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.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Blue cards!

  1. Borne Upon a Wind

I really love this card. It costs two mana and replaces itself to give you a surprise Vedalken Orrery. I see some folks talking about this with Isochron Scepter but at that point, might as well go with Leyline of Anticipation or Vedalken Orrery.

That said, there’s a reason not all cards can be played at instant speed! Being able to staple two mana to any spell to turn it into a cantrip and have it come down in a surprise is wild. Need to wipe the board to null an attack? Two extra mana please. Want to play your big scary enchantment on the end step before your turn, after your opponents have tapped out so you can guarantee they won’t counter or remove it? Two extra mana please!

This card is definitely a more competitive card than what I normally go for, but I’d say instant speeding your commander and cantripping as a baseline seems pretty sick.

  1. Elrond, Lord of Rivendell

I feel conflicted about blue getting what is essentially an Alliance ability on this creature, but I really like him, so I’ll give it a pass. Talk about wishing Choose a Background or Partner was on a card! Elrond, Lord of Rivendell is a solid scry enabler for your Eligeth, Crossroads Augur decks or Elminster decks, but ultimately the space for scry matters is still being carved out.

Smoothing out your draws is very useful in this format and I appreciate incidental scrying. But that tempting of the Ring is great with creatures in blue – evasive guys who will get through and start hitting each opponent for 3 life when they connect and getting a loot. There are also fun cards that are printed in this set that care about when you select your Ring-bearer.

  1. The Watcher in the Water

As far as potential monoblue commanders in the set go, it’s going to be very difficult to beat The Watcher in the Water. A 9/9 for five is a lot of value. Sure it can’t untap until it untaps nine times first, but it sits and generates value for drawing cards on your opponents’ turns – a thing blue loves doing already.

The Tentacle tokens become amazing rattlesnake blockers that can come out of nowhere. Not to mention if you’ve got Intruder Alarm, you’ll speed run your way to having the Watcher untapped. With the Tentacles dying, you get to stun nonland permanents and get through for big damage. This is a hell of a control piece. Really, really wild.

In the 99 of decks, I can see Phenax, God of Deception players getting really happy about this or any decks that love Burning Anger, Fiendlash, and some pingers. In the end, we’re going to see this in the command zone most often.

  1. Ioreth of the Healing House

Spark Double is busted already but copy Ioreth and have a legendary permanent with a good tap ability and it’s infinite whatever that is. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx? Infinite mana. Alaundo the Seer decks get to dump their decks. Arcanis the Omnipotent and Chromatic Orrery say draw your library. Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam can copy an artifact spell you cast infinite times, finally  making Meteorite useful. Those are just a few of the 414 cards I found in Scryfall that are legendary with tap abilities.

Add to Ioreth’s fun the fact that the Ring tempting you means you can turn a creature you control into a Ring-bearer and therefore into a legendary creature. Let’s see what we can make work with this nonsense.

  1. The Bath Song

Four mana to draw four cards, discard two cards, and then get two mana back while shuffling cards you never wanted to dump back into your library makes this a pretty solid Saga. It’s a little slow, but Proliferate is a mechanic we’ve seen return with lots of support. Reanimator decks don’t mind tossing a creature into the graveyard and decks that don’t have any means to Regrowth will be satisfied with the deck shuffle. Enchantment decks might want this to fuel Replenish effects or maybe this is just a good card for Tom Bombadil. I really like it.

Honorable Mentions:

That does it for Blue, come on back for Black!

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