Lord of the Rings Commander Decks & Decklists: All Decklist Revealed!

In summer of 2023, Magic the Gathering is making its biggest crossover ever, by creating a full Lord of the Rings set, called Tales of Middle-earth. Of course, since this is a full set release, we’re also getting Commander precons. Given the popularity of the LotR franchise and the Commander format, these decks are going to be insanely popular.

In this article, we’ll take a look at everything we currently know about the Lord of the Rings Commander decks. First, we’ll take a look at the contents, and then we’ll do an overview of the decks. Afterward, we’ll explore each deck into more detail, and examine both spoilers and decklists. Finally, we’ll wrap things up with answers to some commonly asked questions.

As you can see, we have a lot to talk about, so we better get right to it.

Lord of the Rings Commander Decks – Contents

There will be four different LotR Commander decks. Each of them contains:

  • 2 foil cards (main and secondary commander)
  • 98 non-foil cards (with the previous two cards, this makes a 100-card ready-to-play deck)
  • 1 Collector Sample Pack with two cards (with alternate art or in foil)
  • 1 foil-etched Display commander (a thicker card, not for tournament play)
  • 10 double-sided tokens
  • 1 life tracker
  • 1 cardboard deck box (find a Commander precon’s deck box review here)
  • Helper, reference card, and a strategy insert

Out of the hundred cards in the deck, 20 will be brand-new cards. The rest of the cards will be reprints. However, all cards in the deck will be LotR themed. What does that mean?

Well, for example, if there is a Cultivate reprint, it’ll have art and possibly even flavor text from Lord of the Rings. The art could depict Sam using the Garden box to cultivate the Shire after the Scouring. Even the basic lands will have themes from all over the Middle-earth. This is certainly a big draw to these precons. Many players might decide to keep the decks intact, or only upgrade them with cards from the main set, as to preserve the flavor of the decks.

Anyway, here’s a quick overview of the decks. All of them are already available for preorder on Amazon.

Deck nameColors
Food and Fellowship Icon LotR Commander DecksFood and Fellowship
  • White
  • Black
  • Green
  • Riders of Rohan Icon LotR Commander DecksRiders of Rohan
  • White
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Elven Council Icon LotR Commander DecksElven Council
  • Blue
  • Green
  • The Hosts of Mordor Icon LotR Commander DecksThe Hosts of Mordor
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Red
  • It’s time to explore each of the four decks in more detail. Of course, not everything is known yet. What we know for sure, are the deck’s colors, names, and main commanders. Additional details were revealed during the First Look stream, followed by some leaks, and additional spoilers later on. Finally, on June 8th, all decklists were previewed. We’ve gathered all of that information, and today we’re sharing it with you.

    Based on everything we know for certain, we’ve also made some educated guesses about what we might expect. With that said, let’s start with a unique deck.

    Food and Fellowship

    Food and Fellowship Commander Deck
    • Theme: Food tokens (with some smaller lifegain and token synergies)
    • Colors: White, Black, Green
    • Main Commander: Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit and Sam, Loyal Attendant
    • Other iconic characters: Bilbo, Pippin, Merry, Gollum, Treebeard, Lobelia, and more.

    For this deck, you’ll be able to use not just one, but two commanders at the same time. Of course, it makes sense that the iconic duo of Frodo and Sam would have the partners with mechanic. Sam was always by Frodo’s side, so it’s only fair that they will be together in the command zone too.

    Food and Fellowship is a great name for a deck, and it lets us know what the theme of the deck is. You can expect a lot of synergies with Food tokens. (Perhaps we’ll get a token with a picture of Lembas, or PO-TA-TOES.) We’ve had some similar themes in Commander with cards like Gyome, Master Chef, but the new LotR-inspired Food cards are going to take a new spin on the mechanic.

    First, there will be cards that reward you for gaining life. This plays nicely with Food tokens, as you can sacrifice them for 3 life each. Second, there will also be some token synergies, which also work well with Food.

    But What About the Second Theme?

    The presence of Fellowship in the deck’s name suggests that another theme will appear in this deck. Although, to be fair, if the deck was just named “Food” that would be highly unusual.

