Elder Dragon Highlander [EDH] Rules & FAQ

239 posts / 0 new
Last post

Official Elder Dragon Highlander [EDH] Rules & FAQ
Last updated: 29 March 2009

Source: http://csclub.uwaterloo.ca/~geduggan/EDH_rules.html




What is Elder Dragon Highlander?

Elder Dragon Highlander is a Magic 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 but this consensus version exists so that players know what to expect if they join an EDH game outside their local play area. In particular, unsanctioned / evening EDH games at Magic Pro Tours and Grand Prix use these rules by consensus of a small group of regular PT judges who are involved in multiple other EDH playgroups.


Deck Construction Rules:
  • Players choose a legendary creature as the "General" for their deck.
  • A deck may not use cards that contain coloured mana symbols, other than those in the General's mana cost. (Example: If Phelddagrif is your General, your deck may not use any card that contains either red or black mana symbols. Boros Guildmage, Talisman of Dominance and Watery Grave are not allowed.)
  • A deck may not generate mana outside it's general's mana cost. Anything which would generate mana of an illegal colour generates colourless mana instead.
  • A deck must contain exactly 100 cards, including the General.
  • Sideboards are not used.
  • A deck may not contain two cards with the same English name, with the exception of basic lands.
  • EDH is played with the vintage cardpool. Cards are legal as of a set's release.


Proposed Sideboard Rule:
  • If the tournament organizer or game convener chooses to allow them, players may bring a 10 card sideboard with their EDH deck. After Generals are chosen and revealed, players may swap some cards in their deck for those in their sideboard. (Note: This rule is OPTIONAL. It has not yet been officially approved by the EDH Rules Committee and is subject to change.)



Banned as Generals:

Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary (Unbanned March 20, 2009)

The following legendary creatures cannot be used as generals because they contain coloured mana symbols in their text box not found in the general's mana cost:

Bosh, Iron Golem
Daughter of Autumn
Memnarch
Rhys the Exiled
Thelon of Havenwood


Banned Cards:

Ancestral Recall
Balance
Biorhythm
Black Lotus
Coalition Victory
Crucible of Worlds (Unbanned March 20, 2009)
Grindstone
Karakas
Kokosho, the Evening Star
Library of Alexandria
Limited Resources
Lion's Eye Diamond
Metalworker (Added March 20, 2009)
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Panoptic Mirror
Protean Hulk
Recurring Nightmare
Riftsweeper
Sway of the Stars
Time Vault
Time Walk
Tinker (Added March 20, 2009)
Upheaval
Worldgorger Dragon
Yawgmoth's Bargain


Gameplay Rules:

  • Generals are announced and removed from the game before shuffling at the start of the game. Being a General is not a characteristic of the card. It is a property of the card. "Generalness" cannot be copied or overwritten by continuous effects and does not change with control of the card.
  • If a player suffers 21 points of combat damage from a single General, they lose. This is an additional state based effect separate and specific to each General and each player. This damage cannot be healed or undone, even if the General is temporarily removed from play. Damage done by a General under someone else's control is still counted towards the 21 point limit for that General and defender.
  • Generals may be played from the removed from game zone. Players must pay as an additional cost for each time after the first that the general is played in this way.(Example: Phelddagrif will cost the first time it is played from the removed from game zone, the second time, the third time and so on.)
  • If a General would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, its owner may remove it from the game instead. This is a replacement effect. If that General's owner chooses to apply this effect, then the General 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 mulligan, he or she draws a new hand of seven cards rather than six cards. Subsequent hands decrease by one card as normal.



League/Open Play:

  • League Play - League Play EDH rules are used for organised EDH tournaments. Each player picks a General for the duration of the league. Generals are picked on a first-come, first-served basis and no two players may pick the same general. In addition, a player may not use the General of another player in his or her deck. If a deck contains the General of another player, it should be swapped out before the game.
  • Open Play - Open Play EDH rules are used for games between opponents who do not routinely play together. Under Open Play rules, Generals are not subject to the "legend rule". If a General and a non-General creature with the same name are in play, only the non-General is put into the graveyard by state-based effects. If two or more players have the same General and both creatures are in play, neither creature is put into the graveyard.



