what is mtg EDH


EDH (or Elder Dragon Highlander, also known as Commander) is a highlander format that uses a Commander.


Elder Dragon Highlander is a Magic: The Gathering variant which provides a way of encouraging casual, interactive games with a low barrier to entry while still requiring good deck building skills. It can be played 1-on-1 but is usually multiplayer.

This page details the official rules common to most groups. Local groups often play with house rules, such as allowing certain creatures such as the Nephilim to be played as if they were Legendary Creatures, or an alternate ban list.

Deck Construction


Players must choose a legendary creature as the “Commander” (or General) for their deck. An EDH deck must contain exactly 100 cards, including the General.

League Rule: An EDH “League” consists of a regular group of players who frequently play together using the same decks. No two players in a league game may have the same General. Within a given league, Generals are allocated first-come, first-serve and are preserved between meetings/games. No player may have, in his or her deck, the General of any other player in the game; it should be replaced with some other card before the game begins.

The General’s mana cost limits what colored mana symbols may appear on cards in the deck: if a colored mana symbol is not present in the General’s mana cost, the deck may not contain any cards using that mana symbol. Lands with a basic land type (basic lands, Shock lands, Dual lands, Shadowmoor Come-into-play-tapped-basics, etc) contain the corresponding mana symbol(s).

Example: If you were to play Phelddagrif (Casting cost 1UWG) as your General, your deck may not contain any red or black cards; no card in such a deck may contain red or black mana symbols or hybrid mana symbols (for example: Talisman of Dominance, Life//Death, and Boros Guildmage are not allowed).

A deck may not generate mana outside its colours; anything which would generate mana of an illegal color generates colourless mana instead.

Banned List

EDH is played with Vintage legal cards, with the exception that cards are legal as of their set’s prerelease. Additionally, these cards (and others like them) are on the official banned list for commander games. They should not be played without other players agreement.

Ancestral Recall
Black Lotus
Braids, Cabal Minion
Coalition Victory
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
Gifts Ungiven
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Library of Alexandria
Limited Resources
Mox Sapphire, Ruby, Pearl, Emerald and Jet
Painter’s Servant
Panoptic Mirror
Primeval Titan
Prophet of Kruphix
Recurring Nightmare
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Sway of the Stars
Sundering Titan
Sylvan Primordial
Time Vault
Time Walk
Tolarian Academy
Trade Secrets
Yawgmoth’s Bargain
Different groups have different philosophies on banned cards. The most recent banned list can always be found on the EDH website.

Play rules

Generals are announced and placed in the command zone before shuffling at the start of the game. Being a General is not a characteristic[MTG CR201], it is a property of the card. As such, “Generalness” cannot be copied or overwritten by continuous effects, and does not change with control of the card.

Examples: A Body Double copying a General in a graveyard is not a General.

If a player suffers 21 points of combat damage from a single General, they lose. This is an additional state based effect, similar to poison counters, but separate and specific to each General. This damage cannot be healed or undone, even if the creature is removed from play temporarily. Damage done by a creature under someone else’s control is still counted towards the 21 point limit for that creature and defender.

While a General is in the command zone, it may be played. As an additional cost to play your General this way, you must pay {2} for each previous time you have played it this way.

If a General would be put into a graveyard, or exiled from anywhere, its owner may put it in the command zone instead. (This is a replacement effect.. the creature never goes to the graveyard and will not trigger abilities on going to the graveyard)

Players begin the game with 40 life.

The first time a player takes a paris mulligan, they draw 7 cards (instead of 6). The second mulligan is to 6, and so forth.