The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Review, Part 3 of 4: The Monocolor Cards

For the first time since the announcement of Universes Beyond, we have a fully draftable, Modern legal set on our hands. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth explores and re-imagines the book version of Tolkien’s fantasy epic. A new set means new cards, and we’re continuing our review with the monocolor cards. 

Last time we covered the multicolor cards, and this time as usual we won’t be looking at everything, and we’ll be doing this primarily but not exclusively with an eye for Commander play.




Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Bill the Pony

FromTheShire: This is a bit of an odd one, it might be worth it in Food decks since it does make you 2, but I don’t think you’re going to be using the ability much, if at all.

BPhillipYork: Meme card, memes are fun, making your creatures deal damage equal to toughness is fun, but there really are better ways, though it’s a nice backup.

Loxi: Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill Rye, the Small Fry is here to both make and munch food as he pleases. Truthfully, this card is somewhat of a miss for me because it double-dips into two archetypes that are somewhat niche and require a lot of support/building around, but if your food deck has a lot of big butts I’d say go for it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Boromir, Warden of the Tower

BPhillipYork: Decent stax card, and the ability to protect your creatures from a wrath is really decent, and soldiers have a large amount of support now.

Loxi: I really like this card, and I think it’s got a deceptively good design. It protects you from free spells while it’s waiting, but when a board wipe does come it can protect your entire board with an indestructible effect, plus the ring tempting as a bonus. Fantastic support card for both of its attached tribes.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Forge Anew

BPhillipYork: Paying 0 to equip at instant speed is pretty solid, though your opponents should know that your shroud or protection equipment is going to prevent their removal from your critical creature. A decent utility card for equipment decks.

Loxi: Slam dunk in equipment decks, this card does so much in one package. Wizards has tried a lot to fit the whole “global enchantment that goes in equipment decks” archetype of card into a good space, but this one just has so much value stapled to it, it’ll be hard to turn down. Even if it gets blown up right off the bat, it still replaces itself in hand most of the time.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Dawn of a New Age

BPhillipYork: Pretty solid card draw for go wide decks, slow but if it draws you three or so cards that’s decent, also could be brought back from your yard in various ways. Also will work quite well with proliferate effects. Normally cards like this trigger on upkeep, but thankfully this one will draw you a card the first turn.

Loxi: It’s slow, but in a creature heavy white deck, this card is really solid. I think it’s basically just a niche but cheaper Phyrexian Arena, but with a condition so easy to fill I can see a ton of decks putting this in. Mostly I expect to see this in mono-white decks, but beggars can’t be choosers.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Frodo, Determined Hero

BPhillipYork: So attaching on attack is decent, a bit scary on a 2 toughness creature with no evasion. Damage prevention is solid, but if you’re equipping something you are probably hoping to connect to get some kind of combat trigger. Frankly not entirely why he’s a Warrior but that’s how it goes.

Loxi: I can’t see running this as a Commander, but this is a great equipment carrier in most decks. Fantastic art on this one too.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Frodo, Sauron’s Bane

BPhillipYork: So they templated this differently, to me it would’ve been pretty hilarious if you could stack up the “whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player…” unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work that way. Anyway, you can kill people with this, and that’s decent, though he has no evasion or anything like that so it is a big telegraphed hit, which is kind of the worst thing possible.

Loxi: This is one of the ring payoffs that I can see people really building around. You’ll need to get crafty with evasion in Orzhov colors, so I see this being a pretty equipment heavy deck, but this sounds like a fun sort-of assassin type deck that ramps up early by trying to temp with the ring a lot. Being a one-drop also means you can target Frodo with the ring for evasion if you want to, although beware of chump blockers.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gandalf the White

BPhillipYork: More and more “as though they had flash” and now there’s a leave the battlefield – armonicon, which is a neat thing, though only for legendries. Fun for some kind of aristocrats deck, and interesting for ways to stack up death type triggers, though most legendries don’t make sacrifice fodder.