Credits:
  • Sheldon Menery is the man responsible for bringing EDH into the public eye, an influential voice in the development of the format's rules and the Godfather of the Pro Tour EDH League.
  • Duncan McGregor's knowledge and expertise have, since the early days, been crucial to the format's stable development and its maturing into its modern form.
  • David Phifer and Adam Staley were the progenitors of the original EDH format up in Alaska.
  • Cari Foreman carried the rules torch and hosted the rules website during EDH's formative days.
  • Alex Kenny and Toby Elliott have helped maintain the flavour and stability of the EDH rules for several years.
  • Lee Sharpe did the programming to bring EDH to MTGO.
Please remember to attribute this, as described in the original page, this FAQ was released under the Academic Free Licence, and thus requires attribution.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

What's the official ruling on Akroma, Angel of Fury? Can you pay 3 mana to play it face down every time it's removed play?
Yes, you can.

Edit: assuming that it hasn't been removed from play before. If it's been killed, it costs to play as a morph.
As came up in the "I'd like to build a Zombie EDH deck" thread:

Haakon, Stromgald Scourge - Should you be allowed to play him from the RFG zone? This would seem like a sensible adjustment to account for EDH's special rules.
Magic player since July 2004. Timmy/Vorthos/Spike.

Originally Posted by {mikeyG}, MTGS admin "[i]n my book, the real cool people are the ones who say "**** what everyone else does just to fit in, I'm going to do what I want." "Gonna take these haters down, and toast them like some Eggo's, man..." - K. Flay, 'We have Arrived' It's Worldwake preorder time: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75850/22196965/KingAlans_Worldwake_preorder_thread

this sounds like fun. ok couple of questions then

since the rule is " Generals are announced and removed from the game before shuffling at the start of the game."

so does this mean you need certain cards to get your general back from outside the game or when the game starts your general is put back into your deck??

also if i use Reaper King as my general then i can use any color i want right?

and if i use Karn, Silver Golem i can only use artifacts in the deck right no other spells?
What's the official ruling on Akroma, Angel of Fury? Can you pay 3 mana to play it face down every time it's removed play?

You can play Akroma face-down. However, every time that you have played Akroma from the RFG zone face-up or face-down, it doesn't matter, it is going to cost you an additional .

Example: The first time you play her from the removed from game zone, you can either pay to play her face-down or to play her face up. The second time you play her from the removed from game zone, you can either pay to play her face-down or to play her face up. The third time you play her from the removed from game zone, you can either pay to play her face-down or to play her face up and so on.



As came up in the "I'd like to build a Zombie EDH deck" thread:

Haakon, Stromgald Scourge - Should you be allowed to play him from the RFG zone? This would seem like a sensible adjustment to account for EDH's special rules.

The basic rule of Magic is that Card Text > Game Rules. However, if you really want to use Haakon as your general, you only have to get your friends to agree to a house rule. EDH is a format where the emphasis is on fun and casual play.

As an aside, if you think EDH is unfair to Haakon, spare a thought for Daughter of Autumn. She cannot even be used as a general because she herself contains mana symbols () not contained in her mana cost.



this sounds like fun. ok couple of questions then

since the rule is " Generals are announced and removed from the game before shuffling at the start of the game."

so does this mean you need certain cards to get your general back from outside the game or when the game starts your general is put back into your deck???

Before players shuffle up and decide who goes first, you both search out your libraries (it is handy if you keep your General at the top/bottom card after each game for this) and put the Generals face-up in the removed from game zone. You are allowed to play your General from this zone, so it doesn't really matter. Think of it as having an extra card in your hand.

Note: EDH rules allow players to play Generals from the RFG zone (with increasing penalties, players can also play a General from their hand normally if it gets Boomeranged and Generals can be Reanimated from the graveyard. Therefore, the best way of dealing with an opponent's General is to try and use some card that shuffles it into its controller's library.


also if i use Reaper King as my general then i can use any color i want right?

Correct. Cards in your deck may contain any of the five coloured mana symbols. However, if you are doing this just to get access to the most powerful cards from each of the five colours, you may be accused of breaking the spirit of the format.


and if i use Karn, Silver Golem i can only use artifacts in the deck right no other spells?

That's almost the case. You are prohibited from using any card with one of the five coloured mana symbols on it. While this means that your deck will probably only consist of artifacts and lands, you could technically still use regular creatures like Kobolds of Kher Keep, Crimson Kobolds and Crookshank Kobolds.
Do you think in the FAQ we should have a list of staples, or cards that you should have lying around if you play EDH? I know the other site has one and it gives you a pretty good idea of some cards that work well in EDH.
True post count: 9,900 Thanks Wotc for not counting archived posts. If I post without capital letters than means I'm posting from my phone. For some reason it hates typing capital letters. Go_Texans on MTGO. Texans 12-4 Wildcard: W Texans 19 Bengals 13 Divisional: L Texans 28 Patriots 41 Another awesome season!
I was thinking of adding that. We could always come up with out own list of staples here.
How does EDH feel about hybrid symbols?

