For Magic: The Gathering players looking to journey to the lands of Middle-earth, you have four Commander decks to choose from, each one representing a different region and way of life. Elves, Hobbits, Humans, and the legions of Mordor are all engaged in a battle for the fate of the world.

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Each Commander deck comes equipped with tons of brand-new cards as well as some high-value reprints, all of which have new artwork featuring the peoples and lands of The Lord of the Rings. While the decks are all great additions to any player’s collection, there are those that excel in combat, finding themselves significantly stronger than their counterparts.



4 Elven Council

Image of the Galadriel, Elven-Queen card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Axel Sauerwald

Often found leading the charge of many major events in Middle-earth, the immortal Elves find themselves once again on the battlefield against the forces of evil. With their expert diplomacy and ability to see far into the uncertain future, the Elven Council deck brings together even your opponents to sway the enemy forces in your favor.

Much of the deck is built around cards that have your opponents vote for their future. Many of the major spells will cause votes to occur when they enter the battlefield or at the start of combat. Galadriel, Elven-Queen and Elrond of the White Council are two major legendary creatures that work to keep you on the winning side of your votes, giving your creatures buffs or even stealing creatures from your opponents once voting has ended.

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The other half of the deck is primarily made up of Elf synergy cards, though there are a few odd choices thrown in that make the whole deck feel a little disjointed. Elf deck staples like Elvish Archdruid, Elvish Warmaster, and Overwhelming Stampede are great for turning your Elves into mana with a major payoff at the end. There are several high-power spells in the deck too, like Heroic Intervention and Asceticism to keep your creatures safe, and Genesis Wave to turn your mana into even more creatures.

3 The Hosts Of Mordor

 Image of the Sauron, Lord of the Rings card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Alex Brock

Pouring out from the Black Gates comes all the Orcs, Goblins, and other evils that Sauron and The Hosts of Mordor have at their command. This red, blue, and black deck combines massive creatures with powerful spells to weaken your opponents and overwhelm them with superior might.

The primary commander for the deck, Sauron, Lord of the Rings, costs a hefty eight mana to cast, but with it comes a mighty cast trigger that can turn the tide of the game at later turns. Casting Sauron lets you amass Orcs 5, either making a strong Orc creature token or strengthening an existing token if you already have one. Then, you mill yourself five cards and reanimate a creature from your graveyard to play.

While you are biding your time until you can cast your commander, there are plenty of other spells to be casting. Cavern-Hoard Dragon might not be a new Dockside Extortionist but is a great follow-up to the card and a huge threat on its own. Then, to reward you for all your spell casting, Lord of the Nazgûl turns all your instants and sorceries into 3/3 Wraith creatures, that have the chance to become 9/9s once you have nine of them. Not only is it very strong and extremely flavorful, but has the potential to win games on its own.

2 Riders Of Rohan

Image of the Eowyn, Shieldmaiden card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Craig Elliott

Taking their rightful place as inheritors of Middle-earth are the Humans, finally united in a common cause. This red, white, and blue deck works hard to keep you crowned as the monarch while flooding the board with as many humans as they can muster.

Between the two commanders, Eowyn, Shieldmaiden and Aragorn, King of Gondor, you have two great ways to generate tons of card advantage and board presence. Eowyn creates two 2/2 Human Knight tokens with both trample and haste if you had a Human come into play before your combat step each turn, continuously refilling your board with a growing army. Aragorn, on the other hand, grants you the monarch status when he enters the battlefield, and as the supreme commander of Humans, prevents your opponents from being able to block while you’re the monarch.

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The rest of the deck is almost entirely Human-based, with synergistic reprints in Zealous Conscripts, Combat Celebrant, and Door of Destinies to power up your Humans to inconceivable power. Once your Humans are all in play, you can clear the battlefield with Taunt from the Ramparts, goading all your opponent’s creatures and preventing them from being able to block, opening the way for your creatures to sweep through.

1 Food And Fellowship

Image of the Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit and Sam, Loyal Attendant card in Magic: The Gathering, with art by Axel Sauerwald and Campbell White

The most powerful of the four decks comes from the most unlikely creatures imaginable, the Hobbit-based Food and Fellowship. This green, white, and black deck focuses on incredibly synergistic cards between Food tokens, life gain, and excellent creatures and spells.

With access to green mana, you get a great package of ramp spells and creatures like Birds of Paradise, Gilded Goose, and Farseek, which are considerably better than most typical preconstructed decks. With all that mana, you can commit to some powerful spells, like Farmer Cotton, which creates Food and 1/1 Hobbit tokens equal to the amount of mana you spend on the X cost of its casting cost. From there you can follow up with a Pippin, Warden of Isengard, and its ability to sacrifice four Food tokens to give all your other creatures +3/+3 and haste to stand up against your foes.

Since you have two partner commanders, Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit and Sam, Loyal Attendant, there are plenty of opportunities to turn your lifegain into game-winning strategies. The flashiest one is through Bilbo, Birthday Celebrant, who comes with the extremely flavorful ability to invite all the creatures in your deck to the battlefield, but only if you have 111 or more life.

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