For a couple of years now, Magic: The Gathering has been collaborating with owners of other intellectual properties. A few of them include Warhammer 40,000, The Walking Dead, and Stranger Things. This has been done in order to craft unique Magic cards within the bounds of those IPs, known as Universes Beyond. So, it comes as no surprise that Wizards of the Coast, the owner of the card game, has done another collab with the Tolkien Estate and Middle-Earth Enterprises. This gives us The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, a new Modern-legal expansion.
Previews are kicking off today and as such, please allow us to relay some of the highlights to you!
Magic: The Gathering‘s Exploration of Middle-Earth
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth explores the story behind legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings trilogy of books. References are made to the older stories of The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. However, the story is primarily following the exploits of Frodo Baggins and his companion Samwise Gamgee. It also follows the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring, a group tasked with bringing The One Ring to the Fires of Mount Doom and casting it into the flames. This will result in defeating the necromancer Sauron (the creator of said Ring), as he strives for conquest of the realm.
The above cards are specifically created for the Commander deck release that will accompany this set. Specifically, there will be four decks altogether, and we will show you the other three face commanders later in this article. In the meantime…
Magic: The Gathering‘s Take On The Fellowship
Wizards of the Coast has been taking a strong stance on diversity and while there has been some backlash on this front, it is important to note that any gripes about the company’s depiction are truly unfounded. The Tolkien Estate had to pore over pages of card art and designs and ultimately approved Wizards’ interpretations of the characters. So, with that out of the way, here are some cards depicting the Fellowship of the Ring!
Concerning Hobbits in Magic: The Gathering
Wait! It seems that Hobbits in Magic: The Gathering aren’t exactly a thing. Instead, the creature type in the game is relegated to Halfling, introduced first in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the first Dungeons & Dragons expansion of the game. Nevertheless, this is similar to how Kithkin were Magic‘s answer to Halflings in D&D and those were the answer to Hobbits in Middle-Earth. Therefore, since Magic has Halflings now, at last, Hobbits are Halflings in this iteration.
Anyway, here are more Hobbits from the release!
The Villains of Magic: The Gathering‘s New Set
The primary antagonist of The Lord of the Rings is Sauron, creator of the One Ring, necromancer, and all-around scummy guy. He has arisen from stasis with the use of his Ring, and his Eye searches desperately for what is rightfully his. He has raised an army of Orcs, Goblins, and Nazgûl, nine former kings who were corrupted by the whims of the Rings of Power meant for Man. They directly oppose the Fellowship and the armies of Man, aiming to wrest control of Middle-Earth and usher forth a new age.
It is important to note here that there are not one, but nine Nazgûl cards in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, all with alternate art. So, if you don’t get this art, know that this Magic: The Gathering card is still out there for you to collect!
Magic: The Gathering‘s Commander Face Cards
We promised we would show you the other three face cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth‘s Commander decks. Well, get ready; they’re a doozy!
Okay, that was a joke (but still, a real card!), although Bill the Pony could show up in the deck that features Frodo and Sam as partner commanders. After all, the “Food and Fellowship” commander deck features a major Food theme to it. But, here are the actual three cards leading the other Commander decks:
Magic: The Gathering‘s Ring Tempts You
These are just some of the coolest things we can show you from the kick-off for the previews of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth. Magic: The Gathering has a ton in store for us with this set and we can’t wait to see more! A big thank-you to Wizards of the Coast for letting us get a sneak peek at these cards to show to you!