    As it currently looks, the Fellowship refers to the fact that the deck has four partner commanders. That makes sense, as Frodo and Sam are the only hobbit duo that went on a long journey across the Middle-earth. So, if you want to change your deck’s commanders, you can do so by using partnered Pippin and Merry!

    Now we’re going to take a look at each of the possible commander that the deck can use. For each one, we’ll also do a quick review. We’re starting with Sam, Loyal Attendant.

    Sam, Loyal Attendant Review

    Sam, Loyal Attendant LotR Commander Decks

    Sam will, very flavorfully, provide you with Food tokens. On top of that, it’ll also make activated abilities of Foods one mana cheaper to activate. As far as the flavor goes, the card is quite amazing. After all, Sam did carry his cooking equipment through almost the entire journey from Shire to Mordor.

    On the other hand, if we evaluate the card based on its power level, it seems quite fair. It’s not broken, but it’s not bad either. It’s somewhere in the middle, and that’s a fair place to be at, when you’re playing multiplayer Commander. If you have a less powerful commander, it’s less likely that the opponents will focus their early attacks on you.

    Nevertheless, it’s always a strong option to have two commanders available, as we’ve seen from many partners before. This might also be true here, thanks to the fact that Frodo is quite aggressively costed.

    Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit Review

    Frodo, Adventurrous Hobbit LotR Commander Decks Precons

    Two mana is as cheap as it gets for a two-color commander, so that’s a big plus. (Barring any hybrid mana, of course.)

    However, you might feel like there’s an inherent problem with the card. It wants to attack, but anything can kill a 1/3 in combat. Thankfully, the Ring emblem that you get will help you. You choose Frodo as your Ring-bearer, and opponents won’t be able to block it with creatures with higher power.

    Of course, in order to enable “the Ring tempts you” mechanic, you’ll need to gain at least three life. While this would be a bit of a deckbuilding constraint, Sam is here to help Frodo, as always. He gives you a Food token at the beginning of combat, which you can sac to get the three life that you need to enable Frodo.

    This Commander pair looks quite powerful, and very fun to play.

    Pippin, Warden of Isengard Review

    Pippin, Warden of Isengard LotR Commander Precons

    Both Pippin and Merry are depicted after the Destruction of Isengard, enjoying their well deserved victory lap. (Or should we say victory pipe?) Their creature types are Hobbit Advisors, which refers to the fact that they helped Ents decide to march on Isengard.

    As far as the card quality goes, Pippin is pretty much a very useful card. It’s cheap, and it can provide you with Food tokens for whatever synergies you might need them for.

    It also has a built-in mass pump effect. In the right scenario, this kind of ability can be devastating, and winning you the game on the spot. Sure, it requires some setup, but you are getting it on a very cheap commander, so there’s not much to complain about.

    A lot of the card’s power comes from the fact that you can have two commanders. Speaking of which, let’s see what Merry has to offer.

    Merry, Warden of Isengard Review

    Merry, Warden of Isengard LotR Commander Precons

    Merry is a 1/4 for three mana, with an interesting ability. Once per turn, it gives you a 1/1 lifelinker, if you put an artifact in play. On its own, this would be a weird, and quite weak commander too. However, once you pair it with Pippin, the card makes perfect sense and becomes much better.

    Pippin is making Food tokens, which will trigger Merry’s ability, giving you a lifelink Soldier for your troubles. Once you’ve gotten yourself an army of small creatures, you can use Pippin’s ability to give them all +3/+3.

    Both cards will also play well with other synergies in the deck, which isn’t always the case. Often enough, the secondary commanders work so differently, that the deck becomes weaker if you use them as commander without any modifications to the deck. That’s not the case here, and you’ll probably be able to use any of the hobbit duo to pilot your deck.

    But wait, there’s one more hobbit that can be at the helm of Food and Fellowship deck.

    Bilbo, Birthday Celebrant Review

    Biblo Birthday Celebrant LotR Commander Precons

    Bilbo was clearly a top-down design. That’s a design that starts with a character, or an idea, and then mechanics are made later to fit that character.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the LotR lore, at the start of the book, Bilbo is celebrating his 111th birthday, which is quite long, even for a hobbit. He is throwing a big party and almost everyone in the Shire is invited.

    So, you can see why the abilities make a lot of sense, and Bilbo is certainly a flavor-win. But how good will Bilbo be as a commander?

