During my foray into cEDH, I’ve had some incredibly fun and exciting games with all sorts of different archetypes. The gameplay is tight, and deckbuilding in particular is incredibly strict because of how unforgivingly fast and streamlined all of the strategies are. It’s one of the most fun ways of playing Magic to me, and I’ll continue to enjoy it for many games to come.

With that said, I think I was a little fast to shut out other forms of Commander. While I’ve been incredibly vocal about the different power levels and rule zeroing of the format, I think specifically high-powered Commander may have a place in my repertoire as well. I said before that cEDH basically is rule zero, as you don’t have to worry about if something is fun or unfun for those around you, and I certainly still believe that, but how much of a discrepancy is there between cEDH and high powered Commander, truly? There are a lot of ideas I would love to put through the ringer, without necessarily forcing myself to play cEDH. But, there are also some ideas which could theoretically hold their own in cEDH, but fall apart outside of it. I know that may not make sense, because cEDH decks are typically just better versions of every other Commander deck, right?

Well, not really.

The thing with cEDH is that most, if not all of the decks operate under an extremely strict pace. Buh casual Commander is much more of a wild west, which can typically involve interaction and play sequences you may not expect or be prepared for. That turn three Ad Nauseum you were trying to turbo out on turn threemight get stolen byCommandeer, for example.

…I may or may not have seen that happen.

There are a few decks inspired from cEDH that I want to give a shot in a more high-powered form. The first one that comes to mind is Anje Falkenrath. One of the big weaknesses of this deck is that you’re effectively playing a ~20-25 card deck, because most of your Madness spells are garbage until you win. It has an extreme reliance on Worldgorger Dragon infinite mana combos as well, making it hyper fragile and tough to rebuild from. In a lower powered environment, however, it may be easier to explore alternative methods to win. Could we fit in a Living End shell somehow? What about Living Death with a haste outlet? Dualcaster Mage and Twinflame is a very compact way to win that function well outside of the combo. A lot of options here that are worth exploring.

I’m going to start looking more into high powered Commander, because it might be a bit more of  a flexible avenue to working on potential strategies, as well as seeing what more players come up with for me to incorporate. I’m very excited to give more of these ideas a shot, as my favorite part of cEDH can be applied anywhere, in more variations. I’m always open to hearing different deck ideas and innovations, and would love to hear from you! 

Anthony Lowry (they/he) is a seasoned TCG, MMORPG, and FPS veteran. They are extensively knowledgeable on the intricacies of many competitive outlets, and are always looking for a new challenge in the gaming sphere.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.