Life total

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New to EDH format so i have a few questions. When my commander deals damage to an opponent does it bring their 40 life total down or does it just deal "commander" damage?
It's just normal damage, nothing special.  It only matters if a person takes 21 or more damage from the same commander during the course of a game.
New to EDH format so i have a few questions. When my commander deals damage to an opponent does it bring their 40 life total down or does it just deal "commander" damage?


Both.  When a general attacks and the combat damage is not blocked, then the target player takes damage equal to the power of the general.  Additionally, if the total cumulative damage dealt by a SINGLE general to a SINGLE player ever equals 21 or greater, then that player looses.  So you sort of have to keep track of both. 

If Vorosh, the Hunter (as a general) deals 6 combat damage to player A (who's life total begins at 40) they then have 34 (40-6) remaining life and have been dealt 6(0+6) "Vorosh" general damage.  If on the next turn Vorosh, the Hunter deals 12 more damage, then Player A's life total becomes 22 (34-12), and now they have been dealt a total of 18 (6+12) "Vorosh" general damage.  If another player swings with Yosei, the Morning Star (acting as a General) and the damage is not blocked, then Player A's life total becomes 17 (22-5), and now they have been dealt 5 (0+5) "Yosei" general damage and 18 "Vorosh" general damage.  Now lets say that Player A gains 20 life (he cast a small Exsanguinate or something)- his life total becomes 37 (17+20), but he still has been dealt 5 "Yosei" general damage and 18 "Vorosh" general damage.  All Vorosh, the Hunter has to do is 3 points of general damage and Player A still looses, no matter what his life total is.
Thanks guys!