Loxi: I absolutely hate to be a doomsayer, but I can’t really be that excited about this card. While it seems super cool, there seem to be a billion ways to break this that will probably shine over the cool things you can do.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gandalf, White Rider

BPhillipYork: Magecraft-esque scry 1 and creatures you control get +1/+0 on a 3/3 is okay, and then some weird tuck trigger is okay.

Loxi: Mono-white go-wide spellslinger? Hell yeah, I think that might actually be viable-ish. I worry about having enough gas to fuel it cards-wise, but it’s a sweet idea.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast


FromTheShire: Color shifted Remand is really good. Remand has seen a ton of play in Modern although it is kind of on the outs currently with the meta shifted away from creature decks that were really punished by the tempo loss. There’s also the fact that blue has better options these days, but white sure doesn’t have a better counter. Could definitely see this getting sideboard play in some decks that don’t contain blue, with upside if the meta shifts back.

BPhillipYork: Essentially uncounterable counter though it just dumps back to hand, with a cantrip on it. Nice for white to have this sort of thing and it’s not a new concept, powerful in certain scenarios like where you’ve got a Rule of Law type effect.

Loxi: I see this being a bit more popular in 60-card formats or limited, but it’s a good way to buy some time if you want to stall the board.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Samwise the Stouthearted

BPhillipYork: A neat recursion effect, decently powerful for some things that get sacrificed, and could potentially be used to set up a loop.

Loxi: Neat reanimation spell, probably will find use in creature-heavy toolbox decks.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Saradoc, Master of Buckland

BPhillipYork: So making token 1/1s is decent, +2/+0 and lifelink is mostly pretty meaningless.

Loxi: Halfling lord who can gas up your board in an interesting way. Voltron is probably the way to go with this, but it seems like a fun take for the tribe. Probably not crazy powerful, but fun as heck.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Battle of Bywater

BPhillipYork: These conditional board wipes can be pretty powerful if you’re able to make them one-sided, though good decks tend to have a solid assortment of utility creatures often with quite low power.

Loxi: This might be able to make a ton of foods in the right deck, and notably misses Saradoc if he isn’t buffed up.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

War of the Last Alliance

BPhillipYork: This is a decent legendary creature tutor, and the second such effect, 4 mana is a bit steep but if you need it as a combo piece it’s a solid way to grab it.

Loxi: Probably a solid choice in general for tutors, most decks have a few key legendaries they’re happy to grab. Definitely an A+ pick for legendary themed decks though.




Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Bill Ferny, Bree Swindler

BPhillipYork: This is way too deep in the weeds for me.

Loxi: Absolutely fantastic card design that will for sure be popular. I don’t really know if it’s worth running as the Commander, since there are…7 legal horses in blue? Unless you wanna go for some weird changeling stuff.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Borne Upon a Wind

BPhillipYork: This is pretty solid for setting up a win on your predators end-step or sussing out a counter spell, rushing out something like Grand Arbiter, etc..

Loxi: CCC-Combo time!


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Council’s Deliberation

FromTheShire: Very interesting in non-Commander formats, 2 mana draw 2 is pretty dang good.

BPhillipYork: Nothing really remarkable there worth a slot.

Loxi: This card is a really solid draw spell in other formats, but I’d probably pass for Commander. If you’re mono-blue cantrips, you could do worse.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Elrond, Lord of Rivendell

BPhillipYork: This is normally a white effect, see Rumor Gatherer. Of course this one is just slightly better, less colored mana, and sees itself, and stronger stat line, so just, solidly better.

Loxi: Probably a slam dunk in the scry-Elf deck this set is pushing, but not bad otherwise. I personally don’t find this super noteworthy, but it seems pretty legit.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Elvish Mariner

BPhillipYork: This is not really a Commander card IMO.

