Minds Aglow | Art by Yeong-Hao Han | © Wizards of the Coast
The answer to the question “Why do I play EDH?” is the most important thing you can ask yourself when approaching the format. Being open with others about what you find engaging and fun about Commander will lead to the highest amount of games where both you and your opponents enjoy themselves; in a game that usually has four or more players in it, not everyone can win, but everyone can certainly end the game on a high note.
This week, I hope to get your conversation with other players started and get everyone asking the question: What makes a great game for you?
Dark Confidant | Art by Ron Spears | © Wizards of the Coast
The easiest way to approach setting your expectations for Commander is to establish what makes you enjoy a game. Are you a player that wants to control a giant swath of monstrous creatures every game, somebody that wants to set up a powerful engine of cards to generate value and win conditions, or are you looking to try and win every game that you sit down to play? Commander, as stated by the format’s Rules Committee, is designed to be a social format; and part of being a social format is communicating your expectations and goals with the players across from you at the EDH table.
Most games of Commander are not played in a one-versus-one fashion. When you sit down with a group for two to four other players for a game of EDH, remembering that those players may have different opinions about how they want the game to go is very important. You may be the player who wants to establish a huge, dominant engine of cards in a game and feel like you’ve accomplished the goal you set out for yourself when you decided to shuffle your deck. However, your opponents may be the kinds of players that want to set up huge boards, players that put winning above other interactions and outcomes, or a myriad of other play styles. In a game you might wind up accomplishing exactly what you wanted to do in a game, but at the cost of ostracizing the other people at your table.
Restore Balance | Art by Mark Poole | © Wizards of the Coast
I have found over the half decade I’ve been playing Commander that myself and other players often do not look past themselves and think about their impact on three other people when playing a game. But, we are players of the most social format in Magic–finding it in ourselves to look past eeking out every advantage in a game to contribute to a welcoming environment is part of Commander being a social format. This is why I asked you to think about what you enjoy about playing a game of Commander. EDH does not have to be a zero sum game, especially when more than 75% of the time, an individual player should not be winning the game that they’re playing.
So, the next time that you shuffle up the ninety-nine of your choice, take a minute and think about the other players at the table and ask them “What do you want out of this game?”
Weekly Deck Highlight
Each week I’d like to highlight a community submitted deck in this article series and go over my thoughts on it. This inaugural article, however, I’ll just be posting a decklist for my Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice deck. Let me know if I’m missing a card that should be in the deck or a card that seems out of place and we’ll discuss it in next week’s article.
No One Acts Alone Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice Land 1x Arid Mesa 1x Canopy Vista 1x Command Tower 1x Dryad Arbor 1x Evolving Wilds 6x Forest 1x Gavony Township 1x Ghost Quarter 1x Grove of the Guardian 1x Horizon Canopy 1x Kjeldoran Outpost 1x Krosan Verge 1x Marsh Flats 6x Plains 1x Reliquary Tower 1x Savannah 1x Scattered Groves 1x Stirring Wildwood 1x Sunpetal Grove 1x Temple Garden 1x Temple of the False God 1x Verdant Catacombs 1x Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree 1x Windswept Heath 1x Wooded Bastion Instant 1x Chord of Calling 1x Krosan Grip 1x Path to Exile 1x Swords to Plowshares 1x Teferi's Protection Planeswalker 1x Ajani, Valiant Protector 1x Elspeth, Knight-Errant 1x Garruk, Primal Hunter Creature 1x Acidic Slime 1x Angel of Sanctions 1x Arbor Elf 1x Archangel of Thune 1x Avacyn, Angel of Hope 1x Avacyn's Pilgrim 1x Avenger of Zendikar 1x Birds of Paradise 1x Brimaz, King of Oreskos 1x Craterhoof Behemoth 1x Dragonlord Dromoka 1x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite 1x Eternal Witness 1x Hero of Bladehold 1x Knight of the Reliquary 1x Lena, Selfless Champion 1x Llanowar Elves 1x Selvala, Explorer Returned 1x Shalai, Voice of Plenty 1x Sigarda, Host of Herons 1x Tendershoot Dryad 1x Tolsimir Wolfblood Artifact 1x Akroma's Memorial 1x Commander's Sphere 1x Gilded Lotus 1x Lifecrafter's Bestiary 1x Phyrexian Processor 1x Scroll Rack 1x Selesnya Signet 1x Sensei's Divining Top 1x Skullclamp 1x Sol Ring 1x Swiftfoot Boots 1x Thran Dynamo Sorcery 1x Boundless Realms 1x Council's Judgment 1x Cultivate 1x Farseek 1x Green Sun's Zenith 1x Kodama's Reach 1x Natural Order 1x Praetor's Counsel 1x Seasons Past 1x Shamanic Revelation 1x Skyshroud Claim 1x Wrath of God Enchantment 1x Aid from the Cowl 1x Angelic Accord 1x Anointed Procession 1x Aura Shards 1x Doubling Season 1x Evolutionary Leap 1x Mirari's Wake 1x Parallel Lives 1x Survival of the Fittest 1x Sylvan Library