MTG Lord of the Rings release date speculation, set details, and news

Magic: The Gathering meets Middle Earth in MTG Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth - discover all the latest set details, from release dates to art

MTG Lord of the Rings release date - artwork of Frodo holding the One Ring

Magic: The Gathering has a major crossover with Lord of the Rings coming up in 2023. This MTG Lord of the Rings set, Tales of Middle Earth, will feature all the classic characters and events you know from the fantasy book series, reimagined with iconic MTG artwork and Magic gameplay.

 

MTG Lord of the Rings is Wizards’ next big Universes Beyond project, after the roaring success of the MTG Warhammer 40k EDH decks. This time, the company has gone a step further, creating an entire Magic set based on another IP, along with four Commander decks, and some MTG Secret Lairs for good measure. As you may have guessed, Wizards is looking at Lord of the Rings with giant dollar signs in its eyes.

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth is coming out in the third quarter of 2023 – check out our MTG 2023 release schedule to see how it fits in, among sets like Phyrexia: All Will Be One and March of the Machine.

MTG Lord of the Rings release date - The balrog preparing to fight gandalf.

MTG Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth release date

Wizards of the Coast has been pretty tight-lipped on exactly when the MTG Lord of the Rings set will be coming out. No concrete release date has been given, but we do know that the set is coming out in Q3 2023. If it wasn’t obvious, that’s July, August, or September.

Q3 is the same quarter that premier MTG set Wilds of Eldraine has its release date, but we don’t yet know which of the two will be gracing our table tops first.

MTG Lord of the Rings release date - Gandalf at Bilbo's birthday party

MTG Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth set details

Like all other Universes Beyond cards, the MTG Lord of the Rings set will not be legal in Magic’s Standard format. However, the cards are legal in Modern, and of course Commander.

The set is apparently not designed specifically for Modern. Instead, it’s primarily considered a Limited format intended for MTG drafts – it remains to be seen what kind of power level the set has, and how big a dent it makes on MTG’s Modern meta.

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth set will also be playable in MTG Arena’s Historic format, as it’s getting a digital release on Arena as an Alchemy set. (It’ll come to Magic Online too.)

As well as the main Lord of the Rings set, WotC is launching four Commander decks as part of its Tales of Middle Earth release. These will each have a few brand new cards, as well as a whole load of reprints.

There are also some Lord of the Rings Secret Lairs coming out, but we’ll have to share more details on these as they arrive, since right now, we’ve got nothing official. If they’re like the Warhammer Secret Lairs, we’d expect them to focus on tangential parts of the Lord of the Rings universe that aren’t covered by the main set. Perhaps they’ll have content from The Silmarillion or The Hobbit.

MTG Lord of the Rings release date - a collage of 18 cards forming a battle scene

MTG Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth cards

No official spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth have emerged so far, though we do already have plenty of card art, all but confirming a few cards from the set.

It hardly seems worth talking in-depth about these though – name your favourite Lord of the Rings characters and creatures, and we can almost guarantee there’ll be a card depicting them. Yes, of course there’ll be a Gollum card. Yes, there’ll be Legolas. As Wizards has said, in Tales of Middle Earth “you’ll meet Magic’s take on Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, The One Ring, and so much more.”

The most detailed look at MTG Lord of the Rings cards we’ve had so far is an 18-card collage that forms one piece of artwork, depicting the Battle of Pelennor Fields. We can see from the way the piece is divided that the Witch-king, Fellbeast wyverns, and a swarm of giant bats all get cards, as do riders of Rohan, orc troops, Gondor soldiers, and Oliphant cavalry. It seems like Minas Tirith may also be a (presumably MTG Land) card.

Rest assured, our all-seeing eye will be scouring the Shire and beyond, and as soon as proper card spoilers start filtering in, we’ll display them all here.