When it comes to winning a game of EDH, there are an infinite number of ways to do it. It can be 21 points of general damage doled out one victim at a time. Or infecting an opponent to death with a Grafted Exoskeleton or Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon. Maybe you want to use Haze of Rage 5 or 6 times in a turn and finish everyone with Krenko, Mob Boss tokens. What about Storm Herd combined with Jeskai Ascendancy from a Narset deck? The list goes on and on and on, ad nauseum.
So we can all agree that there are millions of ways to do it, but today’s article focuses on the best ways to win a game of EDH—by defeating all of your enemies simultaneously. As is typically seen in cEDH, the most common and efficient way to claim victory is by winning the game on the spot. Ideally, you want to win via an alternate win condition or through an infinite loop. This makes a resulting victory all the more likely. Picking off your opponents one-by-one, while fun, is simply not the most efficient way to win at EDH. After all, you wouldn’t want one of your opponents to make an epic comeback. Not to mention style points for eliminating an entire table five times over.
Luckily, just because you’re aiming for the triple fatality doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Here are my Top 8 favorite ways to terminate the whole EDH table. It would be a disservice to exclude enablers from this list since they are often the crucial cards for winning. Nobody attributes Release the Ants as the MVP in the Legacy Omni-show deck. Now, without further adieu…
Craterhoof BAEhemoth is always near and dear to my heart when it comes to win conditions in EDH. If I only had one opponent each time, this card would have made it into the top 8, no question. Sadly, even with the ridiculous numbers that ol’ Hoofy here can churn out, it is pretty hard to kill three opponents at once with it. You will always be number 1 in my heart, though.
Ezuri, Renegade Leader
Ezuri is one of my favorite infinite mana sinks in the game because his ability is a fine rate without going infinite. Ezuri is often the general for mono-green “Elfball” decks. Here’s how the combo works:
- Have a card like Umbral Mantle, Staff of Domination, or Sword of the Paruns.
- Equip/target a creature that adds 3-4 or more mana to your mana pool with a tap activation such as Priest of Titania, Wirewood Channeler, or Elvish Archdruid.
- Repeatedly untap the creature, netting mana each time, and use Ezuri’s overrun ability for the win!
This is one of the most fun ways to kill a table since you’re still using good old fashioned creature damage to do it. It doesn’t make it any less deadly, though.
8. Food Chain
Food Chain fills many roles in Commander. Basically, Food Chain boils down to making an infinite of something.
With General Tazri at the helm:
- Make infinite mana with either Misthollow Griffin or Eternal Scourge.
- Use this to cast General Tazri, finding Hagra Diabolist or Halimar Excavator.
- You then cast Genral Tazri over and over again (via Food Chain) to drain the table for all of their life.
With Prossh as your general:
- Sacrifice Prossh, Skyraider of Kher and his 6 Kobolds to add 20 mana to your mana pool in varying colors.
- Recast Prossh (which makes more Kobolds) and sacrfice him and some minions again.
- Simply use Goblin Bombardment or Altar of Dementia to finish the job with your infinite number of Kobolds.
7. Walking Ballista
Walking Ballista doesn’t do much on its own, but it certainly does a lot when you have infinite mana. The Ballista can be tutored up by artifact tutors, creature tutors, and even Trinket Mage, making it easy to find once you’ve assembled infinite mana. Additionally, he works well with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed.
- Sacrifice the Ballista to your outlet and it returns to the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter from Mikaeus.
- Remove the counter to hit an opponent.
- Rinse and repeat to blow up the world.
While Omniscience doesn’t actually win you the game by itself, it pretty much does the job every single time. This powerful blue enchantment earns my vote for the simplest way to win a game of EDH out of the cards on this list. Omniscience doesn’t involve any complicated lines or convoluted loopholes with the rules to pull a win. Just play the spells in your deck for free… one after the other… each of them… until you win. Yay! It doesn’t take an Omni-scientist to figure that one out.
5. Ad Nauseam
Ah, good ol’ Ad Naus, every time someone casts this spell against me I look like the guy in the card’s art. There are a dozen cards that combine well with Ad Nauseam, including Angel’s Grace, Phyrexian Unlife, Platinum Angel, Gideon of the Trials, and Teferi’s Protection. Once you’ve cast one of these spells, you can proceed to draw your entire library, and from there, winning is elementary. You can use card number 1 or 2 from this very list to finish the deed.
