Players have been waiting for the other half of the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Box Toppers. The first half of these reveals were absolutely insane, showcasing incredible sought-after cards like Ancient Tomb, with Bojuka Bog being the worst, and only strictly bad reprint we saw. While there are some more A+ reprints here, one of which is a Modern card that should have gotten its reprint years ago, there are also a lot more stinkers on this list than the previous one. This rounds out all the Box Toppers you can find in the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set. Let’s take a look!
Sword of Hearth and Home
MTG creator Aaron Forsythe, who had a big contribution to the Modern Horizons Two set that flipped Modern on its head, stated that he wanted to sneak in some cards from the set into the Box Topper series. Unfortunately, you will not be finding any Evoke Elementals here.
As far as reprints go, though, Sword of Hearth and Home is not a bad one. Now that the decade-old cycle of Swords have finally been completed, the number of players who want to create EDH decks that stick all the Swords onto one Commander are not few in number. The Swords can offer some powerful effects, making some borderline competitive. Sword of Hearth and Home is a powerful Commander tool in Blink and equipment decks, but it’s not competitive.
The card is currently worth about $12 on the secondary market.
Sword of the Animist
Sword of the Animist is an incredibly popular Commander card. It’s cheap to cast, cheap to equip, and becomes a constant stream of lands. As a result, Sword of the Animist have seen a decent number of reprints in recent years. Regardless of these, the card is still a $12 one, commending just how powerful it is in the grindy Commander format.
Thorn of Amethyst
During the Q&A session of the weeklyMTG show where these were announced, Aaron Forsythe mentioned that, because Universes Beyond sets need to interact with those who own the IP they are creating the set in, the design time for those sets is longer than usual.
When Thorn of Amethyst was chosen as a reprint, the card, likely, still had a $30+ value. Available only in Lorwyn until its reprint in The Brothers’ War, this card had some Legacy and cEDH demand for a Rare printed in one of the most short printed sets ever. This blew the price of the Thorn up immensely.
Once Supply saw a massive increase thanks to the Retro Artifact reprint in The Brothers’ War, Thorn of Amethyst tanked in price. This means that the value of the card was caused not by a massive demand for it but instead by an enormous lack of supply. The card is only worth a dollar now.
This makes Thorn of Amethyst one of the worst cards to open in your Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth box topper slots, but it isn’t necessarily a bad reprint. The Brothers’ War reprint of the Thorn was absolutely excellent – which has unexpectedly made this one feel obsolete.
One of the most powerful black lands ever printed, it’s surprising to hear that Cabal Coffers was originally printed as an uncommon card. The most common combo with this card is to use it with Urborg, Cradle of Yawgmoth, since it turns every land into a Swamp. This allows Cabal Coffers to create an insane amount of black mana – a fitting way for the Witch King’s abode to appear. Cabal Coffers does see Modern play, but it is not a top-tier strategy.
Cabal Coffers has a wide range of prices depending on the version already, which suggests premium versions like this one will have a decent premium. The card’s cheapest market value hovers around $17 for those who want to find these at their most affordable.
Remember how I said that Thorn of Amethyst wasn’t a lousy reprint considering the context of the decision? That is not the case for Castle Ardenvale. This isn’t a great reprint, but it’s not the worst one. you don’t even need a dollar to get a copy of Castle Ardenvale.
Where financial value fails, flavor is pretty much a slam dunk. Edoras is the capital of Rohan, the abode of Humans. Castle Ardenvale captures the royal feel of Meduseld and creates Humans, which is fantastic!
It’s not like this card will see no play, either. Humans decks in Commander and Control decks in competitive formats may have some interest in this card. That doesn’t change the fact that, financially, this was not a great decision.
Gemstone Caverns is an absolutely homerun reprint in both the value and the flavor department. Crashing Footfalls archetypes have been prevalent in Modern recently, and Gemstone Caverns is a big land in the deck. Allowing you to get ahead on lands if you’re not the starting player, Gemstone Caverns allows your three mana Cascade spells to start being live on turn two, creating immense pressure for your opponent. The card also has some Commander relevance, but sees a lot more play in competitive formats, including Modern, cEDH, Dual Commander and Legacy.
As far as flavor goes, the Glittering Caves of Aglaron is… well Gemstone Caverns. Gimli the Dwarf created a colony of Dwarves here after the war ended, who eventually restored the Hornburg.
A copy of Gemstone Caverns on the secondary market currently costs about $60 making this a fantastic reprint!
