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Rosie Cotton of South Lane

The Best Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Cards for Historic

A comprehensive review of the best cards in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth for the Historic format!

Hey everyone! With the release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth coming to MTG Arena soon, I’ve gone through the whole set and picked out any cards I think have potential to see play in Historic, going over their potential homes and applications. Let’s get into it!

Flowering of the White Tree

This is an incredibly good anthem effect for 2 mana if you’re running a deck largely made up of legendary creatures, and definitely feels like it could be worth building around in Historic since +2/+1 and ward 1 is a big deal. The two drawbacks of this card is that it’s legendary, and it costs double white. There is definitely some tension with it being legendary because for this card to be effective you need to build your deck around it which means that you would probably want to be running 4 copies in order to maximize your chances of finding the first copy, but drawing it multiples can be awkward – this can be mitigated fairly easily though by running looting effects like Ambergris, Citadel Agent or Raffine, Scheming Seer though.

Additionally I don’t think having Flowering of the White Tree as your only payoff will work particularly well since there will be a good number of games where you don’t draw it, or the opponent has an answer for it, at which point you’re just running a deck full of legendary creatures which doesn’t really cut it, so I think it’s important to build this with at least one other payoff or your deck becomes too reliant on Flowering of the White Tree.

In terms of the mana cost, you can very easily run it in a 2 color deck, and I think a three color deck should be viable too because of the number of good quality dual lands we have access to right now, but you may have to run Mana Confluence to enable it. Past that I think 4 or 5 colors is way too ambitious which is a shame because this could be great alongside Jodah, the Unifier as another payoff for running a lot of legendary creatures.

In terms of potential homes, the first one that comes to mind is Boros Legendary Aggro since red and white have a plethora of good aggressive legendary creatures like Kari Zev, Skyship Raider (which gets buffs from Flowering of the White Tree on itself and the token it creates), Isamaru, Hound of Konda, and potentially new creatures from this set such as Frodo, Sauron's Bane and Merry, Esquire of Rohan.

On top of that you can also run looting effects like Ambergris, Citadel Agent or Seasoned Pyromancer to refuel or pitch additional copies of Flowering of the White Tree, and you could run Embercleave as additional top end, all of which mitigates a lot of drawbacks of Flowering of the White Tree.

You could consider running it in Humans too since there are a lot of good quality legendary humans like Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Captain Eberhart (where the buff is a big deal because of double strike), and you could go into black for cards like Jirina, Dauntless General and General Kudro of Drannith.

Since Flowering of the White Tree also provides a buff for your non-legendary creatures you could still run Esper Sentinel and Thalia's Lieutenant which provides you with a second way to boost your board when you don’t have Flowering of the White Tree.

The last home I think this could fit well into is Esper Greasefang similar to lists we’ve seen in the past, which is a deck that could easily run a bunch of legendary creatures alongside Greasefang, Okiba Boss such as Skrelv, Defector Mite, Rona, Herald of Invasion, Raffine, Scheming Seer etc. as well as specialize cards like Klement, Novice Acolyte to provide you with a lot of discard outlets to pitch Parhelion II, or additional copies of Flowering of the White Tree, and the anthem would really power up your beatdown backup plan.

Another nice payoff for being a deck with a lot of legendary creatures is that you can also run Mox Amber as extra acceleration which is especially strong if you’re running a high density of legendary 1 drops (which you would probably want to to maximize Flowering of the White Tree), and you can pitch additional copies to your looting effects. Overall there’s a ton of different ways you can build around this card, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it birth some new archetypes.


This is a huge addition to the format since it essentially gives white access to Remand – the only other counterspell in white currently is Mana Tithe which is very rarely run and is much easier to play around, so giving white access to a somewhat hard counterspell is a very big deal.