Loxi: This is disgusting in a scry deck and can absolutely swing a board in your favor. This works a sort-of finisher as well since you can easily tap down blockers before you swing in.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gandalf, Friend of the Shire

BPhillipYork: This is one of the more powerful ways to leverage the Ring tempts you effects, and giving your sorcery spells flash is solid too.

Loxi: If you have access to blue in your Ring deck, absolutely run this. This basically tacks “draw a card” onto every other card with a tempt effect. I wouldn’t run at the helm just purely based on how restrictive it is of your colors.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Goldberry, River-Daughter

BPhillipYork: There are some ways to do crazy stuff with this, moving counters that shouldn’t be (you can’t actually move counters, you remove one and add one) and so things that place additional counters will trigger, and this is solid with things like proliferate.

Loxi: Now this is just a silly goofy card since it basically has endless possibilities. Planeswalkers? Check.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Ioreth of the Healing House

FromTheShire: Any kind of untap ability like this has the potential to be a super powerful doing Freed from the Real / Unctus, Grand Metatect shenanigans, and this either slots in that deck or helms it as a backup copy sitting in your Command zone.

BPhillipYork: There’s certainly a loop to be made with this, not sure what it is.

Loxi: There is probably some nonsense you can do with this. It looks like a pod card. It feeeels like a pod card.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Lost Isle Calling

BPhillipYork: This is a neat more or less balanced extra turn card. Therefore it’s basically unplayable, but this is the sort of hoops you’d have to jump through for more turns in “fair” magic.

Loxi: Great concept here: refuel your hand to prep for a juicy extra turn. Realistically I think there are better options that require you to jump through less hoops.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Meneldor, Swift Savior

FromTheShire: There is a decent selection of Birds that have ETB’s you’d like to re-use, from reordering the top of your deck to blowing up enchantments, so I’m a big fan.

BPhillipYork: Yeah okay eagles. Neat in ETB decks like Brago, King Eternal

Loxi: Seems like a fine blink effect. Fun that it’s a soldier. Nothing new, but not bad.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Press the Enemy

BPhillipYork: Solid refutation that will also let you cast a sorcery spell on an opponents turn which is potentially really solid.

Loxi: This seems like a pretty solid and perfectly fine card, it’s just a scenario where 4 mana can be a lot to ask for a counterbounce. Might be good.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Rangers of Ithilien

BPhillipYork: Neat for ETB decks and maybe if you have ways to flicker or sacrifice the things you steal.

Loxi: Another Ranger for the tribe, but aside from that I probably wouldn’t run this in Commander.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Saruman the White

BPhillipYork: Amass Orcs is a neat mechanic, the real way to leverage it would be with sacrifice effects, but this is a mono blue legendary so can’t really see how to hack it.

Loxi: This card seems solid, I’m always happy to see more spellslinger payoffs. Built in protection is nice too, even though it’s a bit pricy.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Scroll of Isildur

BPhillipYork: Insufficient impact to be worth it in 4-player.

Loxi: Realistically I think you play this for the last bit, if you can make use of that well it’ll probably pay dividends.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Stern Scolding

FromTheShire: This card….. I don’t want to say it’s a mistake because it PROBABLY only sees sideboard play in Modern, but it definitely will see play. Creature decks can already struggle, and this currently hits about 15 of the 25 most played creatures in the format which doesn’t feel great for people playing fair Magic. In addition, this virtually guarantees that at least one LoTR card is going to be showing up in the format, which I really dislike from a diluting Magic’s IP standpoint. Thankfully they at least named it something that can be reprinted in another set easily with different art because this is also a recipe for $5-10 uncommon.

BPhillipYork: Kind of funny, probably playable in Commander, but it’s a stretch. Lots of Commanders and decent utility creatures will be stopped by this.

Loxi: cEDH and fast formats might like this one, but unless your meta is like Pixar-Cars 2-Lightning-McQueen levels of speed I’d pass on this.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Storm of Saruman

BPhillipYork: More triggered spell copying with really expensive enchantments, but now with ward, which is solid protection. But still this costs 6, that’s a lot to invest.

