Magic: The Gathering – EDH Players We Could Do Without


Are you “that guy” (or “that gal”) in your MTG EDH playgroup? You’d better check this list just to be sure.

Unlike other Magic: the Gathering formats, Commander is the ideal social format. Ironically enough, it’s the format that points out just how many anti-social ways there are to play. Keep this list for a handy clip ‘n’ save, to keep your eye out for these players at your local card shop. Because you’re so sure none of these are you, right?

The Bully
Catch phrase: “Hey, you guys have room for a fifth?”
Patron card: leovoldemissaryoftrest

The Bully shows up at your casual playgroup with the most oppressive Stax deck they can possibly build. If you ever looked at a card and asked “What kind of an asshole would run this?”, bet it’s in the Bully’s deck. Not that the Bully is looking for a challenge, oh no! The Bully prowls around the game room looking for the newest, least-threatening players. He squeezes into a game where the other three players have the boxes from their precon decks still at their elbow. Did you think this was going to be a friendly, casual game? Well, destroy all your land, destroy all your other permanents, exile every card you draw, and in case you do find a way to worm out of that, here’s a bunch of counter-measures. What win-con? Why should he run a win-con? That would just end the game, and then you’d be able to escape, find another play group, and actually play Magic, which is exactly what the Bully is here to prevent your doing.

The Rules Lawyer
Catch phrase: “Wait, did you miss a trigger?”
Patron card: sundialoftheinfinite

You can always tell the Rules Lawyer because they are always talking, no matter whose turn it is. As soon as you even mention a card, he is “reminding” you of every single condition on that card. It’s not like you know what the card does already, since you do own it and did put it in your deck. “Hey, did you discard down to hand size?” “Are you paying one for that?” “Doesn’t that enter tapped?” “Did you pass priority after you declared attackers?” After awhile, playing against a Rules Lawyer feels like a combination of a tax audit and an inquisition by Torquemada. Flustered and aggravated beyond all tilt, you will eventually forget how to play Magic in mid-game – which is exactly what the Rules lawyer’s “strategy” is.

The Rich Snob
Catch phrase: “Huh, why not just run Imperial Seal?”
Patron card: xiahouduntheoneeyed

No matter what you’re running, the Rich Snob looks down his nose at you in contempt. It’s not like he even runs good cards himself, nor does he appear to have any idea how to play his cards. To the Rich Snob, “more expensive” = “better,” full stop. You’d better believe he has the signed copies of the Power Nine, and even if they aren’t allowed in Commander, he’ll find a way to loudly mention that he owns them anyway. In the mean time, here’s a deck composed entirely of foil copies of the reserved list. The Rich Snob, naturally, is not as interested in playing the game as he is in belittling you for playing cheap cards, and anything he doesn’t own is automatically cheap. Take solace in the fact that this man has no family, and never will.

The Slacker
Catch phrase: “Oh, is it my turn?”
Patron card: meanderingtowershell

The Slacker is an OK sort, not going out of his way to be offensive. But then, the Slacker doesn’t go very far out of his way for anything. He plays with a phone in his hand at all times, trying to multitask Pokemon Go, texts to his buddies, and a card game all at the same time. He has to be nudged to his turn every round, takes forever to tutor because he doesn’t remember what’s in his own deck, and will suddenly remember he forgot to drop a land by the time the turn has rotated across the table from him. Five minutes into the game, he’ll find a friend elsewhere in the shop he earnestly wants to talk to, and thereafter will spend every spare moment going through trade binders. It’s best to take the old dating advice: Don’t make somebody a priority when you’re just an option to them. Just tell the Slacker that his game ended and you’re starting a new one, if he even notices.

The Whiner
Catch phrase: “Targeting ME? What did I do?”
Patron card: mirkovoskminddrinker

The Whiner has an interesting idea of politics. Just play goldfish by yourself, and complain loudly whenever anybody else does anything in the game that affects him at all. The Whiner typically runs some elaborate combo deck that takes several turns of durdling and setup before it actually does anything. If your deck is designed to win some time before the next Ice Age, that’s too fast for him. “Hitting me for 3? What about that guy over there? He’s a bigger threat!” In between complaints about being targeted, the Whiner keeps the fun level high by sniveling about how he’s mana-screwed, can’t draw the right cards, the last Wrath took out his board just when he was getting set up, and if only you hadn’t had that Counterspell in hand he would have won by now. The Whiner hasn’t noticed yet that nobody lets you win a game of Commander out of pity.

The Toolboxer
Catch phrase: “On your end of turn…”
Patron card: evolutionaryleap

The Toolboxer is the least offensive on this list, since he is playing a very viable strategy and some toolboxing is inevitable in Commander format anyway. The Toolboxer is just annoying and obnoxious in that seemingly everything he does is designed to bring the game’s flow to a screeching halt while he does a hundred and two things on everybody else’s turn. If it isn’t his Sensei’s Divining Top, it’s his Force of Will, his land fetch, his Alchemist’s Refuge, his Brainstorm, his Seaside Haven… all on one turn. Every turn, he has enough triggers, untaps, and mana to do more things with his hand than you can do with your entire deck. You know you have a Toolboxer on your hands when one player after another sighs with the resigned weariness of a mummified pharaoh. Eventually everybody just concedes the game not because they can’t beat the Toolboxer, but because they’re just sick and tired of playing.

Got any other EDH players you can’t stand? You might as well whinge about them here in the comments.

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