Last updated on October 6, 2023

Frodo, Sauron's Bane - Illustration by Marta Nael

Frodo, Sauron's Bane | Illustration by Marta Nael

J.R.R. Tolkien wanted to use Frodo Baggins to teach the world a few lessons. It doesn’t matter how tiny you think you are, you can make a difference in this world. No one is invincible, and the worst enemy is that which is unseen.

This Commander deck has a very similar flavor. People may think you’re out of action but in fact, you’re already inside Mount Doom holding The One Ring ready to Cast into the Fire. Today I’m showing you my Frodo, Sauron's Bane EDH deck, which will get you tempted by the Ring multiple times. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It can go toe-to-toe with your foes despite being a low power level deck.

With that in mind, let’s go straight to the deck and the surprises it holds.

The Deck

Call of the Ring - Illustration by Anato Finnstark

Call of the Ring | Illustration by Anato Finnstark

This is a synergy deck above all else. The main strategy is to build up our commander, get to four “the ring tempts you” triggers, attack, and win. The various “temptation” cards will help us achieve our win condition by effectively one-shoting players once we get tempted four times. There’s also no way to undo The Ring. Opponents will try to take out our commander, and when they do we’ll simply cast it again and keep going. The game is pretty much lost for our opponents once Frodo is carrying protective equipment like Whispersilk Cloak and Mithril Coat.

The Commander

Frodo, Sauron's Bane

This is one of only a few commanders that can make a player lose the game on the spot. Frodo, Sauron's Bane is a 1-mana commander with a 1/2 stat line that you’ll be able to play on turn one most of the time. You can then pay to turn it into a 2/3 lifelinking scout, after which you can pay to reach its final form.

Frodo’s final form is a halfling rogue that takes a player out when it connects in combat if you've been tempted by the Ring four or more times. Let’s keep in mind that 5 mana is a significant mana investment, and our commander doesn’t have any significant built-in protection. That’s why a good amount of our deck guarantees that Frodo is protected and has some evasion in order to effectively deal damage to a player.

Another huge part of our deck is related to the “Ring tempts you” mechanic. You’ll need to be tempted by the Ring at least four times for Frodo to kill someone. The pillars of our deck are: protect our commander with equipment or combat tricks, get tempted by the Ring via cards like Call of the Ring or Nazgûl, and when the time comes, finish an opponent off. Our commander is our primary wincon, but this deck has a few tricks up its sleeve.

The Creatures

Our creatures serve a few purposes, most notably to get temptation triggers and protect our commander. Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff is here to get us some Treasure, while Sun Titan is able to reanimate a value permanent or even our commander if it’s in the graveyard.

Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Another value creature we’re playing is Lurrus of the Dream-Den since we have lots of creatures and other permanents with a mana value of 2 or less that we may want to get back.

We have creatures like Knight of the White Orchid that give us lands when they ETB, as well as Loran of the Third Path, a white Reclamation Sage.

Creatures like Samwise the Stouthearted and Took Reaper are mostly here to get temptation triggers.

Finally, we’re playing many wraith-type creatures to get temptations, represented by eight Nazgûl, Witch-king of Angmar, and Ringwraiths. These work very well together, to the point that we sometimes have a little wraith sub-theme going on.

Interaction and Protection

Teferi's Protection

One of the main strategies we’re pursuing with this deck is to keep our commander alive and have it consistently deal damage to our opponents. To that end, we’re running cards like Teferi's Protection to give Frodo and the rest of our team evasion or protection. 

Creatures like Mother of Runes and Giver of Runes can protect our commander against spot removal, as can equipment like Swiftfoot Boots or Lightning Greaves.

Tricks like Gods Willing and Sejiri Steppe are fine options too. Some of our lands like Rogue's Passage can make Frodo unblockable on a key turn so it can take someone down. 

