Though Magic: The Gathering’s Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth isn’t coming until June, a few cards have been revealed. Two of the most iconic cards from the set were revealed in an exclusive with IGN – Gandalf the Grey and The One Ring itself. Both of these cards have the potential to be incredibly powerful and helpful in a wide assortment of decks.
Depending on how these cards are used, players could make the game incredibly easy for themselves and frustrating for others. Tales of Middle-earth is not a Standard expansion, though – these Magic: The Gathering cards are legal for Commander and the other eternal formats, such as Modern.
Magic: The Gathering’s Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth reveal Gandalf and The One Ring
Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is the first full expansion of the “Universes Beyond” collaborations and brings J.R.R. Tolkien’s world to life in Magic: The Gathering. A draftable set, it is designed for Eternal formats such as Commander and Modern.
The official spoilers will begin on May 30, 2023, but a few cards have already been revealed. Wizards of the Coast will also do another preview later today, which will discuss what players can expect for this Magic: The Gathering set. The first card to be revealed so far was Gandalf the Grey.
Gandalf the Grey
- Mana Value: 3UR
- Type: Legendary Creature – Avatar Wizard
- Rarity: Rare
- Stats: 3 power, 4 toughness
- Ability: Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, choose one that hasn’t been chosen –
- You may tap or untap the target permanent.
- Gandalf the Grey deals 3 damage to each opponent.
- Copy the target instant or sorcery spell you control. You may choose new targets for the copy.
- Put Gandalf on top of its owner’s library.
One of the wizards of Middle-earth, he is one of the most famous Lord of the Rings characters. Though he’s Gandalf the Grey, he’s a Blue/Red card. This makes sense. Red/Blue is where most of the powerful wizards exist in the series, and his abilities fit that archetype nicely.
You can only use each of his abilities once, but you can also flicker him in and out of play to trigger those effects again or simply bounce him back to the top of your deck and re-cast him later. In particular, the ability to copy spells without a mana cost is fantastic.
However, his stats aren’t great when considering his 5 Mana Value. This Magic: The Gathering card can pack a punch through its unique abilities.
The One Ring has also been revealed for Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. It’s indestructible and has a reasonable casting cost, and if you keep removing it from play and re-casting it, you can frustrate your opponents.
The One Ring
- Mana Value: 4
- Type: Legendary Artifact
- Rarity: Mythic Rare
- Keywords: Indestructible
- First Ability: When The One Ring enters the battlefield, if you cast it, you gain protection from everything until your next turn.
- Second Ability: At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life for each burden counter on The One Ring.
- Third Ability: Tap: Put a burden counter on The One Ring, then draw a card for each burden counter on The One Ring.
Having protection from everything for a turn is incredible, but there are multiple ways to return this card to your hand and re-cast it. Through that, you can keep protection from everything for as long as you’d like. It’s also an incredible way to keep building up cards in your hand. It could be exciting combined with proliferating effects.
However, there is a catch – the more burden counters you have, the more damage you take from The One Ring. An incredibly interesting deck would be where you can easily prevent damage or gain more life.
Wizards of the Coast also revealed that this Magic: The Gathering expansion will feature Lord of the Rings maps on the basic lands, which are beautiful. Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth will launch on June 23, 2023, and spoilers will begin on May 30, 2023.