This entry is part 69 of 528 in the series CommanderCast

Posted by ANDY aka GHoooSTS
This week at CommanderCast we’re going to take a brief vacation from our condo in central Tryhard Town and head out to meet some new players on the way to becoming Commander champions. To my surprise, it’s something we’ve not covered on the podcast very much, so I figured we’d kick off an entire week of newbie-centric features with a podcast that should include all kinds of topics valuable to new EDH players. I enlisted the help of my homies who I know have experience in group-building, moving from group to group, and other building block exercises that help keep Commander playgroups healthy; thus, D-Money has my back, and my man Max from Peasant Rebellion joining us in his second podcast appearance. Finally, joining us this week is column writin’, Audience Appreciation Month-appearancin’, Season Five Contest Two-enterin’, Singapore-livin’ beast Gibson.

What are the key lessons for new players to grasp when it comes to Commander? This week, we look at this from the Community, Strategy and Technology angles and hope to be of some service. Maybe even people who’ve been on their EDH grind for a while can learn a thing or two, and of course we’d love to get any extra tips for the newer players in the comments section that you have either on your mind or that you can bounce off the ideas in the show.

Show notes and pertinent links below. Enjoy.


00:00 to 04:48: Intro: PODCAST ON A WEBSITE


05:03 to 28:41: Building A New Playgroup: One of the greatest things about EDH is that it’s a format of friendship and relationships, but those have to start somewhere. In this segment, we discuss how to get a regular group off the ground from the most basic level (finding other players) to keeping the group’s momentum strong. While we are specifically targeting the newer player, even old hands will likely find something of worth here, or can hopefully provide some of their own advice in the comments section.

28:54 to 45:19: Environmental Influence: As Magic players, we all develop our sensibilities of what’s fair or appropriate largely during our first years of playing the game, and then each group we play with rubs off on us, shaping our preferences. In Gibson’s topic of choice, we’re examining this phenomenon as it pertains to Commanders. This is a format defined by you and your fellow players, so these perceptions are more important here than perhaps any other format.


45:35 to 1:13:19: Commander Fundamentals for the New Player: In this multi-faceted topic, myself and my three guest hosts pull out a lightning round of strategy tips that new players would do well to heed. Here’s a breakdown of each talking point with a timestamp if you want to find specific parts of the discussion:

  • 45:50: Be Able To Interact With Lands and Graveyards: With everyone looking to get more mileage per card, lands and graveyards are always a resource worth being able to deal with.
  • 45:35: Use Versatile Cards: In a game with such a broad potential card pool, it’s important to be flexible with what you decide to deploy yourself.
  • 51:48: Build An Acceptable Mana Base: Donovan recommends this article for further reading on the subject.
  • 55:25: Play Frequently-Needed Spot Removal: Though it’s a simple card, a Terror will almost always be usable at some point in the game and is cheap and efficient.
  • 58:40: Less Traditional Decks Are More Powerful: If you really want to win, stay away from traditional, inefficient paths to victory.
  • 1:02:50: Fill Your Deck With Diverse Answers: You never know what your opponents will pull out next between variance, new decks, and meeting strangers. Try to be ready for anything.
  • 1:05:40: Find Ways To Constantly Invest Mana: Every turn cycle where your mana goes unused is a wasted resource. Find ways to make use of it.
  • 1:08:40: Learn To Use Politics: If you want to win games you have no right winning, learn to master the social element of the game.


1:13:33 to 1:31:32: The EDH Toolkit: In this segment, me and the posse recommend a bunch of cards that we feel new players would eb well-advised to pick up and horde for their current and future decks. It’s entire categories of staples, cornerstones, and other essentials for a healthy EDH deck construction diet.

  • Strip Mines: The land-killing lands, named after Strip Mine, obviously. But there’s tons of new versions, many of which are also cheap like Ghost Quarter.
  • Card Selection Enablers: Cheap cantrips like Brainstorm and Preordain aren’t fancy, but they certainly make decks run smoother.
  • Game-Winning Fatties: We’re not looking at Leviathan here (though using that as a wincon is badass), but rather we’re speaking of the new breed of giant creatures for killing your opponent conclusively like Terastodon and Angel of Despair.
  • Recursion Cards: Pick up some recursion engine cards that will let you get more mileage from cards you’ve already used. Simple stuff like Phyrexian Reclamation or Holistic Wisdom all work here.
  • Land Fetchers: Usable in all decks, cards like Armillary Sphere and Wayfarer’s Bauble make your decks more consistent and fun to play while keeping their power level up.
  • Cycling Lands: Lonely Sandbar, Drifting Meadow, and even the ol’ Blasted Landscape deserve to be looked at twice for any Commander deck that can use a little extra choice when it comes to lands.
  • Removal Suite: Pick up solid spot removal cards that can be used in many decks on the basis of quality alone. Stuff as inexpensive as Doom Blade up to the ol’ Swords to Plowshares and Beast Within are all cards you’re going to want multiples of.
  • Things You Like Playing: After being told to make sure you have all the crap above, don’t forget to make sure to stock up on the cards you just like playing, be it Menacing Ogre or Lilting Refrain.


1:31:51 to closing: Outtro: Thanks for listening!


  • Andy: E-Mail: CommanderCast(at)gmail(dot)com // Twitter: (at)CommanderCast
  • Donovan: Contact via MTGS forums
  • Max: E-Mail: maxwellian2000(at)yahoo(dot)com
  • Gibson: E-Mail: glhaynes(at)email(dot)wm(dot)edu // Twitter: (at)KaipaLin
Series Navigation<< CommanderCast S6E3 [68]- Falls Count AnywhereCommanderCast S6E5 [70]- Too Many Accents? >>