Here at The Beard Bros Games we play a variety of different hobby games, collectible games, and board games. One of our favorite formats for playing Magic: The Gathering, is “EDH,” also known as “Commander.” It is a wonderful format for multi-player games, and it provides an opportunity to play many fantastic cards that are impracticable for competitive play.
If you are not familiar with the basic rules of Magic, please see THIS POST first. If you are familiar with Magic, then the differences in the format are all that you need to learn. First, each deck must have a commander–a Legendary Creature that begins the came in the “Commander Zone” and determines the color(s) the deck may contain. For example, if Vorosh, the Hunter is the commander of an EDH deck, its colors (Green, Blue and Black) determine the colors that may exist in the remainder of the deck. No card in a Vorosh EDH deck may have a Red or White mana symbol.
The deck must be exactly 100 cards, including the Commander. Each player starts with 40 life, rather than 20. A commander may be played from the Commander Zone into play for its mana cost. When a commander is sent to another zone (graveyard or exile, for instance, it can instead be returned to the Commander Zone, and played again from the Commander Zone (a player must pay an additional two generic mana for each additional time the commander is played from the Commander Zone).
Except for basic lands (and Relentless Rats, or future cards with similar rules), there can only be one of each card in the deck (this is where great variety enters the fray). A player loses (is out of the game) by losing his or her life total (down to zero) or by being delivered 21 damage in a single blow by an opponent’s commander.
As with most formats, there are certain banned cards. For example, Braids, below, is banned. There are a few other practical rules. Each player draws a card, including the first player. The first mulligan re-draws seven cards. Mana effects that would produce an impermissible mana type for a particular deck produces colorless mana instead.
The fun of the game comes from the multi-player format, the wild variety of decks brought, and the greater variety of interactions between decks. We play this format often at The Beard Bros Games, and you are welcome to join us.