Getting started in EDH can be a daunting task for newer players. Fortunately for those newer players, Wizards of the Coast releases special products, such as the Duel Decks series that showcase many older cards. The newest line in the Duel Decks series is Phyrexia vs. The Coalition. This product is a great jumping off point for newer players who want to try their hand at EDH packed with all sorts of EDH goodies.
Let’s take a look at what the mechanized armies of Phyrexia give us. One of the coolest reprints in a long time, Phyrexian Negator has prompted some serious debate about Wizard’s Reserved List. The Negator is an amazing option for an aggro deck but EDH is more about longevity and combos than about quick beatdown. Remember life totals in EDH are 40 not 20. Still, this guy can be decent for you if you are lean on options. Sacrifice outlets allow for some interesting tricks and Phyrexian Plaguelord fits the bill nicely. For card draw, Phyrexian Arena is really good, abusing that big life total. Another nice addition is Phyrexian Processor. Pumping out a threat every turn for a minimal resource commitment is awesome.
One of my favorite reprints is Voltaic Key. This card was amazing back in the days of Urza’s Saga and offers great potential with good artifacts floating around (like the Processor above). Worn Powerstone and of course Phyrexian Colossus also play nice with the Key. Another card I was excited to get was Lightning Greaves. I cannot think of a card that is more useful in General-centric strategies than the Greaves. Whispersilk Cloak, Hornet Cannon, Phyrexian Vault, and Phyrexian Totem are all playable cards that can help a beginner with EDH. Living Death and Slay are pretty good as well.
Taking a look at the good guys we find that the Coalition has a bunch to offer. One, two, three, four…four Generals come in this deck! Darigaaz, the Igniter, Gerrard Capashen, Rith, the Awakener, and Treva, the Renewer. That’s a lot of Legendary goodness.
The Coalition give us some great utility creatures as well. Thornscape Battlemage, Sunscape Battlemage, and Thunderscape Battlemage all offer some usefull abilities. Yavimaya Elder = card advantage (cool new art too). Armadillo Cloak, Coalition Relic, and Power Armor are decent goodies as well. The Coalition also gives us a great finisher in Urzas Rage. This big spell laughs in the face of counter-magic and the foil treatment it got is superb.
If you are new to EDH, or if you know someone who wants to get into it, then the Phyrexia vs. The Coalition Duel Deck is a great place to pick up some awesome older cards. Use this as a springboard to take the plunge into the EDH waters.