29, May, 23

New MTG LOTR Leaks Reveal Potential Gandalf Commander!

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The MTG Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth spoiler season begins tomorrow! As the most heavily anticipated and ambitious crossover MTG has attempted, there is a lot of excitement behind this set. Unfortunately, in typical MTG fashion, it’s challenging to have a clean start to a new spoiler season without some leaks. At least these aren’t as bad as MTG Aftermath, where the half the set got unofficially leaked in one video.

Of course, not all of these are from unofficial sources. It’s common to have a First Look for a new MTG set, and some additional cards got spoiled during MTG Con Minneapolis. That said, there have also been a series of unofficial leaks over the past week, primarily in regards to the MTG LOTR Commander lineup.

It looks like one of the new face Commanders to the LOTR preconstructed Commander decks have been leaked in their entirety. Alongside this are a few other new cards, but the lack of a full picture has obscured some details.

Of course, these leaks are unofficial, so there is a chance that they could be fake. Additionally, should you desire to avoid unofficial leaks and wait for spoiler season to kick off, consider this your spoiler warning. MTG LOTR’s spoiler season kicks off tomorrow, so you won’t have to wait long.

Either way, to whet your appetite for tomorrow’s feast, here are a few unofficially leaked LOTR cards.

A New MTG Gandalf Commander?

Leaked here is what appears to be the first look at one of the new Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth preconstructed Commander decks. According to Redditor Copernicus1981, who posted the leak, it was discovered on a sales site. All the cards seen here appear to be a part of the Elven Council deck.

Gandalf, Westward Voyager is a five-mana Legendary Avatar Wizard. This 5/5 has an ability that is incredibly typical of a Simic Commander: card draw and caring about big things.

“Whenever you cast a spell with mana value five or greater, each opponent reveals the top card of their library. If any of those cards share a card type with that spell, copy that spell, you may choose new targets for the copy, and each opponent draws a card. Otherwise, you draw a card.”

Gandalf is an interesting political Commander that cares a lot about your opponent’s library. At worst, the Commander turns your mana value five or greater spells into a cantrip, but, ideally, this card will be copying your opponent’s spells. Should an opponent be low on resources, the card draw that Gandalf provides them in exchange for copied spells could be mutually beneficial. This, ultimately, could allow your Commander to stick around for longer than it maybe should.

Even though Gandalf appears to be the face Commander of the new Elvin Council deck, this ability is not limited by tribal applications. Gandalf should be able to find a home in any Simic deck that wants to ramp to larger spells – like the popular Tatyova, Benthic Druid, or Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle.

The Elf Cards

There are some other spoilers detailed in the leak, but these are incredibly blurry, as is traditional for unofficial MTG leaks. With the name of the deck being Elven Council, however, it’s not tough to believe that there is an overarching tribal theme here.

We do not have Arwen’s mana value available in the above image, but a blurry image from the source of this leak suggests that it’s something like 1GG. The ability that Arwen offers, however, should be a slam-dunk in the Commander format. Elf decks will love this since going wide is the archetype’s first choice. The number of counters Arwen can provide to a creature-centric deck, even without additional support, has huge potential.

My guess is that the second card here creates Green Elf Creature Tokens equal to the number of attacking creatures and prevents combat damage dealt by Non-Elf Creatures? If this is true, depending on the mana value of this instant(?), it could be a new addition to every go-wide Commander deck in green.

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A New Voting Mechanic!

Finally, Cirdan the Shipwright has a new Council mechanic attached to it! Named Secret Council, this mechanic appears to work like Will of the Council, except players somehow need to vote in secret. This is an interesting spin on the Will of the Council mechanic since, traditionally, players need to vote in order. As a result, a previous player’s vote could affect subsequent ones.

Additionally, from the text we can see on Cirdan, it appears Secret Council, at least in this case, cares about players voting for one-another. We don’t know the rewards to these votes, but they might involve cheating permanents onto the battlefield!

Ultimately, it appears that this Commander deck, alongside the obvious Elf theme, also has a political theme. One of the most unique aspects of the Commander format cards like these promote interesting interactions that the entire table cares about, keeping players more engaged through long turn cycles. I hope that the return of the voting mechanic doesn’t stop with these two leaked cards.

The MTG LOTR Spoiler Season Starts Tomorrow!

We already have a good amount of cards revealed, and there aren’t a ton of cards revealed through unofficial leaks that remain a secret through official channels. The recent Commander reveals are the ones that have yet to be confirmed, but they all look like exciting new cards to help traverse new ground in the MTG space. Whether these end up being new cards or not, they do host some fascinating abilities to consider for the future.

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