Last updated on September 22, 2023

Elron of the White Council - Illustration by Javier Charro

Elrond of the White Council | Illustration by Javier Charro

Any new Magic set inevitably brings with it some new commanders for us to build around. Typical sets have somewhere in the range of 20 to 30 new cards, and sets that put more emphasis on legendary creatures can exceed that. That’s definitely the case with Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, and it’s easy to see why.

There are a ton of iconic characters in Lord of the Rings, and Wizards wanted to make sure they captured all of them on paper. The major characters like the Fellowship of the Ring, their closest allies, and the major villains like Sauron all get multiple mechanically unique cards to represent them during different parts of their long journeys. The set also does a good job of including minor characters as legendary creatures; one of my personal favorites is Bill the Pony.

It’s great that Wizards was so comprehensive in designing the set, but having so many commanders to choose from can be daunting when the time comes to decide which commanders to build around. I’m here to help you decide which of these cards you’d like to lead your next Commander deck.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

Table of Contents show

How Many Commanders Are There in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth?

Denethor, Stone Seer (The Lord of the Rings Commander Decks) - Illustration by Bruno Biazotto

Denethor, Stone Seer | Illustration by Bruno Biazotto

There are 121 brand new commanders introduced with Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. Wizards usually includes some reprinted legendary creatures in the preconstructed Commander decks for a new set, but they didn’t do so this time since it’s a Universes Beyond set. Every legendary creature is something from Lord of the Rings, not Magic.

#119. The Balrog, Flame of Udûn

While The Balrog, Flame of Udûn has high power and toughness for its cost, you likely won’t be able to keep it out for long. In a game of Commander, legendary creatures die all the time, and this card will quickly become too expensive to recast.

#118. Denethor, Stone Seer

Denethor, Stone Seer has an okay effect that requires you to sacrifice it to use it. This isn’t really what you want in a commander, and honestly, I’m not sure I’d put this Denethor in the 99 of many decks either.

#117. Meriadoc Brandybuck

All Meriadoc Brandybuck can do for you is create one Food token per combat, and you’ll have to risk some of your creatures to get it. You also miss out on lots of good halflings being in mono-green.

#116. Butterbur, Bree Innkeeper

At best, Butterbur, Bree Innkeeper gives you a single Food token at the end of each of your turns, though it’s likely that you’ll also have turns when it does nothing. This card would be better in the 99 of a deck led by one of the other Food-focused commanders in this set.

#115. Monstrosity of the Lake

While Monstrosity of the Lake’s pseudo-kicker ability can be powerful, it’s far too expensive a price to pay on top of the card’s normal cost. You also lose out on this card’s Islandcycling ability when it isn’t in your hand.

#114. Samwise the Stouthearted

My issue with Samwise the Stouthearted is that it’s a very one-and-done type of card. To get use out of this as your commander, you’d have to find ways to get Sam back to your hand or let it die. This is another card that slots better in the 99.

#113. Bill Ferny, Bree Swindler

Bill Ferny, Bree Swindler has some interesting abilities, but it suffers from a lack of mono-blue horses to back it up. This card might be worth revisiting in the future if more blue and colorless horses end up being printed.

#112. Éowyn, Fearless Knight

Éowyn, Fearless Knight has a similar problem as Sam. Its only effect is an ETB trigger that lasts just for one turn. This doesn’t leave you lots to build around as a commander.

#111. Lobelia Sackville-Baggins

Lobelia Sackville-Baggins can be pretty impactful, and having it in the command zone makes it easier to ensure you get the most value you can out of it. That said, I’d prefer a commander with more than a single ETB effect, especially if that effect won’t be too impactful until later in the game.

#110. Éomer of the Riddermark

Éomer of the Riddermark’s effect isn’t bad, but it’s inconsistent. If it had any other effect to supplement it, I think it’d be higher on this list. As is, it’s just too hit-or-miss for me.

#109. The Mouth of Sauron

The Mouth of Sauron can potentially amass you a large army, and blue has some good flicker effects that would allow you to reuse this ETB trigger. But for a 5-mana commander, I’d prefer a card that stands on its own and doesn’t require other cards to do things after it enters.

#108. The Gaffer

Mono-white Commander decks can struggle with card draw, so The Gaffer is a good solution to that. I think it’s maybe a better pick for the 99 than as your commander, but it’s not a terrible choice if you just want to ensure your lifegain deck has some extra draw.

