Tuesday Night Takeover

Intro to EDH: Commander rules overview and how to get started!

Commander sometimes called EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) is one of magics most popular format, with a wide range of strategies and a near infinite amount of possibilities, Commander is a great format for new and returning players offering fun deckbuilding and a great sense of community! Commander never has cards rotate so you can build a deck and enjoy it for years to come! Commander is the best of Magic allowing you to play some of the most broken and wacky cards all legal unless stated on the Ban List

Art: Wizards of the Coast

Format Rules for Commander!

Here are the Basic Format Rules for Commander

  • Decks are 99 Cards +1 (your Commander)
  • Every Card in your Deck must only use mana symbols that also appear on your commander
  • Commanders are not in the deck and sit in the Command Zone A commander can be cast from the command zone for its normal costs, plus an additional two mana for each previous time it’s been cast from the command zone this game
  • A player that’s been dealt 21 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game
  • Starting Life total is 40
  • First Player Draws

Lets go into some more detail about some bullet and discuss!

Bullet 1: Decks are always 99 cards + 1 commander

The only case where this would be different is if you had 2 commanders through the Partner Mechanic or through the Choose a Background Mechanic which would allow you to have a background as a second commander.


Bullet 2: Every Card in your Deck must only use mana symbols that also appear on your commander.

Mana symbols appearing anywhere on your commander denote what colors of cards you can have in your deck

Tazri and Sisay are both great examples of cards that appear to just have a color identity of white but due to their abilities they are both 5 color commanders.

What do you need to play commander?

Commander is no different than any magic format it can be played with any amount of players although the typical player configuration is a 4 person table or a 1 V 1 table. As far as supplies your commander deck, sleeves and dice are really all you need to get started. You can find all of these items for sale online or at your local game store! Just like anything else you can bling out and have custom and themed boxes / sleeves or dice or you can go plain that’s the beauty of commander you can do whatever you like!

How do I find a playgroup?

There are a ton of ways to find a group to play with here are a few great ones!

  • Go to your Local Game Store Unsure if you have one check out Wizards Store Locator
  • Know a group who already plays magic but maybe not commander pitch the idea of playing commander to them!
  • Meet people online such as magic groups in your local area

Local game stores typically have commander decks on certain days of the week so you can hop in and have some casual fun! Local game stores are great places to meet new players and find a new playgroup!

How do I decide a deck?

There are literally thousands of possible commanders, thousands of possible strategies and it can be very overwhelming to have to pick one or two and narrow down what you want. If you are already an experienced player in Magic with decks in other formats you may have a playstyle you like lean into that. But if you are new player with no idea what to play Wizards makes Pre-con commander decks which are easy to get into and a ton of fun and geared towards new players. Below are 3 awesome commanders from Pre-cons with links to check out the decks!

Ezuri is a fun Green/Blue commander with an emphasis on casting little creatures and making them big. Being in both Green/Blue you get a great mix of how both colors play!

Link to Ezuri’s Precon Decklist

Daretti is a Mono-Red artifact Deck that focuses on sacrificing and recuring artifacts to cast your large payoff spells.

Link to Daretti’s Precon Decklist

Oloro is an awesome Black/Blue/White commander and is a great teaching commander focusing on lifegain Oloro has abliites before he is even on the field a great intro deck for new players!

Link to Oloro’s Precon Decklist

These are just three commanders out of a ton of options remember to look around build and explore the right commander is out there and just waiting for you to find it!

Additional Resources:


In conclusion commander is a wacky and fun format with infinite possibilities while it may seem like a lot at first once you understand the staples and commonalties within the format it can help you to build a great deck and have a ton of fun. Commander is one of Magic’s biggest formats and that is for a good reason!

Our Upcoming Intro to EDH series will have top 10 Commander staples in every color Stay tuned!

Thanks for Reading to the End!

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