EDH Variants: A Guide

Everyone who plays EDH, loves EDH. It’s a fun, sociable format that guarantees unpredictability and that you’ll never have the same game twice. But when every person in your playgroup plays the same deck, week after week, it can get monotonous and (heaven forbid) boring. But wait, there’s a solution…


Luckily, some smart people who play Magic have come up with some fun, clever, different ways of playing that ensures a fun game for everyone involved! Thanks to the help of my awesome followers, I’ve put together a decent list of awesome variants. Lets get started!

Two-Headed Giant:

Difficulty: Medium

Speed: Medium

Number of Players: 4

Description: This was the first multiplayer format ever officially endorsed by WotC, and still enchants players to this day. In 2HG, each player is paired with another to form a team. They can’t share mana, but they share a life total and pass through phases of the turn together. Sadly, this is a format that I’m not as familiar with, so for a more in depth version of the rules, I’ll refer you to the wiki page that explains it well. Thanks to @the-burnished-hart for recommending this!


Difficulty: Easy

Speed: Medium

Number of Players: 5

Description: If you’re a fan of political mayhem and teamwork with a chance of betrayal, then this is the variant for you! In this format, 5 players sit in a circle. Each player to your right and left are your allies, while the two sitting across from you are your enemies. The first player to eliminate both of their enemies is the winner. The most interesting part of this is that each of your allies and you hold a mutual enemy, but one of your enemies is your allies ally. The politics within this game is insane, and it only adds to the already political nature of EDH. Thanks to @the-burnished-hart for this one, too.


Difficulty: Easy

Speed: Fast

Number of Players: 4-6

Description: This variant gives the middle finger to card draw and acceleration, because with Emperor, you need neither. During every players draw step, they draw until they have 10 cards in their hand. Each player can place any number of lands onto the battlefield too. The game runs incredibly quickly and makes it easier to fit a game into a tight schedule. But beware; Decks with built in card draw and land acceleration suffer without their advantage over other decks that might not have it.


Difficulty: Easy

Speed: Fast

Number of Players: 3-8

Description: This is quite possibly my favorite EDH variant. Each player plays their deck as usual, but player’s can’t attack each other and can’t deal damage to each other, but they can block each other. In the center lies a Piñata. The Piñata begins the game with 25 life for each player in the game, and whoever deals the final blow to the Piñata wins the game. It’s an interesting combination of teamwork in the early game and sheer terror in the late game.


Difficulty: Hard

Speed: Slow

Number of Players: 5+

Description: Each player is assigned one of four roles, each with a separate goal which they need to accomplish to win the game. They are Sheriff, Deputy, Renegade, and Outlaw. The Sheriff starts with 60 life rather than 40 and is the only role that is publicly assigned (Each other role is secretly assigned). His goal is to survive and kill the Renegade and the Outlaws. There are two outlaws who’s only goal is to kill the Sheriff, but neither knows who the other is. The Deputy’s goal is to protect the sheriff, and the Deputy only wins if the Sheriff survives the whole game (even if the Deputy dies in the process). The renegade’s only goal is to kill everyone else. It’s a really interesting game of secrecy and teamwork, but no one knows whats actually happening. Thanks to @awwyissmothafuckinbreadcrumbsss for this one!


Difficulty: Easy

Speed: Slow

Number of Players: 3-5

Description: Players sit as usual, in a circle. In front of one randomly chosen player, is a wall that starts with 40 life. Players can’t attack the player with the wall, but instead deals damage to the wall. When the wall’s life drops to 0, it dissolves and is removed from the game. At the beginning of the player who had the walls upkeep, a 6 sided dice is rolled. A 1-2 means the wall is moved to the left, a 3-4 means the wall is moved to the right, and a 5-6 means the wall stays where it is. The benefit of this is that all decks are slowed and it allows each deck to build to a powerful board state with very little interference. Thanks to @pseusdopseusdohypoparathyroidism for this one!


Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this, and it can be a great reference for all the best variants amongst EDH players. I’m always open to suggestions and if you have any home brewed variants you’d like to share, I always want to hear them!

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Commander: Taking Deck Tech Requests

Have a deck you want to see made? Let me know! What commanders would you like to see me build? I’m redoing my Chromatic, as I was unhappy with a lot of decks on the roster, so I’m open to suggestions!

I’ll leave this open for 1 week, and any replies I get will be considered. Colors that I already have decks for are Mono Red, Gruul, Simic, Izzet, Esper, and Junk.

So, what do you guys have for me?

EDH decks i have/working on.

The top are completed ones (subject for edits as new ideas come up) : Animar, Ghave, Grand Arbiter, Chainer, Mayael, Borborygmos, Gisela, and the cream of the Crop Vish Kal.

The bottom are in the works: Thraximundar, Oboro, Prosh, Kaalia, Savra, and Azami.

Gotta love the format!

Commanding Presence: Tri Color Wedges

Now, there isn’t much to discuss on the possible options for Wedges. Most of the “Wedges” (basically enemy color shards) don’t have many options, ranging from 3 to 4 in most cases. So, with that being said, I reserve the right to not present an honorable mention, as there just aren’t many commanders I like in these combinations.

The good news, however, is that the next block is rumored to have a wedge theme, so we might get more commanders for our cause!

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After reading an article about counterfeit Magic cards, I wanted to know how to distinguish the real ones in a hardcore, suicidal way. The blue film in the middle of the layer is what makes the card authentic. The news about counterfeiting makes me sad, especially because I have plans of buying dual lands and other Commander essentials like Mana Crypt, Demonic Tutor and such. From one player to another, please spread the word. #magicthegathering #mtgph #mtgcommander #edh #edhph

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Chromatic Arsenal: Borborygmos Enraged

For allied color dual commanders, I would like to spotlight the aggro version of Niv-Mizzet. Borborygmos Enraged is the same type of deck you’d expect from Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind. Instead of Curiosity, we have Keen Sense. Instead of Ophidian Eye we have Snake Umbra. What do we have in terms of backup win cons? The biggest creatures that Timmy ever dreamed of.

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