inform my friends about the recast penalty. Seeing as my friend with the best commander deck hardly uses his commander, I may not tell them. I really like my commander. Riku is fucking badass.

I'm intrigued as to what kind of deck your friend is playing where he rarely uses his Commander, who does he use(or not use, as the case may be?) Also, Riku is amazing. I've put together several of my own EDH decks, but I still find myself drawn to playing Riku with surprising regularity.

He has a whole lot of token cards of varying absurdity. I'm just glad he never got a copy of Rhys the redeemed really. He bought the green-black-white commander deck when it came out, but he didn't end up really liking any of the commanders that came with it, so he often forgets that he has them. Its pretty hilarious really.

I however am running a deck full of high cost cards to double and massive mana ramp. I'm trying to find more and more cards to break, but I just don't have the time or money. I love Riku. My favorite combo I've pulled off so far is doubling magmatic force to control my opponent's number of creatures, had it die, brought it back a few times, and eventually had around four or five of it, and I was actually using the deck to play arch-enemy at the time. I haven't had the deck too long to be honest, and I think I've used it more for arch-enemy than commander as most of my friends have terrible commander decks.

Revnak:

Encaen:

Revnak:
Hmmmm... Now I have to ask myself if I want to inform my friends about the recast penalty. Seeing as my friend with the best commander deck hardly uses his commander, I may not tell them. I really like my commander. Riku is fucking badass.

I'm intrigued as to what kind of deck your friend is playing where he rarely uses his Commander, who does he use(or not use, as the case may be?) Also, Riku is amazing. I've put together several of my own EDH decks, but I still find myself drawn to playing Riku with surprising regularity.

He has a whole lot of token cards of varying absurdity. I'm just glad he never got a copy of Rhys the redeemed really. He bought the green-black-white commander deck when it came out, but he didn't end up really liking any of the commanders that came with it, so he often forgets that he has them. Its pretty hilarious really.

I however am running a deck full of high cost cards to double and massive mana ramp. I'm trying to find more and more cards to break, but I just don't have the time or money. I love Riku. My favorite combo I've pulled off so far is doubling magmatic force to control my opponent's number of creatures, had it die, brought it back a few times, and eventually had around four or five of it, and I was actually using the deck to play arch-enemy at the time. I haven't had the deck too long to be honest, and I think I've used it more for arch-enemy than commander as most of my friends have terrible commander decks.

See my above post for three cards that Riku loves breaking in half while also breaking your opponents at the same time. Thievery is also only $4 M/NM.

I'm partial to Skullbriar myself. Mostly because I like black and green as a color combo, also because the few shenanigans you can do with him are just so fun

I have a particularly nasty EDH deck running Edric, Spymaster of trest as the general. Blue/Green so naturally i have plenty of manaramp and counter ability and spot removal galore. I use things like spellbook, vensers journal, etc to give me unlimmited hand size and start pinging away with small unblockable creatures for Edric's draw ability. most people don't mind being hit for one or two damage at a time, especially if i spred it around the table. Until, that is, I throw down psychosis crawler, aeon chronicler, overbeing of myth, or Multani, Maro-Sorcerer, all with power/ toughness equal to my handsize. Multani is especially nasty with built in shroud and power/toughness equal to all players combined handsize. and if I start running low on counters I can just play preators council and my entire graveyard goes into my hand. by that time I can usually take an oponnent out with one swing.

I have one minor rules clarification: When a creature with undying dies and has no +1/+1 counters on it, does it count as having gone to the graveyard and then returned to the battlefield? If that is the case, then any "enters the battlefield" abilities would trigger, such as Geralf's Messenger entering the battlefield tapped. Am I right?


I recently built an EDH deck, though it has yet to be tested. My problem with them is that I don't have very much to choose from for a Commander:

The one I chose for my EDH was Geist of Saint Traft. I was entirely unsure about building a deck around any legendary creature, but the Geist seemed good enough.

My EDH deck is as follows, for those interested.

If anyone has any criticisms or comments, let me know. I will say, though, that I don't have much to work with: building an EDH deck is a bit of a stretch for me.

i hate to reveal my noobness but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. how do you add the links to the cards in the posts?

Frylock72:
Normally I'm a Standard player, though I mess around with varying decks with my friends. They got a couple of the Commander decks and I tried it out. It didn't seem all that fun, but we only had two decks so that might have been a limiting factor.

Anyway, I'm curious how the Exalted mechanic will help in an EDH multiplayer where your benefit is one creature attacking alone, instead of attacking with many. I wasn't around for Alara block, so I missed a lot of the gameplay that goes with that mechanic.

I mean, I can understand something like Phyrexian Obliterator with that, but he's black and Rafiq is UWG.

My Rafiq of the Many deck actually tends to do pretty well in my playgroup, the downside being that it's often too fast to make for particularly fun games in small groups. I use a lot of tappers like Azorius Guildmage both offensively and defensively, plus unblockable abilities like Jhessian Balmgiver to get Rafiq through for a quick 21 commander damage. Given his Doublestrike, even with only his own Exalted ability, he's a 3 turn clock, but you can get that down to 2 turns with some other Exalted triggers or some buffs!

TheGuy(wantstobe):

Revnak:

Encaen:

I'm intrigued as to what kind of deck your friend is playing where he rarely uses his Commander, who does he use(or not use, as the case may be?) Also, Riku is amazing. I've put together several of my own EDH decks, but I still find myself drawn to playing Riku with surprising regularity.

He has a whole lot of token cards of varying absurdity. I'm just glad he never got a copy of Rhys the redeemed really. He bought the green-black-white commander deck when it came out, but he didn't end up really liking any of the commanders that came with it, so he often forgets that he has them. Its pretty hilarious really.