#107. Elrond, Lord of Rivendell

To get the most out of Elrond, Lord of Rivendell’s ability, you’d need to be casting multiple creatures a turn. Even then, the payoff isn’t all that great. If you want to build a deck around The Ring tempting you, there are options that are better built for it.

#106. Grishnákh, Brash Instigator

If you build your deck around amassing orcs, Grishnákh, Brash Instigator could potentially be used for a very impactful turn when you steal a powerful creature. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of amass orc cards in mono-red, so you may have your work cut out for you.

#105. Sharkey, Tyrant of the Shire

I actually really like Sharkey, Tyrant of the Shire, and I think it could lead to some very unique gameplay situations. Still, it’s too inconsistent for me to rank higher.

#104. Glorfindel, Dauntless Rescuer

Glorfindel, Dauntless Rescuer’s ability can give you some solid control over how your opponents block, which can serve as a form of removal if you’re able to buff Glorfindel. I’d prioritize ways to buff your commander in this deck to make is built-in ability better.

#103. Strider, Ranger of the North

To make Strider, Ranger of the North’s landfall trigger have a big impact, you’d need to drop lots of lands in a single turn. I get the impression that this card wasn’t really designed to be a commander, and that it’s instead a legendary for the purpose of other formats.

#102. Landroval, Horizon Witness

I don’t think Landroval, Horizon Witness is a terrible card, but I don’t think it works well as a commander. It’s an okay benefit, but I’d like more out of my commander especially if I’m limiting myself to making a mono-white deck for it.

#101. Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold

Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold could be an interesting human commander, though I think it suffers a lot from being mono-red. Still, you can have some impactful turns if you’re able to play a large number of humans and already have a wide board.

#100. Gwaihir the Windlord

It makes sense that Gwaihir the Windlord would support all other bird creatures, but unfortunately all it does is give them vigilance. This isn’t a terrible ability, but it isn’t really worth 6 mana when this commander is full price.

#99. Gothmog, Morgul Lieutenant

Gothmog, Morgul Lieutenant has a similar issue as Gwaihir. All it really does is just give a keyword ability to some of your creatures. Without easy ways to flicker this commander in mono-black, you can’t really do too much with its amass ability either.

#98. Faramir, Field Commander

Faramir, Field Commander is the type of commander that’s just a good value engine for the right kind of deck. You’ll need to make sure you’re including enough ways to have The Ring tempt you to help with token generation.

#97. Éowyn, Lady of Rohan

Éowyn, Lady of Rohan’s cost reduction on equipment can be helpful, but I personally think there are just better options out there for an equipment commander. Its combat ability is also decent, but overall this commander is just a little underwhelming.

#96. Meneldor, Swift Savior

Meneldor, Swift Savior is a good commander for a deck that relies heavily on ETB triggers. I do think this commander would be lots better if it had more colors in its identity. As is, there are still some interesting interactions you can pull off.

#95. Elanor Gardner

I could see Elanor Gardner being an okay green good stuff commander if you’re including a consistent way to make Food tokens and continue to ramp. That said, I think this commander would have been a bit better in Selesnya colors to take advantage of all the Food support from this set.

#94. Gilraen, Dúnedain Protector

Gilraen, Dúnedain Protector is another commander that’ll help you cash in on ETB triggers. I think white might be a slightly better color for this, since you have access to Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines.

#93. Prince Imrahil the Fair

Prince Imrahil the Fair is a low-cost commander which makes it easier to get it out early and consistently recast it. Still, I think it could use at least one more ability to make it a more interesting commander. As is, I think it’s a better inclusion in the 99 of a human deck.

#92. Gandalf, Friend of the Shire

Gandalf, Friend of the Shire gives you the flexibility to cast sorcery spells at instant speed, which can be a good advantage. It also has built in card draw, though you’ll need some cards that tempt you to use it.

#91. Bill the Pony

Bill the Pony is the kind of commander you just really want to make work. Toughness matters theme mixed with Food tokens is hopefully a viable option, but it’ll take some playtesting to see.

#90. Faramir, Prince of Ithilien

With Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, your opponents are damned if they attack you and damned if they don’t. With all luck, they might just leave you alone and allow you to collect resources early on.

