10, Aug, 23

5 Budget Underrated Lord of the Rings MTG Cards in EDH!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Article at a Glance

After waiting a while, MTG’s next spoiler season for new content is coming! Commander Masters just came and went, but as a reprint-focused set that many players weren’t too enthused with, the excitement for this set overall just doesn’t match what new cards can bring.

Before we get caught up in the spoiler season for Wilds of Eldraine, however, taking one look back at some underrated Lord of the Rings cards could save an unexpected amount of money. Because this is a Universes Beyond set, there are some serious restrictions on how long this set is going to be printed. Thanks to the presence of cards like Orcish Bowmasters, The One Ring, and a second release coming soon, this won’t be the last time we see Lord of the Rings packs, but it may become increasingly rare to Draft in-person, meaning less random rares may be in circulation.

For that reason, here are five underrated Lord of the Rings cards in Commander that you may want to consider picking up! Notably, we are only looking at cards from the main set.

Phial of Galadriel

Whether or not you’re including Vial of Galadriel in your deck is, likely, strictly a power level question. Any Commander deck that’s constantly drawing cards with an empty hand is going to have a higher level of synergy with the Vial of Galadriel’s replacement ability but, at the end of the day, this is simply an incredible mana rock.

We wrote an article quite a while ago discussing how the Vial may be the new representation of what is expected for a three-mana rock. Able to fix your mana and draw you extra cards, this Vial has some seriously powerful considerations for the Commander format. As long as having an empty hand in your strategy is reasonable, this should probably be considered as an inclusion.

Sting, the Glinting Dagger

Frodo’s sword is a seriously powerful Commander tool that may escape the notice of some on their first glance. For two mana and a two mana equip cost, Haste, +1/+1 and First Strike against various creature types isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. Lightning Greaves does Haste way better than this equipment does, after all.

Where this artifact, and many other Commander hidden gems shine, is its ability to untap an equipped creature on each combat. Any card that has an ability that triggers every turn is bound to be more powerful in Commander because there are more turns in a cycle. Instead of Sting just triggering twice, the card gets to trigger four times!

Combine this with an activated ability that requires tapping and some seriously wacky shenanigans may occur. With a card like Magda, Brazen Outlaw and a Dwarf with a tapping ability, Sting can generate four Treasure Tokens and activate an ability four times in a turn cycle. For more ideas to execute with this $1 hidden treasure, we wrote about the card in-depth here.

Read More: The Most Expensive Commander Masters Reprints

Doors of Durin

While I don’t think Doors of Durin has much secret untapped potential, the value it generates in a creature-focused Commander deck is absurd for a $1 price tag.

Every time you attack, Doors of Durin offers you a Scry 2 trigger. Following that, if you so desire, you may reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a creature, you get to cheat it into play tapped and attacking!

Sure, there’s the added benefit of running this card in an Elf or Dwarf Typal deck, as having those creature types in play will give the attacking creature Hexproof and Trample respectively until your next turn. Trample isn’t a big deal unless you’re planning on cheating out gigantic creatures like Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, but Hexproof is a serious upside that makes this card a strong payoff in Gruul-colored Elf decks.

Honestly, you don’t need those creature types to run this card, though. Regardless of what you’re attacking with, Doors of Durin will still trigger. Instead, the most interesting deck to feature this card is situations where you can copy the card’s trigger. For that reason, this card fits like a glove alongside Wulfgar of Icewind Dale. Since this card copies abilities triggered by your attacking creatures, you’ll get two Doors of Durin triggers each combat! In a similar vein, decks that offer extra combat steps seem very interesting for Doors of Durin.

Even if you don’t have a ton of synergy with Doors of Durin outside of simply wanting to play big creatures, this could be the budget card for your creature deck. Just make sure you have enough creatures to trigger the cheating ability in semi-consistently. Otherwise, this turns into an overpriced Scry 2 effect.

Read More: MTG Unbans Cause Major Financial Flux After Just 2 Days!

The Legendary Lands (and a Common One)

Like what has become more common in lists like this, we bunched a few cards into one section. We’ve discussed the Legendary Lands from Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth already, but reiterating their usefulness should not be understated.

The biggest boon to these cards is that they cost very little to play in your decks. Generally replacing a Basic Land, these cards basically function as one with an extra ability. They come into play tapped if you don’t control a Legendary Creature but since your Commander is Legendary, you should be able to string a line where this enters untapped if absolutely necessary.

Of the five options, Rivendell is probably the most powerful in a void. Offering a three-mana sink (including its own tapping) that can Scry 2 as long as you control a Legendary Creature, this should be a strong addition in any casual Blue deck that wants their Commander out more often than not.

Mines of Moria can also be deceptively powerful. If you’re trying to ramp up to powerful spells that you don’t currently have enough mana to cast, the Mines can help by creating some Treasure in exchange for a few cards in grave.

The Shire needs some synergy to truly shine since three life usually isn’t a major factor in a game of Commander, but its incredibly powerful in Food, token and artifact based strategies.

Minas Tirith also needs a specific deck to shine – one that attacks a lot. If your game plan doesn’t involve turning creatures sideways or has some other sort of synergy with the card, this may be one to leave at home.

Finally, Barad-dur is good in any Black deck that has creatures dying constantly and can serve as a way to use your leftover mana. Admittedly, the ability this card provides in comparison to the amount of mana you need to use it is not great.

Either way, the secret underrated card here may actually be a common land. Great Hall of the Citadel was considered to be a terrible land in Lord of the Rings Limited in quite some time, but various strong finishes suggest the card was heavily underrated in its early days. This card is absolutely incredible at fixing mana – provided you have enough Legendary spells to make it worthwhile. If you’re running a lot of Legendaries in your Commander deck, seriously consider adding this card. Its a worthless common that could seriously up the consistency of your manabase.

Read More: MTG Unbans Cause Major Financial Flux After Just 2 Days!

The Landcyclers

Talking about cards that can help your manabase out, the Landcyclers are a fantastic budget option for players running multiple colors in their Commander decks.

As demonstrated by their prevalence in Modern, each of these Landcyclers do need to find a land with their respective basic types, but those lands to not need to be basic themselves.

For that reason, these cards are best used alongside expensive Shock Lands or Dual Lands, but they can be just as effective with cheaper alternatives that enter tapped. In a four-five color budget deck, using a Landcycler could be the equivalent to finding any color under the rainbow you may need. These cards can occasionally be cast themselves in a flooding situation as well.

While Lorien Revealed is probably the best of these spells in a Commander setting (and is the most expensive in general), the other spells are all bodies that need to be respected in creature-based settings. Either way, if you need a budget way to run a complicated manabase, seriously consider looking into these cards.

The Known Ones

These are simply some budget options from Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth for you to consider, but there are a lot of obvious inclusions in Commander decks as well from this set. Ignoring the expensive competitive staples, there are quite a few couple-dollar cards like Call of the Ring, Elven Chorus, Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff and Mithril Coat and more that are excellent advantage engines in Commander as well.

Honestly, its not surprising to see why Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth has quickly become the second-best selling set in all of Magic. There are a ton of homerun designs in this set that affect all that Magic has to offer. The flavor is here in full-force as well, promoting this set to a bigger batch of players. Hopefully, this set will be remembered as an example of what great card design looks like for future endeavors.

Read More: Wizards of the Coast Suggests Potential for Further MTG Unbannings!

*MTG Rocks is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more