Can I play a Flying Men if my general is Sygg, River Cutthroat?

Can I play a Zealous Guardian if my general is Sygg, River Guide?

Just curious, because I happen to be a fan of the / cards.
I think this part of your FAQ:
If a General would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, its owner may remove it from the game instead. This is a replacement effect. The General never goes to the graveyard and will not trigger abilities on going to the graveyard.

may be slightly incorrect.

I do know that online the implementation is that it does go to the GY first and you then have the option to RFG it. This means that if you want you can leave it in your GY.
That would mean that your general should trigger "goes to GY" effects.

I'll double check with Peter Jahn to see if that's correct though, as there are some differences between online and offline.

Edit: I've also requested this FAQ be *Stickied.

Guess what? Chicken butt.

Two questions:

1: Can planeswalkers be generals?

2: Does the general have to be legendary?
Im pretty sure generals can only be RFG. They never go to the graveyard even if they are killed by combat damage or destroy effects.

I don't think Planeswalkers can be generals, mainly because I've never heard of someone using one.

As far as I know the general has to be legendary, I'm 99% sure you can't use something like Cursecatcher as your general.
True post count: 9,900 Thanks Wotc for not counting archived posts. If I post without capital letters than means I'm posting from my phone. For some reason it hates typing capital letters. Go_Texans on MTGO. Texans 12-4 Wildcard: W Texans 19 Bengals 13 Divisional: L Texans 28 Patriots 41 Another awesome season!
Two questions:

1: Can planeswalkers be generals?

2: Does the general have to be legendary?

1: Not officially
2: Yes, legends are cooler anyway.
I think this part of your FAQ:

may be slightly incorrect.

I do know that online the implementation is that it does go to the GY first and you then have the option to RFG it. This means that if you want you can leave it in your GY.
That would mean that your general should trigger "goes to GY" effects.

I'll double check with Peter Jahn to see if that's correct though, as there are some differences between online and offline.

Edit: I've also requested this FAQ be *Stickied.

I think the MTGO format is called Commander, so there may be some slight differences in gameplay - or perhaps this was a developer oversight at the time it was being programmed. Either way, the first post is based off the 'official' rules for EDH.


Two questions:

1: Can planeswalkers be generals?

2: Does the general have to be legendary?

Deck Construction Rules:
- Players choose a legendary creature as the "General" for their deck.


You cannot pick Planeswalkers or non-legandary creatures to be your general, unless your play group agrees to let you.
-doublepost-
Two questions:

1: Can planeswalkers be generals?

2: Does the general have to be legendary?

No and Yes.

Im pretty sure generals can only be RFG. They never go to the graveyard even if they are killed by combat damage or destroy effects.

Controller of the general gets a choice to RFG it or put it into owner's graveyard. If you choose to send the general to grave, graveyard effects trigger, if you choose to RFG it, they don't.

If the general gets StP'd obviously you don't have an option to put it in the graveyard.
Question i've always wondered about
can i meddling mage a general?
Im pretty sure generals can only be RFG. They never go to the graveyard even if they are killed by combat damage or destroy effects.

I don't think Planeswalkers can be generals, mainly because I've never heard of someone using one.

As far as I know the general has to be legendary, I'm 99% sure you can't use something like Cursecatcher as your general.

I may be wrong, but if I remember correctly, you may have your general go to the gy.
Question i've always wondered about
can i meddling mage a general?

No, not unless your playgroup agrees. Meddling Mage is not legendary creature.


I may be wrong, but if I remember correctly, you may have your general go to the gy.

If the general would be put into the graveyard from anywhere, you may remove it from the game instead. The choice is yours.

If Haakon were your general, you would obviously prefer if he went to the graveyard instead of the removed from game zone so you would not use the RFG replacement effect.
No, not unless your playgroup agrees. Meddling Mage is not legendary creature.




If the general would be put into the graveyard from anywhere, you may remove it from the game instead. The choice is yours.

If Haakon were your general, you would obviously prefer if he went to the graveyard instead of the removed from game zone so you would not use the RFG replacement effect.

thats what i said...
No, not unless your playgroup agrees. Meddling Mage is not legendary creature.

I'm pretty sure he's asking if you can play a Meddling Mage naming a general. Which is perfectly fine.
thats what i said...

I was just confirming that you were right.

---

I'm pretty sure he's asking if you can play a Meddling Mage naming a general. Which is perfectly fine.

Yeah, you're right, I just misread that thinknig of the cursecatcher question from earlier.
I'm pretty sure he's asking if you can play a Meddling Mage naming a general. Which is perfectly fine.