Just like Frodo sold Bag End as he began on his adventure, you can now sell Bag End to prepare for yours! Horizon Canopy is definitely one of the more expensive cards in the Horizon Land cycle, and these commonly see Modern play. Lands that turn into card draw are also rather valuable in the Commander format since games tend to go quite long. This makes flooding a real issue, so having something to do with your lands can help you get to gas faster.
Horizon Canopy, at its cheapest, appears to go for about $16 currently.
Banned in Commander, Karakas is one of the most powerful land cards ever printed. Even though many players may sell this card right after they open it, those who do want these will be clamoring for them, as it is a staple in Canadian Highlander, Legacy, and Vintage. The card also doesn’t have a ton of printings in its lifetime, allowing Karakas to retain a relevant secondary market value.
Currently, a copy of Karakas will run you at least $27, but is probably closer to $30 on the cheap side of things.
Kor Haven does not have a lot of printings. There are only three to date, and all of them are rather unavailable. If this land were limited to just Box Topper reprints, I would not expect it to affect the value of the card too much. However, these are also appearing in Collector Boosters, which may get opened a lot thanks to The One Ring being valued at $500,000.
As far as Commander goes, Kor Haven is a fantastic utility land. A lot of powerful triggers occur on combat damage, and having a utility land that stops this from occurring is rather powerful in the land slot. This can also be used politically, since it can prevent combat damage dealt to any player.
Kor Haven’s lower values heavily depend on condition, but $15 is the current lowest market value. That said, if these reprints happen to be easy to open, expect this value to tank.
Mouth of Ronom
Another absolute stinker in the value department, Mouth of Ronom is a spicy flavor win, but this card will be difficult to find a home for. Besides some casual Commander decks that may want this, Mouth of Ronom’s effect is just too overcosted.
With a bottom market value of 20 cents, this is the worst card you can open from a financial stance in your Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Box Topper slot.
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
Remember how I mentioned that an incredible niche reprint with some hefty financial value was coming in this set? This is it. Oboro, Palace in the Clouds is a fantastic land for Landfall-focused decks since the card can return to your hand for essentially zero cost. This allows to utilize all of your extra landfall abilities and make sure you cash in on all your value.
For this reason, Oboro does see some competitive play as well. It’s mostly a Commander card since the slower nature of that format allows Landfall to shine, but Oboro is a staple in Modern mill decks that depend on cards like Ruin Crab to mill your opponents.
This is the first time Oboro, Palace in the Clouds is getting reprinted! As a result, despite the somewhat niche demand, the card holds a $60 value. This may be the best reprint in the entire set since it could significantly reduce the secondary market price of the card.
Pillar of the Paruns
We have another stinker for your consideration, but the location offered in the LOTR IP is a rather interesting one. Many legendary characters have appeared in the Prancing Pony, and many Legendary Creatures (that are multicolored and not necessarily Legendary) are likely to be casted by this card.
This is a great addition to a multicolor-matters EDH deck, and is otherwise a good card if it can cast most of your spells. That said, the restriction on this card is rather severe, which limits its applications. The card only has about a $1 value as a result.
Reflecting Pool is a common land you will find in EDH decks. It’s not great for fixing your mana, but it will always produce the colors you need – assuming you control all of them. For this reason, Reflecting Pool is a very popular land in Commander, but sees literally no play in non-Commander formats since it doesn’t actually fix your mana.
Reflecting Pool only has a $5 value thanks to a fantastic reprint from Battle for Baldur’s Gate, but the fantastic artwork may merit a premium on this one.
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep is definitely a land that sees Commander play, considering it can give Legendary Creatures Double Strike. It doesn’t really see play outside of Commander, but it is a fantastic option in Red Commander decks that want to get in your face since the restriction on the card is almost nonexistent.
Even though demand for this card is rather narrow, Shinka does not have a lot of printings. The Legend Matters Commander theme that released in Dominaria United also gave this card’s secondary value a facelift, marking it at about $12.
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
The last, but certainly not worst, Box Topper revealed during the Weekly MTG event was Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. This card is best known for its combo alongside another card on this list: Cabal Coffers. This creates an absolutely ludicrous amount of mana, making it quite a powerful tool.
Thanks to the ability to fix black mana incredibly well, Urborg sees a ton of play in Pioneer, Commander and Modern. It also sees play in incredibly popular decks in those formats, which creates a lot of demand for this card.
As a result, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is worth around $40 at the bottom end, making it a pretty powerful reprint.
If you want to see the new cards that were previewed in today’s Weekly MTG event, take a look here.