#89. Legolas, Master Archer

You can use combat tricks to buff Legolas, Master Archer both temporarily and permanently. Bite and fight spells are also doubly effective with Legolas as they will buff it and allow it to deal damage to your target twice. This helps a lot with mono-green’s removal issues.

#88. Celeborn the Wise

If you build in enough cards that allow you to scry, you can buff Celeborn the Wise while also fixing your draws. I think this commander would be a lot better in Simic colors though, with access to more scrying cards.

#87. Arwen Undómiel

In my opinion, Arwen Undómiel is just like an upgraded version of Celeborn the Wise. Though Arwen doesn’t allow you to scry as easily, it’s in a better color identity and its buffs are more permanent.

#86. Mauhúr, Uruk-hai Captain

If you want to lean into the amass orcs ability from this set, Mauhúr, Uruk-hai Captain could be a fun commander for you. It’ll give you more bang for your buck out of any amass ability or any sort of +1/+1 counter distribution.

#85. Théoden, King of Rohan

Théoden, King of Rohan’s ability to give creatures double strike for a turn can make your attackers a lot more dangerous. In a creature-heavy human deck, you can likely get this ability off pretty frequently.

#84. Merry, Esquire of Rohan

Merry, Esquire of Rohan could be a pretty good equipment commander. It’s in the right color identity, and it can be a consistent form of card draw. The one downside is that you have to risk attacking with it to draw, but with the right equipment this won’t be a huge issue.

#83. Sméagol, Helpful Guide

I enjoy that Sméagol, Helpful Guide not only offers you a way to ramp, but also can help keep your opponents mana screwed. I’d probably build this as a sacrifice deck to more consistently activate this commander’s abilities.

#82. The Balrog of Moria

The Balrog of Moria is just a big commander that hits hard and fast. It also has a pretty solid death trigger, making it less of a bummer when this expensive commander gets removed. Cards like Kaya's Ghostform can also let you benefit from this death trigger then immediately give you your commander back.

#81. Lobelia, Defender of Bad End

Although it’s a risky play, Lobelia, Defender of Bag End could give you some very powerful cards at a very low cost. Black also has ways to bring Lobelia back from the dead, allowing you another chance to snag some great cards.

#80. Farmer Cotton

Farmer Cotton is a versatile commander depending on when you decide to play it. You can play it early or wait to drop a huge number of tokens.

#79. Gríma Wormtongue

Gríma Wormtongue’s ability to shut down lifegain can be useful depending on the decks you’re going up against. It’s also nice to have a 0-mana sacrifice outlet attached to a commander, though this one isn’t nearly as powerful as the likes of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.

#78. Bilbo, Retired Burglar

Bilbo, Retired Burglar is seemingly a good choice for a Ring-bearer because it adds an additional combat ability to the mix, though I do wish there was more guidance of where to take the 99.

#77. Rosie Cotton of South Lane

Rosie Cotton of South Lane offers some good support to a token deck. You can either buff up one of your creatures, or you can distribute counters across your token creatures, making them all just a bit more powerful.

#76. Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin

Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin’s attack trigger can do a good job removing threats from your opponents’ boards. It’s especially powerful against a player who’s looking to play a small numbers of strong creatures as opposed to going wide.

#75. Saruman the White

Saruman the White can amass a good number of orcs if you’re playing a spell slinger deck, especially if you’re casting spells on other players’ turns as well as your own. Army tokens can be pretty easily removed though, as even a bounce spell destroys any progress you’ve made.

#74. Glóin, Dwarf Emissary

If you build your deck right, Glóin, Dwarf Emissary will likely be able to goad at least one creature per turn. This can create lots of fun chaos at the table that you just get to sit back and watch.

#73. Radagast, Wizard of the Wilds

Radagast, Wizard of Wilds is basically a boilerplate Simic () commander. It cares about big creatures and will make you some extras. It isn’t bad, but it’s something that’s been done before and better.

#72. Frodo Baggins

You’d probably want to build Frodo Baggins as a legends matter commander. By forcing creatures to block it, you’ll also be able to force players to sacrifice their creatures thanks to The Ring’s temptation gained by playing legendaries.

#71. Gimli, Counter of Kills

Gimli, Counter of Kills may look underwhelming at first glance. However, it’s important to remember just how often creatures are going to die in a game of commander. Gimli consistently eats away at your opponents’ life, and it’s a great counter to sacrifice decks.