    Well, probably not that amazing, since getting to 111+ life is no small feat. For the vast majority of the time, the task will be too hard to accomplish. Nevertheless, one of the best feelings in Magic is when you pull something like this off. So, if you’re looking for an excellent deckbuilding challenge with an incredible reward, Bilbo is the hobbit you want.

    Other New Cards in Food and Fellowship

    Hithlain Rope Food and Fellowship New Cards

    Food and Fellowship Decklist

    Commanders (2)
    Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit
    Sam, Loyal Attendant

    Creatures (31)
    Banquet Guests
    Bilbo, Birthday Celebrant
    Birds of Paradise
    Butterbur, Bree Innkeeper
    Eagles of the North
    Essence Warden
    Farmer Cotton
    Feasting Hobbit
    Generous Ent
    Gilded Goose
    Gollum, Obsessed Stalker
    Great Oak Guardian
    Gwaihir, Greatest of the Eagles
    Landroval, Horizon Witness
    Lobelia, Defender of Bag End
    Mentor of the Meek
    Merry, Warden of Isengard
    Mirkwood Bats
    Motivated Pony
    Orchard Strider
    Pippin, Warden of Isengard
    Prize Pig
    Prosperous Innkeeper
    Rapacious Guest
    Rosie Cotton of South Lane
    Savvy Hunter
    Shire Shirriff
    The Gaffer
    Tireless Provisioner
    Treebeard, Gracious Host
    Woodfall Primus

    Instants (5)
    Anguished Unmaking
    Crypt Incursion
    Go for the Throat
    Mortify
    Swords to Plowshares

    Sorceries (10)
    Cultivate
    Dusk // Dawn
    Farseek
    Fell the Mighty
    Fumigate
    Harmonize
    Night’s Whisper
    Revive the Shire
    Sylvan Offering
    Toxic Deluge

    Enchantments (5)
    Assemble the Entmoot
    Call for Unity
    Dawn of Hope
    Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
    Sanguine Bond
    Lands (38)
    Brushland
    Forest
    Plains
    Swamp
    Ghost Quarter
    Murmuring Bosk
    Exotic Orchard
    Sunpetal Grove
    Graypelt Refuge
    Evolving Wilds
    Command Tower
    Isolated Chapel
    Woodland Cemetery
    Rogue’s Passage
    Sandsteppe Citadel
    Scoured Barrens
    Canopy Vista
    Fortified Village
    Ash Barrens
    Scattered Groves
    Path of Ancestry
    Shineshadow Snarl
    Necroblossom Snarl
    Access Tunnel
    Shire Terrace

    Artifacts (9)
    Arcane Signet
    Chromatic Lantern
    Commander’s Sphere
    Field-Tested Frying Pan
    Hithlain Rope
    Pristine Talisman
    Sol Ring
    Trading Post
    Well of Lost Dreams

    New cards aren’t in the database yet, so some images might be missing. You can find the exclusive cards for the deck above, and the ones that appear in the main set on our LotR Spoilers page.

    Most notable reprints in this deck are certainly Toxic Deluge and Birds of Paradise. There are also some good lands, such as Woodland Cemetery and Isolated Chapel.

    Who Should Pick Food and Fellowship Deck?

    For each deck, we’ll also provide some information about which types of players will most likely enjoy it. This way, if you’re getting just a single Lord of the Rings Commander deck, you’ll have an easier time choosing.

    Anyway, Food and Fellowship precon looks great for players who:

    • want to get the Commander precon deck with the most Hobbits;
    • enjoy the Abzan color combination (White, Black, Green);
    • want to use two commanders at once;
    • enjoy relatively fair decks;
    • like Food token and lifegain synergies.

    Elven Council

    Elven Council Commander Deck
    • Theme: Elf tribal, voting, expensive spells, scry subtheme
    • Colors: Blue, Green
    • Main Commander: Galadriel, Elven Queen
    • Other iconic characters: Gandalf, Legolas, Arwen, Elrond, Radagast, and more.

    Elves are an integral part of both Middle-earth and Magic the Gathering, so it makes sense that there’s an Elf Commander deck, with Elf tribal synergies. However, these won’t be the typical MTG Elf synergies, which are often tied to making lots of mana with your small creatures. Instead, they’ll work in new and interesting ways.

    During the First Look stream, it was confirmed that scry is a subtheme of the deck. That’s certainly an interesting take on the Simic color combination, and we can’t wait to see how it’ll play out. Perhaps there will be some cards that get better, if you know that they’re on top of your deck. (Think stuff like Temporal Mastery.) What’s fascinating about this theme is that although, we’ve seen four commanders from this deck, neither of them seems to work with scrying, which is a bit weird.

    On the other hand, a theme that is present is voting. This makes sense, as the deck is named Elven Council, after all. So both you and your opponents will have to cast your vote. But don’t worry, even if you don’t get the exact outcome you wanted, you’ll still get at least some benefit.

    Galadriel, Elven Queen Review

    Galadriel, Elven-Queen Commander Precons LotR

    So this is a perfect example of a card that offers tribal support, but doesn’t do so in the traditional Magic fashion. Instead, it uses not just voting, but also previously mentioned the Ring temps you mechanic.

    Everything is packed together with a voting mechanic. If you like the political aspect of Commander games, then Galadriel is going to be a nice option for you.

    All in all the card looks good and fun, but by no means broken, which is a great place to be.

    Radagast, Wizard of Wilds Review

    Radagast, Wizard of Wilds LotR Commander Decks

    Most Simic commanders care about ramping, and giving you card advantage in one form or another. Sometimes, they can get quite boring, as one Simic Commander deck can be very similar to another. Radagast kinda does the same thing, but with a fresh twist. He cares about Birds and Beasts, and protects them.

    If you’re looking for a powerful Blue-Green commander, there are many other, more powerful options. On the other hand, if you want a nice deck building challenge, then Radagast has a lot to offer. You can build a deck uniquely, and while it won’t necessarily be the strongest out there, it could still be a lot of fun to play.

    Gandalf, Westward Voyager Review

    Gandalf Tales of Middle-earth Commander Decks

    Gandalf rewards you for the same thing as Radagast does, for casting expensive spells. However, the reward is quite different. Instead of Beasts and Birds you’re getting additional copies of your spell. Since that effect can be insanely powerful, it has some limitations. You’ll only get a copy, if the type of top card of the opponent’s library matches your card’s type. Nevertheless, in a multiplayer game, you should probably hit at least once, at which point you’re quite happy with the effect.

    Your opponents also get to draw cards, which isn’t amazing. In more casual groups there is some upside to it, as perhaps opponents will let your Gandalf live, so they’ll draw a card because of it.

    Gandalf will likely be a commander of an average power level, with potential of making some busted turns. It’ll probably be at its best when you’ll pair it with extra turn effects, such as Time Warp and Nexus of Fate.

    Cirdan the Shipwright Review

    Cirdan Elven Council Decklist

    Cirdan is going to be a great commander for players who like some political shenanigans. If you plan to use it as your main commander, make sure that you bring paper with you, so everyone can cast their vote in secret. (You have to keep your vote secret, keep it safe.)

    How to vote for Cirdan is going to be quite tricky. If you just want to draw a card, you can vote for yourself. If you want to perhaps get a permanent in play for zero mana, you should vote for someone else, and hope that nobody votes for you.

    There are a lot of mind games going on with Cirdan. If you build a deck around it, the other players might be more incentivized to vote for you, so you don’t put a permanent into play. But if everyone expects that someone will vote for you, perhaps they’ll vote for someone else?

    It’s hard to gauge Cirdan’s power level, but it’ll certainly bring some memorable moments to your Commander game night.

    Elrond of the White Council Review

    Elrond Elven Council Decklist

    Elrond also uses the aforementioned Secret Council mechanic, and provides your opponents with two options. To fully take advantage of Elrond, you’ll need to accomplish two things.

    First, you’ll want to have lots of creatures. If you don’t have them, then opponents will simply vote for aid, as you won’t get many +1/+1 counters. (Well, at least Elrond gets bigger.)

    Secondly, you’ll want to limit your opponents’ weak creatures, otherwise you’re just getting random 1/1 tokens.

    Thus, you have two relatively difficult tasks to accomplish. Elrond looks like one of the weakest commanders among all four LotR Commander decks. So, you’re probably better off playing it as a supporting card in the 99, as opposed to it being your main commander – unless you like a challenge.

    Erestor of the Council Review

    Erestor LotR Commander Decks

    The final commander, Erestor is a payoff for all the voting cards. It’s apparently quite persuasive character, as opponents are more likely to vote for your choice, if it’s in the play.

    If you want to build around the voting mechanic, this is an amazing commander. The problem with voting is typically that you’re giving opponents a choice, which means you’re typically getting a less powerful option. Erestor can make it so that you’re either getting the more powerful option, or you’re getting card advantage.

    Other New Cards in Elven Council

    Elven Council Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Galadriel, Elven-Queen

    Creatures (25)
    Arbor Elf
    Arwen, Weaver of Hope
    Celeborn the Wise
    Círdan the Shipwright
    Colossal Whale
    Elrond of the White Council
    Elvish Archdruid
    Elvish Mystic
    Elvish Piper
    Elvish Visionary
    Elvish Warmaster
    Erestor of the Council
    Farhaven Elf
    Gandalf, Westward Voyager
    Haldir, Lórien Lieutenant
    Hornet Queen
    Legolas Greenleaf
    Mirkwood Elk
    Mirkwood Trapper
    Paradise Druid
    Radagast, Wizard of Wilds
    Realm Seekers
    Reclamation Sage
    Wood Elves
    Wose Pathfinder

    Instants (12)
    Beast Within
    Galadhrim Ambush
    Growth Spiral
    Heroic Intervention
    Inscription of Abundance
    Learn from the Past
    Mystic Confluence
    Opt
    Sail into the West
    Swan Song
    Trap the Trespassers
    Windswift Slice

    Sorceries (12)
    Cultivate
    Devastation Tide
    Elven Farsight
    Genesis Wave
    Overwhelming Stampede
    Plea for Power
    Preordain
    Rampant Growth
    Raise the Palisade
    Seeds of Renewal
    Sylvan Offering
    Travel Through Caradhras

    Enchantments (3)
    Asceticism
    Lignify
    Song of Eärendil
    Lands (38)
    Ash Barrens
    Command Tower
    Exotic Orchard
    Field of Ruin
    Flooded Grove
    Hinterland Harbor
    Lonely Sandbar
    Rejuvenating Springs
    Thornwood Falls
    Tranquil Thicket
    Vineglimmer Snarl
    Woodland Stream
    11 Island
    15 Forest

    Artifacts (4)
    Lórien Revealed
    Lothlórien Blade
    Mirror of Galadriel
    Model of Unity

    Elevn Council features plenty of great reprints. For example, there’s Asceticism, Swan Song, Elvish Piper, Heoric Intervention and even a great dual land in Rejuvenating Springs.

    That’s without mentioning some less pricey reprints, but still popular cards, such as Lightning Greaves.

    Who Should Pick Elven Council Deck?

    Currently, it looks like Elven Council precon will be best for players who:

    • enjoy Elves in Lord of the Rings;
    • have the most fun with the political aspect of Commander;
    • like to play with cards in the Simic colors (Blue, Green);
    • find the four new Simic commander to be fun cards.

    Riders of Rohan

    Riders of Rohan Commander Deck
    • Theme: Human tribal
    • Colors: White, Blue, Red
    • Main Commander: Eowyn, Shieldmaiden
    • Other iconic characters: Aragorn, Gimli, Boromir, Faramir, Denethor, Éomer and more.

    Riders of Rohan is perhaps the most surprising one of the four Lord of the Rings Commander decks. When the only information we’ve had was the deck’s name, many players thought that the deck might feature an old MTG mechanic, which is very rarely used nowadays, but it would be a perfect flavor fit. We are speaking, of course, about horsemanship.

    Horsemanship is an evasion mechanic, similar to flying. Attacking creatures with horsemanship can only be blocked by creatures with horsemanship. This mechanic was previously found in all colors, except Green. Thus, the White-Blue-Red color combination does make sense.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the Middle-earth lore, Rohan is a kingdom, known for its horseman, the Rohirrim. The name of the deck, Riders of Rohan, confirms that they will be the main focus of the deck.

    Humans Unite!

    However, the horsemanship isn’t that exciting of a mechanic, so while a card with the mechanic might appear in the deck, it isn’t the key feature of the deck. Instead, the deck focuses on Human tribal. Humans are a popular tribe in various Magic formats, including Commander. Surprisingly enough, there wasn’t a dedicated Human in Jeskai colors.

    Now Riders of Rohan deck is here to fix that.

    Eowyn, Shieldmaiden Review

    Eowyn, Shieldmaiden Tales of Middle-earth Commander Decks

    Five mana for a 5/4 first striker is reasonable enough. But with commanders, we’re mostly interested in the text box.

    There’s only one ability, but it can be broken down into two parts. At the beginning of your combat, you check if another Human entered the battlefield. If it did, you get two more Humans – as 2/2 with haste. Now that’s some board presence right there. Then, if you now control six or more Humans, you also get to draw a card.

    Eowyn provides everything a solid tribal commander should. Support for the tribe, and some card advantage. While, this probably won’t be one of the strongest commanders out there, it can still pack a punch, and be a solid choice for a Commander night.

    Aragorn, King of Gondor Review

    Aragorn King of Gondor

    Aragorn is, quite fittingly, bringing the monarch mechanic to the table. This mechanic is so powerful, that every card that can grant you becoming a monarch should be taken very seriously.

    A 4/4 vigilance with lifelink is a respectable body for four mana. Vigilance is especially good, as you can attack to become a monarch again, while still having a blocker back.

    Becoming a monarch again shouldn’t be too hard with Aragorn, as you can disable the biggest blocker. However, if you’ve already a monarch, creatures simply won’t be able to block, which might even win you the game on the spot.

    Aragorn looks like one of the more powerful Commander cards, particularly if you try to build around it. Even in the precon, you could just easily swap it with Eowyn, and it’ll perform very well.

    Other New Cards in Riders of Rohan

    Riders of Rohan Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Éowyn, Shieldmaiden

    Creatures (31)
    Aragorn, King of Gondor
    Archivist of Gondor
    Bastion Protector
    Beregond of the Guard
    Boromir, Gondor’s Hope
    Champions of Minas Tirith
    Combat Celebrant
    Dearly Departed
    Denethor, Stone Seer
    Éomer, King of Rohan
    Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold
    Faramir, Steward of Gondor
    Fiend Hunter
    Flamerush Rider
    Frontier Warmonger
    Frontline Medic
    Gilraen, Dúnedain Protector
    Gimli of the Glittering Caves
    Grey Host Reinforcements
    Harsh Mentor
    Humble Defector
    Lossarnach Captain
    Palace Jailer
    Prince Imrahil the Fair
    Riders of Rohan
    Selfless Squire
    Théoden, King of Rohan
    Verge Rangers
    Village Bell-Ringer
    Weathered Wayfarer
    Zealous Conscripts

    Instants (4)
    Lost to Legend
    Path to Exile
    Swords to Plowshares
    Unbreakable Formation

    Sorceries (8)
    Call for Aid
    Earthquake
    Forth Eorlingas!
    Increasing Devotion
    Sunset Revelry
    Supreme Verdict
    Taunt from the Rampart
    Visions of Glory

    Enchantments (6)
    Shared Animosity
    Oath of Eorl
    Marshal’s Anthem
    Fealty to the Realm
    Court of Ire
    Banishing Light
    Lands (38)
    Battlefield Forge
    Clifftop Retreat
    Command Tower
    Evolving Wilds
    Exotic Orchard
    Field of Ruin
    Furycalm Snarl
    Glacial Fortress
    Path of Ancestry
    Port Town
    Prairie Stream
    Rogue’s Passage
    Secluded Courtyard
    Sulfur Falls
    Terramorphic Expanse
    Throne of the High City
    Tranquil Cove
    Windbrisk Heights
    Wind-Scarred Crag
    Island
    Mountain
    Plains

    Artifacts (12)
    Arcane Signet
    Commander’s Sphere
    Crown of Gondor
    Door of Destinies
    Heirloom Blade
    Herald’s Horn
    Sol Ring
    Talisman of Conviction
    Talisman of Progress
    Thought Vessel
    Vanquisher’s Banner
    Wayfarer’s Bauble

    This deck features some great reprints – perhaps the most of all decks here. The big ones are Combat Celebrant, Door of Destinies, Shared Animosity, and Vanquisher’s Banner. Additionally there are also some other gems, such as Herald’s Horn, Supreme Verdict and Glacial Fortress.

    Who Should Pick Riders of Rohan Deck?

    So far, it looks like Riders of Rohan will be best for players who:

    • like the flavor of Rohan in Lord of the Rings;
    • like to play with Human tribal cards;
    • are fans of the monarch mechanic;
    • enjoy playing with cards in the Jeskai colors (White, Blue, Red).

    The Hosts of Mordor

    The Hosts of Mordor Commander Deck
    • Theme: Control, graveyard subtheme
    • Colors: Blue, Black, Red
    • Main Commander: Sauron, Lord of the Rings
    • Other iconic characters: Saruman, Shelob, Balrog, Nazgûl, Grima, and more.

    Of course, there has to be a deck for the forces of evil. That’s the fourth and final deck, called The Hosts of Mordor. We’ll probably see some Orcs, and Uruk-hai in this deck. Perhaps, there might even be a Saruman card as well.

    It’s hard to predict what the deck’s theme will be. Even though, we saw the Sauron’s card we still don’t know what the deck will be about, as its card goes in different directions. Speaking of which, why don’t we just take a look.

    Sauron, Lord of the Rings

    Sauron, Lord of the Rings LotR Commander Decks

    At first, we thought that the commander depicted on the packaging might be The Mouth of Sauron, but not, it is Sauron himself. This means that Nicol Bolas just got some serious competition as the biggest Grixis villain.

    The card is insanely strong, but that’s thankfully balanced by the fact that it costs a whooping eight mana. But for that mana you get a 9/9 with trample, and it has an additional effect that utilizes the Ring tempts you mechanic.

    And you know how it feels the worst when you cast an expensive spell, and your opponent just uses a Counterspell? Well, this won’t completely stop Sauron, as it comes with a cast-trigger. When you cast it you get to ammas Orcs 5 (whatever this means, but you likely make a 5/5 orc Army), mill five cards, then get a creature from your graveyard directly onto the battlefield. Now that’s some serious power.

    This looks like one of the strongest commanders in all four LotR Commander decks. If your deck can easily get to eight mana, Sauron is the perfect card to invest it in.

    Saruman, the White Hand Review

    Saruman, the White Hand

    Of course, as the second most powerful antagonist in Lord of the Rings, the role of the secondary commander of this precon belongs to Saruman.

    This one will allow you to amass a giant token, if you’ll be casting plenty of expensive noncreature spells. However, that’s just one option you have. You could play a counterspell deck. You just pass with your mana open, and when a player casts a spell you don’t like, you just counter it, and get a bigger Orc army for your troubles.

    Besides, you could also use Saruman as an engine in a sacrifice deck. Cast a cheap noncreature spell, get a small token, sacrifice it for value, and repeat the process. So, right off the bat, Saruman is offering you multiple options on how to build around him. This is a big flavor win for such a cunning wizard.

    So, Saruman is definitely a cool commander to build around, as there are many ways on how you can approach it. In the right shell, it can be a very powerful card, but not oppressively so. We’re always happy to see cards which give you a lot of freedom to build around them, and Saruman clearly belongs in this group.

    Other New Cards in Hosts of Mordor

    Hosts of Mordor Decklist

    Commander (1)
    Sauron, Lord of the Rings

    Creatures (27)
    Anger
    Cavern-Hoard Dragon
    Corsairs of Umbar
    Goblin Cratermaker
    Goblin Dark-Dwellers
    Gríma, Saruman’s Footman
    Grishnákh, Brash Instigator
    Guttersnipe
    Hostage Taker
    Inferno Titan
    Knollspine Dragon
    Lord of the Nazgûl
    Merciless Executioner
    Monstrosity of the Lake
    Moria Scavenger
    Notion Thief
    Orcish Siegemaster
    Rampaging War Mammoth
    Saruman, the White Hand
    Scourge of the Throne
    Shelob, Dread Weaver
    Siege-Gang Commander
    The Balrog of Moria
    The Mouth of Sauron
    Treasure Nabber
    Troll of Khazad-dûm
    Voracious Fell Beast

    Instants (6)
    Arcane Denial
    Bitter Downfall
    Consider
    Fact or Fiction
    Forbidden Alchemy
    Thrill of Possibility

    Sorceries (16)
    Blasphemous Act
    Boon of the Wish-Giver
    Decree of Pain
    Deep Analysis
    Extract from Darkness
    Faithless Looting
    Feed the Swarm
    Languish
    Lidless Gaze
    Living Death
    Reanimate
    Subjugate the Hobbits
    Summons of Saruman
    Too Greedily, Too Deep
    Treason of Isengard
    Wake the Dragon

    Enchantments (4)
    Fiery Inscription
    In the Darkness Bind Them
    Revenge of Ravens
    Shiny Impetus
    Lands (38)
    Choked Estuary
    Command Tower
    Crumbling Necropolis
    Desolate Lighthouse
    Dragonskull Summit
    Drowned Catacomb
    Evolving Wilds
    Field of Ruin
    Foreboding Ruins
    Frostboil Snarl
    Path of Ancestry
    Rogue’s Passage
    Smoldering Marsh
    Sulfur Falls
    Sulfurous Springs
    Sunken Hollow
    Terramorphic Expanse
    The Black Gate
    Underground River
    Island
    Swamp
    Mountain

    Artifacts (8)
    Arcane Signet
    Basalt Monolith
    Commander’s Sphere
    Everflowing Chalice
    Mind Stone
    Relic of Sauron
    Sol Ring
    Worn Powerstone

    Even the final deck comes with some amazing reprints. The most notable one is certainly Reanimate, whose price was typically in the double digits on the secondary market.

    However, as opposed to some regular Commander precons, who only have one good reprint at most, this deck also contains multiple solid ones. For example, in the deck you’ll get Living Death, Treasure Nabber, and Scourge of the Throne – all with LotR-themed art.

    Who Should Pick The Hosts of Mordor Deck?

    So far, it looks like The Hosts of Mordor will be great for players who:

    • like the flavor of Sauron, Mordor, and its armies;
    • want to play as the “bad guys” team;
    • want to cast powerful cards;
    • enjoy playing with cards in the Grixis colors (Blue, Black, Red).

    LotR Commander Precons – FAQ

    Here are the answer to some commonly asked questions players have about Lord of the Rings Commander decks.

    Will there be Lord of the Rings Commander decks?

    Yes, there will be.

    How many Commander decks will be released with LotR MTG set?

    There will be four different decks.

    Are the LotR Commander decks fully powered or lite precons?

    These will be regular, fully-powered Commander decks, with 20 new cards each. Nowadays, the lite precons are only used for the Starter Commander decks.

    Do Lord of the Rings Commander decks come with a booster?

    Yes, each deck contains a 2-card Sample Collector booster pack.

    What’s inside the LotR Sample Collector booster?

    There are two cards from Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set, both with special treatment. One of the two cards will be a rare or mythic rare, and the other one an uncommon. At least one of the two cards will be foil.

    Which colors are in the LotR Commander decks?

    There are three 3-color decks (Food and Fellowship: Abzan/WBG, Riders of Rohan: Jeskai/WUR, The Hosts of Mordor: Grixis/UBR), and a single 2-color deck (The Elven Council: Simic/UG).

    Are the Lord of the Rings Commander precons balanced against one another?

    While it’s too early to be sure, they likely will be. Wizards try to balance the precons that are released together. Even if they don’t completely succeed, that’s often mitigated by the variety that comes from a 100-card singleton format.

    Should I get Lord of the Rings Commander decks, if I’ve never played MTG before?

    If you want them as a cool collector’s item for your Lord of the Rings collection, sure. If you also want to learn how to play Magic, then you should pick up LotR Starter Kit, which is also set in Middle-earth, but makes it easier to learn the game than Commander decks.

    When will LotR Commander decks be previewed?

    Full Lord of the Rings Commander decklists will be previewed on June 8th, 2023. You’ll be able to find the full decklists here, so make sure to check back then. However, there is one final card that was already previewed, and will be available in each deck. Of course, that’s Sol Ring, and you can find its art below.

    Sol Ring Tales of Middle-earth Commander Decks

    Conclusion

    That’s it for today. You can also find LotR MTG spoilers here. If you’re figuring which product to get besides the precons, check our MTG LotR Products Guide. In that article, you’ll find every product described in great detail.

    Until next time, have fun, and let us know what you expect from these decks in the comments below.

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