I however am running a deck full of high cost cards to double and massive mana ramp. I'm trying to find more and more cards to break, but I just don't have the time or money. I love Riku. My favorite combo I've pulled off so far is doubling magmatic force to control my opponent's number of creatures, had it die, brought it back a few times, and eventually had around four or five of it, and I was actually using the deck to play arch-enemy at the time. I haven't had the deck too long to be honest, and I think I've used it more for arch-enemy than commander as most of my friends have terrible commander decks.

See my above post for three cards that Riku loves breaking in half while also breaking your opponents at the same time. Thievery is also only $4 M/NM.

Yeah, I think those could really work. I may try looking for some turn adding cards as well. I really am liking how the deck is turning out.

TheGuy(wantstobe):

Other ones to look out for in pretty much any Blue commander deck are these


The three of them are especially hilarious with a Riku on the field but blatant thievery being copied once or twice with reverberate, M12 Chandra, Riku, Increasing Vengeance and being flashed back with snapcaster mage to do it again the next turn gets me quite a few dirty looks at our local commander games haha.

I do run Blatant Thievery and Reverberate (and twincast) in my Niv-Mizzet deck. Blatant Thievery is one of my catch all answers to problematic enchantments that red and blue can't normally deal with. Oblivion Stone is the other answer. To everything.

CounterAttack:
I have one minor rules clarification: When a creature with undying dies and has no +1/+1 counters on it, does it count as having gone to the graveyard and then returned to the battlefield? If that is the case, then any "enters the battlefield" abilities would trigger, such as Geralf's Messenger entering the battlefield tapped. Am I right?

Yep. The sequence of events goes like this

Creature with undying gets beaten up until it takes lethal
Creature get's shipped to graveyard by state based effects
Undying triggers and goes on the stack. Players are allowed to respond to this in AP>NAP as usual.
Stack resolves and when undying attempts to resolve it checks for two things. Firstly that the creature is in the graveyard at the time and secondly that when it died it had no +1/+1 counters. If both of those things are true it resolves and drags it out of the yard activating any comes into play abilities or the ability of cards such as Flayer of the hatebound.

CounterAttack:
I have one minor rules clarification: When a creature with undying dies and has no +1/+1 counters on it, does it count as having gone to the graveyard and then returned to the battlefield? If that is the case, then any "enters the battlefield" abilities would trigger, such as Geralf's Messenger entering the battlefield tapped. Am I right?

Undying triggers when the creature goes to the graveyard then it gets pulled out of the graveyard and put on the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it so any abilities that trigger when a creature enter the battlefield will trigger.

this was about the only form of the game which Really got me interested, although I seem to remember the commader go back to his little corner by default

Dont remember much about the decks nowe but remember quite a few Wednesday evening sitting around until 1-2am playing just 1 or 2 really involved 5 way EDH games

Alex Hardin:
i hate to reveal my noobness but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. how do you add the links to the cards in the posts?

The forum code for links is {url=www.puttheurltothecardhere.com}Card Name{/url}. Just replace the { } with [ ].

Iīve only played a couple rounds of commander with two of the official decks and didnīt like it all that much. I could see the potential of a four player match though and Iīll definitely give it a shot of I ever I get the chance.

On another note: I finally gave in and signed up for the pre-release this weekend. I figured a sealed tournament is probably the best way to get into competitive play. I canīt wait, but Iīm still a little nervous as well.

Wow, Commander seems really fun, too bad I don't have any friends...

Encaen:

My Rafiq of the Many deck actually tends to do pretty well in my playgroup, the downside being that it's often too fast to make for particularly fun games in small groups. I use a lot of tappers like Azorius Guildmage both offensively and defensively, plus unblockable abilities like Jhessian Balmgiver to get Rafiq through for a quick 21 commander damage. Given his Doublestrike, even with only his own Exalted ability, he's a 3 turn clock, but you can get that down to 2 turns with some other Exalted triggers or some buffs!

Hm, that actually sounds like fun, though I'm not really one for enjoying a game of 'politics'. I think most games are fun when you just get right to the beatdown and focus less on talking others into attacking. Maybe I'll put one together to play my friends' decks. Thanks for the info.

EDH is fantastic been playing the format for about 6m months now, and my top two commanders are:

Doran The Siege Tower; cheap cost low power really high toughness with a good deal of treefolk tribal, completely turns the games carefully planned mana costs on its head, and as its often said the best defence is a good offence..

Dralnu Lich Lord; in a format based on having one spell once, being able to give any instant or sorcery in your graveyard flashback is incredibly powerful, combine this with self mill and spells like Rite of replication and field wipes, (and of course a crucible of worlds) your in for the long haul... So far his longest innings was a single 6 player 8 hour game, eventually came second after replicating (and kicking) a darksteel colossus twice (yes i had ten of them), i succumbed to flying infect...

This article makes me want to keep my Doran EDH now. For the past couple of months I've been considering dismantling it since none of my friends would play it any more due to me hard on for Cataclysm and Ensnaring Bridge. Eladamri's Call on Isochron Scepter doesn't help out to much though :/.

My EDH commanders

Joira Chaos: It's all fun and games until Eye of the storm is played. Funniest story concerning it- Eye of the Storm, Hivemind and Rite of Replication came down in a single turn, then I Radiated Rite of Replication

It went-> Eots comes into play, Hivemind comes into play, Radiate exiled, replayed, targeting RoR, RoR exiled, played, kicked, copied by everybody, Radiate played, copied by everybody targeting RoR. All the RoRs resolve, everyone ends up with a buttload of tokens.

Fiddling around with the Planechase 2012 Legendary Maelstrom Wanderer right now.

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