#70. Legolas, Counter of Kills

While Gimli deals out a good amount of damage over time, Legolas, Counter of Kills gets stronger over time at the same rate. Since your commander only needs to do 21 damage to take a player out, this card can be even more dangerous.

#69. Quickbeam, Upstart Ent

Quickbeam, Upstart Ent works well both in a treefolk typal deck and commanding one. A +2/+2 buff isn’t all that big, but it can be impactful when you already have strong treefolk creatures, especially since Quickbeam also gives them trample.

#68. Gollum, Patient Plotter

Gollum, Patient Plotter gives you a repeatable method for being tempted by The Ring, and can help you avoid commander tax. A fully stacked Ring-bearer can be hard for your opponents to deal with, so this could be an interesting build.

#67. Gandalf, White Rider

Gandalf, White Rider makes every spell you cast just a bit better, and it makes it easier to draw the cards you need. If you want to avoid commander tax, you can let it go into the deck, but it’s kind of risky.

#66. Peregrin Took

Peregrin Took works well as a token commander because you’ll get extra benefits from each token you create. You’ll need to find a way to make good use of all that Food with cards in the 99 though.

#65. Sauron, Lord of the Rings

Sauron, Lord of the Rings has some pretty powerful effects and can give you a lot of value when cast at the right time. But this card isn’t a great choice if you want a commander that’s more than just a one-time bomb.

#64. Fangorn, Tree Shepherd

Fangorn, Tree Shepherd can offer you a good amount of ramp in a treefolk typal deck. I just question how useful it is after you already have enough to cast a 7-mana commander. Still, vigilance can be very helpful on creatures with high toughness.

#63. Faramir, Steward of Gondor

Faramir, Steward of Gondor makes being the monarch even better than normal, and it gives you a clear way to become it. Flicker effects can help if you don’t want to build a legends heavy deck.

#62. Goldberry, River-Daughter

Goldberry, River-Daughter has the ability to create an infinite turn loop for you with Magosi, the Waterveil and any consistent form of proliferate. The combo is pretty easy to interrupt, but it’s definitely easier to pull off with one piece in your command zone.

#61. Pippin, Guard of the Citadel

Pippin, Guard of the Citadel can consistently keep another one of your creatures safe at very little cost, especially since it also has vigilance. Get it out early and you have a good way to keep your threats on the board.

#60. Gorbag of Minas Morgul

Gorbag of Minas Morgul can turn any of your creatures into resources, which can be a very powerful trade. I’m a little bummed this card isn’t in Rakdos (), but there are still plenty of mono-black goblins and orcs.

#59. Uglúk of the White Hand

Uglúk of the White Hand is an excellent Rakdos sacrifice (Sakdos) commander. You might also want to include as many orcs and goblins as you can for sacrifice fodder.

#58. Saradoc, Master of Buckland

Saradoc, Master of Buckland is a powerful white weenies commander. Each small creature you play makes you a token, allowing you to go wider faster. With enough tokens you can also give Saradoc a major buff and threaten opponents with commander damage.

#57. Samwise Gamgee

Samwise Gamgee isn’t a very flashy commander, but it’ll allow you to have a more consistent game. You won’t have to worry as much about your historic permanents being destroyed, and you can easily build in lifegain payoffs thanks to the Food tokens it makes.

#56. Aragorn, Company Leader

Aragorn, Company Leader can give itself and your other creatures some helpful keyword abilities. You’ll want to build in a lot of ways for The Ring to tempt you, since Aragorn doesn’t have any built-in.

#55. Legolas Greenleaf

There are plenty of great legendary green creatures you could put into a Legolas Greenleaf deck that allow you to have a massive commander late game. Add +1/+1 counter support and this one could be hard to deal with.

#54. Gwaihir, Greatest of the Eagles

Gwaihir, Greatest of the Eagles is one of several great lifegain commanders from this set. Food tokens make it easy to gain three life in a turn and make a bunch of eagles, and white has great token support to make this commander even better.

#53. Galadriel, Gift-Giver

Galadriel, Gift-Giver’s multiple modes not only give you versatility in a given game but also create a lot of options for deckbuilding. You’ll want to include ways to allow Galadriel to attack safely.

