Magic: The Gathering Reveals First Art For The Lord Of The Rings Expansion


Rather than start out small and then ramp up its ambitions, Wizards of the Coast has made a beeline for fantasy fiction’s most iconic story for its first dedicated Magic: The Gathering Universes Beyond expansion.

The brand, which encompasses any content released for Magic borrowed from wider pop culture (last year’s The Walking Dead crossover, for example) is retroactively being placed under the Universes Beyond umbrella. It will be attached to a standalone expansion for the popular card game based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, scheduled for launch in 2023.

While still a considerable length of time away, Wizards has today delivered further details on how this set will function in the wider Magic ecosystem, including some early key art featuring none other than Gandalf and his most beloved of Middle-earth’s native races, Hobbits. Check it out for yourselves in the gallery below.

In addition to that admittedly gorgeous-looking teaser, Wizards takes the opportunity to update fans on the product’s format legality. Similar to existing Universes Beyond merchandise, Tales of Middle-earth will only be legal to use in Modern and Historic formats. That being the case, players who only concern themselves with Standard won’t be impacted.

As for the other iconic heroes and villains you can expect to find in packs, Frodo, Aragorn and perhaps most interesting of all, The One Ring itself, is name-dropped in the blog post. How Magic: The Gathering‘s designers intend to balance, in a gameplay sense, the latter against anything else will be a matter of interest going forward, that’s for sure. Don’t be at all surprised if Sauron’s most beloved possession finds itself placed on ban lists two years from now.