Earlier this week, Wizards of the Coast revealed more information about Tales From Middle Earth, the upcoming MTG set based on The Lord of the Rings. Due to be released in June, this set will bypass Standard but will be Modern legal and also playable in Historic on MTG Arena. Like most new MTG sets, Tales From Middle Earth will be accompanied by a series of Commander decks. The set will also come with accompanying Jumpstart boosters and a starter kit designed to teach new players how to play the game.
Wizards of the Coast no longer formally declares prices for their MTG products, but after the announcement, Amazon and local game stores across the world began listing Tales From Middle Earth for pre-order. Some players became disheartened seeing the premium price tag the set is being sold for.
MTG players gathered to discuss the price of the set in a thread on Reddit. The price quoted in this thread for a Collector Booster Box of the upcoming Tales of Middle-Earth straight-to-Modern set is… incredibly expensive. For reference, other Collector Booster products only tend to hover in the realm of $150 to $250. The current listing for these Collector Boosters are double that of its predecessors. As you may imagine, this has alarmed some MTG players:
salohcin513 expressed frustration, as they feel excited about the set, but also feel they will not be able to afford it: “When it first got teased a few months ago I was pumped I was gonna try and get the whole set but even with a fair bit of disposable Income this seems like it’s priced out of my reach.”
VeggieGollum said they were willing to buy the set, but would need to be careful about their MTG purchasing: “I’m super excited, this seems incredibly cool and I have a lot of faith in the design team doing this well. That said, I will really have to pick and choose what I want to buy. Just too expensive otherwise.”
gsrga2 said they would be buying the set in bulk, but then apologized for their decision :”I hate to be the guy throwing money at something half this subreddit either actively hates or just generally disdains, but I’m about to throw wads of cash at this set. Precons, yep. At least one set and/or collector box to crack, also yep. Then probably a draft or (more likely) jumpstart box as well to open and play with some friends who are big LOTR fans but not as big into magic. Sorry guys.”
Tales From Middle Earth‘s price is not the only controversy surrounding the set. As a Universes Beyond product, Tales From Middle Earth depicts characters from an intellectual property that is not part of Magic: the Gathering’s multiverse. Unlike the Street Fighter and Stranger Things Secret Lairs, Magic’s designers have stated that they have no intention of making Magic: the Gathering equivalents or “universes within” versions of the cards from Tales from Middle Earth.
Given that this set is Modern legal, some players are concerned about the appearance of Lord of the Rings characters in official tournaments of one of the game’s most popular formats.
Writing on Reddit, Blenderhead36 said: “I still don’t understand why it’s like this. A nonrotating format with no significant barriers to reprinting cards is the reason Modern was created. Making modern legal cards covered in IP that WotC doesn’t own complicates that. Are there workarounds? There sure are. But why are we doing this song and dance to begin with?
There have been very few complaints about stuff like D&D CommanderGate and every Secret Lair after Walking Dead. There is a template for this. Why is it being changed up just to complicate an issue that doesn’t need to exist?”
Not everyone holds a negative view, however, and there are many players who are passionate about the Lord of the Rings and are excited to see the series cross over with Magic: the Gathering.
In another Reddit thread, JDBlackmon said: “The initial news of the Lord of the Rings set is what brought me to magic in the first place. I was thrilled when I learned there was an adventures in the forgotten realms set still available in stores and that’s where I started collecting and playing. So basically I am here because of sets most of the player base couldn’t care less for.”
Information About The Set
According to information released by Wizards of the Coast, players will be given a first look at the set on the 24th of March. Previews are set to begin on May 30th. The set’s prerelease will be on June 16th, and it will be released digitally on MTG Arena four days later on the 20th of June. Wizards of the Coast have also announced the set will have a “Holiday Release” on November 3rd although, it is not known what precisely this means.
Tales From Middle Earth’s price tag has some players concerned, and its focus on the Lord of the Rings has also had a mixed reception. We will have to wait until June to see how the set ultimately performs.