#52. Denethor, Ruling Steward

Denethor, Ruling Steward is an aristocrats commander that continues to create more creatures to sacrifice each turn. Its activated ability can also make it easier to cash in on death triggers.

#51. Galadriel, Elven-Queen

Elf decks are known for dropping a lot of creatures, so Galadriel, Elven-Queen is likely to give you a vote each turn. No matter the outcome, you’re getting a benefit in some way. There’s also lots of great Simic voting support in this new set.

#50. Boromir, Gondor’s Hope

Boromir, Gondor's Hope is a great Azorius () humans commander thanks to its ability to search for more creatures. While you’ll likely whiff a few times, this commander gives you a more consistent experience than just topdecking cards.

#49. Arwen, Mortal Queen

Having an indestructible commander like Arwen, Mortal Queen early on is a huge benefit. Since its indestructibility comes in counter form, you can use proliferate so you can activate its second ability and keep it safe.

#48. Beregond of the Guard

Beregond of the Guard can be a very powerful commander for a deck running low-cost creatures. If you’re able to activate its buff multiple times in a turn, you can make your wide board state much more threatening.

#47. Shagrat, Loot Bearer

Shagrat, Loot Bearer could make for a good Voltron commander that can easily equip expensive artifacts to itself. You’ll also be able to amass a pretty big army over the course of the game.

#46. Radagast the Brown

Radagast the Brown offers you a very consistent experience. It’ll make it a lot easier to constantly play creatures, something mono-green decks love to do.

#45. Gimli, Mournful Avenger

If you build Gimli, Mournful Avenger into an aggressive Gruul () deck, you can swing out with your creatures knowing it isn’t a total waste if they die. Gimli can also serve as a great form of removal once it gets big enough.

#44. Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff

Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff can create Treasure for you during each players’ turn, which can give you a quick leg up in the game. It also activates on your turn, giving you some control over its ability.

#43. Witch-king of Angmar

The Witch-king of Angmar is an excellent way to discourage your opponents from attacking you. You can also pretty easily make it indestructible, which is always a huge plus for your commander.

#42. Shelob, Child of Ungoliant

Shelob, Child of Ungoliant is the perfect spider commander and adds a fun Food subtheme to your spider deck. Lot of spiders are already good blockers, and with the addition of deathtouch they’re even better.

#41. The Watcher in the Water

It isn’t hard to trigger The Watcher in the Water’s token making ability. This means you can chump block with your tentacles and have a 9/9 commander early in the game.

#40. Old Man Willow

Old Man Willow can become a pretty large creature in a lands matter deck. Popular landfall token generators like Scute Swarm can make it easy to have excess creatures to sacrifice to this commander’s attack trigger.

#39. Gollum, Scheming Guide

Gollum, Scheming Guide offers you a pretty great advantage each turn. You’ll get to fix your next draw and possibly draw an extra card, and there’s never an actual risk that Gollum dies to a blocker.

#38. Merry, Warden of Isengard + Pippin, Warden of Isengard

The cards Merry, Warden of Isengard and Pippin, Warden of Isengard were designed to be partners, so it makes most sense to look at them together. By using Pippin’s first activated to trigger Merry’s, you can build up a decent token force that you can later buff with Pippin.

Green has ways to untap Pippin on other turns, allowing you to make four Food and four Soldiers on a trip around the table.

#37. Gollum, Obsessed Stalker

As a 1/1 with skulk, it’s very easy to deal combat damage with Gollum, Obsessed Stalker. It can take as little as three combats for you to start draining all your opponents each turn as long as you have strong lifegain.

#36. Treebeard, Gracious Host

There are ways to gain absurd amounts of life in Magic, meaning Treebeard, Gracious Host is able to make one of your creatures massive or spread the wealth and buff them all. With trample, it can easily deal out large amounts of commander damage.

#35. Sauron, the Lidless Eye

Sauron, the Lidless Eye has a good ETB effect and a nice mana sink that can drain a lot of life from your opponents in the right circumstances. Including sacrifice mechanics is also a good way to make Sauron’s steal effect more potent.

#34. Sauron, the Necromancer

Sauron, the Necromancer can not only cheat out good effects from big creatures in your graveyard, but you’ll get to keep the copy if it’s your Ring-bearer. Make sure to include some cards that cause The Ring to tempt you and you’ll be getting free clones each turn that stick around.

