Riders of Rohan - Upgrade Guide

(Eowyn, Shieldmaiden | Art by Craig Elliott)

Hello again everyone! It’s Bert from the Scrap Trawlers, where we do EDH on a budget. Last time I talked about the new Riders of Rohan deck from the Tales of Middle-earth Commander decks. Now we're back to give that deck some upgrades so it can work a bit better for us in our games. With that being said, let's get started by looking at the original list! 

Riders of Rohan

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Commander (1)
Creatures (31)
Sorceries (8)
Instants (4)
Enchantments (6)
Artifacts (12)
Lands (38)


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Entering the True Battlefield

As is custom at this point, before we get into the upgrades, lets go over our face commander, Eowyn, Shieldmaiden. Eowyn is a Human commander in the Jeskai colors. This gives us a bit more support than we would have if we were just in Boros. That support is what makes Eowyn such a force to be reckoned with. We have a ton of Humans that are playable in our colors and they all have niche synergies that can make the deck hum. Eowyn encourages the player to play a Human creature so that they can get more tokens and ultimately get to that card draw at the end of her ability. So our plan for the deck is to focus on empowering the deck with a few more creatures that can make the most out of our board states, while also upping the baseline of card draw so that we can have an easier time throughout the game.

New Recruits

There are a few cards that I would like to get added to the deck so that we can more reliably draw cards. One of the cards I really like is Quarrel’s End from the main set. It’s a simple common, but drawing two cards and making a Human creature gives us the possibility to trigger Eowyn and make a few more creatures and advance our board state. Idol of Oblivion will provide us with a ton of cards over the course of a game. It'll draw us a card whenever we make a token, and it doesn’t have to be a creature token, so we can add some other synergies and increase the power of this card as well.

Still in the vein of card draw I would like to bring your attention to [/el]Mass Appeal[/el] and Distant Melody. They both have a similar function to give us some burst draw and have a high ceiling that can provide us with a ton of cards. Last but not least I have another new card from the main set that will give us some great card advantage. Horn of the Mark has perfect applications for our deck, making it so that we can continually get creatures in our hand to cast and trigger Eowyn even more. 

One question that I've been asking myself since I saw the deck is “How do we protect Eowyn and our value creatures?” I opted for Swiftfoot Boots and a new card from March of the Machine: Aftermath, Coppercoat Vanguard. Shroud and Ward are powerful mechanics that give us a bit more protection for our creatures. With Eowyn costing five, we really like to have her stick once we cast her. With these two additions and the suite that was included in the deck, we have a nice assortment of protection. Let’s move on to some general enablers that will empower our deck even more. 

So in this section I want to get the most out of our creatures so we can power them up and make our combat step a bit more effective. One of the best cards for this is Adriana, Captain of the Guard. Melee is extremely powerful for us as we'll have a ton of creatures to attack with and it gives us power just for attacking. Another two creatures that can power up our combat step are Hero of Bladehold and Blade Historian. I know that Hero doesn't make Humans on attack, but they're worth it just for the Battle Cry effect. Pumping our creatures makes it so our opponents have a harder time trading with some of our smaller creatures. Blade Historian giving our attacking creatures double strike really solidifies our board presence and makes us a problem to deal with.

Lastly I want to include one of my favorite creatures, Thalia’s Lieutenant, just for the counters on our creatures and the possibility for it to get huge from the creatures entering the battlefield.

Barred from Battle

In this section we'll go over some cards that will be cut. I know Dearly Departed has the potential to pump all of our creatures, but the slot for it can be used for a card that has more of an immediate effect on our board. Costing six mana and not being a Human makes it a bit too ineffective for my taste, so it'll definitely be cut. In a similar vein, Marshal’s Anthem is another card I feel doesn't really fit in the deck. It's an anthem that has the upside of getting a creature back from the yard each time you kick it, but the mana investment that's needed for this is just a bit too much for my taste.

A majority of the Monarch cards included in the deck do better in a deck specific to the mechanic. Cards like Fealty to the Realm, Denethor, Stone Seer, Court of Ire, and a host of other cards just feel like they were made for our alternate commander, Aragorn, King of Gondor.

Next let's go over some of the cards I would add if there were no budget restriction.

No Limit Soldier

So here at Scrap Trawlers we are a budget focused group. But what are some cards that I would include with Eowyn if there were no budget? First and foremost I'd have to go with token all star Anointed Procession. The synergy between this and Eowyn just would be amazing, so it definitely can't be overlooked. And They Shall Know No Fear has crept up to five bucks lately, but I can't think of any other place where it would fit in better than here. It serves as both a pump and protection spell that we can use to keep our creatures safe.

Speaking of protection spells, having either Flawless Maneuver or Teferi’s Protection would ensure that we're safe from whatever our opponents can throw our way. Lastly a card that has a home in every creature type synergy deck is Kindred Discovery. Drawing cards would be a breeze with this on the battlefield. So if you feel like spending a few extra bucks, try to pick up some of these to make your deck even more powerful.

Roster for War

Here is what our modified list looks like!

Riders of Rohan Upgrade

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Commander (1)
Sorceries (12)
Creatures (28)
Instants (5)
Enchantments (3)
Artifacts (13)
Lands (38)


Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

I had a fun time going through this deck in particular and am excited to see some of your builds for it in the future. Let me know what you think of the upgrades and the deck in general!

Make sure to check back for more precon guides from us Scrap Trawlers. You can also check out our budget content over on Twitch and YouTube and follow us on Twitter. Don’t forget to upgrade your precon on a budget!

Scrap Trawlers is a Magic: The Gathering budget EDH streaming and video group, with gameplay, deck techs, chats, and more. Catch our videos at youtube.com/scraptrawlers. Andy, Lenny, and Bert.

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