The Lord of the Rings Tales of Middle-earth Modern Results

The Lord of the Rings Tales of Middle-earth Modern Results

Mason ClarkModern

Lord of the Rings Tales of Middle-earth hasn’t been around Magic Online for long, but there are already plenty of Modern results to look at from recent challenges and the showcase. 

The decks we’re looking at today are all from the finals of either kind of event. And while that’s not a direct indicator of how good the decks are, it is an incredibly promising sign that all of these early versions of the decks with new cards did so well. 

Breach combo

Breach combo has been a fringe staple in Modern for the last six months, though it is often seen more in paper than on Magic Online due to the extraneous nature of this combo. However, we did see it win one of the modern challenges sporting three copies of modern’s newest, biggest baddie: The One Ring

As we wrote about recently, The One Ring is a card advantage monster, making cards like just Jace, the Mind Sculptor look more like Divination than anything else.

This deck has always supported a fast combo with a fair back up plan. The ring actually helps both of these, as you can use it to draw a ton of cards and overwhelm the opponent or use the protection to buy whole turns. However, there’s even more to this than meets the eye, because adding the ring to the deck actually unlocked a new combo.

You can now play the ring with an Emry in play, gain protection from everything, sacrifice the ring to Grinding Station and then re-cast it with your Emry. Now you get to mill your opponent out while being safe from attacks. 

This is most effective in game one, as some decks don’t have an answer to this. Hammer time is probably the best example. 

As a result, Breach is one of the most brutally efficient decks in the format (though it’s also one of the most punishing decks if played incorrectly). I have no doubt we will see this archetype keep growi ng as players get their hands on more copies of The One Ring.


A magic online player by the name Xerk won a Modern challenge recently with a new build of Yawgmoth. And if you’re familiar with Magic Online results, this is a name and archetype you’ll recognize.

That said, let’s skip over The One Ring for the most part and simply note that in a critical mass combo deck, this card works extremely well. There are actually some other Tales of Middle-earth cards in the deck we should talk about. 

Delighted Halfling is a card players have quickly adopted in Yawgmoth decks. Not dying to Wrenn and Six is big enough quality on its own, but also making both Grist and Yawgmoth uncounterable is huge. It also just has a single power, which sounds silly but matters when blocking Ragavan while also helping enable a beatdown plan. 

Before this set came out, we saw this player crush some challenges with Arboreal Grazer in Halfling’s place, so this seems like a change we can expect to stay. In fact maybe Grazer will just replace Ignoble Hierarch instead, one day. Personally, I’m not a huge believer in one toughness creatures in the Wrenn and Six world of today. 

Speaking of one toughness creatures, though, Orcish Bowmasters clears the high bar required to be worth playing. This creature gives you some much-needed interaction while also being two bodies for the price of one. 

There are two advantages to the extra bodies. For starters, Yawgmoth himself is happy to convert Orcish Bowmaster into two new draws and shrink the opponent’s board. On the other hand, Chord of Calling is much easier to convoke with Orcish Bowmasters in play, meaning Yawmoth can arrive that much quicker. Finally, Grist is very happy to have a card that generates an easy to sacrifice body.

Granted, a lot of these changes meant we had to cut cards. Strangleroot Geist is one that fell to the chopping block and is probably the biggest shocker. While Geist is part of the combo, this deck is moving away from being an all in combo deck and more toward a Midrange deck. 

That’s also why you see Eldritch Evolution cut from the deck. We are just trying to play more real games, which makes it slightly harder to have miscellaneous combo pieces lying around.

Boros Convoke

Your eyes are not deceiving you: this article is about Modern and not Pioneer. However, this list is inspired by the Pioneer deck of the same name, and it looks to add more consistency by having more enablers and a few more payoffs. 

Ironically, most of the payoffs are also in Pioneer. However, the cards around those payoffs are more optimal, mostly due to two factors.

First is Memnite. Ornithopter already leads to some of the most broken draws out of the Pioneer version, and this zero drop is no different.

Second is the addition of Kuldotha Rebirth. Pioneer versions of this deck only have Gleeful Demolition as a way to vomit goblins onto the board, so the four extra copies make a big difference in terms of consistency.

As a result, we can run more convoke creatures. The current convoke creature of choice is Halo Hopper, which is actually castable off of one of our two token enablers.

It’s also worth mentioning that this deck is currently playing one Flowering of the White Tree. Despite not getting the legendary buff on any of its creatures, a two mana anthem for all these small creatures is a very potent tool in your arsenal.

That said, I’m sure a lot of players are looking at this deck thing to themselves, “deck just loses to Fury. Can’t be good.” While Fury can be a problem In the early game, it’s not like a single Fury is lights out. 

There are a lot of times where Fury might look like a four for two, but in reality, it’s more like a two for two. This is also not considering that if we get to convoke out our creatures, this will mitigate a large part Fury’s ability to slow down our pressure. 

Two thirds of our convoke threats minimize Fury dramatically. We also have Burrenton Forge-Tender in our sideboard as a way to counter fury and other red based removal. In fact the entire sideboard is dedicated to playing cheap answers that knock an opponent’s lights out if they stay on the board.

This deck is very good currently. Players have cards they can turn to for answering the deck, but outside of things like Engineered Explosives and Fury, most aren’t widely applicable. It will be interesting to see how this deck evolves as people play it more and force the metagame to evolve around it.

End Step

I don’t think anyone would have expected just how many new cards besides The One Ring would dominate the Magic Online metagame. However this is an exciting new world, and if you’re a fan of Modern, there are so many interesting decks out there. Go play Magic and see what is possible!