How to Build 100 EDH Decks


How to Build 100 EDH/Commander Decks*
(originally posted HERE in my, currently on hiatus, list blog “My Year in Lists“)
1. Don’t Be Hung Up on Perfection:   Not every deck is going to be a hyper-optimized pile of staples.
2. Play “Bad” Cards:  your decks will get boring if every deck has the same staples.  Use this opportunity to try out “less good’ cards (or the ones that TryHards say are “bad”).
3. Proxy (fairly) —  Some cards that are good enough for a lot of decks are also a lot of money, and you might not have stacks of them.  To me, fairly means you can proxy something as long as you own at least one copy of it, but no more than 3 non-dual-land  placeholder proxies per deck. More on my Proxy philosophy in a later post.
4. Restrictions = Creativity (because MaRo said so):  not every green deck need be “Ramp to Fatties,” and not every blue deck “Draw/Counter/Combo”. Giving yourself restrictions can lead to more ideas for decks…  Mono-blue beat-down,  creature-less green,  all one-drops, Samurai tribal, Ice Age Block Constructed etc.
5. Sleeves are for Wimps:  or people with extra time and money to keep decks in the right sleeves, or people that foolishly would want to ever get rid of their cards.  I’d rather spend money on more cards, than on 10,000 sleeves, but your mileage may vary. Penny sleeves are awkward and gross, and other sleeves are hard to shuffle. I have 2 decks in sleeves. One is an all-foil deck, and another was going to be. I sleeve my Generals to distinguish them.
6. Play for Funsies First:  see #1.  If you are tournament-hustler Spikey McSpikerson, you’re probably only going to optimize one deck to KILL and win all of the prizes and money and glory.  Building in bulk, not all of your decks are going to be optimized to win, (or at least not win in the same old way).  Be happy to play for the game to pull off an awesome play, or be part of epic games, or just to sling cardboard with your friends.
7. Build for Art Sometimes:  an extension of #4.  Some of your decks might be exercises more than anything else. Try building a Rainbow Stairwell, or Tag-Team decks, or ‘drafting’ out of your deckless-cards (see #9), keeping a few “teaching” decks is a good idea too.
8. Have a Lot of Cards:  it helps if you’ve already got a ton of cards to build from. Any card that isn’t in a deck should make you want to put it into a deck or make a deck for it.
9. Play Favorites:  some decks are worth going back and tweaking with the newest cards, others can be built and finished. Keeping all of the decks up to date would be foolish, costly, and time-consuming. On the other hand, keeping a few favorite decks as fresh as possible, is also important.
10. Don’t Go Bankrupt Trying to Do it All at Once:  My initial goal was just to have one of each possible combination (including no-color and 4-color). Once that happened I thought about going for two of each legal combination.  The idea of shooting for 100 didn’t come up until about #65.
* at this point I have 99 that are ready to go, with #100 just waiting for lands to be added, plus at least 4 others that are in various states of build.

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