Wizards of the Coast have released new information for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. This Universes Beyond Magic set has been highly anticipated by both fans of the popular card game and lovers of Tolkien's rich fantasy world since its announcement back in February. Now, the tabletop publisher has revealed brand new card artwork, new mechanics, and a glimpse of what certain heroes and villains of Middle-earth will bring to the battlefield. Here is everything that was revealed.
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth debut video
The debut video for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth opens with a look at official artwork. The presentation shows off cards for several Lord of the Rings characters like Samwise Gamgee, Gandalf The White, Aragorn, the Dark Lord Sauron, and the Witch-king of Angmar. The artwork for these characters was shown both in regular artwork and in alternate Showcase Ring treatment cards. The presentation also showcased various Scene cards. These cards illustrate certain iconic scenes and setpieces from The Lord of the Rings such as Bilbo Baggins' birthday party, the One Ring's destruction in Mount Doom, and the Battle of Pelennor Fields.
The presentation then highlights several Commander decks in the set. First is the Riders of Rohan deck. This white/red/blue deck features Eowyn Shieldmaiden and emphasizes the power of numbers with its various human armies. Second is the Food and Fellowship deck, which features the Ring-Bearer himself Frodo Baggins. It is a green/black/white deck that features the partner mechanic, giving you control of two Commanders at once: Frodo and Sam. As the name implies, the deck will utilize mechanics around Food tokens as well as Frodo's experience with The One Ring for a mix of different strategies. Third is the green/blue Elven Council deck featuring the elven queen Galadriel. Fourth is The Hosts of Mordor deck: a red/black/blue deck featuring the Dark Lord Sauron. This deck revolves around bringing creatures back from the graveyard, emphasizing Sauron's history as a necromancer.
As for new mechanics, a few are highlighted in an official Magic post. First are Food tokens. These can be generated by certain card effects and can be discarded to regain life. Second is Amass, a Middle-earth twist on an older Magic mechanic. If you use Amass, any Army creatures you control gain a number of +1/+1 tokens. If you control no Army creatures, an Army creature token is created before you apply any +1/+1 tokens. Furthermore, landcycling effects, the historic term, and Sagas will be returning in this set.
But the most elaborate mechanic introduced in this set is the temptations of The One Ring. How it works is certain card effects will have the text "the Ring tempts you." The first time this happens, you will receive an emblem called The Ring, which has a number of game effects written on it. You then select one of your creatures to be the Ring-bearer. You can only have one Ring-bearer at any given time. The Ring-bearer then gains one of the effects written on the emblem. Each time the ring tempts you, another effect is applied until all effects are active.
The prerelease for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is June 16-22th. The set will debut on Magic: Arena on June 20th. The set's worldwide release is June 23. Finally, participating locations will host celebration events July 7-9.