This entry is part 489 of 537 in the series CommanderCast

Hello everyone and welcome to CommanderCast Episode 451! This week Mark and Adam are speeding things up, so fast in fact that some of the formats mana rocks might become obsolete. With the current mana cost of newer Commanders, better options in lands, spells, and other artifacts… is there any room left for the 3 CMC mana producing artifacts of old? But first, the guys want to ask you, yes you, how you feel about the history of EDH or Commander? Is it something important enough to visit in the future or is the past best left alone? Then, to wrap things up the guys want to take a look at a few of the 3 CMC mana rocks we would like to consider as being still viable… maybe.


All that, plus our usual interstitial fodder, and all you have to do is Click the IB!!!


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CommanderCast Episode 451

Posted: August 2, 2021








Keep up with the conversation on Facebook & Twitter.




How important is the history of EDH to you? Should it be?


*Random must read: “Guns and (Shea) Butter: An Oral History of ‘Predator’,” by Pete Keeley


Interstitial fodder: 

  • Breakfast pie (as in pie for breakfast)
  • Mark bought an arcade fight stick and it’s all Adam’s fault
  • Adam’s side hustle in strategy guides
  • Sexy Beasts is pretty meh. Shocker.




When the game got too fast for 3-mana rocks


*Editor’s Note: as with most oral histories, all the dates (and statements) listed below should be taken with a grain of salt. Trying to piece together the history of a diverse, community-driven format like Commander will always be more art than science.  That said, I would love to hear from anyone out there that has more to add to the discussion or thinks we’ve overlooked something important here. This should be treated like an ongoing discussion instead of a definitive resource.


  • Pour one out on the curb for Darksteel Ingot
  • Avg. CMC of Legendary creatures from this period?
    • 4.52 for all Commanders total (up to today)
    • ‘94 to ‘14: 4.89
    • ‘14 to the present: 4.19


Magic sets of note in this period:


  • Keyrunes
    • Return to Ravnica released Oct. 5, 2012 
    • Gatecrash released Feb. 1, 2013
  • Cluestones
    • Dragon’s Maze released May 3, 2013
  • Banners
    • Khans of Tarkir released Sept 26, 2014 


From Spleenface’s description of the evolution of cEDH in the r/cEDH Reddit thread:


“The first deck I’ve seen that was recognizable as a competitive EDH deck was Bryant’s Pile of Broken. It was a dimir storm deck made in late 2008. It won with tendrils, and had Tidespout Tyrant, Top/Future combos, Ad Nauseam and High Tide.


  • Zur’s first primer also appears around this time, though presumably people were playing zur and necropotence earlier than this.

  • Scion Hermit Druid was created in late 2010 with the printing of Necrotic ooze enabling efficient wins off of dread return.

  • 2011, the printing of Laboratory Maniac in Innistrad made Doomsday a much more viable archetype, while also cleaning up the Hermit druid decks.

  • Commander also added Mimeoplasm, Animar, Karador and Edric. New phyrexia added melira for persist combos, as well as village bell-ringer for Kiki[-Jikki] combos, though they do not seem to have really had a home yet.

  • 2012 added Deadeye navigator, opening up palinchron combos along with Phantasmal Image that was printed the previous year. As far as I can tell, the “scion hermit druid is the best deck” meme came into existence sometime in 2011/12. Mikaeus was also printed, enabling the triskelion combos.


We’ll call this the end of the “early” era, because with 2013, the pace of new stuff being added starts to skyrocket.


  • 2013 was huge. Jeleva, Marath, Prossh, Derevi were all quickly made in to very competitive decks of various styles, many of them being banned out of 1v1 formats as well

  • 2014 added boonweaver giant, which was where karador hatebears/boonweaver became one of the top decks. Daretti stax was a thing for a bit, but greatly overshadowed in C14 by Teferi, Temporal Archmage and The Chain Veil (in M15) as well as Narset for the turns deck and Sidisi for the FC/Hermit druid deck in KTK. Conspiracy also added Brago, contesting GAAIVs seat for the UW crown. Yisan was also printed, though I’m not sure if he saw much play before Temur Sabertooth was printed in 2015.

  • 2015 added Tasigur and JVP, but not a lot else. The format wasn’t changing a huge amount, but lots of refinement started happening, and the meta was somewhat solidifying from the shake ups in 2013/14

  • 2016 was the start of an unstoppable series of events. It began with the printing of Dramatic Reversal in Kaladesh, solidifying a really efficient infinite mana wincon, then the Partners printed in C16. Gitrog was also printed in the summer, as was Leovold and Selvala in Conspiracy 2. General Tazri and Eternal Scourge were printed, leading to the first true 5c food chain deck as we see it today.

  • 2017 continued the rolling punches of 2016, with Pengine printed in January, then [Protean] Hulk unbanned in the spring. This was the start of the more modern era of cEDH, with content creators like the laboratory maniacs and Team Turn Three coming on to the scene. We also got Razaketh in HOU, and Kess in C17.


I’ll stop there, most of what happened since is more readily available, and I think it’s the start of our current “period” of cEDH.


From my email exchange with Don Miner (founder of EDHREC)


  • September 25th 2014: Don registers the domain name. It started out as a service that just analyzed your deck and provided recommendations (basically the “Recs” tab). 


  • Expanded to have commander summary pages around June of 2015, which is when traffic started picking up.


  • Also, for about a year before the domain was registered EDHREC had a reddit bot that just posted deck recommendations in the comments of a reddit thread.


See also: 




3-mana rocks that are still worth running 



*See also: 




CommanderCast  – Email: commandercast(at)gmail(dot)com // twitter: (at)CommanderCast


Calvin – Email: captainredzone(at)gmail(dot)com  // twitter: (at)CaptainRedZone


Mark – Email: mahlerma(at)gmail(dot)com


Adam – (at)squire9999


Be sure to check out our CommanderCast Facebook page. 


And a big thanks to everyone here at the CommanderCast Network. We’ll see you next week with more community, strategy, and technology. Until then, LET’S GET IT!

Series Navigation<< CommanderCast Ep 450 – You Breach Hulls, You Get BannedCommanderCast Ep 452 – Is it Worth It to Try to Keep Up With All the New Cards? >>