Folks, we’re taking a not-so-Unexpected Journey to Middle-Earth for possibly the most hyped and expansive IP-crossover Magic has ever had. That’s right, today we’re talking about The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth. We’re going over almost every precious card I think is worth paying attention to for the Commander format. Welcome back to the Commander Corner.

Before we get into the cards, I have to mention the Rally The Rankings on Tales of Middle-Earth Part One and Part Two, which covers some notable commanders from among the crossover product line. As you might expect, I’m not gonna double dip, so you won’t see anything covered there below. Without any delay, let’s get into it.

Dawn of a New Age

It’s hard to imagine many mono-white decks which don’t have at least a few creatures. This is a decent draw engine, comparable to a cheaper, albeit less guaranteed Phyrexian Arena. This is slated to be a staple, if you ask me.

Delighted Halfling

What is there to say which hasn’t already been said about Delighted Halfling? This is a one-mana dork which makes your commander uncounterable, mana-fixes for your legendary spells, and only gets better from there.

Sam’s Desperate Rescue

A common slated to overperform, Sam’s Desperate Rescue buys back a creature while also making another of yours evasive. This is a standout performer in decks looking to connect with smaller creatures, like Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow or Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire.

Call of the Ring

Much like Dawn of a New Age, you do need creatures for this to work properly. Even so, it’s still a persistent draw engine which only asks two mana of you to start. Considering cards like Black Market Connections, Phyrexian Arena, and even Sylvan Library are widely played, I’m betting this will similarly see quite a bit of play.

Goldberry, River-Daughter

This is a card for tinkerers for sure, and I certainly qualify. Whether it’s removing lore counters from sagas, age counters from cards like Mystic Remora, or doing who-knows-what with The Ozolith and proliferation, I’m sure Goldberry, River-Daughter is going to find a home somewhere.

Moria Marauder


Orcish Bowmasters

There’s been quite a bit of talk about this card, and for good reason. The worst possible rate is 1 damage at flash speed with two bodies left over. It will often be significantly better than that, comboing with cards prevalent in the format and punishing some of the most common creatures as well.

Spiteful Banditry

While this seems a bit costly as a wrath effect, you are given a minor rebate up front and the value only gets better with each subsequent turn. As a bonus, you could play it for two. This is probably going to be less ubiquitous than some may imply, but some big mana decks can definitely find room for it.

Sting, the Glinting Dagger

If your commander taps to do anything, Sting, the Glinting Dagger probably has applications. Even if your commander doesn’t, there are lots of creatures just as potent to untap each turn. Me? I’m thinking Alaundo the Seer has a brand new toy. It even grants haste! This does everything short of granting hexproof.

Boromir, Warden of the Tower

A hatebear and board protection all at once, I’m expecting Boromir to do quite well in any strategy centered around playing creatures and keeping your opponents from going off. I’ve had Lavinia, Azorius Renegade make my life difficult, and this is quite similar.

Display of Power

Usually I expect to pay two mana for a copy effect, although I’m willing to pay three in the case of cards like Dualcaster Mage. Display of Power is another exception to this, as the ceiling is far higher. The base rate is decent and it doesn’t take much to make this absolutely backbreaking.

Entish Restoration

They made Harrow and Roiling Regrowth, but better. It has the potential to grab three lands. Additionally, unlike Harrow, you don’t have to sacrifice one as a cost to cast, meaning you’re much happier if this gets countered or hit with Narset’s Reversal. Of course, I plan on playing all of them in my Landfall decks.

Forge Anew

This enables you to cheat costs on any equipment you dump into your graveyard. Additionally, it’s yet another way to equip for free, and at flash speed. There’s a growing number of similar effects, but this has everything all on one card for a relatively low cost. If you want to play equipment, you can definitely do worse.

Grishnakh, Brash Instigator

An Act of Treason that you can fetch up with any Goblin tutors has at least some applications in the Commander format, and a great many valuable creatures with two or less power are quite common these days.