I think there’s potentially an argument to running this in Azorius Control since 2 mana counterspells are very important there, and recently I’ve been building the deck in a more tempo-oriented way (choosing cards like Soul Partition and Divine Purge over more permanent answers) in order to be efficient and buy time, so this could fit nicely into that gameplan, although we recently got Change the Equation which is very well positioned right now, so it’ll be hard to fit Reprieve in alongside Archmage's Charm as well.

Having said that, I think this will be a bigger deal for the sideboard of white decks that don’t also have access to blue in order to protect their boardstate or combo. For example, the artifact-based decks have basically been forced into blue white recently because hate cards like Divine Purge and Brotherhood's End are so backbreaking that you need to have access to counterspells like Metallic Rebuke post-sideboard to fight on the stack, or you risk losing your whole board. Now with Reprieve, a deck like that no longer needs to be splashing blue in order to get this effect, and the additional draw is great at digging for ways to force lethal through while the opponent’s shields or down.

It’s also important to note that Reprieve doesn’t technically counter the spell so it can be used to stop cards like Supreme Verdict which is likely to be very relevant. Overall I think this is a card that could maybe see play in control, but will be more important in the sideboard of white decks that don’t have access to blue, that want to protect their boarstate from sweepers, or protect their combo.

Rosie Cotton of South Lane

This is a big deal in Historic because it works as a 2 card combo alongside Scurry Oak, allowing you to make infinite 1/1 tokens and put infinite +1/+1 counters on Scurry Oak. The way this works is if you have a Scurry Oak in play and cast Rosie Cotton of South Lane, you create a food token which triggers Rosie Cotton of South Lane to put a +1/+1 counter on Scurry Oak, which then creates a 1/1 token, which triggers Rosie Cotton of South Lane to put another +1/+1 counter on Scurry Oak, and then you can repeat as many times as you want to build up a huge board.

The first home most people probably think of for this combo is Helioak since that’s a deck that’s already running Scurry Oak and Collected Company (which can hit both combo pieces), however I’m not sure it really fits in that deck very well. The awkward thing about Helioak has always been that Scurry Oak doesn’t synergize particularly well with the rest of the deck when you don’t have Heliod, Sun-Crowned, and the same is true of Rosie Cotton of South Lane – you’re just adding another card to the deck that essentially does nothing when you don’t have the other combo piece, and will lead to an increase in awkward draws where you have lifegain enablers or Voice of the Blessed alongside a Scurry Oak or Rosie Cotton of South Lane that’s doing nothing.

On top of that, the interactive midrange decks are very popular right now which are very good at picking apart your synergies with discard spells and spot removal so this will likely lead to more spots where you’re stranded with combo pieces on their own which don’t do much. One way you could potentially get this combo to work in Heliaok would be to run Grizzled Huntmaster which is a card I’ve tried in the archetype in the past and it did feel good, but it often slowed your ability to combo down slightly due to needing to tutor pieces first. If you do run Grizzled Huntmaster you could run a single copy of Rosie Cotton of South Lane in the sideboard which you can tutor for when you have a Scurry Oak, but won’t cause awkward draws since it’s not in the maindeck.

Outside of Helioak there are a number of other shells you could run this combo in – for example a +1/+1 counter synergy deck, or a food synergy deck with Trail of Crumbs. One home I’m excited to try this in is alongside the Animation Module combo – this is a combo that uses Yotian Dissident, Animation Module, and Ashnod's Altar to make infinite tokens and infinite +1/+1 counters, and Rosie Cotton of South Lane essentially acts as additional redundancy for Yotian Dissident.

In order to enable Yotian Dissident and Rosie Cotton of South Lane without the combo you could consider running the food package to get triggers when you’re creating food tokens with A-Cauldron Familiar + Witch's Oven, and you could also add the new Samwise Gamgee (that I’ll get to later) in order to run three different combos in the same deck! That might be a little too lost in the sauce and it’ll be hard to fit everything in, but I’m excited to try it out either way.

