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The Ring Tempts Magic: The Gathering With Impressive Lord Of The Rings Crossover

Wizards bring the Magic to Middle-Earth

Universes Beyond is a series of Magic: The Gathering spin-offs that have represented landmark crossovers for the trading card game. Having explored the future hellscape of Warhammer 40K, we now look to the fantastical past of Tolkien’s ravenously beloved The Lord of the Rings.

And oh boy, this is a set for the ages and is sure to print money. Having launched into full gear on June 23, The Lord Of The Rings Tales Of Middle-earth is a complete retheme of the core Magic experience with additional tasty mechanics to give the set a rich thematic flavour.

Having cracked into a handful of Jumpstart games with this set, I found a few delightful standout features with my brief hands-on time last week. The biggest of these is the presence of the One Ring. Players can be tempted by the ring, granting powers that allow additional card draws or break the rules of standard combat engagement. Exploit these powers for too long and the temptations of the ring can cause the player to eventually sacrifice themselves to it.

While the ring ultimately adds exciting new wrinkles to the well-established rules of the games’ various phases, the set also adds new card mechanics to make fans chuckle. Halflings can create food tokens, which those same halflings can then spend entire turns consuming, granting the player powerful additions of health in the process. Second, third, and even fourth breakfasts are entirely encouraged here.

Magic newbies may be daunted by the raft of added mechanics, such as armies and sagas that recount the epic histories of this world. Magic is already a game buckling under the weight of many interconnecting and conflicting terms, and this set adds a truckload more. But having played with beginners for whom the theme caught their curiosity, the barrier to entry posed was one overcome with delight by the amusing board states that result from these flavour-filled cards.

Not a Magic news drop goes by without mention of the outstanding art. Once again, it doesn’t miss. Drawing inspiration from the broader image of the source material, depictions of the famous Middle-earth landmarks and their notable residents appear here. Deep cuts abound, and all are displayed in a wonderfully diverse manner that sees black representation and a colourful vibrance that honours the sublime imagery such as we have seen in the films and Prime series.

Pop by your local EB Games or JB Hi-Fi to secure your ticket into this exciting new vision of The Third Age. If you’re a complete newbie, consider getting a couple of pairs of Jumpstart Boosters for yourself and a mate in order to jump right in. One special Collectors Booster also plays host to an exclusive One Ring. Also available are the usual suspects with Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Starter Set, Commander decks, and Bundles.

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If you’re into Lord Of The Rings, would you consider giving Magic a go for the sake of this theme? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

Written By Nathan Hennessy


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