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By: Basic Land, Andrew Westin
Dec 20 2007 1:55am
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(Note: My hair seems to be growing back nicely and it looks like The Pink Floyd has decided to stop messing with my avatar picture)

Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH)

What is it and how do you play? The Ferrett, in his article "Mixing It Up", credits the origins of EDH to two of his friends in Anchorage. I don't happen to know them personally, but that doesn't mean I can't play. Reference the article, as it is a pretty straightforward rundown of how to play the game.

I want to thank Lee_Sharpe, who spent alot of spare time working out code for the game, so that it is available online.

(Author's Note: Some people are bashing Lee and WOTC for providing EDH to players, I would like to point out that it was indeed his spare time that he created the code for it. Not while he "should" have been working on the Tarmogoyf + Sutured Ghoul bug. He could have just taken a longer lunch break instead and not coded it at all, then we wouldn't have EDH and the bug still wouldn't be fixed. He is creating a win for some proposition rather than a lose/lose option. Show your support and he is more likely to bring us other services on his spare time, so big round of applause to Lee_Sharpe.)


The Rules

There are several rules that you need to know in order to understand what is going on. For online play, the rules are taken from this thread. (Note: One correction should be made, the rules state twenty one damage from an avatar, but that has been clarified with Lee_Sharpe that it is combat damage. Thus the below Ashling the Pilgrim deck is slightly less effective, but still fun.)

On table people have house rules that vary as much as breeds of dogs. Here are a few other links in case you want to read some variants or other versions of the same.

A more in depth Wizards article.

Elder Dragon Forums.

More Rules.

So, once you have the rules down, it's time to find others to play with. A good place to start is the EDH room. Type "/join EDH". (Note: Only a Wizards Employee can start a game. The EDH room is the easiest way to find those Wizards that are interested. Please don't badger Employees who are not in the EDH room). Once I had a legal deck, it didn't take long to get in a game.


Choosing a General

Now that you know how and where to play, let's find something to play with. Every deck needs (although it is possible to play without one), a General.

My first two thoughts were Ashling the Pilgrim and Vorosh, the Hunter. Some other fun ones include,

Adun Oakenshield, Asmira, Holy Avenger, Darigaaz, the Igniter, Brion Stoutarm, Doran, the Siege Tower, Ertai, the Corrupted, Ghost Council of Orzhova, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Horde of Notions, Intet, the Dreamer, Gaddock Teeg, and Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, and many others.

My first deck was based around Ashling the Pilgrim, in a mono red deck that aimed to deal twenty one damage to everybody and less than twenty one to myself. Enter cards that prevent at least one damage in Red and colorless ie. Urza's Armor.


Lands (42):

39x Mountain
Mishra's Factory
Spinerock Knoll

Other Spells (28):

Bone Mask
Healer's Headdress
Pearl Shard
Shield of the Ages
Surestrike Trident
Planar Portal
Crack the Earth
Consuming Bonfire
Urza's Armor
Uncontrollable Anger
Beacon of Destruction
Brute Force
Needle Drop
Riddle of Lightning
Sulfurous Blast
Firecat Blitz
Ignite Memories
Molten Disaster
Shivan Meteor
Slice and Dice
Spitting Earth
Torrent of Fire
Volcanic Awakening
Crack the Earth
Consuming Bonfire


Creatures (30):

Ashling the Pilgrim (General)
Raka Disciple
Oxidda Golem
Razormane Masticore
Ashen Monstrosity
Bogardan Hellkite
Caterwauling Boggart
Chartooth Cougar
Coal Stoker
Coalhauler Swine
Firemaw Kavu
Flamekin Brawler
Flamekin Harbinger
Flametongue Kavu
Gathan Raiders
Giant Harbinger
Greater Gargadon
Ingot Chewer
Soulbright Flamekin
Stalking Vengeance
Sulfur Elemental
Sunrise Sovereign
Thundercloud Shaman
Volcano Hellion
Akroma, Angel of Fury
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Ashling the Pilgrim


Having a cheap General that can drop down and clear the board is nice, as well as to start providing X of the twenty one damage to each player. There are alot of subtleties in every singleton deck, synergy and interactions between several cards that make the deck work, in order to get to those cards I try and use cantrips or deck thinners. The best one I can thinkg of in a mono red deck with Ashling the Pilgrim is Needle Drop. Other good ones would be Chromatic Star, Wayfarer's Bauble, or Chromatic Sphere. Being mono red limits you in some ways, and there isn't very much draw or mana acceleration in the color. I however, love playing with both which usually throws me into Blue and Green. That brings us to my Vorosh, the Hunter deck. Being able to build up my General and deliver twenty one or more in a single blow is an answer me, or lose threat.