I can ? lol awesome
If Kokusho, the Evening Star is a legendary creature and is banned, why isn't it under the banned generals list instead of banned cards.
Come check out my friend's youtube channel where he gives bad movies what's coming to them!
You Make the Card
Best Contest Holder 2010 YMtC Idol 9 4th Place
Mafia History
Friendliest Player 2010 Werewolves Invade YMtC!: Town-aligned Rotworm Mass, Survived, Mafia Victory Heroes Mafia: Angela Petrelli, Town-Aligned Undercover Revengeful Mother, Win for Me, Mafia Victory Super Smash Bros. Mafia: Town-Aligned Mason, Survived, Town Victory Bear Mafia: Town-Aligned Vanilla, Lynched Day 1, Mafia Victory YMtC Mafia II: Henry-Stern, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Town Victory, Town MVP Time Fracture Mafia: Mafia-Aligned Nero, the Last Romulan, Lynched Day 3, Borg Victory Touhou Mafia III: Tenshi Hinani, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Survived, Mafia Victory, Town MVP Mafia 2010: Lynched Day 1, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Mafia Victory Dragonball Z Mafia: Goku, Town-Aligned Charismatic Townie, Mafia Victory Quarantined Mafia: Lynched Day 4, J. Walter Weatherman, Infected-Aligned Administrative Assistant, Mr. T (so basically mafia) Victory Glass Box Mafia: Killed Night 2, Icthys, Town-Aligned Networker, Town Victory Battle Royale Mafia: Killed Night 3, Zipperflesh and Dark Stryke Victory Scars of Mirrodin Mafia: Killed Night 3, Town-Aligned Charismatic, Mafia Victory Portal Mafia: Lynched Day 3, Test Subject #2, Mafia-Aligned Rolestopper, Town Victory (that was utter BS) Toxic Waste Mafia: Survived, Violet, Hive (Cult)-Aligned Powerless Taskmaster, Hive Victory PK Hatez You Mafia: Survived, Town-Aligned Goth, Mafia Victory Dreven City: A Wild West Mafia: Town-Aligned "Los Angeles" Reed, One-Shot Vig, Survived, Town Victory (just barely, major props to Just a Cleric) YMtC Mafia III: Killed Night 2, Mafia Victory Vampire Mafia: Mafia-Aligned Pander, Mafia Victory Touhou Border Collapse: Bill Cosby, Town-Aligned, Killed Night 1, Mafia Victory Harry Potter Mafia: Argus Filch, Town-Aligned Tracker, Lynched Day 5, Mafia Victory [Basic #5] Bandit Mafia: Town-Aligned Vanilla, Survived, Mafia Victory Borderlands Mafia: Town-Aligned Mason, Killed Night 1, Town Victory eBay Mafia: Mafia-Aligned, Survived, Mafia Victory Full Metal Alchemist Mafia: Alphonse Elric, Town-Aligned Mason, Killed Night 1, Town Victory Sunflowers for Ragnarokio: Lynched Day 3, Town/Just a Cleric/Tevish Szat/Faux-Razor Victory True Blood Mafia: Lynched Day 4, Mafia Victory My Mafia Diary: Skyhunter, Mafia-Aligned Emo, Survived, Flawless Mafia Victory Paper Mario Mafia: Blue Goomba, Town-Aligned Lover, Killed Night 2, Mafia Victory Small Town Mafia: Pigsticker Mafia-Aligned Coward, Killed Night 2, Caveman Mafia and Zipperflesh Victory Stuff on my Desk Mafia: Lotus Cobra, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Survived, Mafia Victory Order of the Chaos Rose Mafia: Lord Dagol Ji'Lovik, Town-Aligned Hypnotist, Mafia Victory, Town MVP Camp Crystal Lake Mafia: Ongoing A Certain Magical Mafia: Killed Night 1, Town-Aligned The Siege of Balignor Mafia: Ongoing, Killed Day 4 Mafia of Ancient Egypt: Replaced in for Murica day 2, Ra, Town-Aligned Charismatic, Town Victory, Town MVP Lord of the Rings Mafia: Replaced in for Dr Demento, Town-Aligned Mason/One-Shot Self-Doc, Town Victory, Town MVP Internet Stars Mafia: Town-Aligned Vanilla, Mafia Victory Mythos Mafia: Ongoing
If Kokusho, the Evening Star is a legendary creature and is banned, why isn't it under the banned generals list instead of banned cards.

Banning a card includes banning its use as a general.
I figured I'd help the FAQ a little so I went and tried to search up all the legendary creatures that can't be used as generals because they break the colour rule.

