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Galadriel of Lothlórien

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth Limited Set Review: Multicolor Cards Part 2

J2SJosh reviews and rates the remaining multicolor cards in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth cards for limited!

Hey everyone! The shadows out of Mordor have been growing longer and it is time for us to rise up to destroy the evil forces of Sauron. Well, I guess we could also be playing for the other team as well, but either way we’re heading into Middle Earth for a fabulous adventure.

As a long time lover of Lord of the Rings, I am extremely excited to spend a couple months drafting this set. I am slightly less excited about how much my wife is going to spend on boxes of them, but it makes her happy so it’s all good.

Now let’s start checking out how these cards are going to play out in limited.

Here’s the usual grading scale:

Elrond, Master of Healing

Rating: 4.0/5

The “Master of Healing” handing out +1+1 counters sounds suspiciously like some of those late 90s doctors with a lot of Baseball clients.  Which means that your scry deck will be hitting a lot of home runs after Elrond juices them up.

It also disincentivizes your opponent from targeting your buffed creatures, but they will usually be pointing any hard removal right at Elrond as he screams “It’s just flaxseed oil”.

Eowyn, Fearless Knight

Rating: 3.5/5

This card is absolutely bonkers if you manage to hit something with the ETB. It’s a straight up exile, see you later, do not pass go type of removal instead of the “until this leaves the battlefield” that we are used to.

While you would optimally love to hit the Witch-king of Angmar for the ultimate flavor win, it also can hit some other chonkers. While there aren’t tons of targets she can hit, you REALLY want to kill the ones she can.

Faramir, Prince of Ithilien

Rating: 4.0/5

Even if they remove this on their turn, you will still get the trigger as long as you choose your opponent at your last end step. That means that as long as you play around them killing it at instant speed, you will end up getting some value out of it.

You should be pretty happy with either outcome, either they don’t attack and you get a card or you get three 1/1s.  Pretty good deal that you get every turn until they deal with this.

Flame of Anor

Rating: 3.5/5

It’s not out of the realm of possibility to have a wizard out with Gandalf, Friend of the Shire, Saruman the White, and Gandalf the Grey in these colors. Two of them are even uncommon so it’ll probably happen more often than you would think.

Even choosing only one mode is pretty good on this with the five damage at instant speed going to be the chosen mode 95% of the time in limited. Obviously tacking on two free cards is a huge deal so bump this up a bit if you have the possibility of that happening.

While artifact removal isn’t quite worth main boarding in LTR, having it as a no cost back up plan is a nice bonus.

Friendly Rivalry

Rating: 3.0/5

A two mana instant speed bite spell is really good even if it requires two colors. The potential to be able to use two creatures is a great upside.

If you only have one legendary creature, make sure you target your non-legendary first.

Frodo Baggins

Rating: 3.5/5

Frodo is a great way to kick off the game because you are getting a good ring bearer with a temptation all in one package for only two mana. It will be annoying to block because of the skulk and the ring will quickly tick up off of any of your other legendaries.

The forced to block is a lot more relevant than you would think whether it is forcing 1/1s to chump or even wrecking them with pump spells.  

Galadriel of Lothlorien

Rating: 4.0/5

If you haven’t seen this in action yet, it’s like gold fishing your deck while your poor opponent sits there. By the time they get to go, you added a pile of extra lands to the battlefield for doing the things you were going to do anyway.  

You get paid off for playing either scry or temptation cards making cheap cards like Birthday Escapeor Elven Farsight premium.

Gandalf the Grey

Rating: 3.0/5

Typically the most popular thing to do first is going to be using this to copy a removal or card draw spell. Once the poor old guy has finally run out of juice, you can use his ability to put himself on top to start all over again.   

My main knock is that it is a 3/4 for five, those are some sad stats.

Gandalf’s Sanction

Rating: 3.0/5

It’s Gandalf’s Zenith Flare! Outside of being a decent removal spell, late in the game you can just send ten upside the face after killing a 1/1.

This is going to be a don’t trust the stats cards from people putting it in the wrong deck. You should be playing the “Oops All Spells” deck to maximize this. It can be pretty medium every where else though so hopefully you can scoop these up if they are opened.

Gimli, Mournful Avenger

Rating: 2.0/5

That is a lot of words to say that it grows when your other creatures die. It is face up so to get some real value, you have to do something sneaky like keep this alive with a combat trick as multiple of your other creatures are trading. Then it becomes indestructible and fights something as well. Some potential, but not something to take early.