Orcish Bowmasters

This is a really strong card that does a lot for 2 mana. We’ve seen 2 drops that make two seperate bodies be playable in sacrifice decks in the past, and this does that with flash that also pings any target when it enters play so it can kill Llanowar Elves or A-Dragon's Rage Channeler which is already great and would be playable in certain decks. However it also triggers every time the opponent draws extra cards outside of their draw step on top of that, which means that you can flash this in in response to a Seasoned Pyromancer for example and make a 1/1 and a 3/3 and ping 3 damage anywhere which is insane for 2 mana.

It then stays live for the rest of the game so if the opponent loots with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker or draws with a Kor Spiritdancer, you make your orc army bigger and get to ping any target which will be really punishing against a deck like Auras or Phoenix. Initially I thought this card would be great in sacrifice decks, or in the sideboard against decks that draw a lot as part of their gameplan, but the more I think about it the more I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if this saw play in the maindeck of a deck like Rakdos Midrange because it’s really good on rate. Either way, I’m very excited to play with this one and I definitely expect it to see play.

Delighted Halfling

Getting a new 1 mana dork is always a big deal and this one already slots directly into 2 pre-existing decks. Mono Green Devotion has recently started running Avacyn's Pilgrim as an additional 1 mana dork to more consistently enable fast starts (especially alongside Leyline of Abundance), and this is basically a strict upgrade over Avacyn's Pilgrim there since colorless is as useful as white mana in that deck, and this also makes your Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner and Karn, the Great Creator uncounterable which is really important against control.

Additionally it can be used to cast Polukranos Reborn on turn 2 and make it uncounterable which is a big deal since Avacyn's Pilgrim was unable to do that without Leyline of Abundance, and Polukranos Reborn is potentially the most appealing triple green 3 drop since it really improves your otherwise difficult matchup against Izzet Wizards.

Another archetype that might be interested in this is Yawgmoth combo in order to make your Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler uncounterable which is a big deal since control has felt one of the most difficult matchups for that deck. It may make casting some of your non-legendary spells slightly more difficult, but it’s definitely worth testing there for sure.

Flame of Anor

This is a great ‘charm’ style effect that I definitely expect to see play in Izzet Wizards, and potentially Izzet Control too. All 3 modes are very relevant, and we’ve seen from Archmage's Charm that having a floor of draw 2 is great and will make it useful in basically any situation. Being able to destroy an artifact will be relevant in a lot of matchups, and the ability to deal 5 to any creature is a big deal since it allows you to kill threats that red decks struggle to normally deal with like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

Cleanly killing Sheoldred, the Apocalypse when you don’t have access to black or white is always something I’ve struggled with in the past – there are a variety of deal 5s in red but they’re all 3 mana (or card disadvantage in the case of Lightning Axe), which makes them all very narrow whereas this is very flexible and has the upside of being able to kill Sheoldred, the Apocalypse when you need, which makes me think it has a chance to see play in Izzet control decks like Creativity, even if you’re not running any wizards.

When you are running wizards though this becomes incredibly strong, so I definitely expect this to see play in Izzet Wizards in some numbers – being 3 mana is a bit awkward in an otherwise very cheap deck so I’m not sure you’d want more than a couple of copies in the maindeck, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it’s worth increasing the land count slightly to allow you to run more copies. The other great thing about this in Izzet Wizards is that you can cast it from the graveyard with Dreadhorde Arcanist if it’s buffed by A-Symmetry Sage or Reckless Charge which is incredibly powerful.

Samwise Gamgee

This is a generically strong card in a food deck, but also enables a new combo alongside A-Cauldron Familiar and a free sacrifice outlet like Woe Strider. The way this works is if you have Samwise Gamgee and Woe Strider in play, you can cast A-Cauldron Familiar which triggers Samwise Gamgee to make a food, then sacricice the A-Cauldron Familiar to Woe Strider, then sacrifice the food to bring back the A-Cauldron Familiar draining the opponent for 1 which also triggers Samwise Gamgee to make a food etc. enabling you to drain the opponent out for infinite damage.