Loxi: On one hand, this effect seems nasty and can totally close out games. On the other, I’d rather do so many other things than this at 6 mana.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Watcher in the Water

FromTheShire: Man this card is sweeet. A huge, undercosted body that also pumps out tokens for doing what you already want to be doing, and then the tokens dying lets you mitigate the slight drawback by untapping and also temporarily locks down a problem permanent? Hell yes. As is the way with blue, cast Rhystic Study and watch the fireworks unfold. It’s not even once per turn on their turn or anything.

BPhillipYork: This is really neat card design, complicated, but make sense, and works okay.

Loxi: This card is awesome in every way possible. Obviously, the best way to play this is to find the silliest way to dump the counters fast, but even legit this deck can churn out the counters pretty fast. Stun counters are a super cool mechanic and I’m glad to see them come back.




Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Call of the Ring

FromTheShire: Extremely, extremely useful in Ring decks since it hangs out being difficult to remove and triggering over and over again to enable your deck while also drawing you cards.

BPhillipYork: Solid for “deck that cares about the Ring”. Really solid.

Loxi: You probably want this in your Ring deck. You probably don’t want this in your Krark the Thumbless deck, since he can’t even wear as many rings.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gollum, Scheming Guide

FromTheShire: This card is here to be fun and drive someone nuts and occasionally draw some cards and I’m about it.

BPhillipYork: Oh right the guessing game. Um.. yeah whatever I don’t care.

Loxi: This is a neat and flavorful card, but I don’t really think it has a huge purpose in Commander. I’m sure you can do some shenanigans with scrying and making it unblockable though


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gollum, Patient Plotter

FromTheShire: Another really good and cheap Ring enabler that you’ll be very happy to have in your Sauron deck.

BPhillipYork: The ability to sacrifice from your yard to bring to hand is weird and potentially abusable, in combination with Skirge Familiar and some other things fairly abusable.

Loxi: Well it’s not the worst recurring creature, but 3 mana to loop it isn’t super special. If you want more Ring triggers for some reason it might not be bad, but I don’t know if this will find a home in many decks that aren’t both coincidentally Ring and sacrifice decks.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gorbag of Minas Morgul

BPhillipYork: Really really solid way to leverage creation of Orc armies and then eat them.

Loxi: More Orc support is solid, but mostly this will be a new staple of Rakdos Goblins. Turning your tokens into cards or Treasures can be super strong, although not being a Goblin himself kinda stinks for that deck.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gothmog, Morgul Lieutenant

BPhillipYork: Okay so getting deathtouch on your tokens is pretty neat, seems like he should amass every time he attacks or enters, but solid enough for all that.

Loxi: A cool support piece for a token deck. No frills, nothing crazy, but always a super welcome bonus to help you make better trades and threaten with a board more. I dig it. I wouldn’t run him as a Commander, but a solid include in Humans most likely.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Grima Wormtongue

BPhillipYork: Decent aristocrats card.

Loxi: Flavor? Yes, yes yes, this is spot on. For other formats? This can totally have the potential to be sweet. In Commander? I’m a bit of a skeptic. If you loop legendaries a lot in a value-based sacrifice deck, I’m sure this isn’t the worst outlet since it makes a token.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Grond, the Gatebreaker

FromTheShire: Are you terminally on Reddit LotR subs? Then this is the meme card for you, letting you GROND your way to victory.

BPhillipYork: I think this is a really neat, card, cool design. Also really solid if you are focused on armies and attacking.

Loxi: There is no way this card isn’t GAS in Limited, but I’ll leave it aside for other formats. A solid beater vehicle, but being in black restricts it in Commander.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Isildur’s Fateful Strike

FromTheShire: Know what’s really annoying in Commander? Those darn other players with their constant full grip and Reliquary Towers and the like. Wouldn’t it feel great to punish them for their hubris? You’re damn right it would.

BPhillipYork: This seems like a real dick move to do to someone, expensive removal that also causes discard?

