Hearthstone Diary #4: Hunting Out in the Open

Hearthstone Diary #4: Hunting Out in the Open

Surviving the Year of the Pirates and what's next

Hearthstone Diary #1: September was a great month for me

Hearthstone Diary #1: September was great

SylvanHunter joins Complexity Gaming and went to HWC SEA

BW Tokens in Modern

BW Tokens with Auriok Champion and Sorin

Modern MTG deck with Auriok Champion and Sorin, Solemn Visitor


Magic the Gathering Commander Decks: A Simplified Guide


Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Prossh arrived last week and I am so excited! I haven’t played Magic: The Gathering (MTG) in more than a decade but I heard about the new precon Commander decks and I HAD to try it. Commander is the modern way to call Elder Dragon Highlander or EDH  and it varies a little from the standard way of playing MTG. It’s one of the most popular casual formats (not DCI-sanctioned). Preconstructed Commander decks started hitting the store shelves just last year (2013).

Interesting trivia: This was invented in the wilds of Alaska and its originators used commanders only from the Legends set, including the Elder Dragons. EDH soon reached mainstream and well, I’m so mainstream because it got me playing MTG again! :p

Many former MTG players have asked me about this format so here’s a simplified guide to Commander or EDH format. If you have questions, just ask and I’ll reply. 🙂

What’s the difference between MTG Standard and Commander decks?

  • Each player starts with a life total of 40 (for multiplayer) or 30 (for duels) instead of the usual 20.
  • Commander decks have 100 cards while Standard has 60. It is played in Singleton format. This means each of your cards must have a different name, except for basic lands (of course).
  • Your deck will be led by a “commander” or a “general” which is a Legendary Creature of your choice. In my deck, I chose Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, to be the commander.
  • The commander works differently than the rest of the cards. Each player removes his/her commander from the game and you may play your commander from the command zone (usually beside your library) for its normal casting cost. If  your commander goes to the graveyard or the exile zone, you may put it back to the command zone instead and play it again with an additional {2} cost for each previous time you play it this way.
  • You can only play cards that are of the commander’s colors and colorless ones. Split and hybrid cards count as all of their colors. If a card contains a mana symbol that is not one of your commander’s you cannot play it or include it in your deck. If within the game you would add mana to your mana pool that’s not that of your commander’s, that is counted as colorless mana.
  • Aside from the standard way of winning (i.e. bringing your opponent down to 0 or negative HP), if the commander has dealt a total of 21 damage to target player, it automatically means that that player has lost, regardless of HP left. This means, you need to take note of each damage that commanders dealt to both players.

Commander was designed for multiplayer but you may also go for duels and I personally prefer the latter. Multiplayer is chaotic and time-consuming, IMHO. Yes, it’s fun but I no longer have time for games that stretch on forever. However, if there’s barbecue involved, let me know, and maybe I will change my mind.

Pre-con MTG Commander Deck: Power Hungry

Precon MTG Commander Deck: Power Hungry

Duel Commander

Derevi, Empyrial TacticianFor duels, some legendary creatures cannot be played but they would be totally fine in Multiplayer, such as Derevi. I have Derevi in one of my commander decks and I could say it would not be fair to have him in a duel. Since we would often play duels anyway, I’m including a list of banned cards. They’re not “officially banned” as EDH is not DCI-sanctioned. It’s more like an agreement among players to keep the game fair, but nothing’s set in stone.

Magic 2014 changes some rules such as you are prevented from using clone effects (e.g. Phantasmal Image) as removal for commanders. As of July 2014, here are the banned cards in Duel Commander:

The following cards are also banned from being played as a commander :

View Source

I’ll update this list as soon as I see new changes. Have fun!


Leave a Comment