It’s no secret that Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth has been taking over multiple competitive formats. The set has caused a total reshaping of the Modern format and has taken a strong hold of Legacy as well. Even Pauper is getting a ton of new staples in the form of cards like Lembas, Cast into the Fire, and the various Landcyclers.
The Landcyclers, in particular, are definitely impacting formats much more than expected. Besides taking Living End to the next level, Landcyclers are upping the consistency of decks across Modern, Pauper, and Legacy while also enabling various payoffs. Lorien Revealed seems to be the biggest contributor here outside of the Living End deck, and its market price as a result is the strangest thing we’ve seen in quite some time.
Asking where Lorien Revealed isn’t seeing play may be an easier question than where it is at this point. This card has very little downside, capable of being an overpriced draw three while turning itself into a land if needed. The card, therefore, can enable a ton of powerful strategies.
On the surface, Lorien Revealed is essentially a land colored blue. This may not seem like a big deal, but a lot of free effects in Modern and Legacy care about you having blue cards in hand to pitch. Force of Will, Force of Negation and Subtlety are the biggest examples of this. With almost every archetype using The One Ring as an engine, pitching an extra card for a free effect is not nearly as costly as it was just a few months ago.
Otherwise, Lorien Revealed is also a great tool to fuel graveyard-based synergies. Your land can suddenly also Delve towards a Murktide Regent, putting a +1/+1 counter on it when it hits the board. The card mostly functions as normal in Pauper, since the ability to both be a land and an overpriced spell is strong enough for that format. The story doesn’t end there with Lorien Revealed, though. It’s actually just beginning.
A Price Limited by Continent
Players in the States may actually have a bit of an opportunity here. There’s no guarantee that Lorien Revealed in the States will follow the same trends it is in other continents but the price difference is so massive that it’s a tough one to pass up mentioning.
The normal version of Lorien Revealed has spiked a tad bit, but not to the point where you’d want to value Draft it. At the end of the day, the card is a common that you can open in Draft packs, so there are too many copies of the card for it to see a major price spike.
This hasn’t stopped the card from spiking from about 6 cents to 25 cents, with players buying a large number of them for even more. Foils, however, are a very different story.
Once again, in the TCGplayer marketplace, things don’t look too odd. Copies are selling for between 50 cents and a couple of bucks, which is a lot for a common foil, but things are a bit different over in Europe.
For reference, Cardmarket is very similar to TCGplayer, but its instead intended for the European market. Much like TCGplayer, the store is an open market for sellers to sign up on. By unifying a bunch of different sources for cards, you can make sure you’re paying what a card is truly worth.
Foil Lorien Revealed on Cardmarket are going for a LOT more than they are in the U.S. At the time of writing, the market price for foil Lorien Revealed is up to about 3.20 Euros, which translates to $3.60 USD! To make things even crazier, the cheapest card for sale on the market is at 5.75 Euros, or $6.43! This suggests that the market average may rise even further for this card.
Other Landcyclers like Generous Ent and Oliphaunt are not seeing the same price increases.
The other card seeing a massive increase from the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set is Sauron’s Ransom. Thanks to increasing amounts of play in Legacy and Modern, this card is getting popular, and expensive.
For three mana, you get a Fact or Fiction-esque effect that looks at four cards and demands your opponent to make a face-up and face-down pile. You then choose one pile to go to your hand and one to go to your grave.
Different sources state different things in terms of how you should play the mind game for this one, but most of what I personally have read states that the face-up pile is usually a little worse than the face-down one.
As an added bonus, Sauron’s Ransom will cause the Ring to Tempt you. In multiples, this can be surprisingly relevant, allowing your Orcish Bowmasters to start looting.
Thanks to the breakout Dimir Control deck in Modern, as well as continued play in Legacy thanks to the ban of Expressive Iteration, Sauron’s Ransom has exploded in price. Normal variants have risen from 50 cents to $6, while foils are selling for closer to $7. The cheapest you can currently find a foil extended art Sauron’s Ransom on TCGplayer is currently $75 thanks to Collector Sample packs.
What’s the Variable?
The price points for Foil Lorien Revealed have a huge discrepancy between countries. You can still find them in the U.S. for less than a dollar, but over in Europe, they seem to be worth more than $6. We don’t know why the difference is currently so massive for the card, but the biggest variable to likely have an impact is supply.
At the end of the day, Magic: the Gathering originates from the U.S., which generally means that they will have the best supply of cards, and that may affect Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth more than other sets. Language of the card can also have an impact here, if, for example, there is a larger pool of English foil Lorien Revealed than German or Italian ones.
In Canada, I’ve been having a rather difficult time finding Lord of the Rings drafts in person, as my LGS simply hasn’t been able to get ahold of any boxes for the last few weeks. Set Boosters are still widely available, but Draft Boosters aren’t. This isn’t necessarily speaking for the entire situation in Canada, either. This is just my own experience of how supply has affected my engagement with the Lord of the Rings set.
Supply being a large driver of price differences in this instance is purely speculation, and we don’t really know why prices are currently differing so much. It could, however, simply mean that European markets are a bit further ahead of the trend. If that’s the case, players who want a playset of Foil Lorien Revealed in North America may want to get in for cheap while they still can.
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