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.
Aragorn, the Uniter, Bilbo, Retired Burglar, and Gandalf the Grey are all 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 enemy multicoloured cards!
Sméagol, Helpful Guide has made me want to revisit Golgari for the first time since Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons. Every Ring temptation is ramp from an opponent’s deck while milling them on the way to it. Not to mention, Sméagol can trigger a Ring temptation on his own if a creature died on your turn.
Sméagol is also part of my favourite infinite combo from this set with some help from the incredible Ratadrabik of Urborg and newcomer Boromir, Warden of the Tower. Mill all your opponents and take their lands along the way. Let’s party!
A two mana creature that ramps you for every second spell any play casts per turn. This is going into every deck I can fit Lotho into.
Mana curves are getting lower and lower. Double spell casting on turns and even turns that aren’t a players’ own are more and more common. This means that either opponents will slow roll their plays or they’ll play right into Lotho, giving you a Treasure to work with. Or, they’ll have to spend a removal spell on a 2/1 creature that comes back thanks to Sun Titan, Sevinne’s Reclamation, or Renegade Rallier. One of my favourite cards in the set, easily!
Incredible. I expect Sauron, the Dark Lord to top the list of most popular Grixis commanders in a few months.
Sauron requires a legendary sacrifice to target him, builds an Army whenever your opponents cast any spells, has built in Ring temptation when that Army deals combat damage to a player and to top it off, Sauron cycle through your deck by wheeling you to four new cards. All on a 7/6 but only for six mana! Sauron is so strong and we’re going to be seeing a bunch of decks crop up.
Eowyn, Fearless Knight is interesting in that you actually might build the deck to pump your opponents’ creatures so that you can exile them with Eowyn and charge through for commander damage since she gets protection from their colours. Blink and Flicker shenanigans like Nahiri’s Resolve can get Eowyn to mow down your opponents’ boards until they’re hopeless. Your Human decks have a sure shot hit to add to it.
This is the best of the scry matters commanders in my opinion. A Ring temptation nets you a scry 3 if you’ve got another creature to pick to hang onto the Ring and then, if you can set it up, that’s ramp! Thassa, God of the Sea can just be an extra land every turn. If you flip a Temple of Mystery into play on a scry then you can maybe keep it going. Path of Ancestry, Preordain, Opt, Lifecrafter’s Bestiary, Serum Visions, all of them turn into ramp spells. But the real star is Retreat to Coralheim. What a treat. Simic scrying isn’t messing around!
- Aragorn, the Uniter – What is already proving to be one of the most popular new commanders in the new set. Multicolour matters like Rienne, Angel of Rebirth couldn’t do it! https://www.thebagofloot.com/a-seat-at-the-table-aragorn-the-uniter/
- Arwen Undomiel – Two mana with a hefty mana sink that supports the scrying theme in the set. Simic +1/+1 counters get an Uncommander.
- Bilbo, Retired Burglar – I wrote all about Bilbo, Retired Burglar already and I’m surprised at how much I like him! https://www.thebagofloot.com/a-seat-at-the-table-bilbo-retired-burglar/
- Denethor, Ruling Steward – Why this couldn’t be a Morbid trigger, I don’t know. Getting a 1/1 token at your end step if a creature dies on your turn keeps the engine running. Plus Denethor has a built in sacrifice outlet for two mana that nudges the game towards its end.
- Elrond, Master of Healing – The scry theme in this set is very well supported. Stapling a Shapers’ Sanctuary onto Elrond is great. Season of Growth is going to be huge in this deck.
- Flame of Anor – You’ll only play this if you’ve got a Wizard, basically. I’d probably play Prismari Command over this unless you’re sure to have a Wizard.
- Frodo, Sauron’s Bane – Frodo gets a Figure of Destiny type treatment. For six mana, you get a 2/3 lifelinker that kills players on combat damage if the Ring is tempted to the max.
- Gandalf the Grey – A spellslinger commander with a lot going for it. Gotta do some blinking though! Check our my breakdown here – https://www.thebagofloot.com/a-seat-at-the-table-gandalf-the-grey/
- Gandalf’s Sanction – This is a really solid card for two birds with one stone. Kill a utility creature and excess smacks face. Sorcery speed hurts it, but I like it enough. You absolutely need to target a creature though and if this is Deflecting Swatted to one you control, you’re taking that damage.
- King of the Oathbreakers – Orzhov Heroic is some new space. Can’t do Auras because those will never stick. The payoff is too small for all this trouble but some people are really into this. Good luck!
- Legolas, Counter of Kills – Infinite with Oracle’s Insight. Have fun!
- Merry, Esquire of Rohan – Boros Equipment Commander #37. Attack with another legend for a card, but if you’re looking at Equipment, better off with Akiri, Nahiri, or Jor Kadeen…
- Old Man Willow – A ramp deck that can get rid of some chump blockers. Better in draft than in Commander but I think the art is pretty sick.
- Rise of the Witch-king – An edict effect that turns into any permanent from your graveyard. I freaking love this card. I almost picked this as one of my top five, but thought Sméagol deserved the Golgari nod.
- Shadow Summoning – Two mana for two flying tokens in Orzhov? That’s not bad at all.
- Shadowfax, Lord of Horses – This card rips. It’s awesome. Sneak in some creatures combat after combat, pile Equipment onto the Horse and ride, ride, ride!
- Shelob, Child of Ungoliant – This is such a fascinating design. Giving Spiders deathtouch means Lure effects or ping effects will get you Food versions of your opponents’ creatures. Don’t run Academy Manufactor in this deck though! It’s a replacement effect!
- Theoden, King of Rohan – Instant speed Human token production will get sneaky double strike, but really, it’s just going to be theme decks around this guy and that’s it honestly.