The Lord of the Rings MTG set brought a ton of powerful cards to various formats. Cards like The One Ring have completely changed the landscape of Modern. As such, despite being featured as scene cards in LOTR bundles, the One Ring still holds a reasonably hefty price tag. Borderless versions of the One Ring, which are the variants that come with the LOTR bundles, currently sit at roughly $35 on TCGplayer according to market price. Meanwhile, other versions are a bit pricier with lower supply overall, as traditional versions are about $60 and extended art versions are $66.
As you can see, the difference in price between traditional and extended art card treatments is rather minimal. Notably, though, this is not the case when comparing a handful of foil versions. In fact, foil extended art versions of the One Ring are worth over $750 a piece! Even some bulk rares like Phial of Galadriel have foil extended art treatments going for almost $50. This is certainly an abnormal difference in prices, so what’s causing it?
Commander Deck Sample Packs
The extended art foil variants of both the One Ring and Phial of Galadriel have one important thing in common: they are both exclusive to the sample packs that came with Lord of the Rings Commander decks. These sample packs were designed to showcase what players could expect while opening up collector booster packs. Rather than being available for purchase on their own, they were given as a small bonus for players who purchased preconstructed LOTR Commander decks.
As these sample packs were simply additional product packaged with the Commander decks, it was uncommon for them to have very valuable contents inside. Of course, that is unless you were lucky enough to open an extended art foil version of one of the 18 cards that only featured this version in sample packs. Recently, we went over each of these 18 cards, though at the time it was still a bit difficult to see just how rare these cards truly were. If the price of The One Ring with extended art foil treatment is any indication, these cards are indeed in very limited supply. Let’s take a look at some of the cards with the biggest price differences between traditional variants and extended art foil variants.
Enormous Price Differences
While extended art foil copies of the One Ring are absolutely the most expensive cards that could be opened in sample packs, many of the other 17 cards were worth a lot, too. After the One Ring, the next most expensive sample pack exclusive was Arwen, Mortal Queen. Traditional copies of Arwen currently sit at around $2, while extended art copies are worth just a tad more. However, extended art foil copies are worth roughly $100 more! For a rather cheap mythic rare, this is a big difference.
Next up, we have Palantir of Orthanc. Palantir is a strong source of card advantage. After the second influence counter is put on Palantir, the opponent is often forced to let you keep drawing extra cards, as the threat of simply dying from life loss is too high. The card is certainly powerful, with both the traditional and extended art versions sitting at roughly the same price of $16. However, the price of the extended art foil version is just about $99.
Importantly, these big price disparities exist even for many of the bulk rares. For example, King of the Oathbreakers, while a decently strong card in Lord of the Rings Limited and a unique Commander build-around, sees virtually no Constructed play. As such, the card is worth roughly a quarter. Even still, the extended art foil versions are worth about $40. That’s well over 100 times what the traditional non-foil version is worth! Assuming these cards continue to stay as rare as they are, they should continue to hold hefty price tags.
Holiday Release Potential?
All that being said, there is one possibility that could completely mess with these prices. That, of course, is the potential for these extended art foil cards to show up in collector boosters during the Lord of the Rings Holiday Release. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Special Edition products are set to release November 3 of this year. Up to this point, we don’t have a ton of information about the Holiday Release.
What we do know is that this release will feature collector booster packs and displays, new Scene Box products, and another volume of Jumpstart boosters. Recently, we saw some cards leaked that appear to be associated with the Scene Box products. Importantly, these cards are all brand-new. Additionally, while serialized cards will not be showcased in collector boosters, we know there is supposed to be a new type of foil treatment that can affect various LOTR cards.
Given that LOTR collector booster packs associated with the Holiday Release are already designed to be a bit different than they previously were, it’s entirely possible that these super-expensive extended art foils become significantly less rare than they are currently. For better or worse, this could cause the prices of these cards to plummet. As of right now, the supply of these cards is incredibly limited, allowing them to balloon in price. It is absolutely worth monitoring these cards, and if more extended art foils do not end up being featured, they could theoretically rise in price even further.