Gwaihir the Windlord

Rating: 3.0/5

Preferably you are drawing your second card off of your ring bearer attacking so that you can drop a four mana Serra Angel. If you miss out on magical Christmas land, you’re stuck with this as a six drop which is really not where you want to be, but it’s not as terrible as expected considering that it is huge for a flyer in LTR.

There are actually five other birds in the set so the vigilance ability is more than flavor text.

King of the Oathbreakers

Rating: 4.0/5

Good luck trying to kill this. It even protects your other spirits and by that I mean Soldier of the Grey Host and the tokens this makes. Sure, it dies to a sweeper, but dodges almost everything else.

If they ignore it, it is still a Phantom Monster crashing in every turn. The lack of good flying creatures means that will still be pretty good if left to its own devices. Don’t forget that you can target it yourself if you want to do something like convert a pump spell into a 1/1 flyer.

Legolas, Counter of Kills

Rating: 1.5/5

Understatted off the bat, but can be decent if there is a lot of trading going on. It has been pretty underwhelming so far as the scry deck wants much different payoffs than untapping this.  

Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff

Rating: 3.0/5

This can go off if you drop this early, but it’s not great in the end game. You might not even want treasures then and you’re taking a point of damage every time it triggers.

It can be amazing with Mirkwood Bats or The Balrog, Durin's Bane though.

Mauhur, Uruk-hai Captain

Rating: 3.5/5

Rakdos loves the 2/2 menace as a solid two drop regardless of the rest of the text. Curving this into Dunland Crebain is pretty sweet and it can get bananas with March from the Black Gate.  

Merry, Esquire of Rohan

Rating: 3.0/5

A hasty bear is fine, but this can end up being so much more. The equipment is really going to depend on what’s going on in the rest of your deck, but first strike is a great addition to a pumped-up beater.

The card draw is where it is really at since it is so easy to have another legendary.

The Mouth of Sauron

Rating: 3.0/5

Being able to choose which graveyard is sweet because you have agency over getting the largest amass possible. It also lets you use the mill the right way based off of the current card count instead of sticking you with an unplayable card near the end of the game.

Old Man Willow

Rating: 3.5/5

This is usually going to be one of, if not the biggest thing on the battlefield. Being able to pick off creatures (and -2-2 kills a lot of creatures in this set) can be terrifying on the other side of the table. It is a great way to get value out of excess food that you picked up off of something like Many Partings.

Pippin, Guard of the Citadel

Rating: 4.0/5

Pippin is a Mother of Runes that can get around them having multiple different colors of creatures. Unfortunately, he can’t protect himself, but that would be an absurdly frustrating limited card if it could.

It’s important to remember that you can use him precombat to make your creature unblockable or let them block before using it to take the free kill.

Prince Imrahil the Fair

Rating: 3.0/5

This works amazingly well if you have the second ring temptation going so you get a free 1/1 every time you loot. There are plenty of other ways to trigger this in these colors or even off of a Lembas.


Rating: 2.0/5

Tutors have traditionally been pretty bad in limited and I really need to have some crazy bomb to want to play one.

This does tempt you first so you can change your ring bearer to something that matches the color of the card that you want to get. That means you’re getting a little more than a tutor out of it so I will situationally consider it.

Rise of the Witch-King

Rating: 3.0/5

This is fantastic with the one mana land cyclers since you can get a big old monster such as Generous Ent into the yard early. You can always just pitch something crazy like Sauron, the Dark Lord to your ring bearer’s second ability as well.

While the value of an edict effect is always going to depend on what your opponent is doing, you’re more focused on having access to cheap creatures that you can upgrade into something massive.

Samwise Gamgee

Rating: 3.5/5

Sam loves to cook for the whole party because he whips out a new meal every time a new creature shows up. This is in the color combination that loves food tokens and they suddenly become incidental add ons off of playing your normal game.

Three foods may seem expensive, but getting a key historic card back can make a huge difference. It’s not like you paid anything for that food anyway.

Saruman of Many Colors

Rating: 3.5/5

Saruman of Many Colors?!? More like Saruman of many words on this freaking novel.

What you really need to know is that you usually want to cast your more expensive spell second (in case you hit something on the mill) unless they have something cheap you want to cast out of their graveyard.

This is a really good version of ward, but the stats don’t quite live up to the casting cost. Still a good option to pull some shenanigans though.

Sauron, the Dark Lord

Rating: 4.0/5

Now this is a much better Sauron. Pricy, but man can this go off. Drawing four cards off of a temptation is a sure-fire way to bury them in card advantage. The discarding your hand is not as big of a deal when you are drawing so many and you get to choose the order you play them to maximize your advantage.