Finally, we can use creatures like Boromir, Warden of the Tower, and Vexilus Praetor to further protect our commander while adding to our board.

has plenty of options in the removal department. We’re playing cards like Anguished Unmaking, Fracture, Despark, Path to Exile, and more.

These cards should be used to frustrate our opponents’ plans, protect us from their attacks, or remove a key blocker so that Frodo can get in. It’s worth noting that protection works on offense and defense, so we’re protecting our commander against removal and making sure it can deliver the final blow.


This is not a Voltron deck by any means, but it has some equipment mainly to protect our commander. Whispersilk Cloak grants some protection and makes our commander unblockable, while Mithril Coat has flash and grants indestructible.

Bilbo's Ring fits nicely since it has “equip halfling ”. The weirdest one is Blade of Selves, an equipment that grants myriad to the equipped creature. It’s a combo with our commander and Mirror Box, and it’s a great fit on other creatures with ETBs like the Nazgûl or Sun Titan.


White decks in EDH usually play much-needed sweepers for when things go south. Since our commander is a little guy, it makes sense to play selective sweepers. The Battle of Bywater, Dusk // Dawn, and Austere Command are sweepers that can get big creatures off the table but miss our commander. They also offer additional options like getting rid of enchantments or getting back creatures from your graveyard.

One Ring to Rule Them All

One Ring to Rule Them All destroys all non-legendary creatures, which won't destroy any commanders but at least slows down +1/+1 counters, token-based strategies, or other creature-based strategies across the table.

The Ring Tempts You

Frodo, Sauron's Bane

Frodo, Sauron's Bane can provide some number of temptations in its final form, but that alone takes a while to fully unlock The Ring.

A huge part of our strategy revolves around getting tempted by the Ring at least four times, and we’ll need to play almost all the available cards with the mechanic to consistently achieve this goal. That includes good cards like Call of the Ring or Witch-king of Angmar, but also more passable ones like Claim the Precious, which is a sorcery-speed Murder. That’s also why we’re playing 8 of 9 possible Nazgûl; they tempt you and get better in multiples.

Mana Base

Overall our deck has a low mana curve and our commander is cheap, so we don’t need to play that many lands or mana rocks. Our commander costs a single mana, and we want to play it on the first few turns as often as possible. Having a 2/3 lifelink on the battlefield early while people are slowly developing their boards can give us a huge advantage. That’s why we’re playing a lot of basic Plains and lands that mostly come into play untapped.

We’re playing the classic mana rocks Sol Ring and Mind Stone that generate colorless mana early, but our commander needs colored mana so we’re also playing cards like Arcane Signet, Orzhov Signet and Talisman of Hierarchy.

Inherited Envelope

Inherited Envelope is a nice one here because it adds mana of any color and we get tempted by the Ring too.

The lands we want to see in our opening hand are usually Godless Shrine, Vault of Champions, and Command Tower. As with all decks, you can take a hit on efficiency to go with a more budget-friendly mana base.

The Strategy

The main strategy of the deck is to stick Frodo, Sauron's Bane, gain some life with its second form while attacking opponents here and there, and slowly work on getting tempted by the Ring four times.

You can also make your commander your Ring-bearer and profit from Ring-bearer attacks. There are ways to slowly get resource and card advantage in Smothering Tithe, Esper Sentinel, and Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff, and these should hit the table as early as possible. New MTG and EDH staple The One Ring can grant us protection and card advantage as well.

We can protect our commander from destruction in a dozen ways, be it with Mother of Runes, by sacrificing Boromir, Warden of the Tower, or with cards like Brave the Elements and Gods Willing. Once we get to four temptations and have a card like Rogue's Passage in play, it’s time to kill some players.

Combos and Interactions

Most of the creatures in this deck are legendary. Cards like Mirror Box and Flowering of the White Tree buff legends. Ratadrabik of Urborg also cares about legends, so when a legendary creature dies you’ll get a 2/2 copy of it. Even a non-legendary creature can benefit from these buffs if they’re currently the Ring-bearer.

