When it was first announced, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth was an incredibly controversial MTG set. Furthering the steady expansion of the Universes Beyond sub-brand, many players hated what Tales of Middle-earth stood for. Thankfully for Wizards of the Coast, since then, opinions around Universes Beyond have steadily improved.
Now that the Universes Beyond brand no longer being such a problem, the hype for crossover sets has risen dramatically. This is certainly the case for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth MTG set. Tapping into a beloved fantasy brand, this set has the potential to be one of the biggest MTG releases in years.
With awesome new spoilers, and the rarest MTG card ever printed, Tales of Middle-earth has it all. As if those compelling details weren’t enough already, however, Wizards has even more up their sleeves! Rather than just releasing like a normal MTG set, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth has two dedicated releases.
Considering the problems with MTG’s bloated release calendar, more products might not seem like a cause for celebration. For better or worse, however, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth’s holiday release looks absolutely wild!
Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Scene Boxes
Announced during the recent Debut Livestream aftershow, the Tales of Middle-earth holiday release is comprised of six major MTG products. All releasing on November 3rd, 2023, the headline products in this collection are the quartet of Scene Boxes.
As the name suggests, the main selling point of these holiday boxes is the inclusion of Scene cards. Comprised of multiple pieces of borderless artwork, these Scene cards come together to create an epic artwork on the battlefield. Within each of the Scene Boxes, you’ll get all six scene cards from a set. You’ll also get additional art cards and a custom-made easel to display them on!
Due to the display easel and art cards, it seems Scene boxes are predominantly for Lord of the Rings fans. That being said, however, it is entirely possible these boxes will also be great for MTG players. Whether or not they are, however, is currently unknown.
What we do know, at least, is that the four scene sets are each brand new. From this, it seems sensible to suggest the cards within these new scene sets may also be brand new. Alternatively, it’s possible these cards would be alt-art Universes Beyond reprints.
Currently, each of the four Scene Boxes is available for pre-order on Amazon for roughly $36. Making up $16 of this price are three Set Boosters which are also included in the box. Doing some quick maths, this means you’ll be paying $20 for the new scene cards.
In theory, this could make them a very good deal if they’re like a six-card Secret Lair. Whether or not the new scene cards are any good, however, remains to be seen.
Lord of the Rings Collector Boosters: Special Edition
Alongside the ever-mysterious Scene Boxes, Wizards has even more up their sleeves to make the holidays special. In fact, special is even in the name of one of the holiday MTG products! As you can see above, this extra special product is an additional line of Collector Boosters!
Thankfully, while this is certainly a bold new development for the collectability of MTG sets, these Boosters are not as scary as they may seem. To put things simply, these Special Edition Boosters do not contain serialized cards. This means there’s no chance of pulling the one-of-one One Ring from them.
For better or worse, the Special Edition Collector Boosters aren’t just missing valuable serialized cards. Instead, to keep players interested, they do have a brand new foiling technique. Sadly, details about this foiling technique are currently under wraps, however, it could be well worth collecting.
Alongside this, the Special Edition Boosters will also feature brand-new artwork on cards. According to MTG Product Architect Mike Turian, some of this artwork will be done by Greg Hilderbrant of the Brothers Hilderbrant. This can be seen on the box art for the product above. It’s highly likely this won’t be the only new art for this Special Edition product.
Thanks to the new art and foil treatment, it’s possible these Special Edition Collector Boosters may be exceptionally collectible. At the moment, however, this potential collectability isn’t alluring enough to demand an inflated value. Currently, a Special Edition Collector Booster Box is $65 cheaper than the Standard variant!
Jumpstart 2: Electric Boogaloo
Last but not least, an additional run of Jumpstart packs is in the holiday lineup. Aptly named The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Jumpstart Volume 2, this release features brand new pack themes. It’s possible these new themed packs may contain new cards, however, this is currently unconfirmed.
Admittedly, Jumpstart may not be the most enticing format for devoted MTG fans. That being said, however, for new players, this release should be incredibly compelling. After all, all you need to play is just two Jumpstart packs, and a box contains 18 of them!
At the end of the day, thanks to all these products, it certainly seems like MTG players are in for a good holiday season. After all, whether you’re an MTG play or a Lord of the Rings fan, there’s something for everyone. However, whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen.
Should these holiday products succeed in spectacular fashion, it’s possible Wizards will further expand the MTG product line. This could make sets even harder to keep up with, and the release calendar even more congested. Unless Wizards overhauls how they reveal products, this could cause more harm than good. Hopefully, however, regardless of how these holiday products perform, Wizards will learn the right lessons.
Read More: The List for MTG’s Lord of the Rings Set Removes a Ton of Value