The ward ensures that even if they remove him, you’re still getting a two for one. There’s some orc stuff going on here as well, but an overall great card worthy of the dark lord.

Sauron’s Ransom

Rating: 3.5/5

I love when they put these mini games on cards. The obvious comparison is Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths, but lacking the body. It does go a card deeper for a mana cheaper. (That sounds like some kind of whacky advertisement). I’d say that’s not quite an even exchange, but you get a temptation at instant speed thrown in as well.

Shadow Summoning

Rating: 3.5/5

This is an amazingly efficient card. The creatures entering play tapped is a bit of a downside, but I would happily jam as many of these as I could get my hands on.

Shadowfax, Lord of Horses

Rating: 2.5/5

As I’m sure you’re all aware of by now, Shadowfax shows you the meaning of haste. Now that we got that reference out of the way…A hasty 4/4 is fine, but five is one mana too much for it so you have to get some other value off of it. The only other horse is Bill the Ponywhich is a pretty hilarious image to imagine him running into battle alongside the lord of horses.

Sometimes you won’t even want to use the other ability because the creature might get eaten. One way around that is evasive creatures like Eagles of the North that are more expensive, but with a lower power.

Shagrat, Loot Bearer

Rating: 2.5/5

While you want to be playing some equipment to have this be more than a 4/4 for four, you’re not entirely reliant on it since it can actually equip your opponent’s equipment. I’m sure they will be thrilled when your orc is using their Glamdring.

Sharkey, Tyrant of the Shire

Rating: 1.0/5

To sum this card up in two words. Rhino Booty. That is all.

Fine, I’ll say something…It’s only really relevant against the rare lands. It does stop them from sacrificing Shire Terrace, but they can still tap it for mana.

It technically is walking so it’s not a straight nothing, but it might as well be because it’s not even a Wishcoin Crab. No one likes you Sharkey, have fun getting killed by Wormtongue.

Shelob, Child of Ungoliant

Rating: 4.0/5

I hope you don’t have arachnophobia because this spider is freaking massive. Someone tried to argue with me that it doesn’t do much, but they can’t let you keep hitting for eight. Even a gang block doesn’t go great because deathtouch is going to wipe everything out.

The only other spider is Mirkwood Spider which already has deathtouch, but it does gain ward from the lord effect.

Shelob actually lets you steal abilities off of your opponent’s creatures that die to it. Even though it’s a food token, it still has the rest of the text since it’s a copy. They only lose card types, not abilities.

Smeagol, Helpful Guide

Rating: 4.0/5

Smeagol adds a ramp to every temptation which is very relevant even if it’s from your opponent’s library. It can even end up milling them out in a longer game.

Sometimes death triggers might not work out, but there are enough sacrifice effects that you should be able to get one when you need it. You can also try to do an early trade before playing this since you will still get the end step trigger.

Strider, Ranger of the North

Rating: 3.0/5

Landfall is not a guarantee in this set between all the scry and the ring bearer looting, but when it does this is attacking as a 5/5 first strike which is really rough to block. You can even use Entish Restoration to completely blow them out in combat by pumping two creatures.

Theoden, King of Rohan

Rating: 3.5/5

Double strike is such a great ability and this just hands it out like candy on Halloween. It does trigger the turn it drops and it’s easy to keep it coming especially with cards like Rally at the Hornburg giving you two triggers.

In case you didn’t know, if you have the ring all the way powered up the opponent loses three life triggers twice with double strike.

Tom Bombadil

Rating: 1.0/5

While not completely impossible, it is extremely unlikely to build a deck in which you actively want to play Tom. There is enough fixing that you can play him, but you’re going to need all that, Tom, and a bunch of the better sagas to want to do it.

It is on theme for the world to be at war while Tom Bombadilis just hanging out doing whatever.

Ugluk of the White Hand

Rating: 2.0/5

This can get large if you are going along with the whole amass, sacrifice theme. Even if it does go off, you are still jumping through hoops to make a big ol vanilla creature. I did see it put in some work with Mordor Trebuchet though.

Wrap Up

That finally brings us to the end of our complete limited review of the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth. The second part of the multicolored cards contain a ton of powerful cards that will surely dominate the tables as long as the mana cooperates.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back tomorrow with my limited mechanics guide. Until then, stay classy people!

Fine…I guess I will add that I’ll see you LTR! I’m pretty ashamed of that one, but I have a brand to uphold here.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

You can also find me at:

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Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

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