Sauron, the Lidless Eye | Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth
22, May, 23

MTG Leak Debuts Controversial Lord of the Rings Commanders

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Much to Wizards of the Coast’s chagrin, an MTG leak is hardly an uncommon sight in the world of Magic anymore. In fact, it seems rare nowadays that a set will release without some cards being revealed ahead of schedule. While this epidemic of leaks has been around for some time, during 2023, this problem has been turned up to eleven. 

Just five months into the year, we’ve already seen a variety of major and minor leaks. The worst of these have spoiled the contents of two entire sets before Wizards could do it themselves. After this happened with Phyrexia: All Will Be One, and March of the Machine: The Aftermath, it seems Wizards had enough. Employing the Pinkertons to crack down on leaks, Wizards is evidently a little miffed

Unfortunately for WotC, however, this controversial action hasn’t stopped the problem. As, over the weekend, we saw yet another MTG leak spoiling a handful of upcoming cards. This time, the leak debuted cards from the highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth MTG set. At least, they might have done, as the authenticity of this new MTG leak is somewhat suspect.

The Caveat

Squee, Dubious Monarch
Squee, Dubious Monarch | Dominaria United

As with all leaks, there’s sadly no guarantee that this latest one, shown off on Reddit by u/Lulup90, is genuine. After all, fake leaks have been created in the past, and they’re bound to be made in the future. That being said, however, it does appear that Lulup90’s leaks are the real deal. 

Viewable on Magic Spoiler, the leaked cards show all the important details you’d hope to see. The text is mostly in all the right places, and the same is true for the all-important Universes Beyond security stamp. Additionally, the art is in keeping with the style that we’ve seen on the official spoilers so far. Not only does it look like MTG card art, but Aragorn also has the expected skin color. For extra bonus points, the art on the leaked cards doesn’t appear in reverse image searches. 

Bringing all these details together, it certainly seems that Lulup90’s leak is genuine. Despite this evidence, however, the leaked cards aren’t plastered all over Reddit. Instead, as you might have noticed, the original post has been removed from the r/MagicTCG subreddit. 

In theory, this is a damning blow to the card’s authenticity, as clearly, something isn’t right. In reality, however, this MTG leak may have simply been removed since it didn’t come with any source attached to it. Ultimately, moderators didn’t provide an explanation when removing the post, so it’s difficult to know for sure.

While there are some doubts about the authenticity of these cards, for the most part, they appear to be genuine. Subsequently, we’ll be talking about them in this article as actual cards, not just novel creations. If they are real, we should expect to see these cards spoiled by the 9th of June.

Of course, these are MTG leaks, which means that these cards, if real, aren’t spoilers from Wizards of the Coast. In case you want to wait for these to be revealed from the main source, consider this your spoiler warning.

The Leaks

Thankfully, while the original leaks have been removed from Reddit, the cards haven’t been entirely expunged from existence. Instead, they can now be found on Magic Spoiler. While this does allow players to get a look at the art, deciphering them is still somewhat difficult. Mercifully, this difficulty isn’t due to some truly potato-quality camera work. Instead, the leaked cards are just in French. This allowed the cards to be translated quickly by users such as u/CaptainMarcia before the leaks were removed.

So you don’t have to keep tabbing between websites, here are translations for each of the leaked cards.

The Cards

Aragorn, King of Gondor

Aragorn, King of Gondor Leak | Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth
Aragorn, King of Gondor Leak | Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth

1URW
Legendary Creature – Human Noble

Vigilance, lifelink

When Aragorn, King of Gondor enters the battlefield, you become the monarch.

Whenever Aragorn, King of Gondor attacks, up to one target creature can’t block this turn. If you are the monarch, creatures can’t block this turn.

4/4


Eowyn, Warrior Maiden

Eowyn, Warrior Maiden | Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth
Eowyn, Warrior Maiden | Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth

2URW

Legendary Creature – Human Knight

First strike

At the beginning of combat on your turn, if another Human entered the battlefield under your control this turn, create two 2/2 red Human Knight creature tokens with trample and haste. Then if you control six or more Humans, draw a card.

5/4


Beregond of the Guard

Beregond of the Guard | Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth
Beregond of the Guard | Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth

3W

Legendary Creature – Human Soldier

Whenever Beregond of the Guard or another Human enters the battlefield under your control, creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain vigilance until end of turn.

3/3

The Controversy

Flavor Judge
Flavor Judge | Unsanctioned

While these card leaks were only on Reddit for a short time, countless MTG players were nevertheless keen to discuss the latest potential spoilers. In doing this, many players highlighted what appears to be a consistent issue with this crossover set: color and flavor. First seen on Gandalf the Grey, this issue has been continually frustrating players thanks to the flavor mismatch. So much so, in fact, that this controversy dominated discussions, rather than analysis of the cards. 

“The color identity of these characters is my biggest gripe. I’m digging the designs, but Jeskai for Aragorn and Eowyn is wtf to me.”

u/Jo3ltron

As we learned for The Rings Tempts You mechanic, it’s likely some of this color confusion is thanks to play design. While this can sometimes get in the way, thankfully, this hasn’t caused the new leaked cards aren’t entirely flavor fails. After all, as u/enjolras1782 points out, these cards only depict singular moments in time for these characters. Due to this, sometimes the color identity can seem rather unorthodox at a glance, but sensible once scrutinized.

“For Eowyn, this is her on the fields where she fells the Nazgûl. White for her devotion to the cause, blue for the trickery of disguising herself as a rider, and red for the impulsivity of that decision.

For Aragon, considering there’s a card for both king and queen together, this depicts him after the battle at Minas Tirith when he’s looked into the Palantíri and plans to take a suicidal strike at Sauron to give Frodo some more time. White for his kingly raiment, blue for the wisdom of far sight and the recklessness of the attack”

u/enjolras1782

Once the color controversy commentary settled down, several MTG players noted that these cards are actually quite good. This is especially true for Aragorn, King of Gondor, who is a rather low-cost Monarch enabler. As u/sultanpeppah points out, this is more than enough reason to play Aragorn as your Commander. While this may be their primary use, their ability to prevent blockers isn’t to be scoffed at. After all, with a strong board, Aragorn enables an unblockable swing that could kill one, or even all, of your opponents. 

While not quite as good as Aragorn, King of Gondor, the other leaked cards are still rather enticing. Ideal for Humans tribal Commander decks, both these cards make your board that much more threatening. As an added benefit, Eowyn, Warrior Maiden can also provides card draw, however, their color identity won’t always fit. 

The Waiting Game

Adventure Awaits
Adventure Awaits | Zendikar Rising

At the end of the day, while they do look good, there’s no guarantee of the authenticity of these leaks. Subsequently, we’ll just have to wait and see what the spoiler season brings. Thankfully, that wait isn’t much longer, as The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth spoilers begin on May 30th. 

While this is just a week away, unfortunately, Commander players must wait a little longer. According to Wizards, Commander card previews will only occur on June 8th. As a result, it may be seventeen more days before we see these cards again. If they do appear, these three spoilers should all be in the Riders of Rohan deck, according to comments from u/Lulup90

Read More: New MTG LOTR Card May be the Best EDH Mana Dork Ever!

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