Loxi: Boy, if this exiled this card would be nuts. In a way I’m glad it doesn’t, but even with the raw power of slapping someone’s hand down to 4 it’s still a 4-drop removal spell that sometimes is…well just a removal spell. 4 cards for the remaining fingers is a stupidly awesome design though, well done.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Lobelia Sackville-Baggins

BPhillipYork: Pretty neat counter to a reanimation, though the best reanimator decks are milling to the yard then reanimating, the fact that it’s this turn makes it pretty gimmicky and not utilitarian.

Loxi: I can’t decide how to feel about this card, genuinely. On one hand, that can seriously make a ton of tokens and punish sacrifice heavy decks to boot. On the other, you have to time this with removal if your opponents won’t do the work themselves. It’s a really cool card, but I think removal + 3 mana might be a tough sell. If your Commander has built in removal, this might have some play.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast


BPhillipYork: Oh neat another uh, thing where you can have more than 4 of it. Well that’s fun for some kind of Wraith / Ring deck. Well hrmm there’s only 11 cards that are Wraiths.

Loxi: Expect to see some Nazgul decks for sure, because this is super cool. I think it has potential, especially since you can just go deep on Wraiths and have their triggers all stack up. I’m curious who the best leader would be for this.

Note: Wraiths don’t go that deep. You’ll probably want Changelings.

FromTheShire: Oh ye of little faith. This isn’t about the bad Wraiths from 25 years ago, this is to make your Lord of the Nazgul deck rad as hell, and boy does it succeed. Not only can you run a very thematic 9 of these, they come in 9 different very cool arts. Load up on tutors and counterspells and spellsling your way to victory with your massive menacing tokens.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

One Ring to Rule Them All

BPhillipYork: Cool wrath saga thing, if you have some way to not need non-legendary creatures, pretty solid.

Loxi: The art looks like Sauron is peeing on the tower.

Anyway, this isn’t too bad of a board wipe if you have a way to recur it. If you can’t loop it or have enchantment synergy, you might be better off with a traditional one, but if you fit that bill this seems solid. You might be able to get a lot of mill off in some weird decks like Szadek, Lord of Secrets.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Orcish Bowmasters

BPhillipYork: This is a really really solid card. Really strong stax effect and in Commander games this is going to trigger all the time. Dump a Wheel of Fortune and you get a pretty big Orc army and 21 damage triggers. Probably one of the most standout cards in the set, with real cEDH potential.

Loxi: At first glance, I thought this card seemed like a pretty minor punishment and might not be worth it. The entry cost is so cheap that I think this might have enough room to really deter people from trying to value draw too much, especially since it can shut down their board while they sift through their deck. Give this Deathtouch and have a field day.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast


BPhillipYork: This seems weak.

Loxi: Speak of the devil, this probably is sweet with the Nazgul card. I don’t really see this getting played aside from that.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Sauron, the Necromancer

BPhillipYork: This is complicated and really puts all your eggs in one basket, but you could be milling or cycling through creatures with powerful effects that you then cheat out effectively.

Loxi: I love this card, and this is by far my favorite iteration of Daddy S in the whole set. I think it’s a really neat take on reanimator, allowing for really consistent one-time use mini summons that also have extra evasion. If you go into ring-tempting too, you get to have them stick around and can totally abuse tons of powerful creatures this way. A+ from me, and I’d stuff every way to keep Sauron as a ring bearer in this deck.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Shadow of the Enemy

BPhillipYork: Weird card, really expensive, funny that you could reanimate someone else’s yard but there’s much stronger similar effects.

