11 Combos And Synergies Of The Lord Of The Rings: Tales Of Middle-earth Limited

Andy “Icky” Ferguson shares eleven key interactions between common and uncommon cards in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Limited for the Arena Open and beyond.

Haunt of the Dead Marshes
Haunt of the Dead Marshes, illustrated by Miklós Ligeti

With the Arena Open coming up this weekend, I’ve prepared a list of my favorite combos and synergies discovered thus far. I’ll keep the combos limited to commons and uncommons, to keep it realistic and uphold tradition.

Cirith Ungol Patrol + Mirkwood Bats

Cirith Ungol Patrol Mirkwood Bats

Mirkwood Bats has tons of fun synergies, with a personal favorite being Smaug, via There and Back Again – killing Smaug creates fourteen treasures, which you can sacrifice for a total of 28 points of damage for good measure. Cirith Ungol Patrol will sacrifice a creature (preferably a token), create a Food, and sacrifice the Food – which is “deal three, draw one, gain three life” if my abacus checks out. Some other great options are Mordor Trebuchet and Denethor, Ruling Steward.

Rally at the Hornburg + Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold

Rally at the Hornburg Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold

Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold is another red card that can steal games out of nowhere. Combining Rally at the Hornburg provides two triggers, creating two 3/1 haste tokens while pumping the rest of your creatures +2/0 as well. Another great sequence is casting Erkenbrand, Lord of Westfold Turn 4, followed by Turn 5 Eomer of the Riddermark. Assuming Eomer will trigger, you will get another enters-the-battlefield trigger from Erkenbrand.

Goblin Fireleaper / Battle-Scarred Goblin + Shelob’s Ambush

Goblin Fireleaper Battle-Scarred Goblin Shelob's Ambush

There aren’t too many combos for the already potent Shelob’s Ambush, but there are a few relevant options. Goblin Fireleaper has the potential to kill any creature upon death, while Battle-Scarred Goblin can take out any blocker before combat damage. You can also combine deathtouch with Wose Pathfinder or Gimli’s Fury to create a deathtouch trample attacker. There’s also potential for Stew the Coneys or Friendly Rivalry if your creatures can’t win a fight on their own.

Haunt of the Dead Marshes + Gollum, Patient Plotter

Haunt of the Dead Marshes Gollum, Patient Plotter

This is my personal favorite combo listed, likely because I rarely pass Gollum, Patient Plotter. It provides a huge late-game advantage, returning Haunt of the Dead Marshes to scry and sacrificing it to return Gollum, Patient Plotter to the battlefield. Both cards are individually strong, so you don’t need to jump through any hoops for this one to come together.

Old Man Willow + Haunt of the Dead Marshes

Old Man Willow Haunt of the Dead Marshes

Another use for Haunt of the Dead Marshes is with Old Man Willow. You can attack each turn, sacrificing the Haunt to pick off a small creature, and return Haunt to the battlefield with the legendary Treefolk.

Dúnedain Blade + Éowyn, Lady of Rohan

Dunedain Blade Eowyn, Lady of Rohan

I haven’t been terribly impressed with Dúnedain Blade thus far, but in the right decks it can be a real threat. Not only will Éowyn, Lady of Rohan provide your small Blade-wielders with first strike, she will also make the Dúnedain Blade equip cost zero so long as it’s equipping another Human.

Gandalf’s Sanction + Treason of Isengard

Gandalf's Sanction Treason of Isengard

It always feels bad if you have to cast Gandalf’s Sanction early in the game to deal with a threat. If you have one or more copies of Treason of Isengard, you can fire it off when you need to, knowing you can grab it later in the game (when it’s most powerful). You can also set up back-to-back Gandalf’s Sanctions, which should end most games via direct damage.

Sam’s Desperate Rescue + Troll of Khazad-dûm

Sam's Desperate Rescue Troll of Khazad-dum

This combo applies to all five of the landcyclers. This will provide a guaranteed target to enable casting Sam’s Desperate Rescue, as well as making the decision between “cycle or keep” much easier.

Shadowfax, Lord of Horses + Eagles of the North

Shadowfax, Lord of Horses Eagles of the North

Shadowfax can create some really strong swings in Boros. Eagles of the North is one of the better cards you can sneak in, buffing the entire team and making the opponent’s blocks awful due to first strike.

Elrond, Lord of Rivendell + Dunland Crebain

Elrond, Lord of Rivendell Dunland Crebain

There are a handful of cards that will create two creatures at once, like Grishnakh, Brash Instigator; Rally at the Hornburg; Protector of Gondor; The Mouth of Sauron; and Shadow Summoning. If you have several of these cards, Elrond, Lord of Rivendell gets a huge upgrade, allowing you to scry and tempt when casting them.

Isolation at Orthanc + Pelargir Survivor

Isolation at Orthanc Pelargir Survivor

Few cards mill in this set, likely due to the abundance of scry, but I’ve activated Pelargir Survivor’s mill ability more than I would have thought. One of the few ways to survive a problematic threat post-Isolation is to mill them within the following turns!

Hopefully you learned something new. If not, go teach a friend (or go outside if it’s safe). Best of luck in the Arena Open!

Lose and Learn, Learn and Win!