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Official Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) RulesEdit

Elder Dragon Highlander is a Magic: The Gathering 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. A forum for discussion of the rules, strategy, and changes to EDH can be found here This page details the "official" rules common to most groups. Local groups often play with house rules (check the forum for inspiration), 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, after-hours EDH games at Pro Tours and Grand Prix use these rules.

Deck Construction Rules Edit

Players must choose a legendary creature as the "General" for their deck.

The following cards may not be used as a General:


League Rule: An EDH "League" consists of a regular group of players who frequently play together using the same decks. No two players in a league game may have the same General. Within a given league, Generals are allocated first-come, first-serve and are preserved between meetings/games. No player may have, in his or her deck, the General of any other player in the game; it should be replaced with some other card before the game begins. The 'Roll Call' forum (linked above) provides a tool for organizing and publicizing EDH leagues and reserved Generals.

Open Play Rule: Open play EDH rules are used for games between opponents who do not routinely play together. Generals are not subject to the Legendary rule, although other creatures of the same name are; if a General and a non-General creature of the same name are in play, only the non-General is put into the graveyard by state-based effects. If two opponents in the same game have the same General and both are in play, neither is put into the graveyard. The General's mana cost limits what coloured mana symbols may appear on cards in the deck: if a coloured mana symbol is not present in the General's mana cost, the deck may not contain any cards using that mana symbol. Lands with a basic land type (basic lands, Shock lands, Dual lands, Shadowmoor CIPT-basics, etc) contain the corresponding mana symbol(s) as per CR 212.6g.

Example: If you were to play Phelddagrif (Casting cost 1UWG) as your General, your deck may not contain any red or black cards; no card in such a deck may contain red or black mana symbols or hybrid mana symbols (for example: Talisman of Dominance, Life//Death, and Boros Guildmage are not allowed).

A deck may not generate mana outside its colours; anything which would generate mana of an illegal colour generates colourless mana instead. An EDH deck must contain exactly 100 cards, including the General.

EDH is played with Vintage legal cards, with the exception that cards are legal as of their set's prerelease. Additionally, these cards (and others like them) should not be played without prior agreement from the other players in the game:

Different groups have different philosophies on banned cards. The most recent banned list can always be found on the EDH website.


Play rulesEdit

Generals are announced and placed in the command zone before shuffling at the start of the game. Being a General is not a characteristic[MTG CR201], it is a property of the card. As such, "Generalness" cannot be copied or overwritten by continuous effects, and does not change with control of the card.

Examples: A Body Double (create) copying a General in a graveyard is not a General. 

If a player suffers 21 points of combat damage from a single General, they lose. This is an additional state based effect, similar to poison counters, but separate and specific to each General. This damage cannot be healed or undone, even if the creature is removed from play temporarily. Damage done by a creature under someone else's control is still counted towards the 21 point limit for that creature and defender.

While a General is in the command zone, it may be played. As an additional cost to play your General this way, you must pay {2} for each previous time you have played it this way.

If a General would be put into a graveyard, or exiled from anywhere, its owner may put it in the command zone instead. (This is a replacement effect.. the creature 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 paris mulligan, they draw 7 cards (instead of 6). The second mulligan is to 6, and so forth. (Actually this rule is very old, but it was only recently noted that it was missing from the rules page).



Credits Edit

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. 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.


Links EDH Forum http://mtgcommander.net/Forum

Other online sources of EDH Information http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/expandnews.php?Article=7933 http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/8377.html http://www.tptb.org/magic/formats/dragon.shtml http://mtgjunkie.com


EFNet IRC Channel: #mtgcommander



1. All card names are copyright Wizards of the Coast. 2. The contents of this page were created and copyright (2005) by Gavin Duggan and are released for public use (with attribution) under the Academic Free License (AFL) as of April 24th, 2007.

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