30, Jun, 23

MTG LOTR EDH and Constructed All-Star Triples In Price!

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The Lord of the Rings set has produced some multi-format all-stars. Cards like the One Ring and Orcish Bowmasters have been making names for themselves in Modern, Legacy, and beyond. Interestingly though, the Lord of the Rings Commander decks also brought some strong options for Constructed.

Perhaps one of the more underrated cards in the set is Forth Eorlingas! The card has even seen a significant price spike in the last week, coming in at $17 a piece according to TCGPlayer market price.

Not only has the card solidified its spot as a Legacy staple, but it’s also appearing in a pretty wide variety of decks. This is because the card is surprisingly flexible, and of course, the Monarch is an extremely powerful ability in one-versus-one formats.

Still, we’ve seen multiple cards that involve taking the Initiative start to overtake even the best cards that allow you to become the monarch. Cards like Palace Jailer were being pushed aside for Seasoned Dungeoneer and White Plume Adventurer while it was legal in Legacy.

A big part of the reason why was that, after taking the Initiative, you get a stream of value generated every turn that you don’t need to invest mana into. Unlike with the Monarch, you don’t need to invest additional mana to make use of the extra value generated. Therefore, using one-time mana boosts like Lotus Petal to accelerate out Seasoned Dungeoneer early was a solid strategy. So what separates Forth Eorlingas! from the pack and makes it such a strong card?

Casting Cost Flexibility

Forth Eorlingas!

Forth Eorlingas! is a unique card for two reasons. First, you only become the Monarch if you deal combat damage to a player. In this way, you do have to work a bit towards guaranteeing that the Monarchy is established. Second, the Creature tokens themselves that the card creates have Haste, which plays well with trying to become the Monarch. The reason this is interesting is because it gives the card so much flexibility. If you have a one-drop Creature already in play on an empty board, you can simply cast Forth Eorlingas! for two mana, attack, and become the Monarch. This is part of the reason the card has appeared alongside Delver of Secrets and Dragon’s Rage Channeler as well as Daze in Legacy, providing an efficient way to generate card advantage.

Of course, the card also scales really well. The more mana that is spent to cast it, the more Hasty Creature tokens you create that can attack to try to help you achieve Monarch status. This makes the card a threat at nearly every stage in the game. Making even one token and becoming the Monarch for three mana is strong, but if you draw the card later with access to more mana, you can overwhelm the opponent by creating a bunch of Hasty tokens that can end the game in short order. This makes the card strong not only in assertive decks with efficient Creatures but also in more controlling decks that plan to extend the game and get extra value out of this card.

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Making Forth Eorlingas! Shine

Chrome Mox

As stated above, cards like Seasoned Dungeoneer and Chaos Caves Adventurer typically worked stronger with one-time mana accelerants than cards that allowed you to become the Monarch. Forth Eorlingas! is different. This is because the Monarch portion of the card is not the only part of the card that matters.

Not only does the card have flexibility in its casting cost, but it also has flexibility in how the card is utilized. The card pairs well with Delver and Channeler as an efficient Monarch enabler, but it also pairs well with extra mana generated from Lotus Petal, Simian Spirit Guide, Ancient Tomb, and Chrome Mox in creating a bunch of Hasty Creatures to close the game with.

Forth Eorlingas! scales nicely because the more mana that is spent to cast it, the more tokens you generate to pressure the opponent. Because of this, it fits extremely well in the Boros Initiative shell that already utilizes a ton of mana accelerants to put the Initiative cards into play ahead of schedule. The fact that Forth Eorlingas! is strong at various mana costs and in various situations makes it a decent consideration for almost any deck that can reliably cast it. That being said, the card does have its weaknesses.

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Being on the Backfoot

Daze

Although Forth Eorlingas! can be strong at different points of your curve, the card still requires you to either become the Monarch by dealing damage or generate a decent chunk of Creature tokens to be worth the investment. If your opponent has lots of removal, it can be difficult to connect in combat without a high number of tokens generated. This means that in some situations, the card will end up being a bit clunky. Cards like Daze can put you in a bind, where you want to get maximum value out of the card but also don’t want to waste your whole turn investing a bunch of mana into a card that gets countered for zero mana.

Forth, Eorlingas! can also be relatively weak against opposing tempo strategies like various Delver decks that can put you on the backfoot quickly. Not only does the card require mana investment and setup, but the opponent can still take the Monarch back from you with their Flying threats. Not to mention these tempo strategies typically play Daze and Force of Will, which can provide massive tempo swings in their favor if you invest a lot of mana into the spell.

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Fight Fire with Fire

Ancient Tomb

What’s nice about Forth Eorlingas! even in these situations is that its flexibility puts a lot of control in your hands. If you fear Daze, you don’t necessarily have to overextend. In certain cases, it’s worth leaving back some of your tokens in order to preserve your Monarch status. This is especially important against opposing copies of Forth Eorlingas! that can turn the tides quickly. Sometimes the best way to fight opposing copies of forth Eorlingas! is with bigger copies of your own, letting you take the Monarch back and provide a stream of blockers for opposing attackers.

Similarly, Forth Eorlingas! is pretty decent in multiples. A second wave of Creature tokens keeps the pressure from the first wave going and can help maintain your status as the Monarch if anything falls through the cracks. Being an army in a can and a way to become the Monarch in one card puts Forth Eorlingas! over the top, and its flexibility makes it a threat for a variety of strategies. There’s likely still a lot of room for exploration surrounding the card, and if you plan to play Legacy in the coming weeks, I’d advise having this card on your radar.

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