The One Ring
The One Ring


Date Reviewed:  June 5, 2023

Constructed: 3.63
Casual: 5.00
Limited: 4.00
Multiplayer: 4.00
Commander [EDH]: 4.75

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

Reviews Below: 


One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them; One Ring to gather familiar Magic text into a deceptively powerful effect. My gut feeling is that this card was intended to evoke some of the fear of what Sauron could do with his One Ring if he ever regained it; you might recall that those details are left very vague in the novels, and all we really know is that it would make him much more powerful.

Magic’s rules need things to be much more explicit, and this card delivers on that promise of power. First of all, there are plenty of cards that give you part of what protection from everything does – preventing you from being damaged, or from being targeted, or from being attacked – but there are none that do all of these at once. That’s why it’s a one-time effect on The One Ring, yet it’s also worded in such a way that you can turn it into an engine with anything that lets you re-cast it (I’ve got to point out that Blood Clock is also colorless, even). And while those engines might mean you never have to pay more than one life for an extra card at the time, you don’t even need them for it to pull you away from one or even multiple opponents. Drawing one card then two cards will probably be common, and drawing one then two then three only slightly less common – and it’s hard to lose when you do that.

While The One Ring’s casting cost was set to make it not so good in Modern and other very large tournament formats, don’t let it fool you. Just as its namesake was a simple band of gold that held the fate of Middle-earth, this card is more than capable of winning games all on its own in the right context.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 5
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4.5

 James H. 


Quick reminder: cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth are legal in Modern and all deeper formats than that; think of it as a Tolkien-themed Modern Horizons set.

Getting into the nitty-gritty of Middle-Earth has many logical entry points, but I think none make as much sense as the titular artifact of The Lord of the Rings, in a sense. The One Ring may be the most famous ring in all of fantasy, a magical artifact of unbounded evil and immeasurable puisance, forged by the Dark Lord Sauron to enable hm to be the “lord of the rings” and exert control over all of those foolish enough to wear the rings he gifted to them. In practice, the characters who wielded the ring weren’t able to bring its full might to bear, but here we are.

Let’s start from the top with The One Ring: it’s a four-mana artifact that protects you the turn cycle it comes down. Protection from everything means you can’t take damage (usually) and can’t be hit by targeted spells, and it can be quite hard to work around (especially with ways to flicker it). The main attraction will probably be the card-draw ability, which functions a bit like Mind Unbound. The One Ring will give you what you seek, but the price is not going to be a cheap one, and while the benefits are real, the costs are as well in a long game. Life loss rarely matters a lot, but Modern’s calculus often puts players well below 20 life through various effects, and The One Ring is not without its perils.

All that said, Th One Ring is scarily good, offering a bit of protection and a potent bit of card draw late. Four mana means it’s not likely to make massive waves in Modern; it’s right at he top of the curve, and while it does protect you for a turn and gets you at least three cards out of it (outside of exiling removal; indestructible makes this deceptively hard to out at times), I feel like the four mana cost will make this really only find homes in more controlling decks. It is phenomenal there, though, and ways to flicker this might make for a hard-to-crack defensive pall that gets you plenty of cards along the way.

Constructed: 3.75 (I think it might be a bit too pricey to be a staple, but this is very scary in decks that can support it)
Casual: 5 (be sure to hiss “my precious” every time you play this)
Limited: 4 (might kill you through either the life bleed or the card draw, but could as easily get you across the finish line)
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 5 (this might slowly become a format staple, a colorless card draw engine with upside and a drawback that can be mitigated)

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