Last week we took a look at some of the many legendary creatures coming in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth. Since then, even more epic characters have joined the adventure. Between ancient elves, powerful wizards, and normal people doing the right thing, there are tons of great cards to build around. 

Radagast the Brown

From deep in the woods comes Radagast the Brown, friend to the animals and trees and protector of all things good. Radagast resembles the Simic commander Volo, Guide to Monsters, but instead of copying your spell, you get to dig deeper for even more. 

When Radagast or another nontoken creature enters the battlefield under your control, you get to look at the top X cards of your library, with X bring that creature’s mana value. If you find a creature that doesn’t share a type with a creature you already control, you can reveal it and add it to your hand. In Commander, building a deck with all different creature types will be pretty easy.

Arwen, Mortal Queen

An indestructible commander is almost always a great choice and Arwen, Mortal Queen lets you put that indestructibility to good use. Arwen enters with an indestructible counter on her and lets you remove it to give another creature indestructible for a turn, as well as putting a +1/+1 and a lifelink counter on that creature and Arwen. 

With a few spells to flicker Arwen you can keep refreshing her counters, while spells that proliferate can give Arwen even more indestructible counters to distribute. Proliferation also hits those +1/+1 counters that Arwen distributes, making your creatures stronger over time. Teleportation Circle will be a huge card in this deck, giving you an easy way to keep resetting Arwen at the end of your turn. 

King of the Oathbreakers

This is such a weird card which will likely become one of the best Spirit-based commanders for players to pick. King of the Oathbreakers phases out if it or another Spirit you control becomes targeted by any spell, yours or your opponents. 

When those cards phase back in, you get a 1/1 Spirit token with flying, flooding the board with even more Spirits to wash over your enemies. King of the Oathbreakers nullifies nearly all targeted removal your opponents might throw your way, instead doing the opposite by adding creatures to your board. It doesn’t stop abilities though, only spells, so cards that have an enter the battlefield effect or an activated ability can push through the effect. 

The Watcher in the Water

Such a weird and flavorful card, The Watcher in the Water is a mysterious monster encountered briefly before the hidden entrance of Moria. When it comes into play, you put a staggering nine stun counters on it, but it doesn’t stay tapped for long.

If you would draw a card during an opponent’s turn, you make a 1/1 Tentacle token. When one of those tokens die, you can untap a Kraken, and putting a stun counter on another nonland permanent of your choice. With a few proliferation effects, a sacrifice outlet, and some big draw spells, you can stun-lock your opponents out of the game.

Gollum, Obsessed Stalker

It takes a bit of work, but Gollum, Obsessed Stalker is one of the more interesting legendary creatures from the set. This little 1/1 comes loaded with skulk, which makes it so creatures with power greater than Gollum’s cannot block it. This strange form of evasion helps Gollum move past most creatures, and with an equipment or some way to buff his toughness, Gollum will be next to impossible to kill with combat damage.

Gollum rewards your frequent attacks by making each opponent dealt damage by Gollum over the course of the game lose life equal to the amount of life you’ve gained this turn on your end step. Mono-black decks have plenty of ways to gain life, and with other life shenanigans from Exquisite Blood and Sanguine Bond, you can quickly drain your opponents out of the game.

Gandalf, Westward Voyager

There are so many versions of Gandalf in this set but Gandalf, Westward Voyager is certainly one of the more interesting ones. This five-mana Wizard triggers when you cast any type of spell with a mana value of five or greater, making your opponents reveal the top card of their library when they do.

If any of those revealed cards share a card type with the spell you’re casting, you get to copy your spell, and your opponents all get to draw a card. You can manipulate your odds a bit by playing Lantern of Insight to be able to see what everyone has on top before you cast your spell. Cards like Expel from Orazca and Memory Lapse can put a stop to your opponent’s plans while forcing the top card of a deck to be what you want.

Galadriel of Lothlorien

As one of the few Elves in Middle-earth to have shared in the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, Galadriel has a power of foresight that few can match. Magic translates this power to scrying, letting you dig deeper into your deck for answers. 

If you were to pick a creature other than Galadriel to be your Ring-bearer, you get to scry 3. It might not happen often, but digging three cards deep is pretty good. The real power comes from her second ability, where after you’re done scrying you can reveal the top card of your library, if its a land, you put it directly into play tapped. 

Shelob, Child of Ungoliant 

A direct child of the Spider entity that drained the Two Trees of Valinor with Morgoth ages before the events of The Lord of the Rings, Shelob, Child of Ungoliant has come to usurp all other Spider commanders. She grants protection to your other Spider creatures, giving them all deathtouch and ward 2, turning them into killing machines. 

Whenever a Spider you control kills a creature, you get to web them up, turning them into a Food token copy that loses all other card types. Since the token copy retains all abilities of the original, you can use them so long as you have the mana for it. You could even play your own Devoted Druid, have it fight Shelob to become a token copy and use it to generate infinite green mana. 

Sharkey, Tyrant of the Shire

Blue and black rarely have any interaction with lands, but Sharkey, Tyrant of the Shire is an exception to that. Sharkey shuts down all non-mana related activated abilities of lands all your opponent control, making lands only tap for mana, the way Eru Ilúvatar intended. 

Sharkey then gains all activated abilities of lands your opponent’s control, along with the option to use any color mana to activate those abilities. Turning off an opponent’s fetch lands can shut down any mana fixing they might want to do, as well as put an end to utility lands they want to put to good use like Kessig Wolf Run and Castle Vantress.

Smeagol, Helpful Guide

Smeagol just wants to help two funny little Hobbits get all the way to Mordor, nothing suspicious or silly happening here! If a creature died during your turn, Smeagol, Helpful Guide has the Ring tempt you at the start of your end step.

This is great since any time you are tempted by the Ring, Smeagol reveals the top cards of an opponent’s library until they reveal a land and you get to take that land under your control, with the rest going into their graveyard. Stealing lands while milling an opponent out is a pretty good strategy, and since you get to pick the opponent you can rotate through opponents, or avoid anyone who seems to have graveyard strategies. 

Ryan Hay (he/him) has been writing about Magic: The Gathering and video games for years, and loves absolutely terrible games. Send him your bad game takes over on Twitter where he won’t stop talking about Lord of the Rings.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.