The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is a new expansion set for Magic: The Gathering it brings the iconic world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth to life, letting you follow the paths of favorite (or favorite villainous) characters from the Third Age. Whether you choose to reenact your favorite moments from the series or turn the tales of Middle-earth on their head is entirely up to you2.
- 6/16 Friday 6:30 PM Sealed
- 6/17 Saturday
- 6/18 Sunday
- 6/23 Friday 7PM Sealed
- 6/24 Saturday
- 6/25 Sunday
For the Love of Hobbits and Rings:
The set was clearly designed by people who knew and loved Tolkien’s world. The flavor and mechanics of the cards are joyfully amazing. For example, more often then not, hobbits in the set create food tokens (yes, there is a Second Breakfast card), and there is a saga that not only creates Smaug as a 6/6 flying dragon token, but when it dies, it creates 12 treasure tokens! There are various versions of main characters that match their different transformations in the journey, such as 4 versions of Frodo, from peaceful hobbit to Sauron’s Bane, or Gandalf as the fireworks laden Friend of the Shire, to the White Rider, swooping down in the light of the dawn sun, with the riders of Rohan at his back. I’ve been playing the Draftsim practice drafts/sealed simulators just to get a chance to get familiar with the cards, and the kid who fell in love with LOTR is beyond excited to get a chance to play.
Masters Set that you don’t need to be a Master to enjoy
This is supposed to be a Universes Away/Masters set, but it feels much more like coming home than going into a new world. Kind of makes sense since MTG was inspired by D&D, which came from (drumroll….) Tolkien. (if you don’t believe me…check out the early changes to D&D based on hobbit lawyers.) Even though the set is in the higher cost Masters slot ($50/55 instead of $30/35 for sealed), don’t take that to mean that the set isn’t friendly for all levels of players. In fact, the thing that will make the set most fun is how much you like Lord of the Rings.
This set is shaping up to be a fantastic journey through the realms of Middle-earth, filled with nostalgia, surprises, and a sprinkle of that unique MTG magic. Whether you’re a fan of the fantasy epic, a dedicated MTG player, or both, this set promises to offer a thrilling new way to experience Tolkien’s world. Can’t wait for the set’s release? Neither can we!
Alternate Art Fun…
There are some amazing alternate versions of the cards, including some that piece together to create full scenes on their own. There are a bunch of cool art treatments to collect. More info here.
The biggest new mechanic has to do with The Ring, and what happens when it tempts you. I know that tempt sounds like a bad thing, but in this case it is some of the very good stuff. When the ring tempts you, you attach the ring card to one (and only one at a time) of your creatures. Every time the ring tempts again it adds another ability to that card. If your ring bearer dies, the ring falls off and you start from the beginning.
We’ve seen this mechanic before in building up hordes of zombies. Basically, you create an “army” that is a token with whatever number of counters that the Amass tells you to add. Every subsequent Amass just makes the one army token bigger. (It doesn’t create lots of them.)