20, Jun, 23

Unique LOTR Card Interaction Makes Commander Staple Even Better!

Article at a Glance

The Lord of the Rings MTG set presented the community with a lot of cool, new cards to play with. With these cards also came a lot of new card interactions to keep track of. From new infinite combos to unintuitive lines of play, there’s plenty of unique card interactions that arose from the new set. Keeping track of these is important, and today we are going over some of the more interesting interactions that Lord of the Rings cards have presented us with in various formats so far. Without further ado, let’s take a look.

Forge Anew and Kaldra Compleat

Forge Anew
Kaldra Compleat

Our first interesting interaction involves the cards Forge Anew and Kaldra Compleat. With some MTG players beginning to utilize Forge Anew in Modern Hammer Time decks, it’s essential to know how these cards work together. Obviously, if you have a Kaldra Compleat, Forge Anew, and a Creature in play in play, you have a powerful board state and can equip the Kaldra Compleat during combat for an extra five points of damage. However, with two Creatures in play instead, you can get an additional ten damage from the Equipment instead.

First, as long as Kaldra Compleat is equipped to a Creature, that Creature will deal an additional five points of damage. Because Kaldra Compleat gives a Creature First Strike, the damage doesn’t necessarily end there. After First Strike damage is dealt, assuming you have another attacking Creature without First Strike, you can then use Forge Anew’s abilities to Equip Kaldra Compleat at Instant speed to that attacking Creature and deal another additional five points of damage. Even though the Creature gains First Strike, it can still deal normal damage if First Strike damage has already been dealt! This is a valuable way to present an even faster clock than your opponent may realize.

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Gandalf the White and Isochron Scepter

Gandalf the White
Isochron Scepter

Isochron Scepter has been a great EDH staple for a long time. It’s super easy to abuse with cards like Dramatic Reversal. Well, now we have another card that works super well with Scepter in a relatively unintuitive way. When Scepter enters the battlefield, you may exile a cheap instant or sorcery to its Imprint ability. Then you can pay two mana and tap it to copy the exiled card and cast it for free. Gandalf the White specifically allows enters-the-battlefield effects from Artifacts to trigger an additional time.

Interestingly, this means that when you cast Scepter, you can Imprint two cards, not just one. What’s cool is that, even though Scepter says you may copy “the exiled card,” you can actually cast both of the cards for free when you activate Scepter. This is because the rules state that if there are a pair of linked abilities, like in the case of Scepter’s Imprint and activated abilities, the activated ability will utilize all the exiled cards. This is a nice twist to make Scepter even more powerful.

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Orcish Bowmasters and Various “Wheel” Effects

Orcish Bowmasters

Orcish Bowmasters is a potent card. A big part of the reason why is that it triggers whenever the opponent draws a card besides the first card in their draw steps. Most cards that have a similar effect trigger off either the second card drawn or triggers only once if the opponent cast a spell that draws them multiple cards, like Brainstorm. While it may seem obvious, this is an important distinction to know with how popular Bowmasters is in Legacy and EDH.

With this in mind, Bowmasters is excellent against “Wheel” effects like Wheel of Fortune, which create a large number of triggers. Interestingly though, this card does not work favorably against Day’s Undoing. What is largely considered a downside, the “end the turn” clause on Day’s Undoing actually removes Bowmasters’ triggers from the stack, and they never resolve. This may seem more intuitive than the other interactions mentioned thus far, but given Bowmasters’ popularity, it’s worth mentioning.

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More Combos?

Boromir, Warden of the Tower
Ratadrabik of Urborg

As it turns out, Rosie Cotton of South Lane and Scurry Oak aren’t the only two cards that can combo with each other on MTG Arena. Boromir and Ratadrabik actually create an infinite loop that, when paired with a card like Blood Artist, can kill the opponent outright. First, you sacrifice Boromir to its own ability. This causes Ratadrabik’s ability to trigger, which creates a non-legendary token copy of Boromir. However, this will occur before Boromir’s ability that causes the Ring to tempt you resolves. Therefore, you can choose Boromir to be your ring-bearer. It then becomes legendary, and you can repeat this process over and over.

Unlike Rosie and Scurry Oak, this combo does require a third piece to matter. This piece is relatively flexible, though, as Boromir and Ratadrabik can create infinite enters-the-battlefield or leaves-the-battlefield effects, infinite death triggers, or infinite sacrifice triggers. While this combo may not be super competitive, it’s a cool thing to brew around on Arena or at your EDH table. There are plenty of cool card interactions that Lord of the Rings gave us, so be on the lookout for these interactions and more in the future.

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