Riders of Rohan precon deck review
As an avid Lord of the Rings fan, I have to admit I was a little worried about this set. It is so easy to ruin something that is beloved by many, and I am relieved and thankful to be able to say that Wizards of the Coast did a wonderful job of bringing the magic and pageantry of LOTR to MTG. So, thank you to Unplug Yourself for supplying this deck for me to play with. I had a blast.
So, what is in the box?
Eowyn, Shieldmaiden is card draw and token generation on a stick. It is so easy to achieve having six or more humans on the board thanks to her first triggered ability, that card draw in a Boros deck is not a problem at all. In fact, it’s a good thing Thought Vessel has been reprinted to help you with that suddenly overflowing hand.
The deck runs 38 lands which I tend to think is a bit much since I lean towards around 34 lands in homebrewed decks. However, that being said, I didn’t find the deck flooding. And since I was drawing so many cards all the time off Eowyn, any pockets of things I didn’t want didn’t hang around long.
There are 31 Creatures in this deck, most of which are Humans, making it very easy to trigger Eowyn. There are 6 Enchantments, 8 Sorceries, 4 Instants and 12 Artifacts of which 2 are Equipment.
When I played the deck, I think only one of the 9 pieces of removal came out to play but it really didn’t matter anyway. Some of the new cards are, Palace Jailer and Court of Ire which is really more of a burn card doing direct damage. There are general sweepers like Earthquake and then there are pieces of general removal like reprints of Banishing Light and good old Swords to Ploughshares.
One of the things this deck does very well, is that it makes tokens. Eowyn is a Token generating machine with her first triggered ability but apart from her there are also 10 other cards that make tokens. Faramir, Steward of Gondor; Prince Imrahil, the Fair; Oath of Eor; Increasing Devotion and Visions of Glory are worth mentioning here.
Another part of this deck’s mechanics is giving creatures counters. I was a little worried that this deck would try to do too much with the token creation and adding counters of top of it, but it seems to work well for some reason. There are 12 cards that give counters either to other creatures or to themselves. Some even allow you give your creatures Lifelink or menace and things like that. Cards worth mentioning here are; Gilraen, Dunedain Protector; Beregond of the Guard; Eomer, King of Rohan; Gimli of the Glittering Caves and Marshal’s Anthem.
Now we have mentioned card draw already but that was just to gush over how cool Eowyn is as a commander. There are other cards that supply some card draw. There are 3 to be exact 1 of which is Boromir, Gondor’s Hope. There is also one card that offers you the option to scry and that is Denethor, Stone Seer.
All this has been quite what you would expect in a precon deck but now we come to the truly fun part, what I’m calling The Bag of Combat Tricks. Yup, this deck has come with a whole lot of ways of messing with your opponents, which makes it so very, very cool. From stealing their creatures with Call for Aid to Goading the lot of them with Taunt from the Rampart, there’s something fun to do in this deck for one and all.
I especially love Bastion Protector buffing up Eowyn and making her indestructible. That certainly comes in handy. It’s also always fun to give attacking creatures menace with Frontier Warmonger and to get an additional combat round when you need it most with Combat Celebrant, another awesome reprint. Aragorn, King of Gondor plays into the Monarch mechanic of the deck and allows you to stop your opponent’s creatures from being able to block and Champions of Minas Tirith forces opponents to pay tax to attack you. However, Shared Animosity has got to be my favourite of these options because it buffs all your creatures by the number of creatures you’re attacking with of the same type. In a deck just packed full of Humans, you’re buffing by five or six with no effort at all. It’s wonderful.
So, how does the deck play?
I enjoyed it, exactly as it was. I felt that with Eowyn’s abilities it was easy to keep the deck ticking over, build up a board and then make my move. The best part about the deck was that it survived and rebuilt after two or three sweepers had been played. It’s rare you find a creature deck like this that can withstand that kind of treatment, and yet this little deck did. I thought it played really well. It’s a lovely, well-balanced deck.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that at the moment I have no urge to upgrade it. It wasn’t lacking anything that I noticed when playing it. But why not get your hands on one of these amazing LOTR decks and have some fun? They are flavourful, well thought out and a joy to play.
Well, until next time, keep playing and I’ll see you on the battlefield.
Easy Gaming Group