Commander Deck of the Week: Samwise’s A Feast for Hobbits

This week, Bennie Smith shows off his A Feast for Hobbits Commander deck featuring Samwise Gamgee

Samwise Gamgee
Samwise Gamgee, illustrated by Ekaterina Burmak

A few months back I built a Selesnya Commander deck around Samwise Gamgee and it was all about Hobbits (technically Halflings) and Food.

Samwise Gamgee

With Wilds of Eldraine, there are some cool new Food and Food matters cards that I’ve spruced up my decklist with and thought it would be a good time to share it!  Back when Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth came out, I wrote up a deep-dive on Samwise which you can read about here.

Sam works best when you cast a lot of creatures (to make Food) and play a lot of historic cards that end up in the graveyard. For this deck, I wanted to lean into this being a Hobbit deck, but lucky for me there are a fair number of legendary Halflings that count as Historic. Several of them also care about Food, so that’s both a flavor and a mechanical win. There are artifacts that are also Food, so you can sacrifice them to Sam’s ability and then later get them back with Sam’s ability later. One new Food in particular from Wilds of Eldraine is awesome for this, and I’ll get into that shortly. 

Alright, so peel those po-tay-toes and stew up those coneys – let’s dig in!

Making Foods

The Shire Gilded Goose Gingerbrute Witch's Oven Candy Trail The Underworld Cookbook Meriadoc Brandybuck Lembas Golden Egg Three Bowls of Porridge Tough Cookie Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender Sam, Loyal Attendant Second Breakfast Eriette's Tempting Apple

Even though we don’t have a Cat to put in Witch’s Oven, the Oven still will do good work here to sacrifice a creature that might otherwise be dying to make Food you can use with Samwise to bring back a historic card. It also combines quite well with a brand new Food card – Eriette’s Tempting Apple!  Cast the Apple, borrow the scariest creature on the battlefield, attack with it, and then sacrifice it to the Oven for (likely) two Food tokens. Then you can sacrifice the Apple with Samwise to put it in the graveyard, and then later bring it back with Samwise to rinse/repeat. Come over here Avacyn, Angel of Hope, see this pretty Apple?  Attack for me and as a thank you I’ll PUT YOU IN THIS OVEN

Three Bowls of Porridge is another workhorse Food, you can deal damage with it, tap down a creature, and then sacrifice it to Samwise to bring back an historic permanent… like, say, a Tempting Apple?

Having creature spells that are also Food goes great with Samwise, so I’ve got Gingerbrute, Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender, and the awesome Tough Cookie! Tough Cookie brings along another Food token too, and its ability to animate Food tokens or any non-creature artifact can make a formidable attack force out of nowhere.

Food Matters

Feasting Hobbit Nimble Hobbit Shire Shirriff Trail of Crumbs Peregrin Took Eastfarthing Farmer Elanor Gardner Night of the Sweets' Revenge Gandalf the White Motivated Pony Banquet Guests

Many of the Halfling cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth and The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Commander care about Food, which is what inspired me to build a Hobbit Food deck in the first place. Sacrificing just two Foods to Feasting Hobbit makes it an 8/8 that can’t be blocked by creatures with power less than eight, which means it’s pretty much unblockable. And I love that Banquet Guests has “Affinity for Food” which makes perfect sense both mechanically and flavor-wise – the more Food you have, the bigger your Guests!  Elanor Gardner is quietly one of the best cards in the deck – letting you ramp your mana base once each turn you’ve sacrificed Food. Since she’s legendary, you’ll be able to bring her back from the graveyard with Samwise. Motivated Pony isn’t a Halfling, but Hobbits ride ponies into battle and hit particularly hard when there’s Food being brought along. It’s a great way to have your usually small Halfling army grow large and angry. Night of the Sweets’ Revenge offers up a similar aggressive maneuver but as a one-shot, though in the meantime, it lets you tap Food tokens for a green mana. 

Eastfarthing Farmer isn’t powerful enough of a card to normally make it in a Commander deck, but because it’s a Halfling that cares about Food, and because the artwork looks a lot like my friend Shivam Bhatt from the Commander Advisory Group, it’s got a place in the deck, especially since I have a foil copy. 

The Ring Tempts You

Frodo Baggins Samwise the Stouthearted Took Reaper Inherited Envelope The Ring Goes South

A few exceptions besides, most of the Halflings are rather small, which makes utilizing The Ring tempts you a great way to help one little Halfling sneak past blockers. Temptation Level 2 provides a nice loot effect to help you draw into cards you need while discarding cards you don’t. I like having The Ring Goes South as mana ramp for the deck, especially since The Ring tempts you mechanic can make a non-legendary creature into the Ring-bearer, and legendary.


Path of Ancestry Delighted Halfling Archivist of Oghma Prosperous Innkeeper The Gaffer Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit Field-tested Frying Pan Saradoc, Master of Buckland Farmer Cotton

We didn’t have many Halflings in Magic until this year, but it’s nice to have a good home for Prosperous Innkeeper and Archivist of Oghma. Farmer Cotton brings along his own army of Halfling tokens and a bunch of Food to feed them too!  I like Saradoc’s ability to make 1/1 white Halfling tokens, and potentially give itself a huge power boost and lifelink for a crucial attack or block. Gaining life is something that The Gaffer appreciates, though it’s pretty easily done by sacrificing a single Food for three life.

Card Draw

Minas Tirith Skullclamp Bilbo's Ring Harmonize Well of Lost Dreams Travel Through Caradhras

As a themed deck, my flex slots are a bit limited, so I have a fewer raw card draw cards than I usually prefer. I do run Harmonize in a lot of decks, but I’m pleased with this one to use the new artwork that features a bunch of Hobbits taking a bath and singing “The Bath Song” in harmony!  Well of Lost Dreams is like a turbo-charged The Gaffer since you can sacrifice a Food for three life, and then spend one to three mana to draw one to three cards.

I’ve not yet cast Travel Through Caradhras so I’m very curious to see how it plays. What would you choose if someone cast this against you?  Do you vote for Redhorn Pass to let your opponent ramp?  Or do you vote for Mines of Moria to return a card from your graveyard to your hand?


Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire Boseiju, Who Endures Nature's Claim Swords to Plowshares Atraxa's Fall Contraband Livestock The Battle of Bywater Wrath of God Fell the Mighty Sylvan Reclamation

I’ve got a lot of the removal spells you’d expect in a Selesnya deck, though I still don’t see enough people playing Contraband Livestock, which is the most fun you can have removing a creature from the game. Of course, Fell the Mighty and The Battle of Bywater will often not be symmetrical since most of my creatures are quite small, so leaving behind an army of Halflings sounds just about perfect.


Rogue's Passage Barrow-Blade Heroic Intervention Flawless Maneuver Ascend from Avernus

Since my deck wants to play a lot of creatures to the battlefield, I decided to include both Heroic Intervention and Flawless Maneuver to help dodge battlefield sweepers that would otherwise wreck me. I can even use them offensively by following up with a Wrath of God to clear away my opponents’ blockers and crash in with a bunch of angry Halflings.

While I do have a couple of creatures that can get quite large and threatening, I mostly have Rogue’s Passage in the deck because it has that new artwork that features Bag End. But Rogue’s Passage can be used for any creature, not just your own, so sometimes you can team up against someone who’s otherwise crushing the pod with their shenanigans.

Mana Ramp

Krosan Verge Myriad Landscape Blighted Woodland Sol Ring Growing Rites of Itlimoc Inspiring Statuary Skyshroud Claim Storm the Festival

I wanted to highlight Inspiring Statuary here since it’s another way to turn Food tokens into mana. Particularly nice for recasting Samwise if he’s been killed too many times by your opponents.

Okay, here is the full decklist:

Samwise Gamgee
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 09-15-2023
Magic Card Back

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What must-have cards might I have missed including here?  Are there any other Halflings I might have overlooked?

Talk to Me

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And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!