#33. Boromir, Warden of the Tower

There are so many ways to cheat out spells for free in Commander, and Boromir, Warden of the Tower shuts a lot of them down. Boromir is also cheap enough that if you need to sac it, you can easily recast it soon.

#32. Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit + Sam, Loyal Attendant

Another pair of partner commanders, Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit and Sam, Loyal Attendant work even better together than Merry and Pippin.

Sam makes you Food each turn, and makes it easier to activate it. This makes it just one mana each turn to benefit from Frodo’s attack trigger and draw a free card after a few turns.

#31. Aragorn and Arwen, Wed

Aragorn and Arwen, Wed can buff all your creatures consistently and gain you a lot of life. Including cards that cash in on high life totals like Aetherflux Reservoir can be a great payoff for this commander.

#30. Éomer, Marshal of Rohan

Éomer, Marshal of Rohan allows you to create an aggressive legends matter deck that makes your opponents second guess blocking some of your best creatures.

#29. Erestor of the Council

Erestor of the Council is a very fun voting-themed commander that gives you lots of extra benefits on each vote. This card also forces your opponents to think extra hard about each vote.

#28. The Balrog, Durin’s Bane

The Balrog, Durin's Bane is a Sakdos commander that can absolutely ravage your opponents’ boards. They’ll have to choose between getting smacked for a lot of commander damage or blocking with their best creatures. Even when the Balrog dies, you’ll get to blow up someone’s permanent.

#27. Haldir, Lórien Lieutenant

Haldir, Lórien Lieutenant works similarly to popular elf cards like Allosaurus Shepherd except with a much higher potential for buffing. Cards like Elvish Archdruid can make Haldir a very dangerous elf ball commander.

#26. Gríma, Saruman’s Footman

Gríma, Saruman's Footman is very effective at stealing your opponents’ spells and using them against their owners. You won’t always get something super powerful, but you’re still disrupting the other players’ game plans which can help you just as much.

#25. Gimli of the Glittering Caves

Gimli of the Glittering Caves is the type of commander that can steamroll dangerously and take out opponents with commander damage. Double strike also means it’ll make you two Treasures if it isn’t blocked.

#24. Shelob, Dread Weaver

Shelob, Dread Weaver not only counters graveyard strategies, but it also allows you to play some of your opponents’ creatures. If that creature isn’t a threat, you have the option to just buff Shelob and draw a card.

#23. Gandalf the Grey

Gandalf the Grey has several good modes, but its best is easily its ability to copy spells for free. Flickering it allows you to reset your choices and keep copying spells.

#22. Gandalf the White

Gandalf the White acts as a slightly limited Panharmonicon and also allows you to cast lots of spells with flash. These are two powerful abilities for a very reasonable mana value.

#21. Gandalf, Westward Voyager

Gandalf, Westward Voyager gives you a relatively good chance at copying all the higher mana spells you cast. Even if you whiff, you still get an extra card so there’s still a good amount of value in running this commander.

#20. Galadriel of Lothlórien

Galadriel of Lothlórien makes scrying even better because it helps you ramp and cycle through even more cards. It also gives you a way to scry and trigger its own ability.

#19. Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil allows you to build a deck around all the best saga cards. This is a commander that will only get more powerful with time as new sagas are printed and new interactions become possible.

#18. Elrond, Master of Healing

Elrond, Master of Healing adds lots of value to your scrying abilities while also giving you a good way to draw cards. It isn’t as flashy as some other commanders here, but it’s just a solid supporter for your deck.

#17. Arwen, Weaver of Hope

Arwen, Weaver of Hope can make a very powerful +1/+1 counter themed commander. Using cards to buff it will buff every creature you cast while it’s on the field just as much, allowing you to go wide without sacrificing power.

#16. Frodo, Determined Hero

Frodo Determined Hero is a great Voltron commander, especially if you want to run all the Mirran swords. It’ll attach equipment to itself for free, allowing you to benefit from any triggers from those artifacts, and it can’t die from damage when it’s attacking.

#15. Shadowfax, Lord of Horses

For just 5 mana, Shadowfax, Lord of Horses can come out, attack immediately, and cheat out another creature from your hand for free. Including ways to buff Shadowfax allows you to cheat out even bigger creatures each turn.