Lands (44):

Barren Moor
Dreadship Reef
Forbidden Orchard
Gemstone Mine
Golgari Rot Farm
Mishra's Factory
Mosswort Bridge
Shimmering Grotto
Simic Growth Chamber
Tolaria West
Tranquil Thicket
Vivid Creek
Vivid Grove
Yavimaya Coast
Breeding Pool
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Underground River
City of Brass
Llanowar Wastes
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Bloodstained Mire
Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper
Overgrown Tomb
Watery Grave


Other Spells (32):

Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic Star
Ancestral Vision
Coalition Relic
Darksteel Ingot
Golgari Signet
Lotus Bloom
Explosive Vegetation
Planar Portal
Prismatic Lens
Simic Signet
Springleaf Drum
Ur-Golem's Eye
Dawn's Reflection
Fertile Ground
Nettlevine Blight
Utopia Vow
Mystical Teachings
Blatant Thievery
Deep Analysis
Diabolic Tutor
Fathom Trawl
Primal Command
Rampant Growth
Kodama's Reach

Creatures (24):

Vorosh, the Hunter (General)
Aeon Chronicler
Birds of Paradise
Eternal Witness
Changeling Titan
Deadwood Treefolk
Deep-Sea Kraken
Evil Eye of Urborg
Fyndhorn Elves
Gemhide Sliver
Krosan Tusker
Llanowar Elves
Riftwing Cloudskate
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Simic Sky Swallower
Traproot Kami
Trygon Predator
Vesuvan Shapeshifter
Arcanis the Omnipotent
Solemn Simulacrum





Those are two decks that I built and have had fun with. My next build will center around one of the five colored Sliver Legends. Sliver Legion, Sliver Queen, or Sliver Overlord. For another example of an EDH build, LOOPHOLES202 was kind enough to give his Scion of the Ur-Dragon decklist.  

Lands (40):

Adarkar Wastes
Ancient Spring
Azorius Chancery
Barren Moor
Battlefield Forge
Blood Crypt
Boros Garrison
Breeding Pool
Coastal Tower
Dimir Aqueduct
Dreadship Reef
Forgotten Cave
Fungal Reaches
Geothermal Crevice
Godless Shrine
Gruul Turf
Hallowed Fountain
Irrigation Ditch
Izzet Boilerworks
Keldon Megaliths
Llanowar Reborn
Lonely Sandbar
Molten Slagheap
Mosswort Bridge
Orzhov Basilica
Overgrown Tomb
Rakdos Carnarium
Sacred Foundry
Saltcrusted Steppe
Secluded Steppe
Shimmering Grotto
Simic Growth Chamber
Spinerock Knoll
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Urza's Factory
Vivid Crag
Watery Grave
Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper

Other Spells (39):

Azorius Signet
Boros Signet
Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic Star
Darksteel Ingot
Dimir Signet
Dragon Arch
Golgari Signet
Gruul Signet
Izzet Signet
Orzhov Signet
Pentad Prism
Prismatic Lens
Pyrite Spellbomb
Rakdos Signet
Simic Signet
Dragon Roost
Verdant Embrace
Ancient Grudge
Dizzy Spell
Fury Charm
Grim Reminder
Hero's Demise
Muddle the Mixture
Wrecking Ball
Demonic Collusion
Dimir Machinations
Mind's Desire
Sins of the Past
Eyeblight's Ending

Creatures (21):

Scion of the Ur-Dragon (General)
Dimir House Guard
Dragon Mage
Dragon Whelp
Drift of Phantasms
Fledgling Dragon
Imperial Hellkite
Netherborn Phalanx
Scourge of Kher Ridges
Two-Headed Dragon
Vampiric Dragon
Bladewing the Risen
Intet, the Dreamer
Kaervek the Merciless
Numot, the Devastator
Oros, the Avenger
Reya Dawnbringer
Teneb, the Harvester
Vorosh, the Hunter
Zirilan of the Claw
Scion of the Ur-Dragon

 He is able to change into a dragon with a different ability. Does your Scion need to be bigger? Change into Vorosh, and pay 2G for six +1/+1 counters. I would also like to note that he carries not a single basic land in his deck.

Cards to Have

Here are a few cards that will work well in almost any EDH deck of the appropriate color/colors. I just hopped on over to MTGO Traders, and picked up what I was missing.

Condemn, Damnation, Wrath of God, Akroma's Vengeance, Sulfurous Blast, Hurricane, Electrolyze, Remand, Repeal, Candles of Leng, Deadwood Treefolk, Eternal Witness, ONS Fetch Lands (Bloodstained Mire), Solemn Simulacrum, Anything with Cycling, Jace Beleren, Chromatic Star, Chromatic Spherej, Pyroclasm, Wayfarer's Bauble, Terramorphic Expanse, Kodama's Reach, Rampant Growth, Explosive Vegetation, Concentrate, Harmonize, Deep Analysis, Mulldrifter, Diabolic Tutor, Bribery, Primal Command, Cryptic Command, Profane Command, Liliana Vess, Ohran Viper, Eladamri's Call, Mind's Desire, Harrow, Jester's Cap, Inspiration, Krosan Tusker and Riftsweeper, Edge of Autumn just to name a few.

I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction into the format, and hope to see you in EDH with your own concoction very soon. Get creative, there is a General out there for everybody.

(Note: on LOOPHOLE's  comment, the second deck I made had a Privileged Position in it, my avatar was Vorosh, because I didn't have only colors that pertained to his casting cost, he became an invalid General, rendering me with a useless deck. If you use hybrid cards or split cards, all colors must be in your General's casting cost.)


by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 12/20/2007 - 13:16
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

I think they're talking about banning Riftsweeper.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 12/20/2007 - 15:54
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

The Pink Floyd approves of your extremely fast growing new barnet.

You and your EDH by Loopholes (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 12/13/2007 - 00:58
Loopholes (Unregistered)'s picture

Tsk tsk, Note - Remove the Privledges Positions from your deck, may help you out next time.

Riftsweeper is either banned by Anonymous (not verified) at Tue, 03/24/2009 - 16:07
Anonymous's picture

Riftsweeper is either banned or errata'd to prevent it from targeting generals, depending on your play group.

totosite by dungdung at Sat, 01/22/2022 - 00:40
dungdung's picture

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