This is really nice because all parts of this combo are individually powerful (A-Cauldron Familiar less so since the nerf but I still think the A-Cauldron Familiar, Witch's Oven, and Trail of Crumbs package is strong), and so you could run a sacrifice food deck that can also assemble an infinite combo. This is a big deal because the biggest weakness of sacrifice decks in the past was that they usually take a long time to close out the game which made them naturally weak to both combo and control, so having a combo finish goes a long way to mitigate that weakness.

There are a number of potential homes for this combo – you could run it in a low to the ground food deck with the food package, Fatal Push, Deadly Dispute, Woe Strider etc. (you can also potentially run Yawgmoth, Thran Physician as your free sacrifice outlet since the lifegain from A-Cauldron Familiar offsets the life loss from Yawgmoth, Thran Physician). You could also run Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler alongside Fiend Artisan as a way to tutor for the combo, or Priest of Forgotten Gods which works very well with Orcish Bowmasters.

Additionally you could combine it with other combos like Animation Module as I described above. Overall I’m really excited to try this out, there’s a chance that the nerf to A-Cauldron Familiar might make the food package a little too weak, but we’re getting a bunch of extra food support in this set so it also wouldn’t surprise me if we see the return of Gilded Goose and friends to Historic again because of this combo.

Spiteful Banditry

This is very reminiscent of A-The Meathook Massacre in red, but instead of draining the opponent you get treasures instead which is a very interesting bonus. We’ve seen A-The Meathook Massacre be very strong in the past so I wouldn’t be surprised if this sees play too, especially considering the treasure immediately gives you some mana back, and is a very nice upside if you’re also running something like Indomitable Creativity.

Having said that you ideally need to be able to ramp into this for it to be fast enough to stabilize you against some aggro decks which not many red decks can do, and Brotherhood's End is much more efficient, and has the upside of being great against artifact decks as well so I’m not sure this will see play over Brotherhood's End while most creatures in the format are relatively small. Either way I definitely have this card on my radar going forwards, and it’s a nice option to have access to in red.

Dawn of a New Age

This seems like a really interesting sideboard option for Lurrus of the Dream-Den aggro decks in slower, more interactive grindy matchups like Rakdos Midrange and control. For this to be effective you do need to be running a very low to the ground aggro deck so you can cast multiple creatures in the first few turns, then cast this with multiple hope counters on in order to produce repeated card advantage to enable you to play a longer game in the face of interaction.

Additionally the main reason I’m excited for this in Lurrus of the Dream-Den aggro decks is that once you run out of hope counters it will go to the graveyard which then allows you to cast it again with Lurrus of the Dream-Den for more card advantage later in the game which is very strong against the slower interactive decks. For those reasons I think the most natural home for this would be Orzhov Humans which is a deck that can sometimes struggle against Rakdos and Jund Midrange because of their efficient removal, and this could give you a way to go long against them.

The other main Lurrus of the Dream-Den aggro deck right now is artifact aggro which I’m not sure this fits as cleanly into since it doesn’t run as many cheap creatures which means you get less value off Dawn of a New Age, and I think both Divine Purge and Brotherhood's End are a lot more punishing so you’d probably prefer options such as Invasion of Gobakhan, Metallic Rebuke, or Reprieve there instead to defend against mass artifact removal.

Forge Anew

This is a very generically strong card but I’m not sure it has a good immediate home in Historic right now. The most natural home for this would be in Hammertime since that deck is always on the lookout for equip cost reducers that are better than Kemba, Kha Enduring for extra redundancy. This is pretty sweet because it not only allows you to rebuy Colossus Hammer, Belt of Giant Strength or The Reality Chip from the graveyard, but it also allows you to equip it for free once per turn.