#14. Éomer, King of Rohan

If you’re playing a deck with lots of cheap humans, Éomer, King of Rohan can enter the battlefield with a massive number of counters. This allows you to immediately dole out a good chunk of damage and threaten your opponents with commander damage.

#13. Círdan the Shipwright

Círdan the Shipwright plays a fun mind game with the table. You don’t want to let the player pulling ahead draw several cards, but you definitely don’t want them dropping something for free from their hand. This introduces a fun new element to each game.

#12. Bilbo, Birthday Celebrant

Bilbo, Birthday Celebrant is in the perfect color combination to make a powerful lifegain deck. Its ability can also let you cheat out a huge number of creatures if you manage to get a high enough life total.

#11. Éowyn, Shieldmaiden

Éowyn, Shieldmaiden makes it very easy to go wide in a humans deck while also just being a powerful attacker on its own. It also draws you cards, which makes it easier to consistently play humans to trigger Éowyn’s ability.

#10. Saruman, the White Hand

Saruman, the White Hand allows you to cast plenty of noncreature spells without worrying that you don’t have enough of a boardstate. It also makes it more difficult to remove the army it amasses, as well as any other orcs or goblins you play.

#9. Saruman of Many Colors

Saruman of Many Colors is like a dark inversion of Gandalf, Westward Voyager, allowing you to exile and copy opponents’ spells instead of your own. Its highly specific ward cost also makes it more difficult to remove.

Sound interesting? Check out our Saruman of Many Colors Commander deck guide!

#8. Lord of the Nazgûl

Lord of the Nazgûl can quickly create lots of Wraith creature tokens for you. These tokens get pretty strong once you’ve cast eight instant and sorceries, making this deck a quick threat if built correctly.

#7. King of the Oathbreakers

King of the Oathbreakers is a commander that’s difficult to remove, and it’ll continue to grow your army over time. Each Spirit it makes is also capable of making you even more Spirits, allowing your board state to grow exponentially.

#6. Sauron, the Dark Lord

Sauron, the Dark Lord forces players to give up a valuable permanent to try and remove it. You’ll be constantly amassing orcs while it’s on the field, allowing you to easily trigger Sauron’s wheel effect if you want to.

#5. Frodo, Sauron’s Bane

Frodo, Sauron’s Bane is a great commander with an alternate win con attached to it. There are ways to make it more evasive, and you can start easily taking out opponents once you get The Ring to tempt you enough times.

#4. Elrond of the White Council

Elrond of the White Council allows you to form temporary alliances with other players to take out the table’s biggest threat. Once the alliance is over, you still have those players’ creatures, giving you a nice advantage.

#3. Ioreth of the Healing House

Ioreth of the Healing House can enable a few combos. Having a combo piece at the ready in the command zone gives you a big competitive edge.

#2. Aragorn, King of Gondor

Aragorn, King of Gondor makes it easy to deal damage directly to your opponents. Including cards that clone or flicker Aragorn can help you ensure you’re always the monarch when it attacks. Just make sure you have a haste enabler lying around.

#1. Aragorn, the Uniter

Why choose one of these awesome commanders when Aragorn, the Uniter lets you play almost all of them in one very thematic deck? It also has great abilities to support other creatures, with its +4/+4 buff being exceptionally good.

Commanding Conclusion

Aragorn, the Uniter - Illustration by Javier Charro

Aragorn, the Uniter | Illustration by Javier Charro

These are my top rankings for this set’s many commanders, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new cards! Are there any you think deserved a higher spot? What commander are you looking forward to building?

Let me know in the comments below, or over on Draftsim’s Twitter. I’m also happy to be proven wrong and taught new ways to break fun cards! If you notice something I missed about one of these commanders, definitely let me know.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in the next one!

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  • Avatar
    Bryan June 24, 2023 7:06 am

    Sauron, Lord of the rings is a cast trigger not an ETB. You need to use either suspend, strionic resonator or release the winds to get additional triggers of it.

    • Nikki
      Nikki June 26, 2023 10:05 am

      Yeah looks like the card was just misread. Thanks for pointing that out, it’s been re-ranked accordingly (i.e., much lower)!

  • Avatar
    Billy June 25, 2023 7:36 pm

    Sauron, Lord of the Rings has a cast ability not etb. Flickering is pretty useless.

    • Nikki
      Nikki June 26, 2023 10:06 am

      Totally right, it’s been re-ranked accordingly! 🙂

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