Throughout the past year, Wizards of the Coast has found a new collectible fascination: serialized MTG cards. First appearing on mirrored copies of Viscera Seer, serialized cards first debuted in mid-2021. Since then, Wizards has steadily been increasing the prevalence of ultra-rare serialized MTG cards. So much so, in fact, they now look like a staple of the product calendar.
Reappearing for The Brothers’ War, serialized cards returned in 2022 in a big way. Available as part of the set’s bonus sheet, 500 serialized copies of 63 cards were released by Wizards. Following this, less than one year later, March of the Machine would provide a new twist to serialized cards. Alongside offering the normal suite of 65 serialized cards, March of the Machine also had five serialized Praetors with new art.
Continuing the trend of innovation, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth once again pushes the serialized envelope. Alongside offering a trio of limited edition Sol Rings with new art, Tales of Middle-earth also has Magic’s first one-of-one serialized card. Rather aptly, this card is [toolips]The One Ring[/tooltips].
Due to the highly collectible nature of these cards, many players are deeply excited to start cracking packs. Unfortunately, however, the serialized surprise that players are hoping for might not be as good as expected. Before MTG players can get their hands on the set, serialized MTG cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth are already being opened.
Serialized Sol Rings Are Already Being Opened
Unfortunately for excited players who want all the serialized cards for themselves, early pack openings in MTG are nothing new. Sometimes, these pack openings come thanks to leaks, which are occasionally met with the wrath of Wizards. More typically, however, third-party MTG stores simply choose to open their ordered product early.
Beyond being a fun thing to do, early pack openings allow stores to populate their shelves with singles ahead of release day. Since prereleases now mark the start of a set’s legality, this has recently become more important than ever before. As a result of this, it was no surprise that serialized cards were opened early with March of the Machine.
Pulling the 001/500 copy of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Star City Games found what was arguably the most expensive card from the set. Exactly two months later, we’re seeing almost the exact same thing happen for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth.
Posted to Twitter by Commander Cookout host Ryan (@CCOPodcast), it appears one of the 001 serialized Sol Rings has been found. Judging by the card’s art, and its 700 serialized count, this is one of the Dwarven Sol Rings. Since this is the second-rarest variant of the card, unsurprisingly, this Sol Ring is going to be expensive.
More than just being expensive at some nebulous point in the future, this serialized Sol Ring already is expensive. According to Twitter user @PokemonAuburn, and CCOPodcast, this serialized card has already sold for $13,000. Unfortunately, due to the limited information provided in these tweets, it’s unclear if this price is genuine or just hearsay. If the reported sale price is indeed genuine, this Sol Ring may be the most expensive variant of the card ever sold.
The One Ring Surpasses Two Million Dollars
As expensive as a serialized Sol Ring can be, these cards have nothing on The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth’s most expensive card. As we mentioned at the start, this card is a one-of-one serialized variant of The One Ring.
When this ultra-rare serialized MTG card was first announced, MTG players obviously expected it to be seriously expensive. Not only was this card on part with the rarest priceless promos ever printed, but it’s also a Lord of the Rings collectible. Hitting two highly collectible markets, the serialized The One Ring had everything going for it. The question remained, however, just how expensive would this card be?
Initially, guesses from MTG players were all over the place, although almost everyone expected it’d sell for at least six figures. Some players even suggested The One Ring could sell for upwards of seven figures, however, that did seem somewhat unlikely. As outrageous as it might have seemed at the time, The One Ring recently smashed that seven-figure barrier.
As the release date for Tales of Middle-earth draws near, offers for The One Ring have been rolling in. This has caused the prospective price of the card to skyrocket from $100,000, all the way up to $1,000,000! While this is an obscene amount of money for an MTG card, the bidding hasn’t stopped there.
Blowing the previous highest bidder out of the water, a Spanish game store, Gremio de Dregones, has offered €2,000,000 for The One Ring. In dollars, that immense bid is worth roughly $2,159,550 at the time of writing. Alongside getting all that moolah, Gremio de Dregones will also fly the card’s finder out to Valencia. While there is no expiration date with this offer, it is marked as limited-time.
The Hunt Is Almost On
While many local game stores have taken the opportunity to start cracking packs early, it’s not long before players can join in on the fun. As soon as the Prerelease weekend starts, on the 16th of June, LGS’ will be able to start selling product. Should enough packs be opened, this could cause The One Ring to be found after just a few days.
While it is understandably very tempting to start cracking packs right away, unfortunately, that might not be the best idea. Due to the value of The One Ring, it’s possible it may bring out the worst in people, leading to the card being stolen or destroyed. Subsequently, if you’re on the hunt for the one ring, it’s best to heed the advice of Gandalf. “Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.”