Gollum Art | The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth
1, Jun, 23

The List for MTG’s Lord of the Rings Set Removes a Ton of Value

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Since it was first introduced for Zendikar Rising, The List has steadily provided MTG players with a variety of reprints. Appearing within 25% of Set Boosters, for better or worse, The List isn’t nearly as common as a Bonus Sheet. That being said, however, it can still be a delight to find cards from The List in a pack. 

More than just being any old reprint, many of the MTG cards on The List are rather valuable. As a result of this, changes to The List can often be worth getting very excited about. Whether they’re competitive staples or forgotten niche cards, many additions to The List can be worth $20+! 

Better than just being a valuable investment, The List can provide far cheaper versions of these once-expensive cards. This was the case for Rain of Daggers which recently made its List debut. Since The List also contains valuable powerhouses like Blightsteel Colossus it undoubtedly has the best of both worlds. 

Unfortunately, as much as The List can be a valuable reprint engine, it does change with every MTG set. As much as we’d like it to keep getting better and better, sadly, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes when a set comes out, The List just gets worse. This is the case for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth.

In With the New

Tales of Middle-earth The List additions

While it has gotten worse overall, the latest version of The List isn’t a complete valueless disaster. As usual, several power and expensive cards have been added to The List to keep things fresh and interesting. Alongside these cards, which we’ll get to shortly, The List has continued to be deeply flavorful. 

Considering it is a Universes Beyond crossover set, giving more flavor to The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth may seem somewhat difficult. After all, without cards having alternate art and names, it may be hard to make the connection to the franchise. That would be the case, at least, if MTG didn’t have plenty of cards seemingly already inspired by The Lord of the Rings. 

As shouted about on Reddit by u/Uberninja2016 one of the best of these cards is Battleflight Eagle. Reminiscent of the Gwaihir that wouldn’t dare fly The One Ring to Mordor, this giant bird is certainly thematic. It’s also not very good and incredibly inexpensive, costing just $0.06 on TCGplayer. 

Alongside this flavorful eagle, The List for Tales of Middle-earth also features plenty of knights, Dwarves, and Ents. Well… Technically cards like the reprinted Battlewand Oak are Treefolk, not Ents, but we all know what they are. 

Complementing the flavor of what you can find in Set Boosters are also a variety of new and expensive cards. Some of these continue to fit the rough themes of The Lord of the Rings franchise. This is true of Darien, King of Kjeldor, which costs around $7.40, and Ghastlord of Fugue, which is typically worth $4.55

Out With the Old

Tales of Middle-earth The List additions

Providing a mix of flavor and value, the above cards are hardly bad pulls from a Set Booster. That being said, however, neither of these cards is challenging for the title of being The List’s most expensive card. Thankfully, while there are five new additions around the $5-$8 range, there are some more expensive options. 

Coming in at $13.92 on average is Dolmen Gate, which is finally getting another reprint. Additionally, Commandeer is getting its first-ever reprint since debuting in 2006’s Cold Snap. Currently costing $19.55 on average, this card is the most expensive new addition to The List.

Since both the above cards more than pay for a Set Booster, these additions may seem rather compelling. For better or worse, however, they both may go the way of Rain of Daggers. This is thanks to them both being rarely played and rather challenging to obtain. Prior to being printed on The List, Rain of Daggers was worth around $32 thanks to its scarcity. However, copies can be picked up for as little as $1.52

Unfortunately for value enthusiasts, the problems with The List’s latest version don’t end there. As, alongside the potential price plummet, several expensive cards are being taken off The List. These cards include widely played staples such as Force of Vigor and Phyrexian Altar. If that wasn’t bad enough, even Urza’s Saga is finally being removed from The List!

In total, according to Reddit user u/pimpthemonkey, the 75 cards being removed from The List are worth $162.49. In comparison, the new additions only cost $111.73 for their current cheapest versions. This is obviously quite the hit in value.

Uneventful Averages

Tales of Middle-earth The List losses

While The List has undoubtedly taken a hit in value for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, in the grand scheme of things, all hope is not lost. When Calculating the total cost of The List, using TCGplayer’s mass entry tool, the change doesn’t feel as dramatic. In fact, there’s only an 8% difference between the value of the two editions of The List. 

According to TCGplayer’s calculations, the approximate current value of all cards on The List is $480. Meanwhile, the current value of March of the Machine’s edition of The List is roughly $520. From this $40 price difference, it’s clear that MTG players are missing out somewhat. When looking at averages, however, the price difference seems smaller still.

Simply obtained by dividing both totals by 300, the average price of a card on The List is now $1.60. Comparatively, the average price of a card on The List for March of the Machine, meanwhile, is $1.73. Obviously, this average doesn’t tell the full story, as part of the fun is pulling a high-value bomb like Urza’s Saga. 

At the end of the day, while it can provide some value and enjoyment to MTG players, The List is hardly the endgame for reprints. After all, you’ll only find cards on The List in a quarter of Set Boosters. Even if you do open a card from The List, chances are it’ll be one of the many flavorful and near-worthless commons. Like it or not, this has always been the case for The List. Subsequently, it may not be worth getting too angry about this drop in value

Read More: New MTG LOTR Card Creates Two-Card Infinite Combo!

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