Sauron, the Dark Lord
Sauron, the Dark Lord

Sauron, the Dark Lord

Date Reviewed:  June 16, 2023

Constructed: 3.00
Casual: 4.75
Limited: 5.00
Multiplayer: 4.25
Commander [EDH]: 4.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


With a simple and descriptive title like “the Dark Lord”, you’d expect this version of Sauron to be the baseline for the character, if you like. I think they pretty much got it – the flavor is on point, and his game text is quite strong as things go. This particular color combination is not always known for relying on big creatures, but if your deck needs one (or is in Commander and wants to be those colors), he’s a good choice. His ward cost ranges from painful to impossible to meet, depending on the opponent, and it’s very appealing that he brings both other creatures when your opponents try to do anything, and additional cards when you force things through. And in Grixis colors, your opponents have to try to be proactive to beat you, and you have multiple ways of forcing things through.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4.5

 James H. 


Sauron is one of the progenitors of the “evil lord” in fantasy archetype, a power-hungry evil whose goal is to rule as an unfettered and unmatched god-king of sorts. Echoes of Sauron’s machinations can be seen in characters like Nicol Bolas, with the schemes and the conniving to enact subjugation. Sauron is very much Evil, and he’s sort of the main force of chaos and malfeasance up through the end of The Lord of the Rings.

One of several Sauron cards in the set, the Dark Lord is one of those creatures who winds up being a lot more threatening than he seems at first. The ward protection is certainly daunting, forcing an opponent to pony up a potentially powerful creature or artifact to have the chance to get at him, and casting those spells will cause his forces to start amassing. He plays well with the temptation of the ring mechanic by offering a resource refill each time it triggers, can trigger it himself with his hordes of Orcs, and is just good at generating a lot of advantage passively. He’s also a 7/6; no combat abilities means he won’t usually want to take to the battlefield, but he can hit hard if he’s given room to.

Sauron, the Dark Lord is good at capturing his power and his malevolence; he’s surprisingly hard to out, and he’s punishing to play into. I’m not optimistic about him being a force in Modern, though he’s certainly not weak; the main issue is that he costs six mana and needs time to get rolling. I could see him working, though, as he demands a board wipe to remove against most decks.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 4.5
Commander [EDH]: 4.5

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