Loxi: I always found cards like this to be inconsistent, but if what you’re usually up against in your meta lines up this can be pretty spicy. Notably with this one, you can cast them for as long as they remain exiled, which doesn’t specify a turn-time frame. You’ll just get them forever until you want to let ’em fly. Seems like super duper in a theft deck.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin

BPhillipYork: Pretty solid defender sacrifices effects, but we have Archon of Cruelty at home

Loxi: Fantastic flavor card and an absolute limited bomb, although toughness 3 is a little frail. Amazing art too, but sadly comes up a little short for 6 mana. It’s just a little too slow for my tastes.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Witch-king of Angmar

BPhillipYork: I guess having a way to punish people for hitting you is solid, but 5/3 flyer that can be indestructible, I just don’t see it. Also they didn’t use the best part of the whole trilogy, when the witch king uses the Bane voice and says “I will break him.”

Loxi: Now this is gas. First off, holy moly that art. Second, I think this can find a home in pillowforty decks, especially since removing this thing is a nightmare.




Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Assault on Osgiliath

BPhillipYork: So 3 mana to give all your Goblins double strike is probably the real use case of this card. If you really want the Orc, that’s cool.

Loxi: Nuts finisher for O & G, I can’t see this one not being popular. Even paying 0 and just using it as a 3 mana whack-a-mole card is sweet.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Cast into the Fire

BPhillipYork: This is probably solid enough to play. It’s basically Abrade, but more flexible, and that sees a lot of play. A lot of Commanders have 3 toughness though.

Loxi: Flexible artifact removal is always nice. This one is fine! Cool that it kills some of the named characters, of course.

FromTheShire: Trades the damage upside of Abrade for the ability to hit 2 targets, and to exile instead of destroy the artifact which can be super clutch. Say, for instance, if someone has The One Ring?


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Display of Power

BPhillipYork: So this is.. interesting. Potentially really overloading, but you have to have some way to cast a lot of spells to make it worthwhile.

Loxi: You’ve gotta set up a stack to make this card really shine, but if you do hoooo boy, you can get unethical quick. Storm decks might find a sweet spot for this.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Eomer, Marshall of Rohan

BPhillipYork: Another extra combat ability for red, limited to one per turn, nonethless really pretty solid, especially if you have some way to just sacrifice a legendary creature after dealing combat damage.

Loxi: The once per turn restriction is both a blessing and a curse to this, as it won’t make it a kill on sight threat, but also sadly makes it have a lower damage threshold. It’s not bad and has good typings, so I can’t say too much bad about it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold

BPhillipYork: Solid pump effect if you’re going to dump out a lot of Humans somehow rapidly for a finisher.

Loxi: A generic but solid Human lord. Seems fine, I’d only really want it if you’re really churning out tokens in your Human build.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Fall of Cair Andros

FromTheShire: I love seeing more of this effect since burn is pretty bad in Commander generally, and supporting ‘new’ archetypes is always a good thing. Especially good with all of the Torbran, Thane of Red Fell style ways red has to tick up their damage dealt now.

BPhillipYork: Really solid excess damage trigger, and nice to see more of those piling up. Also a mana dump, kind of funny to have that ability.

Loxi: Well if you just rip Blasphemous Act with this out you do unethical things. Play this in Toralf, God of Fury and watch the world burn.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Fiery Inscription

BPhillipYork: Wow this is really solid to see on an enchantment. Usually one of the weaknesses of such decks is the creatures that are generating the damage are small.

Loxi: Solid spellslinger card, a bit harder to remove than the creatures with similar effects.

FromTheShire: Very nice to get another iteration of this effect that doesn’t die to a board wipe.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Fires of Mount Doom

BPhillipYork: Really solid impulse draw. Gross with some of the many cast triggers for casting from exile.

Loxi: Wow, blasting all of the equipment off something is pretty hilarious. 3 mana for each card is expensive, but it’s still impulse draw tied to upsides. It does a bunch of sort-of niche things at once, but it’s pretty sweet overall. There’s probably enough equipment in the game that this is fine to just slam.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gimli, Counter of Kills

FromTheShire: I went into it in our multicolor article as well, but the fact that this doesn’t partner with Legolas is hands down the biggest misstep of the set. Okay you don’t want a partner card in the draft set, I can accept that even though they have done it before. However, the companion decks are RIGHT THERE and there’s no such excuse for them. I fully expect to house rule this egregious error at my tables. Solid damage ability on the card though.