Our commander is cheap to recast early and can be reanimated via Lurrus of the Dream-Den or Sun Titan, so you should keep the protection spells for later in the game when you have invested a significant amount of mana into leveling Frodo up. You can consider letting Frodo go to the graveyard instead of the command zone when it's destroyed if you have recursion spells in hand.

Eventually equipping Frodo with Whispersilk Cloak and attacking should kill someone regardless of resources and life. Like Thanos, Frodo is “inevitable”. That can put a target on your head if you have the necessary conditions to take someone out. If they can’t deal with your commander, they can go for you instead.

You can create infinite ETB/LTB triggers with Ratadrabik of Urborg and Boromir, Warden of the Tower by sacrificing Boromir and producing a 2/2 non-legendary copy of it. You’ll then make the token your Ring-bearer, it will become legendary, and you can repeat the cycle by sacrificing it and triggering Ratadrabik again. It’s a way to grant your creatures indestructible indefinitely and get infinite temptation triggers.

Rule 0 Violations Check

There are a few combo interactions in this deck, including the previously mentioned interaction between Ratadrabik of Urborg and Boromir, Warden of the Tower.

Another combo is the interaction between Mirror Box, Blade of Selves, and our commander. You can equip Frodo with Blade of Selves and essentially attack everybody at once thanks to the myriad ability. The myriad tokens only copy the original traits of Frodo, so you’ll have to sink extra mana into any Frodo copies that weren’t blocked to pull off the one-hit kill.

It’s Magical Christmas Land to have all this stuff at the same time, and the deck isn’t playing many tutors or focusing on the combo approach.

The cards all work relatively well on their own, with Mirror Box being a generic legendary buff and Blade of Selves giving us more mileage from our creatures.

Budget Options

This is already a low-to-medium cost budget deck and can be built for around $400. Here are suggestions on how to replace the most expensive cards.  

Let’s address the mana base first. We can replace Vault of Champions with Tainted Isle, Shizo, Death's Storehouse and Takenuma, Abandoned Mire for two basic Swamps, and Marsh Flats for a Temple of Silence. Shattered Sanctum can be replaced with a basic Plains.

We’re also playing some expensive EDH staples. Cards like Smothering Tithe, Esper Sentinel, and Teferi's Protection don’t have any clear substitutes, so we’ll go with Archaeomancer's Map, Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle, and Generous Gift.

The One Ring and the 8 Nazgûl are very expensive right now, and The One Ring’s unlikely to become cheaper any time soon. Let’s replace it with Phyrexian Arena, and I’ll suggest leaving the Nazgûl on the list for now.

Other Builds

You can go totally Voltron with Frodo by including more cards like Sram, Senior Edificer or Puresteel Paladin and impactful equipment. This turns it into a deck that cares about dealing commander damage and drawing cards whenever you play equipment. You could also simply go the aura route with All That Glitters and Kor Spiritdancer.

You could possibly build a “legendary matters” deck with cards like Arvad the Cursed. You’ll already have a 1-drop legendary creature that can win the game on its own, so why not? A cool challenge is to go 100% Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth and only play cards from the set.

Commanding Conclusion

Ratadrabik of Urborg - Illustration by Anna Pavleeva

Ratadrabik of Urborg | Illustration by Anna Pavleeva

Frodo, Sauron's Bane has the flavor of being irrelevant enough that nobody cares until it strikes at the heart of an almost unbeatable opponent and wins. One hit from Frodo and it’s over, no matter their board state or life total.

It’s a flavor win in my book and a nice way to shake things up in EDH. This is not the best Frodo, Sauron's Bane deck by any means, but it’s very flavorful and has the tools to win. And make sure your playgroup is okay with decks that can win like this. If they’re alright with it, give this fun deck a spin will you?

What do you think of this decklist? Let me know in the comments section below or in our Discord server. Stay safe folks, and remember that at least in MTG, getting tempted by the Ring is not always a bad thing.

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