Hello! Welcome to my set review of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, where I will pick five cards of each colour and discuss my favourite cards from them.
Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article.
Tom Bombadil and Sauron, the Lidless Eye are both great cards, but will not make my top 5 because I’ve already covered them in their own articles for A Seat at the Table at The Bag of Loot, but I do have a little blurb to say about them. If you’re interested in reading more, check out those articles.
Without further ado, here are my favourite allied multicoloured cards!
A five mana legendary artifact in colours whose usual game plan involves attacking that rewards you for attacking. What a reward at that!
Scry two to set up your subsequent revelation and sneak in a beater or a creature with a solid ETB. That’s as Gruul as it gets.
What about Jund? Haunted Crossroads your Avenger of Zendikar or Inferno Titan back on top of your library and get them out and attacking again. Henzie “Toolbox” Torre decks and Ziatora, the Incinerator decks are going to test this card for sure, but I think Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire is where this is going to see the most play.
I love the excitement of the gamble of the top deck, the anticipation around the table as you turn your creature(s) sideways… exquisite. I hope to see this a lot, but it will need to be the only artifact in a deck with 50 creatures.
Two mana is a low, low cost to grant every one of your nontoken creatures into an additional line of text that says “When this enters the battlefield, create a Food token.”
Living Death? You’ve got a whole bunch of Food which can be used to gain life or enable artifact sacrifice strategies. Blink strategies turn into Food generators.
The hot ticket for Kethis, the Hidden Hand and Jodah, the Unifier decks is the sacrifice ability which turns three of your Food tokens into a Regrowth for Historic cards in your graveyard. Unbelievable flexibility! Samwise at the head of his own deck can be a legendary or artifact deck leader in colours that don’t see that so often. I really like how much value is packed in such a small package and cost.
Faramir, Prince of Ithilien isn’t raising a ton of eyebrows, but it is getting my attention.
The trigger is delayed and allows you to draw a card or create three tokens, but to predict what you’ll get, you’ll have to be attentive to the rest of the table. Really being able to read your opponents and maybe even make some deals is interesting to me and many other players who are into table politics.
But if you’re looking for card draw every time? It’s stax time. If you want tokens? Forced combat and incentivizing your opponents to attack you are a new way to go. THIS last description is what I’m hoping to brew. Make an interesting deck with a little weirdo commander.
Shagrat, Loot Bearer is the only Rakdos commander to ever mention Equipment in its textbox. Think on that for a second. This is entirely new space being explored here.
Shagrat can attach Equipment you control or your opponents control. Play this with a Collector Ouphe type of effect so your opponents can’t re-equip their own equipment. Multiple extra combats make Shaggy a new option for Voltron that also leaves behind a block that keeps coming back or getting bigger. These are exciting times for Equipment fans who’ve always wanted a Rakdos deck.
Pippin, Guard of the Citadel is the first creature with an activated ability that grants protection from a card type. All other cards like Serra’s Emissary are static effects that grant card type protection. Pippin being able to protect a creature you control from card types means that you’ve essentially got a Mother of Runes in the command zone or on theme for your legends matter decks. Not to mention he’s also got vigilance and ward and could effectively give himself unblockable – Pippin is a low to the ground protection piece or battering ram. His design stands out to me and I think we’ll be seeing him creep up more and more.
- Tom Bombadil – Tom is the de facto Sagas commander. Period. I wrote about him here – https://www.thebagofloot.com/a-seat-at-the-table-tom-bombadil/
- Sauron, the Lidless Eye – First Rakdos ETB Act of Treason in the command zone with extra upside. Read about him here – https://www.thebagofloot.com/a-seat-at-the-table-sauron-the-lidless-eye/
- Aragorn, Company Leader – You don’t need to go all in on tempt to want this in your ability counter deck, Kathril, Aspect Warper!
- Aragorn and Arwen, Wed – If you like big armies of creatures, +1/+1 counters, and attacking, but want a sort of Cathars’ Crusade in the command zone, go nuts.
- Arwen, Mortal Queen – A protection piece for Selesnya decks with blink implications. Kathril, have some more fun!
- The Balrog, Durin’s Bane – Dargo, Shipwrecker players need a change of pace? Here’s a new tank of a creature that takes out artifacts and creatures on the way out. This is so fun!
- The Balrog, Flame of Udun – This on the other hand… Bad! Bad! Bad! Don’t!
- Butterbur, Bree Innkeeper – Why is this gated behind not having Food!? Come on!
- Friendly Rivalry – I love a good bite spell and this Rabid Bite can add another creature to the power. Gruul creature destruction’s most fun yet.
- Frodo Baggins – ETB and legendary creatures ETB trigger a Ring temptation is pretty cool to ensure that you’ve got a Ring-bearer. Adding a Lure effect to Frodo when he’s the Ring-bearer is fine until you realize that he only has to be blocked by a single creature and that creature needs to be same power or lower. Meh? For THE Frodo?
- Gimli, Mournful Avenger – Gimli, Mournful Avenger gets massive and steamrolls and if that isn’t just the Gruul plan through and through, I don’t know what is. Pack some tokens and a sacrifice outlet! It’s time to fight!
- Gwaihir the Windlord – Bird commander for your Bird deck! Or just a Bird for the Bird deck. It’s fine!
- Mauhur, Uruk-hai Captain – An Amass Orcs X support piece at best.
- The Mouth of Sauron – Such an underwhelming card for truly some of the most bad ass looking art in the set.
- Prince Imrahil the Fair – If you’re going to draw a lot of cards like in Heliod, the Radiant Dawn // Heliod, the Warped Eclipse decks, build yourself a little army of guys who will stave off some attacks.
- Ringsight – A restricted tutor with a Ring temptation. Make sure your commander is the colours you need and not just in its colour identity (ie. don’t run this in Kenrith, Returned King).
- Saruman of Many Colors – I’ve read this card so many times and I still don’t quite understand what it wants. Play small spell then big spell and get another big spell.
- Sauron’s Ransom – A fun Fact or Fiction variant for three many that offers a Ring temptation. Pretty sweet!
- Sharkey, Tyrant of the Shire – Shut down your opponent’s fetch lands and Kessig Wolf Runs! And then you get those abilities! It’s not as bad as people online are panicking about, in my opinion. It doesn’t shut down mana abilities so everybody calm down.
- Strider, Ranger of the North – Only going to be played by budget players or people who like the character. There are so many cool Landfall commanders out there, picking this feels a little silly.
- Ugluk of the White Hand – Go tall by going wide and then sacrificing the entire team. If this was like Juri, Master of the Revue, I’d be paying more attention.