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MTG Arena nerfs the two best Lord of the Rings cards

What about second balance? Two Magic: The Gathering cards from the MTG Lord of the Rings set have been rebalanced for MTG Arena players.

MTG cards, Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring

A Wizards of the Coast blog post from October 9 reveals that two popular Magic: The Gathering cards are being nerfed on MTG Arena. Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring, two powerful cards from the Tales of Middle-earth set, will both be rebalanced ahead of the Alchemy: Eldraine release on October 10.

Orcish Bowmasters is a prized pull from the MTG Lord of the Rings set. This is a 1/1 creature with flash that costs just one black and one colorless mana, and it has an ‘enters the battlefield’ ability that consistently deals damage and amasses Orcs. It’s seen wide play across many MTG formats, and it was considered so powerful that the Commander rules committee briefly had it on ban watch.

MTG card Orcish Bowmasters

Like Orcish Bowmasters, The One Ring is one of the most expensive Magic cards from Tales of Middle-earth (and that’s not even considering the $2 million dollar version owned by Post Malone). The four-mana colorless artifact has indestructible and protects you from everything for a single turn when it’s cast. Sure, you lose life as part of its upkeep, but it also boosts your card draw if you tap it.

“Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring have been some of the strongest and most played cards in Alchemy and Historic since The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth was released”, Wizards of the Coast explains in Monday’s article. As a result, both cards have been tweaked for MTG Arena.

MTG card The One Ring

Orcish Bowmasters has lost its ‘enter the battlefield trigger’ – now it only deals damage and amasses Orcs when an opponent draws a card (excluding the first pulled in their draw step). The One Ring now also costs a mana to use its tap ability.

“Orcish Bowmasters had no opportunity cost to be included in every black deck, and as a result, its enter-the-battlefield ability was pushing one-toughness creatures out of Alchemy and Historic”, Wizards writer Clayton Kroh says. “We want to maintain the card’s role as a counter to card drawing, so we are removing enter-the-battlefield effect to reduce its warping impact on the metagame.”

“The One Ring was too efficient at effectively winning the game with its sheer amount of card advantage”, the article adds. “We are adding a mana to the activated ability to give players more time to execute their own strategy or interact with The One Ring before it takes over the game.”

For more on the latest MTG sets, here’s all we know about the MTG 2023 release schedule – as well as what’s coming up on the MTG release schedule in 2024. And for Arena players, here are the best MTG Arena decks and MTG Arena codes around right now.