Magic: The Gathering Lord of the Rings Card Preview: Meneldor, Swift Savior

Magic: The Gathering – Lord of the Rings ‘Meneldor, Swift Savior’ Card Preview

It’s been teased for over a year now, and the long-awaited Universes Beyond crossover for Magic: the Gathering and Lord of the Rings will finally land on 23 June. Thanks to the fellowship of Wizards of the Coast, we’ve been bestowed a magnificent preview card that no other human eyes have laid upon: Meneldor, Swift Savior!

Magic: The Gathering Lord of the Rings Card Preview: Meneldor, Swift Savior (2)

In Lord of the Rings, Meneldor is part of the Great Eagles that live in the Misty Mountains. Here in Magic: the Gathering, Meneldor, Swift Savior is an uncommon Creature card (there is no Eagle Creature type in MTG, so Bird will have to do). Four Mana for a 3/3 Flyer isn’t half bad, but it does have one upside:

“Whenever Meneldor, Swift Savior deals combat damage to a player, exile up to one target creature you own, then return it to the battlefield under your control.” 

This “blink” effect is a nice gameplay trick that many players deploy in order to get additional “Enter the Battlefield” triggered abilities. For example, assuming Meneldor lands a hit on the opponent, and you choose to Exile a Bola Slinger (or any other Creature with the Backup mechanic), you’re going to be able to place another +1/+1 counter and give Bola Slinger’s tap ability for one turn. 

Meneldor’s close cousin is the Enchantment called Teleportation Circle, which does the same blinking effect, except it’s a guaranteed trigger once every turn. In times when Meneldor cannot find an opening to deal damage, then Teleportation Circle becomes a better choice if you’re playing many Creatures with Enter the Battlefield effects. 

Other Enter the Battlefield effects include Ertai Resurrected, which can either destroy a Creature or counter a spell, and Burglar Rat that makes the opponent Discard a card. Whatever effect you desire, there’s probably a card for it.

One additional bonus effect may not make much difference, but multiple instances provide a lot of value. The weakness of Meneldor, Swift Savior, is that it needs to deal combat damage to the opponent, which may not always be possible. Having Flying makes it easier to achieve that, but if the opponent has a flyer with 4 Toughness, then you’re stuck. 

Meneldor, Swift Savior isn’t going to warp the meta on its own, but it can be a useful utility card in mid-range decks, and still serves a decent attacker and blocker. This should see some play in the prerelease events, should you be lucky to open one in your kit!

End Step

Unlike the previous Universes Beyond crossover with Warhammer 40k, this journey into Middle-Earth is a full product set, available in Set and Collector Booster boxes, not to mention preconstructed Commander decks. 

With 281 regular cards inspired from the realms of Lord of the Rings, there’s a lot for both sets of fans to be excited about. It won’t be long before players can have a one-to-one between Gandalf and Nicol Bolas on the battlefield, and the question then will be: who shall not pass?