BPhillipYork: Decent trigger, scales inversely with deck power but can be really punishing against go-wide decks.

Loxi: Doesn’t partner. Silly.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Gloin, Dwarf Emissary

BPhillipYork: Getting Treasures for casting historic spells is solid, but the once per turn limits it enough to make it unbreakable, goad is always sort of fun.

Loxi: Neat, I think this will be really good in Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer, but is somewhat outclassed because that card exists.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Hew the Entwood

BPhillipYork: So I think the way you use this is to tutor an artifact to the top, and sacrifice one land. So you use this to turbo out Portal to Phyrexia or something like that. Though 5 mana and sacrifice a land isn’t really that turbo.

Loxi: Great design, but the risk is just too high to ever play this. If you miss, it’s probably game over, and I can’t imagine other cards you’d want to play at this point in the game not being equally as capable of closing it out.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Moria Marauder

FromTheShire: Super, super strong, and the only card I think I’m actually happy is Modern legal, even though this still likely can’t actually get there with the way the format is currently. I badly want it to be playable though, and I can definitely see having a good time going 2-3 at some FNM’s.

BPhillipYork: This is crazy strong, like, amazing, double strike on top of everything else is gross, getting impulse draw for every hit of a Goblin or Orc is amazing. Time to dust off Ironclaw Orcs.

Loxi: This is legitimately one of the best Goblin cards I’ve seen in a long time and will be an archetype staple. I have nothing more to say, this thing is nuts.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Spiteful Banditry

BPhillipYork: This is basically The Meathook Massacre but red, and a really really good card.

Loxi: Considering you can just play this both without the board wipe as a way to generate mana a bit early as well as just nuking the board later, this seems like a great card.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

There and Back Again

BPhillipYork: Smaug generating 14 tokens is pretty crazy, there’s definitely ways to break that. If you can keep removing the lore counter before the trigger resolves, you’d get a Smaug every turn, and thus 14 treasures. Say a Hex Parasite.

Loxi: Super fun card that I can see getting used purely because of how cool it is and how Smaug makes you rich. Realistically, it’s quite a bit of work, but might not be bad if you want to set up a bunch of mana for one turn.




Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Delighted Halfling

BPhillipYork: Yay another mana dork that is a straight upgrade from Boreal Druid, which was already playable. The fact it mana fixes so well for legendary creatures which are likely to be Commander is just.. chefs kiss. And a 1/2 cuz, why not.

Loxi: Well, this is a fantastic mana dork. I’m truthfully shocked this is one mana, but if you aren’t playing Elves for synergy, this is arguably one of the best one-drop dorks for the format. Colorless mana isn’t great, but that much utility is hard to pass up.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Elanor Gardner

BPhillipYork: This is one of the better Food sacrifice triggers, ramping, but at 4 mana to get going it’s probably too expensive to be “good”.

Loxi: I really enjoy the concept of this, an absolute flavor win in my book. If you’re already in Foods, slam this in for sure, it’s very very strong. I wouldn’t build specifically around this just because there are easier ways to ramp, but if you’re already going the cuisine route with your deck don’t leave your Halflings at home.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Elven Chorus

BPhillipYork: So this effect isn’t that unusual, if you can manipulate the top of your library really solid, if not, still okay if you have a lot of creatures. Turning all your creatures into mana dorks for 4 mana is pretty so so, though just knowing the top card is itself decently strong.

Loxi: Another very generic green card, but I see no issues with that. More gas, more mana, and a Future Sight-style effect. Not very exciting, but pretty good regardless.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Fall of Gil-galad

BPhillipYork: Weird card, seems really tough to make it pay off unless you’re got some kind of deathtouch tokens or something.