Lobelia Sackville-Baggins

Wow, this definitely has potential. The restrictions on this card speak to how powerful the card probably was during development, but make no mistake, there is a reason some people are calling this the black Dockside Extortionist.

Mithril Coat

Yes, they power-crept Darksteel Plate. The equip cost is higher, but getting flash and a free equip up front for arguably your most important card goes a long way towards making this much stronger. This is, of course, quite a bit better in equipment-based decks.


With very little work, this is a Dimir-colored Demonic Tutor. Sure, you have to reveal what you find, and you need a creature for it to work, but don’t forget your chosen creature will be Legendary the first time the Ring tempts you.

Sauron’s Ransom

Folks, I wouldn’t be featuring this card if I didn’t know how popular Fact or Fiction already is, and FoF is popular. Looking at one less card isn’t a huge difference considering it costs an entire one mana less, and I’ll be looking to put this in any deck looking to fill its graveyard while drawing cards.

Smeagol, Helpful Guide

This cheap creature will in fact guide you to a great deal of value. There’s hardly a shortage of green-black decks looking to have their creatures die, and the extra value you’re getting from being tempted means you’ll be churning through your deck while getting value from everything that dies in the process. There’s not much to dislike.

Elven Chorus

Realmwalker and Cryptolith Rite combined into one card? Sure, why not. If you’re in the market for mana and card advantage in your creature decks, this does the job quite well, and I’m expecting it to be quite popular moving forward. I mean, it even tells you what decks to put it in.

Rise of the Witch-king

I love symmetrical sacrifice effects and I love reanimating permanents, so this is pretty much the perfect card for me. Of course, this includes green mana, so it’s quite a bit more restrictive to use, but the power level is undeniably high.

Mirkwood Bats

So much of this card looks rather meek. Four mana, low stats, and low rarity betray that this card absolutely slaps if you’re consistently able to crank out tokens. Tokens are more common than ever in the Commander format and they’re certainly not going anywhere, except perhaps your graveyard.

There and Back Again

There’s a delay here, but at the end of this journey you are greatly rewarded. Consider you usually have to untap with Ancient Copper Dragon to even get a chance at as many as fourteen treasures, and suddenly this card becomes a much more interesting proposition.

Witch-king of Angmar

Talk about rough stuff for your opponents. In addition to a decent No Mercy effect, you also get to make this indestructible for a pretty low cost. If you’re not seeing a lot of combat, it loses value, but this will definitely dissuade people from pointing important creatures your way.

Last March of the Ents

I have a thing for expensive spells. When it comes to eight-mana threats, Last March of the Ents seems like one of the most fun I’ve seen in a while. I love drawing cards and dumping things into play for free, and this does both. Why play Craterhoof Behemoth when you can play this, put your Craterhoof into play for free, and still have a loaded hand afterwards?

The One Ring

We all knew this one was coming. The only question is how good it is, and I think it’s pretty good. Consider Coervice Portal, which still commands a pretty high price. This is much, much, much better, and never has the downside of destroying your board if you manage to get ahead in the game. You can untap it, put additional counters on it, bounce and recast it to get protection again, and more. Trust me, this is the real deal.

Folks, I encourage you to take a look at the whole set, as it’s full of cards that will likely only get better with time and probably won’t see too many reprints moving forward. If you’re looking to find out which singles to pick up, check out my article from last week for some tips! I’ve had the pleasure of introducing some friends to The Lord of the Rings using Magic thanks to this set, and I couldn’t be happier about all the hype surrounding it. Until next week, I’ve been Luka “Robot” Sharaska, and this has been the Commander Corner.

Luka Sharaska (they/them) earned the nickname “Robot” by having a monotone voice, a mind for calculating odds, and a calm demeanor. Robot has been playing Magic for more than a decade, starting during the days of New Phyrexia in 2011. Most days, you’ll find them in the gym or creating content for their YouTube channel: Robot Rallis.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.