MTG is going all in on its Lord of the Rings set

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth artwork of Frodo and the Ring against a backdrop showing Mordor
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

New details have been revealed for Magic: The Gathering's Lord of the Rings set, and it seems as if publisher Wizards of the Coast is making the most of this partnership.

Announced via an official Magic blog post (opens in new tab), this gives us our first proper look at the MTG Lord of the Rings set that's due to launch later this year. Unlike other 'Universes Beyond' crossovers such as Warhammer 40,000, this one has a starter set, multiple Commander decks, bundles, booster packs of multiple kinds, and a pre-release box. This is similar to what's being offered for mainline launches like March of the Machine, which makes sense - MTG Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is considered modern legal, which means it can be played with cards from the last two decades of Magic. 

You can pre-order the set now from Amazon (opens in new tab) in the US or Amazon UK (opens in new tab).

We also now know when MTG Lord of the Rings is due to join the best card games on shelves. It'll arrive this coming June 23, though as usual for Magic: The Gathering, it'll enjoy a staggered preview cycle. You can see the timeline below.

  • First Look: March 14
  • Debut: May 30
  • Prerelease: June 16
  • MTG Arena Release: June 20
  • Tabletop Release: June 23
  • Holiday Release (more details to come): November 3

The mention of a 'Holiday Release' is interesting. It's unclear what this is, but the obvious implication would be that The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth won't be a one-and-done set like most other Universes Beyond crossovers. Perhaps it'll continue alongside primary MTG with occasional new sets? Considering how popular Lord of the Rings is in the mainstream, it would probably serve as a good route into Magic in general - something Wizards of the Coast has always said is a bit of a conundrum.

Either way, we'll find out soon enough. It's only a few weeks until the first cards are revealed, including the Commander decks - they're currently blank on Amazon's pre-order (opens in new tab) page.

For more tabletop action to keep you busy until the new Lord of the Rings set arrives, check in with the best board games, these must-have board games for 2 players, and essential board games for adults.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to Lego buying guides. I have been writing about games in one form or another since 2012 and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.