Green (21)

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Gruul (14)

Selesnya (13)

Kaleidoscope (8)

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Abzan (1)

Jeskai (1)

Temur (1)

Blue (18)

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Rakdos (14)

Naya (9)

Bant (6)

Grixis (6)

White (18)

Dimir (17)

Izzet (16)

Boros (15)

Red (13)

Colorless (10)

Esper (6)

Sultai (2)

Mardu (1)


A guide to the budding Pauper EDH format. After trudging through the Googlian tundra I could not find a cohesive Pauper EDH guide so I decided to make one. I'd also like to thank Podkomorka for creating and running the Pauper EDH Deck Compendium and Gattison for helping to run the Pauper EDH Miscellaneous section, the Primer would not be what it is without you guys. Please read through the FAQ before commenting about commanders being at the wrong rarity.

Pauper EDH plays by the same basic rules of EDH with some slight modifications:

(Rules in red differ from standard EDH)

  • You have an uncommon creature designated as your commander. It exists in a place called the Command Zone and may be summoned at any time you could normally cast it
  • The colors you may use in your deck are limited to your commanders colors and the mana symbols used in your commander's mana cost and rules text. This is referred to as its color identity. Color identity excludes mana symbols in the reminder text (such as Extort) and written colors and land types
  • Your commander costs more to cast from the command zone for each time it has been cast from your command zone. This commander tax applies when summoning your commander for its alternative casting costs (such as Evoke or Ninjitsu) as well
  • If your commander is moved from the battlefield to any other zone (hand, deck, exile, graveyard) you may choose to instead place it in the command zone. This is a replacement effect
  • Your deck must contain 99 common cards in your main board and each spell and non-basic land card must be unique. You can determine a cards rarity using the Scryfall search engine
  • Each player starts off with 30 life
  • Whenever a player has been dealt 16 combat damage by any one commander that player is removed from the game
Having been derived from Pauper, there is often confusion on what constitutes a common and uncommon card. Do you follow the MTGO rarities and not allow cards that are only common in paper, or use the Paper rarities and not allow cards that are only available at common online? Well, Pauper EDH says why not both? A card is legal to use if it has ever been printed at common, physically or digitally (or uncommon for the commander). This means cards that have only been printed at certain rarities in online only sets (such as Bastion Protector at Uncommon in the Legendary Cube or Chainer's Edict at Common in Vintage Masters) or paper sets (such as Ashnod's Altar at Common in Chronicles) are legal for play. You can determine a card's rarity by using the Scryfall search engine.
There is also often the question of whether Pauper EDH follows the Pauper ban list. It does not! There are no currently no cards that are banned in Pauper EDH, or at least not banned for balancing reasons. There are a few cards that are banned that have only been printed in a digital set because there is no legal way to play them in paper. This includes:

Commanders:

  • Goblin Bruiser
  • Goblin Gang Leader
  • Titanic Pelagosaur

Commons:

  • Cruel Cut
  • Feral Roar
  • Nimble Pilferer
  • River's Favor
  • Shorecomber Crab
  • Shrine Keeper
  • Tactical Advantage
  • Treetop Warden
  • Zephyr Gull

Pauper EDH has a couple key differences compared to standard EDH, the most glaring of these being a lack of board wipes. With Crypt Rats , Pestilence , and a couple of conditional cards being the only efficient boardwipes in the format boardstates can get rather bloated. There are also fewer alternative win conditions, with these mostly being infinite combos. This is not to say there is a lack of variety in Pauper EDH: many of the archetypes available in EDH have PDH analogs but the decks rely heavily on their commanders to function. Along with this, the weaknesses of each color are magnified causing problems generating card advantage in non- colors. This all creates a couple of interesting considerations:

  • Clogged fields make evasion a key component of any combat oriented deck. It comes in many forms at the common level: Unblockable, Menace, Fear, Intimidate, Protection, Flying, Trample
  • Card draw and filtering cards are largely limited to , , and making multicolored builds advantageous
  • The combat oriented nature of the format and the dearth of card draw outside of and means many decks make use of creatures with Enter the Battlefield effects to use as combat fodder.
  • Along with ETB effects, the graveyard is an important resource for many decks.
  • The lack of sweepers and heavy reliance on commanders makes targeted removal a must. Targeted removal is also the best way to deal with infinite combo decks.

With these considerations in mind, the list above contains some of the better generals to use in each color combination. Each creature above has been printed at uncommon in at least one set, if you have doubts about a creature's rarity you can use the Scryfall search engine to find which set it was printed in.

There are are currently no cards that are banned in Pauper EDH.
A card is legal to use if it has ever been printed at common, physically or digitally (or uncommon for the commander). This means cards that have only been printed at certain rarities in online only sets (such as Bastion Protector at Uncommon in the Legendary Cube or Chainer's Edict at Common in Vintage Masters) or paper sets (such as Ashnod's Altar at Common in Chronicles) are legal for play. You can determine a card's rarity by using the Scryfall search engine.


This is the official YouTube channel for PDH Homebase, featuring games between the staff. Though it hasn't been updated in a while it showcases how a typical PDH game can play out.

PDH Pals is a group dedicated to Pauper EDH content. Though they play with 40 life and 21 commander damage, their high production value, wide range of decks, and bi-weekly streams put them at the forefront of Pauper EDH video media. Be sure to tune into their streams at 7PM EST every Tuesday and Sunday.

Sensei's Kitchen Top is a YouTube channel focused on casual kitchen table Magic, predominately featuring 1-on-1 Pauper EDH games. Though the decks are built for casual play the channel showcases the versatility and fun of the format.


If you'd like to get more involved with Pauper EDH there are a variety of websites and social media that focus on the format:


Pauper EDH Deck Compendium

Pauper EDH* Podkomorka

SCORE: 148 | 578 COMMENTS | 34518 VIEWS | IN 62 FOLDERS


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37% Casual

63% Competitive

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #7 position overall 4 years ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Pauper EDH 4 months ago
Date added 4 years
Last updated 4 weeks
Legality

This deck is not Pauper EDH legal.

Highlight illegal cards
Cards 298
Avg. CMC 3.60
Tokens 0/1 Insect, 0/0 Zombie Army, None Copy Clone, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Goblin, 2/2 Cat, 3/3 Beast, 3/3 Centaur, 1/1 Bat, 1/1 Saproling, 1/1 Warrior, 1/1 Thopter, 3/3 Dinosaur, 1/1 Soldier, 2/2 Bear, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, 1/1 Construct, None Treasure, 1/1 Bird Illusion, 1/2 Spider, 1/1 Myr
Folders Pauper Guide, tribal, Fun EDH, Looks Cool!, Cool Decks Other People Made, Cool Decks, Pauper EDH, Pauper, EDH, reference, See all 120
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