Daughter of Autumn
Rhys the Exiled
Thelon of Havenwood
Bosh, Iron Golem
Memnarch

None of those can legally be used as generals, but they are all still legal as normal decklist cards.
I can ? lol awesome

Try Declaration of Naught naming a General.
It's harder to remove then Mage.

Guess what? Chicken butt.

I think a mod should get this stickied >>
I have a request for this forum community. I have no idea whether it should go here in the FAQ thread or in its own thread.

As a new player (since Lorwyn) and a a completely inexperienced EDH player, I'd appreciate some basic guidance:

What makes a good general and why?

What is a good mix of cards in a typical (whatever that means) EDH deck? By this I mean how many lands, how many creatures, how many instants/sorceries/enchantments/artifacts. I'm complete aware that this mix varies by the type of deck you are playing and your meta. But in general, what are decent starting guidelines?

What makes a good EDH card and why? I can easily see why Rune Snag is not as good in EDH as it is in other constructed formats. What other cards are better or worse in this format?

If this doesn't belong here, let me know and I'll repost as its own thread. Thanks!
I would start by going here

That should give you a lot of info you are looking for.
Thanks, Skitzafreak. That was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

Maybe you could edit your post to give it a more descriptive link? Then newbies like me might find it and not bug you guys again.

Off to re-read.
What makes a good general and why?

I don't think that Zerg's post covered this, so I will. One of a few things:

1) cheap cost - if it's inexpensive, it becomes easily recurrable, and thus, more powerful.
2) good card - something like Norin the Wary will never make a good general, regardless of the fact that it's easily casted, because it doesn't do anything.
3) synergy - if the card can be built around (say, Scion of the Ur-Dragon and a reanimation deck, or Momir Vig, Simic Visionary with a creature control deck) it's naturally better. The more synergy your deck has, the better, in EDH. It's also, in my opinion, much more fun to play a "themed" deck.
I like themed decks too, Mountains. Though I am sure you would find some of my "themes" very simple metaphors.

No one has said anything yet about mana curve except that EDH decks play bigger spells because the games go longer. How many cards (roughly, and to be discussed) at what CMC tends to work well?

Also, mana sources? I've been told that constructed decks should start at about 40%, or 24, land. This varies with your mana curve and whether you have other mana sources. What abut EDH? Decks I've seen posted seem to run about 35 lands, not 40.
Most of the decks run such broken filter/draw spells that you will hit regular land drops.

That and in 1v1 60 card decks, if you do not hit your land drops on absolutely every turn, you are probably going to lose. The 40 point life cushion take a bit of that pressure off. Also, because games go on longer, you will draw a lot more cards. Once you have hit your 5th or 6th land drop, you don't really want to draw any more land, so having 35% is better than haveing 40% of your permanents as lands.

Ultimately, it's all just trial and error. See what works best for you.
So EDH deck that include red should have Countryside Crusher to make user of the rest of that land?

If a newb like me doesn't have all the fancy pants lands, would you advise going up on the count (38 or so)?
Countryside Crusher is very much an aggro card and aggro doesn't work in EDH. You really don't want to stop dropping lands on turn 4 in this format.

It's very hard to make generalisations without seeing what deck you are actually playing. Heavy control decks will naturally run more lands than aggro-control. Try 38, see how it works for you and raise/lower the land caount after a few games as you see if you are getting too many/few.

It's all about trial and error, live and learn.
Countryside Crusher is very much an aggro card and aggro doesn't work in EDH. You really don't want to stop dropping lands on turn 4 in this format.

It's very hard to make generalisations without seeing what deck you are actually playing. Heavy control decks will naturally run more lands than aggro-control. Try 38, see how it works for you and raise/lower the land caount after a few games as you see if you are getting too many/few.

It's all about trial and error, live and learn.

Well, I wouldn't consider playing CC on turn three. I was just thinking that a land sink later in the game might be nice.

Thanks for the rough guideline. I will try 38 and then tune after playing. I won't bore you guys with the first few iterations of the deck.

I have very few legends. Most of the Lor/Sha block ones. Niv Mizzet and a few others. Hmmmm...
2) good card - something like Norin the Wary will never make a good general, regardless of the fact that it's easily casted, because it doesn't do anything.

I now have the insane urge to build a Norin the Wary EDH deck solely to prove you wrong. :P

I'll get this stickied.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I now have the insane urge to build a Norin the Wary EDH deck solely to prove you wrong. :P

I'll get this stickied.

I was considering nominating him for the EDH Community deck thing.

(He is sooo bad though.)
I was considering nominating him for the EDH Community deck thing.

(He is sooo bad though.)

Umm hello? Confusion in the Ranks, Pandemonium :D