My main issue with this card however is that Lurrus of the Dream-Den is an important part of that deck, and I’m not sure Forge Anew is worth giving up Lurrus of the Dream-Den to run, especially because I doubt I would want to run more than 2 copies when Sigarda's Aid and Kemba's Outfitter are generally better because they’re a lot cheaper. If there was another good reason to want to run cards that cost 3 or more then it’d definitely be a consideration, but right now I don’t think it’s worth giving up Lurrus of the Dream-Den for.

Outside of Hammertime, this is one that I’m keeping at the back of my mind going forwards in case a very powerful and expensive equipment is printed, because you could pair this with Goblin Engineer to combo in a similar way to Mardu Greasefang – you can cast Goblin Engineer on turn 2 pitching the expensive equipment, then cast Forge Anew on turn 3 to reanimate it and equip for free.

Stern Scolding

This is a really interesting sideboard counterspell that’s by far the most efficient counter to cheap creatures we have access to in blue. It is very narrow so I don’t think you’d want this in the maindeck unless there’s a very specific metagame, but this is definitely a consideration for blue sideboards if you want to have a cheap answer for early creatures.

This is a fair bit weaker going second compared to something like Fatal Push, but if you’re not running black it’s hard to have 1 mana instant speed removal that’s capable of interacting in the first turn, and with a lot of Azorius Control decks mainly running blue lands to enable Archmage's Charm, this will be much easier to hold up on turn 1 than something like Fragment Reality. On top of that, it can also trade up with a good number of 2 drops, and can even counter a 4 drop like Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.

How good this is will very much depend on the metagame and the most popular played creatures, but I can definitely see this one being a big deal in the sideboard of blue decks given the right metagame.

Frodo, Determined Hero

I’m mainly interested in this one for the Boros Thopterblade deck as extra redundancy for a creature which you can equip swords on for free alongside Fervent Champion. This would also be an upgrade to Hammertime in place of Kemba, Kha Enduring if it said mana value 1 to 3, but not being able to equip Colossus Hammer is definitely a dealbreaker there unfortunately. In Thopterblade Fervent Champion is one of the most important cards in the deck, so having more redundancy makes assembling your synergies easier, and could even mean you could run a few more equipment to focus on those synergies some more.

Aragorn, the Uniter

This is a generically powerful card that I would skeptical of in a vacuum because of its mana cost, and it doesn’t provide any immediate value so is very vulnerable to interaction, but I think it could be a good addition to 5 color Jodah, the Unifier humans. If you’re unfamiliar with this deck it’s essentially a 5 color deck full of legendary humans which means you can run 4 Secluded Courtyard and 4 Unclaimed Territory alongside 4 Plaza of Heroes and 4 Mana Confluence to make the 5 color manabase work.

This seems like a nice addition there because you run a lot of multicolored creatures and so playing this, and then something like Lagrella, the Magpie will get you three triggers off Aragorn, the Uniter which is incredibly strong. You’re also much more likely to be able to untap with Aragorn, the Uniter because you can run Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard, Jirina, Dauntless General, and even General's Enforcer if you wanted to, as ways to protect Aragorn, the Uniter from removal.

The one downside of running this card is that it would mean you can’t use Crucias, Titan of the Waves to consistently tutor for Jodah, the Unifier by discarding a 3 drop and choosing ambitious which could mean it’s not worth running, but it’s definitely worth testing either way.

Horn of the Mark

This is another 2 mana card advantage spell for a fast aggressive deck that seems strong if you can consistently enable it in the early game. I think I’d only be interested in running this in a deck with a high density of cheap creatures, especially ones with evasion so the first home that came to mind is artifact aggro, which is a deck looking to run a lot of cheap flying creatures like Vault Skirge and Hope of Ghirapur to enable Innovative Metatect, as well as Ornithopter, so this could be nice in low numbers as another way to produce card advantage.

