Just after the MagicCon held in Philadelphia, Wizards of the Coast has shed some light on one of the most anticipated releases this year: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth set, which is part of the Universes Beyond expansions of Magic: the Gathering!
While we don't know many details, and haven't seen any cards from the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic, we finally have a release date, which is July 23! Wizards of the Coast also confirmed that the Lord of the Rings set would be a full expansion, not just some cards like the Transformers ones in Brothers' War, or the four Commander decks of the Warhammer 40000 collaboration. The launch will gift players with Draft, Set, Colletor and Jumpstart booster packs, so everyone can get the products they specifically need.
There will also be a Starter Kit aimed at new players and collectors alike, and as with previous releases, a Bundle, a Gift Bundle and Boxes will be available as well. Wizards of the Coast also plans to have Secret Lair drops for the Lord of the Rings Universe, just like the 30K drops of Warhammer. But maybe the most exciting news was that 4 brand new Lord of the Rings-themed preconstructed Commander Decks would arrive to MTG! The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth set will also have a second release, planned for November 3, just before the Holiday Season, WotC will reveal more information about that in the future.
A new era of MTG
Wizards of the Coast also revealed the first-ever Commander Masters set, which is centered around players who love the most popular format of MTG. Commander Masters will also launch with 4 preconstructed decks, containing cards from the 30-year history of Magic. This Masters drop will feature Draft, Set and Collector packs, but the Jumpstart booster seems to be missing from the lineup. WotC more than makes up for that thought, as they will bombard the community with awesome reprints, such as Jeweled Lotus, The Ur-Dragon (which at the time of writing, costs 50€ on popular trading site, Cardmarket), and the Capture of Jingzhou, which hasn't been reprinted since 1999, the release of the Portal: Three Kingdoms set.
We also know some more information about the 4 Commander decks: Masters will bring about the first colorless precon to date, called Eldrazi Unbound; a Blue-Red-White (Jeskai) Planeswalker deck called Planeswalker Party; a White-Black-Green (Abzan) deck called Enduring Enchantments, focusing on (you guessed it) enchantments; and a new five-colored called Sliver Swarm, featuring one of MTG's most famous (or infamous) tribe.
The Commander Masters set will release on August 4th, between the March of the Machine and the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth expansions. March of the Machine, MTG's newest drop arrives on April 21st, bringing about the conclusion of this year's Phyrexian story, which began with Dominaria United. The Multiverse unites against New Phyrexia, while Elesh Norn expands her the influence of her realm, with her faction rising to become the Machine Legion, completing everything that gets in their path. March of the Machine brings some interesting new cards to the mix, pairing up classic characters from Magic: Ghalta an Mavren, Slimefoot and Squee and Thalia and the Gitrog Monster are new cards in this set, with Atraxa getting a new print, and Omnath finally getting access to Black mana – while also getting completed.
The next few months seem to be an interesting time for MTG players, so it's time to theorycraft some new decks!