Magic: The Gathering is bringing some of the most iconic characters in fantasy history to its collectible card game. Wizards, elves and knights have been a part of MTG for decades, but characters like Gandalf, Galadriel and Eowyn will be showing up for the very first time in Magic’s upcoming Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set.
The new Lord of the Rings crossover is the latest entry in Magic’s Universes Beyond series, which brings characters from other franchises into the card game. Some of the Universes Beyond crossovers have been unexpected — The Walking Dead and Street Fighter, for example — but The Lord of the Rings feels like an obvious opportunity, given the enormous stature of the books and movies in fantasy fiction.
As usual, the new cards will be available in a range of different card styles and different products. Here’s a quick rundown of the different ways you can collect the Lord of the Rings Magic cards when they come out on June 23.
Big Lord of the Rings fan, but never played Magic before? The MTG Lord of the Rings starter kit gives you two ready-to-play decks — one themed around Aragorn and Arwen, and the other themed around Sauron. Just open the starter kit, read the rules basics, and you’re ready to go.
Draft, set and collector boosters
These are your core Magic products. Draft boosters are your go-to for draft and sealed events, building decks with the cards you pull out of a few packs. Set boosters let you open packs with a little more variety in rarity and treatments. And collector boosters give you access to more foil cards and cards with special treatments, and they’re the only place you can possibly find the 1 of 1 Ring card, which will only have one single printing.
All three booster types will also be available in booster displays (boxes of 12-36 boosters, depending on type), and bundles of set boosters. Note that Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth will be a Modern-legal set, which means it won’t be part of the Standard rotation.
One of the most popular Magic formats, Commander features supersized decks with no repeated cards, led by a legendary character designated as your commander. This format is great for playing with multiple people at the same time, or for anyone who likes to play with more powerful cards.
Lord of the Rings Commander decks are available in four different decks, each themed around different characters:
- Food and Fellowship (Frodo and Sam).
- Elven Council (Galadriel).
- Riders of Rohan (Eowyn and the Rohirrim).
- The Hosts of Mordor (Sauron).
Want to jump into a quick game? You can shuffle together two Jumpstart boosters and immediately start playing. Jumpstart packs are a great way to get the flavor of a draft with just one other friend.