You could potentially run this in place of Ingenious Smith if you wanted to focus on flying creatures, or in addition since Ingenious Smith can find it. Having said that, it being an artifact does mean that it’s also vulnerable to Divine Purge and Brotherhood's End, and it’s more effective in grindy matchups so may be better suited as a sideboard card, in which case you would prefer cards that can stop mass artifact removal like Metallic Rebuke or Reprieve instead. Having said that, I could definitely see a build running more cheap flying artifact creatures to work with both this and Innovative Metatect so I’ll definitely be testing it out to see how it does.

Outside of artifact aggro, the only other decks that are capable of swarming the battlefield quickly enough for this to be consistent are convoke and Humans, both of which I’m less excited about because they don’t run creatures with evasion so your attacks can get stonewalled by blockers, the Lurrus of the Dream-Den would probably prefer Dawn of a New Age, and the bigger builds of Humans already have better options for card advantage like Inquisitor Captain and Collected Company.

Birthday Escape & Ranger's Firebrand

These next two I’m not 100% sure on but I think they’re an interesting idea to try out in Izzet Wizards since making Dreadhorde Arcanist and Soul-Scar Mage difficult to block could be a big deal. The first stage of the The Ring tempts you is you pick a creature in play and it becomes legendary, and can’t be blocked by creatures with greater power.

This is great to put on Dreadhorde Arcanist because it means you can freely attack with it to cast a spell from the graveyard even if the opponent has bigger blockers in play, and it’s potentially useful on Soul-Scar Mage, and even A-Symmetry Sage or Balmor, Battlemage Captain because they’re all creatures with low starting power, so you can make them your ring-bearer, attack, and then cast instants after blocks to boost their power (although this is probably less impactful on A-Symmetry Sage and Balmor, Battlemage Captain because they already have flying).

The obvious big downside of these cards compared to Consider or Play With Fire is that they’re sorcery speed, and you get less card selection compared to those cards, plus wizards can usually craft boardstates where they have good attacks anyway, so I’m not sure these are better than their instant-speed counterparts, but it seems worth trying for sure.

Minas Tirith

We’re getting a number of new lands in this set and this seems like the most playable of the bunch. It does require you to be running a lot of legendary creatures, and probably can’t be run as more than a 1 of, but if you can consistently enable this to enter untapped, and be attacking in the early game, then being able to draw for 3 mana makes for a very strong utility land. I don’t think there are any current Historic decks that this can slot into, but any 1 or 2 color Flowering of the White Tree deck should want to run this as a 1 of, and you may even be able to fit this into a 3 color version if your third color is a light splash.

Sauron's Ransom

This card provides a lot of value if you’re running a deck with graveyard synergies since it essentially draws you two, fills up your graveyard and gives you the bonus of The Ring tempts you. My main concern with this card though is that not many decks can afford to spend their three drop slot purely on card advantage – the main homes I could see this being the case are control (although you’d need to have graveyard synergies for this to be worth it over something like Archmage's Charm, and you probably wouldn’t get the benefit of The Ring either), or a graveyard-based combo deck. Overall this seems like a good card on rate if you’re after this effect but it will only fit into very specific decks that can afford to spend their turn 3 not impacting the board.

Honorable Mentions

Éowyn, Fearless Knight

The effect on this is quite narrow but if you’re in a matchup where the opponent is casting big creatures like against reanimator or Mono Green Devotion then the exile ability is incredibly strong, and you’re left with a strong threat too. Because it’s quite narrow I imagine this will see sideboard play at best but it’s very strong if you can consistently exile something with it.

Mount Doom

This is probably the only other land I can see making it in Historic – it being legendary means that you won’t want more than 1, and the upsides are so marginal that you would either want it in a deck where your life total doesn’t matter or you actively want to lower it like a Death's Shadow deck, or you’re running some kind of Rakdos burn deck where the extra damage gives you further reach. The board sweep ability is nice upside but probably won’t come up often enough to justify always losing life off this land unless that’s beneficial or negligable in your deck.

