Getting Friend into EDH. Need Help!

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Sept. 23, 2019, 5:11 p.m. by Tenshi41

I have a friend who wants to get into EDH. He has very little experience with magic but is very interested in learning. He wants his deck to play almost like he enjoys playing video games. By hiding and letting his pets/minions do all the work.Just wondering any suggestions on commander or deck that would play like this?

He has tried a few of my decks and enjoyed them but wants a starting point to start building his own. Any recommendations?

DrukenReaps says... #2

For people just getting into the game I recommend they start with 60 card kitchen table magic but if he really wants to dive into commander he should pick up a pre-con. Ghired, Conclave Exile leads the easiest to play pre-con of the ones that just came out. Plus it doesn't cost much. So he gets to learn with a fairly simple deck and not invest very much. That said any of the pre-cons will work just fine as a starting point.

As far as feeling like you are hiding in mtg Dimir has a lot of that kind of flavor. Maybe down the road he sshould build an Oona, Queen of the Fae deck.

September 23, 2019 5:38 p.m.

GhostChieftain says... #3

I will always recommend Meren of Clan Nel Toth . She is a powerful commander that is forgiving to the misplays and bad blocks of new players, and can eventually be upgraded to be very competitive if they so choose. Green/black offer solid draw and removal, a large suite of big powerful creatures, and ways to get your creatures back after they die. And most importantly for a new player green ramps, so they will be less likely to not get enough mana and be unable to have fun.

September 23, 2019 5:40 p.m.

goodair says... #4

Precons are a great starting point, and throw in some bulk cards to help out with getting rid of the cards that don't fit the deck.

Your friend can play the precon, get a feel for it and upgrade it together. Ask what cards felt out of place so it feels like he is doing the tuning more than just having someone do it for them.

September 23, 2019 6:23 p.m.

I think Ghired is a good commander for this. Maybe he could start with the premade Ghired deck and upgrade it as he gains more knowledge/cards?

September 23, 2019 6:39 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #6

I would focus on a deck that is strong in Counterspells and removal. That fits in with the whole “attack from the shadows” plan.

Meren, recommended above, can’t counter, but Green and Black are strong removal colours. Meren also gets some added benefits from removal, since she plays nicely with cards like Animate Dead , which can even be used to take the creatures you just killed.

For a different approach, Blue/White has solid removal and counter options, and allows you to make a pillowfort using cards like Ghostly Prison . However, counterspells take a lot of skill and an ability to manage risk assessment. That’s particularly hard in multiplayer, since you’re balancing a small number of counterspells against many unknown threats. I would not recommend this for a newer player.

September 23, 2019 7:04 p.m. Edited.

Drakorya says... #7

I feel like a big part of commander decks is how reliant your deck is on having your commander on the battlefield. The decks that need their commander in play often do broken and fun things, which can be enticing for someone just getting started in commander. But these decks are often also fragile, and aren't nearly as fun if the commander is repeatedly countered or removed. So it depends on how interactive the meta he'll be playing is.

That being said, the god commanders from Theros and Amonkhet are alot easier to keep on the battlefield. Iroas, God of Victory , Mogis, God of Slaughter , and Xenagos, God of Revels can be fun decks to play.

Alternatively, if he wants his commander to hide in the shadows and let his minions do the work, the commanders with eminence abilities might suit him well, as they'll give him benefits while they stay in the command zone. There are 4 eminence commanders in total, all tribal themed: Arahbo, Roar of the World Cat Tribal, Edgar Markov Vampire Tribal, Inalla, Archmage Ritualist Wizard Tribal, and The Ur-Dragon Dragon Tribal.

September 23, 2019 9 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #8

If you are considering eminence, I'd add Oloro, Ageless Ascetic to the list Drakorya listed. Oloro is a solid commander in very strong control colors. The lifegain and card draw makes him a solid starting control commander since he has built-in protections to mitigate lack of experience.

September 23, 2019 9:13 p.m.

Zimmy01 says... #9

I would definitely try going with Purphoros, God of the Forge . He's a low mana cost commander that is hard to remove and each creature you play will automatically deal 2 damage upon entering the battlefield. If you add the new red noble creature from Throne of Eldraine ( Torbran, Thane of Red Fell each of those creatures entering the battlefield will do 4 damage. Cast 10 creatures (which you could easily do in just a couple spells) and you've won the game.

September 23, 2019 9:55 p.m.

RNR_Gaming says... #10

As far as getting into commander as stated before pre-cons are the best entry level option; however if you're building him a deck I'd suggest edric. Cheap to build; even non-cedh versions are effective, he's a spy (attacks from shadows) and his ability entices opponents to attack other players and not him while he amasses an army of 1/1 pets.

September 24, 2019 12:19 a.m.

Steelspike says... #11

Gishath, Sun's Avatar

The dino deck I built was super fun and won a lot more than lost.


Commander / EDH Steelspike


You can obviously build a budget version for your friend, but I think it'll still be fun for a first timer.

September 24, 2019 5:09 a.m. Edited.

Tenshi41 says... #12

Thanks for all the suggestions, hopefully he is inspired from this list.

September 24, 2019 11:14 a.m.

If the dude just wants to sit back and watch everyone else do the work for him, he can play "Group Hug" Bant or Grixis Donate / Harmless Offering control...

September 24, 2019 6:22 p.m.

DarkHero says... #14

For me, a friend gave me a legend that fit exactly what I wanted to do in tabletop. Thromok the Insatiable (I was super into the devour mechanic, my first time buy cards was the Jund precon).

This caught my attention and I at least felt obligated to try.

The other angle for me is I was struggling at the time to keep up with standard. I didnt have money to make something that I could actually play before rotations happened. I wasted so much time and money on cards that I would never really use again. And I knew that the vast majority of Modern was far out of my budget.

The draw for EDH was that there isnt a rotation, and budget can still do a lot. My cards that I was proud of but couldn't use, I could use again.

September 25, 2019 7:57 a.m.

edengstrom1 says... #15

I would show him this years Precons and have him pick out the one that peaks his interest the most. Building your first commander deck is a pretty daunting task, especially if you are new to the game and these are great starting points.

Like someone above stated, I think that Ghired is the most beginner-friendly of the bunch. I bought the Kadena one, and it is pretty fun in a casual setting. My playgroup each bought one and played them against each other and had a great time. The games run quite a bit longer than with more tuned decks, but were still fun. So you might think about buying one to play against him to keep the power level the same.

If he wants to upgrade, show him EDHREC to give him suggestions on what to add.

September 25, 2019 4:59 p.m.

Gleeock says... #16

Grismold, the Dreadsower . So fun and self-piloting. You can go wide by accident or be happy just being more direct wit a trampling commander. Forgiving for errors. Not too concerned with the stack. Easy to cast him almost every game.

September 25, 2019 9:40 p.m.

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