First, I want to warmly welcome you to the Competitive Commander Forum! There are many ways to play our most beloved format and this forum is for you cEDH'ers out there who are wanting to have a dedicated space to discuss strategy, card choices, decklists, and other ideas in a safe environment.
But, I feel like it's important for you, dear reader, to determine if this is the type of forum that best suits your playstyle and the type of Commander experience you're looking for. When the format of Elder Dragon Highlander was initially created, it was meant to convey an enjoyable and social game where you could play the best singleton deck from the best cards possible (barring the cards on the banlist, of course) in all of Magic's history. With the missionary efforts of the Rules Committee, particularly by Bennie Smith and Sheldon Menery from StarCityGames.com, this format has grown to be quite possibly the largest group of Magic: The Gathering players in the world. And what people define as an enjoyable game differs GREATLY from person to person. Many players prefer the battlecruiser type of mentality, where swingy plays, massive board states, and subtle politicking are the name of the game. Others prefer a more competitive experience, looking to actively refine their decklists, gameplay, strategy development, and card interactions to win as many games as possible.
But this cEDH forum caters to Commander players who generally subscribe to the competitive philosophy I mentioned: competitive, efficient, and, ultimately, winning strategies and decklists.
Both ideologies are FAIR AND VALID.
I really want to emphasize this. Commander as a format hinges on the social contract that you make with your playgroup. If your playgroup is ok with cards like Stasis
and Ad Nasueam
, and looks to infinitely loop Timetwister
while making a bajillion Swans
in the most efficient manner possible, that's ok
. If your playgroup loves to instead Tooth and Nail
for value instead of a game-winning combo, that's ok too
So, in an effort to help guide you to the proper forum and ensure that you have the highest quality experience possible on MTGNexus.com, I'd like to take a few moments and explain what Competitive Commander, or cEDH, entails as a philosophy and mindset. These are simply general principles/guidelines that form the backbone of how a Competitive Commander player views the Commander experience and gameplay and NOT a mold that every cEDH player fits into.
- Generally speaking, cEDH decks and game play are looking to streamline their interactions so that they can do as many things possible during a turn cycle. Consequently, the average curve for a cEDH decklist is around 1.5-2.5, often lower than 2. cEDH therefore tends to prioritize CMC considerations higher than a regular Commander player would. This also leads to lower land counts for cEDH decklists as a byproduct, since drawing a land in the Mid/Late-Game is basically a wasted turn from a competitive mindset. A 34 land count is considered to be an extremely high land count, with most lists sitting around 29-32 lands, generally speaking.
- cEDH decklists are designed at optimizing win percentage and reducing variance between games. That's why many cEDH decks usually include 6+ tutor effects within their decklist, whereas a regular Commander player might enjoy the variance their less tutor-heavy lists provide.
- To build on this previous point, there is a common misconception that cEDH decks "win on T2 or T3 EVERY GAME". This is not accurate. cEDH decks look to be relevant on T2 or T3. This means that the overall deck strategy of any particular decklist should be in the stages of developing their Mid/Late Game strategy on T2 or T3. This means combo decks are/have tutored a few times to assemble their combos. Stax decks are looking to deploy their disruption with protection. Mid-Range decks are trying to establish card advantage engines while holding up interaction. All of these things normally occur relatively early in a game, which influences deck design and strategy.
- cEDH designs decklists and evaluates card choices with NO budget constraints. For example, pretty much every blue deck that's qualified as cEDH plays Timetwister and will continue to play 'Twister for as long as it is legal even though it's a piece of Power 9 and costs upwards of $1,000.00. cEDH players don't care. It's arguably the best draw 7 in the format and their cEDH playgroup will NOT mind a player proxying up a copy/copies of the expensive cards so that every deck at the table is playing optimally.
- cEDH decks and playgroups, generally speaking, don't follow house rules or any other subjective constraints. Implementing house rules is all and well for a regular Commander playgroup, but cEDH decklists are aiming to win as frequently and as quickly as possible. For example, I know of some groups who actively discourage taking infinite turns or executing a combo, with protection, on Turn 4. Nope, not in a cEDH game. It's a no holds barred mentality that could be perceived as ruthless or antagonistic to a normal Commander player/playgroup.
- Finally, cEDH decks are playing the most broken combos available and are constantly looking to streamline them even further in minimizing mana costs and deckspace costs. My Tasigur Forbidden Oracles deck (found in the forums) is an example of a streamlined decklist. It's mana efficient and runs some of the best Card Advantage engines possible, leaving its CMC a tad over 2.
I hope that this explanation helps you to understand what cEDH is as a philosophy and mindset. If this sounds like you and your playgroup, I warmly welcome you and encourage you to visit this forum frequently! If this doesn't sound like the philosophy that you're looking to play Commander with, then I proudly redirect you to the regular Multi-Player Commander Forums
. If you're coming from a more casual background but want to improve your decklist and/or playskill, this forum will be an EXCELLENT resource for you. Either way, I'm glad you're visiting and invite you to participate and comment on the threads that are published here!