The most powerful aspect of Ad Nauseam is that it doesn’t need to be combined with another spell to draw 15-20 cards at instant speed. After drawing so many cards, if your deck is configured optimally, you can cobble together a win with pretty much anything.
4. Protean Hulk
Protean Hulk may look like a predator but he’s really just a leech. Protean Hulk uses other cards on this list to assemble an on-the-spot win. Some popular cards that combined well with Protean Hulk—cards that allow you to immediately turn on his death trigger—are Flash, Sneak Attack, Footsteps of the Goryo, and Through the Breach.
Some common piles to grab with Protean Hulk are:
Kiki copies your Karmic Guide. With Karmic Guide’s trigger on the stack, you sacrifice Kiki-Jiki to your Seer. The new hasty Angel token resurrects the Kamigawa Goblin and you start the fun again. You can annihilate the entire table with hasty little gobbos, which is what I call a good time!
Alternatively, you can also use your Hulk to grab these cards:
With this pile, you use your Nomads to target your Illusionist until you mill your entire library. After hitting a Narcomoeba, you use Dread Return’s flashback mode (sacrificing Illusionist, Nomads, and Narcomoeba) to bring back Laboratory Maniac and sacrifice Hapless Researcher to win!
Protean Hulk smash!
3. Paradox Engine
Many a game of EDH are ended abruptly by a Paradox Engine. A popular artifact in Captain Sisay, Arcum Dagsson, and dozens more, Paradox Engine is absolutely ban worthy in the Commander format. If you can resolve this busted artifact, you have nearly ensured victory with the little engine that could.
Unluckily for the table, it can often take a little bit of time to win with Paradox Engine. Tracking floating mana and storm count can be tiresome and not fun. Just know that you will most likely lose to this artifact at some point and it will be long and bothersome. Combining Isochron Scepter and Dramatic Reversal together to make actual infinite mana and storm is much cleaner, but a little less consistent than Paradox Engine.
Paradox Engine may not actually remove any players from the table, but it may remove friends from your life.
2. Aetherflux Reservoir
Hey, a card that actually destroys players! Yep, Aetherflux Reservoir is everything Tendrils of Agony wishes it could be. Assuming that all three other players at the table are at 40 life, it would take a storm count of 59 to make Tendrils of Agony lethal. Aetherflux Reservoir only requires a “storm count” of roughly 18 to defeat all your foes.
Aetherflux Reservoir is an excellent finisher for multiplayer EDH because it can be played early in the combo for maximum benefit or later in the combo for what often is still enough. Being colorless allows it to fit into any deck and has the easiest mana cost requirement to fulfill mid-combo. It should also be noted that finishing off your opponents with a giant bowl of energy is about as awesome as it gets.
1. Laboratory Maniac
The number 1 card on the list for “killing the whole table” was a very easy decision. Countless other combos in the format turn into the eventual “Lab Man” kill. Doomsday combos involve, well, casting Doomsday. Assuming that you have a way to draw a card from your deck, the pile is usually something like:
This converts to a win right on the spot. It doesn’t matter how many opponents there are, as long as they can’t interact with your combo, you win! Now, interacting with your opponent is the beautiful thing about Magic, so don’t let the little guy frighten you too much.
Laboratory Maniac combines with so many more cards—it’s impossible to even keep track. The Locust God, when combined with Kindred Discovery, draws you through your entire deck. You can’t stop it once it gets going, so how do you win? Laboratory Maniac has you covered. Have an Angel’s Grace you just followed up with an Ad Nauseam? Well, conveniently, you don’t have a library to draw from, so Lab Man is just the guy you need. Laboratory Maniac is absolutely deserving of the top spot and it isn’t even close to being close.
I hope you enjoyed counting down the top ways to win in EDH. Why vanquish your foes one at a time when you can slay the entire opposition at once? Though your friends may be mad, that’s their fault for not packing enough cheap interaction. I think? You want to storm off, but you don’t want all your friends to storm away angrily.
What are your favorite ways to win in EDH? There may not be many more popular ways but there are certainly more fun ones! Let me know in the comments and don’t forget, 1 Decay saves the day.