Throughout the game’s nearly 30 years of existence, it has been no secret that MTG can be seriously expensive. In recent years, this fact has become all the more evident as the prices of many cards have steadily climbed. Now, in 2023, even building a viable Standard deck can cost more than $500! This hefty price tag, however, is nothing compared to the cost of some collectible MTG cards. Throughout recent years, Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro have eagerly been tapping into the highly lucrative collectible market. Creating chase art treatments and foiling techniques, Wizards has released cards that sell for thousands on the secondary market. Seemingly not satisfied with these collectibles, however, Wizards has pushed their collectible antics one step further. Within 2023, Wizards are creating a one-of-one MTG card, The One Ring, and players want to destroy it.
The One One Ring
During the First Look Livestream for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, Wizards announced an incredibly fitting promotion. Themed around The One Ring card, Wizards is, rather aptly, creating a one-of-one serialized version of this card. Found only within Collector Boosters, players have a roughly one in three million chance of finding this incredibly sought-after collectible. While The One Ring isn’t as powerful as a Black Lotus, its rarity is practically unmatched. Subsequently, it should come as no surprise to learn that this card is already incredibly expensive even months before its release.
Laying down the gauntlet, MTG collector Dan Bock recently broadcast a $100,000 standing offer for the serialized One Ring. Additionally, offering to “[beat] the highest reputable public offer,” it’s clear there’s going to be quite the bidding war. So much so, in fact, that some players have theories. Bock’s opening offer is on the low end! As, due to the card’s thematic serialized rarity, there are suggestions this single MTG card could sell for seven figures. If it does, this immense sale would eclipse the record for the most expensive MTG card sale of all time. Currently, that record is held by American rapper Post Malone, who purchased a signed artist-proof Black lotus for $800,000.
Obviously, cracking a $45 Collector Booster and finding a $1,000,000 MTG card inside is quite a lucrative prospect. Somewhat remarkably, however, it seems many MTG players don’t want The One Ring to just be sold time and time again. Instead, they want this one-of-one collectible to continue its thematic story and be destroyed, ideally by a volcano, if possible. Thankfully for the players enamored with this idea, Dan Bock is willing to do just that.
Cast It Into the Fire! Destroy It!
Given the presumed value of The One Ring, getting anyone to actually destroy the card is likely easier said than done. After all, while it is a very fitting meme, you’d be throwing away potentially a million dollars as a joke. Thankfully, to make the idea of destroying The One Ring more palatable, Dan Bock has posted a new offer. “If you find the ring, I’ll pay you $50k, and we’ll throw it into a volcano together.” While half as much as their initial standing offer, and one that’s not likely to increase, this offer is nevertheless surprisingly enticing. After all, $50,000 is no small amount of money, and you get to be part of an incredible story.
Reacting to Bock’s offer, MTG players across social media continued reiterating their desire to destroy The One Ring. As u/cec425 notes, this idea even appears to be picking up steam somewhat, especially following Bock’s proposal. “I love that the consensus is becoming that it needs to be thrown in a volcano for the meme.” However, a volcano won’t be enough for some players to properly destroy The One Ring. After all, as u/Inouva points out, the ring must be destroyed where it was created, not just in any old volcano. “You fools… Can’t you understand it has to be destroyed where it was created! We must as a community unite to find the ring, bring it to where it was printed, and shred it in front of WotC!”
But They Were, All of Them, Deceived, for Another Ring Was Made
Sadly, as entertaining as the idea of destroying The One Ring is, someone following through with that plan is incredibly unlikely. Not only will it be difficult to avoid the allure of a potentially million-dollar offer, but even finding the card will be a real challenge. Only appearing in one out of three million Collector Boosters, it could be years before The One Ring is found. Even when it is found, there’s no guarantee it’ll be posted online, or if its owner will even care. Subsequently, and rather fittingly for The Lord of the Rings lore, The One Ring may simply be lost to time.
Somewhat worryingly, due to its value, there’s a very real possibility that The One Ring will be faked extensively. This may make tracking the real One Ring even more of a struggle than it already appears to be. After all, since malicious players can concoct fakes and reseal packs, even an opening video isn’t a guarantee of authenticity. Subsequently, it may be a good idea for Wizards not actually to put The One Ring into a sealed Collector Booster. Should a code or voucher for the card be placed inside instead, Wizards can authenticate the discovery. Alongside guaranteeing the card’s authenticity, this scheme should also protect the card from potential shipping damage.
For better or worse, currently, it’s unclear if Wizards is planning to follow this course of action. Subsequently, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens once The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth launches on June 23rd.