Budget Upgrades For Lord Of The Rings’ Riders Of Rohan Commander Deck

Upgrading a premade Magic: The Gathering Commander deck is one of the best ways to take your deck from good to fantastic. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth brings four unique Commander Sets to the game, each focusing on a different people of Middle-earth.


Related: Magic: The Gathering – The best cards in the Riders of Rohan Lord of the Rings deck

For the Riders of Rohan deck, take control of the armies of humanity and lead the charge into the Fourth Age with a red, white, and blue deck. With two core themes in the deck, a comprehensive human strategy, and a strong monarch approach, Riders of Rohan is a force to be reckoned with after a few upgrades.

Since these are budget-friendly upgrades, we will keep the price of each card at or below $5 based on TCGplayer’s market price. These prices may change over time due to natural fluctuations, but should be fairly stable over time.

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10 The world of four

Image of The Council of Four card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Justine Cruz

If your preferred playstyle is to sit back and let your opponents do the work for you, you might want to consider The Council of Four. Although it costs five mana, The Council of Four is a massive 0/8 human noble with two abilities to help you keep an edge on your opponents.

The first ability is triggered when your opponent draws their second card during their turn, allowing you to draw a card as well. The second ability works similarly, creating a 2/2 Knight token when the player’s turn casts a second spell. Drop The Council of Four early in the game and you’ll profit from your opponent’s plays.

9 Coppercoat Vanguard

An image of the Coppercoat Vanguard card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Bruno Biazotto

Taking a human approach to a Riders of Rohan deck gives you a lot of great support cards for this creature type. One of the latest additions to the archetype is the Coppercoat Vanguard.

This cheap creature does double duty, providing a one-sided anthem for your People and a layer of protection. With Coppercoat Vanguard gone, your Humans gain +1/+0 as well as Ward 1. While one mana is a pretty easy tax to pay, it doesn’t hurt to make life difficult for your opponent, and you can certainly put a stop to your opponent’s plans. if it tries to target multiple creatures at once.

8 Court of Ireland

An image of the Court of Ire card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Alexander Forssberg

Becoming a monarch is an incredibly rewarding position. Despite painting a huge target, it comes with all sorts of advantages. S Court of Ire not only helps establish your rule, but can begin to punish your opponents.

Related: Magic: The Gathering – The Best Magic in Lord of the Rings: The Tales of Middle-earth

When you start playing Court of Ire, you automatically become a monarch and are dealt an extra card on the end step. If you’re still a Monarch when it’s your turn, you’ll deal seven damage to any target during your upkeep. If you happen to lose a crown between turns, you deal two damage instead, which still isn’t too bad.

7 Kindred Boon

An image of the Kindred Boon card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by McLean Kendree

Protecting your creatures is a must in decks like Riders of Rohan, and Kindred Boon can help them weather almost any storm. You can choose a creature type when it comes into play, Human is your best bet since it’s a Human based deck, but you can always choose something else if you want.

Then, for just two mana, you can put a divinity counter on a creature you control if it matches the creature type you chose. Creatures with divinity counters are indestructible, which protects them from most removal spells. You can put divinity counters on your creatures at instant speed, so if you’re worried about your opponent destroying your creatures in response to putting counters on them, you can hold mana until later or even in response to their spells.

6 A bandit’s joy

Image of the Outlaws' happy card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Suzanne Helmigh

For a consistent stream of people coming to the game, Outlaws’ Merriment is a great option on a low budget. At the start of your turn, you are randomly given one of three human tokens, each with stats and abilities. You can get a 3/1 with trample and rush, a 2/1 with lifelink and rush, or a 1/2 with rush and deal one damage to anything when it comes into play.

The main deck commander, Eowyn, triggers Shieldmaiden during your combat step if you had a human in play that turn, which Outlaws’ Merriment does automatically. This gives you at least three human tokens, all with a quick attack with this turn.

5 Parish champion

Parish ID Champion painting in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Svetlin Velinova

A one mana human that you can play early and watch it grow with each human you used. Champion of the Parish works by getting a +1/+1 counter every time another human under your control comes into play.

Related: Magic The Gathering – The Best Green Cards in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

Since this ability triggers on normal creatures and tokens, you can raise Champion of the Parish to massive levels after only a few turns, especially if you release it early in the game. Spells that create a lot of people at once, like Forth Eorlingas!, are great for quick acceleration.

4 Archon of Coronation

An image of the Archon of Coronation card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Antonio Jose Manzanedo

Another great card for the Monarch deck, Archon of Coronation completely protects you as long as it’s in play. When Archon of Coronation comes into play, you become a monarch.

Then, as long as you’re a monarch, the damage doesn’t cause you to lose a life. Even though this card seems unstoppable, you can still lose your Monarch status when your opponent’s creature deals combat damage to you, just not losing a life. This way, you can lose both commander damage and poison counter, so keep that in mind before letting your opponents attack freely.

3 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

Thalia, Heretic Cathar card image in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Magali Villenuve

Even if you’re not playing a stax deck, a few cards to slow your opponent down will help you stay ahead of the pack. Thalia, Heretic Cathar keeps your opponents in check by letting their creatures and non-basic lands come into play with touch, often leaving them behind.

This version of Thalia is often overlooked as players find the cheaper Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to be a better choice due to her taxing effect. But underestimating Heretic Cathar can help you stay ahead of your opponents throughout the match.

2 City on fire

Image of the City of Fire card in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Jake Murray
City on Fire by Jake Murray

Sometimes you just need to deal an obscene amount of damage to your opponents, and that’s where City of Fire comes in. While this enchantment normally costs a staggering eight mana, you can tap your creatures to pay its casting cost with its summon ability.

When in play, City on Fire triples all damage your permanents and spells would deal to both players and the permanents they control. This enchantment turns every creature you have in play into a huge threat and can turn an unfavorable attack into a wave that washes over your opponents.

1 Pippin, guard of the Citadel

Pippin, Guard of the Citadel card image in Magic: The Gathering, with artwork by Bartłomiej Gaweł

There are a few cards that do similar things to Pippin, Guard of the Citadel, but since this is a premade Lord of the Rings deck, it seems appropriate to add at least one great card from the deck. Pippin may not be human, but this little hobbit can protect your creatures or help you to victory.

All you have to do is tap Pippin to give another creature you control protection from the chosen card type. You can use this ability to help avoid removal spells, summon instants, or cast spells depending on what your opponent is doing. You can even summon creatures so that your commander can’t be blocked by your opponent’s creatures, helping to ensure victory against damage to the commander.

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