The One Ring

This is a potential consideration in Karn, the Great Creator wishboards. It’s somewhat reminiscent of The Stasis Coffin which saw basically no play, but that was more expensive to use in total, and didn’t provide you any additional benefit, whereas The One Ring provides you with protection for a single turn (so buys you time if you’re facing lethal), and then provides card advantage to help you draw towards an out. Space in the wishboard is very contested so this might not make the cut but I could see it being useful in a deck like Mono Green Devotion.

Pippin, Guard of the Citadel

This is a decent 2 drop that I’d be much higher on if it were a human because it’d be another great protective piece in Wx Humans or Jodah, the Unifier decks. Having said that we do have a high density of good soldiers in Historic right now so this could be another reason to move from Humans to Soldiers, and seems like a nice option if you want to run Flowering of the White Tree in UWx.

Stone of Erech

This is an interesting hatepiece that I don’t think will see play right now but is worth bearing in mind in future. It costing 2 to activate makes it a lot worse as pure graveyard hate than Soul-Guide Lantern or Unlicensed Hearse, but if the passive is relevant and more decks like Yawgmoth, Thran Physician or Samwise Gamgee combo emerge that are looking to loop creatures from the graveyard repeatedly then this seems like a great option to have.

Boromir, Warden of the Tower

This is an interesting hate card that I don’t think will see play immediately but is another one to bear in mind going forwards, since I don’t think enough decks are utilizing free spells outside of Kethis Combo for the passive to be relevant. The indestructible ability is nice but with the passive being largely irrelevant, I don’t see why you’d play this over Selfless Spirit, or Jirina, Dauntless General. If decks looking to abuse free spells become more popular in future then I expect this to become much more useful.

Moria Marauder

This is a cool addition to the Goblins tribe but it doesn’t really fit into any of the pre-existing Goblins shells. You’d want to run a lot of lord effects for this card to be effective so the best home would probably be the low to the ground Rakdos build which runs 8 lords, but I’m not sure this is better than Battle Cry Goblin, Rundvelt Hordemaster, or Munitions Expert so it might not make the cut there. I have recently been experimenting with the idea of running Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in Goblins though as a way to ramp into Muxus, Goblin Grandee and use excess mana with Battle Cry Goblin and Conspicuous Snoop, and we now have 3 decent double pip 2 drops alongside Wily Goblin and Conspicuous Snoop to enable that, so that could be another potential home for the card.

Scroll of Isildur

This is a very strong card if stealing artifacts is relevant – sadly that isn’t really the case right now but if that changes then this is a really good sideboard card on rate. Chapter 2 and 3 are reasonably strong as well but for this to be playable in Historic you really need chapter 1 to have a big impact.

Gandalf's Sanction

This is an interesting card because it has the potential to be a big finisher in a spellslinger deck – basically all previous versions of this such as Beacon Bolt only hit creatures or planeswalkers, whereas this one dealing excess damage to the opponent could work as a way to deal huge amounts of damage to the opponent if you target their creature. I don’t think there’s a current deck this fits into, and it is weak to a number of things such as graveyard hate, creatureless decks, or the opponent killing their own creature in response, but the ceiling on this card felt high enough that it was worth highlighting.


So those are the cards I expect to have an impact in Historic, and overall I’m really excited to get my hands on these and try out some new ideas. There’s a really nice mix of new upgrades for existing archetypes, cards that could birth entirely new decks, sideboard tech, and cards that are worth bearing in mind for the future, so this is one of the sets I’m most excited for in recent memory. I should hopefully have some new decks to cover with some of these cards once they drop so hold tight for that, and thanks a lot for reading!

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Alth is an MTG Arena grinder who has been #1 on the ladder multiple times and is always looking to bring new ideas and archetypes to the format and push them to the top spots on the ladder. You can follow him on Twitter and YouTube.

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