Loxi: I don’t really want my creatures to die when they fight. Ironically you want to probably put the counters on the thing you DON’T want to fight. It still does draw two cards and do a bunch of stuff for two mana, but it’s pretty funny that the best way to play this is just chuck a dork at something with the third verse.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Fangorn, Tree Shepherd

BPhillipYork: Well, okay, funny big tree that makes even more mana and is really tough so you’d need ways to make your creatures deal damage via toughness, which is fine, but that’s a lot of steps to take.

Loxi: If you want to play Treefolk, here is your man…or…tree. You’ve actually got quite a bit to work with here, so there might be something pretty good. I might have to do a Treefolk review soon at this rate…

FromTheShire: Excellent piece for Doran, the Siege Tower and Sapling of Colfenor decks. Good rate for big toughness, ramps you and holds your mana, and gives the whole squad the extremely powerful vigilance, love everything about it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Galadriel, Gift-Giver

BPhillipYork: Those triggers are solid and flexible but 5 mana for a 4/4 is just kind of meh.

Loxi: She’s cool and does a bunch of stuff, but she’s a bit flashy for what will probably be a 4/4 that gets a bit of extra value before getting whacked. I hate to be that harsh on this one especially since the art is lovely, but I just don’t think it’ll get enough going before someone decides she needs to whacked.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Last March of the Ents

BPhillipYork: Well. Well, you can win the game with this card various ways. But it costs 8 mana. But it can’t be countered. So I dunno, kind of a funny way to dump out a combo win in green, and green is quite good at ludicrous amounts of mana.

Loxi: Hell yeah, if you want late game gas this is what you need. This is the most green card that could green, and I see no issue with just mashing this in most mono-green decks.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Legolas, Master Archer

BPhillipYork: I don’t get this card really, I guess like.. fight cards? You’d get both triggers each time so that’s a lot of board clear.

Loxi: Really clever design on this one. It might be a bit too much work for what’s effectively a weird green pinger, but I can see it doing some cool stuff in an Aura deck (they are spells that target him!) or in some whacky spellslinger shell.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Meriadoc Brandybuck

BPhillipYork: I don’t get it really, Food or something, but small creatures, and then what?

Loxi: It’s fine for the Halfling Food synergy stuff they’re pushing. It’s only one Food a turn, but that might be good enough to warrant this if you want to play this archetype.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Peregrin Took

BPhillipYork: So just making loads of tokens is pretty fun, Food tokens are kind of uh, not he best but having a way to sacrifice them for card draw is great. Just another piece for an Academy Manufactor type deck.

Loxi: Food synergy aside, this card is nuts in just about any token deck. Read this this way: “Every 3 times you make tokens, draw a card.” Seems pretty good yeah? Plus you can do some other shenanigans with having a bunch of extra tokens sitting on board in some decks. I can see this being pretty popular in a lot of Selesnya decks that might just go wide enough to make this count.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Quickbeam, Upstart Ent

BPhillipYork: I guess for like, Treefolk decks this is, okay. Apparently there are 103 Treefolk so that’s a tribe you can make a deck full of… Treefolk and then I guess attack people with ponderous medium creatures?

Loxi: That name… awesome. Anywho, a lot of Treefolk already can trample but this still seems good.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Radagast the Brown

BPhillipYork: Um so this is like Volo, Guide to Monsters, but different IP? Oh right, and I don’t like it either.

Loxi: Well, Volo just found a new buddy. I wouldn’t run him over Volo, but I would pair them together like PB & J.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Ring Goes South

BPhillipYork: Grabbing 3 or 4 lands isn’t terrible if you can consistently have several legendaries, depends on the deck, maybe if you have partners or legendaries matter.

Loxi: This is a ramp spell you could run. I don’t think there are many scenarios where you want a 4 mana ramp spell with more than 2 legendaries on board. At that point, Circuitous Route just outclasses you in most cases.




Next Time: Colorless

That wraps up our look at the set’s monocolored cards. Join us next time as we review the sets colorless cards, picking out our favorites, and talking about the future build-arounds. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at