Brace yourselves, fantasy fans. On June 23rd, The Lord of the Rings comes to life in a special Magic: The Gathering set that will bring the beloved characters, iconic locations, and pivotal events from J.R.R. Tolkien’s timeless masterpiece to the biggest trading card game in the world. Highly-anticipated, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth introduces new cards and game mechanics while bringing back some classic ones. This set boasts not only creative gameplay, but also high-value cards, including the first-ever one-of-one card in Magic history!
Within this extraordinary set, you’ll discover a total of 281 regular cards, each carefully crafted to capture Tolkien’s rich and immersive world. The collection includes 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 60 rares, 20 mythic rares, and 20 basic lands. But that’s not all! True connoisseurs of the game will be delighted to know that there are new high-value variants to hunt for.
One of the most exciting aspects of Tales of Middle-Earth is the inclusion of the Rings of Power. Reprints of Sol Ring pay homage to the infamous Rings of Power, featuring artwork depicting the nineteen rings crafted for the elves, dwarves, and humans of Middle-earth. Both foil and non-foil versions of these cards are available, and the foil cards are serialized, with 300 elven Sol Rings, 700 dwarven Sol Rings, and 900 human Sol Rings waiting to be found.
The card that has captured everyone’s attention, however, is the Mythic Rare card for the One Ring itself. Only one copy of the serialized version exists and is numbered 001/001, making it the first one-of-one Magic card in history. Its allure is enhanced by raised gold foil and card text written in the Black Speech of Sauron, making it the perfect addition to any Magic and Lord of the Rings fan’s collection. Collectors and players alike will be desperately hunting for this precious card, which can be found exclusively in English Collector Booster packs.
But the Rings of Power aren’t the only intriguing aspects of this set. The terrifying presence of the Ring-wraiths looms large in nine distinct versions of the Nazgûl card, each depicting one of the infamous Black Riders. A deck can hold up to nine Nazgûl cards, allowing players the ability to use the full force of these dark servants to strike fear in the heart of their opponents.
While there is formidable evil roaming the land, there is remarkable beauty as well. Immerse yourself in that beauty with ten full-art basic land cards depicting different sections of the iconic map of Middle-earth.
Tales of Middle-Earth introduces a unique way for Magic to tell stories with a new kind of card: Scene cards. These cards feature art that when placed side by side, recreate pivotal scenes from the book, including Bilbo’s Birthday Party, Isengard Destroyed, and The Battle of Pelennor Fields. Most Scene cards are exclusive to Collector Booster packs, but collectors can find the Scene cards for the One Ring’s final moments at Mount Doom in Bundle packs as well.
Box Toppers are always an anticipated part of each Magic set, and with Tales of Middle-Earth, the anticipation is warranted. Dubbed Realms and Relics, this set consists of thirty reskins of land and artifact cards. To cater to collectors and players alike, traditional foil versions of these captivating “Realms and Relics” cards can be found in every Draft, Set, and Collector Booster display, ensuring their widespread availability.
Game Mechanics: Returning & New
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth adds new cards for a couple previous Magic game mechanics. First, prepare to indulge in the comforting return of food tokens. Initially introduced in Throne of Eldraine, these tokens provide players with a means to replenish life, and can serve as a utility artifact. In this particular set, the Food mechanic naturally revolves around the Hobbits’ love for eating.
In addition to food tokens, Tales of Middle-Earth also includes new cards for the Amass mechanic. First appearing in War of the Spark, this mechanic allows players to create and grow an army. To bring this into the world of The Lord of the Rings, players can now create Orc Army tokens, so you can truly feel like the Dark Lord marching onto the battlefields of Middle-earth!
Of course, with a set this big, it isn’t enough to just add new layers to previous game mechanics. In a world as iconic as Middle-earth, it only makes sense for Magic to introduce a new mechanic appropriate for this epic story. Prepare to grapple with the insidious allure of the One Ring through an intriguing new game mechanic: The Ring Tempts You. Players can now experience the power of the Ring firsthand. Whenever the Ring tempts you in the game, you must select a creature you control to bear the burden of the One Ring. As you play and continue to be tempted by the Ring, it unlocks a sequence of four progressively potent abilities, empowering you with each temptation. When a player is tempted by the Ring, it also activates certain abilities on a few Tales of Middle-Earth cards, so be wary of the power the One Ring holds!
There are many ways to immerse yourself in the rich offerings of Tales of Middle-Earth that cater to players and collectors alike. For those seeking the excitement of limited play, Draft Booster boxes provide the perfect avenue to assemble your decks and engage in thrilling drafts. Dig deep into the treasures of Middle-earth with Collector Booster boxes, packed with premium cards and exclusive foils that will elevate your collection to new heights. Set Booster boxes offer a well-rounded experience, combining the joy of cracking open booster packs with the possibility of high-value cards. Bundles are an affordable way to acquire some packs along with a few others goodies. And keep your eyes open for the Gift Edition Bundle arriving on July 7th, which offers even more Lord of the Rings goodness at an affordable price.
Unleash the might of legendary characters from The Lord of the Rings with four new Commander Decks. Elven Council is a Blue/Green deck featuring the graceful and mighty Galadriel, the Elven-Queen as its commander, while Food and Fellowship highlights the revelry and loyalty of hobbits in a White/Black/Green deck with partner commanders Frodo, the Adventurous Hobbit and Sam, Loyal Attendant. Eowyn, the Shieldmaiden is the commander card for Riders of Rohan, a White/Blue/Red deck starring Middle-earth’s famous horsemen, and evil stirs in The Hosts of Mordor, a Blue/Black/Red deck with none other than Sauron, the Lord of the Rings.
For Lord of the Rings fans who are new to Magic:The Gathering, Tales of Middle-Earth arrives with a new Starter Kit filled with some of the biggest names from the book. The kit holds two new pre-constructed decks. The first is a Green/White deck that invites you to the heroic side, with Frodo, Determined Hero, Gandalf, White Rider, Galadriel, Gift-Giver, Bilbo’s Ring, and an exclusive foil of Aragorn and Arwen, Wed. But if you want a turn playing as the forces of evil, there’s also a Black/Red deck featuring Gollum, Scheming Guide, Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin, Fires of Mount Doom, The Balrog, Flame of Udûn, and an exclusive foil Sauron, the Lidless Eye. This is a great way for newcomers to learn how to play Magic with their favourite Lord of the Rings characters!
The release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth on June 23rd is an event that both Magic: The Gathering and Lord of the Rings fans must mark on their calendars. Whether you’re hoping to build a powerful deck bursting with Tolkien lore or desperately seeking the one-of-one One Ring card for your collection, this set promises to be a Magic expansion unlike any other. Pre-orders are now available at Zephyr Epic, so don’t delay. Answer the call of the One Ring today!
What tempts you most about this Lord of the Rings set? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading!