This entry is part 69 of 542 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? >>

29 Responses to “CommanderCast S6E4 [69]- Newbs Welcome”

  1. The “Download the mp3” link is wrong, it leads to S5E11!

  2. compacta_d said

    I wanted to post my Sliver deck as you guys mentioned not being able to play them. The bad thing out Slivers in EDH is you need quantity over quality. A lot of the Slivers printed after Rath block are just way too over costed to get that quantity on the board meaning you never really get that board presence…until Animar came out.

    • compacta_d said

      It works based on Animar as a value engine. Ideally draw and tutor into the Telekenetic/Seedborn combo. There are other win conditions (Eldrazi/Psionic Sliver/ Capsize/ Jin Gitaxias) and if the draw is right it can be extremely aggro. This is an older list. I think I went down to 34 land which I know is crazy, but at a certain point having 2 lands in my start hand is a band hand due to mana and looter creatures. It’s pretty casual, although if it combos out, it doesn’t seem as such. Also it bears mention that people will focus on killing Animar after you already have the Sliver board presence, by which it’s too late (drawing 4-10 cards a turn with 12-20 mana). It can easilly draw and recycle the entire deck.

  3. MMogg said

    I’m not a n00b, but I still enjoyed this episode. Well done.

    I disagree on the cycling lands, personally, outside of a deck prepared to abuse them (e.g. Life from the Loam). I find it’s better to fill your deck with mana sinks instead, such as buyback spells, token generators (Kher Keep ftw!), tricks (like using Erratic Portal to bounce-replay creatures with enters the battlefield effects), etc. There are so many ways to maximize your mana resource usage I find I never want to stop dropping lands. Simple draw spells, like even those lame old artifact draw cards (Jayemdae Tome, I’m lookin’ at you!) turns mana into cards.

  4. Christopher Logel said

    One card I don’t think was mentioned (although, I could be mistaken, maybe it was mentioned), was Bribery.

    There are some cards that just sort of hold a format together. For instance, in Legacy, Force of Will / Counterspell keep the entire format from degenerating into nothing but combo. In commander, I would argue that Bribery keeps the format in check. If you’re worried about your opponent casting bribery, then perhaps you’re less likely to be running completely broken creatures like the Eldrazi or Blightsteel Colossus.

    I’m not a very experienced EDH player, so perhaps I’m completely mistaken. But I think that Bribery would be one of those cards that would be worth emphasizing to new players.

  5. […] new players and building a new group.To see the full show notes with links, follow this link: more Wrexial-Approved content, hit up Host(s): Andy, Byron, […]

  6. TM said

    In terms of building a playgroup, I actually got a bunch of people into the format by just buying the 5 Commander pre-cons and lending them out for some Commander madness. There were some pretty crazy games, and as a result two players bought their own pre-cons to modify and play and one built his own deck.

  7. I know this pod cast is kind of old, But I DID build Storm (Nicol Bolas) and it was actually pretty hard, with all the math I had to do, but I definitely killed a table of 4 (me and 3 friends).

  8. Trackback said

    wow thats great

    I can’t seem to find a way on how to start as a blogger. I could use some help on how to start blog.

  9. Trackback said

    wow thats great

    Where are some good places to get good free blogger templates?. I know of pyzam but I would like to search others, what are some good sites?.

  10. Trackback said


    ok so how to do it?.. i have seen people getting their blog posts published on their facebook fan page. pls help. thanks.

  11. Trackback said


    I want to be able to forward Mashable’s or Engadgets, or Techcrunch’s blog post titles to my blog. Just the titles, not the actually blog part. Is this in any way possible?.

  12. Trackback said

    Thank you

    How do I edit a wordpress page to display only the posts, so minus the menubars?

  13. Trackback said

    I like your blog

    I am planning to move to Australia permanently. Hopefully, my immigration process will be completed this year and I will move in the beginning of 2011. Can someone suggest some excellent resources and blogs about making the plans for settling in Austra…

  14. Trackback said


    How do you create your own blogger header for your blogspot?

  15. Trackback said


    What is the best absolutely free blog/web or search engine directory on the web?

  16. Trackback said

    Good info

    Just want to share something. I need to submit my blogs to blog sites with so many people reading blogs. That’s what I need most..

  17. Trackback said

    wow thats great

    Someone left me a comment on my blogger. I have clicked to publish the comment. Now I wish to delete this comment. How do I do that?..

  18. Trackback said

    I like your blog

    Using “Capability Manager” I have allowed contributors to upload media to the media library of my wordpress website… At the moment, however, they can still see the uploads that have been submitted by other users… I need to be able to moderate the…

  19. Healing’s Dragon

    to uncover troubles to further improve my site!I suppose its alright to generate utilization of some within your principles!!

  20. Trackback said


    I am going to start a website in Australia but a website with same concept is already exist in UK and patented?

  21. Trackback said

    Thank you

    What are some good sites and blogs for affordable fashion for adults?

  22. Trackback said

    I have some question

    My computer with itunes crashed, just installed itunes on new computer. How to keep ipod from syncing to it?

  23. The Slave of the Husband

    Searching for in advance to researching further from you afterward!…

  24. Trackback said

    Good info

    I have a great interest in computer and aircrafts, especially military aircrafts. I am planning to do computer engineering and be involved in the designing of military aircrafts (aircraft’s computer).. I need to know whether the US Air Force needs com…

  25. friend app said

    Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same
    niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to
    work on. You have done a marvellous job!

    Here is my web site: friend app

  26. It’s hard to come by well-informed people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know
    what you’re talking about! Thanks

  27. The more specialized services of an auto repair garage includes unibody
    and frame repair, bumper repairs, paint less dent repairs, hail damage repairs
    etc. The Toronto Cyclists Union was formed by Dave
    Meslin in 2008. It often means that your website wasn’t what they expected,
    or had something that scared them into clicking the dreaded Back button on their browser.

    My weblog :: Towing Software

  28. I was very pleased to uncover this website.
    I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly
    wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and i also have
    you bookmarked to check out new things in your blog.

    Feel free to surf to my weblog – Funny Quotes app

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *