Lord of the Rings Commander Decks & Decklists

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

In this article, we’ll take a look at everything we know about the Lord of the Rings Commander decks so far. We’re starting with the contents and an overview of the decks. Afterward, we’ll explore each deck into more detail, and we’ll wrap up with 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)
  • A 2-card Collector Sample Pack
  • 1 foil-etched Display commander (a thicker card, not for tournament play)
  • 10 double-sided tokens
  • 1 life tracker
  • 1 cardboard deck box
  • 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.

For example, if we get a Cultivate reprint, it’ll have art and 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 decks. 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. They are all already available for preorder on Amazon.

Deck nameColors
Food and Fellowship LotR Commander Deck IconFood and Fellowship
  • White
  • Black
  • Green
  • Riders of Rohan LotR Commander Deck IconRiders of Rohan
  • White
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Elven Council LotR Commander Deck IconElven Council
  • Blue
  • Green
  • The Hosts of Mordor LotR Commander Deck IconThe Hosts of Mordor
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Red
  • Now, 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 and names. Furthermore, there was some additional information dropped during the First Look stream. We gathered all of that information, and you’ll be able to find everything below.

    Based on everything we know for certain, we’ve also made some educated guesses about what we might expect. Anyway, let’s get to it, we’re starting with a unique deck.

    Food and Fellowship

    Food and Fellowship Lord of the Rings Commander Decks
    • Theme: Food tokens (there might be another theme)
    • Colors: White, Black, Green
    • Main Commander: Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit and Sam, Loyal Attendant (two different cards which have partners with one another)

    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.

    Food and Fellowship is a great name for a deck, and it lets us know what the theme of the deck is. As, you’ll see from Sam’s card, an important part of the deck will be 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 it’s going to be interesting to see what the new LotR-inspired Food cards are going to look like.

    But What About the Second Theme?

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

    Another fact that supports the second theme, is that Frodo’s card probably won’t care about Food tokens that much. There’s just not a lot of flavor reasons for that to be the case. Furthermore, since the Sam’s card is White-Green, Frodo will likely be Black-White, as to complete the deck’s color identity of White-Black-Green.

    What the theme could be, is hard to tell, but it’s likely that it would have something to do with creatures – hence the Fellowship. Perhaps a mechanic akin to Alliance.

    Sam, Loyal Attendant Review

    For each of the two main commanders, we’ll do a quick review. Currently, there are only two legendary creatures previewed from across all four decks. One of them is Sam, Loyal Attendant.

    Sam, Loyal Attendant LotR Commander Decks

    Sam will, very flavorfuly, 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. Sam did carry 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 less likely that the opponents will focus their early attacks on you.

    Nevertheless, how strong Sam actually is will depend on Frodo’s card. On top of that, it’s always a strong option to have two commanders available, as we’ve seen from many partners before.

    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 going to select just a single one of the Lord of the Rings Commander decks, you’ll have an easier time making your choice. Keep in mind that our recommendations will get better, when we get to know more about the decks. Currently, they’re based on the information that we have right now.

    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 synergies.

    Riders of Rohan

    Riders of Rohan Lord of the Rings Commander Decks
    • Theme: unknown
    • Colors: White, Blue, Red
    • Main Commander: Eowyn

    Riders of Rohan is perhaps the most surprising one of the four Lord of the Rings Commander decks. It can be a bit hard to predict what this deck will be about, unless it’s about 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.

    However, the horsemanship isn’t that exciting of a mechanic, so Wizards have two options. They’ll either use the mechanic, and use new and interesting support for it, or they’ll make another mechanic that would work well flavor-wise.


    The main commander for Riders of Rohan precon is Eowyn, at least based on the picture on the deck box. We will have to wait a little longer to see what her card does. Perhaps there will be a reference to her destroying the Witch-King of Angmar with something like Royal Assassin‘s ability but targeting just Black creatures.

    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;
    • enjoy playing with cards in the Jeskai colors (White, Blue, Red).

    Elven Council

    Elven Council Lord of the Rings Commander Decks
    • Theme: Elf tribal (speculation), scry subtheme (confirmed)
    • Colors: Blue, Green
    • Main Commander: Galadriel

    Elves are an integral part of both Middle-earth and Magic the Gathering, so it makes sense that there’s an Elf Commander deck. The deck might contain the regular Elf synergies, but there’s a good chance that it introduces a new take on this popular tribe.

    During the First Look stream, which we mentioned earlier, 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.


    Galdriel (also known as Lady of Lorien) will be the main commander of the deck. While we don’t know what her card will do, it’s highly likely that it’ll have to do something with scry. That’s because the scry mechanic was confirmed, and the secondary commander doesn’t do anything with that mechanic.

    Speaking of which, let’s take a look at Radagast.

    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.

    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;
    • like to play with cards in the Simic colors (Blue, Green);
    • find Radagast, Wizards of Wilds to be a fun card.

    The Hosts of Mordor

    The Hosts of Mordor Lord of the Rings Commander Decks
    • Theme: unknown
    • Colors: Blue, Black, Red
    • Main Commander: Sauron

    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. We’ll just have to wait and see for June to come around, when we’ll see the full decklists.


    At first, we thought that the depicted commander might be The Mouth of Sauron, but as it turns out, it is Sauron himself. This means that Nicol Bolas got some serious competition as the biggest Grixis villain.

    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;
    • 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


    That’s it for today. More information will be available soon, and we’ll update the article with more information. 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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