1, Jun, 23

MTG's Rarest Card Already Looks Curled!

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Article at a Glance

One of the biggest attractions featured in Magic: the Gathering’s new Lord of the Rings set is how much time Wizards of the Coast took to reference and create new interpretations of the original material. There are a lot of flavorful moments available in Tolkien’s lore that have been impeccably translated into the early spoilers.

One of the most flavorful aspects translated to the Tales of Middle-earth set is The One Ring. One of the biggest centerpieces of the Lord of the Rings IP, there are a lot of Rings of Power in the world of Lord of the Rings. There is, however, only one Ring to Rule them All. This is the Ring that Frodo traverses to Mount Doom to destroy.

Since only one of those Rings exists in the IP, a fantastic way to honor The One Ring is… well, to only have one copy of it. This can make things difficult for players to get the card as a game piece. Fortunately, this was solved by having a serialized variant. In its first preview, however, the one-of collectible card already appears to be curled.

The Rarest Card Ever

This is the first time that Magic: the Gathering has ever released a serialized card where only one copy of it exists. As we have seen with past iterations of serialized cards, rarity is, generally, expensive. Any look at the Serialized cards released in The Brothers’ War or March of the Machine demonstrates that in spades.

Take the above Elesh Norn, for example. Not only is this card a powerful inclusion to many EDH decks, but this Serialized iteration of Elesh Norn also has unique artwork. As a result, this card is both more valuable and desirable than the average serialized card. That desirability is heavily reflected in the card’s price. A normal Elesh Norn only runs you about $15. These ones can cost $2300 or more.

With that in mind, the markup on a one-for-one The One Ring is expected to be insane. Many players expect the card to be worth more than a million dollars! It may not end up being worth quite that much, but the card is likely to, at least, sell for a couple hundred thousand dollars, should the lucky recipient who receives it willing to sell it. With this in mind, the potential for The One Ring to already be curved, according to a recent highlight of the card, is incredibly worrying.

Is The One Ring Pringled?

Earlier this week, Wizards of the Coast unveiled their Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Debut show. Tons of new cards were unveiled, and even Elijah Wood, the actor who played Frodo from the Lord of the Rings movies, got some screentime.

Among the many new spoilers revealed, most of which (and more) can be found here, the above preview for The One Ring was shown off. While it looks absolutely impeccable, including some incredible foil finishes, many MTG players immediately noticed that the card already seems pringled.

Pringling, for reference, is a common term used within the community to represent a common phenomenon that occurs with foil cards. For various reasons, these MTG cards are susceptible to curling. This can get so bad that, in the case of Commander Legends, the foil cards were completely unplayable. These represented the curl of a Pringles chip, hence the name.

The most common of these reasons has to do with humidity. Because both sides of a foil MTG card are made of different materials, they react to humidity differently. Cardboard can expand and contract, while the foil side of a card cannot. Therefore, the card ends up curled.

Pringling is considered a rather negative trait since it can directly affect the playability of an MTG card. This is especially true for competitive play since it can lead to marked cards. There was a particularly infamous event at an earlier Regional Championship because of this.

In summary, the rarest card in Magic’s history appearing to be curled in its debut video is not something many players are going to take lightly.

Player Response

Firstly, it’s important to mention that, while the Serialized One Ring card appears to be curled in its debut video, we do not know if the card is actually curled or not. That said, a ton of community members agree that the rarest card in MTG’s history is, currently, far from a PSA 10:

“I heard it continues to curl until it can be worn as a ring.”


“The One Ring is a slap bracelet.”


Interestingly enough, even though the One Ring may appear curled, as far as its value goes, it may not matter much.

Does Condition Matter?

Tyler the Great Warrior
Tyler the Great Warrior | Konami | Cimoooooooo

Even though The One Ring is all the rage in the MTG community right now, another one-for-one goldmine recently sold in another TCG: Tyler the Great Warrior. This Yugioh card has a fabled story within the community, created as a one-off card as a part of a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation.

Tyler the Great Warrior was also not a mint condition card. Unfortunately, the card received some damage when it was originally placed into a protective case. At the end of the day, as long as the card isn’t mauled to the point of being severely damaged, the condition of cards like Tyler the Great Warrior and The One Ring may not matter. This is because they are the only copy of the card in the world. Will condition really matter if there isn’t another better-conditioned card to compare it to?

For playability’s sake, having a curled The One Ring is less than ideal, but many MTG players will probably not be playing a card like this in their decks. There are much cheaper alternative copies of this card meant as game pieces; this is the Magic version of opening Wonka’s Golden Ticket. If you want to play The One Ring, just buy another copy of it.

How Expensive is it?

For reference, Tyler, the Great Warrior, sold for $311,211. As a one-of-card that has a profoundly ingrained story to the Yugioh community, this card is definitely on the more expensive side of things.

Many players, following this sale, expect that this is the floor for what The One Ring can do. While the card does not have as much of a deep meaning to the MTG community, the symbolic representation this card has in a larger pop culture reference is huge. As a result, The One Ring could sell for more than we could ever imagine.

Read More: Powerful MTG Lord of the Rings Spoiler Shuts Down Free Spells!

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