We’re taking Middle-earth into the 21st century, y’all!

Welcome back to Cardsphere, where I occasionally have good ideas about the Commander format of Magic: the Gathering. My last two articles broke down my picks for the best cards for Commander from Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. Even though, by Magic product release standards, this set is already ancient, we’re still spending some time with it. And today I'm giving you one of my silliest deck ideas ever. Intrigued? Read on.

Not What You’d Call “Competitive”

But first, a warning. If your goal in Commander is to win more often than not, today’s deck tech will not be for you. This tech is going full-on thematic; no busted combos, no tutors for alternate win cons. Just swinging creatures at opponents like the good Dr. Garfield intended.

All right, back to the silly thing.

I’ve had a hard time getting interested in brewing lately (burnout from product fatigue? Possibly. Just kidding, that's the reason)). So I wanted to do something a little different with this deck tech. I tried to think of a way to go with a theme that used Lord of the Rings, but also clashed with it somehow.

I started by looking through all the possible commanders from the set. I knew I was going to avoid the top ten or so from EDHREC, cuz I’m still trying desperately to rack up that hipster cred. And also because I knew any deck ideas I’d come up with for those legends would have already been done by now by far better content creators than me. I landed on Samwise Gamgee. Not an overly powerful commander, to be sure, and certainly not one I spent any time on in my review. Food doesn’t really do a whole lot, at least not enough to be a viable strategy in Commander. But something pulled me toward him.


It’s the Hairy Feet, Isn’t It?

With Sam, I want to get a lot of creatures hitting the board. But there’s that nontoken clause, which rules out a lot of easy ways to trigger him. So instead I’ll need to fill the deck with a lot of cheap creatures. And as luck would have it, this new set gave us plenty of those. Hobbits! Or, if you prefer, Halflings.

So I’m dropping a ton of hobbits on the field and making food. Not a crazy idea, and also not a way to win any games. So what could I do with those hobbits that might make this deck more powerful? The answer was in Sam’s second ability. You can sacrifice three foods to return a historic card from your graveyard to your hand. What do we do with that?

My first thought was Sagas, since those are one of the three things classified as historic. But that didn’t really go anywhere, and the hobbits couldn’t really interact with it. Also, my recent deck tech was a Saga deck with Tom Bombadil, and I didn’t want you to think I was copying my own homework. How about artifacts instead? Okay, you know I love a good artifact deck. What can I do with artifacts that would be unique that the hobbits could interact with? Here comes the silly part.

Finally Getting to the Point

You’ve heard of “Bears in Cars”. Now it’s time for “Hobbits in Cars!” That’s right, friends. These little Halflings aren’t so great for sending into battle, but they are great for Crewing big ass Vehicles! And if those Vehicles get destroyed, we just sac some foods to bring them back with Sam’s ability.

We’ll need a lot of hobbits at this party to make sure we’re making food and Crewing, so let’s take a look at some of those.


Elanor Gardner and Delighted Halfling provide ramp. Farmer Cotton makes us food and more hobbits, while his daughter, Rosie Cotton of South Lane makes our creatures bigger when we make tokens. The Gaffer and Peregrin Took help with our card draw, while Sam, Loyal Attendant makes our food abilities cheaper. There’s also Samwise the Stouthearted, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and more!

To fill things out, I’ve included a few “honorary” hobbits as well. Archivist of Oghma, Esper Sentinel, and Welcoming Vampire help with card draw, while Gilded Goose and Deep Gnome Terramancer give us some extra mana. And if we want to get even more mana, Academy Manufactor will give us a treasure whenever we make a food (and a clue too!) And there’s Grand Abolisher and Selfless Spirit for a bit of protection.


Hobbits Go Vroom

This is a Vehicle deck, isn’t it? So let’s see some Vehicles! Aerial Surveyor and Cultivator’s Caravan add to our ramp suite, while Daredevil Dragster, Smuggler’s Copter, and Mighty Servant of Leuk-O help keep the cards coming. Reaver Titan, Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, and Knight Paladin dish out some damage, Mysterious Limousine provides some removal, and Nautiloid Ship takes out a graveyard.


Weatherlight grabs other historic cards from the top of our deck. Thunderhawk Gunship makes our attacks much harder to block. Getaway Car has some cool synergy with our commander, allowing us to return a cheap hobbit to our hand to recast it and get more food. And you can’t have a Vehicle deck without Parhelion II, because it’s just a giant threat. We’re also revving up Esika’s Chariot, Goliath Truck, Necron Monolith, Ovalchase Dragster, and Reckoner Bankbuster.

Here’s the full decklist, with a link to Moxfield to give it a test drive.

1 Samwise Gamgee
1 Academy Manufactor
1 Aerial Surveyor
1 Anointed Procession
1 Arcane Signet
1 Archivist of Oghma
1 Beast Whisperer
1 Bill the Pony
1 Boseiju, Who Endures
1 Bountiful Promenade
1 Branchloft Pathway
1 Brandywine Farmer
1 Brushland
1 Canopy Vista
1 Citywide Bust
1 Command Tower
1 Cultivate
1 Cultivator's Caravan
1 Daredevil Dragster
1 Deep Gnome Terramancer
1 Delighted Halfling
1 Dusk/Dawn
1 Eastfarthing Farmer
1 Eerie Interlude
1 Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
1 Elanor Gardner
1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
1 Esika's Chariot
1 Esper Sentinel
1 Eternal Witness
1 Farmer Cotton
5 Forest
1 Fortified Village
1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
1 Getaway Car
1 Gilded Goose
1 Gingerbread Cabin
1 Goliath Truck
1 Grand Abolisher
1 Heroic Intervention
1 Hobbit's Sting
1 Inventors' Fair
1 Jhoira's Familiar
1 Knight Paladin
1 Krosan Verge
1 Mentor of the Meek
1 Meriadoc Brandybuck
1 Merry, Warden of Isengard
1 Mighty Servant of Leuk-o
1 Minas Tirith
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Mysterious Limousine
1 Nautiloid Ship
1 Necron Monolith
1 Nettlecyst
1 Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
1 Ovalchase Dragster
1 Overgrown Farmland
1 Panharmonicon
1 Parhelion II
1 Peregrin Took
8 Plains
1 Prowl, Stoic Strategist
1 Reaver Titan
1 Reckoner Bankbuster
1 Rosie Cotton of South Lane
1 Sam, Loyal Attendant
1 Samwise the Stouthearted
1 Saradoc, Master of Buckland
1 Scattered Groves
1 Selfless Spirit
1 Shire Shirriff
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Smuggler's Copter
1 Sol Ring
1 Sungrass Prairie
1 Sunpetal Grove
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Temple Garden
1 Temple of Plenty
1 The Battle of Bywater
1 The Gaffer
1 The Shire
1 Thunderhawk Gunship
1 Treasure Vault
1 Weatherlight
1 Welcoming Vampire
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Bastion

Into the West

Like I said earlier, the deck isn’t setting up to win games by turn three, but it’s definitely looking to have some thematic fun. While the hobbits might not seem like much, they’re perfect for turning massive Vehicles into machines of death. Don’t forget to hit your board wipes before you Crew, so you don’t kill your Vehicles. Citywide Bust, Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, Dusk // Dawn, and The Battle of Bywater are all gonna take your opponents’ big threats, while leaving your hobbits safe and sound.


So what do you think? There’s plenty of room for improvement here, so hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you’d add.

Thanks for reading, friends! Until next time, take care. And play lots of games!